Ross on Wye and the Wye Valley Home Page, Click here to watch high definition scenic video films of Ross-on-Wye, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.
The place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

>>> Continue to the next item >>>....... Bookmark and Share <<< Go to the latest Wyenot News Index Page <<<

Police in Ross are appealing for witnesses who may have seen a large stone being thrown through the front window of a public house in the town.

The incident happened at 4.15pm on Thursday 8th October 2009 when a black vehicle, possibly bearing the part-registration 'HJ……' pulled up outside the Riverside Inn in Wye Street. The vehicle contained at least two males. One of the males, dressed in a hooded top, got out of the vehicle and threw a large stone at a 10" x 18" front window, causing it to smash. The male then got back into the car, which drove off down Wye Street.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the incident or has information about it. Information should be passed to PC Chris Smith at Ross Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


Local band KRUNCH were on top form on Saturday evening as they treated a good audience to a great performance of classic covers ranging from Sandy Shaw to the Sex Pistols. Their versatile set includes the music of the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Dire Straits, Sandy Shaw, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzie. . . and soon, Paul Randell.

Paul has written many great songs, which sadly took a back seat whilst the present line up were getting a set together. After many successful gigs and building up a following the band are now ready to reintroduce some of these compositions and we shall hopefully be dancing to them again in the very near future.

KRUNCH always give a great performance and if you like to dance, they have to be one of the best bands to go and see. You'll probably find yourself saying, 'I'll just have a quick drink ..., well maybe after this song!' I always do.

Tina wrote that. I never dance! Alan :-)

KRUNCH gave a great performance on Saturday evening.

KRUNCH are a great band to dance to.


Ross-in-Bloom held their Annual Presentation Evening at the Phoenix Theatre on 4th October and over 60 invitees attended, who included major prizewinners and the supporters of the 2009 competition. This year there were 150 entries in the main competitions plus nearly 80 awards for Community Spirit. The prizes were presented by Heart of England in Bloom judge, Angela Pendleton, who had visited the town in the summer to judge the Neighbourhood entries.

The awards were presented as follows:

Children's Overall Winner: Adam Middlecote; Private Front Gardens - Safeways Cup, Vicki Tingle of 4, Three Crosses Road; Round Table Cup - Jules King of 3, Foxglove Close; Premier Plants Cup - Malcolm Powell of 1, Nursery Road; Golf Club Cup - Mr and Mrs Davies of 1, Lakeside Drive; Hotel & Caterers Cup - Jean and John Jenkins of 24, Tudor Rise; Midland Bank Cup - Jean Mullan of Stoney Stile, Chase View Road; Ross-in-Bloom Cup - Lyn Tomlinson of 4, Greytree Rise; Shawcross Cup - Angie Lukas of Berwyn, Hildersley.

The following were also awarded prizes but were unable to attend and will be able to collect their awards from the Heritage Centre: Pauline de Palma Cup - Mr Perks of 23, Cottage Park; Jacqui Danter Cup - Mrs M. Harrold of 10, Beechwood; Alan Blomfield of 1, Danum Road; Margaret Lucas Cup - Dee Preece of 21, The Crofts: Suzanne Scotford of 75, Tudor Rise and Mrs Wheeler of 10, Parsons Croft received awards for the best baskets, planters and containers. From all of the above Front Gardens and Containers Awards, Angie Lukas received the Wyevale Cup for the Best Overall Front Garden Displays.

The Best Traders window Award, the Leadership Trust Trophy went to Likes and the Mary Sinclair Powell Award for the Best Charity Window went to Oxfam.

The Commercial, Hotel and Guest House Categories winners were: Barclays Bank Shield - The Chase Hotel; Mary Dew Spoon - The White House; Lloyds Bank Shield - Growmaster Hydroponics. The King Charles II won the Jennings Salver for the Best Secret Garden, Nursery Road won the H. E. Phillips Award for the Best Street and Ross Court received the David Christopher Award for Conservation for their new Woodland Walk.

