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14th September 2011 THE HAIRY BIKERS VISIT BROOME FARM

TV favourites, The Hairy Bikers visited Broome Farm in Peterstow on Friday, 2nd September as part of their new series. Si and Dave are a very friendly pair and happily posed for a few photographs before having a delicious lunch prepared for them by Hilary Draper. Apparently, they were also very impressed with the meat supplied by Toby Lovell's 'Popular Pig Company.'

The Bikers' visit coincided with the first day of the Broome Farm Cider Festival and they expressed disappointment at being unable to stay for a while due to their busy work schedule. You missed a great evening but never mind guys, there is always next year. Full coverage of the Broome Farm festival will follow in a day or two but for now, here are Si and Dave arriving at the farm and signing one of their books for Caz Holbrook who very kindly gave me a lift. Thank you Caz.


The Hairy Bikers arrive at Broome Farm.

Si and Dave were more than happy to sign their book for Caz.

14th September 2011 SAINSBURY'S OFFER COMMUNITY GRANT

Are you a community group or local charity looking for some extra financial support? Does your team need new kit? If so, Sainsbury's Ross-On-Wye would be interested to hear from you. They are hoping to find organisations who promote healthy eating or active lifestyles, to which they would be able to consider awarding a community grant.

They have previously given grants to Ross Pre School playgroup, Ross Cricket Club and the Tudorville and District Community Centre, and new store manager Lee Wesley said, 'I am really looking forward to getting involved with the local community and would like to hear not just from registered charities, but also from any group making a positive contribution to the local community.'

Written applications should be sent to Mr. Wesley in store.


14th September 2011 MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY CAMPAIGN

The Royal Forest of Dean branch of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign recently ran a very successful Charity Shop for a week in Gloucester Road, Ross on Wye. Branch Chairman, Lifa Oakley, is delighted to report that 1570.00 was raised and would like to say a huge thank you to all who supported the shop. She thanks the helpers and those who donated goods, with a very special thank you going to Iris Price for inviting the charity to take the shop.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the only UK charity focusing on all muscular dystrophies and related muscle diseases. More than 60,000 people in the UK have muscle disease and 300,000 people are indirectly affected as relatives and careers. The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for nearly 50 years, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all those people affected. They rely almost entirely on voluntary donations to fund their groundbreaking and vital work.

All their work is underpinned by the dedication of its supporters. Up and down the country, thousands of people give their time and energy to help them continue their vital work. They are always ready to welcome anyone who wants to help join the fight against muscle disease. Please visit the website www.muscular-dystrophy.org


Iris Price and Andrew Middlecote presenting a cheque to Forest of Dean branch chairman, Lifa Oakely,

14th September 2011 VEGAS2VEGAS GOES IN SEARCH OF SIR RICHARD BRANSON

What happens when you throw three mates from Ross-on-Wye, a handful of camcorders, and a giant world road map in a customised van called Dougie? Then ask them to drive to every country in the world in aid of Keep a Child Alive? Welcome to vegas2vegas! Whilst trying to decide where to go on a road trip the vegas2vegas crew came up with the idea that why not go everywhere, all at once! So they are doing just that. They aim to visit 193 countries in around 180 days and plan to film what happens along the way to turn it into an adventure documentary.

At present the vegas2vegas team are seeking sponsorship and after a bit of brainstorming they thought that this adventure might be right up Sir Richard Branson's street. So starting on September 2nd they will be launching a mini campaign entitled 'Searching for Branson.' The three man crew, Joe Griffiths, Jamie Hay and Jack Todd will be walking from Ross-on-Wye to Stowe, Buckingham which was the birthplace of Sir Richard Branson's first business venture. Along the way they will be asking the people they meet to help them send a special message to the Virgin owner.

Check out the boys Facebook page for details of their route and pay them a visit to be part of the message. The crew will also be posting videos, photos and updates on their social media accounts. Vegas2vegas crew member Jamie Hay commented, 'Sir Richard Branson is not an easy man to get hold of and since none of us have his mobile number we thought, let's go out there and do our best to get his attention.'

Follow the vegas2vegas crew at Facebook.com/vegas2vegas and Twitter.com/vegas2vegas for live updates of their Searching for Branson walk. If you are interested in supporting this incredible fundraising adventure then please email info@vegas2vegas.co.uk or visit http://vegas2vegas.co.uk/sponsorship.html for further information.


14th September 2011 HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ANDY AND WENDY

Very belated 1st anniversary greetings to to Andy and Wendy Fulford who celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Saturday, 27th August. The happy couple chose their wedding day in 2010 to coincide with Andy's son Dean's birthday. Dean was tragically killed in an accident on the A40 on 20th August 2007, just one week before his 17th birthday.

