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Bromsberrow Heath's oldest resident dies
Written by A. Cyclist   
Tuesday, 09 February 2021 22:36

We were saddened to learn that Roy Thompson, Bromsberrow Heath’s oldest resident, passed away on 31st January.  This was only a few weeks short of what would have been his 101st birthday.  Our condolences extend to his family and friends.

I will not write an obituary here: anyone interested in knowing about his very interesting life can find out more from the Portal article celebrating his 100th birthday on 29th February 2020.  Roy had intended to hold further parties during 2020 because there wasn’t room in his home to invite all those he had wanted to on the day.  Sadly, Covid (or more precisely, Covid restrictions) prevented these other gatherings taking place.  I am privileged to have been counted as one of Roy’s close friends to celebrate with him on his great day.

Suffice it to say, Roy did not die of Covid: he died because of Covid.  I say this because he became increasingly lonely during the last 10 months of his life because Covid restrictions prevented his friends (including me) visiting.  The last time I saw him was in November 2020, by which time he was clearly suffering from dementia, almost certainly brought on by his enforced isolation.  I had considered several times ignoring lockdown rules because the risk to his mental health from having no visitors was greater than the remote possibly of his catching Covid from me.  I phoned a few times since: each time he seemed less ‘with it’ - which is so sad considering that, until shortly after Boris locked everyone (except his mate Dom) down, Roy was a bright as a button.

There must be many other sad deaths for similar reasons, which have not figured in any statistics.

Market Theatre to become flats??
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 05 February 2021 22:05

A LADS (Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society) member recently had a phone call from a journalist with The Stage, enquiring about an objection the Theatres Trust is making to a planning application regarding The Market Theatre.

LADS Member:  What???!!!
Journalist:  This is The Market Theatre in Hitchin?
LADS Member:  No, it’s The Market Theatre in Ledbury, Herefordshire...


According to the Hitchin Comet, the Ledbury theatre’s namesake has been threatened with transformation into five flats by the listed building’s owner.  The Comet has since reported the planning application (to North Herts District Council) has been withdrawn.

The Market Theatre in Ledbury is owned on behalf of the community by LADS, so such a fate is most unlikely befall our theatre.  Whilst the Market Theatre has been forced to close, as have all others, since mid-March 2020 owing to Covid, it is still in a sound position and fully intends to reopen when it can.  It chose not to during the brief spell last summer when theatres and cinemas were allowed to do so owing to lack of notice and the lead time required to programme events.  Instead, it has undertaken a full risk assessment and has put in place a fully Covid-secure system, ready for reopening when this becomes possible.

See the theatre’s website for updates. #WeWillBeBack

No Lidl - so what now?
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Saturday, 30 January 2021 20:28

Herefordshire Council has refused developer Deeley’s outline application to build a supermarket, medical centre and nursery on the remaining triangle of land between the bypass and Dymock Road, so what will be the fate of this area?  It does seem that what's good for Aldi is not good for Lidl!  The land has clearly been set aside for some purpose, otherwise Hawk Rise would have spilled into it.

Of the 92 representations in total (ie. including organisations as well as individuals) on the relevant planning page of Herefordshire Council’s website, I counted 40 objections and 21 in support.  The remainder were comments neither for nor against.  Yet the recent storm on the so-called ‘Voice of Ledbury’ Facebook page indicates a strong feeling in favour, particularly of Lidl.  So why didn’t those who felt so strongly respond on Herefordshire Council’s web page when they were able to do so?  (Consultations were open for 6 months!)  Unsurprisingly, the over-priced Co-op was one of the objectors, and even Aldi threw in its twopennorth with a veiled objection.

Ledbury now has an unwanted housing estate in construction next to the site, which was forced through appeal by Gladman (who are well-versed in getting their way with the Planning Inspectorate: they have now pocketted the proceeds and moved on).  Sadly the town has to accept the reality of over 600 new residents and accommodate their needs.  Having a supermarket on their doorstep will decrease the likelihood of further clogging up the town centre with cars (and/or the section of the bypass between the site and Aldi getting over busy, or of Hawk Rise becoming a dormitory ghetto for Gloucester).  However, Deeley’s plans for this site were completely car-centric: if they had included direct pedestrian and cycle access from Hawk Rise, that would have added green credentials and ticked a few more boxes.

