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Jesse Norman, MP has called the death of Alan Wood last week a 'huge loss to Ross-on-Wye.'

In a statement, he said, 'Alan Wood was a wonderful man, who captured Ross-on-Wye in pictures in a way that has never been surpassed. His web site has long been the indispensable first port of call for any visitors to Ross, and stands as a great archive of local life over more than a decade. It was completely local and completely independent in its vision.

I was delighted that the Association of Ross Traders awarded Alan its John Kyrle Shield in recognition of his work. We all owe Alan and his partner Tina a huge debt of gratitude, and we greatly mourn his passing.'


This year, 2011 is the 90th Anniversary of the founding of The Royal British Legion and as part of the celebrations, the Ross Branch held a family fun day at the Caroline Symonds Gardens last Saturday.

The Fun Day started at 12.00 and there were cheer leading displays, historical re-enactments and a childrens' pet dog show all taking place in a central arena. There were also bouncy castles and roundabouts alongside vintage Norton motorbikes, the motorbikes of the Royal British Legion Riders' Branch, a pig roast, a cider tent from Broome Farm together with a burger van, teas and soft drinks. There was lots of activities to keep the family entertained.

As well as performances, the historical re-enactment group also had their own camp where visitors were able to talk to them about the weapons they use and how battles were fought in times gone by. Right next door, showing how battles are fought today, were members of The Rifles who were on hand to talk about Army life in 2011.

Our good friend Amy King entered her dog Poppy into the Childrens' Pet Dog Show and Poppy did her young owner proud as she took first prize for Best behaved dog. The winners of each class were rewarded with pet care prizes and Burns dog food as well as certificates and medals.

The Ross Branch of the Royal British Legion will also be celebrating their anniversary year with a tea party at Wilton Castle on Saturday, 23rd July and will be riding a float in this year's Ross Town Carnival on Saturday, 6th August.

The entrants to the chidrens' Pet Dog show. The Best Behaved class was won by Amy King and her dog Poppy.

Richard Ceci, Amy King and Dad, Martin manning the Splat thr Rat post.

The historic battle re-enactors enjoying their lunch.

The children had lots of fun on the bouncy castles and small fairground rides.

The Royal British Legion information stand and stall.


World renowned artistes, Danny Thompson and Martin Simpson will be appearing at Broome Farm in Peterstow near Ross-on-Wye for an afternoon concert on Sunday, 12th June.

In his 40-plus years as a professional musician, acoustic bass player Danny Thompson has worked with the cream of the music industry, from Roy Orbison and Rod Stewart to Pentangle, Richard Thompson and John Martyn. Widely regarded as a genius by musicians and fans alike, his improvisatory style is utterly distinctive and 'Victoria', his beloved bass, has accompanied him on dozens of albums including four solo recordings. For further information and a photograph, please visit

There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician, Martin Simpson is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety. For further information and a photograph, please visit

The concert will being at 3pm. The bar will be open and food will be available for two hours before and after the event. Tickets cost £15 each and are available from the Cider Cellar at Broome Farm or email

Further details are available from Mike Johnson on 01989 567232 or 07841 839991.


The Ross-on-Wye Acorns Support Group (Ross-on-Wye4Acorns) are always looking for different ways to raise lots of money for the childrens' hospice and many fun events have been held, raising a tremendous amount of cash. The next event to take place is a family run day. (Yes, I did say Run day!)

On Saturday, 12th June there will be two runs taking place. One is a 10k run for those aged 17 years and over and the other is a fun run for all ages. The fun run will start at 10:30am while the 10k run will begin at 11:15. Both races begin at Ross Rowing Club by kind permission of the committee. Entertainments and refreshments will be available throughout the event.

The Acorns gang are looking for more people to take part in this event, so if you are up for the challenge, get your entry forms now from GB Sports, Ross Library, Trivett Hicks, The Mighty 8 or online


Almost 200 students and staff met at The Chase Hotel on Friday, 27th May for the annual John Kyrle High School Year 11 Leavers' Prom. It has become traditional over the years for students to arrive in novel ways and this year was no exception.

