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LETTERS 2009   Home PageAccommodation in and around Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Pubs in and around Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Dining Out in and around Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Shops and shopping in and around Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Find a local business in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Activities and entertainment in and around Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.Television news for Ross-on-Wye.

If you would like to have a letter published on this page of 'Wyenot News', whatever the subject - maybe you are trying to trace a long lost friend or family member - maybe you want to moan about something in Ross or even say that you like something in Ross - whatever the subject, email: alan@wyenot.com.
Genealogists: Please note that I cannot personally get involved, or even the slightest bit interested in genealogy enquiries. I always fall asleep before getting to the end of the first paragraph of genealogy enquiries - even about my own family. All I can do is publish your letter of enquiry and wait for somebody to reply, so please make your enquiry brief.


Happy New Year to Herefordians everywhere. Christmas and the turn of the New Year are a time for celebration with family and friends. But we should also remember the many brave servicemen and women who are working to bring peace in other countries and far from their own families.

I sent off a box of Christmas goodies for 3 Rifles Forward Operating Base Jackson in Afghanistan in early December, and only hope it got there in time. Our troops massively appreciate support from home, and we should do everything we can to support them.

We should also spare a thought for the police, fire service and medical staff, and of course the clergy and local volunteers, who are working so hard to look after us over the holiday period.

This past year has had many highlights for me. They include organising the countywide campaign to Support Our Small Shops, with almost 1,000 local residents contributing to a Directory of Small Shops to encourage people to shop locally.

And just before Christmas we put together a Winter Supper which raised nearly £10,000 for a new community youth theatre in Hereford City. Building starts in the New Year, which is very exciting.

Nationally, let us hope that 2010 brings change and renewal. But for now, let's count our blessings -- and remember to cherish our families and this glorious county of Herefordshire. As always, if anyone would like my help with an issue or problem, please just let me know. Have a very Happy New Year.



Hi Alan,

Just a quick note to say keep up the good work with the website. I, like many others, check it every week to keep up with news and events in and around Ross and your dedication to this important community asset without doubt helps to ensure the continued prosperity of this wonderful town.

Sharon and I wish you and Tina a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

All the best!

Andy Waldis

Thank you Andy and Sharon. It's a pleasure and we intend to keep up working on Wyenot. I am still slowly moving away from some of the less interesting news items and pushing more towards promoting the whole area as a tourism destination - particularly with video. We will continue to cover the important news though and wish you, along with all of our readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year!.

9th December 2009: FLOOD FILM THANK YOU

Hi Alan,

Absolutely loved your filming of the flooded Wye and surroundings. Thanks for sharing!!


Thank you Therese, I'm pleased that you enjoyed it and it is nice when local people actually mention these things. I do get lots of feedback from the short films I make for Wyenot but only extremely rarely does this come from local people. It is good to get some local feedback. Making local films is the part of maintaining 'Wyenot' that I really enjoy. All or our local time-lapse and short films are also available to watch on both You Tube and Vimeo.


Dear Alan and Tina,

On behalf of Ross on Wye Town Council I would like to thank everyone who has made the Christmas lights such a success this year. The atmosphere in the town at the celebration event on Saturday was really exciting and even the weather was kind (for most of the afternoon). Special thanks are due to:

1. all the traders who have made such a magnificent effort this year to put up trees and lights above their shops
2. St Mary’s for the Christmas Tree Festival and all the stall holders on the High Street
3. Voice Squad, the Larruperz pantomime, the organ grinder and the Town Band for their musical contributions
4. Aston University for building Rudolph the LED-nosed reindeer and bringing him to Ross
5. Wye Valley AONB for funding the energy efficiency drive and Marches Energy Agency’s visit. Over 300 people visited the Light Fantastic exhibition in the High Street to receive their free energy efficient light bulb and information about home energy saving.
6. Last but by no means least, Rachel Lewis, the Deputy Town Clerk, for all the work she put in organising the events.

If you missed Rudolph and the Light Fantastic event, never fear, they are returning to Tudorville on the morning of Saturday, 12th December and Three Crosses that afternoon.

The Christmas lights in Ross this year are saving so much energy that about one tonne of carbon emissions are being avoided over the Christmas period. But, as a town, we can save energy in other ways as well. One important way to save petrol is to shop local - by doing your Christmas shopping in Ross this year you will be doing the planet a favour, saving petrol money and supporting your local community.

Don’t forget the Christmas Shopping Extravaganza on Sunday, 6th December, 10.00am - 4.00pm!

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Jane Roberts


Hi Alan,

I’ve just viewed your 3 pictures of the rising water level of the river Wye from Nov 25. I really like these pictures because I can use them to show people how the river rises and floods. When you see pictures of floods you never get a real a perspective of how much the water has risen this sequence shows that.

Thanks for all the news from around Ross. As an ex resident now living in Edmonton, Canada, it’s nice to keep up on the goings on.

Suzanne Adams

Thank you Suzanne. I'm pleased that you find the service useful.


Hi Alan,

In view of the bridges collapsing in Cumbria, they were all modern from what I could see and not arched bridges like wilton which has stood the test of time. I trust the old bridge as it has seen far worse flooding than this.


Mike Barnard

Thank you for your comments Mike. It seems that Herefordshire Council are taking this matter seriously and have sent us a news item about it, which can be seen in this week's News from Ross and around the region.

2nd December 2009: REPLY TO RICKY'S RANT


Ref Ricky's rant

1. I think he'll find it is called Copse Cross Street.
2. Has he ever sat at traffic lights for 2 minutes? How long a queue do you think would build up at peak times in 2 minutes and how many people would sit for two minutes when there is no traffic about?

This truly is a rant and not a reasoned argument.


Robin Shaw

My apologies for not publishing this last week when you sent it Robin. I have to be honest and say that I forgot.


Hi Alan,

Have you or any of your readers considered, in view of what has happened in Cumbria, the stability of Wilton Bridge (or any other historic arched bridge in the area). How do we know they are safe - I am now skirting the town by using the dual carriageway to approach Ross from the Gloucester side now.

As I understand it from listening to Jeremy Vine show on the radio today, it has something to do with the river bed being washed away by turbulent currents at the base of the pillars and is called scouring, I think. This weakens the pillar in the centre of the river hence it collapses from the centre. It would be good to know if the local authorities are aware of this and if they are monitoring the local bridges.

Name and address supplied

The sender of the above does not wish to be identified but is not the only person who has mentioned this to me - others have expressed similar concerns verbally.

Personally, I feel quite safe standing on Wilton Bridge as the water levels rise regularly, several times per year and the bridge has stood for centuries. However, maybe in light of the incident in Cumbria, this should be considered and an inspection made.

25th November 2009: THE WAR MEMORIAL


Just an aside re the War Memorial and I am probably being picky but in Mr Armand’s letter it states that Herefordshire Council paid for the refurbishment when actually the refurbishment was paid for by the Town Council with the help of a grant from the War Memorial Trust. Not sure whether you can add a note to the letter.


Name and address supplied

(Although the sender did sign the above email, I have not published a name because I was uncertain whether he/she minded being identified and erred on the side of caution.)

Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right and certainly not being 'picky'. I am sure that this was simply a misunderstanding on behalf of the writer.

18th November 2009: RICKY'S RANT

Traffic Lights

Every Day people complain about the congestion in Corpse Cross Street, where you have to take it in turns to allow traffic through. This is becoming a great congestion problem and a nuisance for the people of Ross on Wye. As this happens in Corpse Cross Street the traffic queues up to The Chase Hotel and to the Prince of Wales Pub and at 08.30 in the morning, and at 3.30 in the afternoon when schools are finishing it mounts up.

My solution is to introduce traffic lights outside Timpson's watch repairers and at the top of Corpse Cross Street, giving each queue 2 minutes to pass and clear the roads.

Ricky Barlow

Chair and Founder of Ross Youth Forum

17th November 2009: WYE VALLEY VIDEOS?


I am a retiree .. and a great friend of mine is a Welshman -- a Spit fighter Pilot who (among other places) patrolled the North Atlantic out of Sumburgh in the Shetlands. Anyway, I watched a stunning (to my photographer eyes) BBC product entitled Wye: Voices from the Valley as broadcast on broadcast on our TVO (Ontario's public TV). My Spit friend missed this emission and I see no trace of it as a purchasable DVD.

Next I found your own gorgeous HD on the Wye (my wife and I have been to Hay-On-Wye!). But I doubt that I can download to my iPod Touch (not Apple format). You see, my friend does not have an Internet connection. He does have a DVD. I have played Volvo Ocean race iTunes programs for him, on the iPod 's 3 " screen mounted to my tripod!

1: Any idea where to find a copy of the BBC program?
2: Anyway to get portable copy of your shorts -- for a PC ?

Howard Leigh,Ottawa

Thank you for your comments. 'Voices of the Wye' is an excellent film, covering our good friends at Ross Cider but you would have to contact the BBC to find out whether or not it is available on DVD, I'm afraid.

I am hoping to release my own short films, plus more material on DVD for about next April. I say, 'hoping' because the cost of the initial bulk DVD run is very high (doubt I'll get much change from £1,000) and I want to be sure that I will be able to sell them as I cannot afford to spend the money if there is little interest. I am pretty sure they will sell but I'm just nervous. If / when they become available, I will sell them by post from Wyenot, as well as at local outlets.

In the mean time, you may be able to stream them to an iPod or whatever (I'm not at all into phone and music type gadgets I'm afraid, so I don't know for sure) from my You Tube Channel: I did allow TV and mobile device access when uploading the films - I just have no technical knowledge in the mobile device field.

I hope this helps.


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17th November 2009: WAR MEMORIAL CLEAN-UP

Dear Alan,

Here is a photo of the War Memorial at the Prospect with Councillor Gordon Lucas after it had been refurbished and cleaned. The work was done at the beginning of November and was ready for this year's Sunday Remembrance service.

The memorial was repositioned in November 2008 following the collapse of the 18th century wall which divides St. Mary's cemetery and the Prospect during heavy storms in the summer of 2007. Later an archaeological survey revealed ancient Roman remains under the original site.

The refurbishment included cleaning by high pressure hosing of the granite monument and repainting of the the inscriptions and lettering. This work was carried out to a very high standard by specialist contractor Nigel Cave of Monmouth Monuments.

Councillor Gordon Lucas was mainly responsible for the progress of this project which was paid for by the Herefordshire Council. This is the first time the Prospect memorial has been spruced up since it was built and dedicated just after the First World War in 1920. I think the people of Ross will be very proud of their newly refurbished and re-sited memorial.

Finally it is worth pointing out that this memorial is the second one in Ross which has been which smartened up lately; the other one being at Greytree Avenue which was rededicated last year. I doubt if there's anywhere else in the UK where this has happened. Some sort of record perhaps?

Gordon Amand ( Imperial War Museum / UK National Inventory of War Memorials)

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Gordon Lucal by the refurbished war memorial.


Dear Alan,

Now that the dust has settled and we have had time to get our breath back after the walking festival, I am writing to you to say a very big "Thank-you" to you for the support you have given to the Ross Walkers are Welcome Group. Your help during the period when we were working towards Walkers are Welcome accreditation and the walking festival was greatly appreciated. The links between our websites and the publicity you gave us on Wyenot.com was truly invaluable.

The first Ross Walking Festival was a success with 88 walkers booked on the walks. This was a very good figure for a first festival, especially when we consider the time available to plan and prepare for it. All the visitors from outside Ross said they would like to return. It is now up to us to make sure that they do and they bring families and friends with them.

Our Committee has met and we have chosen the dates for the 2010 Festival. They are Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October. I hope we can count on your continued help in making next year's event much bigger and better.

Best wishes to you and Wyenot.com .

Yours sincerely,

Sam Phillips. Chairman, Ross-on-Wye Walkers are Welcome Group.

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Dear Sir,

West Mercia Police will shortly be launching its Halloween safety campaign and I would like to ask for your help. We want all those who wish to celebrate Halloween to have an enjoyable and safe experience and to ensure those who do not wish to participate in the tradition of Trick or Treat have the opportunity to make their views known in a polite and clear way.

