Poppy thanks

Your readers may already know that the wonderful Poppies: Weeping Window installation, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, will be displayed at Hereford Cathedral from 14 March to 29 April.  This will be accompanied by an exciting programme of exhibitions, events and activities around Herefordshire’s active part in the First World War, particularly the Home Front.

We are expecting around 100,000 visitors to come and see, free of charge, the internationally renowned sculpture during its time in the city.  Hereford is the first location in the West Midlands to benefit from the Poppies, in the final year of their tour of the UK.

The organisers would like to thank all the individuals and organisations that have kindly sponsored and supported this prestigious event in so many different ways, to help make this once in a lifetime opportunity a great success for the city and the county. We would also like to thank the more than 150 people who have generously volunteered to be Poppies Ambassadors, helping visitors to enjoy their trip to the county.

We invite you to come and enjoy the Poppies and Home Front experience this spring.

Mike Smart

Deputy Chairman Herefordshire First World War Committee

Flat route

Why are Herefordshire Council taking the bypass the hardest and most expensive way round Hereford when there is a flat route with no houses in the way going clockwise.

What about the poor people who are going to lose their homes just because a certain nature trust are blocking the most logical route around Hereford which even has part of the route in place.

The clockwise route will destroy homes and have to cut through hills to get to the A49 and then it still hasn’t reached the main link to the area, the A4103, so even more issues.

Herefordshire Council needs to sort this issue out.

Peter Jervis


Limited value

I saw with interest the proposal for a western bypass around Hereford that you published last week. The road is long overdue and will alleviate much traffic congestion in the city.

However, the proposal will be of only limited value in improving the economy of the county in particular and the Marches in general. We should all be lobbying central government for a much more creative solution to the transport problem of the area.

The government have styled the Greater Birmingham area the Midland Power House. We need to benefit from investment in that area by updating our abysmal transport links.

John Dorney


Farm threat

I am writing via your paper to appeal to Hereford Council concerning the purposed bypass suggestions. Whilst I realise there is an urgent need for a bypass, two of the routes run through the Hereford Community Farm. This is a charity that provides various farm and creative activities for vulnerable adults. The work they do is outstanding - my own son has come on amazingly since attending. The social aspect is so important as well. I beg the Council not to choose this route you will take away a massive pleasure in these vulnerable adults’ lives which I can assure you are not many.

Alison Sheppard


Forlorn hope

It is perhaps a forlorn hope that people will attend and be vocal at the consultation about the “Bypass”. However the clue is in the word itself. The purpose of such a road is to relieve congestion and pollution in the town or City it is bypassing. It rarely does because housing occurs either side of it and it becomes simply a corridor, increasing the already established congestion.

After three exhaustive independent consultations Government has said Hereford does not need a bypass and would not fund it but should deal with its internal traffic problems. It has been established that only 15% of traffic is through traffic. Herefordshire Council stubbornly refutes this and has said it will fund the bypass itself by building houses, which rather confirms my opening point. HC states that having spent the £200-£300 million pounds it will cost to build it will save three minutes on a journey. For whom? Building the 16000 houses it proposes will add at least 30,000 cars to the already crowded streets of Hereford. Where is the sense of that?  Hereford has no real unemployment problem so where would the jobs come from for people to fill those houses. Rather Hereford would be attractive to people retiring from the bigger cities of the south east and add to the already heavy burden of adult social care in Hereford. This is the real world and the questions that should be addressed to this consultation. The only houses that are desperately needed in Hereford are affordable houses, affordable by its present populations growing families, but here’s the rub, what is affordable to people who are already 26% below average earnings in the country?

Charles Nicholls


Scaffold bill

I have been dismayed at the sight of our premier civic building, the Town Hall, with its main door covered in scaffolding.

After yet another FOI request it transpires that, the front fell off in January 2016. I am advised the building is a complex structure and requires specialist input to repair the bits that fell off. The cost so far for scaffolding to date and counting is £18,166.09.

The date of completion is “Yet to be determined”

So the scaffold bill is still ticking, amd a beautiful building is in a mess, what an advertisement for the City!I wonder what the scaffolding bill is for the burnt out mess in High Town, perhaps someone else will find out that figure?

Just another sad reflection of our city, do the council care? I do wonder.

Les Wilkinson

Sutton St Nicholas

History lost

Recently, while driving along the B4399 Holme Lacy to Rotherwas road (near the old railway bridge), we noted with horror, that the WWII Pillbox next to the former Guardroom at the entrance to the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, has been demolished. This had one of only 2 reliable Ordnance Survey Bench Marks for the Rotherwas Estate on it and was a piece of Hereford’s WWII history - now destroyed.  This is a total disregard for local history.

Why was it not listed?

Peter and Wendy Spicer


Black Swan

I am hoping that someone can help me with a couple of queries I have. 1) From 1959-1966 we lived at the Black Swan in Widemarsh Street (now Primark). My Dad was Ivor Matthews. After we moved away we started to hear that all was not well.

There were rumours that neither the Brewery nor the Council could agree on a way forward.The remaining family would be interested in any information as to what actually happened.

