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EVENTS | Arm Knitting Workshop at De Koffie Pot

On Sunday 31st March – Mother’s Day – The Chunky Needle are hosting an arm knitting workshop at De Koffie Pot.

Book Now to avoid missing out. Alternatively you can message the Chunky Needle directly via Facebook.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL | Hereford Stampede look for new members

Get involved in American Football ready for the Stampede’s 2019 season.

Hereford Stampede are looking to get men and women active in Herefordshire. They have training sessions on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

Join the Stampede!

POLICE APPEAL | Police appeal for information following Pontrilas Post Office robbery

Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery at a post office in Pontrilas.

The incident happened some time between 9.15pm on Sunday, 3 March and 7.15am on Monday, 4 March.

It is believed that two or more offenders gained entry to the premises by cutting their way through a fence and forcing open a window to the property.

Once inside the post office, the suspects caused significant damage and stole a safe containing a sum of money.

Following the incident, it is believed that a van or pick-up truck that was parked under the railway bridge opposite the post office drove through the gates of the compound and parked outside the front of the post office.

The suspects are then believed to have loaded the safe onto the van or pick-up truck before driving off.

PC James Smith from West Mercia Police said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area that night who may have witnessed the burglary or seen a van or pick-up truck parked under the railway bridge.

“Anyone with any information or who may have witnessed this incident should contact police on 101 quoting incident 59s of 3 March . Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

FILM REVIEW | Captain Marvel is another fun entry in to the MCU according to Lewis Pearce

After a slow start to 2019, we have our first major release of the year with Captain Marvel, the 21st film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This was another big moment in Marvel’s history, as the movie’s leading star and co-director were females, both firsts for the franchise. Beyond this historic moment for cinema, there is plenty to admire about the movie, from the 90’s set tone and soundtrack to the rousing action sequences and stunning visual effects. But sadly, it can also be very uneven at times, with some jokes falling totally flat and characters feeling underdeveloped. With recent superhero efforts such as Infinity War and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse taking the genre to all new heights, the inconsistency of the film means it will not be remembered in the same conversation.

Amnesiac Vers (Brie Larson) is training to fight a war with Kree leader Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). But after a mission fails and enemy Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) accesses her memories, she gets a glimpse of her past life, leading her on a mission for answers whilst battling the Skrull enemy who have invaded Earth.

There has been a lot of talk regarding the casting of leading lady Brie Larson (some even using the word ‘miscast), but I was really impressed with her performance. She can sometimes struggle in the more serious scenes, but she does charming and sarcastic really well and is certainly someone you will root for. Samuel L. Jackson (looking incredible with his de-aging CGI) is his usual likeable self, providing a great chemistry with Larson and it’s a joy to watch his early years at SHIELD unfold.

The supporting cast here is huge, but most are either underused or frustratingly erratic. Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn in particular are superb at times, whilst at others they are terribly wooden and unconvincing. Returning actors Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) and Lee Pace (Ronan) have frustratingly limited screen time, just like newbie Annette Benning who excels as Dr. Wendy Lawson but is only in a handful of scenes. The best of the rest is actually a cat named Goose, who is adorable and another great creation within the Marvel universe.

Written and directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (the duo behind Mississippi Grind and It’s Kind of a Funny Story), their transition from small indie flicks to big budget blockbusters is an overall success, but still have a lot of learning to do if they are to return to the big leagues. The directing is sharp and at times gorgeous, but an over-reliance on slow motion does dampen things. Their script is solid, with some great gags throughout and the story interestingly never goes in the direction you think it will. However, characters are never fully fleshed out and the first act in particular is thrilling but rushed. In what has become a recurring problem with MCU movies, some of the jokes here are once again really poor and feel nothing but forced.

Despite its flaws I had so much fun watching this movie. Often thrilling, always entertaining and features a Stan Lee tribute so beautiful it is worthy of admission alone. Finally, Marvel has its first big female superhero role, an astonishing character that reaches her full potential come the explosive final act. Her next challenge is the world-destroying Thanos, and he better be watching his back because she means business. Do not miss the mid-credits scene either, it’s a belter.

