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FOOTBALL | Bulls director causes a stir after Twitter rant

Hereford FC Director George Webb has sparked anger with Bulls fans after a sarcastic tweet he aimed at a supporter.

Webb tweeted saying ‘We run this club for nothing, we give everything to this club and have to buy a season ticket to do so, if you were a season ticket holder I would have respect for you, we have fans who follow us through thick and thin, travel the country to support us they have my respect’

The tweet was in response to a supporter who had said they didn’t buy a season ticket due to being unable to attend every match and also not being able to ‘warm’ to the new management team.

Since the tweet, supporters of the club have been quick to point out to Webb that it is his choice to be in such a role and that his attitude could be a reason why fans may decide to stay away from Edgar Street.

This all comes as Bulls chairman Ken Kinnersley announced that he was retiring from his position as chairman of the club.

Are you a Hereford FC supporter? Do you agree with Webb?

📷 – Bulls News

WHAT’S ON? | Leominster Festival – 6th-9th June

The Leominster Festival has been providing an exciting, eclectic and varied programme of artistic events across the pretty Herefordshire Market town for almost 40 years. Regularly featuring a broad mix of poetry, historic walks and talks, theatre, music, fine art and family fun since 1980; the volunteer-run event has developed into a well known and respected celebration of the Arts in rural Herefordshire.

This year’s Leominster Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before; with a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund helping to support the ever popular community Family Fun Day on The Grange – a free to attend event with a focus on accessible art for every corner of the community.

Old favourite, the Thursday night “Big Street Pub Quiz” returns to close off Broad Street on the evening of 7th June, with the ceremonial tour of the town and traditional market taking place in Corn Square from 10am the next day. Bystanders can join the historic Flesh Taster, Bread Weigher and Ale Taster, along with the Town Cryer, as they make their way through the town sampling all that Leominster has to offer.

New for 2019, the Festival introduces a free-to-enter Poetry Slam, where budding poets can perform their best rhymes in battle for the prestigious title of official Leominster Festival Poet. Also on the ever-growing bill is the free family fun day, hidden history walks and talks, live music with rockabilly stars The Delray Rockets, and the award-winning Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mahler with Rückert-Lieder against the spectacular backdrop of Leominster’s medieval Priory Church.

For tickets, further information on the full programme of the weekend’s events, or to register for the Poetry Slam please contact the Festival by email Leominster.festival@gmail.com, or call in to Leominster Tourist Information Centre.

FILM REVIEW | Rocketman is a thoroughly entertaining and ambitious musical biopic

Following last year’s crowd-pleasing and Academy Award winning Queen Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody brought new life to the genre, our attention now turns to another UK musical legend – Elton John. Following the rise to fame of Reginald Dwight, known to most by his stage name Elton John, Rocketman is filled with toe-tapping musical numbers, but also isn’t afraid to dig deeper into the singer’s personal life. Detailing his troubled relationship with his parents, his difficult love life and his misuse of alcohol and drugs, this is a rare musical which doesn’t hold back, and is all the better for it. Whilst Bohemian was very family-friendly, Rocketman is strictly for adults.

The film simply does not work without an electrifying central performance from Taron Egerton (Known to most as the star of the Kingsman Franchise). Egerton transforms into the role and gives it everything he’s got, nailing the look and persona of Elton flawlessly. He also sings every song himself, something not even Rami Malek did in his Oscar winning performance as Freddie Mercury. Egerton brings the film much needed energy and emotional layers and is easily one of the best performances of the year so far.

The supporting cast are also all fantastic, especially Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as John’s long-time friend and songwriter Bernie Taupin. Bell delivers a charming and likeable turn and his friendship with Egerton feels real and true. Richard Madden (The Bodyguard) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) also shine in small but important roles whilst Stephen Graham (This is England) steals every scene he is in as Studio head Dick James, providing many of the films best laughs.

Rocketman is directed by Dexter Fletcher who was hired, fired and then re-hired to complete the aforementioned Bohemian Rhapsody, and he does a wonderful job here. His shot selection and use of imagery is gorgeous and the way he rotates between younger and older Elton is nicely handled. He has created a number of magical and psychedelic sequences which showcase the sense of how Elton saw the world.

