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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 219 - Wednesday, 8th October 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Brian Perks - This Week - Editor - River Levels - Open Evening - Edmo - Alan's Cycle Journey - Phil Rickman - Paranormal Investigator - Sarah ans Laura's 18th - Public Notice - More news from around the region.]
Brian Perks
1st October 1956 - 1st October 2008

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the very sad death of Brian Perks. Brian, who had many friends in Ross was known for his sense of humour. He had a keen interest in wildlife and closely followed the progress of Hereford United. He passed away suddenly at home, either late on Tuesday, 30th September or early on Wednesday, 1st October 2008.

Brian was the chef at the White Lion Inn and is pictured below in a 'Fawlty Towers' type pose, for which we are sure he would like to be remembered. The photo was actually taken for a White Lion staff calendar. Chris' smile at the act of being 'throttled' by Brian says it all.

Brian's funeral will take place at St. Mary's Parish Church, Ross on Friday, 10th October at 12.00 noon. A wake will follow at the King's Head, High Street. Any donations in lieu of flowers will go to the Wildlife Trust, at the request of Brian's family.

Brian Perks and Chris James in December 2007. Ref: DSC_3313.

Brian's death was discovered when he did not show up for work on Wednesday. This in itself was worrying as Brian was such a punctual and reliable person. He was never, ever late for work. After an hour of trying to contact Brian and his telephone being constantly engaged, I went to his house thinking - hoping that perhaps he may have had car trouble or similar and was trying to sort it on the telephone. With the curtains being closed on arrival, car outside, phone engaged and no response to loud knocking, I called the police.

As well as a friend to many people in Ross, Brian was also my friend. We used to talk about kingfishers, herons and otters when we met almost daily by the river.

Coincidentally, I filmed a heron and a kingfisher during Brian's last day with us, from the exact place we used to stand and talk about local wildlife and joke about the kingfisher always arriving just after I put the camera away. I ran that short sequence on last week's WNTV programme, before we were aware of Brian's passing.

I could not cry the day I discovered Brian as there was too much to have to think about but the following day, sitting in the office here alone, I edited some older kingfisher material into the film, which was originally for Tina but became a tribute to Brian. The film is set to the music of another good and life long friend, Steve O'Kane. Whilst watching the final edit through, the tears came to me. I hope this short film, will also help Brian's family and many friends in the same way.

Tina and I, as well as all of your friends at the White Lion and the other places in Ross where you were well known and loved will miss you very much Brian!

Dedicated to the Memory of Brian

The News This Week

This week should have been a happy week. With three birthdays on the same day - my own, my daughter, Sarah and Brian Perks, we should all have been enjoying ourselves. Unfortunately, as everybody is well aware, it turned out to be far from happy week. With landlord and landlady, Dave and Jacqui being on holiday, Tina and I have been looking after the White Lion Inn, which would have been fine, and indeed fun, but with all that has happened, it has turned out to be a very stressful week indeed.

Everybody at the White Lion Inn was extremely fond of Brian. Dave and Jacqui are devastated but away in Kenya until Thursday. They did offer to fly home early but that seemed pointless as there is little they could have done. The White Lion is one of those places where everybody 'pulls together', especially in time of crisis and that is exactly what has happened this week. The group of friends have all put themselves last, working lots of extra hours to keep the inn running smoothly, without Brian there as the main chef.

Tina normally would be helping me prep the news solidly, 12 hours per day on both Monday and Tuesday but this week, she has worked at the inn for most of that time, so this week's issue of the news is very limited again, I'm afraid. We had hoped to try to finish off this evening together but another member of staff at the Inn has become sick, and so Tina has to work tonight. Thank you to you all. It is so nice when friends can rely upon one another in time of need.

I also had to take Russell to Hereford hospital again this morning for a broken leg appointment. To quote a 'clamp' (I don't use French words on principal) It never rains but it .....

I am sure that you will understand the reasons for this issue being very limited, and set out on just one very long page. We have prepared as much as we can but have had to leave out much material sent in by others. As always, all of the press releases and sent in photographs have arrived at the very last minute and we have just not had the time to process it all. When I get the chance to read through them, I will sort them and anything important will be included in next week's issue. There are some letters which I have not had the time to publish - one of which I thought particularly amusing. They will be included next week.

My Reasons for Not Wishing to be Editor

I am well aware of the progress of the 'Ross-on-Wifi' project, having been kept informed of, and invited to all meetings but I have steered clear, to be perfectly honest. The steering committee for 'Ross-on-Wifi' are looking for an 'Editor', and it was strongly suggested from various quarters within that committee that I propose myself on behalf of 'Wyenot News' for this position. I would just like to state here my reasons here for not doing so.