Amongst the limousines and sports cars were a tractor, a lorry and motorbikes. A number of students arrived on an old Routemaster London bus and one student, dressed in a kilt, arrived to the sound of bagpipes. A large crowd of parents, friends and staff watched the procession before students and invited guests began an enjoyable evening.

Following a three course meal, Head Teacher, Nigel Griffiths congratulated Year 11 on their contributions to John Kyrle since they began in 2006. He noted their academic progress, successful participation in Sport, the Arts and fund-raising activities. Mark Croad, Head of Year 11, echoed Mr. Griffiths' comments on how fantastic the students looked. He thanked the tutors and all staff at school who had supported the year group since 2006 and went on to offer students advice for the future.

Staff and students also listened to a poem, written and read by a Year 11 student, Ben Ray, about their time at school. The applause that followed was deafening. Assistant Head of Year, Sally Ferguson then thanked the school on behalf of Year 11 before presenting a range of alternative awards.

The evening was rounded off with a disco.

Ricky Barlow and friends wait to go in.

One handsome young man surrounded by beautiful ladies.

DanieA young man being piped in to the event l Netley.

Three Belles of the ball


Ross Junior Rugby Club’s Open Day will be taking place at Ross Sports Centre on Sunday, 12th June from 10am where there will be lots of fun and games for all the family and refreshments and stalls will be available. This is a great opportunity for children and their parents to learn about rugby, and discover how much fun it can be for everyone.

Ross Juniors has teams from under 7s through to under 14s so anybody under the age of 16, boys and girls are welcome to go along. The event will be attended by Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman who, the organizers hope will play in a game of tag rugby, and Ross Town Mayor, Councillor David Ravenscroft will also be there.

The schedule will run as follows:

10:00 - set up, 11:30 - start kids warm ups, 12:00 - individual challenges, 12:30 - team challenges, 13:00 tag demos, 13:30 - individual skill stands, 14:15 - tag game, 14:00 - adult / juniors tag game, 14:30 - kicking challenge, 15:00 – finish.

For furher information please visit

8th June 2011 POLICE RUN LARGE ANTI DRUGS OPERATION. . . . . . . .

Over 100 officers have recently taken part in what is thought to be one of the largest anti drugs operations ever in Herefordshire. Police visited 25 properties on Wednesday, 25th and the early hours of Thursday, 26th May in Hereford, Leominster, Ross-on-Wye and Bromyard in an attempt to disrupt the Class A drugs trade in the county. The properties were targeted because of intelligence to suggest that drug dealers from the West Midlands are travelling to the county to target local dealers and addicts. West Mercia Police has been liaising with and supported by colleagues at West Midlands Police and British Transport Police.

Eighteen people, including four females, were arrested. Most of those arrested (including the women) were detained for drugs offences. One man was arrested for burglary and another man was arrested for a failing to appear warrant. One man was arrested for a firearms offence. Drugs including crack cocaine, cannabis and heroin, with an approximate street value of £5,000, were seized, along with several thousand pounds in cash. A firearm, believed to be deactivated, was also seized by police, along with other offensive weapons. Nine people have been released on police bail pending further enquiries following the operation and nine have been charged with drugs offences. Those charged are due to appear before Hereford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 8th June.

The 'strike day' was the culmination of Operation Wingspan, a three week operation that has already seen 28 searches take place in the county. Fifteen people were arrested in the earlier phase of the operation and nine of those men have already been charged with drug dealing offences and appeared at court. Five of those charged are presently remanded in custody. Eight of the nine men have Birmingham addresses, one is local to Herefordshire.

Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes of Herefordshire CID led the operation. He said, 'Herefordshire does not have a particular problem with drug dealing, but like many other areas close to the West Midlands, we have a long-standing issue of organized crime groups sending drug runners to deal in our area. They are feeding the habits of local addicts who are very often responsible for lower level crime in Herefordshire. So, if you have had someone burgle your house, or smash the window of your car to steal your Satnav or break into your shed or garage, then this drugs trade is probably responsible.

