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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 121 - 15th November 2006
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This Week - [Remembrance Sunday - Business of the Week]
[Egyptian Decorative Art - Korean Veterans' Service - Home Start are Asking]
[Endoscopy Unit - French Students - Chelsea Pensioners Remembered - Funeral of Chris Collins - Christmas Menus]

[The Twilight Zone - Specsavers helping the Third World - Readers' Photos - Letters - Rugby - Weather Station]
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Enter the Twilight Zone at the White Lion

I know what you're thinking - ghost in pub equals plenty of publicity. This is not the case when it comes to the White Lion. The White Lion gets enough of that without added spooks and is constantly busy as a result of just being a good and above all, friendly inn.

I have heard reports about the historic inn being haunted for thirty plus years now and was not in the least bit surprised when I first met Dave and Jacqui, the Landlord and Landlady, to hear that Jacqui had experienced strange goings on on several occasions. Although, like Dave, I am probably one of the world's biggest sceptics when it comes to ghost tales, I have experienced strange phenomena at the White Lion Inn myself.

It is rare that I actually drink anything other than coffee at the White Lion as I tend to only go there of a Sunday morning or during the early hours of the morning to collect Tina from work, so this cannot be put down to spirits from the top shelf. It was one day a few weeks ago when I had my own strange experience. Dave and Jacqui were on holiday and I went to collect Tina from work after closing time when she told me of two strange occurrences which had happened to her during the day. One was in the cellar and the other in the Old Gaol restaurant. In the cellar, she had been cleaning the pipes. When she went to reconnect the barrels she discovered that one of them had vanished. A delivery man helped her to search for the barrel, but it was nowhere to be found. It turned up later that day in another part of the room. The other incident occurred in the restaurant. All the knives and forks had been rearranged haphazardly on the newly set tables.

When she told me, we were the only two people in the building. 'Switch the gaol lights on,' I said. 'I'll go and take a look.' I went up the steps to the old gaol, looked around and everything was fine. Two tables which had been dined at were untidy but the rest were perfectly laid and ready to be sat at by hungry people. I was about to return to the bar when Tina came up the stairs after me. 'What about these?' She said from the top of the stairs. When I looked, she was pointing to the cutlery on a table at which all the forks and spoons had been rearranged to form cross shapes. It was the first table I had examined on entering the room and it had been ok. This rearrangement had happened whilst I was in there but I had not heard a thing. Tina had not rearranged them herself because I actually heard her walk up the stairs and know that she could not possibly have had the time. I would have seen her in the room. Besides which, I would trust Tina with my life when it comes to honesty!

I cannot explain how it happened, but it definitely did! The same thing as reported many times before. Time for a paranormal investigation maybe.

Continued . . .

Ref: DSC_8662

Coincidentally, having only mentioned the occurrence in passing and more by way of just making conversation during one of those moments of awkward silence, a team of Paranormal Investigators visited the White Lion on Saturday, 4th November for an overnight vigil. They were there as guests of Jacqui's daughter Rhianne and when I went to meet them, I mistakenly called them Ghost Hunters.

'Please do not call us ghost hunters in your article,' I was corrected. 'Bad television shows give genuine investigators a bad name.' I absolutely agree with this. That Derek Accora bloke is a Sam card short of the full mobile phone when it comes to communicating with the dead, as far as I am concerned. The team at the White Lion were from 'Wiltshire Paranormal Research'.

Wiltshire Paranormal Research are a non profit research team based in Wiltshire that Investigates supposed haunted locations and also concentrates on investigating other areas of phenomenon. The team has been together for a year now, though most members have worked together in previous Paranormal groups. They use a range of equipment to aid investigation and research. These include Electro Magnetic Frequency devices, Meteorological equipment and a visual and audio kit consisting of wireless stand and floor mics for recording EVP and location noise and wireless IR cameras that also hook up to laptop computers to record footage.

'We balance out our Scientific Research with the use of a Spiritualist Medium and a Sensitive who regularly work with the team during Investigations and research projects.'

Christopher, Darren, Daniel, Sam and Jo of Wiltshire Paranormal are pictured above with Rhianne in the Old Gaol Restaurant.

