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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 181 - Wednesday, 16th January 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Help Save Weston Primary School - Fun through Brass - Silva - Boiler Warning - Landlord Trial]
Page 2 [River Levels - Lions helping schools - Planning Permission - New faces on Visit Herefordshire Board]
Page 3 [Have your say - Letters - Body identified- Herefordshire Christingles - Struggling shops aid - funding - sport - Wx]

Page 4

[The news from around Herefordshire]

Newly restored tram returns home

The historic Kington Tram or Plateway Wagon, discovered in the 1960s at Burlingjobb Quarry, close to Kington, has now been safely returned to its new home in Hereford. Dating from between 1820 and 1830, the window of opportunity to conserve the tram occurred just before work started on a 1.83m extension to the new Museum Resource and Learning Centre. During the building work, only internal access was possible to the wheeled vehicle storage area, so the tram left the site just before work started. The third and final stage of the extension, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is now complete and the newly restored tram has been moved to its new home in the building's entrance where it will be on show until Easter.

Kate Andrew, Herefordshire Council's principal Heritage Officer, said, 'A restoration had been planned many years ago, with replica wheel cast, but for some reason, had not proceeded and the tram was in a very poor state of repair. It really is a relic of the county's industrial heritage and is one of the oldest such trams in the country. It proved quite difficult to get the tram back into the new museum resource and learning centre but it is wonderful it has finally finished and the restoration work looks fantastic.'.

Mr Dave Potter of Bromstead Services, based in Newport, Shropshire, has spent the past year restoring the tram, which was in a very fragile state, consisting solely of the ribs, one end and very rusted base plate. A new strengthened bottom, side and door have been added to the tram to show how it would have looked when it was in use. The other two sides have been left in their original state to show how the tram would have looked when it first was discovered.

Drawn by horses, the tram was originally used to transport coal to Kington from the collieries of South Wales. The first sections opened in 1811, reaching Kington in 1820. The Kington tramway then exported finished iron goods and limestone or agricultural lime. Engineer James Watt, who had a country house near Kington, was a shareholder who helped to fund the Kington tramway. Mr Cyril Wright Meredith of Kington, a descendant of the firm of ironmasters who built the original tramway, found the tram in 1963 in a waste tip at Burlingjobb limestone quarry in Kington and recovered it and it has been part of the museum collection since then. The restoration work has been funded by the Prism Foundation, a fund for conserving important scientific items, with help from Herefordshire Council, the Friends of Hereford Museum and the Arts while Tarmac plc provided the limestone blocks from Dolyhir Quarry, one of the quarries originally served by the plate way.

The Kington Tram

Talking proverbs at Hereford Museum & Art Gallery
(The exhibition which avoids clichés like the plague?)

Have you ever 'taken a bull by the horns' or 'looked a gift horse in the mouth'? The rich oral tradition of proverbs in every culture gives a unique insight into commonly held values in a refreshing, poetic and often humorous way. . .

Big Fish eat Little Fish by Marjan Wouda.

Three artists, Shellie Byatt, Adrienne Craddock and Marjan Wouda have selected some of the most striking proverbs, celebrating them through the mediums of collage, print and sculpture, in a new exhibition Wagging Tongues: World Proverbs portrayed through Sculpture, Prints and Collage. You will find elephants, crows, fish and fanciful figures fabulously portrayed in a collection of images that takes you round the world to discover what granny would say in countries near and far in the exhibition at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday, 19th January until Wednesday, 5th March.

Shellie Byatt's unique and intricate paper collages visualizes the interaction of people and their relationships, often hinting at our hidden emotions. Adrienne Craddock's dramatic images display charismatic animals and figures. Sculptor Marjan Wouda evokes and questions deep human emotions using a range of materials and representations.

Visitors are invited to bring your own favourite proverb and enter it into a collection of 'People's Proverbs' touring with the exhibition. This exhibition, which has toured ten UK galleries since 2006, was listed in The Saturday Times as one of Rachel Campbell-Johnston's Top Five Gallery Exhibitions and listed as a 'Must See' - Artists and Illustrators Magazine (March 2006). It was also the inspiration for a production entitled 'The Journeyman' - A Proverbial Tale at Wakefield Theatre Royal in Spring 2007. Admission to Hereford Museum & Art Gallery is free with access for visitors with disabilities.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm. For more information please contact Peter Young, Museum Design & Display Officer, (01432) 383 592 or email:

The monkey smothers its young by hugging it too much by Marjan Wouda.

For every crow there is another by Adrienne Craddock.

