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. 186 - Wednesday, 20th February 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Chance in a million - Llangarron Leap Day - Ofsted - Fire Brigade rescue an injured swan]
Page 2 [Jeff is 65 and Viv is gobsmacked - The Selfish Giant visits kids at Ross Library]
Page 3 [Death of Brendon Jones - Nature Watch-Heading for a total lunar eclipse]

Page 4

[Frosty Mornings - Mike Arnison's Wildlife - Anti Bullying Conference - Vine Tree - Outstanding year for Macmillan]
Page 5 [Andy M - Art Auction - Mother's Day gifts - J'adore les langues - Jesse's new book - Co-ops - Rugby - Weather]
Page 6 [The news from around Herefordshire]
Presented by Tina Jones

This programme has been removed to conserve space on the web server but can still be obtained from WNTV NEWS on DVD.

'The Halt' Self Catering, Homs Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Walford, Ross-on-Wye

Give Graeme a call to discuss all your business and home telephone and networking requirements.

For no obligation quotes call 07876 683238

Chance in a million
By Alan Wood

Jeffrey Wood and Elliott Berry surveying one of the Kingfisher Cruises pleasure boats. Ref: DSC_4177

This is the story of a one in a million type coincidence, which I still find hard to believe, several days after the event. To start with, I have to give you several pieces of background information:

My father: My father, Jeffrey Wood is 78 years old this year. He takes a keen interest in how my business is working, i.e. am I surviving financially (he has helped me out numerous times) but he knows virtually nothing about 'Wyenot', what I actually do with it and how it works. He knows it is my living but he never visits '' unless I send him a specific link to look at, and I never talk about 'Wyenot' amongst my family. My own family are probably the only people in the world who never look at it. When I see them in Essex, it is one of my few chances to completely forget Ross-on-Wye and switch off from local issues, so I simply do not talk about it and 'Dad' had no real idea of what I do for a living.

I am sure that Dad will not mind me saying that he has a completely and totally eccentric personality. He is one of life's true individuals. I guess that this valuable asset has been passed on to me to a certain extent, genetically. When I was little for example, Dad used to sing out loud on the bus and I wanted to hide___ things like that. I love him dearly and I am very proud of him. Dad is also extremely clever - I would say, to genius IQ levels.

Dad retired from his work, at the age of 75, when Mum died but he was (and is) a highly qualified, well respected in the field as a Naval Architect and Ship Surveyor, who travelled virtually every country in the world with a coast or a navigable river during the course of his working life. Sometimes just for one day. I remember once, he had a job in Hawaii so he left home on Thursday, flew to Hawaii, carried out the job, which took a couple of hours and was back home by Sunday. This was just one of thousands of similar jobs. Another time he spent six months in Bolivia. He had an office in Singapore, worked in Australia, Indonesia and so forth. I remember the first time he went away from home. It was on a trawler off Iceland for two weeks, and I cried because I did not want him to go. (Now, of course, he goes to Asda like everybody else.)

Elliott: worked for Dad for many years. Dad trained him as a Naval Architect, they became close friends and when Dad retired, Elliott took over in the business of naval architecting and surveying ships and boats. To relieve the boredom of life since Mum died and Dad has retired, Dad sometimes accompanies Elliott on 'jobs' both as a friend and consultant.

My friend, Nick: Nick and I have known one another and been friends since 1976, when I first relocated from Essex to Ross. On Monday last, it was his birthday and so we met for a drink in the Saracen's Head at Symonds Yat - the pub which is very conveniently and literally next door to where he lives. We talked about life, the universe and eventually the conversation got on to our dads.

'Does your dad ever visit you? asked Nick.
'Sometimes, but he rarely stays long,' I replied. 'It's usually just for half an hour just before Christmas, although recently, being the eccentric person he is, he decided one day to come and visit Tina and I but failed to tell us he was coming. He drove the 150 miles to our house, Tina was at work and moments before he arrived, unaware that he was coming, I nipped out to Morrisons to get some milk or something. Dad arrived, found nobody at home and so he posted a note saying "Where were you when the old man called?" through my door and drove the 150 miles back home. He had forgotten to bring his mobile phone and I missed him by minutes.

Gerald and Ros of Kingfisher Cruises: advertise their pleasure boat business on Wyenot. They have also become my friends, yet I have never spoken to them of my dad. The fact that Dad is a Naval Architect and Ship Surveyor, living in Essex had never entered into our conversation.

Last week: on WNTV NEWS I ran a film sequence about Symonds Yat East - Nick's Rose Cottage, The Saracen's Head and Ros and Gerald's Kingfisher Cruises etc.

The chance in a million: On Wednesday morning, I had just dropped Tina off at the White Lion for work and was in the garden chatting to landlord, Dave when my mobile phone rang. It was Dad...
'Is Symonds Yat anywhere near where you live?' He asked.
'Yes - only a couple of miles,' I replied.
Do you know a pub called the Saracen's Head?'
'Yes - I was in there on Monday night with my friend Nick, who lives next door'.
'Good,' said Dad. 'Elliott and I have a job there tomorrow. Do you know 'Kingfisher Cruises?'