In the retired categories, the Lyn Tomlinson Award for the best Retired Front Garden was awarded to Jan Layton of 58 Goodrich Court (despite the theft of her hanging baskets) and the Mark Dew Shield for the Best Retired Community was awarded to Merton House. All award winners were also presented with a certificate by the Chairman of Ross-in-Bloom, Margaret Lucas.

During the evening the Carnival Princess, Phoebe Sleeman and Anne Gray, organizer of the Princess Competition, were presented with three new capes for the princess and her attendants to wear on the Carnival floats in the summer and at Christmas. Sue Holland of Ross-in-Bloom had made these capes in Red and Gold velvet material as a gift from Ross-in-Bloom to the Princess. The evening ended with the surprise presentation of the Jo Ashman Community Award to Sue Parker. She has worked very hard for the town during the past years with no expectation of rewards, Ross-in-Bloom were delighted to show their appreciation this year for all she does for the town and for Ross-in-Bloom, as well as other charities and groups.

Beautiful bouquets of flowers from Designer Flowers were presented to Angela Pendleton, Sue Holland and Margaret Lucas. Wine and chocolates (from Sweetest Memories) were also presented as a huge thank you for all the help and sponsorship given this year to Alison and Glyn Stephenson and their staff at Ross Garden Store.

Alan Wood of Wyenot received very special thanks for all he does for Ross-in-Bloom as well as promoting the town on his website for little or no reward. The photographs of the evening can be seen on and ordered direct from Alan.

There was also a small presentation of thanks to Mary Sinclair Powell who is stepping down from the judging and events this year after 12 years on the front line.


Nobody said that being a parent is easy. Having to balance work, the school run, keeping everybody happy and healthy, making sure the kids do their homework, monitoring their development and managing budgets during recession is difficult enough but parents often have to cope with challenging behaviour too. As society has changed, the support and advice passed down through extended families and generations hasn't always there for everyone. However, Herefordshire Council have now set up a new service and hundreds of parents across the county will be able to receive one-to-one or group support from a new team of fully qualified and experienced staff.

The new service, Herefordshire Parents Matter, will be launched during national parenting week which runs from 19th to 25th October and has been developed and funded by the government in a drive to support parents across the UK. Herefordshire Council's new team will provide parents with information on how they can promote their child's development and deal with commonly encountered behaviour issues, many of which are part of normal development but worrying to parents nevertheless.

Group and one-to-one programmes will be up and running from January 2010 in a number of venues across Herefordshire although support can also be offered in family homes. The programmes will be delivered through an approach known as Triple P which covers a range of subjects including; improving child and parent relationships, child development, dealing with poor self-esteem, techniques to use when things go wrong, boundary setting and routines. Dates and venues will be published on the council's web site. Parents can also email with any queries.

In the meantime, the team of parent support advisers will be out and about during national parenting week, handing out flyers and freebies and gathering contact details from parents who would like to get involved. They will be in Leominster and Ledbury on 19th October, in Hereford City centre on 20th October and Ross-on-Wye and Bromyard on 21st October.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, ' "We are delighted to be able to offer this new service which is about helping all parents across the county. It's an approach which aims to provide information and support for parents and help them deal with concerns before they become problems, which may affect the child or young person's well being.

Being a parent in the 21st century is by no means easy, and the launch of this new service should provide some much needed, additional support for Herefordshire parents and carers.'


Conservative parliamentary candidate, Jesse Norman has congratulated local firewood producers Certainly Wood on another year of rapid, eco-friendly growth. Jesse visited Certainly Wood last week and was taken around the company by George Snell, the Managing Director.

Firewood from thinning forests is a sustainable, carbon-neutral source of energy and Certainly Wood has grown rapidly to meet increased consumer demand. Having been set up some four years ago, it is now the largest supplier of kiln-dried firewood in the UK. The company recently doubled its kiln-drying capacity, using a new sealed-system technology fed by wood waste.

Commenting after the visit, Jesse said, 'In the depths of recession it is great to see another Herefordshire company growing fast and beating the odds. Especially when, like Certainly Wood, it is promoting sustainable, carbon-neutral alternatives to fossil fuels. There is so much talent in this county. We need to nurture it and help it to flourish.