Herefordshire Council has missed a trick here: it could have insisted on this 'green' access and slapped a S.106 condition to improve non-motorised access to the site from the rest of Ledbury by requiring the developer to pay for upgrading the Town Trail from the muddy track it has become through over 20 years of neglect.

So what now for this isolated triangle of land? A hotel has been mooted - but that would almost certainly evoke objections from the over-priced hotels already in town.

We can now look forward to the traffic light above Aldi’s entrance being red more often....

Booking to visit the tip set to become permanent
Written by A. Cyclist   
Friday, 06 November 2020 19:25

Ever since the Little Marcle Road waste site reopened following Lockdown 1, it became necessary to book a visit.  When the new system started, it was not possible to book a slot on the same day, which was very inconvenient if you were finally able to mow your lawn on a sunny day and needed to get rid of the cuttings immediately.  And booking could only be done online - no good for those without internet access.

In August, it become possible to book on the day - but your booking would not show up on the list the attendant is sent at 07:00 that morning.  More recently, new bookings are sent to the attendant’s mobile phone within 30 minutes (though there are times when this fails)...  Some infrastructure has been put in place to facilitate this - clearly something that would not have happened if the booking system was planned to be phased out after the pandemic.

Online booking is unnecessarily long-winded, but it is possible to shorten the process by bypassing Herefordshire Council’s website and going direct to:  Those who cannot book online may do so by phoning 01432-260000, but obviously this is only possible during office hours.

Although visitors are advised to download the PDF emailed to them for the booking and display it on their phone, this is not necessary: all that is required is to note the booking number that is sent to you.  Another slight improvement to the system is up to 4 visits may be made within a period of 14 days - up from only two - but this is still no use for a major house clearance, etc.  The hassle, together with limited opening hours (which are, fortunately, no more restricted than in pre-pandemic days) encourages fly-tipping.

Visitors to the Ledbury site may arrive by bike or on foot as well as with a motor vehicle, though non-motorised users are told they must not jump a queue of cars.  In reality though, there are seldom any queues - the one advantage of this new regime.  This system has probably made people plan their visits more carefully, rather than go with just one item.  It does, however, prevent those who do not live in Herefordshire or Worcestershire using any site within either county: Bromsberrow residents, even though having an HR8 postcode, now have to go to Hempsted, which is on the other side of Gloucester.

Repair Café re-imagined: Update
Written by Repair Café Ledbury   
Sunday, 16 August 2020 19:53

RCL logo

To comply with Lockdown 3, the Repair Café has had to suspend activities again.  Hence sessions for January, February and March 2021 have, regrettably, been cancelled.  We do hope to be able to reopen as soon as possble.

The Ledbury public’s appetite for repair was clearly demonstrated by the success of our first two sessions in February and March 2020.  We are keen to develop the idea of Keeping Repair Alive in Ledbury without, of course, risking any spread of the Covid-19 virus amongst our volunteers, clients, or the public in general.

Our new way of operating this popular service last September was a drop off and collect repair service for portable household items of a mechanical, electrical or ceramic nature.  This proved very successful, so the same format will be maintained when we are able to reopen.  [Please note: All items will be sanitised before being worked on.  This means that we cannot accept any textile or fabric repairs, or any other item where application of sanitising products would cause damage.]

Our volunteer repairers will work at safely spaced-out tables inside the hall, with public drop-off and return desks located at the entrance from Church Lane (opposite the Prince of Wales pub) and from the ally beside Ledbury News on the High Street respectively.

All bookings made so far in 2021 have been held over until we can reopen.  Owing to the backlog, we regret we are unable to take more bookings for some time.  Further details and updates will be posted here.

Repair Cafés are local schemes that promote repair as an alternative to throwing things away.  The idea was born in Amsterdam in 2009, and there are now over 1500 Repair Cafés worldwide.

Repair Cafés do not charge a fee for repairs, but donations towards running costs are gratefully accepted into our cash quarantine box!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2021 22:53

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