We want to send out two messages: we are telling these dealers that they are not welcome here and we will do all we can to disrupt their activities and we are also telling local addicts who commit crime that we will target them for as long as they target the property of Herefordshire residents. You cannot commit crime with impunity.

I also want to reassure victims of this kind of offending that we do care about crimes and will target the tiny minority involved in any way we can.'

8th June 2011 JESSE PITCHES IN AT WYE'S BUYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

South Herefordshire MP, Jesse Norman has been a volunteer all his life so he needed no persuading to help out at Wye's Buys last week, sorting clothes with shop manager Vanessa Allwright, assistant manager Maggie Czyz and assistant Zoe Johns.

Wye's Buys, based at the Oval in Hereford, is a local community shop specializing in high quality, recycled clothes at inexpensive prices. The linkup was made in support of National Volunteering Week, which has been energetically promoted locally by Herefordshire Council.

Speaking afterwards, Jesse said, 'Wye's Buys is a terrific shop, with great clothes and extremely professional merchandising. Vanessa, Maggie and Zoe run a great operation, and it was a privilege to be able to help out. They are always on the look out for new stock. Anyone locally with high quality clothes to recycle should pay them a visit.'

Jesse sorts the clothes with Vanessa, Maggie and Zoe at Wye's Buys.


The search is on to find the most effective and sustainable way to bring faster broadband to Herefordshire. An area including large parts of south Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is one of just four pilot areas in the UK to receive Government funding to bring enhanced broadband access in rural areas that would otherwise not be considered by the private sector for investment.

A complex and demanding multi million pound contract has been put out to tender by the project partners in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to find the most viable technological solutions to the area's broadband needs. The procurement process will engage eligible companies in a 'competitive dialogue' process over several months to seek the best delivery, in the shortest time scale for the best value. The procurement process will address the immediate demands of business and communities in order that everyone has the opportunity to access broadband. In tandem the network will be 'future proofed' so that users can access the Superfast Broadband speeds they need to be competitive and to take advantage of future services that require improved speed and reliability. The implementation time scales for both the Universal Service Commitment (2Mbps) and superfast broadband will exceed the government and European targets.

Councillor Graham Powell, Broadband Champion of Herefordshire Council said, 'A tremendous amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to prepare this contract, culminating in this exciting stage where we can begin the search for the right broadband solution for Herefordshire in earnest. With telecoms technology changing all the time, we will be looking for a contractor who will offer the fastest, most effective, and most sustainable ways for local communities and businesses to access the internet for years to come.

Herefordshire aims to offer fast broadband that creates a competitive advantage for business, communities and individuals, with households being able to access a range of online services at their convenience.'


Herefordshire Council's regulatory subcommittee has added extra conditions to the premise licence for the Bell Inn, Leominster, after sales were made to persons under the age of 18. Jim Mooney, Hereford Police's licensing officer, told members of the subcommittee that the Bell Inn in Etnam Street was subject to two visits during a test purchase operation by Herefordshire Council's trading standards team and police. On both occasions, sales of alcohol were made to a person under the age of 18.

Marc Willimont, Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager said, 'One of our main licensing objectives is to protect children and we cannot allow pubs to sell alcohol to them. The new licence conditions, which include a Challenge 25 Policy, will ensure pub staff ask anyone who appears to be under 25 years of age for identification, making it much harder for under 18s to get served.'

The pub served alcohol to under 18s in December 2010 and February 2011 and, under the council's licensing policy, this triggers a review hearing. Two customers of the Bell Inn made representations to the subcommittee, saying it was a thriving business and the licensee would not knowingly serve a customer who was under age.

The extra conditions added to the licence were:
· The premise must operate a Challenge 25 policy which means staff should ask anyone who appears to be under 25 for identification to prove their age.
· A personal licence holder shall be on the premises at all times on a Friday and Saturday evening from 6pm until closing time.
· All bar staff to be trained in responsible alcohol training
· An incident log must be kept at the premises recording any crimes, ejection of patrons, complaints and refusal of sale of alcohol.