Herefordshire's future lies in a diverse, sustainable and modern economic base for the 21st century, not the retail sheds and heavy industry of the West Midlands.'

Jesse with George Snell, Managing Director of Certainly Wood.


The AGM of Ross-in-Bloom was held on Sunday, 4th October, during which Treasurer, Jackie Bedford announced a very healthy bank balance of over £2,000. However, this would soon diminish when the Pigs Alley project started in mid-October as the anti graffiti paint costs nearly £500 per tin and 3 tins were needed to start the project off. The committee hoped that funds could be raised to continue with the project next year and were grateful to the traders who had donated the equipment needed.

Praise was given to the hard work carried out by everyone who had worked with Ross-in-Bloom this year. There had been a lot of volunteers who had come forward to take part in the Pigs Alley project. Ross Garden Store were major sponsors of Ross-in-Bloom this year and helped in so many ways; too many to mention them all but included prizes for the Children's Competition winners in each age group, vouchers for money off for all entrants in the local judging, support for the schools, donations of flowers for judging day when the Floral Society decorated the Royal Hotel and general all round support for the local competitions and events. Ross-in-Bloom are very grateful for all their help, especially as this year's judging would not have been able to take place without them.

There are always so many people to thank on such an occasion, which carries the risk of missing somebody out, but special mentions were made of the following: The Royal Hotel for hosting the Heart of England Judges and the display banners; Sweetest Memories for gifts; Designer Flowers for beautiful button holes; The Floral Society for lovely floral displays; Ross Photographic Society for being the official photographers of the gardens this year (it is hoped that some of their photographs will be on display in the Heritage Centre in May); Ross Town Council, the Police and the Mayor and Mayoress for their support with the Pigs Alley Project; Richard Mayo and ART who are working with Ross-in-Bloom to put Ross back on the map; Colemans for printing and other stationery needs; and Alan Wood for publicity; Steve Turner for delivering all of the certificates by hand around the town. Nearly 80 certificates of Community Spirit had been awarded this year with 26 other awards for gardens etc.

The following officers were re-elected for the coming year: Chairman - Margaret Lucas; Vice Chairman and PR - Lyn Tomlinson; Treasurer - Jacky Bedford; Minutes Secretary - Sue Parker; Retired co-ordinator - Peggy Luker; Neighbourhood Representative - Jan Layton; Child and Community Groups representative - Jules King; Sponsors representative and Schools Liaison representative - Alison Stephenson. Herefordshire and Wye Valley in Bloom representatives - Mary Sinclair Powell, Margaret Lucas and Lyn Tomlinson.

Ross-in-Bloom always need more volunteers, so if you have time to spare along with a specialist activity, skill etc. or if you can volunteer for some work later in the year, please contact Margaret Lucas. Ross-in-Bloom have a particular need for 3 or 4 people to take over the local judging and events. For the past 12 years these have been done by Mary Sinclair Powell, who has decided the time has come to step down. Mary will still sit on the general committee and represent Ross-in-Bloom in the county. She will also lend a hand for the Heart of England Judging. However, she will not longer be involved in the day to day local judging and fund raising events but is very willing to help anyone who takes over to ease into the posts. Volunteers for this post can again contact Margaret Lucas at Lucas Motorcycles.

Following this announcement, Margaret thanked Mary for all her hard work over the years and presented her with a card which was signed by everybody involved with Ross-in-Bloom.


An announcement made this week that government is to set up a new body to champion the interests of traditional local markets has been welcomed by Herefordshire Council. The announcement came from local government minister, Rosie Winterton, who said it was essential that traditional markets survive and highlighted their significant economic and social benefits.

Herefordshire Council actively supports local markets across the county and recently boosted the appeal of the weekly open market by allowing it to move into Commercial Street, in Hereford's city centre. The council is also keen to tap into the potential of the Butter Market, in Hereford's High Town, and has carried out extensive consultation to determine what kind of market traders and shoppers want in the prestigious city centre venue.