The only problem I had with the film was that whilst screenwriter Lee Hall (War Horse) has produced a smart and sweet script, it can at times feel awfully generic and it very rarely shies away from cliché. I also struggled with how cheesy the film can become, with some moments in particular feeling slightly cringe-worthy.

The comparisons with Bohemian Rhapsody are expected, and whilst both films are great, I do believe Rocketman is the better film. Nothing in Rocketman in truth comes close to Rhapsody’s stunning Live Aid performance, but Rocketman is far less conventional and a better made movie overall. Whether you’re a fan of the legendary pop icon or not, this is a thoroughly entertaining and ambitious telling of Elton John’s life story.

Verdict: Anchored by strong performances and directing, Rocketman is colourful, outrageous and heartfelt, just like the man who inspired it.
Best Moment: Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
Rating: 8/10

HAVE YOUR SAY | Consultation on alternative options to Day Crewing Plus at Hereford, Worcester and Bromsgrove Fire Stations

A proportionate public consultation is currently underway regarding alternative shift duty systems within Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) following a court ruling.

In 2018, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) brought a successful High Court case against South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority challenging the ‘Close Proximity Crewing’ (CPC) shift system. The judge in the case ruled that CPC was unlawful in relation to the Working Time Regulations.

Day Crewing Plus (DCP) is a similar duty system – and, as with CPC, this system is voluntary and requires firefighters to opt out of normal working hours as specified in the Working Time Regulations.

Due to an inability to obtain a ‘collective agreement’ from the FBU for this system we are now seeking your views on replacement shift duty systems at Hereford, Worcester and Bromsgrove where DCP is currently in operation.

In 2014, Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority (‘the FRA’) approved the Community Risk Management Plan 2014-2020 (‘the CRMP’) . The CRMP sets out how the Service intends to make the area safer with the funding and resources it expects to have available to it over the six-year period, as well as its plans to reduce the number of emergency incidents and how it will work in communities to keep people safe.

Before the CRMP was approved, Hereford and Worcester fire stations each had three fire engines, two of which were crewed on the full-time Shift system and one by On-Call staff. However, the CRMP analysis identified that due to the very low operational activity levels at night in the two cities, the second fire engines at both fire stations should be changed to the Day Duty system so that they would be immediately available during the day and crewed by On-Call staff at night

WHAT’S ON? | Last chance to see the Creatures of the Mappa Mundi at Hereford Cathedral

Internationally celebrated artist Yinka Shonibare has created a series of new quilt artworks for Hereford Cathedral, commissioned by Meadow Arts.

Creatures of the Mappa Mundi is inspired by the Mappa Mundi (the largest medieval map of the world to survive to the present day). Shonibare invited diverse Herefordshire groups of people to contribute to the project by coming together for sewing sessions, intended to spark debate on current hot topics, including the environment and immigration.

Groups from the Courtyard Hereford’s Creative Ageing project; Diploma in Art & Design students from Hereford College of Arts; Rose Tinted Rags and charity for disabled people, Echo; young people from SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People Project) and Hereford River Carnival have sewn textiles as part of the project.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is a remarkable artefact with rich illustrations, some depicting strange people and animals, drawn by artists from various myths or the exaggerated descriptions of travellers to far off lands. Shonibare was inspired by these creatures to create a series of figures both realistic and supernatural, for a series of textile hangings.

The exhibition is in the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library exhibition space from 24 January to 1 June 2019, normal admission charges apply.

WHAT’S ON? | An evening of bold contemporary dance by four renowned choreographers

The Courtyard welcomes a new generation of dancers to the stage this spring

Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s acclaimed postgraduate dance company VERVE will perform at The Courtyard in Hereford on Tues 21 May as part of their 18-date spring tour across the UK and Europe.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Matthew Robinson, the company of 13 emerging dancers has worked to create refreshing and original dance works with four celebrated choreographers. These are: Maxine Doyle (Associate Director & Choreographer for PUNCHDRUNK); Ben Wright (Co-artistic Director of Candoco Dance Company); Joan Clevillé (Artistic Director of Joan Clevillé Dance) and Noa Zuk (former Batsheva Dance Company artist and Independent Israeli Choreographer).

