What I did in Lockdown – Set a new British rowing record

Jake Birch - British rowing record for marathon distanceSome special Lockdown news from Byford that we would like to share. Jake Birch from Byford Common has just broken the British Record for the 15-16 age group for a marathon distance on a rowing machine by rowing 42,195 metres in 2hrs 48 minutes.

In order to get fit for his record attempt Jake has spent the lockdown in daily training on his rowing machine and in his self-built gym in the back garden – an example to us all!

This is just the most recent of Jake’s rowing achievements since he became the youngest winner for Hereford in a double scull when he was only 11. Coached by his very proud dad and mum, he has won three national medals and gained a world record for the distance rowed in an hour on a dynamic rowing machine.

Earlier this year he was selected for the junior GB rowing squad which has unfortunately been put on hold due to the pandemic. In September he will be taking up a scholarship place at Shiplake College, one of the top rowing schools in the country.

What have you been doing during Lockdown? Get in touch and we’ll share your story with others in our parish.

What I did in Lockdown – Made a Roman Centurion life-size model

This is the first in a series of articles featuring what people have done during Lockdown as they’ve had more spare time on their hands than usual.

Roman Centurion by John Macklin

Roman Centurion by John MacklinIf you’ve driven through Bishopstone recently, you may have spotted a life-size model of a Roman Centurion standing by the entrance to Jolin, a house near the turn for Bishon Lane.  The work of John Macklin, this model has taken many painstaking hours to make. Here’s John’s story…

I was looking at my scrap metal pile in the yard and thought I must sort it out, when the end of an old copper water tank caught my eye. I thought it looks like a shield, I had a pair of old motor cycle forks which looked a bit like legs so the idea came to make a life sized Roman Centurion out of scrap metal. I had an old copper ball float from a cattle water drinking tank to make his head, and a load of thin metal strip recovered from when I cleared out an old industrial unit years ago.

So from these basic bits, I started to build the Centurion, welding up thin metal for his arms and legs, the knee caps were old ends of a curtain rail, the feet came from old cobbler’s trees, motorcycle forks for the hips and legs, from part of an old tow bar I made the hand, the armour was hammered out of the old copper cylinder, the skirt and leg shields were cut from an old road sign, ball bearings were used for the eyes, odd copper bits made the nose and ears.

The helmet was beyond my tin bashing skills, and I had run out of metal (my excuse). This came courtesy of eBay made by skilled tin bashers in India.

So why make a Roman Centurion?

Having been born within 200m of the site of the Roman Town of Magnis, Kenchester and attending Kenchester School. I developed an interest in Roman History maybe because we played with Roman coins and other artefacts donated to the school uncovered by ploughing the town site over many years. We as school children were taken to look at the excavations made by archaeologists when they exposed the remains of the West Gate of the Town.

Living in Bishopstone on the side of an old marching road used by Centurions between AD43-410 on their way to the border forts of Clyro and Clifford, I thought the Statue would be a nice tribute to those men.

What have you been doing during Lockdown? Get in touch and we’ll share your story with others in our parish.

Local businesses providing food boxes and frozen meals

Here is a lost of local businesses providing and delivering food boxes.  Below this is a further list of suppliers of frozen and pre-prepared meals.

If you need any help with the following:

  • Shopping
  • Urgent supplies
  • Picking up meds (DBS check needed)
  • Pet walking
  • Calling vulnerable people during this difficult time

Contact Sarah Keefe on 590352 or Anne Moore on 590616/07729 933039 (DBS checked). Leave a message if no reply.

Ogleby butchers

01432 265248




Open normal hours this week 8am – 5pm.
To cope with the high demand we have now taken on additional staff including delivery drivers.
Please phone in your orders for delivery.
The shop is open but are allowing one person In at a time. Please respect out social distancing precautions.
We have a full range of meat in stock including : family meat packs, BBQ packs, beef mince, stewing, steaks, burgers, joints, pork , steaks, joints, diced, chickens, chicken fillets, thighs, lamb, minted lamb chops, sausages, bacon, eggs, potatoes, milk, butter, cheese sliced ham and beef and even loo rolls!!
Free delivery within Hereford city limits on orders over £20 and a small charge for up to 5 mile radius.
Elgar Produce

01432 274154

Delivery only service, so this means the stall will be closed. All orders will need to come through Facebook page through messenger.

