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26th May 2010 ROSS-ON-WYE CELEBRATES JOHN KYRLE'S BIRTHDAY
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Saturday turned out to be another memorable day for Ross-on-Wye thanks to the Association of Ross Traders (A.R.T.). Following the success of the Christmas Market and the pancake racing, John Kyrle day, which remembered 17th century philanthropist, John Kyrle, the 'Man of Ross' proved to be another big hit.

Dennis Humble of Can Do Crew sparked the idea when he mentioned to Richard Mayo that a magnificent new mosaic called ‘The Spirit of Ross' was to be unveiled on the wall of the library, Richard then suggested that the idea be developed into a whole day of fun activities to celebrate John Kyrle's birthday.

The weather was perfect for the occasion and everything went according to plan. After the unveiling, a piped procession left Ross library, headed for the town centre where one of the highlights of the day was seeing John Kyrle giving out free hedgehog shaped bread to the 'needy and poor of Ross', as did the real John Kyrle! The hedgehog is the mascot of Ross-on-Wye and appears on the Mayoral chain of office. Along with plenty of market stalls, Maureen King of Furze Pig Hedgehog Rescue was on-hand under the market house with 'Hagrid' a rescued hog to highlight her good cause. Guided walks of the town, led by Mary Sinclair Powell also took place during the afternoon and 'Walkers Are Welcome' led a walk along the John Kyrle Trail.

As with all events there are many people working behind the scenes that A.R.T. would like to thank: Ray Hill for providing his excellent PA system, Ben Abbott for compering the day, Alan Harrison for piping the procession into town, Brian and Judy Jackson for taking the roles of John Kyrle and his housekeeper, Mary Sinclair Powell for organizing the guided walk, Walkers are Welcome for the John Kyrle walk, Colemans and Geoff and Betty Gartside for opening their properties for viewing and the Golden Crust bakery for providing 250 hedgehog shaped rolls and of course everyone who turned up to help us celebrate the day. A.R.T. are considering making this and annual event around the time of John Kyrles birthday.


Deputy Mayor, David Ravenscroft unveils the mosaic at the library.

Plenty of people turned up for the unveilling.

Forming the procession to head for Town.

Alan Harrison led the procession.

The procession reaches Broad Street.

John Kyrle and his housekeeper greet the people of Ross from the Market House window.

Greeting the people of Ross.

John Kyrle meets Ross folk and visitors to the town.

As the Man of Ross himself used to do,bread rolls are given to the 'poor and needy' of Ross.

The giving of Bread.

Maurine from Furze Pig Hedgehog Rescue gets Hagrid out of his warm basket for the camera.

Funds were raised to repair the chimes on the Market House clock. Although Herefordshire Council constantly boast the name, 'Herefordshire Council's Run Ross Market House Heritage Centre' when they send us news releases about the place (we always shorten it to 'Ross Heritage Centre' when publishing), ownership is not such an important factor when it comes to repairs and they are only paying half of the cost. The other half of the money has to be found by voluntary means and funds were raised for this on Saturday.

John Kyrle in his garden.
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