Herefordshire People: Flower Festival at St Marys Church, Monmouth June 1st

PUBLISHED: 16:20 09 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 February 2013



Flower arrangers from all over Monmouth have been hard at work preparing for the 'Church and Town' flower festival.

There has been a religious settlement on the site of St Mary's Priory Church since 1101. The original Benedictine priory like many others was closed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The present welcoming church building is the result of reconstruction by the Georgians and the Victorians. There is a collection of medieval tiles as well as a magnificent array of Charles Eamer Kemp stained glass.

The Flower Festival is prompted by the fact that the familiar peal of eight bells in the church tower is no longer able to ring out over the town. A lightning strike weakened the structure of the landmark pencil-point spire so that it is sadly no longer safe to ring them. Proceeds from the festival will help to pay for repairs.

(image supplied: St Mary's Church spire 3 or 5)


Pedal Power

Bike Week aims to get more people out and about on bikes and to promote cycling as a great way to "have fun, get fit and feel free" while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint. Last year's event attracted over half a million participants across the country.

The theme for 2008 is "Free the Family". Events will cater for a range of ages, abilities and fitness levels, and there will be children's rides, bike safety checks and free advice for anyone interested in getting started. Many of the events will be raising funds for Bike Week's official charity, Sport Relief.

A family picnic ride, on Sunday June 15, will start from the West Door of Hereford Cathedral at 2.30 pm. This will involve a gentle ride out to Breinton Springs for a picnic by the river.

CycleSeeing, on June 18, is a tour around Hereford, taking in some of its more unusual features. This will start at 7.00 pm from the Hereford Tourist Office, returning around 9.00 pm.

For more energetic cyclists, there is a 50-mile, off-road ride from Brecon to Cardiff on June 22, starting at 10 am from Brecon Theatre.

For more information about Bike Week visit, or phone 0845 612 0661. See also

Scarecrows in town

The festival weekend in Bromyard starts on the Friday evening, June 6, with a parade through the town that will finish on the Town Green with entertainment and a barbecue. Running throughout the weekend will be a Craft Fair, free entertainment on the Festival Stage, stalls and refreshments.

Now in its third year, the Scarecrow Festival goes from strength to strength. This year more than 50 scarecrows will be found around the town, each tableau depicting a film title. A competition, with a 50 prize to the person guessing the highest number of titles from the cryptic clues, will run from 11 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday at midday there will be a Duck Race on the River Frome when a thousand or so ducks will be battling for the 100 prize.

(image supplied: scarecrows 15)


A little bit of heaven for gardeners

Herefordshire's Garden Festival, launched last year, is returning to Hellens Manor House at Much Marcle on June 14-15 with the same mix of exhibits, workshops, talks and local food.

In the beautiful12-acre gardens of this ancient manor house, high-calibre craftsman and gardening experts will give talks, hold workshops, and present stunning displays. Seasonal lunches, ready-to-eat picnics, local-meat barbecues and Herefordshire cream teas will be served. Also on offer will be live classical music, craft activities, woodland walks, storytelling sessions and puppet shows.

The festival is organised by Hereford Waldorf School with the aim of raising funds and celebrating the school's passion for gardening.

For more information visit

(image supplied: ??? GF tif x 3)


From plain chant to jazz

Dore Abbey in the Golden Valley was founded by French monks in 1147, dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537, and reconsecrated in 1634 as an Anglican church. It is remarkable for its wealth of architectural features; but it is also very rare for a former Cistercian abbey to be in regular use as a parish church.

Music has always been an important part of the abbey, ever since its monks sang in Cistercian plain chant. In the 20th century the renowned Dore Music Festival was held here, hosting international performers such as Yehudi Menuhin. In 1995, 25 years after this ended, the Festival was revived by The Friends of Dore Abbey.

