Ross on Wye Home Page, Wyenot News - The weekly online news magazine for Ross-on-Wye., Herefordshire.
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. 179 - Wednesday, 2nd January 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV News - New Year's Eve at the Market House and at the White Lion and Prince of Wales]
Page 2 [2008 can only get better - Ross children welcome Santa - Packing presents for Santa]
Page 3 [A nice start to Christmas - Mike Jennings - Jumpin' Jive from the Jiveoholics - White Lion Nativity]

Page 4

[Fab Four on Boxing Day - Panto fun at Nature's Choice - Jagged Hands at the Prince of Wales - VOSA vehicles]
Page 5 [Updating What'sOn? - Christmas Day Lunch for the elderly - WRVS Christmas Lunch]
Page 6 [Car Vandalized - John Dickinson's closes after 50 years - Snowy weather warning]
Page 7 [New Year's Day Fun Run - Y-Zone - Rugby Club Raffle - The President's Game]
Page 8 [News from around Herefordshire County]
A Farewell Performance by Ross' own Fab Four 1/2

The Prince of Wales was packed on Boxing Day evening with teenage girls (well - plus or minus 30 years or so) who had gathered together in their throngs to say farewell to John, Paul, Steve and Dingo - The Zebras. The band were performing together for the last time.

The young(ish) foursome performed admirably, enthralling their audience with numbers by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Pink Floyd and even Greenday and Nirvana. Absolutely none of their songs had anything whatsoever to do with the Beatles and thus, everybody enjoyed the show.

On a personal level, Boxing Day had not been good up until the point of going out in the evening. On top of having my car trashed, I had been home alone and like most of Ross was sporting a cold and horrible feeling of nausea. (Tina had needed a bucket by the bed only two nights prior.) Going out to watch the Zebras brightened up my day and as luck had it, Tina finished work early, so she was able to come along for the last two hours of the show. This is where the 'Four 1/2' comes in. Taking on a Noddy Holder in drag role, she joined the band for a couple of numbers, helping Paul out with the final song of the evening, 'Merry Christmas Everybody'.

I filmed the whole gig but have just included the last song in this week's WNTV News programme. I apologize for the overdriven audio but I had no choice but to lay the microphone directly under one of the PA speakers and with the audience noise, the volume was LOUD. Despite wearing a beany and headphones, the wax is still running from my ears. The clip speaks for itself however. A great atmosphere prevailed throughout the performance and the Zebras will be fondly remembered as a great local band.

The Fab Four. Ref: DSC_3712

Somebody in yellow dancing with the Zebras groupies. Ref: DSC_3717

The Fab Four 1/2. Ref: DSC_3721
The White House Guest House, Ross-on-Wye. Anchor Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Ross-on-Wye.
Panto fun at Nature's Choice

I must admit that when I went along to Nature's Choice Café on Thursday evening to cover the panto, I had envisaged calling in, taking a photo and maybe filming just a few minutes of the performance and slipping out quietly. Within just a few moments of watching though, I had become engrossed and I stayed through to the end, eating my evening meal in the café so that I would not miss anything.

Nik Thiessen and Simon Blakeman's performance of their own musical pantomime, 'Simple Simon and the Sun King' was great fun for children, their parents and visiting cameramen alike.

A short extract from the performance can be seen in this week's WNTV News programme and if you enjoy watching Simon Blakeman, he can be contacted at

Ref: DSC_3575

Ref: DSC_4439

Ref: DSC_4443

Jagged Hands at The Prince of Wales

Local duo 'Jagged Hands' provided the entertainment at The Prince of Wales on Saturday, 22nd December. The duo, Kev and Mike always perform a good range of covers as well as throwing in an electric Irish set. It was a little on the quiet side in the pub that evening, due to Christmas being just around the corner, but everybody there seemed to enjoy them and we look forward to seeing them again soon. You can see a little of their performance in this week's edition of WNTV News.

'Jagged Hands' aka Kev and Mike at The Prince of Wales. Ref: DSC_0110

VOSA vet school vehicles

PC Ian Crichard tests the lights of a school bus at John Kyrle High School.