With this in mind, the force has produced a poster designed to be stuck in windows and doors, making it clear that Trick or Treat is not welcome. Attached is a copy of the artwork. Would it possible for you to find a space in your publication to make the image available to your readers?

Over the last couple of years, many of you have helped us with this initiative, and your support has been invaluable to its success. A series of press releases will also be issued in the coming weeks. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this campaign please call me on 01905 331663.

Many thanks for your continued support for West Mercia Police and in particular for this latest crime prevention initiative.

Kind regards,

Rachel Anstee (Deputy Media Communications Manager)

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Dear Sir,

The Carnival Committee would like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who took part in this year's rain soaked carnival. The committee spend a long time planning the carnival, but unfortunately we can't plan the weather. However a big thank you goes to all the people on the floats, all the stall holders and everybody who lined the streets and joined the fun on the Carnival Field and to the big red bus who came to the aid of many - thank you.

Thanks must also go to the Police for helping the procession through the streets and to the Fire Brigade for making sure that if the rain didn't get you, then they would. Thanks to Colin's Tyrecare for arranging the display of vintage motor vehicles and to everybody who brought along a vehicle on the day; to the dancers who would not let a bit of rain spoil there chance of performing in front of the big crowd who had gathered on the field; to Gwalia for the use of your vehicle to help move equipment on the day and to Ross Town Council for the grant towards the cost of the carnival.

Thanks also go to Wyenot.com and the Ross Gazette for all their coverage before, during and after the event and to Alan and Tina for another excellent copy of the carnival programme.

Unfortunately, due to the flooding, the fair wasn't present and therefore the usual grant of £500 from Herefordshire Council could not be paid. This has, of course left the carnival out of pocket and the committee have some difficult decisions to make for next year's event. The committee are always glad of donations to help put on the carnival, and if you can help in this way towards next year's carnival, please contact a member of the committee who will be more than happy to talk to you.

To help with the costs of the 2010 carnival, the committee will be holding a Christmas Bingo Night. Prizes are currently being sought and further details will be announced when a date has been fixed. (Watch this space!)

One observation that appeared in the press that I would like to comment on was signage in Wye Street. Due to short notice of the change of venue, at 5am on Carnival Day I was writing signs out and at 5:30am I was putting them up in Wye Street to tell people about the change of venue. I had hoped to find time to check that the signs were still up later in the day, but due to there being very few committee members and a lot to do on the day, we did not have the time to go back and check. If we had more people to help, so much more could be done.

Ross Town Carnival 2010 will take place on Saturday, 7th August on the Ropewalk.

Yours sincerely,


Mel Hodges
Carnival Chairman

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30th September 2009: ROSS IN BLOOM 2010

Dear Sir,

Ross-in-Bloom held their last meeting for the season this week and many decisions were made about which we promised to keep the public informed. I would very much like to do this through your pages if possible.

The Guides will be celebrating their Centenary in 2010 in Ross, so the colours we have chosen for next year's displays with be Pinks Blues and Yellows, in keeping with their colour scheme for the year. We are delighted to be working with a group such as the Guides for the coming year and we will be able to use this amalgamation of groups for the "Know Your Roots" theme.

During their visit the Heart of England in Bloom Judges remarked how dreadful the benches had become in the Crossfields area of the town. We are hoping that next year we may be able to work with Amey Wye Valley to perhaps rectifying this problem. We thought that maybe if anyone was looking to have a commemorative bench they might like to let us know and we will approach Amey to see if this could be included as part of their annual schemes of refurbishment etc.

The dates to start the clean up of Pigs Alley are Saturday, 17th and Sunday, 18th October. If anyone is interested in lending a hand for this very important work please could you leave your details with me and I will get back to you with times etc.. We are hoping that we can get all this initial work done swiftly so we can perhaps do the painting etc during Half Term week. Under 16's who would like to help will need to be accompanied. However all ages and abilities are welcome to contact me as soon as possible. There will be a job for everyone.

Thank you for all your help in anticipation of a long awaited job well done. You can contact me at Lucas Motorcycles in Brookend Street. Margaret Lucas,
Chairman, Ross-in-Bloom.

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25th September 2009: A JAMSTAND THANK YOU

First of all, I would like to apologize for the very late publishing of this letter. It was actually sent to us about two weeks ago. There was a technical problem however and the electronic file would not read on our computers:

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the time to publicly thank everyone who came down to Jamstand Festival on the 7th an 8th August. Somehow the weather shone done on the town for what seems like the only two days in this mainly overcast summer we have been having!

Putting on the festival was a very long and hard struggle to get everything in place to go ahead - being the funding, emergency planning, advertising and having all of the public safety in place etc. However after personally being on stage and seeing the thousands (but let me stress not over 5000 at any one time in case any one in particular who may be reading this is concerned about numbers!) of residents of Ross-on-Wye and Herefordshire all come down together, smiling and having a fantastic weekend of free entertainment, I must say it was well worth the effort.

However, this was not a solo effort - I could not have pulled Jamstand 2009 off without the help of an incredible team of local friends who were, again, putting the work in for free.

I must say thank you to all of the staff involved in the festival and maintaining a smooth and successful running without any disasters or mishaps, though a special thank-you goes out to some particular people - Pippa Drake-Lee, Nathan Scott, Marie Fulwood, Clyde and Jody Hoare, Tim Baldus, Chris Batrum and last but no means least, Alan and Tina from wyenot.com. The help of these local residents was flawless and immensely appreciated by myself and I am sure the whole town.

With running the risk of sounding like an Oscar award-winning speech, I would like to continue to thank the sponsors who made Jamstand 2009 financially possible: Ross Town Council, Herefordshire Youth Opportunities, The Princes Trust, Ross Rotary Club, Ross Lions Club, Balthasar Consulting Brandon Tool Hire, Ermin Plant, Shawcross Solicitors, Crows Feet, Trivett Hicks, Wyetots Child Care, The Kings Head Hotel, The Royal Hotel, Orles Barn, Linden Guest House, White House Guest House, AJ Lowther and Sons, Truffles, Radcliffe House, Carpets, Field Fayre, Pye Powder, Stella by Starlight, Ross music Box, Wye Electrical Services, Bamboozled, Sweetest Memories, The Bridge House. Jamstand 2009 was a massive success.

Thank you to everyone who supported it and made it happen, and let this free festival for the town continue to grow and make it an annual feature which Ross-on-Wye can be proud of!

A debrief is to be held soon with the district council and authorities to review how the festival can be improved, and I can assure you that Jamstand 2010 will be back next summer, and I hope you all can come down to the river and have another unforgettable weekend!

Many thanks,

Jack Baldus

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17th September 2009: LOCAL MERRYMAKING

Dear Sir,

I feel I must write to complain in the strongest terms about the recent Cider festival held at Broome farm. It was a disgrace. My current goat and I were kept awake until well after 9 p.m by the sounds of merry making and general tomfoolery (actually General Tom Foolery was an old army pal of mine, fine soldier, fine fellow…………….but I digress…) as I say, merrymaking and tomfoolery, …and it simply isn't good enough. There were even reports of brazen hussies cavorting stark boll……well…..perhaps that is not the appropriate word…..well, anyway totally stark naked, in the orchard. I find that quite disgusting and unacceptable.

My shock on hearing of this was so great that I fell from my bedroom window and landed in a pyrocanthus, causing severe lacerations to part of my anatomy. It simply will not do. (Incidentally do you know of an establishment in Ross that repairs binoculars?)

I have also been informed that many of those present commenced urinating into the streams, making the water approximately 7% proof, a pollution that eventually feeds into the River Wye, with disastrous effects on the local flora and fauna. Only yesterday I saw a single pike do a double Pike, and start a fight with a totally innocent passing crayfish. (Not to mention the Heron hanging upside down from the bridge near The White Lion, claiming to be a giant Bat.)

This morning I caught and ate a trout; shortly after which I was stopped by the police ………………………..and failed a breathalyser; disgraceful! I explained to one of the two officers on the bicycle that I was merely a victim of circumstance, but he simply ignored me; Bloody "jobs worth."

I trust you will see that this reaches the appropriate authorities; I must go now as it is the goat's turn to wear the nightdress.

Yours indignantly,

Major D. Saster.
D.S.O., Bar, and snooker room.

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What a splendid turnout to the inaugural meeting of the Ross Independent Business Action Group (temporary working title). I would like to thank everyone who attended, for what turned out to be a really good meeting with lots of positive ideas and feedback.

With representatives not just from the shops of the town but also from all kinds of different groups who obviously feel just as passionate about keeping this lovely town of ours on the up, as I do. Good to see that despite the recession and a wash out of a summer there is still a bit of passion about. Being elected chairman was a surprise to say the least, but I am really looking forward to helping push Ross forward in a way which I think will benefit everyone.

Since the meeting many people have been asking me what can actually be done to help improve the town and trade, which are two things which obviously go hand in hand. Although we haven't had our first proper meeting yet to decide on objectives and aims of the group, I thought I would let everyone know my feelings and the way I am hoping to lead the group. The one thing I don't want is a council bashing group, I don't doubt that Ross council has the best interests of Ross at heart and with their limited powers and resources, I am sure they do the best they can, that is not to say that we shouldn't hold the council to account and be actively involved when they have to make major decisions which affect the town. But as a group we need to see what we can do for ourselves instead of relying on everyone else to sort out some of the problems that we all know Ross has. It may mean as a business spending some money or putting in some time but if we all work together I firmly believe we can make a big difference. One of the first things I am trying to achieve is a working Email list of all independent businesses in Ross, so everyone can be kept in touch with what is going on within the group.

If you didn't attend the meeting last week or have not seen me please send me a contact Email to me (Richard@trufflesdeli.co.uk), even if you don't want to be involved in what were doing surely it's better to be kept in touch. There are several areas where I believe a group like ours could have a positive effect or influence; these include free town parking, floral displays and hanging baskets, Christmas lights, the Ryder cup, and general town promotion and cleanliness. There are some very exciting and more importantly achievable ideas coming forward. These also include the idea of a South American style fiesta, which could be very beneficial to the town as a whole. Imagine the smell of Coffee, Tango, Chillis, flags, donkeys, fair-trade, sombrous, chocolate, live music, and maybe even a bit of sunshine.

Ross Market used to be bustling, Ross used to be the centre of tourism in Herefordshire, Ross used to have more shops, Ross used to Ross used to Ross used to. Lets make now a time people talk about in the future. I firmly believe that if you make a town look and feel more prosperous then it will affect the shopping habits and tourist figures for a town. I'm not saying a lick of paint will solve Ross's problems but an atmosphere of a town that is cared for is surely a good place to start.

So if you are of an active mind, body or soul and you really want to do something then you're the sort of business people we want in our group. The next meeting is on the 21st September at 6.30 at the Royal Hotel. Come along and help us make a difference.

Richard Mayo
Truffles Deli

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Hi i have just seen advert of your caravan at ross on wye. We have an unexpected holiday Sept19-26th Sept your caravan is obviously for more people than 2 adults,no children or pets but would you know anyone who may have a caravan in this same area, we are on a budget as didn,t know havin this time off.URGENT REPLY PLEASE even if cant help.
Barbara in Devon
Thank you

Hi Barbara in Devon, It just so happens that, amongst all the other things I do on Wyenot to help people out, I am putting together an advertisement for another caravan in Symonds Yat which may be vacant but I don't know. Look up Wyedean Canoe Hire on the Accommodation page of Wyenot because they own it. NO NEED TO REPLY THANKS.
Alan in my council house in Ross-on-Wye.

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Hi Alan,

I've just read your blog and I am surprised why so many local businesses haven't come on board.

Speaking of local newspaper advertising, don't these business's realize just how little they get for £90.00 ???. One half decent sized ad' will cost you that, and it only appears the once. Whereas WONDERFUL WYENOT GIVES YOU A FULL 12 MONTH'S for the same money !!.

