Bathing, fishing and Regattas

1840 – Counterfeit Money Circulates Ross on Wye

In January 1840, a large number of spurious half crowns and shillings were circulating the town, having been introduced by members of a Birmingham gang who were temporarily living in Ross on Wye.

The counterfeits were not difficult to spot, being rather badly made and all having the date 1819.

One P.C. Harrison, an sharp policeman of Ross, began to scour the town and he noticed a woman by the name of Mary Ann Griffiths going into several shops to buy very small items with fake shillings.  He finally arrested her at the grocery shop of Thomas Clark.

1842 – Ross Regatta

In June 1842 the boat and coracle races took place on the River Wye in less than perfect weather.

There were eight competitors for the coracle race which was hugely enjoyable to watch for the large crowds along the bank;  after a nip and tuck race between two veterans, John Emberry and Edward Fryer, John just inched ahead at the last moment.

The evening amusements were said to be rather marred by “disgraceful conduct” of a couple of men, who “grossly insulted the umpire and other gentlemen who were managing the Regatta!

A teetotal band played during the evening – one begins to wonder if lack of available alcohol had anything to do with the frayed tempers.

1850 Ross on Wye Baths

“Hot, cold, shower, and vapour, from 8 to 12 o’clock a.m. for ladies, and from 12 to 8 o’clock p.m. for gentlemen”

(No gratuities to Attendants)

Three years later, after refurbishment the baths were reopened to the public, with the addition of a plunge bath.  Fees were reduced in the hope that more people would avail themselves of the facilities.

1852 – Suicide of an Alcoholic

A young alcoholic named R. Palmer, aged about 30, had been drinking heavily at a pub at Aylemarsh, some one and a half miles outside Ross on Wye.

Eventually, a member of his family went to find him to take him home, and an argument ensued – mostly about his girlfriend – and he stormed off across the fields towards the river half a mile away.

Mr. Evans of Holm plus other witnesses saw him throw off his hat before jumping into the river, which was full and fast flowing.  Before anyone could reach him he had been carried away, and his body was not found.

1853 – Hurricane Hits Ross on Wye

Exceptionally high winds caused destruction during early January;  houses had their roofs ripped off and flying tiles caused danger to anyone walking down the roads.

Roads in all directions were blocked by fallen trees, and orchards were decimated.

1861 – Salmon Fishing on the Wye

In late March 1861, Mr. S. Llewelly, fishmonger, exhibited on his slab a salmon which was caught in the River Wye near Monmouth, and which weighed a whopping 37 and a half pounds.

1866 – Guy Fawkes Night Injuries

Two young lads named as Evans and Hiles were dreadfully injured whilst playing with gunpowder on 5th November 1866.

At first it was thought that they would be permanently blinded, but after some time there was hope that this might not be the case.