2008 Programme

Friday June 27, 7.30 Classical Guitar Recital by John Williams (sold out but return tickets may be available in previous week, 01873 821456).
Saturday June 28, 7.30 Orchestral Concert by The Craswall Players, conductor Sam Laughton, soloist Amy Norrington, featuring Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Schumann's Cello Concerto (tickets 15, 01981 510332).
Sunday June 29, 11 am Festival Eucharist with The Unicorn Singers, director Stephen Marshall.
Sunday June 29, 3 pm School Prom by students of The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School, director Paul James (tickets 5 at door, schoolchildren free).

For information about other events at Dore Abbey, which include the Choral Workshop with Paul Spicer, Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, recitals and jazz, please visit

(image supplied: DA 0351)


Ledbury author Suzette A. Hill will be signing copies of her new comic crime novel Bones in the Belfry on Saturday June 14 at Ledbury Books & Maps (20 High Street, Ledbury) between 11 and 1. The sequel to A Load Of Old Bones, this promises the same mix of mirth and mayhem. Drop in for a glass of wine and be one of the first to purchase a pre-publication copy.

(image supplied: book cover)

Dancing for tots

During June Arts Alive will be presenting 12 shows from both international and British companies specifically aimed at the under 6's.
Bare Toed present aerial dance theatre based on the changing seasons in Bare Toed in The Garden, followed by an interactive workshop; Theatr Mala Scena from Croatia bring fantastic, funny, dance theatre in The Parachutists; and La Baracca from Italy perform two shows: 'The Colours of Water ' and 'Feather and Stone', each in their sensual, atmospheric, playful style. La Baracca will also be offering a practical workshop session for teachers on developing creative play.
Sian Kerry, Director of Arts Alive and coordinator of the scheme, says, "The aim of Arts Alive is to bring live professional performances within easy reach of everyone in both Herefordshire and Shropshire, and we want to make sure that includes younger children. For many this is their first taste of live performance and we hope it will be a magical, unforgettable experience."

Theatr Mala Scena in The Parachutists
Wednesday June 4 at 4pm Ledbury Primary School 01531 638476 3 per ticket or 4 for 10.
Bare Toed in Bare Toed in the Garden
Tuesday June 10 at 10.30am and 1.30pm Y-Zone, Ross-on-Wye 0870 1122330 Tickets 4 adults/2 children. Limited places for workshop: please book early.
La Baracca in The Colours of Water
Saturday June 14 10.30am Lady Hawkins Leisure Centre, Kington, 01544 231 579. 3
Saturday June 14 at 4pm Leintwardine 015447 540407 4 adults / 3 children.
(image supplied: Parachutists)

It's time to get out your coracle

The Mortimer's Hill Regatta at Mortimer's Cross, Lucton, is a free, fun event for all the family. Learn how to paddle a coracle, and even take part in some races.

A main feature is the Miller's Mile, a race against the clock,
along the mill stream, across the island (carrying your boat) then
racing down rough water to the finish.

Anyone wishing to try out a coracle should be aware you are likely to
get very wet, and bring a change of clothes. Most of the event takes place upstream of the mill on the River Lugg, where the water is fairly slow moving, and very safe.
Members of the Coracle Society will be there to offer tuition.

Rough camping is available on site for a small fee, and the
grounds are extensive, with about half a mile of waterside woodland walks.
For more information, ring the landowner Chris Partington on 01568 708820.

For more information about the event, contact Dick Mundy, 01206 302033 or

(image supplied: ???)


Wake up and smell the farmyard
Open Farm Sunday is an opportunity to discover at first hand what life is like for a farmer. Take time to listen to the birds, soak up the scenery, experience the smells of the farmyard and get in touch with the land that sustains us.
Depending on the host farm's specialities, activities may include farm walks, nature trails, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, mini farmers' markets or picnics.
Here are some of the farms that will be open in our area. Please call or email the farm in advance if you are planning to visit, and please wear appropriate shoes. For more details, see

Barton Hill
Kentchurch, Herefordshire, HR2 0BZ

1.45 to 4.00. Trailer rides, Hereford cattle, sheep, potatoes, cereals, machinery and conservation work. Light refreshments with donations to St Mary's, Kenderchurch., 07714 291 362