Wifi for Ross on the whole is a good idea, and I am in full agreement of that particular technical system being introduced. That however is as far as my interest goes. 'Wyenot News' will, by all means help in any way it can with publicizing this new facility when it arrives but I would rather not become involved by way of joining any committee or management team whose future plans, to me, appear to be a little similar to reinventing the wheel. 'Wyenot' takes up 100% of my time - far more than I want it too, in fact and I do not have time to get involved with any other Ross-on-Wye related schemes.

'', including 'Wyenot News' are already up there, running extremely successfully for anybody who wishes to use them - more successfully perhaps than any other tourism or news medium on the web in the whole of Herefordshire. Wyenot has been attracting huge amounts of tourism to Ross-on-Wye for the past eight years.

The reason for this success is because 'Wyenot' is NOT run by a committee. It is run by me as an individual - and not particularly for financial gain either (though I do need money to keep going and to live). When I have an idea which I think will work, I just go ahead and try it, without having to ask anybody's permission to do so. I might occasionally think it over to myself whilst in the bath or on the loo or something, but I am free to bypass the six months worth of meetings to arrange meetings stage. Once I make the decision, I simply go ahead with the new plan. I would find it extremely difficult to work in any other way.

I also know from bitter experience that Ross-on-Wye shopkeepers are highly unlikely to support any such scheme if they have to pay. If you look at the local shops supporting 'Wyenot', one could count them on the fingers of one hand. And yet they all benefit from the tourism which 'Wyenot' attracts to Ross!

To put minds at rest, any other party interested in becoming 'Editor' need not worry about me. I simply do not wish to apply for this post. Not wishing to become involved could turn out to be another 'Decca and The Beatles' situation, I suppose but I prefer to work as an individual. I did intend to go to last Thursday's meeting and state this personally but a tragic event which took place the day before made it impossible for me to attend. I was just not in the right frame of mind following a friend's sad passing.

Although I am absolutely in favour of free Wifi being available in Ross, I am not in favour of some of the proposed ideas for its use. For example, my mobile phone receiving a text message inviting me in, every time I stand outside a shop belonging to the 'scheme' - whether it is a 'sign up for' scheme or otherwise would just drive me mad and prompt me personally to throw my mobile phone through that shop window.

I know Big Brother is already watching our every move, using both mobile phone and surveillance camera technology but I am actually totally against anybody, anywhere being placed at any one position on the globe via their mobile phone unless it is a matter of life or death. I am actually thinking of dumping my mobile phone for that very reason. Not that I have anything to hide. It is just like mass emailing, 'spam'. I just consider it to be an invasion of privacy.

Surprise River Levels

Sleeping at the White Lion Inn this week, I was very surprised to wake up on Monday morning to the river being flooded. It did rain heavily overnight on Saturday but I did not think enough to cause this much flooding. The water came from Wales. Somebody from Swansea told me that it had rained solidly for two days there.

The water did not reach levels as in September but it did rise another foot higher than this later in the day. I took these photos from the fire escape at the White Lion early on Monday morning, before returning home to the office...

Ref: DSC_7732.

Ref: DSC_7733.

Potters Bar News: For the first time since 1984 . . .

There will be more on this next week as I have not had the time to write the article properly but plans for the November Potters Bar Reunion Party are well under way, with the new date suiting more people.

For the first time since the 'Last Night', back in 1984, 'The Two Alans', Alan Weston and myself will be together in the original Potters Bar, with original music and organizing original cocktails, such as the 'Winky Woo' (for the ladies from Hereford of course - beer for us!) and plenty of very politically incorrect behaviour. Andy Ward is a confirmed star guest and it looks set to be a great night - one that I will certainly have to recall in easy stages the following day.

Open Evening at John Kyrle

An open evening took place at John Kyrle High School on Thursday during which prospective students were invited along to see what the school has to offer them in the future. I went along to the evening to take some photos for Wyenot News...

The John Kyrle Students' Quartet performed in reception. Oliver Bell, Emma Reith, Beckie Howson and Edmund Evans.
Ref: DSC_7613.

Veronica Bunting and Derek Pauling - Duke of Edinburgh Awards Leaders. Ref: DSc_7614.

PE Activities. Ref: DSc_7617.

Georgia Davies, Jessica Mills, Jessica Sugden and Louise Stowell make bread. Ref: DSc_7623.

Lauren Wilks gets a hair-raising experience with the Van Der Graaf generator in Science. Or she would have done,
had it not broken down for the camera. Ref: DSc_7625.

Testing different chemicals in a flame in Chemistry. Ref: DSc_7628.

Paul Mason was pleased that the Adult Learning Centre was the West Midlands Winner for 2008 in the
National Market Town Awards. Ref: DSc_7632.

