Herefordshire Supports Refugees

In September this year the Hereford Times ran an online poll asking whether Herefordshire Council should accept 10 refugee families.

The result of the poll and the comments that were left on the Times’ website and Facebook page were truly depressing. They painted a picture of a county full of misinformed bigots with no sympathy for those far worse off than themselves. Many comments were racist and offensive, most were removed. The result of the poll was overwhelmingly against helping the refugees.

Three months on and the picture couldn’t be more different. Many grass roots organisations across the county are now working directly with those 6000 desperate people who are stuck in Calais. Our faith in people has been restored.

Groups are now working in Ross, Ledbury, Leominster, Bromyard and Hereford offering practical support and assistance. The collection of food, clothing and other essentials are being collected and taken directly to France. Ross for Refugees has even assisted in the construction of a school for those children currently living in Calais.

But with cold weather fast approaching the need has never been greater to get involved or help in any way possible.

Please find below links to groups who are helping the refugees. Please contact them to find out what donations they are accepting –

Ross for Refugees

Food Parcels for Calais, Hereford Group

Ledbury Refugee Support

Priory Church Leominster 01568 610785 or text 07790 762138

Please comment below if you know of other groups accepting donations.

Luther Blissett

Herefordshire gets Sett for Badger Cull

Hundreds of people marched through Hereford at the end of November to raise awareness of the controversial badger cull coming to the ‘shire.

The government, with backing from the National Farmers Union (NFU), believe that shooting large numbers of badgers will reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle and its associated costs to the farming industry.

Pilot culls, which have already taken place in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset, have proven to be an expensive failure. Analysis of the pilots by DEFRA, as well as a panel of independent experts, found a cost of £3,300 for each badger killed.

Evidence showed that the culls were ineffective and could even result in an increase in bTB. The pilot culls were also found to be inhumane with many badgers taking longer than 5 minutes to die.

Unfortunately the lobbying power of the NFU is so strong that the Tory government will do anything to keep their support, even when evidence proves that culls don’t work. And so they plan to extend the cull to Herefordshire.

Not all farmers are convinced by the NFU policy though. A Herefordshire beef farmer who wished to remain anonymous told the Heckler that farmers should do more to reduce bTB before blaming badgers.

“The cost to farmers from bTB is massive and threatens livelihoods but many farmers aren’t helping themselves. TB infected cows should always be quarantined but often aren’t. Water troughs should be cleaned and put out of the reach of badgers but basic bio-security is not a priority to some farmers. On top of that we have a huge problem of lameness in the national herd making cows susceptible to all sorts of illness.”

This point of view is unpopular with the Government and NFU who’d rather paint those opposed to the cull as ‘extremists’.

Anyone who took part in the march through Hereford would have seen a diverse group of people brought together in opposition to the scapegoating of badgers.

Organisers of the march hope that people will join them to lawfully and peaceful protest to stop the cull. Herefordshire Badger Group will be coordinating efforts to oppose the cull.

Luther Blissett

Hereford Badger Group

Photo courtesy of Simon Gardener


Hereford Roller Girls go from strength to strength

It’s been a very busy summer for Hereford Roller Girls. In August the Herefordshire based Roller Derby league celebrated its 3rd Birthday with a quiz night hosted by Leon from Bar Wars. There was more to come later in the summer, when the A Team the Horror Bulls beat South Wales Reaper Roller Girls 363 to 58 points. The game was part of the group stage for the Heartland Series Tournament, and the Horror Bulls became the first team to qualify for the 2014 Finals Weekend!

The A Team remains undefeated in 2014 and recently moved up to 70th place in the European Roller Derby Rankings (out of over 350 teams). The game against Reaper Roller Girls was the Horror Bulls first UKRDA (United Kingdom Roller Derby Association) sanctioned bout and saw the Bulls enter the UK Rankings at an impressive 13th place, out of 37.