Grove Farm
Kimbolton, near Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0HE

10.00 Feed hens and ducks and collect eggs. 11.00 Groom/discuss care of ponies. 11.30 Walk through sheep to river and climb inside a tree. 12.30 - 2.00 Cafe open for light snacks. 2.00 Full educational farm tour covering pigs, beef cattle, sheep, poultry, ponies, orchards, hedgerows and grasslands. 5.00 Tea.
Haygrove Ltd
Falcon Lane, Pixley, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 2PY

11am to 4pm. Farm tours, the Bug Man, children's entertainment, machinery and much more.
01531 633659, 01531 633659.
Hopes Ash Farm
Hope Mansell, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 5TJ

10.30 to 4.30. Farm trail, machinery and farm animals. Guided tours, milking. Children's play barn. Cider tasting, coffee, cakes and afternoon teas. Bring a picnic. Well behaved dogs welcome., 01989 750002

LJM Associates Ltd
The Hill, Castle Frome, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1HL

11 to 1.30. Farm walk starting at 11 looking at crops and countryside and historical features (not suitable for pushchairs). Refreshments, displays.
01531 640820,

Marston Court
Pembridge, Leominster, Hereford, HR6 9JA

11 to 5. Farm animals, shearing demonstrations, butter making, weaving, felt making, apple pressing, crops growing, nature trail, vintage machinery, sausage and pie making, guess the weight of the lambs. Refreshments available with proceeds to The Charles Renton Unit.

01544 388303,

Pound Farm
Holme Lacy Campus, Hereford College of Technology, Holme Lacy, Hereford, HR2 6LL

Tours of farm lasting approximately 2 hours, starting 10.30 and 1.30. Tractor and trailer rides, farm animals, machinery, learn about organic farming, wildlife spotting. Picnic area.
01432 870029,
White Haywood Farm & Restaurant
White Haywood Farm, Craswall, Herefordshire, HR2 0PH

11 to 3. Family-run farm in stunning setting. Cows and calves, ewes and lambs and a bull called Pluto. Farm walk, wildlife, machinery, environmental schemes, restaurant.
01981 510324,
(images sent from Ceres of children on farms: please choose one)

Feeding Young Minds

The Duchy of Cornwall's Local Food Partnership hosted a meeting this month for farmers, distributors, caterers, representatives from schools and members of Herefordshire Council to discuss its objective of increasing the proportion of children learning about and eating healthy, locally sourced food and drink in Herefordshire schools.

Among those present were children from Kings Caple primary school who are "Gold Ambassadors" for the Healthy Schools project.

Information was exchanged on the benefits to children's health, to the local economy and to the environment of local produce being provided in schools. Many suggestions were made about how this could be made simpler, and more economical.

David Curtis, Land Steward of the Duchy's Herefordshire estate, pointed out that a number of successful models for the supply of healthy, locally-sourced food to public funded bodies exist in other counties such as Cornwall, and challenged the representatives of the Council present to make this happen in Herefordshire.

The Partnership is now working with the Council in the hope of taking the plan forward.

(image supplied: Teacher and pupil at Westfield School)


Buy local, fresh and seasonal

Abergavenny, Market Hall, Thursday June 26, 9-30-2.30
Brecon, Market Hall, Saturday June 14, 10-2
Hereford, High Town, Saturday June 7 and Thursday June 19, 9-2
Knighton, Community Centre, Saturday June 14 and 28, 9-2
Ledbury, Market Place, Wednesday June 25, 9-2
Leominster, Corn Square, Saturday June 14, 9-1
Llandrindod Wells, Middleton Street, Thursday June 26, 9-1
Malvern, Abbey Road, Saturday June 21, 9-2
Monmouth, Monnow Bridge, Saturday June 28, 10-1
Presteigne, Radnorshire Arms Hotel, Saturday June 7, 9-1
Usk, Memorial Hall, Saturday June 7 and 21, 10-1

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