Jeans Day at Edmo Engineering

I was asked along to Edmo Engineering on Thursday as it was a National 'wear jeans to work' day. In the photo are Neil Vaughan, Paul Greenhill and Ray Marchant, looking very much in the spirit of the day.

Ref: DSC_7636.

Reliving a Bicycle Journey of 50 Years Ago

Fifty years ago, at the age of 13 Alan Pritchard rode his Concentric, steel framed, three speed Sturmey Archer bicycle, of sturdy construction from Birmingham to Tintern, a ninety mile trip. Fifty years later, Alan decided to re-enact the journey, using the original bike. Alan's effort was a success and he raised money for four children's charities in Birmingham.

As Alan rode through Ross-on-Wye on Friday, I caught up with him during a brief stop to take a photo. Well done, Alan! It looked like hard work and I hope you managed to find the new cycle route to Monmouth.

Ref: DSC_7641.

Phil Rickman signs copies of his new novel

Best selling novelist, Phil Rickman launched and signed copies of his new 'Merrily Watkins' mystery, 'To Dream of the Dead' at Hereford Library on Saturday morning and Wyenot News were invited along.

Pictured below, Phil can be seen with Librarian, Jan Nezaratnam, who will be know to Ross Library visitors, where they spoke to Tina for this week's WNTV programme.

Ref: DSC_7652.

Ref: DSC_7655.

WNTV Meet Paranormal Investigator Natalie

You may have seen last week's article about paranormal investigator, Natalie Lawrence looking for haunted buildings to investigate in Ross-on-Wye. Natalie is getting well known in her investigative role and has already been filmed by the BBC.

On Saturday, we caught up with her in the cellar of haunted JD's in Hereford City - a place she recently investigated and heard some very strange noises in the night. She spoke to us for WNTV and that interview can be seen in this week's programme.

Natalie has invited me to accompany her during the investigation of a haunted pub in Hereford this coming Hallowe'en. I am looking forward to that one and willl be going along with TV camera to find out what happens. Although I have had some strange experiences with my cameras in the past, I remain sceptical on the subject of 'ghosts' being the souls of dead people, so anything caught on camera this coming Hallowe'en will be totally genuine and guaranteed un 'fixed'.

I do believe in and have my own theories on 'ghosts', however these are more scientific than supernatural based theories. I'll try anything with an open mind though! There are definitely spooky goings on in the White Lion Inn building. I have definite first hand experience of some of these, having spent quite a bit of time in there with Tina at night.

Lewis Clements ad Natalie talk to Tina in the cellar of JD's. Ref: DSC_1000.

Ref: DSC_7660.

In the bar, Jo Alderton, Lewis Clements and investigator, Natalie Lawrence. Ref: DSC_7662.

Ref: DSC_7669.

Happy 18th Birthday to Sarah and Laura!

Congratulations to my daughter, Sarah and to her friend, Laura on successfully having completed 18 orbits of the main sequence star, 'Sol' this week.

Sarah's birthday fell on Wednesday, 1st October and Laura's on Saturday, 4th October. The two friends hired Walford Village Hall for a party, which was well attended by family and friends. I hope the hangover did not last too long for you both - though you do both deserve it!

Ref: DSC_7675.

Ref: DSC_7684.

Ref: DSC_7696.

Ref: DSC_7726.

Astronomy: Photographing the Night Sky

This shot of the moon as a waxing crescent (approx. 36% of full) was photographed on Sunday, 5th October 2008. North is to the right and east at the bottom.

At the bottom (East), just right of centre the Mare Crisium can be seen and to its left, Mare Fecunditatis. The sun is just rising over the Mare Serenitatis and just to the left of that, Mare Tranquillitatis, where Neil Armstrong took his 'giant leap for mankind' back in July 1969. Mare Tranquillitatis is also home to a crater called Ross (Ross-on-Moon?) and this can just be made out if you look closely at the Lunar dawn - just to the right of the three large craters. The three large craters are above Mare Nectaris and are the 4,800 metre wide Catharina, Cyrillus (3,200 metres) and Theopilus (4,000 metres).

The image was shot with a Nikon D100 DSLR at the prime focus of an 8 inch Celestron, 2000mm f10 Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope. It was actually taken during broad daylight and contrast adjusted, hence the grainy look. I only had a very short window of opportunity to catch this phase as the moon was very low in the sky and I needed to catch it as it passed between the two houses opposite, not to mention the rain clouds! The image should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise to show the moon as it actually appeared but I rotated the camera so that I could fit the full disc on one frame.

I photographed the gas giant, Jupiter and its moons again later that same evening. This image is a combination of two images, so that Jupiter itself appears correctly exposed with the moons also visible. In the last, over exposed photo of Jupiter, which was taken before darkness fell, one of the moons, I think it is 'Io' can be seen close to the planet's disc on the right hand side as it is just about to be eclipsed by the planet.