Exploring the physical connections between breath, speech and the body, Team V by Joan Clevillé is a playful and humorous look at the poetics and politics of the human voice.

In 4:18 by internationally renowned choreographer Maxine Doyle we meet a group of lost souls desperate for connection in a city that never sleeps. Emotionally visceral, this work draws inspiration from the words of performance poet Kate Tempest.

Ben Wright’s the sea tells a story is a physically sumptuous work set to music by Douglas Dare and with lighting design by Kieron Johnson.

Completing this year’s diverse repertoire is a restaging of Shutdown by Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof. Full of pulsating rhythms and movement, it veers wildly between delicacy and fierce physical precision, imagining the sequence of moves required to shut down a power plant.

Artistic Director of the company Matthew Robinson said: “Each year VERVE tours the work of exceptional choreographic artists, performed by a vibrant, international company of dancers. Expect adventurous and bold work that reveals the virtuosic athleticism these artists are capable of.

“Dance is an international art form. Embedded in cultures across the world, it is a means of communication beyond words. Dance and art more broadly have the ability to provoke thought, to spark dialogue and imagination. I invite audiences to sample a selection of the breadth of what is happening in dance right now at one of our performances this year, as well as witness a new generation of dancers about to make their mark on the UK and international dance scene.”

This year’s company comprises 13 dancers trained at some of the world’s leading conservatoires. As well as dancers from the UK, VERVE includes dancers from Chile, Italy, Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay; creating a truly international dance company.

VERVE is at The Courtyard on Tues 21 May at 7.30pm

Tickets for the performance are £15/£12

Book online at courtyard.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01432 340555

DISCUSSION | Could trams be the solution to Hereford’s congestion issues?

Could trams help reduce congestion in Hereford and provide an affordable and reliable service?

When you think of trams, you normally think of Sheffield, Manchester or possibly Birmingham. However, could the former Great Western Railway (Also known as the lines) in Hereford be the main route for a potential tram line in Hereford? The idea has been raised before by opposition councillors and groups such as Hereford Voice and is likely to be raised again as a potential alternative to the proposed Western Bypass of Hereford.

The idea of trams is certainly a positive move from a green point of view and you’d imagine that funding would be available, given that the government is pushing for greener ways of travel in cities across the UK.

What are your thoughts? Would you use a tram service in Hereford is it was affordable? Would you ditch the car to use the tram?

Or do you feel that the idea is far from realistic?

Head to our Facebook page to join in the conversation.


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LOCAL BUSINESS | XT Driver Training

Contact Roy at XT Driver Training Herefordshire on 07775 461923.

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NEWS | Ross shop owner and employee receive community penalty for illegal tobacco sales.

Community penalty imposed following a January raid which seized around 31,000 illegal cigarettes.

A shop owner and employee have received a community sentence for their involvement in the sale of illegal and counterfeit tobacco in a case taken to Hereford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 8 May 2019 by Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards.

The owner of Europe Quality Food (Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye) Mr Kosar Othman Mohammed, (39) of Cranemoor Close, Birmingham and his employee Mr Karwan Kamil Salh (19) of Livingstone Road, Handsworth pleaded guilty to charges of sale and possession for sale of illegal and counterfeit tobacco.

The court heard that Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards and West Mercia Police worked in partnership to carry out a targeted operation at the premises on Saturday 5 January 2019. Trading Standards seized around 31,000 illegal foreign non UK-duty and counterfeit cigarettes.

The magistrates viewed the matter as serious and handed down community penalties to Mr Mohammed and Mr Salh of 240 and 180 hours unpaid work respectively. Both men were ordered to pay £983 each in costs.

Europe Quality Food is currently subject to a three month closure notice which was imposed by Hereford Magistrates Court on Tuesday 7 May 2019. Breaching a closure order is a criminal offence, and anyone that attempts to access the address could be arrested.

The sale of illegal tobacco seriously damages honest local business and the cheap availability of illegal cigarettes makes it easier for young and underage people to become addicted. Members of the public are urged to contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761 if they have information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco within Herefordshire.


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