Sham exercise

I received an email from Jesse Norman urging me to take part in an online consultation about the proposed Hereford bypass. I live in the Golden Valley and I notice that even the 96% of those commenting on intensive livestock sheds proposals objected and the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan making clear the Word also objected to this type of development and our Councillor and the Council completely ignoring everyone’s wishes, so why should I bother to fill in your consultation when I know it’s a sham. The state of our existing roads is a disgrace, akin to those in the African outback, and yet the Council wants to spend more of my money on new roads when they are unable to maintain existing roads. So no Jesse, it is a waste of my time to be involved in any sham consultation conducted by the Council.

Freer Spreckley, Dorstone

Fitting tribute

Whilst watching ITV Central News reporting from the Hereford Cathedral Poppies the other night, the reporter spoke to one of the Rotherwas ladies. This interview took place outside one of the derelict Rotherwas buildings.

What a fitting tribute it would be to those women if our council were to renovate that building and create a museum to them. It could exhibit the sort of work that was done putting shells together, what sort of conditions they worked under and possibly equipment that was used.

There are lots of photos about that could be put on display.

If a museum for World War 2 code breaking can be created at Bletchley Park, why not put Hereford on the map. It keeps being reported about the arduous work these women endured. Why not give a fitting tribute.

Ty Symonds Hereford Clean it up On Monday of this week I had to attend the hospital and approached it from Commercial Road opposite KFC. Considering it was closed due to lack of chicken supplies I was surprised and disgusted to see the entire length of the road approaching the hospital packed with thrown away take away food containers most of which carried the KFC logo. The overall effect was disgusting, unkempt, filthy and a blot on the landscape. Surely the fast food chains should be accountable for the rubbish generated by their business.

Their staff should be made to undertake a daily clean up of the area and the client also should be charged for littering the environment. Clean it up.

Doug Lowe, Burghill


I am writing in support of a recent letter from James Gale regarding the amount of litter and objects left by lorries along our highways and would like to extend this complaint to include safety cones and road signs!

Long after events such as road resurfacing and improvements, meaningless signage left on the verges and cones abandoned are in evidence on many of the roads entering Hereford including the A49. These are not only a distraction to driver but there must also be a financial loss to the county and Balfour Beatty or other contractors.

There is also the long term danger that road users become reluctant to take notice of road signage as it is so commonly left when no road working is being undertaken.

Perhaps if our councillors wish for residents to assist in keeping the county tidy and litter pick along the roads, our agencies should lead the way and remove their “litter” first!  Shirley Edgar, Wellington Bright idea After the snow this winter there are some shocking (literally) holes in the roads around the county. They are not easy to spot in the daytime, and impossible at night, with the result that our vehicles’ suspension and steering tracking take a hammering.

Now I understand that it’s not practical, both budget-wise and resource-wise, to go round fixing all these holes in one month, but it IS practical to spray reflective paint around these holes to help drivers spot them more easily and in advance. The Council could do this within a week or so, and for a relatively small budget.

Mark Mogridge, Leominster

New vision

“Transport is key to future growth” (HT, March 8) says the bypass is a ‘major scheme’ in the Marches local enterprise partnership plans to drive economic growth across Herefordshire. What?

Anyone near the A49 from Ross to north Herefordshire will see ‘highway enhancements focussed on increased opportunities for safe overtaking, alleviating bottlenecks and changes at key locations to allow 44 tonne HGVs to operate across the whole of the freight network.’ The bypass isn’t about sorting out Hereford’s congestion ‘that requires sustainable solutions. It’s about ‘journey time savings and increased time reliability for freight movements.’ Cllr Price’s mad vision for economic growth belongs in the Dark Ages. Communities don’t need 50m wide roads slicing through them, favouring 44 tonne HGVs.

Herefordshire’s Core Strategy states: ‘Tourism plays an important part in the wider Herefordshire economy as one of its largest earning sectors of the economy (£416 million in 2009). The attraction of Herefordshire is typically its unspoilt countryside and wide range of small scale attractions, and it is crucial for the economic and environmental sustainability of the entire county.

Bring on the council elections, new vision is required.

Toni Fagan, Llanwarne

Answers exist

The council’s by-pass propaganda is glossy and persuasive, but how outdated to see this kind of project as ‘modern’! You don’t have to be a green activist to understand that putting the private car before everything else is backward-looking! You only have to look at the transport systems all over Europe, in cities like Hereford, cities with councils which understand that the future isn’t roads, car fumes and traffic jams, but active transport, green spaces, and quality of life.

Free buses – not as expensive as building a giant dual carriageway – would solve Hereford’s congestion in one easy measure. And our council’s pitiful desperation for money will be solve if we all shame this cuts-obsessed government into providing local councils with the funding they need to provide the services we need.

Solutions exist; all that is lacking is the political will!