Pride goes before a fall by Shellie Byatt.

Mozambique Farming display in Hereford Museum Community Cases

Elizabeth Drew has just returned from an exciting twelve months in Mozambique, on the East coast of Africa as part of the Voluntary Service Overseas Youth scheme. Photographs and artefacts from her time in Mozambique are on display in the community cases at Hereford Museum until Saturday, 1st March.

While in Mozambique, Elizabeth spent her time lending a hand to local farmers, setting up training schemes and learning all about the resources local people need to get the most from the land they farm. The VSO scheme sets out to work with the local farmers and their traditional knowledge rather than imposing western ideas onto them. Elizabeth feels her time in Mozambique was well spent and I am sure the people she worked with are pleased with the results too.

Community Heritage Officer Sarah Skelton said, 'Elizabeth's time in Mozambique can be an inspiration to us all. Over twelve months she learnt to live in a different culture and discovered how local people live off the land in a very different environment to that of Herefordshire.'

To find out more about Elizabeth's exciting adventure in Mozambique or to find out more about VSO schemes visit Hereford Museum and Art Gallery before 1st March.

Beer mat campaign launched to tackle underage drinking

Leominster and Area Drugs and Alcohol Forum are launching a hard hitting campaign to tackle underage drinking and anti social behaviour. A series of beer mats, featuring images of young people who are drunk, will be distributed through off licenses and alcohol retailers. It is hoped that not only will the beer mats have a practical use, but that their message will encourage people to think twice before supplying alcohol to under 18s.

The forum, run through Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership, has been concerned with the number of reports about young people in the area acting antisocially whilst under the influence of alcohol. It appears that the problem is being caused not only by under age people buying alcohol themselves, but also by adults who are buying alcohol for them.

The campaign comes on the back of Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership's recent 'Drunky Monkey' initiative and West Mercia Constabulary's Christmas Presence project, both of which encourage people across Herefordshire to drink sensibly both at Christmas and throughout the year.

According to the NHS Hospital Episodes Survey, the number of young people being treated for excessive drinking has increased dramatically over the last five years, as well as the number of alcohol related anti social behaviour issues reported to West Mercia Constabulary.

Geoff Hughes, Chair of Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership, said, 'Underage drinking is a problem that can have serious consequences for people in our communities. Under age drinkers can face serious health issues, as well as putting themselves and others at risk of accidents and injuries. The associated antisocial behaviour can also lead to noise and vandalism and can have a serious impact on the quality of life for local people. We want adults to realize that they have a crucial part to play in tackling this problem and taking responsibility for the welfare of young people and the community as a whole.'

To get involved in the forum, please contact Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership on 01432 383625 or any member of the Leominster area Local Policing Teams on 01432 346738 (Leominster Town North), 01432 346739 (Leominster Town South) or 01432 346720 (Leominster Rural). For more information, please contact Susanne Graham on 01432 260324, or Neil Tipton on 01432 347340.

Chance to learn bricklaying skills

Herefordshire Council's learning champions are running a workshop on Tuesday, 22nd January at Kingstone High School, teaching the basics of bricklaying.

The workshop will run from 10am to 3pm and learners will be taught how to build a brick wall correctly. People can then use these skills at home to build a garden wall or a brick barbecue.

Karan McKelvie, Herefordshire Council learning champion, said, 'Bricklaying is a very useful skill to have and hopefully people will find the workshop very rewarding.'

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Karan McKelvie on 07792 881071 or email

Make your first step to sustainability

Herefordshire residents are being urged not to make 2008 a 'rubbish' year but instead make a resolution, one step, that will really make a difference to their own and other people's lives. As part of Herefordshire Council's Steps to Sustainability campaign, residents are being urged to cut down the amount of waste they produce. Everyone can minimize their waste very simply by refusing excess packaging, preventing junk mail and of course reusing, recycling and composting.

We also tend to 'overbuy', particularly food, where it has been estimated that about one third of food purchased actually ends up in the bin! There are many more specific ways people can cut down waste and over the few months Herefordshire Council will be encouraging people to do this, and look at other issues that impact on the environment, the economy and health and well being.

The 'Steps to Sustainability' simple guide, available from the website and in leaflet form from Info Shops and council offices from the end of January, illustrates what the council is committed to doing to promote sustainability and tackle climate change.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment and Strategic Housing said, 'Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. It is embedded in the way we conduct our business and in our efforts to encourage others to adopt behaviours and actions that will also help. We are hoping that by reading the 'steps' guide people will identify what they can do to make a difference, and work with us to tackle some of the dilemmas that face society today.'

