Written by Mary Sinclair Powell
The 100 Years of Ross Diary continues
1931 saw a change in the name of the town to Ross-on-Wye. This was used to distinguish it from others in the country with the same name. Particularly confusing was the pronunciation of Rhos in North Wales. Sometimes people could get on trains to Rhos, and end up in Ross – and vice-versa. It is thought that this was also the time when Rhos added “on-Sea”.
However many people still use just Ross even today. On March 18th, St John Ambulance Brigade reformed following a meeting at the Corn Exchange New Theatre. 30 men enrolled as volunteers and attended training courses at the Drill Hall in Alton Road.
The new Theatre continued to be well used and it was from here that the Ross Orpheus Choir made one of the first Herefordshire BBC Broadcasts.
Ross-on-Wye Catholic Church was outgrowing itself in Corpus Christi Lane, and a new purpose built building was erected in Walford Road, where it remains today.
1932 saw the death of two prominent citizens of Ross. On March 7th Miss Mary Sarah Hall died at the age of 105.
She was born on 17th January 17th 1827 and lived through many wars that would have seen Ross men go off to fight, including the Boer, Transvaal, Crimea and World War I. It is reputed that Old Maid’s Walk is named after her, as she would use this road everyday to walk to church from her home in Alton Street. Miss Hall sang in the church as a young girl and donated the organ during her later life.
St Mary’s Church was filled to capacity for her funeral.
One of the great benefactors to the Cottage Hospital, Mrs Alice Foster, died at the age of 70. She had built Brockhampton Church in memory of her parents, who had given her Brockhampton Court as a wedding gift, and was the first lady magistrate in Herefordshire. Her son died during WWI.
On March 20th the first motor ambulance to be purchased by public subscription was “unveiled” and used daily at the Hospital.
£150 was raised from a raffle to help funds when shilling tickets were sold to win an Austin Seven Car.
The supply of electricity at the Ross Electric Power Company in Brookend Street ceased.