Verdict: Visually spectacular and consistently enjoyable Captain Marvel is another fun entry in the MCU, though very far from their best.

Best Moment: Larson tracks down a Skrull on a train

Rating: 7/10

FEATURED | Hereford Stonemasons honoured in London

On Monday 11 March, two stonemasons who received their training at Hereford Cathedral, were recognised for their achievements by The Worshipful Company of Constructors.

Both Alec Curtis and Max Cotterill have been mentored by Simon Hudson of Hudson Stonework Ltd, which is based in Hereford Cathedral Close, during their apprenticeships. They have had the opportunity to learn all aspects of stonemasonry including banker work, intricately designed tracery and letter cutting. On-site projects have included Hereford Cathedral, historic St Bartholomew’s Church in Much Marcle and other churches, preaching crosses and important tombs in the Diocese.

Their apprenticeships have been supported with a grant from The Worshipful Company of Constructors, a modern City of London Livery Company for professionals working in the construction industry. The Company was granted Livery by The Court of Aldermen in 1990, followed by a Royal Charter of Incorporation by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2010.

Doug Barrat, Chairman of the Friends of Hereford Cathedral and past Master of The Worshipful Company of Constructors, has been hugely encouraging of the apprenticeships. He nominated both for the awards and for a grant from the livery company. This additional support has enhanced their apprenticeship experience and skills.

Now both Alec and Max have been recognised for their commitment to their craft at The Master Certificate Awards Ceremony in London. Alec, who joined Hudson Stonework Ltd in 2012, was presented with the Journeyman Certificate. During his apprenticeship he carved a new stone cross for Hereford Cathedral’s Booth Porch, an intricate finial on the corner of a pinnacle on the tower and since January 2018 has been working on The Palace of Westminster.

Max Cotterill, an apprentice at Hereford Cathedral since 2017, received the Apprentice Certificate. Max was recently commissioned by the Perpetual Trust to design and carve a roundel for HRH The Prince of Wales as a thank you for hosting a major event for the trust’s international donors. The roundel has now found its place at Highgrove. Max is currently studying his NVQ Level 2 at Bath College with a view to completing his Level 3 next year.

Simon Hudson said: ‘I am very proud to see two of our apprentices being recognised for their commitment to their work. Both Alec and Max are skilled young craftsmen and it is wonderful to be a part of their journey into becoming stonemasons. I am also incredibly thankful to the Worshipful Company of Constructors for all of their support, particularly with grant funding, which has hugely supported our apprentices.’

FOOTBALL | Bulls fixture at Alfreton called off due to waterlogged pitch

Hereford FC’s National North fixture at Alfreton Town has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Hereford FC were not made aware of any pitch inspection and therefore the decision came as a bit of a surprise.

FEATURED | National Star – Improving the lives of young people with complex disabilities in Herefordshire

National Star at Hereford is growing and they are expanding their services for young people with complex disabilities from the local Herefordshire community, and they urgently need your help.

National Star at Hereford offers life-transforming programmes combining learning, personal development and specialist therapies along with a high level of support for people aged 19 to 25 years old who have physical disabilities and / or acquired brain injuries, alongside associated learning, behavioural sensory and medical needs.

Most have complex learning difficulties and disabilities. They support young people to develop their sensory awareness and their understanding of cause and effect, whilst improving their social and communication skills, learning how to make personal choices and building their self-confidence. All this is integrated with speech and language therapy and physiotherapy.

Mark’s Story – When Mark started at National Star at Hereford three years ago, simple tasks, such as eating lunch, crossing the road or walking from one room to another were huge challenges for him. Mark has autism, is sensitive to noise and needs time to process information and put those thoughts into action. His condition had an impact on his entire family as they learned to be patient and to allow Mark the time he needed to complete tasks. National Star worked with Mark to enable him to manage his condition and develop his confidence and communication skills. Now he is thriving. He volunteers in a shop as part of his work experience, socialises with his peers and can cross the road safely.