Going forward, deliveries will only be on a Monday and a Friday, just to reduce the risk.
Payments will now all be BACS, and it’ll be a doorstop delivery service, so there is no contact with anyone


01432 273300

Offering a range of boxes, ring up or check out their Facebook page.
Copper pot (Legges)

01432 357753

Offering weekly hampers ranging in price from £10-£90 with free delivery. See website http://www.leggesofbromyard.com/weekly-hampers/
Bartonsham dairies

01432 272941


Bartonsham Farm dairies have teamed up with Total Produce to deliver a food box, you will receive all of the items in the pic (see web link).  You can order Monday – Friday 9am-4pm
Kings Acre Express

01432 273726

Can deliver provisions locally. Minimum spend £5 for delivery.  Would be glad of any volunteers willing to help deliver.
Les the veg


Fruit and veg boxes for 1-2 people or large families. £10 / £20 / £25.  Free delivery Mon-Sat, order by messaging through Facebook or call 07483219218
Bay Horse Inn

01432 273351


Offer a range of goods to be delivered, see Facebook page.  Also offering microwaveable meals and Sunday lunch delivery. See website
Pengethley Farm Shop  01989 730430 / 07735 338180 Can deliver produce (meat, bread, milk, frozen meals etc). Do regular runs to pubs etc in Ross, Hoarwithy, Whitchurch and Much Birch – if within run area, can incorporate delivery. If in addition to regular runs, probably request order to be £30 and over.
Neil Powell, butchers

Hereford: 01432 277557 / rob@neilpowell.co.uk


Free Home Delivery (Herefordshire & Monmouthshire) – In light of the recent developments in regards to COVID-19, we are rolling out our free home delivery service across Herefordshire & Monmouthshire. Our delivery drivers will carry out sensible measures to ensure your delivery is done so safely. You can place by phone or email. Deliveries will be made on Wednesdays and Fridays. Minimum Order Value £20. Although our home delivery service is open to everyone, we would please like to stress, that we want to make sure that the vulnerable in our community and those who are self-isolating have priority and the opportunity to get what they need. If you would like delivery on alternative day or your spend is under £20, you can use our online next day delivery service, which is chargeable.
Oakchurch Farm Shop Call and collect for essential food items Call us with your shopping list on 01981 500 125 (option 7) or send an email to enquiries@oakchurch.net We totally understand that you may prefer not to enter the store to shop so we now offer a call and collect service for our customers. Essential foods, fruit & vegetables, meat, household goods, pet food, etc.
Just call or email us your requirements and when you arrive in our car park we’ll drop your order into your boot for you.
Morrisons food box


Please see their website for details.  Note you will need to set up an account with them.
Blue line taxi’s (delivery)

01432 343435

Frozen and pre prepared meals (local and national)

Oakhouse Foods : 0333 370 6700    Offering delivery of frozen meals, light lunch options and puddings. Supporting with dietary requirements. Also offer grocery delivery. Oakhouse offer convenient weekly deliveries across the country.   Free delivery over £30.00.
Wiltshire Farm Foods 0800 773773 Frozen meals delivered to the door – order for the full week – Contact for brochure. Free trial meals available. Special Diets available: Gluten Free, Free From, Diet Search. Specialist Nutrition: Purée Petite, Purée Classic, Purée Breakfast, Purée Shaped Sandwiches, Purée Desserts, Soft Meals.
Parsley Box : 0800 612 7225 Dishes that are quick and easy to heat up in a microwave.  They are easily stored in a cupboard without taking up space in a fridge or freezer: Meals start from £2.99, Free next day delivery. On all orders over £19.00
Chef on Board Ltd  01981 250494


Provide ready meals that have all the flavour, quality and comfort of home-cooked food. The minimum order value is £40 (excluding delivery). Delivery charges are as follows:
• £8.95 for orders £40-£59.99
• £7.50 for orders £60-£84.99
• Free of charge for all orders over £85 – If your delivery address is within Herefordshire, may be able to deliver direct to you. Just call with your order to arrange a convenient delivery time (you will need to be in). Payment is by cash or cheque on delivery. Dispatched frozen and in insulated packaging; the meals should be transferred back to a freezer as soon as possible following delivery.
   Meals on Wheels Hereford : Tel: 07929080991 or 07887483521 The Meals on Wheels service delivers hot meals to you at home Monday to Friday. There is a three week rolling menu, and amendments can be made to suit dietary requirements, and meals can be transferred onto a plate if required.  Main Meals cost £4.25 and puddings are £2.45. Please call to request a menu or to order a delivery.
Herefordshire Butchers: 01432 272357 Hereford Butchers provide pre-prepared meals that can be delivered to you at home. There is no set menu, they are happy to take requests for the meals you like to eat, make them up using fresh ingredients and then deliver them to your door. Delivery is free for orders over £20.00. Further information can be obtained by contacting Hereford Butchers direct. Approx £4-£5 per meal
Herefordshire Meats 01432 263264

07768714569  www.herefordshiremeats.com



Freshly prepared meals delivered to your door. Proud to prepare and cook meals every day in purpose-built kitchen, using only the freshest ingredients. Will deliver anywhere in Herefordshire. Please see leaflet or look at website to see the menu and pricing.

Oakchurch delivery service for food provisions

Oakchurch is offering a delivery service within a 5 mile radius of its shop, enabling anyone who is self-isolating to get fresh supplies delivered.  If you live beyond this 5 mile distance and are social distancing, you can still order – give your car reg and colour, and a member of staff will bring supplies out to the car so you don’t have to go in the shop.