Sounds more logical to me to go with Wyenot -- it spreads the word better, and you get more information in your ad', it will then earn you more money and also keeps another local Ross based business ticking over.

Do the sensible thing, give Alan or Tina at Wyenot a call, I did, and it works brilliantly for me.

Colin Davies,

Colin's Tyrecare (Ross)

ps. In case anyone is thinking I was paid to say this, no I wasn't, I just think Alan and Tina deserve better, for the job they do to help local business's in and around Ross-on-Wye.

Thank you for your support, Colin - I'll drop the tenner I owe you round in the morning :-)

Seriously: Thank you for your recommendation. I was not expecting this and your email came as a nice surprise. Thank you also for your support over the years as a garage - for the times you have fixed my car, more recently, my van. For those who know little about cars, like myself, it is difficult to find a trustworthy garage. You have always been very helpful in this respect and the service I have received from Colin's Tyrecare has been EXCELLENT!!!

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Dear Alan,

In reply to Phil Thomas regarding the cars parked in the riverside meadows on Sunday, I feel this really started back in June when the Daimler Vintage Rally was held in exactly the same positions as last Sundays vehicles were parked, The rally was heralded as a huge success and it was indicated that this was an ideal venue for future rallies.

On Sunday many cars that were parked there were done so by the elderly and disabled who attended the Band Concert in the band stand in Caroline Symonds gardens opposite, I agree there is a car park on the opposite side of the road, but not everyone can walk this distance.

Is there a difference between Vintage Rally cars, fun fairs and the general public's vehicles? Alas this will be the last of the Band Concerts on Sunday, which I know has been enjoyed by a great many people.

Margaret Wilce

Thank you for your thoughts on the matter Margaret. No doubt Mr. Thomas will reply but, just out of interest... The reason I was there on the particular Sunday I took the photos of cars parked on the riverside green causing what I consider to be an eyesore was in fact to cover the band concert. I did not go there specifically to photograph the parked cars.

The band concert, nice as it was, did not have a large audience. I think there were more band members than audience. It was certainly not all visitors to the band performance parked by the river. There were at least three cars for every one person watching the band.

In my probably worthless opinion, there is a BIG difference between cars on show at a successfully organized event such as the Daimler Rally or the Carnival and the public cluttering up the riverside by using it as a car park - especially when there is a huge empty official and free car park just a couple of hundred yards away. Many of the cars making the riverside look untidy on that day had their owners picnicking next to them, totally ignoring the band and facing the river. One of the parked vehicles was a large camper van.

The River Wye at Ross should be a pretty place where people can walk and enjoy the nice views. I will say no more on this subject as I think my opinion is known.


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Dear All,

Your coverage of all events of Herefordshire are fantastic and a credit to you all.

I have just been reading the above story. On the day the photos where taken I was out walking with my 3 children enjoying the riverside country side that we do as a regular outing. I was gob smacked to see the amount of cars, vans and motor home parked everywhere.

As the gent points out the swans we deal with, as for cars they littered and made our country side untidy. I always keep a very close eye on my children whilst walking along side the river but I now have to double check for cars I don’t feel this is acceptable and some think needs to be done, next it will be BBQs and so on.

I agree that a barrier would great but perhaps a sign don’t park on the grass or you will be fined just to show willing as a cheaper option as so much money was spent on the hideous and dangerous swans particularly the swans out side the Man of Ross

Thanks for listening keep up the good work.

Phil Thomas

Thank you Phil. My dislike of the swans on a stick is just a personal matter of taste, I guess somebody, somewhere mist like them or they would not be there. I have a similar dislike of the Stained Glass Window in the Forest of Dean. I love stained glass but it has its place, in churches and other old buildings - not in the forest but this is beside the point...

Thank you for your support re the car parking on the riverbank. Something needs to be done to stop the scenic area becoming an ugly, dangerous place and I suspect a sign would be ideal as a temporary measure. It worked when people started using the Rope Walk as a car park, and appeared the day after I published a similar article in that instance. I don't know whether or not this was coincidence but, let us hope the same thing happens here.

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Tina and Alan,

I love Wyenot.com and the reason I am sending you this email is that I would like you to mention The Chestnuts residential home. My mother-in- law (Mrs Flo Davies known as Mrs. D) 9 years ago went into the Chestnuts in good health the only thing wrong is that she was old. Over the years her health went down hill, strokes etc.

I would just like to say that this residential home is the best - if you are thinking of a home for your loved ones look no further the love care and attention that she received was an absolute credit to the home.

Mother died recently (96) and the lady that was with her when she died was Jean and when she phoned me at 2.50 am to inform me of her death she was crying as she had known mother for a number of years. Julie the lady in charge is such a kind caring person and the staff are wonderful in fact I think I may book a place for myself in the future.

The reason for this email is please could you thank everyone at The Chestnuts staff etc., for the wonderful care that my husband's mother received over the years - In today's society I think they deserve the praise.

Thank you Tina and Alan - I love Wyenot.com don't ever give up - if I win the lottery I will donate to you both.

Best wishes,

Jean Davies

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Dear Alan and Tina,

I keep meaning to write as I so enjoy the website and am constantly astonished by how hard you both work. Instead I make the odd little comment to Tina when I see her at the White Lion and then feel bad that I have not made the effort to write and tell you how much I enjoy Wyenot... I have followed your blog recently and completely understand how frustrated you must get at those who piggy back your hard work and try to get you to advertise their business for free - but I want you to know that Wyenot has served another purpose for me over the last twelve months that has little to do with tourism or advertising. We moved to the area last year and although quite close to Ross, we are still pretty rural and I don't drive so although we have loved every minute of it - I (at least) have found it pretty isolating. We don't know anyone in Ross bar our immediate neighbours but reading through Wyenot every week has kept me up to date with what's what and given me loads of ideas for places to go and things to do that have helped us get to know the area. I like your style of presentation and enjoy some of the more amusing stories you have covered along with your films of wildlife and places of interest. Without knowing it you have helped keep me connected at a time where it would have been very easy to become depressed and isolated and I am very grateful to you both.

Now - to Jamstand!

A quick word to say how much we all enjoyed ourselves. It was a brilliant event and really well organised. The energy of all involved put most of us to shame and was truly inspirational. As was watching Jack Baldus don a yellow stewards jacket as soon as he finished his set and dash off round the site gathering rubbish. We ran out of energy (a 3 month old baby will do that to you) late afternoon on Sat but were very pleased to realise that we had a great listening post in our back garden up the river at Backney! DJ Yoda was even better with a glass of wine in our own back yard. Hubby and I are hardened Funk fans and have made diary entries to catch the Zang Tangs again asap. All of it - just brilliant. So, 12 months down the line - are we happy we made the move to Ross? Unequivocally yes! Its a great little town and has really lovely people. Thank you once again for making it so accessible.

Kind regards,

Naomi Holman

Thank you for your lovely letter Naomi. It came at the right time - when we were both worn out from covering events and not at our best health wise. It cheered us both up.

Jamstand was great! I agree with you - Jack and everybody involved did a terrific job and it was really good for Ross and will grow, I'm sure!

Please introduce yourself if you see me in the White Lion or anywhere else. Tina knows who you are but I don't, I'm afraid. BTW. I remember 3 month old babies well... pretending to be asleep when they cry and all that... :-)

Alan and Tina

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12th August 2009: JAMSTAND

Fantastic coverage of Jamstand and really good to see it so well supported, well done to Jack and everyone else involved!


Thanks Sam. They did a great job. The video coverage is not complete yet - I am still building it up as the processing takes a long time.

My one and only criticism of the event was the name of the Security firm. I thought that men in yellow jackets walking round in an intimidating manner with 'HARDMAN SECURITY' on their backs was extremely inappropriate and more likely to cause a problem than stop one. Luckily nothing serious happened.

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11th August 2009: ROSS CARNIVAL

Hi Alan,

I would like to say a big thank you for your video of the carnival. Most of us in the Larks skittle team have been able to watch your video of the carnival, we all so enjoyed watching the complete carnival, it was the main topic of conversation when we all met on Thursday evening. When you are on a float you do not get the chance to see the other floats or the walkers, and it was great that we got the chance to see what everyone else had done. Your video also gave us the chance to see things we had missed on our way around the town and relive the atmosphere. It is a great laugh and we all enjoyed ourselves.

I think the Rope Walk is a better venue as it is much more compact - if the floats could go on to the Homs Road Car Park it would be even better. I hope this might help to encourage a few more groups to join in the carnival and have a go and make the carnival bigger. I hope it will be a bit drier next year

Thanks again.


Sue Kirby

Thank you Sue. I am pleased that you all enjoyed the video. I also absolutely agree that the Rope Walk turned out to be a much better venue for the Carnival. It would be interesting to see how others feel about this.

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Following the closure of Woolworths at the beginning of the year, I requested if anyone had memorabilia for an exhibition later in the year. There were a great many positive responses and visits from people who had been associated with the store and I am now pleased to let everyone know that the exhibition will be going ahead at the end of August and through into September.

If anyone has offered exhibits or has since found some I would be delighted to start taking them in ready for the end of the month. All display items will be well taken care of and photographs will be copied so the originals will not get damaged in any way.

If you are able to bring in your items please do so during opening hours (we are open 7 days a week) or give me a call on 01432 260675 to make an appointment for me to collect your items. They will all be returned after the exhibition is closed.

Thank you all for your excellent response with this. If you do have memories of Woolworth you would like to share with visitors please write them down and let me have them at the same time.

Mary Sinclair Powell
Senior Heritage Assistant Ross Market House Heritage Centre

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11th August 2009: PHOTO OF ROSS

Dear Sir/Madam

My names Alison and I am 17 years old. I was looking through your pictures on Wyenot and thought I would email you a picture I took of Ross-on-Wye on my phone. I took this a couple of weeks ago when I was out on a walk near the Rowing Club and thought it was a lovely picture of the town. After looking at all the pictures I thought it would be a good idea to send it to you.

It would be great if you could put it on the website as I think it is beautiful. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.


Thank you for the lovely photo, Alison. Ross looks pretty by night.

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Ross-on-Wye by Alison Mcleod.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped Ross-in-Bloom this year to prepare for the Heart of England in Bloom Annual Visit. The town looked absolutely wonderful and the judges seemed very pleased with what they had seen this year. We were very fortunate that the weather improved for the day, which gave the town that extra sparkle.

Too numerous to mention are the individuals that helped but I must give special thanks to those who gave up their Sunday to make sure that the town was clean and litter free on the day. It would be totally unfair to mention some and leave out others as they all worked extremely hard for their town this year. So thank you all - you know who you are.

Individual thanks however must go to all the Herefordshire Council and Amey Wye Valley who had worked extremely hard in the weeks leading up to the visit as well as on the Monday morning. We are always very grateful to them for all of their help and hard work during the year but they manage to pull out all the stops for special occasions.

I must also thank all the traders in the town that put out floral displays and flags. These made that extra difference to the town as a whole and make it really colourful. I understand that the Market Traders did well on the day and were well supported. Although I didn't manage to get one at the time, the tea provided by the Guides was most welcome at the press call and their cakes looked delicious.

Thank you to everyone who came to the swimming pool where the Mayor, Mayoress and Carnival Princess officially welcomed the judges to Ross. We are always grateful for those who can manage to find a few minutes to support their town at such an occasion.

My final thanks must go to my team of volunteers on Ross-in-Bloom. They have all worked extremely hard all year and I understand some of them are planning next year's event already. The local judging continues through July and into August and the awards given this year will be published as soon as this is all done.

Last weekend we found time to travel to Newent to judge their gardens - its still all go. We never seem to stop from one years judging to the next. I will be travelling with some of my committee and representatives of the Neighbourhood entries to Pershore on 3rd September to see how we got on and hopefully we will be bringing back a good award again this year.

Thank you all again.

Margaret Lucas,
Chairman, Ross-in-Bloom.

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We received the following communication from John Gartside of Sellack regarding a local concern about the development of land at Caradoc Court.....

Residents of Sellack are opposing the construction of six new houses in a tranquil location within the Wye Valley AONB.