NNOTICE is hereby given that a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL will be held on
MONDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2008 at 7.00pm in the Corn Exchange, High Street, Ross-on-Wye.

Members of the Public are welcome to attend all meetings of the Town Council.
There will be the opportunity for members of the public to put to Councillors any questions they may have.

Prior to the meeting Cllr Cutter will update members on his appointment as Herefordshire Council's Energy Champion



To receive and approve any apologies for absence.
08/10 120


To receive Councillors' declarations of interests in items for discussion. Councillors are reminded they need to:
1. update their register of interests
2. declare any personal interests in items and the nature of the interest
3. declare any prejudicial interests in items on the agenda.

(Councillors must leave the room for the discussion in item but may make representations, give evidence or answer questions before doing so.)


To receive the Mayor's announcements.
08/10 122


To agree the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 8 September and the Mayor to sign the Minutes as a true record of the meeting

08/10 123


To receive the attached report on the current state of play on issues raised at previous meetings of Committees and Full Council

08/10 124


To receive, consider and take any action on a report from the Chairman of the meeting held on Tuesday, 9 September 2008

08/10 125


To receive, consider and take any action on a report from the Chairman of the meeting held on Wednesday, 17 September 2008



To receive, consider and take any action on a report from the Chairman of the meeting held on Tuesday, 23 September 2008

08/10 127


(i) Herefordshire Council Proposed restriction on Sussex and Kent Avenue
(ii) Communities and Local Government Consultation on making and enforcement of byelaws
(iii) David Lewis - Various issues
(iv) J M and R Horton; J Ferguson - Pavements in Ross.





The Clerk
Clerks & Councils Direct
SLCC 34th National conference


To approve payment of invoices received since the last meeting .
ENC 10
08/10 130


To receive the balance sheet, budget report and account balances
ENC 11
08/10 131


To consider the request for grant aid from Ross Football Club referred from Finance Committee

08/10 132


To receive reports from Councillors appointed to represent the Town Council on the Committees of the following organisations:

(i) Betzdorf Twinning Association; (ii) Board of the Community Association; (iii) Better Welcome; (iv) Cond Twinning Association; (v) Chamber of Commerce; (vi) HALC Exec Committee; (vii) HALC Southern Area Committee; (viii) Herefordshire Fairtrade County Steering Group; (ix) Market Towns Forum; (x) MTF Core Committee; (xi) Parochial Church Council; (xii) Ross Partnership; (xiii) St Joseph's School Governors; (xiv) Shop Fronts Grants Panel; (xv) Educational Grants Committee; (xvi) Ross Charity Trustees; (xvii) RoWToP; (xviii) Sports Federation




'This Council congratulates Ross in Bloom for the 2008 Gold Award given to it by Heart of England in Bloom. This is testimony to the enormous hard work that the Ross in Bloom team put in throughput the year and indeed every year.

This Council fully supports Ross in Bloom in its efforts to make Ross-on-Wye an outstandingly attractive town and looks forward to continue working together with them in the future to make Ross an even more delightful place to live.'

Chris Bartrum

08/10 134


To resolve to exclude members of the public and press for discussion of the following item

08/10 135


To consider the correspondence received

08/10 136


To receive, consider and take action on a report from the Town Clerk

08/10 137


To consider quotations for the repairs to the Corn Exchange

08/10 138


To resolve to re-admit members of the public and press



Town Clerk


It has been 3 years since the last Potters Bar Reunion Party,

so we have decided to hold another.

All who remember the Potters Bar
and those who would just like an evening of great '70s music

are Invited to come along on

Saturday 22nd November at 8.00pm

to the The Original Potters Bar
(Now the Hope & Anchor Conservotary)

Original Juke Box Records! - Football Table! - Meet Old Friends!
Bring all your old photographs!

Please invite your friends!

A scene from the 2004 Wyenot News Potters Bar party. Ref: DSC_6679


Wye Valley Relocation

Finding homes for you throughout the beautiful
Wye Valley, Forest of Dean and Black Mountains.

Full details available at:

Make the most of your special day at Orles Barn Hotel.
Orles Barn Wilton, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 6AE
Tel: 01989 562155 Fax: 01989 768470 Email:

Audrey's Fish Bar. 2-4 Tudor Rise, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 5QB. Find out how to advertise on Wyenot News, on WNTV and on
Old Court Hotel,  Symonds Yat.
Old Court Cottage  - Self Catering at Symonds Yat.
The White House Guest House, Ross-on-Wye. Anchor Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Ross-on-Wye.



Reasonable rates

Telephone: 01989 564041
Mobile: 07800 518353

Rose Cottage Tea Garden, Symonds Yat.
'The Halt' Self Catering, Homs Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. Broome Farm B & B and Restaurant, Peterstow.
Old Court Farm - Self Catering at Symonds Yat.