Louis Lagoutte, Hereford

RAF at 100

Many readers will know that the Royal Air Force was founded on 1 April 1918 on the merger of the Royal Flying Corps. Its centenary year will be marked by events throughout the United Kingdom, and Herefordshire too will mark the anniversary  The principal local event will be centred on a service in Hereford cathedral on Sunday, April 29 which will have as its theme: ‘Commemorate, Celebrate, Inspire’. The afternoon service will be led by the Dean of Hereford and will be attended by a wide range of Herefordshire people. The RAF Cosford Voluntary Band will be present as will Royal British Legion standards and those of other ex-Service organizations. It is already known that there will be a good turn-out of veterans, current service men and women, reservists and cadets. Of particular importance will be the presence of the Air Cadets from units throughout the county. At the end of the service there will be a parade through the Cathedral Close led by the RAF Cosford Voluntary Band with the Lord-Lieutenant taking the salute. A fly-past by RAF aircraft is also planned. Every effort is being made to ensure that as many people as possible who have connections with the Light Blue service have an opportunity to attend.

More information will in due course be sent to all regular units, reserve forces, veterans’ and cadet/youth organizations throughout the county. Anyone who feels that they might be missed should contact either David Packman (email:; phone: 01531 248294) or Peter Hereford (email:; phone:  01544 319223).

David Packman, Hereford

Lost sailor I am trying to trace any relatives of Benjamin George Jones, b. Whitchurch, Hereford on the 9th February, 1892, who was a crew member of the British Submarine E49 which was lost with all hands when it struck a mine whilst leaving Baltasound, Shetland, on March 12, 1917. My interest is to pass on information to relatives who may not be aware of the circumstances of the loss.

Harold Edwards, Andoya, Baltasound,Unst, Shetland. ZE2 9DY

Better times

THE article ‘The Walk’ (Hereford Times, February 22) through the parish of Dilwyn, reminded me of one of the parishioners mentioned, namely, Tom Eckley, who was a bell-ringer at St Mary’s Church for many years.

Tom was my uncle, one of eight children of William and Ester Eckley of Pitch Farm, Dilwyn.

My father, Frederick Eckley, was the youngest of these children.

William Eckley, in addition to farming, was an agricultural contractor, having steam traction engines and threshing boxes which were used during the harvest season by other local farmers.

Uncle Tom and his wife Aida, lived in Dilwyn in a cottage called The Kennels.

I recall growing up as a boy in Leominster, occasionally on a summer Sunday afternoon, cycling to Dilwyn to visit Uncle Tom and Aida. I always got a warm welcome and was invariably offered a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Growing up in Leominster during the War was quite an experience for us young lads. We all could identify and name all the aircraft, both British and American, which flew over.

I like to think that, encouraged by Uncle Tom, I continued a family connection with the church by becoming a choirboy at Leominster Priory.

Times were hard in the 1940s, war raged, rationing of food, clothes and petrol was strictly enforced and adhered to. No phones, cars, TV, refrigerators or central heating for the majority of the population.

The only takeaway was the fish and chip shop in the square.

But there was a conscious spirit of togetherness. Optimism was high, that come what may, we would prevail and so it was. Austerity? Of course.

But now? I can just hear the response to that question from my dear old father “the people nowadays don’t know they’re born”. 

Bryan Eckley, Tenbury Wells

Poor signings

We are stuttering along and one or two good players could be enough Having supported the Bulls since 1973, I watch a lot of non league football whenever I can. What I’d like to know is why have the defensive signings been so poor?

How many defenders have we signed and still defensively very poor and were signing people from lower level football or simply not good enough.

We now need someone in to score goals, we miss so many chances, that are proving costly.

I know it’s not easy to sign Tom Dick and Harry as they may be on contract or simply not want to come to Edgar Street but there are players available, and we do have a decent budget to attract good players.

Kings Lynn got a few ex pros, are well organised and a decent side, we got some tough games left and I think they are the side who could pip us to the title, and the play offs are just one off games which can go either way Have the players got the belly for the fight, I am not sure. The support home/away is superb so playing with some fight and passion when things are not going well is appreciated by the supporters.

There are a lot of rumblings on the Meadow End that were not as good as we think we are, and are tactically inept, are one trick ponies, organised sides work us out then we don’t seem to be able to react with a different formations or don’t seem to.

That said the Board of Directors, Beads and all the staff have done a great job to give Hereford a football team to be proud of, but with the fantastic support we need to keep climbing through the leagues as quickly as possible - but we need to add quality players not Joe Soap.

Paul Willetts, Hereford

Save the farm

There is too much at stake for Herefordshire Council to go ahead with its plans for a Western bypass.

The vibrant community farm at Warham provides a sanctuary for so many people who are all too often overlooked and taken advantage of in society. The peace and environment there would be destroyed by any of the seven routes suggested.

The farm’s position is ideal, being so close to the city. It has taken four years to set up, erecting various buildings and creating beautiful and productive gardens.

To destroy this would be to destroy many lives - and all for the sake of a road that will not reduce congestion, but will create more pollution and encourage more car use.

This destruction of the countryside within walking distance of the city will detract from Hereford’s touristic attraction, and cost enormous amounts of money.

How many Herefordshire councillors live on this side of the city and truly appreciate its value.

Please save the Community Farm.

Ann Rowan, Hereford