Permission for the development was granted in 1995 by South Herefordshire District Council to help fund the restoration of Caradoc Court, which had been gutted by fire some years earlier. Work on the Court dragged on and last year it was sold together with the grounds and the site for the development to Councillor Harry Bramer.

Work on the houses could not begin until all the external restoration on the Court was completed. When this had been done last December the new owner submitted revised plans for the houses to increase their bedroom accommodation. After local protests these plans were withdrawn.

Now it is understood that the development site has been acquired by a builder, who wishes to use the permission still in force from 1995 and to start work in the next two weeks.

"The Council has shown a worrying lack of regard for the views of local people," said David Dilworth, a member of the local action group. "A local landowner has {MORE -2- offered an alternative site which would overcome many of the problems and save this wonderful old bridleway that is available for all of us to enjoy. With the backing of local residents and outside bodies we have sought the support of the Herefordshire Council - so far without success." He added :"They also seem to have removed the need for a scheme of landscaping for the development before work starts on the site - even though this was a part of the original planning permission."

Villagers now plan, among other protests, to circulate a petition at the Herefordshire Country Fair, which will be held in the meadows below the intended development site this weekend (1-2 August). They also have a website at www.stopruiningsellack.co.uk and have a link on there to an online petition on the Prime Ministers website.

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Dear Alan,

With reference to your 'blog' regarding various functions which you claim were not covered by local newspapers, we would like to clarify the Ross Gazette position.

At Ross Country Music Festival we were represented by a member of our editorial staff namely Ginny Brain on the Sunday and photographs were taken by her at the event were used in the Ross Gazette. We were there for the Festival and not to promote the Mayor.

Peterstow Community Centre was attended by Jo Scrivin and we received a letter of thanks dated 16th July 2009 from Barbara Gratton.

We hope this has clarified our position for the Ross Gazette and we endeavour to work together for the local community as you do.

Kind regards,

Lee Whiteland
General Manager.

Thank you for your letter, Lee.

Whilst we did not mention the Ross Gazette in the Blog, we appreciate your clarification of the Ross Gazette's position and like yourselves endeavour to work for the local community, supporting local events.

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Dear Sir,

Being an old Rossian, but living in Germany for almost 50 years and rather a newcomer to the computor scene, I was more than delighted to find Wyenot News, which creates a link to my hometown (lived out at The Downs near the Travellers Rest).

Although I undestand your situation and how you feel, I was sad to read your thoughts about not presenting anymore local news from Ross and the surrounding area.

I think you are doing a great job please keep it going and wake up Ross and support Alan and his team to keep Ross on the map!.

Thanking you in advance,

Anthony Baynham

Thank you for your letter, Anthony... I'm pleased you find our news useful and we will continue to do what we can.

We are not going to stop presenting news entirely. That will continue as ever but we are going to cut out covering events which take place in venues which do not support us financially; and the advertisements disguised as news. This will give us more time to work on the original idea of Wyenot - promoting the area and will free us of the people constantly seeking free publicity. Basically, we are going to support those who support us.

We will continue to cover all of the major events - those which help the area as a whole, such as the festivals and carnivals. We will also continue to cover real news - on the odd occasions that 'real news' happens.

Typically - of the tens of thousands of people who visited Wyenot since I published that article, less than 50 of them actually visited the blog page which contained the article. The majority of our readers still imagine that 'Wyenot' is a large organization, provided by the local authorities, rather than the two person operation, run from a family home that it is. Other than two personal friends. Yours was the only communication we received on the subject.

I covered the Country Festival over the weekend. Virtually all of the many hundreds of visitors to that festival were aware of 'Wyenot' as this is how they discovered the festival in the first place. However. Most seemed to think I was 'the camera man', sent there by the larger organization. I was also asked, several times - and in particular by the VIPs during the official opening, 'Why are you the only press here? This is a big event!' That however is another issue.

People who meet me out often casually ask me whilst making conversation, 'Have you got much work on?' When I'm rushing from one 'job' to the next and say 'I'm really busy,' they invariably continue, 'That's good. It's always good to be busy. You need the work to keep coming in!' ..............Well, it would be - if I were getting paid for it! ......Instead... not all but most of the time I am out photographing and covering news stories about 'do gooding' people who are either retired and volunteering - very commendable. Or people who are 'making a difference' by doing the job they are getting paid a pretty damned good Herefordshire Council or other local authority salary to do.

We will continue to do what we can but what people cannot seem to grasp is that, we do not get paid for most of what we do, and that the only money we make is from our few advertisers.

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Sir / Madam,

Entry for judging of the Ross-in-Bloom Local Gardens and Displays closed on 30th, June with just over 150 entrants across all of the competitions. The preliminary judging of all of these entrants started on Monday, 6th July and will continue throughout July. This is especially important for those in the Street and Secret Garden competitions, where continuity and improvement is part of the overall marking.

Local judges will be popping in as 'secret shoppers' throughout the month to see how you are getting on. So be aware that there could be people with clipboards walking around your area at anytime of the day.

A list of all of those taking part this year that have given permission on their forms to have their gardens and displays photographed has been given to Ross Photographic Society. So again there may be people with cameras around taking pictures of your lovely displays. Who knows your garden may end up famous!

Remember the Heart of England in Bloom Judges are visiting on 20th July. If there is anyone who would like to help with the clean up etc., please do contact me at 34 Brookend Street. I can always find you a job to do.

Good luck with all your entries this year. Mary, who co-ordinates the judging, will be announcing the results at the end of July once all the results are collated. In the meantime, the Window Dressing Competition starts on the 15th, so have a look to see the colourful windows that should be around the town from then until Carnival Day. Why not have some fun and see which ones you like the best.

We have worked again this year with John Kyrle High School and there will again be a selection of their very talented artwork in the Heritage Centre until the end of the month, particularly for the Heart of England Judges to see. They always enjoy viewing the young peoples talent. Bekki Steele became famous from our choosing of her painting last year so who knows who we might help again this year. There are some very talented young artists in this area and we had great difficulty choosing what to put in the space available.

There will also be a display of cups and trophies for the judges to see. So if you have not yet returned your cup etc. would you please do so, so that we can put it in the display.

Last but not least the Children's entries in their competition sponsored by Ross Garden Store and the Ross Gazette will also be on display until 23rd July. These are always up to a very high standard and show that we have some very budding young gardeners in our midst.

Again Good Luck in all your entries this year and thank you in advance for all your help for the 20th July. We should here how we did on 3rd September in Pershore, all being well.

Margaret Lucas
Chairman Ross-in-Bloom

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Dear Alan,

Please could you thank Jules for the splendid job she did of the Concert in aid of Help for Heroes and the British legion, I have no idea where she gets the energy from, but she does do it well. The boys from John Kyrle had a great time, the Voice squad accidentally renamed the vice squad by Ben Abbot MC, were super.

My favourite comment on the whole evening was that although "Chasing Charlie were not the choice of music she would normally enjoy, watching kids having so much fun performing for such excellent causes was great".

Jules idea of getting the whole community involved in this event was wonderful, seeing the various cadets helping out was great, all too often we hear "that teenagers today...**************...." This was positive from so many angles and watching the respect of the lads shaking hands with the elderly veterans and they struggled down the stairs was tear jerking to say the least but great for the old guys.


I would also like to thank Martin King. Having promised to cover the event, I was ill and spent 24 hours in bed, so could not make it to the event. I felt bad about this but it was a nasty virus and I really could not make it. I slept solidly, the whole 24 hours, other than the brief wake-up to give Martin the camera and quickly show him how to operate it. We are both very pleased at how successful it was. Thank you Martin for filming the event and taking the photos for Wyenot News.


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I would love you to put onto your website the wonderful celebration visit of the Ross Betzdorf Twinning Association which took place on Saturday 30th May. Our German visitors were treated to a cricket match by the Cricket Club in the morning and to a magnificent buffet in the clubhouse.

A dinner dance was held at the Chase Hotel on June 1st and a gift of an engraved glass bell was presented to each family to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the roas Betzdorf twinning Association. A beautiful cake was made by Doreen ? in celebration and a good time was had by all.

John Edwards, the Mayor attended the cricket match and the Deputy Mayor came to the dinner.

The weather was wonderful and the group visit to Dewstow Gardens and lunch at the Golf Clubhouse was a great success. Many of our guests and their families went to the Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester and some visited Tintern Abbey, Monmouth and many other places in the area.

If you would like further information or more details please contact Sam Phillips, secretary on samph13@gmail.com I have attached two photos in case you are able to use them.

Many thanks
Lesley Hayward

F.Y.I.: You can see the article of the time here.

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1st June 2009: BRING BACK GALA DAY


With regard to the comment made in your blog, regarding a person, whom you did not name, being, 'Pleased that Ross is on the up and Monmouth is on the down'. On the May Day bank holiday, I visited my daughter, who was at work in Monmouth Town Centre. After trying the car park, behind the King's Head and in the centre of town, which was full, I then tried the car park at the bottom end of town. This too was full, as was Saisbury's car park. No spaces could be found in the streets and I ended up driving to her house, parking up and walking back into town, to visit her, in her very busy shop.

On returning to Ross - one hour later, I drove down Broad Street and could have parked in any one of six spaces! If Ross is 'on the up' and Monmouth is 'on the down', am I missing something here?

Before somebody says that the reason the car parks were full is that there was a big event happening in Monmouth. This is true, but it was also a Bank Holiday in Ross. However. Nothing was happening - hence plenty of parking spaces.

Now, I can either moan about the decline of Ross and do nothing, OR, I can attempt to do something.

I am looking for like minded volunteers to do something next year - perhaps resurrect the Gala Day. We could start with a blank sheet of paper and decide where, when and what to do to get the town thriving again on a Bank Holiday in May.

So, if you are interested, have time on your hands, broad shoulders and a thick skin, please contact me via Wyenot News.

Yours in anticipation,

Ross Rhodes

Thank you for your comments and idea, Ross. I agree with you totally. Ross used to have a great Gala Day and the town was always packed for the event.

Mr Rhodes has supplied us with his full name and address but does not want his own email address published, so if you would like to volunteer to try to get this event going again for next year, please contact us here: alan@wyenot.com and I will pass on any emails received.

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Dear Alan,

Recently Dennis Wilce and his daughter Sara both former Ross Posties were filmed at Monmouth Leisure Centre for the Dickinson's Real Deal programme. They offered for sale a Victorian Postman's Uniform hat a vintage post ladies hat and some Ross Post Memorabilia.

The £40.00 offer was rejected and they elected to go to Auction, the items will be sold next Tuesday, 2nd June at the Cotswold Auctions, Cheltenham.

Thank you

Margaret Wilce


As most are aware, the Ross-in-Bloom project for 2009 is to clean up and paint Pigs Alley. Following a letter a few months ago, I am delighted to be able to give you all an update on progress.

Thanks to the Police Authority, Ross Town Council and some individual donations we are now able to go ahead financially and order the paint. However, before we start on this we will need to have a working party to get all the walls cleaned down ready for the undercoat, before we can start on the top coat and the fancy bits.

Anyone who would like to help us with this, especially those that expressed an interest when we first published the project details, are requested to leave their names and contact details (preferably with a telephone number) in writing with myself at Lucas Motorcycles or with Mary at Ross Heritage Centre. Would you please also indicate which days of the week you are most likely to be able to help. We will then work out the working parties as soon as possible.

We have all the necessary safety equipment ready, as well as insurance, so there are no worries on that score. Please bear with us on on the staring date.

There has been major subsidence in Pigs Alley due to the drainage problems, so the alley is at present closed. This means we are unable to work there at the moment. However, we are making these arrangements so that as soon as the alley investigations and any necessary work are completed, we will be able to get straight to it.

Thank you to all again for your great enthusiasm with this and I look forward to hearing from anybody able to give us a hand. Hopefully we will still be able to get this done ready for the Heart of England Judges visit in July.

Fingers crossed.