Report from Wiltshire Paranormal:

'The White Lion:
This is just a quick rundown of how the night went etc. the full report will be up by Friday 07/11/2006 at

EVP: the audio of room 5 has so far been analysed and we have around 9 instances of unexplained bumps and knocks within the room recorded. Restaurant recordings are yet to be analysed.

Video: wireless video was set in the restaurant we have around 8 hours of solid recording. So far viewing the footage we have only picked up typical orb shapes at regular intervals. Analysis proves these are dust particles.

Trigger Objects: We had set trigger objects within the restaurant, mostly with cutlery as reports from various people suggested cutlery was often moved within the area. No sign of movement exists on camera and the triggers remained untouched all evening.

Motion detectors were set around 2 areas of the building 1 in the bar area and 1 within the back passage downstairs leading into the kitchen. The detector in the bar area was not set off. However, 20 minutes into our Investigation, the detector in the back passageway where large amounts of poltergeist activity has been reported had been set off. We disarmed the system and investigated the cause. No explanation could be found. This also happened again closer to around 3:3:30 am

Personal Experiences: Most members of the team experienced some form of clothes pulling or "tugging". This was mostly on the coat or trousers. This seemed to happen in the cellar and the restaurant the most. Drops of temperature were frequent throughout the evening and solid readings were taken in Room 5.

Photographs: These have not all been analysed as of yet as there were over 400 stills taken on the evening. The one picture we have started analysing and filtering consists of what appears to be a figure standing to the side of the camera in the cellar, although until further inspection is carried out and all other causes ruled out, this photograph will not be included on the site or in the report until tests have been finalized. The Next time we visit the White Llion we have decided to have a "cold" investigation, meaning, we will set up an audio and visual kit unmonitored and record throughout the evening without human interference or investigative techniques taking place. We will use this to compare levels of activity.'

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Specsavers Helping The Third World

A Ross-on-Wye opticians is urging local people to help others in less fortunate countries to see better by donating their old spectacles to Vision Aid Overseas.

The staff at Specsavers, which is situated at 13, Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye are asking people to drop their old glasses into a special drop box in the store. These will then be forwarded to the charity. VAO will then take the spectacles out to Africa and will give them to those whose vision has been tested to asses what strength glasses they need.

Lee Thomas, who took over the running of the Ross branch of Specsavers in May of this year is very keen to support this cause. He said: 'Vision Aid Overseas is an excellent charity and it is great that we can make such a difference with support from the people of Ross. We've traditionally had a steady stream of old specs donated but we want to have an extra push, so we are urging anybody with old glasses to make an effort to drop them off to is. Every pair will help somebody to see better and improve their quality of life.'

VAO is a UK registered charity which is dedicated to helping people in developing countries whose lives are blighted by poor eyesight, particularly in cases where glasses can help.

For further information please telephone 01989 564460 or call into the store.

In the photo are Amanda Bevan, Lee Thomas and Samantha Price at Specsavers, Ross-on-Wye.

Readers' Photos: Red Sky at Night

Thank you to Andy Stubbs of Ross for sending in this beautiful sunset photograph, taken from Greytree, Ross-on-Wye.


Re: Looking for Ted West - Issue 118, 25 October, 2006

As generations of former Ross Grammar School pupils will attest, Ted West was for many years a wonderful and charismatic English teacher at Ross Grammar. Without doubt, he would have been consistently thought of as one of the best and most likeable teachers in the school. He was one of those 'inspirational' teachers who fire one's enthusiasm and help to put you on the right course in life.

After living in Weston Under Penyard for many years during the middle of his life, he retired to Ross on Wye in approximately 1977 and thereafter filled his life with many interests, including being the Secretary of the worldwide Kilvert Society (admirers of the Rev Francis Kilvert a noted cleric at Clyro, on the River Wye in west Herefordshire during the 1870's). Ted died in approx 1999/2000. His funeral at St Mary's church Ross on Wye was attended by generations of past pupils.

Ted had a really genuine interest in every former pupil that he met out and about. I dare say he corresponded with many. His recall of detail about individuals was phenomenal, and if anyone wanted to know what had happened to whom from RGS, one only had to phone or find Ted West, and in most cases he would know.

Ted remained a bachelor throughout his life and had all those wonderful qualities that one thinks of in a gentleman, courteous, modest, self-effacing and generous. I can't think of a single pupil from RGS days who hasn't retained fond memories of a great man.

