The Ross Gazette’s Review of the Year 2018 January - June

January: The year began for the Ross Gazette with the excellent news that the Ross Digitisation Archive Project had been awarded £70,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Work is ongoing to digitise the newspapers and the photographic archive and there have been several opportunities for young and elderly residents to be included. See a full update in the Ross Gazette on 2nd January. Children from Walford School lined the route to wave as the ice-cream van carrying local teenager, Lydia Cole to Walford Church passed the school where she had been a pupil. Lydia died suddenly at home but the funeral service was a celebration of her life. Former caretaker at John Kyrle High School, and a long serving Scout leader, Bryan Jones, was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours with a BEM. Mr Jones said he was very proud to have been recognised for his services to young people.

February: A new project set up to combat loneliness and boredom among men who have reached retirement age got off to a great start with the news that they had managed to obtain premises. The Ross Men’s Shed is located at the Ashburton Industrial Estate. The group has gone from strength to strength this year, including helping out with numerous community projects. A terrifying robbery took place at the travel agents in Broad Street when members of staff were threatened by a man who claimed he was holding a bottle of acid. Changes were afoot for Ross Carnival as longstanding members of the committee, Colin and Anne Gray retired and several new faces joined the team.

March: The biggest story this month was the Beast from the East, a particularly fierce weather system, hit Herefordshire, with the deepest snow seen in Ross for many years caused disruption to many. The disruption brought school closures and many parents were unable to get to work, some shops and businesses were also closed. Medical staff walked miles to get to work and then had to stay in makeshift accommodation as they could not get home. Many generous people helped clear snow from paths, schools, nursing homes and road, and others helped tow vehicles stuck in the snow.

April: There was great news for fans and players at Ross Rugby Club as the first team became league champions with two games in hand. There was also sporting success for the Goodrich tennis players, who had some very challenging matches, and the Junior squad at Ross Rowing Club who picked up medals at various events, including four from the Regional Regatta in Nottingham. St Weonards Primary School which had been threatened with closure due to falling pupil numbers won a reprieve as more pupils joined the school, including several pupils who spend three days a week at the school and are home-school for two days, this flexi-schooling approach had proved to be very popular.

May: May was a month of magical Royal moments, heart stopping sporting achievements and a special anniversary between Ross and the twin town of Condé was celebrated. There was also a sunshine-filled Bank Holiday, with a beer, cider and prosecco festival organised by the Ross Lions and Ross Rotary Clubs to enjoy. The new Mayor of Ross was decided, and Councillor Harry Bramer took over the chairmanship of the Town Council from Councillor Nigel Gibbs. Confusion reigned at a local supermarket following the introduction of parking charges at Morrisons.

June: Dozens of former students at John Kyrle High School joined visitors from Kisiki to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first time a group from the school visited Uganda. Ross continued to be successful at water sports, Don Leatherbarrow set even more new records and the junior squad at the Rowing Club brought home gold medals from the Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta. A new Vintage Shopping Trail was launched to highlight the number of antique and vintage shops there are in Ross. Silent Soldiers began to appear around the town, these metal silhouettes were sponsored by local businesses to commemorate those who did not return home from World War 1.For the full year in review see the Ross Gazette dated 26th December.