‘National Star has made me more confident,’ says Mark. ‘I can now talk to anyone. I like the staff at National Star, they are kind.’

The support from National Star has been phenomenal and Mark has got his life back,’ says his mother Heather. ‘He’s using his mind for himself and making his own choices. He’s enjoying his life.’

The demand for specialist support in Herefordshire is growing, and they have outgrown their current base in Hereford and have secured a new permanent home at 1 Ledbury Road, Hereford, which is centrally located, with easy access to community facilities. The property was previously used for local children’s respite services, and they are pleased to be bringing it back into use to support young people with disabilities, however they need to refurbish the property to ensure it has the right accessible and specialist facilities needed by the young people that they support. These include seven long-term supported living bedrooms, en-suite specialist bathrooms, an accessible kitchen and living area due for completion in autumn 2019 and specialist learning, life skills, therapies and sensory spaces due for completion in summer 2020.

Purchasing and refurbishing 1 Ledbury Road will be a major commitment to expanding and improving National Stars provision in Hereford. They need a wide range of support to help make this project possible, and need to raise £100,000 to help complete and equip the refurbishment and turn the property into a warm and welcoming place. Are you able to help them? With your help they will be able to support more young people with complex disabilities like Mark to have the opportunities and support they desperately need to progress, to grow and to flourish.

You can make your donation to the Hereford Appeal here.

If you would like more information about the Hereford Appeal please email herefordappeal@nationalstar.org or call the Fundraising team on 01242 524478.

BREXIT | Herefordshire MP’s vote against extending Brexit deadline but motion gets passed

Herefordshire MP’s Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin both voted against a motion put forward by the Prime Minister this evening to delay Brexit until the end of June or beyond.

The motion was however passed and signalled a victory for under fire PM Theresa May. May will now approach the European Union for an extension to Article 50.

Both Herefordshire MP’s are believed to want a decision on Brexit to be made prior to the original deadline of 29th March. That now seems increasingly unlikely.

NEWS | City councillors agree to changes to reduce carbon footprint

Hereford City Council agreed last night to remove single use plastic bottles from its meetings.

Each Councillor is given a plastic bottle of water before each meeting and it was highlighted by Councillor Chris Chappell who said: “I don’t wish to have plastic water any more. I’m making a point to save the Earth, Can I have mine in a jug from now on please?”

The city councillors agreed a motion to announce its support for Herefordshire Council in declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ by agreeing that they have a shared duty of care to the residents of Hereford to act on Climate Change.

Hundreds of students and the public recently joined together at Hereford Shire Hall to let councillors know how much the future of the planet means to them.

FEATURED | Women urged to help build vibrant future for region

Gill Hamer

The region’s leading businesswomen have been urged to join the drive to build a vibrant economy for the Marches for years to come.

Marches Local Enterprise Partnership director Gill Hamer called on women to step forward and help shape the economic future of the area by applying for two vacancies on the LEP board.

Her call came at a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day hosted by the Marches Growth Hub in Shrewsbury.

She told the audience the Prime Minister had insisted that all LEPs had an equal mix of men and women on their boards by 2023.
“At the moment we have only one woman on the board so I am appealing for women specifically to join,” she said.
“I want to hear from women who run or manage their own business or who are on the board of a larger business and who want to put something back.
“We need people who will make sure that Shropshire and the Marches has a vibrant economy by making sure we have the right infrastructure to do that.”

The Marches LEP is a business-led partnership charged by the Government with driving economic growth across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire.

Applicants should have a strong knowledge or expertise in the region’s industry and either live or work in the Marches.

The board meets six times a year and membership will be for a minimum of two years on a voluntary basis.

Expressions of interest should be emailed along with a short biography or CV to Gill Hamer at gill.hamer@marcheslep.org.uk by 12.00pm on March 28. To find out more about the roles call Gill Hamer on 01743 462026.

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