Walford, Ross-on-Wye

Quality Childcare from birth to 11 years

Jo Gilmour Ofsted registered Childminder

Please call 01989 564173 or email for vacancies


All types of plastering work undertaken
Clean and Tidy - Free Quotes

Telephone: 01989 763441
Mobile: 07810 174670


Extensions - Renovations - Brickwork
Stonework - Floor Laying - Roofing

Telephone Paul on 01989 564112
Mobile 07812 564112
Steve on 07971 535064

Mark Eden - car valeting service  based in Symonds Yat East.
Morris Bricknell, Chartered Surveyors, Stroud House, 30, Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 5LE.


-Tel: 01989 768320

Click here for further details on the White Lion Inn.

Dave and Jacqui Newman would like to welcome you to the White Lion 16th Century Riverside Inn. Situated right on the banks of the River Wye at Ross, the White Lion is a picturesque local inn with an interesting history and is noted for its spectacular river views. The White Lion has long been a favourite place to relax by both local people and tourists alike.

The White Lion's extensive and picturesque gardens reach right down to the river's edge and are a wonderful place to enjoy views of the river. It is a great spot to watch the local otters, nesting swans and other wildlife.

Click here for further details on the White Lion Inn.


Log Fire

Old Gaol Restaurant

Meals served every lunch time
and evening in the bar and restaurant

CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2008


Wanted - Bright Junior Road Safety Officers

Herefordshire Council's road safety team have put out an urgent call for schools to put forward two year 6 pupils to join the Junior Road Safety Officer's (JRSO) scheme and raise awareness of the need to make sure pedestrians and cyclists are seen.

All JRSOs will be presented with a road safety pack which includes a JRSO badge, certificate and pencil, a program of monthly topics, information on how to speak in assemblies, how to run competitions, the aim of the scheme and a copy of Arrive Alive, a highway code for young road users. The aim of the scheme is to provide an interesting road safety stimulus to Primary and junior schools through monthly contact with the pupils.

Each month the JRSOs are sent information on a road safety topic along with a selection of worksheets and ideas on how to deliver the topic. This month all Junior Road Safety Officers are being asked to raise awareness that as the days shorten and nights draw in there is an increased risk of danger to all road users, especially children and cyclists.

National data from the Department for Transport shows that in 2007 during the period between October to December, 1,899 child pedestrians and 522 child cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Great Britain. The peak time when accidents happened was between 8am and 9am and 3pm and 6pm, a time when children are travelling to and from school.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'We know the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads is reducing each year and we want to continue to see these casualty figures going down. As far as I am concerned one child killed or injured on Herefordshire roads is one too many.'

Ann Mann, road safety officer for Herefordshire Council said, 'As road safety officers, it is part of our role to remind the children and their parents that it is important to 'Be Bright Be Seen' when they are outside during the winter months.'

Here are a few tips to 'Be Bright, Be Seen';
When it is dark wear light and bright coloured clothing; better still something reflective. Reflective material shows up well because the headlights make it stand out.
Put reflective strips on your bags or clothing.
During the day if the weather dull or misty wear something fluorescent.
Cyclists by law must have a working white light on the front, a red back light and a red reflector at the back of their cycle. Also check that all your lights and reflectors are clean.

Ann also asks for drivers to be more considerate and not to blind other road users with their lights. She said, 'There are more vehicles, especially HGV's, which are travelling along our roads with the front and rear fog lights on when the weather conditions are good and these lights are not necessary. In fact they could well be breaking the law because these lights should only be used when visibility is seriously reduced.'

Join in The Big Draw at Ross Heritage Centre

Ross Market House Heritage Centre is one of 1,000 UK venues taking part in the 9th annual Big Draw this year and staff are looking forward to welcoming families wanting to try out their artistic skills.

This 'Drawn in Time' event will take place on Thursday, 30th October, between 11am until 1pm and is being staged as part of Big Draw, a national campaign which aims to get everyone drawing. People attending will have the chance to explore the museum's collections, see behind the scenes and have the opportunity to draw themselves into Herefordshire history. The event will also be taking place at the Museum Resource and Learning Centre, Friar Street, Hereford on Tuesday, 28th October, from 11am until 3pm.

Sarah Skelton, Herefordshire Council's community heritage officer, said, 'These events offer people a chance to create a scene from Herefordshire's past and draw themselves into it. The events will be run by artist Filbert Splosh who will be making sure everyone will have a chance to get involved, from tiny tots to great grannies, so come along and take part in this fun filled activity.' Please note that children should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

This year, The Big Draw runs from October 1st to 31st and the annual programme is designed to show that drawing is the perfect medium for observation, self-expression and fun.