When she made her announcement, Rosie Winterton said that local markets are part of our heritage, and that they bring communities together. 'Some traditional markets even date back to medieval times and are the reason why many of our towns exist,' she said. 'Markets also play a vital economic role in the local community, providing jobs and business start-up opportunities, offering cheaper produce and attracting shoppers into the town centre.'

Speaking after the announcement, Councillor Adrian Blackshaw said, 'We are delighted with the news. The relocated Open Market is settling down in its new city centre location, while the Butter Market and our local farmers' markets also bring considerable economic and social benefits to Herefordshire. We will also continue to provide speciality markets such as our Victorian Markets, our Antiques and Collectables and our Garden Markets.

Internet shopping and the current economic climate have made life more difficult for markets, but they still have the potential to survive and thrive and add colour to our city. We therefore owe it to Herefordshire to promote them. The announcement of a national body to champion traditional markets will raise their profile and ensure that the industry has a voice across government policy. This has got to be good news.'

Wyenot News comment:

Herefordshire Council ''allowed' the weekly open market to move into Commercial Street' to free up its previous site at the Livestock Market to develop the land for the ESG. Apparently, council's can also have an ancient charter dating back to the 1500s overturned if they see fit. Once market traders ourselves, we found the only 'encouragement' we received from Herefordshire Council was to cough up the rent, which was often more than we took, for the small piece of ground we stood on. However, recently, Herefordshire Council have invited new market traders, offering help and advice, gazebo's and stalls. I'm sure that the governments plan to set up a new body to champion the interests of traditional local markets has absolutely nothing to do with this newly offered assistance.


Herefordshire residents are being urged to 'rethink your drink' during Alcohol Awareness Week, which began on Monday, 19th October. Safer Herefordshire has developed a hard hitting poster campaign, which complements the current Government one, and simply asks the question, 'You wouldn't start a night like this, so why end it that way?'

The campaign attempts to challenge the attitudes around the acceptability of drunken behaviour amongst 18 - 25 year olds, with the long term aim being to change drinking behaviour and ultimately reduce alcohol related harm and antisocial behaviour. The campaign doesn't aim to tell people not to drink, but to simply think of the possible consequences of when they do drink. It's all about staying safe, whilst having a good time.

A good way of assessing and controlling the amount you drink is by keeping a weekly drink diary, which allows you to total up your weekly units and have alcohol free days too. Over a quarter of the population in England (10 million adults) drink above the guidelines for lower risk drinking. Of these, 2.6 million adults (8% of men and 6% of women) regularly drink at higher risk levels. The recommended lower risk drinking limit for men is 3 - 4 units per day (two pints / two cans of normal strength lager or beer) and 2 - 3 units per day for women (a large glass of wine / three single measures of spirits). Drinking above these levels can increase your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, liver disease, stroke and other diseases. It can also impact on your ability to get a good night's sleep and affect your general day-to-day health.

Jane Rose, Safer Herefordshire Manager said, 'We're always behind these alcohol awareness campaigns, because alcohol is one of the leading causes of health problems in the UK. It's so easy to get into a routine of regularly drinking above the lower risk guidelines, without even realizing you might be putting your health at risk. By keeping a weekly drink diary, you'll be able to see exactly how much you're drinking and it can often be a big surprise. It can really make you stop and think about whether you ought to be cutting back and Alcohol Awareness Week is the perfect time to give it a go.'

Top 10 Tips to 'rethink your drink':

