Ross Library looks back on life on the River Wye

By Chris Were   |   Reporter   |
Monday 19th September 2022 9:00 am
@ChrsWr
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Marsha O’Mahony (pictured left) and librarian Clare West.

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Ross-on-Wye Library visitors were treated to a delightful walk through historic Ross, in a talk from former Gazette reporter Marsha O’Mahony.

The talk, illustrated by photographs from the 20th century unfolded the social history of the River Wye and the ins-and-outs of life on the river.

A look at what life was like was punctuated by a presentation of photographs.

For many in Ross, the Wye was where people learnt to swim, and as such, a thriving community surrounded this rite-of-passage.

The trauma of the wet swimming costume was covered, from when swimming costumes were made from wool, often from re-purposed jumpers which made for impractical wet clothing compared to today.

Many photographs feature men of the day rowing down the river, wearing full suits and ties.

Marsha described how the river became the gateway to the tourism industry, building up the livelihoods of many families, and was a major part in shaping Ross-on-Wye’s culture.

Ross Library hosts a number of talks which visitors can attend. The next is called “Creativity Against the Odds” by Clifford Johnson, who will share the stories and results of some of his creative challenges, on Wednesday, October 5 at 7pm.

Doors open at 7pm and talks begin at 7.30pm; entry £4 for RLDG Members, £5 for non members, and free to students.

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