Police have joined forces with officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to carry out two operations to make the county's roads safer.

Roadside checks were carried out on two separate days before Christmas, with vehicles put through extensive examinations to ensure they were roadworthy. Drivers' documentation was also checked to ensure it was correct.

Officers from the Ross-on-Wye Town Local Policing Team organized the first of the vehicle check operations at John Kyrle High School, with surprise inspections of school buses as they arrived in the morning on 18th December.

A total of five vehicles were checked, with only one being completely fault-free. One bus was given a delayed prohibition notice for having two front cracked brake discs. The vehicle will have to be repaired and re-tested before it can continue in service. Advisory notes were also issued to three other vehicles for less serious faults, including an oil leak, a loose seat, a lighting defect and failed number plate light. No immediate prohibition notices were issued.

'We know that the safety of pupils on school buses has been a concern for local people, who have raised a number of issues through the PACT process,' said Ross-on-Wye Town CSO Lisa Austin, who arranged for the VOSA checks to be carried out. 'By inviting the VOSA officers and a member of our headquarters roads policing unit along to John Kyrle, we were able to carry out spot

checks on vehicles to ensure they were safe. We will be organizing similar checks in the future to ensure the safety of passengers and we hope that we will see a greater number that are completely fault free,' added CSO Austin.

The Ross-on-Wye vehicle checks were followed up two-days later by Operation Total, a larger scale initiative in Hereford city centre, which saw checks take place during the course of an evening on 50 vehicles.

Hereford police response officers were joined by Special Constables, headquarters Roads Policing colleagues, Herefordshire Council taxi licensing officers and VOSA vehicle examiners at the Maylord Shopping Centre underground car park. Teams of 'spotter' police officers identified suitable vehicles for checks before escorting them to the car park where they could be examined. Officers also used Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to identify cars for stop checks.

Of all the vehicles tested, only 20 percent were found to be completely defect free. Three vehicles were issued with immediate prohibitions for serious faults, including an inoperative handbrake, headlamps and faulty tyres. These vehicles were taken off the road straight away. A further five vehicles were issued with delayed prohibitions for defects including incorrectly tinted windows and non-compliant exhausts. Four other defect notices were also issued for vehicles with less serious issues.

Police officers issued nine further VDRS tickets requiring repairs for a variety of defects, while three endorsable Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for a vehicle with defective tyres, a driver who ran a red light and the use of a mobile phone while driving. Five non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for a range of issues, including the non-wearing of seatbelts and a vehicle with a missing front number plate.

Herefordshire Council's Taxi Licensing Officers were also able to carry out checks on a number of taxis. Three warnings were issued to vehicles for not having a first aid kit on board, or failing to have insurance details or the driver's badge on display. The majority of the taxis inspected were fault free, however.

The evening was rounded off when the driver of one vehicle was stopped for driving without headlights. He was then arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drink or drugs. A quantity of cannabis was found inside the vehicle when it was searched. The 27-year-old man was later released on bail.

Sergeant Sarah Hughes, who organized Operation Total, said the initiative had been a success. 'The aim of Operation Total was to deter and detect antisocial driving, particularly within the city centre area where we have received a number of complaints from the public. By carrying out these checks, we have been able to remove a number of unsafe vehicles from the roads, as well as detecting a suspected drug-driving offender and recovering a quantity of cannabis.

We hope that this operation will help reinforce the importance of ensuring that all vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Vehicles in a poor condition are a causation factor in collisions and we will be conducting further checks in the future with our partners on these vehicles. Any vehicles in an unsafe condition will again be put off the road, thereby preventing an accident.'

Operation Total forms part of West Mercia Constabulary's Seven Deadly Sins campaign, which aims to highlight road safety issues across the Force area. Seven key areas - the seven 'sins' - have been identified as those which can significantly increase the amount deaths, injuries and collisions on our roads. They are: Drink and drug driving, Seatbelt safety, Mobile phone safety, Speed, Motorcycle safety, Vehicle maintenance and Poor driving.

Further information about the Seven Deadly Sins campaign and additional road safety advice is available from the West Mercia website at

CSO Lisa Austin watches a VOSA inspector examine the tyre of a minibus.


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