2) From 1962-1966 I had the misfortune to attend Ledbury Grammar School, not happy memories. I was nicknamed Squib. I am sorry to say that I can not remember the names of my fellow students. I can however recall some of the teachers ,mostly the men (more of them), Misters (neck) Morris, Crocker, Giles, Sherlock. Jenkins and Mrs Higgingbottom.

Any information on what happened to the school would be greatly appreciated.

I can be contacted at alanavondaleiw@icloud.com For Primark staff I should just add that there were spirits others than those in bottles!

Alan Matthews

Newport, Isle of Wight

Grave upkeep

You had a News in Brief Item on page 13 of last week’s edition concerning the repairs needed to the grave in Hoarwithy churchyard of Private George Edwards. You reported that Jim Buckley was trying to raise money for this repair.

It occurs to me that in all likelihood the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will take on the repair of this grave as he died of wounds on active service. They should be approached at https://www.cwgc.org/ and I understand they may also pay local cemeteries a maintenance fee for the ongoing upkeep of such graves.

Richard Bartholomew


Thanks to all

My husband collapsed in Cranfields Cafe on Wednesday, February 7 and would like to thank the paramedics and police who came to our rescue, the brilliant staff at Cranfields, Becky and Lyn from Wykenhurst care home, the A&E department and Frome ward. The NHS staff are very dedicated and caring doing a wonderful job often in difficult circumstances.

My sincere thanks to the above mentioned.

Gracie Pinnell and her daughter Sandra


Pension fears

It may not be generally known that local authority pension funds in Britain have many billions of pounds invested in fossil fuels.  Herefordshire shares its pension fund with Worcestershire and has investments of £2,453,471,046, of which 7.79% is in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are becoming more and more expensive to extract renewables will soon overtake them and investments in fossil fuels will become “stranded assets”.   Birmingham City Council has recently passed a motion recognising the environmental and financial irresponsibility of fossil fuel investments and asking the West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.  So is it not time Herefordshire and Worcestershire did the same? I would like to ask our councillors who sit on the pension fund committee to look carefully into the matter and recommend to the Council that it consults with Worcestershire Council on this important matter.

Anne Adams


Future ideas

In just two years we will have entered the third decade of the 21st century. At John Kyrle we have taken this as an opportunity to shape our ‘2020 Curriculum’. One of my headteacher targets this year is to look at both what we teach and how we teach it.   To assist in this I have begun an on-going consultation with students, staff and trustees at school. This has included utilising the service of an independent advisor so we gain a wide perspective. I also want to know the views of parents and carers about the skills, attributes and qualifications they feel are important for the young people we educate. I will ask for their thoughts via a forthcoming newsletter, as well as speaking to people informally at school events such as parents’ evenings, concerts and performances.

 An essential part of my curriculum review will be gaining the opinions of the local community. This includes the business and voluntary sectors, and those who live in the area. Part of our role as teachers is to help develop the national and local citizens of the future. In doing this we must reflect the values and aspirations of the community.

 I will be contacting groups and individuals personally. At the same time, could I ask for anyone who has any thoughts, ideas or questions on this matter to get in touch with me at school. 

Nigel Griffiths


John Kyrle High School

Air quality

With reference to the article February 8th Hereford Times “ Concerns over air quality” 414 homes at Bargates.

This has been debated for many years, we have lived in the area for 20 years and can remember some years ago when the Council was offered by a developer a bypass.

It would free the roads of all the through traffic especially the heavies passing down Bargates.

What a short sighted lot, the cost now will be more than double.

J and M Foyle


Seeking help

I wonder if anyone could possibly help me please?

My father unexpectedly passed away recently and it was concluded to be the result of a Mesothelioma, a cancer triggered solely by asbestos inhalation/exposure.

My family and I are appealing for anyone who has had or knows someone who’s contracted an asbestos related illness and who worked in industry in Hereford from the 1960s onwards.

We want justice to be done for the devastating loss of my beloved and irreplaceable Dad and the horrifically sudden and untimely nature of his passing which has left a gulf in our family which will never be filled, We want justice to be done for the devastating loss of my beloved and irreplaceable Dad and the horrifically sudden and untimely nature of his passing which has left a gulf in our family which will never be filled.

Please private message me on Facebook with any information, my name is Jem Michelle, or email me at jem.m.cope@gmail.com.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Eddie’s Family.

Jemma Cope


Loss of nature

I have recently discovered that the pointless pollarding and coppicing of trees in Ross has been done by private firms at the behest of Herefordshire council.

In addition,a bush borderng Sainsbury’s car park, which was offering no impediment to the public has been needlessly massacred. This was a favoured place for roosting sparrows which gave us all much pleasure.

Meanwhile, the wall at the side of the library has been on the point of collapse and behind barriers for over a year. Again this will be repaired by a private contractor. This is just one of the many walls and pavements in Ross that are in a dangerous state.

May I ask what Balfour Beatty are for? It seems to me that the only work done in Ross is to decimate  our trees.

Peter G Hewett