11th May 2011


Lady Darnley and Elizabeth Banks open the exhibition.

A new, first ever exhibition on Herefordshire born horticultural pioneer, Thomas Andrew Knight was opened recently by both of the Year in the Orchard patrons, Lady Darnley (Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire) and Elizabeth Banks (president of the Royal Horticultural Society). They opened the new exhibition at Hereford Cider Museum and were joined by Councillor Chris Chappell (vice-chairman of Herefordshire Council), Councillor Julie Woodward (Mayor of Hereford) and John Jarvis (leader of Herefordshire Council) at the official opening.

The exhibition has been compiled by Herefordshire Council's principal heritage officer, Kate Andrew, and includes many items from private and public collections which have never been seen before as well as items loaned by the Royal Horticultural Society. Although some of the most precious exhibits will only be on display until Saturday, 11th June, the exhibition will continue until the end of October.

Thomas Andrew Knight is probably the least known but most influential horticulturalist in the world and this exhibition explores his close connections with Herefordshire as well as the advances he made in science which led to him being awarded an RHS gold medal. Knight was himself a president of the Royal Horticultural Society and the Year in the Orchard marks the 200th anniversary of his seminal work, the Pomona Herefordiensis, copies of which are on display as part of the exhibition.

James Bisset, Herefordshire Council's principal countryside officer, had the original idea of celebrating the county's orchard heritage and staging an exhibition about Thomas Andrew Knight. He said, 'Knight's influence went world-wide and helped set up the apple industry in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The Pomona is his seminal work and tells people about the science of the thirty apple and pear varieties described as well as being beautifully illustrated.'

Elizabeth Banks, RHS president, said at the launch, 'This amazing exhibition will allow visitors to learn much more about this astonishing man. The RHS are in association with the 'Year in the Orchard' by supporting the final judging of the first ever Pomona awards, for both traditional (standard) and commercial bush apple or pear orchards and I would urge anyone with an orchard to enter.'

The event was organized by Hereford Cider Museum Trust with support from Herefordshire Council's heritage services and archives and the Royal Horticultural Society. Hereford Cider Museum trustee David Marshall said, 'This has been a wonderful partnership between Herefordshire Council, Cider Museum, Third Sector and the private sector. The council's heritage services, in particular Kate Andrew, have been brilliant in setting up the exhibition which is a perfect way for the Cider Museum to celebrate its own 30th anniversary.'


Herefordshire residents are being urged to nominate truly incredible individuals worthy of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Cheltenham, Cardiff and Worcester have been announced as overnight stops on the torch relay route, therefore it is highly likely that it will be passing through Herefordshire.

People are being sought who have made a real difference to their community and the lives of people they know and also uphold the Olympic values of respect for others and the importance of fair play. Lit in Greece, the Olympic Flame arrives in the UK on May 18 2012 and will be carried by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers during a 70-day relay which aims to allow as many people as possible to share in the excitement of the Games.

Stephen Ashton, Olympics 2012 officer for Herefordshire said, 'This really will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be involved in the world's biggest sporting event. We are very hopeful the torch will be coming through Herefordshire and this offers people a chance to ensure deserving people get their own piece of the limelight and can be part of the whole Olympic experience.'

For details on how to nominate log onto or contact Stephen Ashton, Olympics 2012 officer on 01432 383623 for further advice or to discuss your nomination further. It is best to let people know you are nominating them and get their correct name, address, email address and contact phone number. All you then need to do is write around 150 words explaining why the person you are nominating is so inspirational.

The closing time for nominations is 11.59pm on Wednesday, 29th June 2011 and then a short list of potential Torchbearers will be created through a ballot process. The stories of the short listed nominees will be put forward to one of 12 judging panels around the UK. The stories will remain anonymous as the judges decide which stories they think have the power to inspire the world. Chosen torchbearers will be notified in December 2011.