The summer has also seen the league grow in numbers, with the September intake full of fresh new skaters and a brand new B Team the Terror Bulls. The Terror Bulls played their first closed door game in September, the scores from the game won’t be released, but there will be plenty more to come from these Bulls! All of this hard work has not gone unnoticed, in February the Horror Bulls were named ‘Senior Team of the Year’ at the Herefordshire Sport Awards 2013, and this Autumn they have been shortlisted for ‘Community Club of the Year’ at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sport Awards 2014. Horror Bulls Captain Becce Turner has also been shortlisted for ‘Senior Sportswoman of the Year’.

The future looks to be just as busy for the skaters and officials. The Horror Bulls next game is at home against Birmingham Blitz B Team on 2nd November (more details on Facebook here: It’s the last home game of the season, and will be a nice warm up for the Heartland Finals. It’s not often HRG play at home, so it’s the perfect opportunity to see them in action!

Next year brings a new challenge for the Horror Bulls, they have been invited to take part in a tournament in Caen, France. Hereford are the only UK team to be invited to compete and this will be their first international trip together. The tournament is in January and the Bulls are currently fundraising for the trip. There will also be a punk benefit at the Jailhouse ‘Night of the Living Shred 2’ on 31st October, with hardcore punk from bands such as Brain Wreck, Fetus Christ and Skinhorse – this will be a Halloween you won’t forget!

There’s another fundraising event later in the year, with a quiz night at Hereford City Sports Club on the 29th November, they’ll be more details to come soon, visit to find out about this and other upcoming events.



Bulls fans to protest at TV game next Wednesday

A statement from Hereford United Supporters Trust

The Hereford United Supporters Trust fully support and endorse a peaceful protest to take place by Hereford United fans next Wednesday, October 8th, at Aggborough when Kidderminster Harriers take on Welling United in a Conference Premier match televised on BT Sport.

Following on from a fan suggestion, HUST spoke to their counterparts with the Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust and, after approval of the Kidderminster Board of Directors, and from the police and local safety group, it has been agreed that Bulls fans will be allocated the away terrace (South Stand) at Aggborough for the match.

Bulls fans will take part in a peaceful protest bringing attention to the current situation at Hereford United that sees dozens of former employees still without pay and basic tax documentation from their time working for the club – money that was supposedly demanded by the Southern League to be paid before the club kicked off the season – while banned owner Tommy Agombar remains heavily involved at the club despite failing the Owners and Directors Test.

The game takes place on Wednesday, October 8th, kicking off at 7.45pm.

Hereford United Supporters Trust

1st October 2014.

Click here to book a seat on the coach

Beware Jabba the Blake

A bad smell has descended on Edgar Street. It’s not the smell of bullshit spoken by the current owners of the club. It’s not even the rotting pile of rubbish in the Blackfriars end. No, this is the smell of an individual who can’t help but turn to shit everything he touches.

Jabba the Blake, also known as Stuart Blake, is a local ‘businessman’ who has left a trail of debts and failed businesses across the county. A brief search of the Companies House website shows at least 14 failed enterprises. He’s currently making money off the hard work of others through his current business Herefordshire Recruitment. Not surprisingly David ‘I killed HUFC’ Keyte is a big buddy of Blake, even having a directorship in Blake’s firm.

Blake’s first involvement at Edgar Street was as a non-executive director under Keyte. This was until it was pointed out that people with Individual Voluntary Arrangements aren’t allowed to sit on the board of football clubs. An IVA is the alternative people take out to avoid going bankrupt.  Doesn’t sound good really does it. A failed businessman helping an incompetent businessman to ruin a football club!

Well he’s back; Jabba just can’t help himself. He’s been seen sitting in the stand at Edgar Street next to Tommy ‘football man’ Agombar, looking like a little boy who’s too impressed by the bigger boys.

One thing that was clear from Jabba’s first stint at Edgar Street is that he is a fantasist. This is the man who dreamt up the Arab investors! Yes, really! He convinced himself—but failed to convince many other people—that a group of Arabs were going to arrive with bags of cash and make everything ok.

So guess what. He’s convinced Tommy and Mandy that the Arabs are still interested! You can’t make this shit up.

The drama continues.

Luther Blissett