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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 177 - Wednesday, 12th December 2007
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Christmas Edition - Ross-under-Wye - In Loving Memory of Verna - Rotary Party - Parking Anger]
Page 2 [Nature Watch: Mars - MSETI and the Great White Spot - Campaign against dangerous driving update]
Page 3 [Santa's visits - Cards for Good Causes - Macmillan Quiz - Letters - Christmas - Planning Refusal - Grease - Menus - Operation Nucleus -Green Nappies - Weather Station]

Page 4

[News from around Herefordshire County]

Concerns for Missing Kington Man

Police are appealing for the publicís help to trace a missing man from Kington. Alun Michael Price left his home in Llewellin Road on Monday afternoon, leaving no word of where he was going. He was last seen at 6pm last night, Monday, 10th December, walking along Hergest Road in Kington, heading towards the industrial estate. He has not been seen since nor has he been in contact with family and friends.

Mr Priceís family say his behaviour is out of character and they are extremely concerned for his welfare. He aged 55 and 6ft 1ins tall with shoulder length grey hair and a beard. He is slim and is thought to have been wearing a boiler suit, possibly black and green in colour. He is currently suffering from a bad chest infection.

Inspector Nick Semper from Herefordshire Police said that he is keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Mr Price or has information as to where he may be. He said, 'Alunís disappearance is out of character and his family and friends are obviously very worried and keen to hear from him to ensure he is safe and well. I would urge anyone who has information about Alunís whereabouts to contact the police so that we can put his family at ease.'

Officers began a search of the local area last night, using the police helicopter and further searches are being undertaken today.

Anybody with information should contact Herefordshire Police on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 395s of December 10th.

Christmas Crafts at Hereford High Town

If you are looking for original one-off handcrafted gifts this Christmas, look no further than Hereford High Town on Saturday, 15th December, when Herefordshire Council's Cultural Services present the fourth Craft Market in the heart of the city.

Twenty-five stalls of traditional and contemporary craft will be on sale. Not only can people discover original and beautiful work, but - with the chance to meet the maker - they can find out how it's made and who made it! For jewellery, pictures, tableware and more, don't miss this opportunity to buy a handmade item from a county artist. Whether it's a delicately wall-mounted wire sculpture from Joanna Hardman, a vibrant and dazzling piece of glass jewellery from Amanda Bunclark, or an intricately patterned natural wooden bowl or breadboard from Frances Harvey - there will be something for all tastes and budgets at this pre-Christmas market. So why not get in the Christmas spirit this Saturday, with a visit to Hereford High Town, and find original gifts to delight your friends and family.

Whatever your taste, you can browse, chat, commission or purchase handmade craft in the heart of the city all day, from 9am until 5pm. Don't miss this next market on Saturday at Hereford High Town (between The Old House and Butter Market) between 9am and 5pm.

Readers' Afternoon at Herefordshire Libraries

The first Readers' Afternoon organized by Herefordshire Libraries in Partnership with the West Midlands Readers network took place on Saturday, 1st December 2007.

The afternoon featured Clare Brown author of The Creation Myths and Dream Laboratory, both published by Bloomsbury, and Paul McDonald author of Kiss me Softly Amy Turtle and Surviving Sting, both published by Tindal Street Press. Jonathan Davidson of the West Midlands Readers Network was the very entertaining compere and kept the quite ambitious programme of discussions and readings almost to the timetable.

Despite the fact the it was a very busy weekend in Herefordshire, with lots of Christmas school and village fetes happening and the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, 42 people attended the event. The afternoon included discussion groups on topics such as Should we take comedy more seriously and Escapism V Reality. Paul McDonald had everyone laughing when he read the opening chapter of one of his novels which was set in a Walsall hospital.

There were four very different presentations called Our Reading Lives, in which people talked about the different stages of their life and what they had been reading. From the tattered childhood picture book to the much loaned reference book, these short talks really conveyed in their individual ways a passion for books and the wonder of reading. They certainly inspired many in the audience to add yet more titles to their own personal reading lists.