Margaret Lucas
Chairman Ross-in-Bloom

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18th May 2009: MURAL FAN MAIL

I rarely walk around in Ross - usually just to the supermarket or the Post Office, but yesterday it was walking my dog while the car was at the garage. My usual route is along the brook beside Nursery Road, now changed utterly. I so much enjoyed the art work. I wanted to stop people to make sure they were walking around with their eyes open, and everyone I spoke to did seem to be doing that. Great colour, vitality, boldness (as Goethe said, although I can't remember the exact quote. I'm sure you know it...) and above all FUN.

Then I walked to the road and it went on in a different vein. Even more marvellous, and this time subtle and a little surreal. I felt I was walking towards an uncertain future with a great sense of optimism. I love the rear views of people, especially when they carry umbrellas. It is excellent.

Sue Brooks

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The mural by the brook path whilst being painted.


Dear Alan,

Just as reiki is becoming a popular recognized holistic therapy for people, it is just as good for animals and new to this year for carnival day, reiki healing for pets will be available. On the day we will have a reiki healer, who will look at your pet to see if there is chance of a healthier lifestyle. Why not enter the procession with your pet and then treat them to some reiki healing?

Mel Hodges,
Carnival Chairman

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5th May 2009: THE CHURCH YARD

Dear Alan,

Your correspondent from New Zealand is quite correct. The churchyard has suffered from a lack of care for some years. I have worked for the last five years on various projects to 'Turn back the clock' there. This includes cutting down quite a number of saplings, but as you know my time available is quite limited and I have to share out that time.

I have recently been tearing the ivy off some of the tombs and off a holly tree which is smothered by the stuff. I will shortly start again to get rid of some more of the saplings but there are problems. Getting rid of the roots is essential because they keep coming back and finding a suitable 'cure' at the right price is difficult.

There is also the risk of offending people. Fortunately, I work mostly in the early mornings when there is less chance of a discussion group forming. Perhaps we can keep your correspondent informed on a regular basis'


Gordon Lucas

Thank you for your reply, Gordon. It would be good to keep Guy Abel, as well as many other readers aware of what is going on with your work in the church yard.

Although Gordon has not said this himself, I know it to be true and would like to point out here that, although he is a councillor, Gordon Lucas takes on the task of tidying up the church yard on a completely voluntary basis, for the sake of the community. He has to fit this work in to his already busy schedule of running his motorcycle business and keeping on top of both Town and Herefordshire Council matters. He can often be found in the church yard working at unearthly hours of the morning. The town of Ross are lucky to have people like Gordon, and the rest of his family, who all take on work, voluntarily and out of the public eye to try to keep Ross looking nice!

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Hi Alan,

This letter is from New Zealand! On a visit last year to Ross I included the Prospect and the church yard. I was left wondering whether anyone has a PLAN for the trees in the churchyard. It looks very haphazard with lots of self sown saplings becoming trees in inappropriate places. I think it could look a good deal better!

I have (and have had) local connections – hence my interest in the area.


Guy Abel

Although I am well impressed by the fact that the above letter came from New Zealand, gardening is not my forte so I shall leave the reply for somebody involved in keeping the Prospect and the churchyard gardens looking their best.

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Hi Alan,

I have read the correspondence concerning Community Awards, which originate in Ross-on-Wye. I was recently a member of the Consumer's Association, and I know that a few months ago, there was mention of the self same Company in there - they spent some money, and at the time of publication, no gift had been received.

On another note, can I thank any of your readers who wrote to Herefordshire Council regarding the proposed mobile phone mast by Fernbank Road/Eastfield Road, which has now been withdrawn by Vodafone. I have a vested interest in the adjacent play gardens, which were named in memory of my late parents.

Keep up the good work!

Liz Childs

Thank you Liz.

I have been receiving complaints about the people, under different guises, who are currently operating the 'Community Awards' scam over the full nine years since I started Wyenot. I wish somebody could ban the people who operate these scams from running a business of any form for the rest of their lives, which would preferably be spent in prison.

I am glad the mast matter worked out for you, though personally, being of a radio technology background, I do not entirely agree with the child health based argument for the phone mast objection on technical grounds. In fact, I entirely disagree with it on these grounds. Had the reason for the objection had been on the grounds that, 'A phone mast there will just look just plain ugly,' I would have given much more support to the cause. It strikes me that the majority of people cannot live without a mobile phone these days, yet nobody wants one of the necessary masts in their back yard.

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28th April 2009: GOODRICH CASTLE

Hi Alan,

I have just been looking through the photos you have taken, as we are hoping to take a tour in August camping. I was looking for inspiration, for places to visit. I loved your photos and website and found it useful.

The only thing is that when I looked at the photo of Goodrich Castle, a real chill came over me and I was covered in goose bumps and tears filled my eyes for no apparent reason.

I just had to tell you.



I assume that it was this photo which had the effect, Karen. I actually took this quite a few years ago now. Over those years I have received hundreds of emails about the photo - 99% of them agreeing that it is something unexplained. (One person said it was my breath condensing in the cold air but I took the photo and remember the occasion well. I know for a fact that this was not the case as I operated the tripod mounted camera from outside.)

Even though I am extremely sceptical as far as ghosts are concerned, I have not, to date, come across a satisfactory scientific explanation for this one. It has never made me cry and I have never felt the slightest apprehension about returning to the dungeon - even alone. I have done so many a time to try to repeat the photo - unsuccessfully. I guess it will just have to remain one of life's mysteries.

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28th April 2009: THANK YOU

Hi Tina and Alan,

Just a quick note to say a very big ' thank you ' Tina and Alan. Great coverage both for the hogs and sprite. I really do appreciate your support.



Huff Puff and Sprite

It's a pleasure, Maureen. We think you are doing a great job and thank you for asking us. This is actually one of my personal favourite news items to have covered of late.

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All I can and will SAY here is that, over the years, I have received literally thousands of complaints regarding the same company (under whatever name), to which I think Jo Brown is referring. The volume of complaints I receive goes through phases, depending on when those operating the business(es) send out mailings or place ads in magazines. I have received far too many complaints over the past couple of weeks to possibly deal with them all here.

All I can DO is try to help stop people having to part with money they do not necessarily have by running just some of the mail received and advise that.. If you receive a letter stating that you have won an award from 'Community Awards Service', PO. Box 78, Ross-on-Wye HR9 9ZU - destroy it or have it investigated by a professional. DO NOT RING THE NUMBER TO TRY TO CLAIM ANYTHING!!! THE LIKELIHOOD IS THAT DOING SO WILL COST YOU FAR MORE THAN YOU RECEIVE!

Good luck with your other letter to the police Jo. I do happen to know the exact building relating to PO Box 78, should your other line of enquiry need it but obviously cannot publish here. I am sure the police could easily get it from Royal Mail anyway, if necessary. I have no influence other than that I can make the public aware, but I sincerely hope that the police are able to, and do take up this investigation as the town of Ross-on-Wye is being given an undeserved but very bad reputation over this matter!

See also the published letter of 28th March.

Jo Brown's letter - address removed.

The destroyed remains of the 'Awards' letters received by Jo Brown.


Hello Alan,

I have recently moved to Ross and was wondering if any of your readers would know anything about my great grandparents who lived here many years ago?

My great granddad Allen Bishop was born in 1887. We know he lived in Bishops Frome Bromyard and then Cradley. He married Mary Ann Winifred Westman, who either worked in or owned a cafe in Bridge Street, Hereford.

They had my grandmother Florence May Bishop in 1904 at Mount Pleasant, Kings Caple Road Sollashope. Sometime after Mary's death, (or divorce) Allen lived with Edie Roberts at Sandford Cottage, Upton Bishop. He also had a brother called Jim who worked at Bulmers in Hereford.

On the other side of the family there was Charles Henry Taylor who married Selina Eliza Gower. We think Selina,s mothers maiden name was Creed and she lived at Lower Lydbrook. Later he had a second wife we know only as Mrs Boddington.

My granddad Frederick Charles Taylor was born in Middlesex but then came back to live at Well Cottage on Coppett hill in Goodrich.

We believe that great granddad Charles Henry Taylor was a superintendent at the wireworks Edison Swan at Lydbrook Junction. We don't know if Frederick Charles Taylor also worked at the wireworks but we have been told that he went to South Africa with his friend, Colonel Manning, to buy diamonds for cutting cables.

Sorry if I've taken up too much room Alan. Perhaps you could slip this in when you get a quiet week.

Thanks very much regards,

Peter Maguire

No problem Peter... If you are able to help Peter in his quest, please email and I will put you in touch.

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I have tried to tidy up the grammar on this letter as much as possible as the sender cannot speak English and used the Google translator to write. The Google translation took some figuring out.


I Would like to apologize first because I am not an English-speaking man. I wrote this letter to be translated through Google.

My name is Martin Jeglorz. I live in Germany but was born in Poland. Two articles in your newspaper mention the name "Maria Cudok" as residing in Herefordshire. I am currently looking for family members, for the purpose of compiling a "family tree".

I am a nephew of the second degree by Leonard, Rudolf, Berthold, Cecylia, Konrad Cudok. I suspect that Mary Cudok my aunt is the Second Grade.

Maybe it would be possible that your newspaper would put me in contact with Maria Cudok? But only if you wish. Thank you in advance :-)

My email address for first contact is: spieleich@arcor.de

I do actually know the Cudok family but I have published here anyway as I am not likely to see them before they see this. Martin's email address is above if they would like to contact him.

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I wonder if you can advise / help with my project?

Here’s a letter which summarizes my requirement / request. If you can help or know of one who might, then please reply when you find the time. (Your assistance will be acknowledged in the completed novel.)

Dear Sir,

Briefly, I am nearing the end of a novel in which a character “rafts” down the Wye from above Hereford all the way to Tintern in the late 1940’s. I have been unable to manage the full trip in real life. Last year my experience was helped by being a passenger in one or more of the safety boats (rubber boats with outboard motors) which accompany the Wye Raft Race.

This water-level experience (despite the unpleasant noise) was very important in the development of my written riverine descriptions and sensations. However I still hope to be able to take a craft as far as Tintern, partly because the conditions are not exactly placid and the tidal estuarine waters so different from the fresh water river.

There is also the problem of getting-off the river ... the mud! I have this notion that someone experienced might be a) able and b) willing to “take” me down from Kerne Bridge or thereabouts all the way to Tintern (with travel back to pick-up my car wherever)

Do you think this is at all possible, and if so when might the best time be re. water-level, and what your estimate of an appropriate fee might be?

I am pretty determined to make this journey and wish to achieve it in safety and before not too long. I have appropriate thermal / waterproof clothing, buoyancy aid etc.


(Full name and address supplied)

If you are able to help David, please contact Wyenot News and we will put you in touch.

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I have removed this letter following receipt of a written apology from the person concerned. Thank you for writing.

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7th April 2009: THANK YOU

Just a quick note to say that I think your web site Wyenot is very informative and very well planned. We are coming to your area this coming week for three days, I purchased a guide from our local book shop, all I should have done was find your web site, all I needed was here.

Many thanks,

Richard Denn

It's a pleasure, Richard.

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Howdy folks in England!

Greetings from the U.S.A! My wife Daisy and I are real big fans of your site; you guys are doing a great job. We live here in Wyoming, in God's own country of the United States, but my grandpappy came from Ross, way back. in the 1800s., so we are keen readers of all your news items.

I guess you all probably know this, but a lot of place names here were named by the settlers, who were kind of sentimental about their roots. So New York was named after York, and we also have a London, a Birmingham (in Alabama), an Uxbridge in Canada, and so on. What may be less well known is that, in a similar way, many of the rivers were renamed, (at least, those where we didn't keep the Native American Indian names, like the Occannaluftee River in Cherokee)... and guess what? We live by our very own River Wye, right here in Alabama! And a few miles North we even have our own River Thames!

What I think you will find even more fascinating, is that we ALSO have our very own, not one, but TWO versions of "wye not", known as......... 'The Wye Knots'.!