Andy and Wendy wrote a letter to Dean for publication on Wyenot News. At the time the PC was out of action so I am publishing their moving letter below.

Dear Dean,

Missed you today, but I do every day. Always thinking of you, wondering what you would be doing if you were still with us. On 20th August 2007 you were tragically killed, needlessly taken from us by someone's stupidity, not looking where they were going, racing with his mate. We still wonder why it had to be you who had all of his life in front of him and everything to live for.

What sort of man would you have been? We will never know, because in my heart you are still that 16 year old lad; kind, sensitive and with the biggest heart ever. That's all I can write for now.

Love you son. We miss you always,

Dad and step mum, Wendy.

I joined Andy and Wendy for a drink at the Hope & Anchor on their anniversary and lots of Dean's friends went along to share memories, catch up and help the happy couple to celebrate.


Andy and Wendy Fulford, celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary at the Hope & Anchor.

14th September 2011 SHOPMOBILITY SERVICE TO RELOCATE DURING WORKS

Herefordshire's Shopmobility service will be temporarily relocating into the old Index/New Look store in the Maylord Orchard shopping centre while building work is carried out on the car park beneath the centre. Owners of the Maylord Orchard shopping centre have allowed the charity to use this temporary accommodation for free during the works.

Shopmobility will close at 2pm on Friday, September 9 at 2pm so staff can move equipment to the new store on the ground floor level of the centre ready for re-opening on Saturday, 10th September. People with parking concessions can still go to the Shopmobility Centre in the car park to get their ticket discounted. Work on the car park, which will see an emergency refuge to meet Fire Regulations, is expected to take around six weeks and then Shopmobility will return to its present location.


14th September 2011 ROSS TOWN COUNCIL AND CIVIC SUNDAY

The annual Civic Service took place at St. Mary's Church, Ross-on-Wye last Sunday and Mayor's from other towns, local dignitaries and leaders of local organizations turned up to witness Mayor Ravenscroft and Ross Councillors make their pledge to do their best for the town of Ross and its people. After a welcoming cup of coffee at the Corn Exchange, Mayor Ravenscroft, councillors and guests were led in procession by Standard Bearer, Sea Cadet James Lilwall up to the church where Ross Sea Cadets had formed a Guard of Honour. After the service a reception was held at Ross Bowling Club.

It was good to see on Monday evening that more members of the public are taking up the council's invitation to attend meetings of the full council to put questions forward. Mrs. Joyce Thomas, MBE-DL was away at the time of The Chestnuts crisis and wanted to know why no public meeting had been held. Mrs. Thomas once was a trustee of the home. The council answered that a meeting had been suggested but at the time, the Trustees were still in negotiation with Herefordshire Council and also did not want to jeopardise the possibility of a new care company taking on the much loved home, which has since closed. Councillors went on to say that nothing more had been heard about the case recently but are going to make enquiries.

David McGregor of Field Fayre put his concerns forward about the parking restrictions in the town, saying that this could potentially give Ross a poor reputation. Councillors agree that parking has become a big issue in the town and are expressing their concerns to Herefordshire Council.

New Inspector, Peter Gebbie then addressed the meeting. Inspector Gebbie was a PC in Ross-on-Wye 19 years ago and is pleased to be back. He reported that, due to the HAND scheme, night time disorder is on the decline and behaviour in the town is, in general improving. The subject of CCTV arose and all agreed that this facility had proved very useful.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a speedy recovery to Councillor Andrew Atkinson who, after an operation following a fall whilst on holiday, fell again on his way to the meeting on Monday, severely aggravating his injury. He was taken to hospital from there.

The photographs below are scenes taken from Civic Sunday.


Welcome coffee and biscuits at the Corn Exchange prior to the service.

Mayor and Mayoress Ravenscroft with visiting Mayors at the Bowling Club.

Standard Bearer, Sea Cadet James Lilwall who admirably led the procession to the church, then to the reception.

14th September 2011 JESSE LAUNCHES MARVELLOUS MATHS COURSE

South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman launched a new Marvellous Maths course last week at St James's School in Hereford. Developed by local teacher Maggie Steel, the one-week course is a fun way for children to boost their confidence and performance in maths. Those attending last week came from three local primary schools: St James's, St Paul's, and Riverside. Joining Maggie to teach on the course were Juliet Blamey and her daughter Grace.