Of all the ship surveyors in all of the world they could have called to do the pre compulsory 'MCA' survey hull thickness measurements on their passenger boats, Gerald and Ross had called Elliott and My Dad. We met up in the Saracen's Head, Nick provided coffee and Tea and Dad and Elliott began the 'MCA' survey of the two Kingfisher Cruises pleasure boats.

I just thought this an incredible coincidence- especially following my evening with Nick on Monday!

Another coincidence occurred when I first found out what had happened, I called Ros to explain that it was my dad coming to work on her boats. When she answered the phone and found it was me calling, she said, 'That's strange. I have just come back from a tourism meeting where we were talking about you'.

Gerald and Ros Gardiner, owners of Kingfishe Cruises - on St. Valentine's Day. Ref: DSC_4176

Jamstand 2008
26th July
String Quartet to Celebrate
Leap Day in Llangarron

The locally based and very accomplished Four Seasons String Quartet will be performing a concert in Llangarron Church on Friday, 29th February at 7.30pm. The delightful programme, including Beethoven's Opus 18 No 3 in D Major (one of his early pieces), Puccini's Chrysanthemums and Dvorak's Opus 96 in F Major 'The American', will appeal to music aficionados and novices alike.

The concert is being performed by Glewstone based Lead Violinist Vyvyan Brooks accompanied by Celia Thomson (2nd Violin), Cecily Rice (Viola) and Robina Sabourin (Cello). The members met because of a mutual love of chamber music and a desire to explore it more intimately. A common bond is the National Youth Orchestra and a coincidental move back to the locality of the 'Three Choirs' with which they all had previous connections.

Tickets are available from Pearl Brewer on 01989 770324 or Rosie Wilson on 01989 770904 and cost 10 including an interval drink (5 for under 18's) with the proceeds going to St Deinst Church. Everyone is welcome.

The locally based Four Seasons String Quartet.

Glowing Ofsted Report for JKHS

John Kyrle High School have received yet another glowing Ofsted report, following recent inspections. Ofsted Judgements are graded in the following way:

Grade 1 - Outstanding, Grade 2 - Good, Grade 3 - Satisfactory, Grade 4 - Inadequate

Throughout the report, the school overall were judged with many grade one's and nothing below a grade two. The sixth form section was judged nothing below grade one. The report stated that no special measures are required, nor is there a need for a notice to improve. You can download the full Ofsted report by clicking here.

Old Court Farm - Self Catering at Symonds Yat.



Reasonable rates

Telephone: 01989 564041
Mobile: 07800 518353

Fire Brigade to the rescue of an injured swan

Both the RSPCA and the fire brigade were called to rescue a swan with a fish hook and line stuck in its mouth from the River Wye by the Hope & Anchor public house on Friday.

It was 10 o'clock in the morning when landlady, Debbie spotted the struggling swan and called the RSPCA and the rescue proved to be far from easy. The fire brigade, with their rescue boat had to be called and it was not until 4:15 in the afternoon that the swan was finally captured.

All's well that ends well though and with the fish hook successfully removed, the swan was tagged and returned to the river the next day where he has been seen to be swimming around happily ever since.

I was out on another, non news related mission, to which I had to return when I received the call to cover the rescue and I did not have my main video camera with me. However, I did have a small handi-cam which I keep on me most of the time, so I was still able to capture some of the rescue for this week's WNTV News programme.

The swan with hook in mouth and line trailing during the rescue operation. Ref: DSC_4656.

The Fire Brigade try to round up the distressed swan in the rescue boat. Ref: DSC_4659.

The fire engine, by the river in the Hope & Anchor car park. Ref: DSC_4668.



in aid of Ross Junior Colts Football Team

Thursday 21st February
7:30 for 8:00 pm

£2.00 per person to enter






Why go just local when you can get 'Googled' and reach the whole world for a fraction of the cost here?

(Fee payable in advance. Minimum 3 months. Page placement dependent on amount of news during any one week.)


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.


Can you put all of the footage you filmed on to a DVD for me?

When filming for WNTV News, I always film a lot more than I actually use. This is so that I can select, edit and use the takes with fewest bloopers - or the parts of a performance which recorded the best, and every week I am asked this same question - often more than once - depending on how many different events I have covered:

'You filmed a lot more of me/us than you used. Would you mind just putting the rest of the footage on a DVD for me?'

Sounds simple, doesn't it? And with blank DVDs costing around £1.00 each, not an unreasonable request.

Unfortunately though there is no 'just' about it. To get the quality of reproduction, my camera is not a simple 'write what you take to DVD' type home movie camera. I can do this if I do it immediately but I film so often that I do not get chance. I have to delete from the camera's hard disc very frequently to stop it filling up. Every time I stop/start the camera, it produces a very large, individual video data file. Processing these files for DVD requires editing them together using the same editing software I use to produce the news. The resulting production then needs further processing through the DVD producing software and this combined process takes an absolute minimum of an hour of my time and ties up my main computer so that I can do nothing else on it while the job is running. (Processing video takes huge amounts of memory, making multitasking very unwise.)

The answer to the question is, of course: Yes I can but I will have to charge £25.00 for the time involved in producing a one-off item, which I would otherwise not have produced.


If you have a local news item or story you can submit it here
or call Alan or Tina on 01989 763217

There is no charge for publishing either news items or What's On Events
This is a Free Service for the local community!

Wyenot News, 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 7EY

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