I guess you alll know that this land was settled by people on horseback, and, as any of you who watch Westerns will know, there is a way of tying a horse's reins to a rail to be able to slip it off easy. This (like most knots) was a version of a nautical knot called the 'Half Hitch' knot, which again was bought over from England. This is the reason we talk of 'hitching' a horse to a rail.

When the trappers adopted the native American canoe as way of travel, here on the Wye, we used the very same 'hitch' knot to attach the canoe to the mooring post, as it allowed for a one handed 'get away'. Some wag nicknamed this the 'Wye Knot', ......and the name stuck! So there you have it! We use a 'Wye Knot'" to tie up our canoes!

The second 'Wye not'" is really more of a kind of local colloquiallism. The Knot of course is a measure of a boat's speed, and, as The River Wye here takes the snow melt from the mountains in the spring, paddling upstream is real hard for three months of the year, (believe me!!) ...and so the term 'Wye Knot' came into use, ...........meaning half the speed of a normal knot!

My Grandma used to say, 'Hey, George, get a move on there; you're scarce moving at a Wye Knot!' or you might hear 'Since that operation, he ain't capable of more than a Wye knot!'

So there you go! Two 'Wye Knots!' I kinda thought your readers would find that fascinating!

Incidentally, I mentioned earlier that, further upstate, we have our own River Thames (actually more of a canal) and along the edge is a narrow pathway for the horses to pull the old canal boats along. It is so narrow that there's scarce room to pass someone else by, so if you meet someone we have a traditional contest to establish right of way. The two people tie both their hands beind their backs, (using a Wye Knot,) and then hop against each other, shoulder to shoulder, trying to barge the other one into the river. This is known as 'The Thames Barge'. The use of the Wye Knot means it is easy for the loser to untie his hands so as to avoid drowning.

So, we have 2 'Wye Knots', .............and 1 'Thames Barge'! Ain't that something? Have a great day y'all, and keep up the good work!


Alf & Daisy Prool
Alabama. U.S.A.

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I am wondering how it is that the Community Awards Service run from Ross-on-Wye has offered me an award. Can you tell me anything about this award scheme? Or is this another scam worthy of Watchdog investigation?

The address is P O Box 78 in Ross-on-Wye with a telephone number of 09061 593319 and I have no intention of contacting them. But I don't like to think these sort of things are still around without anyone being aware or addressing them for what they are.

Certainly doesn't give a good name for Ross-on-Wye from here in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.


Mrs E Parker

I would be very wary, Mrs. Parker.

'01989' is the telephone code for Ross-on-Wye and I would imagine that '09061' is a premium line. I am pretty certain that this particular 'Community Awards Scheme' is not an official scheme connected with the town of Ross-on-Wye. I believe it is run by a company operating from the town, which I would trust no further than I could throw the building they operate from. I am also pretty certain that I know the address connected with this PO Box number but obviously cannot divulge it here as even Saddam would be entitled to take out a private PO Box for a small fee, were he living in England and not suffering such a hangover. The address I am thinking of is definitely one which would make me very wary of parting with any cash.

I cannot answer your question about whether or not this is a scam worthy of Watchdog investigation as I haven't seen your 'award'. If you think the 'award' is suspect, I would seriously advise reporting it, or calling Watchdog and seeking their advice. Perhaps they will investigate

I hope that you will not judge the whole of Ross-on-Wye by this 'award'. Those who do try to do their best for the community do not deliberately seek awards, they are genuinely surprised by them if they do happen to receive one.

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25th March 2009: MOBILE PHONE MAST


Fernbank Road is being plagued with yet another planning application for a mobile phone mast. This time its a Vodaphone 3G mast for the junction of Fernbank Road and Eastfield Road. This is directly next to the children's playground which is widely used and the entrance to the Country Trail.

Can I urge all those who walk or play in these areas to support us please. Letters of objection must be sent to: Mrs C. Atkins, Hereforshire District Council Southern Planning Services, PO Box 230, Hereford, HR1 2ZB by 2nd April 2009. The planning number is DCSE2009/0388/F. Further deyails can be seen on the Council's website.

Many thanks to anyone who can help us.

Angela Boyden.

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23rd March 2009: LOOKING FOR LT BRYANT

Bertie Eden - Egypt 1946.

Dear Sir,

Between the years 1946 and 1948 I was a National Service Conscript and served with the 18th Air Formation Signals at El Ballah and the 2nd Air Support Signals at the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. En route to Egypt, I met a young officer in France. He was Lt. Bryant, a conscript like myself. His advice to me was 'Go out there and enjoy it,' which is exactly what I did.

I found that being a dispatch rider was the best job in the British Army because nobody could check up on where you had been all day. I enjoyed every day of my two years and nine months of National Service. The photograph (left) was taken by an unknown soldier in the Egyptian desert. We had just been told that we were to be posted to Palestine, which was not a safe place to go.

In recent years my wife, Val and I returned to Cairo and Jerusalem, where a bullet had narrowly missed my ear once whist on guard duty in the middle of the night. Never mind. Bring back National Service!

Bertie Eden

Bertie thought that old comrades might recognize him from this photograph which was taken in 1946 and would like to hear from anybody who remembers him from that time.

If you do remember Bertie or served with him between 1946 and 1948, please contact us and we will put you in touch with him.



Thanks for your hard work on the dead mans penny of one of my family Joseph Preece. My grandfather was Albert James Preece who lived in the cottage opposite Trecilla House, just up the lane from Llangarron Church.

My father was Jesse Preece, born in Cwmtillery, Abertillery, Gwent when his father came up to the valleys to work down the pits. I have been to Llangarron many times to tend my fathers grandparents grave (James and Eliza Preece) which is just at the back of the church. My father used to tell me the times he used to visit Llangarron with his father. When he was a boy, he used to play with George Scudamore, Peter the jockey's father when they were kids and used to remember looking out of the back garden of the cottage watching the otter hounds hunt down the bottom of the field at the rear of the cottage. He also told me that he and his friend found Thomas Gwyn who had killed himself in a field in the village. It would be in the 1920s and he is buried in the local cemetery.

My father, Jesse Preece was in the 2nd world war and was a prisoner for 19 months in Stalag 4b in Germany, so I can see now that he followed the Preece family tradition and went to war. I only found out this week about the war penny as my cousin's son is doing a family tree.

Will you thank the people concerned on my behalf for all the hard work they have done to research this project? It has been a pleasure to read of such a brave member of my fathers family sacrifice for his country. Once again thank you all.


Brian Preece
Cwmtillery, Abertillery, Gwent.

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11th March 2009: Re WHAT'S IN AN ACRONYM?

Dear Sir,

I am writing with reference to your "what's in an Acronym" article, March 10 issue. I am reminded very much of my old regiment, the Wye And Ross Territorial Soldiers. We were one of the last foot regiments, (now know as the 305mm Brigades).

We were a particularly fine sporting bunch of men, and we frequently won the inter battalion tennis tournaments. In fact we served all across the western front. Deuce'd good times, what? We saw action in numerous hell holes; Crete, Pencoyd, and Phocle Green. In fact some of our men were sent in error to Bi-Phocle Green; a short sighted decision if ever there was one. Never saw a man jack of them again, what. Terrible. But I digress. We often had to patrol the red light areas, where I must say I saw a lot more action than I had bargained for; nonetheless we stiffened ourselves to carry on in the true British spirit. You can't beat a stiff upper lip, I say.

Alas, we were disbanded in 1966, at which time I was awarded the Iron Cross for my efforts. I never quite figured that out. I now spend much of my time as secretary of the veterans association, the Ancient Ross Society Of Largely English Soldiers, and I can still wipe the floor with most of them.

Yours proudly,

Major D. Saster

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10th March 2009: WHAT'S IN AN ACRONYM?

A recent, quite serious (and hopefully, good for the area) news item I was asked to run today made me laugh (for all of the wrong reasons, I might add) and prompted me to update and rerun the following. It is an article I wrote some years ago but this time I am running it as a 'letter to Wyenot News' from myself. I don't mean any harm to the newly formed group - they have the area at heart and and I fully support them and wish them much future success. But . . .

Choosing the name 'Wyenot?' and using 'wyenot.com' as a web domain to promote Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley was a difficult decision for me to make at the time. I actually dislike the use of incorrectly spelled words in a title. Although I did decide to go for it, to me using phonetically similar words is just as tacky as the increasing use of the Americanisms in England.

Americanisms do my head in! Take the term, 'ball park figure' for example. I can fully understand this expression in the United States but we do not have 'ball parks' in England so the term is meaningless. I actually have a personal ambition to modify this expression nation-wide, replacing it with, 'scrotum figure,' but that's by the by. When 'scrotum figure' does become an every day figure of speech however, remember you heard it first on Wyenot.

To cut a long story short, I went with 'Wyenot' in the end because, putting my own preference for the English language aside, I thought it might catch on faster than perhaps 'rossonwye or wyevalley.com' and it did! There has been many an occasion I have heard the question, 'Why not?' jokingly suffixed with, 'dot com' and this works for me as a powerful, subliminal form of advertising.

It would seem however that the way to really impress these days is to use a fancy acronym as a title. Acronyms can make a lot of sense as a memory aid. It is far easier for example to remember 'laser' than 'light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.' The word 'laser' has now become an every day word to the point where many people do not realize it is an acronym and spell it with a 'z'.

It certainly seems these days that anybody who is anybody in Herefordshire needs a 'catchy' acronym in order to succeed and obtain either support or funding (plus of course, the obligatory committee chair person - an absolute 'must have' when it comes to to holding meetings to arrange meetings).

The one time 'Tourist Board' for example is now the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) and promotes our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Ross On WyeTOwn Planning (ROWTOP), Ross in Bloom (RiB) and no doubt (LiB) in Ledbury are doing their bit. Ross has seen the coming and going of Association for the Promotion of Herefordshire (APH), the Protect Ross On Wye party (PROW) and there are others far too numerous to mention, or even remember.

Whilst all these various suitably 'acronymed' groups and committees sit discussing how they are going to obtain their funding or other support strategies for this, that or the other, 'Wyenot' has been busy, working away in the background and doing what they are all still talking about. For 9 years it has worked for the area, 24 hours per day bringing thousands of visitors and therefore prosperity to Ross on Wye, completely unaided by either committee or catchy acronym.

Working alone can have its drawbacks and sometimes I get a little paranoid. I keep imagining that somewhere out there, the 'South Herefordshire Initiative Team' are about to join forces with the 'Friends Advocating Nature' and complain about my garden, which has become something of a 'Big Unspoilt Green Grass Ecological Reserve' as I no longer have the time to deal with it.

Alan Wood WNN, WNTV, CCBW (Chief Cook and Bottle Washer)

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5th March 2009: GOOD, BAD AND DIRTY

Good evening Alan,

Firstly would like to congratulate you on your fantastic website, I have been an avid visitor for over 2 years now and have visited Ross for weekend stays frequently, usually to attend events in your whams on guide. We particularly enjoy Jamstand, the annual carnival and the various live bands you feature.

My reason for this correspondence is 2 fold, firstly to warn your readers who may, like me be looking for a Ross camp site and secondly to see if any of your local readers can recommend a good quality campsite close to the town.

Our nightmare weekend was late last year when we decided to try out our new caravan which is the first we have had, up to now my wife and I have used B&B's. We booked in to The Yew Tree Inn in Peterstow for 2 nights at a cost of £12 per night (a bargain you might think). To cut a long and very dirty story short we lasted 1 night before leaving this filthy disgusting site. The toilet and shower block are not cleaned or heated and have no working hot water. There are holes in the rotten floor, no tiles in the mouldy shower, (which you have to purchase tokens to use)! None of the toilets in either the ladies or men's flush, and are all full of human waste. The bin in the ladies was overflowing with everything thinkable and was full of water. The smell outside the ladies toilets where there was a waste disposal point was one of the most disgusting I have ever smelt. All in all it was not fit to keep animals in.

The caravans on site seem to be either residential or people who keep their vans on site to use the pub. Talking to a few of them whilst on site the toilets are a standing joke between everyone who uses the site and seem to be very rarely used by the 'regulars'. There has been talk from the owner of a new block for years but so far the current cabin is still in use.

