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The place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 173 - Wednesday, 14th November 2007
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Page 1 [Phil Rickman opens Library - Cash for CIN - Agricultural Lessons - More affordable housing - Tina invitation]
Page 2 [WNTV: We will remember them]
Page 3 [A Premiere Performance - Happy surprise 50th Birthday, what's 'is name? - Pay problem solved]

Page 4

[Two choirs click - Presentation to Library - In Memory of my grandfather - Local crime - Christmas menus]
Page 5 [The fruit and veg of their labours - Whitchurch - Champion helps local girls - Shopmobility - Rugby - Weather]
Page 6 [News from around Herefordshire]
Two choirs click

The Ross on Wye Lions Club brought the Ilfracombe and District Male Voice Choir from Devon, together with the Drybrook and District Choir to St' Mary's Church in Ross to take part in a concert to raise funds for the restoration of the Church Spire, the League of Friends and Lions Sight First Appeal. This was the first time they had met, with 14 choir members travelling from Devon and 22 from the Forest of Dean, and they hit it off immediately.

Ilfracombe with their Musical Director, Jan Cross and accompanist Mike Riley have a philosophy of singing for the fun of it while Drybrook under the directorship of June Jones and accompanist Margaret Holloway tend to take it more seriously. However, the two groups after singing as individual groups came together and were an immediate hit. Ross Lion, John Davies was the Master of Ceremonies.

The audience, which was of a fair size, enjoyed songs such as Glorious Devon, Smoke gets in your eyes, The Song of the Jolly Roger, A Roman War Song, Gwahoddiad, Chattanooga Choo Choo etc. For almost two hours they kept the audience enthralled. At the end of the concert the chairman of Drybrook presented Ilfracombe with a Shield bearing their logo and Drybrook received a picture of Lantern Hill, Ilfracombe. The Musical Directors were each presented with a bouquet.

Continued . . .

Drybrook and District Male Voice Choir

Ross Lions spokesman, Bernard Fowkes, said the evening was excellent and this was not just confined to the concert in the church. Afterwards, the choir, Lions and friends retired to the Ross Rowing Club where they enjoyed a supper, prepared by one of the Lions wives. The fun really started then as, with drinks in their hands, the Ilfracombe choir commenced to give a rendition of some old songs in a spirited fashion. The Ilfracombe Musical Director, Jan Cross, took control and soon the Ross Rowing Club building was reverberating with the voices of more than forty voices as more guests couldn't resist joining in. The presentation of these songs was in a different mood to those that took place in the church with laughter and fun being the main aim. This went on all evening until closing time at twelve o'clock. Even then the singers wanted to stay on but time is time.

Lion, Bernard said it was the most enjoyable evening he had had for a long time and he looked forward to the two choirs getting together again. Members of both choirs said how much they had enjoyed it and said they would be happy to repeat the event. The Ross Lions Activities Chairman, Lion Andrew Middlecote said a future event would be something he would be looking into.

Lion, Gordon Lucas thanked Jo Fowkes and presented her with a bouquet of flowers for preparing the supper which was enjoyed by everyone. He then thanked the choirs for providing such a feast of music. Everyone had really enjoyed the evening.

A response from the Chairman of Drybrook and District Male Voice Choir thanked the Lions for allowing them to take part in the concert and indicated that they would be happy to visit Ross again to help the Lions raise funds. The money raised will be shared equally between the three beneficiaries.

The audience in St. Mary's.

A mixture of singers really enjoying themselves at the Ross Rowing Club later in the evening.

Appeal for Help in Tracing Kate Prout
(added after publication date)

Due to the importance of finding Kate, this article has been added to every page of this week's news, after the initial publication date, in order to give the matter maximum exposure.

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of missing Forest of Dean woman Kathleen Prout.

The 55-year-old, known as Kate, has not been seen since she left her home address in Redmarley on Monday, 5th November.

Mrs Prout is white, 5ft 6 tall and of medium build. Described as having a pale complexion, she has blue eyes and red, shoulder-length straight hair. She was wearing jeans and a black v-neck top when she was last seen.

Members of the public are being urged to assist in the search for Kate by reporting any sightings of her straightaway.

If you think you may have seen her, please contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 0845 090 1234, quoting incident number 229 of 10th November.

The White House Guest House, Ross-on-Wye. Anchor Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Ross-on-Wye.
Gordon presents his Chelsea Pensioner research to Ross Library

Many groups were evacuated to Herefordshire during the Second World War, but few can have been as unusual as the group of Chelsea Pensioners evacuated to Ross-on-Wye in 1939. Local historian Gordon Amand discovered their story seven years ago whilst researching a project for the Imperial War Museum.

It is now sixty years since the last Chelsea Pensioners left the Ross area, so to commemorate this anniversary Gordon has presented a copy of his work to Ross-on-Wye Library to enable local residents to find out more about this chapter of Ross history, and ensure that the story of the Chelsea Pensioners of Ross is not forgotten.

Jan Nesaratnam, Senior Reader Services Librarian; Joan Robertshaw, Customer Services Officer Libraries; Gordon Amand.

In memory of my grandfather
by Bryan Cooper

'A few months ago I was in touch with Bryan Cooper of Stockton-on-Tees regarding the Greytree memorial and his grandfather Tom Cooper who was killed in 1917. He sent me a photo of his grandfather and his grave in Belgium. At this time of the year there will be memorial services in every town and village in the country. I thought this story may be of interest, as it focuses on one particular memorial in the town. The memorial is not there now as it is being refurbished.'

