Mar 20th

Weeping Window, Hereford Cathedral

By Ann R

Many of you will remember seeing pictures of the ceramic poppies installation at the Tower of London back in 2014, named 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', by the artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.

Two years ago the exhibition started to tour the country with its first destination being Caernarvon Castle (Wales).  Since then it has been to many locations and, from last Wednesday, it is here in Hereford - outside the Cathedral.

There are also various talks at the Town Hall each day, ie the history of the Herefordshire Regiment.

I finally got to see it this morning and found it so moving.  There is an exhibition inside the Cathedral of art and poems done by local schoolchildren - I could only read one and I was finished.  They had really studied the subject well and some of them were primary school children.  

Deciding not to make a fool of myself I headed to the local wool shop, noticing that each shop down the little street was decorated with poppies.  Having bought my wool the lady told me that they had got a display in their window and she walked out with me.  Fatal, I did start crying then and had to apologise to her.

I have taken a few photos and will post them in the photo section in a moment.

If you can get to see the exhibition if it comes to a place near you then it is worth it, very thought provoking on the lives that were lost.


Apr 21st

My holiday break!

By Ann R

For a while now I have been contemplating whether to go to a Warner's Hotel, having seen their adverts many times on the television.

A couple of months ago I decided to book a four night break at Holme Lacy, which is only six miles away from where I live.  Now some of you might think that is daft (lol) but the idea was that if anything should go wrong or I didn't like it, I wouldn't have far to come home.

I had alerted them that I was gluten intolerant and also could not climb stairs, so that was all taken care of.

Monday lunchtime the taxi arrived and we were there in less than half an hour.

The house is beautiful and was owned by the Scudamore family (of horse racing fame) for years, then it became a hospital, finally being taken over by Warners in the late 1990s.  I will add some photo in a moment, to the photo section.

As the taxi drew up to the entrance I could see two members of staff greeting the occupants of each car, so when it got to my turn I got out while the driver got my case and walker.  The girl explained that it was a welcome pack, told me my room number and how to get to it. Also to check in at the restaurant on my way through so that I could be shown which table to sit at (which I kept for the whole break) and also to give my gluten free order from the menu so that the chef would know in advance.

By this time the taxi had gone on his way (I had paid him) and he had put my case at the top of the steps.  There was a ramp hidden behind a hedge for me to walk up.

Well, it was like a maze inside but I soon got my bearings, remembered to give my order at the restaurant (after studying the menu) and then headed upstairs. My room was at the side of the building on the top floor, so lovely and quiet up there, I didn't get disturbed at all.

Also included in my welcome pack was details of events that would take place throughout each day - everything from quizzes to Tai Chi. There was also a cabaret each evening but I retired to my room before that started.

There was even a mini-bus trip into Hereford but, obviously, I didn't go on that.

The food was excellent apart from one hiccup, which I have pointed out to them (politely).  Lunchtime Tuesday I had a gluten free sandwich in their coffee shop, this was accompanied by a small bowl of salad.  I ate it without thinking, although I did realise there was some sort of dressing on it.  Two hours later I was in trouble and obviously will not go into detail here but, needless to say, I had to cancel that evening's meal.

I went into the coffee shop the next day and asked what the dressing was (as that was the only thing I could think of that was unusual). She informed me that the dressing wasn't gluten free!!!  Don't you think common sense would have told them that if someone was being served a GF sandwich then they should have salad without a dressing. Anyway I mentioned this on the form that had to be filled out this morning.

Days were spent knitting reading, doing quizzes, I did attempt the Tai Chi but it wasn't for me and sitting on a bench watching various people on the putting green. Oh, and I did buy some new clothes and had a manicure.

So, it is back to reality now, but I have booked another holiday for October, this time at their hotel near Nantwich, Cheshire.

Oct 14th

Autumn at its Best

By Mary B


I have just returned from a week spent in Scotland; in Angus to be more accurate. It was stunning. The sun shone quite frequently and the hills looked inviting.