The pub its self was friendly enough when we went in but like the campsite would benefit from some renovation work. I would urge any of your long distance readers who plan a camping / caravan visit not to think about using the site until it has had some major improvements unless they have toilet/shower facilities of their own, as the facilities offered are almost too revolting to put in to words.

Lastly I have been through your advertisers and can not find a touring site so I was hoping either you or one of your readers would be able to recommend a clean site with good facilities close to the town, as we have recovered enough to take our Caravan out for its second trip out. (It has taken me 3 months to convince my wife not to put it up for sale)!

Thank-you very much, and please keep up your fantastic work. It is much appreciated by people all over the UK.

Kind regards,

Simon Smith
Kettering, Northants.

Thank you for your letter, Simon...

It is nice to hear that you visit Ross regularly, and particularly that our 'What's On' event listings influence your visits. I would like to make a bit of a point here, Simon. Not to you but locally.

The 'What's On' page of 'Wyenot', unlike 'what's on' columns in the local paper is free for people to use and, as your letter, and many hundreds of people who approach me at events saying, 'I found out about this on Wyenot' testify.... our 'What's On' page is extremely successful. The listings do not just get seen locally, they get seen country / world wide.

Last year, one local businessman said to me, ''We get a terrific response from your 'What's On' page! You should be charging for listings.

Of course, I know that I should be charging as the page's upkeep, like everything else on 'Wyenot' takes up a lot of my time, which is unpaid time. After all, the only income I receive for 'Wyenot' is from the few advertisers I have and this is not enough by far. The local Council cannot support me because, 'Wyenot is a private enterprise'. As a result, after 9 years of running the medium, bringing literally millions of pounds into the area, Tina still has to work full time in a pub to support the venture financially and we still struggle financially.

Knowing that the advice to start charging was absolutely the right thing to do, I tried introducing a small charge last year of £5.00, to include a listing on our 'What's On'. This £5.00 kept the listing on the page from the time we received the entry until after the event had finished - a small fraction of what it costs to put an advertisement in the local paper, and with a far bigger reach.

I introduced that charge last year and . . . Yes, you guessed it. People sending in entries for inclusion on the 'What's virtually ceased with immediate effect. The number of listings dropped like a brick! The 'What's On' page became virtually void of entries. It was £5.00 per entry for Heaven sake!

Rather than kill the page, this year, I gave in and removed that £5.00 charge. The day I removed it - quite literally, that very day - the entries once again began to flood in with a vengeance.

This is, in general the level of support I receive locally. There are some very nice local people who do realize the value of Wyenot and support us but as a percentage of those who gain advantage from 'Wyenot' being there for the town, these people amount to less than 1% of local businesses.

Regarding the camp site you mention. I am afraid that I have no experience of this particular place. I have covered the odd event inside the Yew Tree for the news but they have never availed themselves of our advertising and so I have never looked at their camping facility and I am not in a position to comment personally, I'm afraid.

Recommending a campsite. I am afraid that I cannot recommend any in Ross. There is a big one but again, even though I have published letters in the past from people looking for camp sites, and have even sent people there, who have telephoned me to ask, they have never supported me and so I do not know what they have, or whether they can take touring caravans.

There is a camp site I know of, in a really nice location at the Doward but again, I do not know anything about their facilities or whether they can take touring caravans.

Hopefully somebody will write in with an answer to your question - the same question which is asked of me time and time again: 'Where can I camp in Ross?' Better still, maybe a large local campsite will realize the potential of supporting us by placing a £90.00 per year full page advertisement on 'Wyenot'. If they were to do this, I know for a fact that their return for that small outlay would be phenomenal but until that happens, after this sentence is over, I am never going to mention the words 'Broadmeadow' or 'Doward Park' on 'Wyenot' again.

Carnival and Jamstand: both of these will be happening again this year. Organizers of both have visited me at home this week and I am just finalizing a few details. I will be listing them fully on 'What's On' within the week.

Hope this helps, Simon :-) Thank you for your nice comments about 'Wyenot'. As I replied to the letter which arrived just before yours, 'I will continue working on 'Wyenot', however it develops in the future until the moment I take my final breath - or lose my marbles, whichever comes sooner. (I suspect the latter as I am already feeling the symptoms.)'

Kind regards,


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Dear Alan and Tina,

Wyenot.com is without doubt the single most fantastic website that I have seen, I regularly review your news and information to keep up to date with what is happening. It goes without saying that if a local of Ross which I am, finds this website so informative then potential visitors who manage to find your website must surly be encouraged to visit our lovely town.

I did notice one thing that struck me as odd, (showing the level to which I read) your advertisement for The Red Lion at Madley has the same Email address as the Hope and Anchor but my guess is that both places are run under the same management?

Anyway Alan and Tina, many thanks for a very interesting read, keep up the great work.

John Ratcliffe.

Thank you for that John

It is always nice to receive comments on 'Wyenot' but yours in particular has cheered us both up this week. It is our experience that 'Wyenot' does indeed attract many thousands of visitors to the town of Ross. Just one example of this is the annual Country Music Festival. Since we started reporting on this event in the news, visitor figures have grown phenomenally and the same applies to many other local events and tourist attractions. The accommodation advertisements on Wyenot have a huge success rate and overall, Wyenot is very successful, both as a tourism resource and as a news medium.

Last Saturday evening, I had a chance meeting with somebody who works for the 'Times' newspaper. He recognized me as being from from 'Wyenot News' when I was at a party in a local pub and approached me, saying, 'You won't know me from Adam but I used to live in Ross but now I work for the Times in London and love 'Wyenot News'. Every Thursday, at the office, we stop to look at 'Wyenot News' to see what is going on in Ross.

Like yourself, he also gave an example of how closely he looks by letting me know, 'how nervous I looked when I spoke to Clementine Lovell in the garden last year' as well as mentioning other more recent news items. I have to admit that the Clementine interview was indeed stressful for me. Unlike Tina, despite how I may come across sometimes, I am not at all confident talking to people, especially on camera - even if they are friends, as Clementine most definitely is.

Thank you John. I expect that I will continue working on 'Wyenot', however it develops in the future until the moment I take my final breath - or lose my marbles, whichever comes first. (I suspect the latter as I am already feeling the symptoms.)

Regarding the Red Lion, Madley. It is not a mistake - the same people manage both but, coincidentally, I shall be removing the Red Lion, Madley page this week as the owners are going to pull out from there and concentrate more on the Hope & Anchor.

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The stolen bike.

My son's orange KTM 250 has been stolen from his gran's garage in Roman Way recently. We are not sure which day because, sadly, she has recently passed away and he hasn't used it.

The padlock was broken on the gararge door to gain entry and there was also a lock on the bike.

Many thanks

Alison Bailey

If you have any information about this stolen motorcycle, please contact the local police. Alison can be contacted on 07793 715321,


Dear Sir / Madam,

I am trying to contact Dennis Cook - (Ex KSLI - 2005 Edition) to see if he remembers several KSLI soldiers who he may have served with. I am an amateur KSLI historian who is trying to find out any information on : CSM A. Bennett - 'B' COY. and Pte J. K. Greenwood.

Regards & Thanks

Nick Entwistle.

If anybody can help, please email and I will put you in touch with Mr. Entwistle.

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Further to the search for the Stenner family, we received the following from an ex-pat, living in the USA.

Your first respondent was nearly right it was Christine and John. I remember both and John used to work at Trelleborg (Woodville)until it closed I think. I am sure there will be others who can help more but I am told John lived in the Forest of Dean. If no one else can help I can probably check further. Keep up the good work Wyenot still keeps us in touch.

Thank you for the information and it's good to know that Wyenot keeps you in touch.

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Hi Alan

I remember the Stenners, I think they used to keep the Castle Vaults pub which was at the top of Wye Street - this was about 1963/64. There was a daughter Christine and a son whose name escapes me but it could have been Robert? He would be 58 - 60 now and Christine was 2 or 3 years younger. Unfortunately I have no idea where they are now

Sue Kirby.

Thanks Sue

At lease that is a little more information which may jog somebody else's memory. Sorry for the delay in publishing but I had to go away for a short time.

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I would like to find any members of the Stenner family that reside in Ross-on-Wye. The reason being is that I spent part of my childhood in Hereford after my father left the army after WW2. My parents divorced about 1947 -1948 so my mother and I moved to N.E. England. I Know that my father remarried because I received a telephone call from a lady explaining that she was my stepsister and that my father had passed away. Unfortunately at that time 1978-79 I was unable to respond with any feeling and put the phone down.

I wish to apologize to this lady without reservation. I realize that it has been a long time but certain things have to be done. My father's name was the same as mine. William George Stenner. As far as I can gather he ran a pub in Ross.

I would be grateful if you could put a notice on 'Wyenot News' for me.


William Stenner.

If you are able to help...

... please email me and I will put you in touch with William Stenner

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16th February 2009: WINTER ON THE WYE MUSIC?

Following the running on 'Wyenot News' of my short film, 'Winter on the River Wye at Ross' I have received several enquiries about the music, 'It is not credited at the end - is it Enya'?

In answer to this question:

I have to be very careful about performing rights when using music for my films which are in effect being broadcast. To this end, I have a few methods of obtaining music for broadcast... Sometimes I use the music of friends - especially when they want to promote their music as this works for both parties; sometimes I play my own music manually, using guitars and keyboards, etc., though I do not like using this method; I also have a computer programme (Cinescore) for which I purchase basic 'themes' and can then generate background music to fit with the video in films.

In the case of 'Winter on the Wye' however, I used a fourth method. This was to try to stop all of my films sounding the same. At a much higher expense than buying a CD from a record shop, I occasionally purchase special music on CD ROM from specialist music companies, along with the rights to use it on my DVDs or broadcast it on radio and TV, Wyenot News and anywhere else. These rights are non transferable and are granted to the purchaser, for life. (If broadcast on Radio or TV, I fill in a form stating length in seconds of music used and the name of the CD, so that the artist, if a member of the Performing Rights Society, then receives royalties.)

In this case, the CD ROM was from 'AKM Music' and is called 'Celtic Spirit' but I do not know who the artist is, otherwise I would have run her name on the credit roll. It may well be Enya, recording in the capacity of a session musician but I just don't know. Sorry I cannot be of more specific with the artist's name. I do know that the tune is beautiful and that the film has been very popular.

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12th February 2009: COPYCAT JOURNALISM


I just wanted to let you know that the press release only went to you and no other, but this week's Hereford Journal carries an article on the subject. It saves on wages if they don't have to pay peeps to write for them I suppose.

Name and address supplied

Thank you for that piece of information

I must confess, I do not usually read the Journal, or any other local newspapers for that matter, but as it was a very low news week this week, rather than take the paper straight from the letterbox and put in on the pile I am saving for the Hedgehog Rescue, I had a quick glance and saw it. It struck me straight away that they had taken our words and swapped them around a bit.

They are not the only local newspaper to copycat my work. Somebody saw a different direct rip-off of one of ours and stopped me in the street to tell me about it. I had not seen it myself but looked it up next time I went to the café for breakfast.

I guess this is one of the hazards of publishing the news and information as it happens. Don't worry, I have a plan. I shall not say when or how but I think many people will find it very amusing and it will happen when least expected.

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A Hereford Megarider costs £13 for a week's unlimited journeys from Hereford to Ross and Monmouth. Bet you couldn't run a car and park it in Hereford for that amount. (less than £2 a day). An annual ticket would be £575, try running a car for less than that a year. The equivalent weekly ticket for Ross to Gloucester only costs £12.50. Giving away free travel will mean that those of us that do pay full fare will surely have an increase in costs to fund the freebies.

Robin Shaw

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I am Writing a letter to show my absolute outrage at the growing cost of bus fares around Ross on Wye. Do you realise to get from Ross to Hereford, a Child Return will cost you around £4.90? whereas if you are an adult and you wish a return to Hereford, you will need near enough £6.00! In my opinion I'd rather buy myself a car and drive myself there. On a yearly basis it would be cheaper.

