place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 153 - Wednesday, 27th June 2007
Street and how the media coverage escalated
preparing last week's 'Wyenot News', it began to rain. Then
came the lightning and I shut the computer network down
to prevent damage. Meanwhile, whilst I drank a cup of tea,
I stood by the front door of our home, thinking - might
as well try and film some lightning during my enforced tea
caught a couple of flashes, but of course, lightning is
so unpredictable, aiming the camera where the last flash
was, the next always occurs on the other side of the sky.
I took about 20 minutes of film to catch just three corners
of lightning flashes. I have since watched the unedited
footage right through and, towards the end of the lightning
film, the telephone call came from Kevin Sale. 'Brookend
Street is flooded,' he said. 'May be a photo opportunity'.
Tina took the call while I continued filming and, listening
back to what I said when she told me sounds very strange
now. When given the message, I was unsure whether to go
This was not due to indifference. The Street flooding is
an ongoing serious problem but I have photographed floods
so many times in the past that I wondered if it was worth
doing again - especially as it was raining so heavily, I
was behind with news prep and just did not feel like
going out. 'Go
on,' prompted Tina, 'You can get the story out first'.
. . .
News Reporter, Karen Briggs talks to Margaret Lucas in the doorway
of 'Lucas Motorcycles'. Ref: DSC_7943
went down to film the flood, parking the Wyenot Mobile parallel
with the high tide line and, filming through the open driver's
side window of the car, I got absolutely drenched. I stayed
inside the car for the sake of keeping the cameras dry.
result was, I finished last week's news at around 2:30 am.
The adrenaline that working so late generates, always prevents
me from sleeping, so I watched an old episode of 'The Avengers'
in bed to wind down. At 3:30 am, I finally shut my eyes
to try and sleep.
7:15 am - after a little less than four hours sleep, the
phone rang. It was the BBC, 'Any chance you can be on the
radio live in five minutes to talk about last night's flash
'I'm still in bed and have only had four hour's sleep,'
I replied. 'Can we make it later?'
'That's fine. Is ten minutes all right?'
jumped out of bed, put the kettle on, made some tea and
at the first sip, the call came. My mouth felt like the
bottom of a bird cage. 'I'll put you on hold and you'll
be live with Howard Bentham in just a few moments'. It's
a good job the listeners can't see me, I thought. I was
wearing minimal clothing - not a pretty sight!
don't remember what I said on-air, other than that I had
filmed the flood water and that it was already live on Wyenot
News. 'Wyenot News' was visited over 1,000 times before
9:00 am that morning and things began to get more crazy.
. . .
on, another BBC reporter called, asking where the best area
to visit was, I directed her to Brookend Street and thought
that was it for the day. I tend to try and treat Wednesdays
as my 'weekend'.
needed more tea but we had run out of milk, so I went into
town to get some. As I parked, a lady shouted, 'Alan!' Surprised
by the call, I said, 'hello', secretly thinking, 'who's
that'. She seemed to expect me to know her and I assumed
it was one of the thousands of people I have photographed
for the news but could not place. 'I phoned you half hour
ago - from the BBC,' she explained. I then saw Margaret
Lucas, said hello and Central News approached. 'Can we film
a sound bite?' Luckily, I always keep the cameras with me
and set about taking photos of Margaret and the clean up,
whilst waiting for the TV cameraman. Cameraman, John Cherry
filmed the sound bite of me talking to Karen Briggs, the
Central News reporter. This was all totally unexpected -
I had, literally, just gone out to buy some milk!
got home later in the afternoon and had briefly fallen asleep
in the armchair when Phil Kiss phoned to order a print of
a photo I had taken at the bandstand the week before. Whilst
chatting to Phil, my mobile rang. It was ITN, who had got
the engaged signal from the main phone and had rung the
mobile number. They wanted me to upload my footage by FTP,
to the ITN News computer in a hurry, and emailed me the
IP address and passwords.
whole situation had escalated from a couple of photos and
a bit of film of a taxi driver being an idiot that I had
shot (and very nearly left out of the final edit). I was
in a daze and by the end of the day, totally exhausted by
the phone calls and arranging everything in such a rush.
My head was pounding and, for the first time ever, I just
could not manage staying up to collect Tina from work. Her
son, Russell picked her up instead and I went to bed, sleeping
for eight hours. I still felt that I needed more sleep next
day but had to get my car to Moreton Vallance in Gloucestershire
for its MOT by 8:30 and my head continued to pound throughout
the whole of Thursday. It was the worst stress induced migraine
I had suffered in years, and getting a second early night,
I finally slept it off by Friday.
the story and film went out on TV, I have not been able
to go anywhere without at least a dozen people mentioning
it. Out of genuine concern for my well-being and with the
best of intentions, they have all said the same thing: I
hope you got paid well for the film.
save me keep repeating myself, I will answer that question
here. I got paid zilch - nothing - absolute bxxxer all.
It was worth it though to highlight the drainage problems
at the bottom end of town and for the sake of the Ross tourism
industry! It didn't do 'Wyenot News' any harm either.
News cameraman, John Cherry films the Brookend Street cleanup. Ref:
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News, 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9
email or to: 'Wyenot.com,' 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire,
HR9 7EY. Tel: 01989 763217