Jesse Norman MP set up and arranged the funding for the course. Speaking afterwards, he said 'We have fantastic schools in Herefordshire. But even here too many young people leave school without feeling confident about maths, and this lack of confidence can affect their lives and hopes for the future. That's why this course is so important. Maggie and her team have done a superb job of developing and teaching the course. Next year I want to run it within ten schools across the county. If that's successful we can try it more widely still.'

Kathy Weston, head of St James's Primary School, said 'We are delighted to host the course here at St James's. It seems to have gone really well.' Maggie Steel said 'All the children made significant progress in the week. But most importantly they found that maths can be fun. This is because either the activities were practical activities such as cooking, sewing or shopping, or they were playing games us9ing numbers. There's no doubt that they had fun!'

Parents were invited in every afternoon to see their child at play and to get ideas on how to make maths more fun at home. Vicki Black, the mother of one of the girls attending said, 'You've taught me how to teach her and it will make it a lot easier at home.' All the parents seemed pleased with their child's response to the course. One parent said about her son, 'He's had really good fun. It's nothing like school so he enjoys it. He's doing well here.' Many parents felt their child had made significant progress on the course and some even reported that their children were still doing maths in the evenings at home, by choice!


Jesse Norman MP with the children of St. James School enjoying Marvellous Maths!

14th September 2011 PARKING FEES TO RISE FOR FIRST TIME IN THREE YEARS

Herefordshire Council is to raise car parking charges in Ross-on-Wye for the first time in three years but there will still be free parking available at Wilton Road. All day parking is also to be available at Homs Road for 1 all day and at 1.50 in Kings Acre (Lower), Kings Acre (Upper) and Kyrle Street. Parking will continue to be free after 6pm and on Bank Holidays but charges will be introduced for Sundays, in line with neighbouring authorities. Parking on Sunday will still be free at Wilton Road and will be capped at 2 in all other council owned car parks.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw said, 'People using car parks in Ross have paid the same prices for the past three years despite rising inflation and the increase in VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent. We need to raise charges so we can continue to maintain the car parks to a high standard as well as ensuring we can cope with budgetary pressures following the Government's reduction in funding.

The fact people can still park all day in Ross for 1 is incredible value for money and the same as is charged in neighbouring Monmouth and Abergavenny. We realize car parks are vital to the vitality of the town and have kept the increases to a reasonable level while offering plenty of choice for shoppers. We have also changed the designation of The Maltings car park from medium to short stay so this will ensure there is a higher turnover of cars here and thus more places available for shoppers.'

The new charges will be advertised prior to coming into effect on 1st November, 2011.


14th September 2011 JESSE HONOURED TO OPEN WOODS OF WHITCHURCH

Jesse Norman MP was honoured to be asked to open Herefordshire's newest shop, Woods of Whitchurch, over the bank holiday weekend. A huge crowd of local people turned out to celebrate the opening of the new shop, which will also very shortly include Whitchurch Post Office. Woods of Whitchurch is the creation of Lucy and Neville Wood, who have given the premises a complete transformation inside and out, and there was a presentation of welcoming gifts from local people by Councillor John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council.

Jesse led a countywide campaign three years ago to save local Post Offices, and has also published a Directory to Small Shops of Herefordshire. Speaking after the launch, he said 'Woods of Whitchurch is a gem of a shop, and a superb new addition to the county. Herefordshire's small shops are the lifeblood of its village communities. We owe Lucy and Neville a huge debt of gratitude for the love and care they have taken with the shop, and for their investment in the village.'


Jesse Norman MP at the opening of 'Woods of Whitchurch.'

14th September 2011 ARCHAEOLOGY WALKS NOTCH UP 150TH OUTING

Herefordshire Council is encouraging residents to get out into the countryside and learn more about the history of the county by joining in an exciting walking event organised by the council's archaeology team. Organised to coincide with the 150th of their monthly series of public historic landscape walks in different parts of the county, the walking event will take place at Hopelands Hall, Weobley, on Wednesday 14th September at 10am.

Tim Hoverd, the council's archaeological projects officer who has organised and led most of the walks since they began in April 1999 observed: 'These guided walks along public rights of way introduce people to the history of the landscape observed in its fields, hedgerows, woodlands and earthworks. Since the walks began, more than 2500 people have benefitted from the exercise.'

The Weobley event will feature three alternative walks to choose from, starting from the Hall, and returning there for an illustrated talk by Tim about the range of different features that we can see as we walk along the public footpaths of the county. Places on the walk are free, but should be booked in advance by phoning Moira Cassidy on 01432 260470.