We walked a lot and saw many birds - eagles, buzzards, geese, grouse, pheasants, and also deer and many bellowing stags preparing for the rut. The hills were alive with their booming calls - it was quite eerie as the sun went down.

We visited Blairgowrie and Braemar but did not stay longer than was necessary to buy our provisions, preferring instead to get out on to the hills and discover new routes and Lochs. We walked to Lochs Beanie and Callater on our various outings and enjoyed picnics at both.

We were even shown around a privately owned castle in the glen as it was being prepared for a photo shoot. It is available to hire as a wedding venue. 

We drove over 1000 miles but it was well worthwhile.



 Loch Callater

Loch Callater


A fairy tale castle

Forter Castle


The strange blue kit is being used to lift a workman to the windows so they can be repainted.


Apr 28th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L


LIVERPOOL is an entirely fictional city, Rupert Murdoch has insisted.

The owner of the Times and the Sun said his newspapers would never run stories about non-existent places and would instead focus on ‘real cities’ like Birmingham and Newcastle.

He added: “Liverpool only exists in films and comics, like Gotham and Metropolis.

“My newspapers do not report fiction. We pride ourselves on providing facts that have been gathered in an honourable way.

“Shoddy newspapers like the Guardian and the Mirror can write about this ‘Liverpool’ and try and hoodwink their readers into believing that it occupies a large area in the North West of England.

Sun readers are much too clever to fall for that nonsense.”

Apr 27th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L


British Home Stores in administration


BHS has had a last-minute reprieve after being bought by Northern grandmothers.


The chain has been taken over by elderly women after fears they would have nowhere to buy mundane items and have a nice sit down with tea in a proper pot.


Pensioner Mary Fisher said: “Northern grans depend on BHS for its range of unexciting goods such as bed linen, toilet brushes and grey anoraks for our husbands.


“BHS cafes are the only restaurants we feel comfortable in, thanks to their unthreatening menu of toast, sausage rolls or bacon and egg with half a grilled tomato for a special treat.


“We bought it by pooling our savings, which are surprisingly large due to unnecessarily frugal habits such as getting six meals out of a tin of corned beef.”


The new owners plan to make BHS even more appealing to Northern grans by expanding its range of ugly figurines of garden birds and adding pikelets to the menu.

82-year-old Eleanor Shaw said: “It’s lucky we’ve saved BHS because I need a cushion cover and the ones from M&S are much too colourful and se

Apr 8th

Premier Inn Newcastle appeals for 'Your stories' of the former Co-Op Building on Newgate Street

By Mary B

Premier Inn on Newgate Street, Newcastle, which recently opened, is appealing for for old stories and pictures of the former iconic Co-op building, which they completely and carefully transformed over the last two years into a £11m, 184-bedroom hotel.

Since opening the doors of the 114 year old building, they have been inundated by people dropping in to take a look at the renovated building and reminisce about its history, including families with relatives who worked there to others who attended events in the famous dance hall.

The team at Premier Inn have been keeping a journal of some of the fantastic stories which they want to add to and unveil a selection of on a ‘memories collage’ at the official launch of the on 14th April 2016.

Visitors to the new hotel have been particularly surprised and delighted that so many original features have been restored or replaced including, a War Memorial dedicated to Co-op staff who lost their lives in the two World Wars, which has taken pride of place in the reception, an impressive marble staircase and a cast iron arcade.

Please send your stories to by 11th April 2016 to
Michelle Brown 07920 406674

Mar 22nd

From: News Thump

By Colin L

Best place to live in Britain named as ‘Buckingham Palace’

Buckingham Palace best place to live

The best place to live in the entire country is a massive palace in the middle of the capital, according to a new survey.

The historic palace was called “practically perfect” by the Sunday Times Best Places To Live guide.

Editor Amy Matthews said: “Buckingham Palace thoroughly deserves its status as the best place to live in Britain.

