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Issue No. 44 [Back Issues]
10th May 2005

This Week - [The Mayor Making - Pet's Service at Upton Bishop] [VE Day Sixty Years On - Barrs Court - Frustration]
[Stolen from the Hope & Anchor - Topical Photography - Sport - Letters] [Nature Watch - Archive Ross-on-Wye]

Victory in Europe Day Remembered 60 Years On

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Celebrations commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Victory in Europe and to remember those who died as a result of World War II took place in Ross-on-Wye on Sunday, 8th May.

The day began with a special service at St. Mary's Parish Church, attended by veterans. Pictured below, left to right outside the Church are: Tony Alcock - R.A.F., Dave King - Air Artillery, Fred Woodhouse, Martin Morris, Fred Jones, D.H. Cook - Royal K.S.L.I., Tom Passey - Royal Navy, Gordon Lucas - R.E.M.E., Norman Alder, Ted Horgan, Major Emery - Secretary of the British Legion, Ray Thomas and Robert Hoyles.

After the service, Mayor, Nigel Gibbs, as one of his last official duties during his term as Mayor, presented veterans with commemorative medals at Ross Market House. The medal presentation ceremony was a serious yet joyful event, at which those who were not so fortunate were remembered, with Nigel Gibbs pointing out that, were it not for the bravery of those in attendance, we would probably not have been able to gather together in such a way, sixty years later.

Pictured left with the Mayor is Mrs. Peggy Raven, who is proud to show her medal.

Below are further photographs of the ceremony, including the Mayor's presentation to Martin Morris, World War II Veteran and former Editor of the Ross Gazette.

All photographs I took at this occasion can now be viewed in the Gallery.

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Barrs Court Hydrosense Appeal Charity Walk

Fifty walkers plus children and dogs took part in a sponsored walk on Sunday, 8th May to raise money for Barrs Court Special School in Hereford. The walk was organized by Margaret Lewis on behalf of Mark and Gwendoline Haile, parents of Kerry, who is about to attend the school and was to try and raise funds towards the £750,000 required to provide a hydrosense pool and sensory studio. A hydrosense pool helps children who need special physiotherapy and the sensory studio is for those who require brain stimulation.

The walk followed a circular route of six miles, beginning at Sellack Church and taking in Caradoc Hill, part of Pengethley, Lower Grove Common and Sellack Old School.

Pictured below, after the event, Kerry (in front) and the walkers enjoy soup and rolls. They would like to thank Landlord and Landlady, Dave and Tracey of the Red Lion, Peterstow for providing the refreshments.

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Written out of Pure Frustration ! ! !

Due to a technical problem which was beyond my control I have had to work well into the early hours of the morning to get this week's issue of Wyenot News on line. My Tiscali broadband connection went down today and, although thankfully and Wyenot News are held on a completely separate and much more reliable server in London's 'Docklands', I was unable to access it during the twelve hour downtime.

When the situation first arose, I thoroughly checked that the problem was not at my end. I have several computers and two broadband modems here, so I was able to be absolutely certain that the problem was not my own. I also telephoned other Tiscali users I know to see if they were experiencing similar problems. They all were but despite this, Tiscali insisted that the fault was with me and I ended up spending the whole of Monday attempting to resolve the situation!

The connection dropped out at 10 am, so after checking my own equipment I telephoned Tiscali. I temporarily put the immediate frustration experienced aside when faced with the usual, 'press one if you are a new customer, press two if you are an existing customer or press three if you would like to listen to piped music for half an hour whilst waiting for somebody to tell you that you should have pressed six.'

After dialling the next telephone number I was given, and having pressed 'two' for a second obligatory ten minute wait, I had already anticipated the monotone voice at the other end, which would eventually announce, 'Tiscali Technical Support, Tracey speaking, how can I help you?' My anticipation was only slightly wrong here as her name wasn't Tracey.

To cut a long story short. I explained immediately that I had checked everything thoroughly and was absolutely certain the problem was not at my end. There was no getting away with it though - Technical Support refused to call me back so I had no option but to waste an hour and a half, paying National Rate for the telephone call whilst they insisted that I go through their standard procedure of uninstalling and reinstalling the modem software and rebooting my computer three times. When this, predictably did not work and I had successfully been able to 'ping' the Tiscali computer several times, proving that both my modem and the telephone line were working, eventually the penny began to drop.
'Oh dear, the problem really is at the Tiscali end!
I am sorry but I am going to have to escalate this call as I don't know the solution,' Tracey / Julie / Sharon or whatever her name was finally admitted. 'You will be hearing from us within 24 hours.

I immediately began to plan changing my Internet Service Provider, the moment the problem is fixed. Then I remembered the problem with doing just that. My son, Matthew had problems with Tiscali Broadband some months ago and closed his account out of sheer frustration. To this day they are still taking money from his bank account and he cannot yet log on with another provider as Tiscali refuse to allow direct migration to another ISP and have not yet freed his telephone line.

My advice to prospective Tiscali customers is; if like on the television advertisement, a man on horseback rides up and inscribes a 't' on any of your property with his sword, exclaiming, 'Tiscali Broadband from only £17.99 per month!' Tell him to bog off and report him to the police for criminal damage. My broadband has cost £24.99 per month for the past 14 months and at the moment, five hours after my expensive one hour and forty minutes on the phone to Tiscali Technical Support, it still isn't working!

Please forgive my cynicism but my personal feeling is, that most big companies with technical support lines deliberately employ people who do not know the answer to your question but are well versed in the art of keeping you on the phone for long periods of time in order to gain revenue from the telephone company. Of all the technical support lines I have ever phoned, I can honestly say that not one of them has ever been able to answer the question asked.

Later in the day I telephoned Tiscali again. This time they blamed British Telecom! 'As little faith as I have in BT, blaming them in this instance is not the answer,' I explained. 'Whilst actually speaking to a Tiscali support person earlier in the day I managed to successfully ping the Tiscali server - twice. That would not be possible if the fault was with BT.' I had to rush off at this point because I was late for the Ross-on-Wye Mayor Making ceremony.

After returning from the Mayor Making, at 9:30 pm to find my broadband still not working, I spoke on the phone to some other Tiscali users I know in Ross-on-Wye and asked them all to phone Tiscali technical support. I don't know if it was due to the sudden barrage of calls from Ross-on-Wye or whether it was just pure coincidence but miraculously, within minutes the service was restored.

The moral of this story being - if calling a help line of any description, it is advisable to bear in mind that you will almost certainly be fobbed off. It also pays to remember that most 'technical support' employees adopt the old adage, 'Stercus bovae cerebro mystificum' (Bullshit baffles brains!) I prefer the other one my dad taught me however, 'If force doesn't work, use a bigger hammer' - get as many of your mates as possible to phone in and report the same problem. It seems that this method actually works!

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