Wide-ranging events and themes for all ages span art and science. The Big Draw proves that drawing is an enjoyable public activity as well as a private passion. It is inspired by the visionary Victorian artist and writer, John Ruskin, whose mission was not to teach people how to draw, but how to see.

Herefordshire Weaves its Magic

It may not be Hollywood, but a corner of the county will be echoing to the sound of 'lights, camera, action' when scenes for BBC's new epic sword and sorcery fantasy series, 'Merlin' are filmed near Ross-on-Wye next week. The 13-part series, to be screened during the autumn, follows the story of the young Merlin, who one day grows up to be the greatest wizard the world will ever know.

The star studded cast includes actors such as former Eastenders star Michelle Ryan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head and One Foot in the Grave's Richard Wilson. Shine Productions, the company behind Dr Who, is to film scenes for the fantasy series at the Amazing Hedge Puzzle, at Symonds Yat West, from Monday, 6th to Wednesday, 8th October.

'This is fantastic news for Herefordshire,' said Jane Lewis, Herefordshire Council's cultural services manager. 'It will not only generate income locally, but put the county on the magic map when the series goes out on the BBC.'

Peter Hands, chairman of Visit Herefordshire Ltd, said, 'Herefordshire is a magical place, whether Merlin really exists or not, and we're delighted the producers have chosen this location for some of the scenes. What's even more exciting is that we understand the series has already been sold to a number of international broadcasters, including NBS in America and CTV in Canada.'

Gloucester Division One Rugby, Ross 6 - Cheltenham CS 6

On a wet and windy afternoon at the Ross Sports Ground last Saturday Ross were only able to come away with one point after dominating this Gloucester Division 1 league encounter with Cheltenham Civil Service.

After a morale boosting away win the previous week Ross started confidently establishing territory deep in the Cheltenham twenty two from the off,with both lineout and scrum functioning well it looked only a matter of time before Ross opened their account,and it nearly came after five minutes,A Cheltenham line clearing kick found Ali Hunter Blair who set off on a mazy run and was only denied a try when his chip kick bobbled over the dead ball line ,from the resulting twenty two drop out Ross again drove the ball hard into the Cheltenham twenty two with both Tim Hanks and Wayne Williams going close after some good pick and drives off the base of the ruck,after all this pressure Ross forced the first penalty and Ali Rees elected for a long range kick at goal which drifted just left of the post in the face of a strong wind,Cheltenham however failed to gain the ball and after some good backing up the ball fell to Huw Bellamy who crashed over to score,to all it looked like a good try however the ref blew up for a knock on and Cheltenham cleared their lines.This decision seemed to take the steam out of Ross and Cheltenham were able to convert two penalties late on in the half to lead 6-0 at half time. Ross re-doubled their efforts in the second half once again establishing possession in the Cheltenham twenty two,however again it seemed a repeat of the first half,firts TC Leech went close followed by Gavin Oates,however they could not breach the Cheltenham defence,and had to settle for teo Ali Rees penalties to make the score 6-6 with fifteen minutes to go,Ross continued to dominate possession however they wre not able to string enough fazes together to create that try scoring overlap,with the last play of the game Ross secured quality scrum ball the ball was moved right to Ali Hunter Blair who noticed the Cheltenham fullback out of position he chipped the ball deep into the Cheltenham twenty two,the fullback managed to scramble back and was caught in possession under his posts,he clung onto the ball for dear life and Ross waited for an obvious penalty ,however when the whistle came it was to end the game The GMP Web Design Broad Street Ross on Wye man of the match was Ali Hunter-Blair who looked dangerous whenever he got the ball in space. Next Saturday 11th Oct Ross are away to Aretians Bristol. '

Ross-on-Wye Weather Station Readings
Figures for week commencing Monday, 29th September 2008
n Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
Sunshine (hours) 6.7 0.3 7.8 7.4 8.8 0 1.6
Rainfall (mm) Trace 0.4 0.9 0.9 0.2 13.9 2.7
Rainfall (inches) Trace .02 .04 .04 .01 .55 .11
Maximum Temperature (C) 19 15 14 13 12 15 11
Maximum Temperature (F) 66 59 57 55 54 59 52
Minimum Temperature (C) 7 12 11 6 5 5 5
Minimum Temperature (F) 45 54 52 43 41 41 41
Soil Temperature at 10cm Depth (F) 57 50 50 52 55 59 55


Leominster Road Closed for Resurfacing

Herefordshire Council is having to close the A44 in Leominster from the traffic lights at Bengrys filling station to the mini roundabout opposite the Hop Pole public house at the junction with the B4361 for three evenings later this month.

The closure is needed to allow major resurfacing work which will be carried out between Wednesday, 29th and Friday, 31st October. The work will not begin until 6pm to keep disruption to a minimum and the road should be reopened by 5am the following morning, in time for commuter traffic.