People are welcome to nominate themselves if they think they have the right qualities and can't find someone to nominate them. They just need to fill in the Self-Nomination form PDF(190 KB) and post it to Self Nomination, London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, LOCOG, One Churchill Place, E14 5LN. These nominations will only be accepted if postmark is no later than Monday, 27th June.


Herefordshire Council has appointed national building contractor Speller Metcalfe to carry out a £1.6million renovation at Hereford Leisure Pool. The leisure pool was built more than 35 years ago and the works will transform the facilities by providing an all new changing village which will make it easier for families to use the centre, a complete refurbishment of the popular spa area and a general upgrade.

Jon Argent, chief executive of Halo Leisure said, 'This work will result in a transformation in the facilities and improve the experience of visiting the leisure pool, creating a modern and customer friendly environment. The investment in the facilities will also make the centre cheaper to operate with new energy efficient boilers being installed. The work will be completed by the summer so the main teaching, diving and leisure pools will be ready to welcome back families and keen swimmers onto our extensive programme of swimming lessons or just to enjoy a fun swim.'

Speller Metcalfe will work closely with Halo Leisure, who operate the leisure pool, to co-ordinate the works and ensure minimum disruption to customers. Main pools will be closed until Monday, 20th June but the leisure pool will remain open with an amended timetable. Alternatively customers can use similar halo facilities in Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Bromyard and Ledbury during this period.

Steve Speller, Speller Metcalfe joint managing director said, 'Speller Metcalfe are delighted to have been contracted to undertake further projects on behalf of Herefordshire Council. The works will enable us to continue to illustrate ground breaking design and build projects with minimal interruptions to normal service.'

Councillor Roger Phillips, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for enterprise and culture said, 'This major investment in facilities at the leisure pool will be a real boost for the city and provide not only a much better experience for users but it will also make the building more efficient to run which will help to reduce the county's carbon footprint.'

Phase two of the works is planned for later in the year and this will see the fitness facilities and catering area improved.


Herefordshire Council is encouraging everyone to rediscover their bicycles this summer and join the growing number of people across the county who are getting on their bikes for Herefordshire's Big Bike month this June. It will be worth dusting off the winter cobwebs, pumping up the tyres and getting the wheels spinning again as there is an opportunity to win a beautiful new bike and lots of other bike goodies. To join in the fun and enter the prize draw, simply take your bike for a ten minute ride during June and register your journey by joining the Herefordshire Big Bike Month online community group by clicking onto the Herefordshire council cycling page (

Steve Burgess, Herefordshire Council's transportation manager said, 'Cycling is great fun and we are fortunate in Herefordshire to have some wonderful countryside and cycle paths to explore. It's also very good for the environment and we want as many people as possible to join in the fun. It makes lots of sense and it's the quickest way to get around the city.'

There are lots of local bike rides to try out and people taking part in the Car Diet Challenge can count their bike ride as one of their planned journeys. Alternatively people can register their regular ride to work or college by following the link on the council's web site The site also has lots of top tips for people a bit out of touch with cycling and in need of some help to get started.

Taking a ride on the National Cycle Network Route 46 Hereford to Abergaveny.


Year six pupils from the county's primary schools are converging on Hereford Racecourse to get stuck into a jam packed programme of workshops, games and interactive lessons all with the overarching themes of health, well-being and safety. The Crucial Crew event, which has been running for more than 15 years, is organized this year by Herefordshire Council's environmental health and trading standards service in partnership with the police, the Red Cross, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Herefordshire, Herefordshire Housing, Safer Herefordshire as well as the council's road safety and quality and diversity teams.

As children prepare to embark on their secondary education, this event prepares them for some of the issues they may face over the next few years as they grow from being children to young people. The sessions that will be available, will cover themes such as healthy lifestyles including alcohol and drug awareness, road safety, personal safety, valuing difference and diversity and danger in the home. Lunchtime activities such as workouts using HALO dance mats will also be available.

This year's Crucial Crew began on Monday and will run until Wednesday, 15th June with sessions take place from 9.30am until 2.30pm every day. Over 70 schools are likely to attend and it is anticipated that somewhere in the region of 1600 pupils will be visiting over the 8 days.

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