Votes were cast for the best and worst readers' group book. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was the clear winner of the best book, whilst Toast by Nigel Slater was voted the worst book. There was a literary quiz with a £10 book voucher prize kindly donated by Waterstones.

The majority of people who came to the event were in readers groups already but there were a few people looking to join a group. They will now be put in touch with a suitable local readers group. The final act came from the Harold Street Readers, when they performed their very own light-hearted poem about readers groups, which they had written especially for the day.

Here are some of the comments from those attending.

'It was enjoyable, informative and fun but I thought it was a shame about the paucity of male readers!! Well done for organizing it all; the two authors were great and I found Lara's reading life talk completely mesmerizing'

'It was great to get in some thought provoking discussion on a weekend, and both authors were interesting and guided the debates well.'

'I hadn't really known what to expect, so it was lovely to be part of a nice, friendly crowd of like minded people and to get to talk and hear about books for a couple of hours!! When you're organizing one in the future I'll make sure to keep my diary free for it!''

When are you organizing the next one? I will definitely come.'

2008 is National Year of Reading

Herefordshire Council has backed a call by the secretary of state for schools and parents to get their children to read more at home as they grow up.

MP Ed Balls made the call as he announced £5 million for libraries to give free books to nurseries to kick off next year's National Year of Reading. His announcement coincided with the publication of findings of an international study of children's reading which showed that England's ten year olds are reading fewer novels and stories outside of school than in 2001.

'This study shows that our highest achieving children are reading less, with children's busy days leaving less time for books at home. Reading needs to be as much a part of kids' routines as brushing their teeth and having a bath. Parents are worried about striking the right balance between play, reading, TV and computer games. As a society we have to send the right messages about the value of reading to our children,' said Mr Balls.

The announcement of £5 million to provide free books to pre-school settings was welcomed by Jan Nesaratnam, from the council's library service. Herefordshire Libraries already provide packs to all babies, toddlers and three year olds throughout the county as part of the Bookstart programme, and the service runs an annual Summer Reading Challenge for 4 to 12 year olds.

'The National Year of Reading is a great way to remind kids that reading is fun, and highlight some of the services our libraries already offer which encourage parents to read with their children,' said Jan. 'We've lots of brilliant free books to choose from, regular story times and rhyme times, Parents and Carers collections and no fines for under fives. But the pleasure of reading isn't just for children. Our libraries have a great range of free books for all ages, with adult book promotions, author events and Readers' Groups.'

There will be a special programme of library events locally for the National Year of Reading, which officially begins in April 2008, starting with an exciting launch at Ross-on-Wye Library with local children's author Shoo Rayner on Wednesday, 26th March.

Motorists Urged to Take Extra Care

Motorists are being urged by The Safer Roads Partnership to take extra care when driving along the county's roads. The call comes after a number of deaths that have occurred on the county roads during the last few months.

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia, which includes representatives from Herefordshire Council's highways and transportation department, West Mercia Police, the courts and NHS Primary Care Trust, aims to deliver highly visible targeted speed enforcement as well as to co-ordinate, support and develop broader road safety activity.

Trevor McAvoy, Safer Roads Partnership Manager said, 'The number of deaths on the county's roads was discussed at some length at our last meeting and we are now looking at a number of options for increasing the level of our work along the county's roads in conjunction with the police and Herefordshire Council.'

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'We are committed to making roads in the county as safe as possible and, during the busy run up to Christmas, I would urge all motorists to take extra care, especially with their speed, adjusting their driving to suit the weather conditions and not drinking and driving. The number of deaths on the county's roads in the past month has been tragic and we don't want any more families to lose their loved ones.'

Refuse Collections for the Christmas Period

Householders in Herefordshire will have no refuse collections on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day. Collections due on Monday, 24th December move to Monday, 31st December and those due to be collected on Christmas Day will instead be collected on Saturday, 29th December.