This leads me onto the plan that all Under 16's should be entitled to a free bus pass.. Why Not? OAP's get a pass because they are no longer in employment and cannot afford the fares. Most under 16's aren't in employment so surely they should be entitled to one. How do they expect under 16's to pay for it?.... Their parents?

I am going to set up a petition and get it around Ross on Wye before the fares go up even more.

Ricky Barlow
Chair of Ross Youth Forum

Thank you for your letter Ricky.

To be fair, I can see Ricky's point. Those aged 60 are entitled to free bus travel and many do get a pension. Due to current legislation, many under 16s are unable to find part time work, which does beg the question . . . How are they supposed to afford the fares?

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6th February 2009: BINGO FOR CINEMA IN ROSS

The Ross Youth Forum are holding a prize bingo in aid of the cinema fund, it will be held at the Noah's Ark Inn (WALFORD ROAD).. It starts at 7.30 on Saturday, 14th February.

If you have never played before we will show you how. If you would like to buy a raffle ticket they are 50p each and the raffle will be drawn at Half Time.

So if you want a Cinema in Ross get your skates on and help us get one!

Thank You and Hope to see you there.

Ricky Barlow
Founder and Chair of Ross Youth Forum

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I have noticed the James Williams contribution to the web series, planned for here on the James Honeyman Scott tribute myspace is still on your pages... Great! I did not think it would be there as long. We are all for it being on there as long as you like.

.I like your site and really like your news videos. I recall a frosty morning by the river, it was so nice almost made me homesick living abroad. I'm from Hereford, but know Ross and have quite a few friends living there. I also rate the Ross-on-Wye sense of humour very highly every time I arrive there visiting its not long before were all belly laughing and that's great.

Ok I got to thinking you might want to display some more of Talk of the Towns as after all there are 4 parts. First part might be of interest as amongst other things it mentions and advertises the Mott the Hoople reunion dates. Actually it was that fact of those concert dates being organized and released that obliged me to keep it off-line from August 1st 2008 until now, but since then Verden Allen gave me the go ahead and so its now on display on the James Honeyman Scott tribute space.

You may care to check it out on there? And then if you'd like to put it on your pages, your welcome to do so. Just contact me and it can be arranged in a jiffy. Thought I'd show some appreciation of what you did for us (myself and James W) and for what your doing there!

Many thanks and all the best for 2009!

Ken Nicholls

My reply:


Thank you for your letter. I am pleased you enjoy watching the TV programme. With the exception of our WNTV programmes and the odd 'missing person' news item, I keep all back news items available forever, to act as an archive. (I remove the missing persons once found so that the victims don't keep getting 'found' every time they venture outdoors.) I ran your video separately, so it has now become a permanent fixture on Wyenot.

I have run your 'part one' as a 'Vimeo' embed, immediately below, so those in Ross who like and remember the Pretenders and Mott the Hoople as local people can watch. I often see Pete from Mott the Hoople as he is a friend of ours, so may ask if he wants to chat to us about the reunion gigs sometime soon. Not sure he will as he is a bit 'hide light behind bushel' in that respect.

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Starlings at Pencoyd HD


Congratulations on a very good site but you should, I think, make more mention of Forest of Dean. We are spending the Easter week in FOD, so are looking for interesting places. Searching under Forest of Dean did not turn up your site. It should do!

By the way: the map reference you give for the Staunton Longstone is a bit wrong at www.wyenot.com/longstone.htm - SO 559121.

I have added a link to you from http://www.Torrens.org.uk/links.html

I may do a few photos of the area on part of my own site, www.Torrens.org.uk/cats but I could do some for you: e.g. Biblins bridge.

Richard Torrens

My reply:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your congratulations and advice. The reason I do not make more of the Forest of Dean is because Wyenot.com and Wyenot News are about Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire and provide news for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley. Although bits of the Forest of Dean touch the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean is located in Gloucestershire. I do however briefly mention the FOD here and there in passing on Wyenot and have specific pages about some parts of the Forest, including Yat Rock and the Staunton Longstone. Wyenot is vast and I am guessing that you have only just scratched the surface of the information provided there. (Try searching for Symonds Yat or Yat Rock on Google. Wyenot.com comes up in the number one position for both.)

Rather than encroach on the territory of others, I like to keep 'Wyenot' dedicated to the area I like to support. Actually. If you look at one particular Forest of Dean tourism web site. The creator has stolen lots of my work - both photographic and text, including photos I have taken specifically for advertisements on Wyenot and they are using both without my permission. Basically they are making advertising revenue from my hard work and actually charging people more for it than I do. One big thing I can say about 'Wyenot' is that everything it contains is there through my own creation.

Regarding the NGR for the Staunton Longstone which you say is slightly 'wrong' and should be SO 559121. My reference given is not actually 'wrong'. Rather, it is more accurate, at SO 55913 12079. It was measured exactly, at the foot of the stone itself, using GPS accurate to within 28 feet and takes the form of a five figure rather than a three figure grid reference (the 121 bit actually equates to 12079, if measured to this degree of accuracy).

Thank you for your kind offer of taking photographs of Biblins Bridge. The bridge is in fact already covered in several places on 'Wyenot' but you are welcome to send some in to the news as 'readers' photos'.

I hope you have a nice time in the Forest of Dean at Easter.


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30th January 2009: RE THE BURNS' NIGHT ARTICLE


In connection with your 'Piper' item I visited the hospital with Alan Harrison recently. I said 'hello' to a patient who said:

'Fair fa your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin race,
Aboon them a ye take yer place,
Painch, tripe or thairm,
As langs my airm.'

The next patient said:
' Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat an we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit'.

The third patient said:
'Wee sleekit, cowerin, timorous beasty,
O the panic in thy breasty,
Thou needna start awa sae hastie,
Wi bickering brattle'.

I asked Alan, 'Is this a psychiatric ward?' 'No.' he replied. 'This is the serious Burns unit.'

Robin .

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With the sad demise of Woolworth in Ross-on-Wye, as well as the rest of the country, it has been put to me but local people that they would enjoy seeing an exhibition of memories and this might be ideal for the Heritage Centre in Ross.

Following this I would like to ask if any readers have material we could use for this later in the year. We have items from the store staff themselves of the past couple of years, but if anyone has memories of working there, memories of shopping there, old photographs of staff and customers, of the building etc. we would love to hear from you.

If you do have memories that could be written down these would be appreciated if they are typed or written clearly onto A4 paper to copy and display. It has not yet been decoded when this small display would take place but if we get in enough material it could fill in with another exhibition later in the year.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact myself or leave a message with my staff, at the Market House Heritage Centre. The centre is open between 10.30am and 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday when a message can be left in person or on 01432 260675.

All material will be returned to the lender, copies being made for the exhibition itself. Margaret Lucas Chairman of Ross-in-Bloom has already started the ball rolling with some of the material from the History of Ross Project and with the material already given by the staff themselves we have a good nucleus to start on.

Thank you for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mary Sinclair Powell
Ross Heritage Centre

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Woolworths in Ross last December, just prior to its closing.

27th January 2009: THANK YOU TO WYENOT NEWS

Hi Alan,

Where do I begin to say thank you? It took three long years and one God sent angel with a name like Alan Wood to find my brother who we thought was missing.The afternoon when you e-mailed me Anna's details, I phoned her using the 'skype'service. Whilst speaking to her I saw a shadow appear from behind her and, yip you guessed it. It was Dean.

I can't begin to explain the emotion that rocked my mind and I am sure for Dean too. Once again if it were not for you and Wyenot News, this small but big miracle would have never taken place.

Once again thank you. I am forever grateful to you and Wyenot News.

Our warmest regards,

Jason Marx

You may be wondering what this is about as I did not publish Jason's first letters...

A week ago, Jason wrote to me from South Africa, sending a photo of himself. He was looking for his brother, from whom he had not heard for three years. Jason wrote, 'His last known whereabouts was Ross-on-Wye but now I don't know if he is alive or dead'.

Jason asked me to publish the photo and plea. It turned out though, that I knew relatives/friends of the missing brother and so, rather than publish, I printed Jason's letters and passed them on via people who know people. The family are now, as can be seen, happily reunited.

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13th January 2009: HOUSE IN WOODVIEW LANE


Your street map showing 1, Woodview Lane interests me greatly as it is the house I was born in 67 years ago. Do you have any information on when it was built, by whom and its first occupants?

Hope you can help.



Are you able to help Pearl?

I took a photos for the map on Wyenot many years ago now, and these included Woodview Lane. Unfortunately however, this does not mean that I know the history of every house in every street. Maybe somebody out there does know the answer to Pearl's question and can help. If so, please email me and I will put you in touch.

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I suppose that I was the one dissenter when you suggested a change in the format of news. Perhaps I should explain that in the first instance any news that you have put forward to the world has been fantastic. Secondly, anything that helps you, especially time wise, to produce this excellent website has to be an advantage. Thirdly, however, 'Wyenot News' has been my local and the best newspaper whereas now it is not because all we have is a series of headings that are so easy to skim over and ignore compared to previous formats. Keep up the good work and I look forward to 'Wyenot News' even though not in my preferred format.

Richard Barter

In my personal reply to Richard, I asked if he minded me publishing his email along with my response...

Hi Richard

Thank you for your email and yes, I am afraid that you were the only one who did not prefer the new format. I also very much understand your reasons as I have always been slightly angry at those who just skip over the rest of what is going on and everybody else's news to find themselves.

With very few exceptions, this is what happens. I can see it on the server log - people spending 10 seconds on pages one, two and three then five minutes on page four, for example. I get people phone me to ask, 'How can I fast forward through the video to find us?'

The human race in general is made up of selfish people - this is human nature. One other thing I notice, and this is absolutely genuine. People who arrange flower shows in churches are the worst offenders. If ever I cover a flower show in a church, I get the most complaints through - 'Why was her display included when mine was not?' I see constant repeat visits of flower show pages by the same people, who have ignored every other bit of news. The funny thing is. When I go to cover these events, I am all but ignored by most when I am there with my camera.

A similar thing happens with one regular New Year's Day event. Every year, I am the only news reporter who covers this particular event and when I am there, only the same three - sometimes four people bother to say hello - nobody else even bothers to even acknowledge my presence. Yet this is one of the events of the year that has the biggest return visitor readership.

I ABSOLUTELY agree with your opinion and the reason behind it but have gone with the majority, which was, quite literally, everybody else in favour of the new system. I have gone with it mainly though for my own reason of getting more time to enjoy life with Tina. The admin side - setting up the pages and links here there and everywhere, producing the 'weekly' news was a nightmare of code programming, which kept us working 16 plus hour days on Mondays and Tuesdays. The local newspapers have a whole lot more staff than just Tina and I to do this same job, and yet they still struggle.

The new system for me means that I no longer have a deadline, I just do it as it happens and so do not have to struggle to find something to publish during periods when there is no news (which was very stressful in itself. I will still cover all I was covering before and it will all still be available every Wednesday, for those who like to look weekly.

Usually when I publish the news, I receive virtually zero response. Other than a few nice regulars like yourself, hardly anybody ever says, 'I enjoyed that', or even, I did not enjoy that'. This week however, people have actually been mentioning that they 'like the new look'.

Thank you for taking time to read the news - everybody's news and let me know what you think every now and again. It really is appreciated! I hope you continue to enjoy reading.

Something I found amusing last year:

On Christmas Day 2007, I was covering the lunch for the elderly at the Ryefield Centre and a lady helper, whom I shall not name, asked me to take her photo.

'I love Wyenot News,' she said. 'I read it regularly!'
Feeling please with her comment, I mentioned something I had published as the main item in the previous issue.'
'I didn't see that one,' she said.
'Oh. You must have missed a week,' I replied, and in an attempt to find out what the last issue she had read was, I asked, 'When did you last look?'
'When you photographed us gathered around at the Market for the New Year,' she replied.

In her once per year role as a Christmas helper, she thought I only published the news a couple of times per year - during carnival week and after Christmas!

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