Norman Bricknell


Just watched your video of the otters from last week Brilliant. Inspirational to know that this is all happening on our doorstep. Thanks for all you hard work.


Geoff Balsom

Thank you very much for that, Geoff, I am really pleased you enjoyed it. Photographing and occasionally filming local wildlife, as well as watching nature in general is the part of maintaining Wyenot News that I enjoy above every other aspect! The two and a half hours I spent catching those brief glimpses of otters on film were an oasis of peace and tranquility amid an otherwise stress filled week.


If you missed the short otter film it can be seen here, in last week's edition of Wyenot News.

Mallard's Pike, Forest of Dean by Mike Arnison LRPS


Ross on Wye 42 Malvern XV 0

Ross took a break from league action on Saturday and welcomed a competitive Malvern side who were one of the few teams to defeat Ross last season. This brought an added spice to this friendly encounter, with Ross looking to continue their winning ways prior to next weeks league encounter in Bristol.

Ross took an opportunity to try some new combinations in the pack and at half back. This did not seem to bother them as they were out of the blocks much quicker than Malvern. For the first quarter of the game Ross were quicker in both thought and deed. With Kevan Healy and Matt Jones making inroads into the Malvern defence, Ross dominated territory and possession and from an attacking lineout Ross opened the scoring. Nick Rawlings found his jumper, the Ross pack quickly set a driving maul, to which Malvern had no answer and Richard Russell crashed over to score. Chris Gage added the conversion and Ross were 7-0 ahead.

With the continued domination of territory, the second score was not long in coming. After a strong tackle midfield by Matt Redman, Simon Gwynne turned over possession. Debutant Tom Gainsford moved the ball quickly to the right where Chay Brine found Andrew Lovering in space, who ran in from 20 metres. Chris Gage again added the two points and Ross were 14-0 up. It looked as if the floodgates were about to open, however Ross began to get ragged in their execution and began to turn over ball. This led to the game becoming a stop start affair which was only rescued by a Matt Redman's try late in the half which gave Ross a 21-0 lead at halftime.

The second half mirrored the first, with Malvern finding it difficult to get their hands on the ball. Ross continued to move the ball wide with Adam Clements and Dan Weston looking dangerous but they could not find that killer pass. With the Ross pack continuing to exhert control it was fitting that it was a forward who delivered the next score. Once again Nick Rawlings found his jumper and from the ensuing driving maul it was Tony Clements who controlled the ball at the back to score. Chris Gage converted moving Ross 28-0 ahead. Gavin Oates and TC Leach replaced Simon Gwynne and Andy Lovering but this did not dent the Ross packs domination and after some strong srummaging in the Malvern twenty two, Richard Russell added to his first half score putting Ross 35-0 up. Malvern were out on their feet by now,and gaps began to appear. Huw Bellamy put Baz Parker clear and although he was hauled down twenty yards out, Ross set up a series of rucks which saw Nick Rawlings add the final score, giving Ross a comfortable 42-0 victory.

Next Saturday Ross are back in league action, travelling to Cotham Park Bristol. Kick-off is at 2.30.

Ross-on-Wye Weather Station Readings

Ross-on-Wye Weather Station is located by the tennis courts and bowling green at 'Crossfields' and is one of the important stations around the country which regularly sends data to the Meteorological Office. This is why Ross-on-Wye is sometimes mentioned on the BBC weather reports. It is currently still a manually monitored station and readings are taken twice per day by husband and wife team, June and Rex Swallow.

Figures for week commencing Monday, 6th November 2006
n Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
Sunshine (hours) 4.0 2.4 0.3 7.9 1.1 2.6 1.7
Rainfall (mm) Trace Trace 0.9 Trace 4.7 Trace 0.4
Rainfall (inches) Trace Trace .03 Trace .18 Trace .02
Maximum Temperature (C) 11 13 16 12 13 12 13
Maximum Temperature (F) 52 55 61 54 55 54 55
Minimum Temperature (C) 0 1 4 4 0 5 7
Minimum Temperature (F) 32 34 39 39 32 41 45
Soil Temperature at 10cm Depth (F) 42 46 48 44 43 46 46
Soil Temperature at 30cm Depth (F) 49 49 50 51 50 50 50

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