Gordon Amand

Tom Cooper

One of the sadnesses of my life is that I never met my grandfather, Tom Cooper, and he never had the pleasure of watching his son and six grandchildren grow up.

In about 1911 Tom Cooper, a shepherd, employed by the Pearce's of Cotterell Farm, Bridstow, was busy courting Mary Lane from Kempley and on the 21st of March 1912 he and Mary married at St Bridget's Church Bridstow and lived for a while in one of the farm Cottages. He decided to look for better prospects and soon found employment as a drayman for the Alton Court Brewery, one of the biggest employers in Ross-on-Wye at that time.

Tom was born in Wold House, along with his four siblings, in an isolated farm labourer's cottage near Wharram Percy, North Yorkshire and moved to Ross-on-Wye to continue his employment as a shepherd, as his father had done before him.

On the 27 October 1913, Tom & Mary had their one and only child, John Alec, and they moved to Lower Greytree to live. In 1916 Tom volunteered and joined the King's Liverpool Regiment and then transferred to 78th company as Private 46281 T. Cooper.


A year or so later about the 11 September 1917 while Mary was bathing their son, Alec, there was a knock on the door by a boy with a telegram. It informed her that Tom had been killed. She had to get on and look after Alec, as there was nobody in the immediate vicinity to share her grief.

She was informed he had been hit by shrapnel and eventually died of his wounds. He is buried at the Canada Farm Cemetery in Belgium, which took its name from a farmhouse used as a dressing station during the Allied offensive. Most of the burials there are of men who died at the dressing station between June and October 1917.

In July 1917, a year and four months before Armistice Day, 11th November 1918, a memorial was erected and dedicated on the Greytree Estate to the memory of all those men who served their country in the Great War. Thirty-six names are listed from this closely-knit community in Ross.

Apart from Tom Cooper three other men from Greytree were killed in action. They were: J. Freeman, Edward Tom Llewellyn, and W. Trigg. Their names are marked with a golden cross on the memorial.

The memorial was placed in the garden of Mrs St. Helier Evans, widow of the vicar of Brampton Abbotts. Her son Lieutenant M. Evans who had returned on leave from the Western Front unveiled the memorial. The Rector of Ross, Rev. R. T. A. Money- Kyrle conducted a short dedication service.

The present owner of the Greytree memorial is now having it refurbished, and when finished it will be rededicated. Their Name Liveth for Evermore.

Tom Cooper's grave in Belgium.

RThe Greytree Memorial. Photo Gordon Amand.

Theft from a Meter Box in Springfield Road

Police are appealing for witnesses to a burglary which occurred in Springfield Road, Ross on Wye between 9.15am and 3.20pm on Friday, 2nd November.

It is reported that intruders entered the property and stole a quantity of cash contained in a TV Meter Box. Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to assist the enquiry to contact PC Neil Finch at the Volume Crime Unit at Hereford Police Station. Telephone 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Burglary at Weston-under-Penyard

Jewellery and electrical items were stolen during a burglary at a property at Weston-under-Penyard. The break-in occurred sometime between Tuesday, 23rd October and Thursday, 1st November.

Police are keen to trace, identify and if genuine, eliminate two males who were seen near the location at 4.30pm on Monday 29th October. The males are described as being in their late teens and of slim build. One was taller than the other and one of them wore what is described as a ‘beenie’ style hat with something draped over his arm.

It is believed these males left the area in a small yellow/orange car, possibly a Citroen Saxo which sounded ‘suped up’. This car had been parked outside the school and had been driven off in the direction of Ross on Wye. Police believe this vehicle may be local to the Ross on Wye area and ask that anyone with knowledge of the burglary or suggestions as to the described persons or vehicle contact PC1964 Neil Finch at the Volume Crime Unit at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888. Alternatively, use the crimestoppers number 0800 555111, anonymously.

Christmas Menus 2007

Are you looking for somewhere to enjoy a Christmas Meal with your family or for somewhere to hold your annual company Christmas Dinner?

Over the coming weeks, Wyenot News will be making menus from local restaurants available to view on-line or print.

Click the links below to view menus available so far in a separate window (close window when finished). Links are placed in order of when received. This article will be repeated with a different 'Winter' photo weekly until Christmas:

[White Lion Christmas Menu] *** [Orles Barn Christmas Menu] *** [Royal Lodge Symonds Yat East]

If you advertise with and would like your restaurant's Christmas menu available to view on-line here, please post a copy to: Wyenot News, 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 7EY.

This is a free service - available only to restaurants / pub owners who currently
support 'Wyenot News' by advertising!

A snow scene in Ross on 9th February 2007. Ref: DSC_3543


The absolute deadline for Wyenot News stories and other items is 12:00, midday on Tuesday, for inclusion in the following day's edition.

PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER: This is an absolute deadline and not the time I am asking for articles to be sent in. Mondays and Tuesdays here at 'Wyenot News' are Hell with by far, the most events I cover occurring at the weekend. The photography that the public sees happening is only one tiny part of the whole picture (please excuse the pun) of running this weekly news publication and the bits of prep that people do not see, are actually the most time consuming part of getting the story out.

If at all possible, please send your story in as early as you can, rather than wait until the very last minute, so that I can have at least a fighting chance of getting to bed before 3:00 am every Tuesday and Wednesday morning after what has lately become two 18 hour working days on the trot.

Thank you very much for your understanding and help.



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