Boxing Day collections will move to Wednesday, 2nd January while New Year's Day collections will switch to Tuesday, 8th January. All other refuse collections will be as normal. There will be a double collection on Monday, 31st December and Wednesday, 2nd January.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing said, 'Christmas is a time of year when a lot of waste is created. Even though we are committed to providing as many collections as possible over the festive period, we would also urge people to recycle as much as they can. Throughout the country, it is estimated enough rubbish to fill 400,000 double decker buses will be produced by the festive season. The county's rate for recycling has now surpassed the 30 per cent figure and I would urge all householders to continue their good work with both recycling and composting to reduce the amount of rubbish that is being sent to landfill.'

For hints on recycling, log onto the website and search for recycling.

A Festive Taste of Yesteryear Coming to Hereford

The festive flavours of yesteryear will be coming to Hereford on Thursday, 20th December, when the city's first Victorian Market will take place. The event is happening as a result of the year-on-year success of the Leominster Victorian Market, which left people asking when Hereford would have its own.

The Victorian Market will be held in the shadow of the Old House in High Town, in Commercial Street and St Peter's Street, not far from the regular farmers' market, which takes place on the same day outside the Buttermarket.

'We have had a great response and are expecting more than 20 stalls in the Victorian Market, alongside more than 30 in the farmers' market,' said Elaine Hawkins, from the council's markets and fairs team. 'It should have a lovely Christmas feel to it and we're inviting all traders already in town to join in and dress up in Victorian costume, including those supplying jacket potatoes, the soup wagon, a coffee stall and a doughnut stand as well as the carousel and other entertainment in town for Christmas. The farmers' market traders will also be dressing up.

It should be a special Christmas market, full of wonderful food and excellent Christmas gift ideas. As well as all the gorgeous food the farmers market has to offer, the Victorian market will add stalls selling lots of handcrafted gifts including soap and other toiletries, candles, cards, handbags and children's gifts and books, scarves and fudge. It will also include stalls selling beadwork, Celtic and gemstone jewellery, cotton and woollen textiles and lots more craft products.'

The markets will run between 9am and 5pm.

Grand Opening of New Ross Children's Centre

The new Ryefield Children's Centre is holding a fun packed open day today, Wednesday, 12th December and all Ross families and their young children are invited to attend. Between 10.30am and 2.30pm, visitors will be shown around the newly refurbished facilities and given the chance to join in lots of festive activities.

Children will be able to enjoy making Christmas gifts and decorations, decorating biscuits and playing games with their parents and carers. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy light refreshments served by parents, and the chance to not only catch up with old friends, but to make some new ones. Courtesy of Ross Lions, Father Christmas will be making a guest appearance. Look out for him in the morning riding through the streets of Ross on Wye before stopping to meet children and their families at the Ryefield Centre around 11am.

As well as all this, Whitchurch school choir and Ross pre school playgroup will be entertaining guests with Christmas songs prior to the official opening at 2pm. Pedro will be there in the afternoon with his musical instruments offering music and dance activities, and during the morning the library service will be offering two story sessions for parents/carers and children to enjoy.

All those attending will receive a warm and sincere welcome from children's centre staff, health visitors, childminders and other agencies. Other service providers and parent helpers will also be there to meet families and talk to them about the services and information available at Ryefield Children's Centre.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people said, 'All the staff and agencies have worked very hard to put together what I'm sure will be a non stop day of creative activity for children and parents to enjoy. I fully intend joining in all the fun and am looking forward to seeing the new centre fully equipped and ready for action. I would encourage all families to come and enjoy a fun day out with their children and learn about some of the new services which are going to become available over the next few months.'

Volunteers Needed to Promote Home Composting

Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council are giving residents the chance to give something back to their community by championing the benefits of home composting.

The councils, in association with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the national charity for organic growing, Garden Organic, are appealing for volunteers to sign up to its Master Composters Programme. They are looking to recruit 20 more volunteers to be trained in February 2008. A total of 47 people have been trained since the scheme began.