Clive Hall, Herefordshire Council's network manager, said, 'I would ask motorists to bear with us while this necessary work is carried out. By starting at 6pm we are reducing the inconvenience to commuter traffic and diversions will be well sign posted.'

Herefordshire Police Praised

Herefordshire's Police Officers and Staff have been praised for their commitment and professionalism by the Herefordshire Policing Board.

Councillor Bernard Hunt, Chair of the Herefordshire Policing Board said, 'The people of Herefordshire should be proud of their Police Officers and Staff, including Specials and Community Support Officers. We live in a beautiful part of the world and we feel safe in our homes because of the job they do, often in difficult circumstances. There may be challenging times ahead for our Police Service, given the current economic situation, but I am confident that they have the skills, local knowledge, experience and commitment to continue to provide a first class service.'

The Herefordshire Policing Board is made up of West Mercia Police Authority Members local to Herefordshire, and are: Councillor Bernard Hunt, Paul Deneen, JP-DL, Councillor Richard Smith and Peter Dunford. They meet regularly with Chief Superintendent, Mark Turner, who is responsible for policing in Herefordshire, to monitor delivery of the West Mercia Policing Plan at Divisional Level. Their focus is on performance, community engagement and partnership working.

The Herefordshire Policing Board's praise came after reviewing the achievements of Herefordshire Police Division over the last 12 months, including:

  • The success of proactive policing of the Big Chill Festival, which resulted in a halving of the number of victims of acquisitive crimes compared to last year, exceeding the target set and achieving a 84.9% user satisfaction rating.
  • The Bryngwyn Court Project, which has encouraged co-operation between young people and elderly residents.
  • West Mercia's Special Constable Probationer of the Year Award to Special Constable Dean Kibble, of Ledbury Policing Team and PC O'Reilly's awards at both divisional and force level for his dedication and commitment to Local Policing in Leominster and service to the local community in reducing antisocial behaviour in the town.

Herefordshire's Performance achievements for the 12 months to August 2008 included:

  • Maintaining low levels of Domestic Burglaries, (2nd in family group of 15 most similar Basic Command Units),
  • Thefts from vehicles (3rd in family group) and
  • Thefts of vehicles (6th in family group).

Herefordshire also achieved a significant increase in the number of detections resulting in sanctions against the perpetrator for Serious Violence Against the Person & Sexual Offences, up from 33.7% to 44.8%.

Chief Superintendent Turner gave credit to the officers and staff of Herefordshire Division saying, 'The further crime reductions in Herefordshire are a tribute to the excellent efforts of many officers and staff in the Division. They seek to protect the public, to serve victims and witnesses as well as the wider community, and to pursue any offences with determined investigation, all with the necessary and appreciated support of the people we serve. Herefordshire is a safe county and we want to keep it that way!'

Thieves Use JCB in Attempt to Rob ATM

During the early hours of Wednesday, 1st October the cash point at McDonalds in Belmont Road, Hereford was severely damaged after thieves tried to steal from it with the aid of a stolen JCB and a green Ford transit flat bed truck.

Both vehicles were stolen locally and police are appealing for anybody who may have seen these vehicles or any suspicious activity in the area to come forward.

At this stage it is not known if anything was stolen from the machine, but there is substantial damage to the rear of the premises.

If you can help the police with their enquiries, please contact DC Sue Prosser, of Hereford CID on 08457 444888 Extension 68525. Alternatively telephone Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.

Forthcoming Archaeology Event at The Courtyard

Herefordshire Council's archaeological service are holding their 11th annual symposium at the Courtyard Theatre on Saturday 8th November. This day long event will begin at 9:20am and is being staged for anybody who is interested in the county's past and what is being done to preserve it. Highlights of this year's event include reports on a Roman cemetery found at Stretton Grandison, an update on prehistoric remains in the Rotherwas area and news from the excavations at Credenhill Iron Age hill fort

Dr Keith Ray, Herefordshire Council's county archaeologist, said, 'This is always a popular day for people interested in the county's past and I would urge anyone wanting to come along to book their tickets soon. I am especially looking forward to the talk on the discoveries at Stretton Grandison which were spectacular and included individual burial sites, one of which contained a completely preserved wooden coffin.'

Tickets cost 10 (including tea and coffee) or 14.50 (including light lunch) and can be booked by calling 01432 340555.

Bungalow Plans Approved

Plans for two semi-detached chalet bungalows in a garden at the rear of 93, Highmore Street were approved by members of the central area planning subcommittee at their meeting last Wednesday. There will be four parking spaces provided.

Hereford City Council raised no objection. Eleven letters of objection were received expressing concerns at losing views, increased traffic danger and that the design of the homes did not promote the distinctive character of Highmore Street.