1. Decide on your ultimate goal. Do you want to cut down to a set daily amount? Maybe you want to avoid binge drinking? Or perhaps you would like to give up alcohol altogether?
2. Pick a day next week to start cutting down. Go for a day when you are less likely to be under pressure, so it's easier to avoid alcohol.
3. Keep a drink diary. Writing this on a regular basis will help you to work out how much you're actually drinking.
4. Work out how you can avoid situations which you know will encourage you to drink. For example, if you're going out with friends suggest the cinema instead of the pub.
5. Pace yourself. Try drinking each drink more slowly or alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water.
6. Find something else to do while you drink, like playing pool or dancing. This will take your mind off your drink and help you slow down.
7. Get out of the habit of drinking because you are stressed or have nothing else to do. Look for other ways to relax. Activities like swimming or walking will make you feel better and don't involve alcohol.
8. Take stock of your progress and make sure you give yourself credit where it's due for your achievements so far. This will help you keep going towards achieving your target goal.
9. Try to have at least two alcohol-free days a week. Choose days when you're less likely to be in situations where you would usually drink alcohol. Always give your body a 48 hour break from booze if you do drink too much in one session.
10. Don't give up! Changing a habit like drinking takes time and hard work, and sometimes it's difficult to drink less. Focus on what you've achieved so far and reward yourself when you have met your drinking targets. If you do relapse, don't stop, just set a new date to start cutting down again.

Here's a handy guide to the unit strengths of some common drinks: Wine - 175ml glass (12%) 2.1 units, Wine - 750ml bottle (13.5%), 10 units Beer / lager - pint (4%) 2.3 units, Strong cider - 440ml can (9%) 4 units, Alcopops - 275ml bottle (5%) 1.4 units, Spirits (vodka / gin) - 25ml single (40%) 1 unit.


Ross Pre-school playgroup are doing their bit for the Breast Cancer Appeal by holding a 'Pink Week.'

On Monday, everybody got dressed up in pink and a whole host of pink themes activities have been arranged for the week.

The children are in for a fun packed week as they will be making and icing pink cakes, creating pig masks and having a whole lot of fun with marshmallows.

Iris Price of Ross Pre-school Playgroup sen tus this lovely photograph of all the children and staff dressed in pink.


Herefordshire Council's cultural services team will be at the Maylord Orchards shopping centre on Monday, 26th October to showcase their activities across the county. Everybody is invited to come along and find out what's going on, what's coming up, and how they can get involved in the arts, libraries, museums, learning and sports, wherever they live. They can also find out about volunteering opportunities for young people from the 'V' team.

The road show, which runs from 10am until 3.30pm, will include hands-on activities with items from the museums' handling collection and The Flying Potter will be running drop in sessions for people of all ages throughout the day. A goody bag with colourful, fun promotional gifts will be handed out to anybody who fills in a short questionnaire on the day.

The Cultural Road show will visit various locations and events throughout 2009 and 2010. If you would like further information, please telephone Abbie Mason, Cultural Services Co-ordination Officer, on 01432 261549 or e-mail


Herefordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a road traffic collision in Wigmore claimed the lives of two men.

The incident happened on the A4110 Wigmore to Adforton road, just north of Wigmore at around 7.30pm on Friday, 16th October. It appears that a blue Nissan Almera was travelling north from Wigmore when it was involved in a head-on collision with a blue Mercedes E300 that was travelling in the opposite direction. The drivers of both vehicles were pronounced dead at the scene. No other persons were involved or injured.

The driver of the Nissan has been named as 18 years old Lewis Mather, of Adforton. The driver of the Mercedes has been named as Christian Baker, of Bucknell, aged 46 years. Post mortem examinations are due to take place early this week and the Coroner has been informed. It is expected that an inquest into the deaths will be opened and adjourned later this week, whilst police continue their enquiries.

At this stage the exact cause of the collision is unclear. Police collision investigators were called to the scene to try and determine the cause of the collision and as a result, the road was closed for several hours. Police are also keen to hear from any witnesses who may have seen the vehicles immediately before the crash.

Anybody with any information should contact PC Steve Wood of the Roads Policing Team based at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000.


Herefordshire Council has confirmed it will continue to invest in an enhanced higher education facility for Hereford. An alliance of higher education partners has already allocated around £3 million to enhance opportunities and skills levels in the county. Herefordshire had joined with the University of Worcester and other partners, known as Higher Education for Herefordshire (HE4H), to try to secure additional funding for a higher education 'gateway', which could be sited on the ESG development area of the city. But the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has rejected 17 out of 23 bids from across the UK in the national New University Challenge programme, including Herefordshire, which does not yet have the 'critical mass' or large enough population base. Now the council will continue to work with local partners to secure alternative funding.