The council is currently reviewing its household waste strategy and will be consulting with householders over the next few months. For more information contact: the Sustainability Unit on 01432 261930 or email

Another step in the right direction

Had some Christmas presents you really didn't need, want or like? Don't know what to do with that too small sweater, too big slippers or that second copy of your favourite CD? It's sometimes easy to just throw such items away but, as we face an increasing problem of waste going to landfill, everyone needs to rethink their habits and commit to reducing the amount of waste produced by their households.

As part of Herefordshire Council's Steps to Sustainability campaign, county residents are being urged to take various steps towards reducing their impact on the planet, one step being cutting the amount of waste they produce. Unwanted presents may be just what someone else wants or desperately needs and people should consider giving them to charity shops or one of the many national and international campaigns which respond to crises in different parts of the world. This form of recycling can include new or used items and can be of immense benefit to individuals and organizations -- local, national and international.

As well as using these items directly, some are sold to raise money for the charity to provide a more needed commodity or fund research. The 'Steps to Sustainability' simple guide, available from the website and in leaflet form from Info Shops and council offices from the end of January, illustrates what the council is committed to doing to promote sustainability (reducing waste is just one issue) and tackle climate change. The website also has detailed information on recycling - where and what, including bring and household waste sites and kerbside collection.

For more information on the 'Steps to sustainability' campaign contact: the Sustainability Unit on 01432 261930 or email

Tree works at Dinedor Camp

For several days starting on Monday, 21st January, major tree work will be taking place at Dinedor Camp to remove and make safe some hazardous trees on the ramparts of the hill fort.

The work has been organized by Herefordshire Council's Parks, Countryside & Leisure Development Service with approval from the Parish Council and the Forestry Commission and will involve the felling or reduction of 18 mature beech trees, which are currently overhanging the Youth Camp and neighbouring houses. The trees, one of which fell down last summer, are rooted into the ramparts of the hill fort and so advice has also been sought from English Heritage who agree that this is the best way to ensure the safety of the visitors to the hill fort and prevent further damage to the important archaeology at the site.

Tim Green, countryside ranger said, 'These trees have been allowed to grow to maturity but have now become unstable due to their position on the ramparts of the hill fort. It is important that we remove these trees now to make the site as safe as possible for visitors and local residents, they will be replaced by natural regeneration of the woodland.'

The work is being undertaken by specialist local contractors Adrian Hope Tree Services who have many years experience of managing trees in difficult and sensitive locations. It is hoped that the work will be completed within seven days so as to cause the minimum amount of disruption to local residents and visitors to this popular local historic attraction.

Herefordshire must pull together to face education challenge,
says council leader

Herefordshire Council is seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister of State for Schools to press for fairer funding for education. Herefordshire consistently achieves high standards in its schools but receives one of the very worst levels of education funding in the country. Added to that is the extra cost of delivering services across a sparsely populated rural area, and the fact that Herefordshire is under pressure to reduce the number of schools if it wants to receive future funds under the government's Building Schools for the Future programme.

Leader of Herefordshire Council Roger Phillips has written to the county's two MPs - Bill Wiggin and Paul Keetch - to request their help in setting up a joint meeting with the government minister, including the council's cabinet member for children's services Councillor Jennifer Hyde and the director of children's services Sharon Menghini. The aim is that together they will put the case to government for fairer funding for Herefordshire.

The council is required to submit its schools review to the Department for Children, Schools and Families by 16 June 2008 and has embarked on a countywide consultation programme on proposals that could see 39 schools closed and 19 new schools created.

'Like everyone else, councillors were very concerned when they learned of the proposals in the schools review,' commented Councillor Roger Phillips. 'Council officers calculate that if the county does nothing then we will see 20 per cent of school places empty by 2012, which will severely reduce the grant we get from government for education. If Herefordshire undertakes its schools review successfully, then potentially many tens of millions of pounds will be made available from the government for new schools, refurbishment of existing schools and for improving the quality of education we can provide for our children. However, if our schools received the same level of funding per pupil as the average unitary council, we would receive an additional 7.5 million a year based on current pupil numbers. It would be easy but ultimately fruitless for Herefordshire's politicians to blame each other, but the truth is that due to falling school rolls everywhere, many local education authorities are currently going through the same process. The only way to arrive at the best solution for our children is by working together and acting together now to get a better deal from government.

In the meantime, the council's cabinet is tasking officers to provide detailed information on finance and school journey times. There is a period of consultation underway and no political decision has been made, or indeed can be made until the full facts are put before cabinet'.


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