Forthcoming Archaeology Event at The Courtyard

Herefordshire Council's archaeological service are holding their 11th annual symposium at the Courtyard Theatre on Saturday 8th November. This day long event will begin at 9:20am and is being staged for anybody who is interested in the county's past and what is being done to preserve it. Highlights of this year's event include reports on a Roman cemetery found at Stretton Grandison, an update on prehistoric remains in the Rotherwas area and news from the excavations at Credenhill Iron Age hill fort

Dr Keith Ray, Herefordshire Council's county archaeologist, said, 'This is always a popular day for people interested in the county's past and I would urge anyone wanting to come along to book their tickets soon. I am especially looking forward to the talk on the discoveries at Stretton Grandison which were spectacular and included individual burial sites, one of which contained a completely preserved wooden coffin.'

Tickets cost 10 (including tea and coffee) or 14.50 (including light lunch) and can be booked by calling 01432 340555.

Plans for Hotel Extension Approved

Planning permission for an additional three storey bedroom wing at The Three Counties Hotel, Belmont, Hereford, was approved by members of the central area planning subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday, 1st October.

The hotel currently has 60 bedrooms, 28 within the two-storey building and the remaining 32 in single storey chalet buildings. The new extension will contain a further 30 en suite bedrooms, but two existing rooms will be lost to allow the development to take place.

Herefordshire Council's Conservation Manager said the design of the proposed extension is somewhat uninspired but would not have an overly detrimental effect on the area. Hereford City Council has no objection in principle but recommended the application be refused due to poor design.

Belmont Rural Parish Council was delighted to learn the business is expanding but expressed concern that the building may overlook nearby properties.

One letter of objection was received, expressing concern at the height of the building and additional noise and disturbance arising from increased numbers of patrons.

Primary Care Trust is Top Financial Performer in the Region

Herefordshire Primary Care Trust is praised for good financial management in a national report issued by the Audit Commission on Thursday, 2nd October. The trust improved its overall financial performance to score 3 out of 4 in the annual evaluation, which means it is performing well and consistently above minimum requirements. The score is an improvement on the 2 out of 4 scored in the 2006/07 audit. This year, no other health trust performed better in the region.

Marcia Pert, director of resources, said, 'As the leader for the NHS in the county, it is important that we demonstrate strong financial performance and value for money for the people of Herefordshire. This has a direct impact on the quality of the services we commission and provide and enables us to ensure good quality outcomes for patients.'

The PCT improved its rating through maintaining a score of 3 for financial reporting, financial management and strong internal controls, but improved its score on value for money from a 2 to a 3. With an annual budget of around 250 million, the PCT plans, purchases and designs health services increasingly around the needs of individual users. The trust ended the year with a planned surplus of nearly half a million pounds, which it will use to set aside money to help fund the new radiotherapy service planned for Hereford.

The Audit Commission report comes hot on the heels of another national review from the Healthcare Commission, which found that Herefordshire Primary Care Trust is responsible for some of the best urgent and emergency care in the country. The Commission reported that services, including accident and emergency, ambulance, out-of-hours and urgent care services from GPs and minor injuries units all work together well in Herefordshire. The Commission rated Herefordshire Primary Care Trust as a 'best performing' PCT.

The PCT has initiatives in place to improve further out of hours and urgent care services with the development of a new walk in health centre which will be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Scheduled to open in Hereford in the summer of next year, the new facility will take much of the pressure from the county hospital's accident and emergency service.

The trust has organized a public consultation event which will take place at Hereford Racecourse on Thursday, 9th October, to enable local people to influence the way the NHS develops nationally, to ensure it operates fairly and effectively for them.

People can register to take part for an afternoon or early evening session by calling the PCT on 01432 262016.

Rest Centre Set Up After Leominster Fire

A rest centre set up by Herefordshire Council's Emergency Planning Unit, in conjunction with Halo provided a temporary refuge for families who were evacuated due to the fire in Leominster on Tuesday, 30th September. The town's Bridge Street sports centre became the rest centre during the afternoon, when it was decided that around 20 to 30 homes in Green Lane had to be evacuated due to the threat of smoke, toxic fumes and exploding gas cylinders.

Initially it was feared that a nearby sheltered housing complex would have to be evacuated, which meant the emergency planners had to call on social workers and request that volunteers from St John Ambulance and the local clergy be in attendance to provide welfare and support. However, fire officers at the scene eventually felt the evacuation of the complex was not necessary.

Council plans to convert the sports centre into a temporary rest centre then swung into action, with bedding and provisions being brought in and prepared. A total of 15 people made use of the centre and were kept warm and fed throughout the afternoon and evening before overnight accommodation was secured for the families to spend the night with friends and relatives. The centre closed at 8pm.


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