April 2001

Caldicot became part of a controlled area as the result of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease on nearby farms. Animals have been slaughtered on a number of local farms, including a thousand cattle and sheep belonging to former Olympic show-jumper David Broome, of Mount Ballan, Crick. Many of the animals were destroyed on the old USAF base at Caerwent. Local residents complained that delays in burning the carcasses led to terrible smells in the area and fears for public health. A vintage tractor rally, due to be held at Caldicot Castle on 22nd April, was postponed as a result of foot and mouth precautions. It is hoped to hold the rally, in aid of Childline Cymru, on 23rd September.

Former Caldicot Town player, Ashley Herapath, was killed when he was hit by a passenger train at Severn Tunnel Junction. Ashley, an ex-pupil of Caldicot Comprehensive school, was a talented footballer who had had trials with Swansea City. The precise circumstances of Ashley's death are unclear, although police are not treating it as suspicious.

A teenager was injured after being shot by an air rifle while walking on Caldicot Levels. He was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, where surgeons discovered that the pellet had penetrated one and a half inches into his body. Police are looking for a ginger-haired youth aged about 14 or 15 who was seen running from the scene.

Following her return to work after being cleared of charges of hitting a pupil, Caldicot headteacher Majorie Evans has become something of a national celebrity. She was applauded by delegates from the National Union of Teachers when she appeared at its conference in Cardiff. She has held a meeting with the education minister, Estelle Morris, and is due to meet Secretary of State for Education, David Blunkett.

Reverend John Hall, minister at Caldicot Baptist Church, ran the London Marathon, raising 800 for partially-sighted children. He completed the 26 miles in 3 hours 50 minutes.

Members of Caldicot town council and the Chamber of Commerce joined an organised litter cleaning session around the town, picking up 20 bags of rubbish. They called for the county council to provide more litter bins. Councillor Gareth Jenkins hit the jackpot when he discovered a five pound note amidst the litter. It will be donated to St Anne's Hospice.

Caldicot town centre has suffered from a spate of vandalism. The vandals seem to have targeted fish and chip shops, three of which had widows smashed on one night.

<<March 2001
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