The cabinet has already approved the allocation of council-owned land worth £1.2 million to the scheme and would like the new facility to be built on the ESG development between the new leisure and retail quarter on the old livestock market, and the new urban village in Hereford. The county excels in areas such as creative industries, information technology, health, education, sports and outdoor adventure, business and management.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw pointed out that Herefordshire was awarded enterprise capital of the West Midlands and that the University Challenge programme was just one of several possible funding streams. 'We remain fiercely committed to providing, here in Hereford, enhanced higher education opportunities, particularly for the talented young people who leave our successful schools and would otherwise move outside of the county, perhaps never to return, ' he said. 'One of the challenges facing Herefordshire's resurgence from the recession is ensuring that we have the right skills base to make the city attractive to enterprises already here or thinking of locating to Hereford. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure we meet that challenge.'

Improved higher education in the city and market towns also makes education more affordable for local young people and also for mature members of the community that want the chance to acquire new skills. The HE4H bid also included representation from Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire, local further education establishments, the Open University and surrounding universities operating in Herefordshire, the Bulmer Foundation, the Lifelong Learning Network, the Learning and Skills Council, the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, ESG Ltd., the Robert Owen Society, the Royal National College for the Blind, Advantage West Midlands, Government Office West Midlands and the University of Worcester.

'We already have excellent local colleges with modern facilities but there is widespread interest and support in developing further the higher education offering in Herefordshire,' added Councillor Blackshaw, 'and this is very much part of our vision for a prosperous and enterprising county.'


Herefordshire's groundbreaking public services partnership has 'gone live' on the integration of systems across all of its environment and regeneration services - one of the largest programmes of its kind. This means that services ranging from community protection to planning can readily and securely share information and knowledge to deliver services seamlessly to local people.

Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire were the first local authorities and primary care trusts to create a single management team and integrate services. Now its Herefordshire Connects transformation programme has delivered a new Integrated Environment and Regeneration System (IERS) with software provider Civica. It is the largest and most significant project ever undertaken by Civica in 20 years and in any of its 220 public sector customers in the UK. IERS has replaced outdated environment and regeneration systems with a single, more efficient system to improve the operation, managing and monitoring of a wide range of relevant services.

This is streamlining the delivery of waste management, planning, environmental health, trading standards, licensing, building controls, conservation and housing, among other services, for the benefit and protection of local residents, consumers, businesses and the environment. The next step is to integrate the IERS system with Herefordshire's customer relationship management (CRM) system, which itself was significantly updated earlier this year to help customer services staff accurately log, handle and resolve the public's telephone calls or emails quickly.

'Herefordshire is driving through significant change across a number of public sector organizations, including the sharing of services to make efficiencies so that we can safeguard front-line services,' said Annie Faulder, interim deputy chief executive for Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire. 'But our vision is to dramatically improve services too, and achieve a much better experience of those services for the people who receive them. We are securing all customer information in one central database, so that local people need only tell us once about a problem that concerns them. This will enable public service teams to work together in partnership more effectively in tackling specific problems. The new way of working will cut red tape, paperwork and time spent on administration to help us to use resources more effectively - it will make us easier to deal with, and more responsive to local needs.'

Managers across the primary care trust and the council have been getting their first taste of the new Performance Management and Risk (PMR) system - another in the suite of Herefordshire Connects transformation projects. Its aim is to help build an integrated performance management culture across the organizations Herefordshire's new social care case management system was delivered by the Herefordshire Connects programme as planned in November last year and is now being used by almost 400 social care professionals to underpin their daily work.

The new system provides access to up-to-date and comprehensive information, helping them to make good decisions in the best interests of service users. Herefordshire Connects, working with Herefordshire Council's strategic advisor Deloitte, aims to improve performance and services, provide enhanced support for staff, and is expected to save £1.2 million in the current and next financial year, with an ongoing £2 million saving a year after that.

>>> Continue to the next item >>>....... Bookmark and Share <<< Go to the latest Wyenot News Index Page <<<


Photography, video and web design copyright © Alan J. Wood, All rights reserved.