For our parish, deliveries will be made on Fridays. Email enquiries@oakchurch.net with a list of basic items required (a shopping / price list hasn’t been created), your name, address and telephone number. Oakchurch will ring before delivery to take payment over the phone.

Here are the delivery days for other areas if you’d like to forward to friends and families living nearby.

Monday – Letton, Winforton, Norton Canon, Kinnersley, Eardisley, Sarnesfield

Wednesday – Snodhill, Bredwardine, Dostone, Peterchurch, Shenmore, Madley, Eaton Bishop Canon, Bridge

Friday – Bishopstone, Yazor – Weobley, Tillington Common, Staunton

Talk Community – Covid19 response

Herefordshire County Council has sent every household in Herefordshire (88k) a letter focussed on the most vulnerable people and the support they will need outside their existing network, as part of its Talk Community Covid19 Response.

The areas of support  are:

  • Shopping
  • Urgent supplies
  • Picking up meds (DBS check needed)
  • Pet walking
  • Calling vulnerable people during this difficult time

For local help in Bishopstone, call two people living in the village – Anne Moore on 590616/07729 933039 and Sarah Keefe on 590352 (leave a message if no reply).

People needing support can also call the dedicated Talk Community telephone number on 01432 260027 and email address talkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk.

Amy Pitt, Assistant Director for the Talk Community Programme, has been coordinating the development of a dedicated telephone line for vulnerable people and volunteers to contact us and we will then link them back into the community organisations. There have already been some fantastic community responses happening and the council can support the infrastructure through this response and provide community resilience.

Many of the wards and parishes have provided us with information of the community work being undertaken however there are some areas where we have little information. Please do forward to Amy and the TC team any community information to this email address talkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk.


Telephone support as all church services cancelled

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have cancelled all public worship until further notice. This means that all regular services are cancelled.

However, most of our churches will remain open for private prayer and in some there are prayer leaflets available to take away. We have also set up a confidential telephone support system, operated by volunteers from the churches, for anyone in the parishes who needs someone to talk about any issues they are going through. Please ring Revd Rana Davies-James on 01432 760443 to access this.

The Church continues to pray for all who are affected by coronavirus COVID19 in any way

Road Safety Strategy – Have your say

Message from John Campion, Police and Crime Commissioner, West Mercia

As you may know road safety is a high priority of mine and as the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner I am launching my draft Road Safety Strategy for consultation. This strategy has three key themes:

  • Reducing Casualties through Prevention;
    Effective Enforcement; and
    Offender Rehabilitation and Victim Support.

Whilst our roads are comparatively safer than others, too many people are still being killed and seriously injured in West Mercia. We must work together to see this number consistently reduce.

Your views are important to me and the feedback I receive will help inform the development of my finalised Road Safety Strategy. I see this as a real opportunity for the strategy to truly reflect the concerns and priorities of all of West Mercia’s communities.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete so please help me to make West Mercia’s roads safer. A copy of the draft strategy is attached and the survey can be found through this link https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90214147/Road-Safety-Strategy-Consultation

The consultation will close on Friday 20th March, information can be found at www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk

Local History Evening – Stories from the Hopyards

At our Local History meeting on Thursday February 27th we will be celebrating an important part of Herefordshire’s farming history with a showing of “Stories from the Hopyards”.

Hops have been an integral part of our county’s life for centuries and this documentary uses archive film and photographs to capture the lives of the pickers, farmers, hauliers and brewers who were involved with this essential component of our national drink.

Whether you shared in those days yourself or simply enjoy a good pint you will find something to enjoy in this film.

We meet at the New Bridge Community Centre at 7.30pm, admission £3 to include coffee and biscuits. Visitors welcome

New Bridge Talk Community Hub – 4th March

NEW BRIDGE TALK COMMUNITY HUB at the New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars will next be open on Wednesday 4th March 2020 from 10-30 – 12 noon. Drop in for a coffee and chat or visit the lending library. Volunteers can help you connect to groups, activities and support in the local community to help you stay independent, happy and healthy.

Lesley Handscomb
(Community Hub Volunteer)

Help for those badly affected by flooding in Herefordshire

Here is information about local organisations that are co-ordinating help to those badly affected by flooding in Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Community Foundation
One of the main points of contact for financial donations is the Herefordshire Community Foundation www.herefordshirecf.org (who have now teamed up with the Hereford Times I think).

Hereford Diocese
The Hereford Diocese has just set up a Giving Fund to help those most in need too. www.hereford.anglican.org

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army (Canonmoor St, Hereford – near Courtyard – 01432 264543) will take warm clothing, bedding, shoes, food & small household items etc and will liaise with other charities on the ground.

Herefordshire Council
A grant and other support is available for those homes and businesses affected by the latest floods. Wider support is through this link Recovery under way in parts of Herefordshire as response continues and this link takes you straight to the application.