“It offers a tasty slice of authentic history, with great transport links and a servant in pretty much every one of its 775 rooms.

“It’s so much better than your 2-bed semi in a town that used to be much nicer twenty years ago.

“It also has the added advantage of some strange old laws which actually pay you millions of pounds when you live there – we’ve not found anywhere like it.

“Honestly, if you ever get the chance to live in Buckingham Palace, I would highly recommend it.”

Slough resident Simon Williams said he enjoyed reading about all the places where he could never afford to live.

He told us, “It’s aspirational, isn’t it? You know, looking at all these nice places to live, whilst you’re in a house you hate and you’re sat on a 15-year-old sofa that literally molds to the shape of your behind.

“Maybe one day, eh?”

Nov 3rd

From: News Biscuit

By Colin L


‘Quids Company’ launched to assist impoverished charity chiefs

Ex charity chiefs, whose funding has dried up, are to be supported by a brand new charity ‘Quids Company’ following claims that they are likely to face severe personal hardship and social deprivation after years of financial enrichment.

The new charity will help deprived and vulnerable charity bosses in London, Liverpool and Bristol to come to terms with the ending of lucrative funding strands. A telephone support line, part funded by cash that should have gone to The Samaritans but somehow got diverted, will help those coping with the stress of any criminal investigations. Money will also be set aside to fight future legal battles and to help extended members of their families keep their mouths shut.

David Cameron has urged ministers to look into the situation and approve funding for the new charity before he gets blackmailed any further. Asked who he thinks will be a likely candidate to run Quids Company he said, ‘We are looking for a larger than life character, someone with charisma and plenty of charm who is used to getting what she wants. And very colourful outfits of course.’

In the meantime deprived children in London, Liverpool and Bristol are likely to be continually deprived after concerted government efforts by the Government to cut family tax credits and funding to other charitable foundations. New drop out centres, or ‘urban academies’ are now being set up in inner cities in play-grounds, bus shelters and outside Wetherspoons at zero cost to the tax-payer.

Nov 1st

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L


Generic transport pic

A GROUP of lorry drivers amazed motorists with a formation display that lasted a full 14 junctions.

The trucks, which varied in nationality from British to Portuguese, formed shapes including diamonds, an eye and a dollar sign all of which took up three lanes and were impossible to pass.

Hooted on by an enthusiastic crowd including several emergency vehicles who added their flashing blue lights to the spectacle, the display lasted two hours, covered 112 miles, and created a 22-mile tailback of excited fans.

The HGV Angels captain Stephen Malley said: “There’s one formation called the Cloverleaf that takes 50 miles on its own, all done between 54mph and 56mph – you need to be in a helicopter, but I like to think a Ford Ka three miles back gets a hint of the glory.

“Our final move is the Firework, where we clear the middle lane and the cars rush through it, fountaining out in a silver burst of rapidly accelerating BMWs.

“Like all great art, it truly elevates the soul.”

Oct 26th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L



By Tony Blair

AS PRIME minister during the period where UK forces invaded Iraq, I do not try to shirk my share of the responsibility for its unforeseen  consequences.

But I must ask in reply: where were these Middle East policy experts telling me that military action was a terrible idea back in 2003?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But back then, with the unexpected triumph of Girls Aloud’s first single riding high in the charts, no voice was raised against it.

The cabinet was united. British intelligence unanimously agreed that Saddam Hussain was an
immediate threat to the UK. The UN security council spoke, for once, as one.

And the people of Britain – the people who gathered in their hundreds of thousands in the streets of London to say ‘We back you, Tony Blair’ – were behind me every step of the way.

If there had been a lone weapons inspector, country, or newspaper who had opposed the war, casting doubt on the universal consensus that weapons of mass destruction were ready to fire on Britain in 45 minutes, then perhaps things would have been different.

But if any had such fears they kept them very much to themselves.

So when people ask me, ‘Are you to blame for Isis and Syria?’ I reply, ‘No, you are’.

And if that doesn’t work, I blame Bush.

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