The Master Composter scheme is aimed at promoting the benefits of home composting, encouraging more people to participate and enabling those who already home compost, to do so more effectively. Volunteers will take part in a number of promotional activities, which could include attending events such as shows and doing school visits and demonstrations, where they will provide the home composting advisers with a helping hand. Since May 2006, volunteers have collectively given more than 1,500 hours of their time to promoting home composting across the two counties.

Viktoria Salisbury, Worcestershire County Council's project development officer for composting said, 'The Master Composters Programme is making a massive contribution towards home composting throughout Herefordshire and Worcestershire and we are now looking for more people to join the team so that we can spread the word even further. Our existing volunteers are an enthusiastic and motivated team, who are doing a fantastic job in promoting home composting. Becoming a Master Composter is a great way to meet new people, learn valuable skills and benefit from being part of a team that makes a difference.'

Volunteers will be provided with full training in home composting and other related environmental issues. They will be expected to contribute a minimum of 30 hours over 12 months. Travel expenses will be paid. Anybody requiring further information should call Viktoria on 01905 768260.

Medieval Banqueting Hall to Replace Old Cinema

A medieval banqueting hall is to replace the old plaza cinema in Bromyard thanks to grants of nearly £43,000 allocated by Herefordshire Council towards the conversion of existing redundant buildings.

With help from the Redundant Buildings Grant Scheme, John and Sylvia Silver, the owners of Bromyard's Falcon Hotel, have converted a former stable block to a multipurpose function room and meeting room for visitors and residents to enjoy.

During the building's life it has been a garage, cinema, night club and snooker hall but has been unused for several years, becoming an eyesore in the centre of Bromyard. It has been brought back to life as The Falcon Mews and John and Sylvia will be using their experience to offer medieval banquets, cabarets, film shows, and a youth theatre facility, as well as providing a venue for parties, weddings and conferences.

Sylvia Silver said, 'The old plaza cinema has undergone a complete transformation and has emerged as a magnificent medieval banqueting hall with minstrel's gallery, and a conference centre with two meeting rooms. Our daughter is a brilliant cook of medieval food and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to experience this new facility.'

Sue Dovey of the Live and Let Live pub on Bringsty Common was also awarded a grant, for the refurbishment of the old cider house, which had been unused for over 11 years. Work is now complete and the pub, the only thatched public house in Herefordshire, will again become a focal point for commoners and visitors alike. The two projects will create over ten new jobs for the Bromyard area.

Dorothy Coleman, programme manager said, 'It's a great shame when buildings fall into disrepair and stand idle when they could be put to good use. When redundant buildings are turned around and used to their full potential they can provide a much needed boost to the local economy. These two projects have not been without their difficulties, but a good deal of tenacity and hard work has paid off, and the end results are a credit to the owners.'

The Redundant Building Grant Scheme is administered by Herefordshire Council and funded by Advantage West Midlands through the Rural Regeneration Zone. It has now allocated over £2,000,000 to projects across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire. For further information on the scheme, contact Dorothy Coleman, programme manager, on 01432 383616, or e-mail

MONEW Christmas Sale

This evening, Wednesday, 12th December, MONEW, (Monmouth Enterprising Women) are holding a Christmas sale at The Bridges Centre in Monmouth, giving everybody a chance to shop for some beautiful gifts.

The sale, which begins at 7:30pm in The Gallery will feature member Elin Ross Pedersen's Nothing Nasty cosmetic range, Susie Nagle's lovely glowing glass jewellery and much much more. This is a great opportunity to have a relaxed evening and buy that elusive Christmas present for the one you love, ranging from natural skin care products, Life Coaching sessions, gift tokens for massage and other lovely presents.

If you wish to showcase your own products, tables at the sale are free to MONEW members ( and just £10 to non-member who are very welcome.

To book your table contact Sharon on 0870 0345917,


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