14th September 2011

JESSE LAUNCHES EXHIBITION AT CIDER MUSEUM


Jesse with David Marshall of the Bulmer Foundation.

Local MP Jesse Norman launched a really innovative new exhibition of local art last week at the Cider Museum in Hereford. Orchard Art captures the beauty of an orchard through quirky creativity and inspirational ideas.

Using natural and recycled materials, local artists including thegreenyedmonsterco, Celia Kibblewhite and Kate Raggett, together with young people from SHYPP, have worked closely with groups of adults with learning disabilities to produce an exhibition including sculpture, photography and film, displayed throughout the museum.

Speaking at the launch with David Marshall of the Bulmer Foundation, Jesse highlighted the importance of Herefordshire's natural landscape, and the creativity of the Orchard Art project.

Afterwards, he said, 'This is a really beautiful exhibition, and a huge credit to all those who have worked on it. It fills the whole Cider Museum with life and spirit. Everyone should try to see it if they can!'

The project was managed by the Bulmer Foundation, in association with Echo, SHYPP and Tidnor Wood Orchards. The project and exhibition were funded by E.F.Bulmer Benevolent Fund, Bulmers Friends of Herefordshire Museums and Arts, and the Bulmer Foundation.


14th September 2011 MABELY FARM HITS AWARDS JACKPOT

Farmers Mark O'Brien and Liz Vice faced the glare of the limelight when BBC Country File descended upon Monmouthshire Show to record their win in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Farming Awards. This year's competition was directed at small farms under 100 hectares/ 247 acres and Mabley Farm, Woolhope secured the winning 500 cash prize plus vouchers donated by Harold Johns Ltd, Catbrook Monmouthshire and the Farming Awards Trophy. Country File's crew filmed the Award presentation whilst presenters Matt Baker, Clare Balding and James Wong interviewed the winning farmers and looked at other events throughout the show.

Judges, Alan Morgan, Gadr Farm 2009 Farming Awards winner, David Price National Farmers Union Cymru, Mike Williams Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) Officer and Andrew Blake Wye Valley AONB Officer judged a strong entry throughout the area and were impressed by Mabley's unique approach to farming. Liz and Mark had established and extensive organic system supporting a huge range of wildlife whilst enhancing the landscape which included two substantial wooded areas, traditional parkland and haymeadows. Second prize went to Mike Johnson from Broome Farm, the well respected cider makers, near Ross on Wye and third to Philip and Daphne Gwilliam from Dryslade Farm, English Bicknor, Gloucestershire.

Next year's awards will concentrate on large farms over 100 hectares so if you own or manage a farm that fits in with the criteria then start preparing because your farm could be a 2012 winner. From late spring log onto the website www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk to download the Farming Awards entry form or email information@wyevalleyaonb.org.uk

The country File show was screened on 11th September.


The Farming Award Winners being captured on camera by the Country File team.

14th September 2011 BID FOR FASTER BROADBAND - MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Plans to bring high-speed broadband to rural Herefordshire move up a gear this week (week beginning 12th September) as a major survey begins in the county's parishes and market towns. An area covering large parts of south Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean was among the first in the UK to receive Government funding to bring improved broadband services to remote rural areas. Companies are already involved in a complex tendering process to provide broadband infrastructure, seeking the best delivery in the shortest timescale and for the best value. Improved broadband services will be introduced initially in south Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean, and will then be extended throughout Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

The Borders Broadband project is managed by a partnership of Herefordshire Council, GFirst (Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership), Gloucestershire County Council, and Government agency, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). Local Broadband Champion volunteers are being recruited throughout south Herefordshire to work within their local community, passing on information on the project's progress, highlighting the benefits of high-speed broadband and demonstrating demand for the new services.

Over the next few weeks information leaflets and questionnaires will be delivered to 24,000 homes and businesses in south Herefordshire, to gather evidence on demand for high-speed broadband. An online version of the survey is also available - visit www.fastbroadband4herefordshire.org.uk Herefordshire Council's broadband champion Cllr Graham Powell said: 'These questionnaires are crucial to the process of bringing superfast broadband to Herefordshire. We urge every household and business to complete and return them. This will provide the hard evidence that there is real demand for superfast broadband in Herefordshire - this is vital if we are to persuade suppliers to invest in our most rural, hard-to-reach areas.

And we would really like to hear from anybody interested in becoming a Local Broadband Champion for their community. This is a real chance to stand up and make a difference.' If you would like to become a broadband champion, please contact Graham Powell at grahampowell@herefordshire.gov.uk or Fast Broadband4Herefordshire organiser David Sheppard at david@davidsheppard.com

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