Annual Oxfam Music Appeal


As regular readers of What’s On you may remember (you may not!) that I am a volunteer in the Oxfam shop in Penarth. My role is to price up everything music related. Last year was very busy with some great donations. Vinyl records made up 75/80% of the total music sales followed by CDs as the next best sellers. Thank you to everyone in the village who contacted me with donations. It is very much appreciated.

We are always looking for donations of all music related items – that includes vinyl records (singles, and LPs), CDs, sheet music, pre-recorded cassettes/ tapes, non-electrical musical instruments (in working order or broken) and music books. We are interested in music from any genre – rock, pop, classical, folk, jazz etc. We aim to obtain the best possible prices on donations. We also stock DVDs.

If you do not have anything to donate you could consider supporting Oxfam by popping in the shop if you are in Penarth – we stock a range of second hand goods as well as new fairtrade tea, coffee and crafts. You could even consider volunteering. There is presently a good team of volunteers but a number of volunteers retired during covid and we are still not up to full strength. Volunteers price up books, bric a brac and clothing, as well as serving in the shop. Sometimes a volunteer ‘specialist’ is required and I am aware for instance a philatelist willing to price up stamps is sorely needed.

If you have anything you would like to donate feel free to contact me or alternatively if you would like to arrange a pick up or speak to someone about volunteering please contact Caroline/Joe at the shop. Tel 02920706358.

Thank you.

Nigel Billingham (Oxfam Music Volunteer)


Ward Councillor Russell Godfrey Column


Firstly, I hope you all had an enjoyable summer. As I am sure most of you are now aware, the Afghan families have vacated the Copthorne Hotel. Cardiff Council have an agreement to have sole use of all bedrooms at the hotel until at least the end of March 2024. The hotel is to be used to accommodate families on the Cardiff Council Housing List. Further to a recent meeting I had with a member of the Cardiff Council Housing Support Team, on my request, further information is provided and included here.

I would like to congratulate all involved in organising the Wenvoe Village Show, which was a great success. Also, the Boundary Commission have put a proposal forward, to remove Twyn Yr Odyn, St Lythans and Duffryn from the Wenvoe Ward and to include them in the St Nicholas Ward. I can confirm this proposal is opposed by the majority of people living in these areas, as well as Wenvoe Community Council and myself as Ward Councillor. I am pleased to confirm that the refurbished tennis courts are now up and running. The cost is £2.25 per 30 mins or annual family membership is only £39.00. To book them and get a code for entry, you need to use the following web address: Work on the installation of the outdoor exercise equipment at Station Road Playing Fields has started. This should be completed by early October. If you have any issues/suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me or pop along to one of my monthly surgeries. Tel: 07927 588924. Email:

Date: 8th September 2023

Dear Resident,

I am writing to inform you of a temporary of use of the Copthorne hotel located in the Vale of Glamorgan by Cardiff City Housing Dept. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the current situation. The clients that will be placed here will be families who are already Cardiff residents and already access services across the city such as health and education. To ensure there is adequate help and support the Councils Family Accommodation Team will be on site 24/7, alongside the existing Copthorne staffing teams. We will also be having visiting teams from Housing Options, Family Early Help, Health, and Money Advice. Therefore we don’t see this having any significant impact on local residents. We see this option as a short-term solution and will be working to move them into more appropriate accommodation as quickly as possible based on their individual circumstances and areas of choice. I have attached a Frequently Asked Questions Document with this letter for you to peruse. Anything not covered by this document can be responded to individually by emailing the team directly

Kind regards Rebecca Callaghan,

Supported Accommodation Manager – Families.

Cardiff Council

Recycling Bags Availability

Clerk to the Council – Recycling Bags


Please note that the Wenvoe Community Centre have stocks of all Vale of Glamorgan recycling bags, caddies (excluding hygiene caddies) food bags and dog poo bags which can be collected free of charge with the exception of green garden waste bags and dog bags which cost £2.20 each during the  standard office hours of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.00am – 1.00pm.




Tuckers Reindeer Sale


Saturday 25th November

Not long now! Come along to the 5th annual Tucker’s Christmas Reindeer sale on Saturday 25 November from 10am at 29 Vennwood Close and outside the Church Hall. Apart from the stars of the show there will be some lovely things to buy and a festive atmosphere to get you in the Christmas mood. We are being joined by some local crafters on the day including Trevor and his lovely Christmas houses, Meinir and her printed sweatshirts and Heulwen will be raising money from her beautiful handmade cards for the Library. There will be Tucker family crafts and some really cosy crocheted blankets made and sold by Justine.

We will be holding the usual raffle with some excellent quality prizes including luxury food hampers, a home baked and decorated Christmas cake, some very interesting bottles and some items that would make ideal gifts for adults and children. Once again, profits from this and from the sale of some crafts will be donated to our charity of choice, the Wenvoe Wildlife Group. We are expecting a visit from a gent on a sleigh in a red and white suit which will offer an excellent photograph opportunity. There will, again, be home made cake sold by the slice and all craft tables will be under the cover of Christmas decorated gazebos with festive music providing the backing track to the whole event. Why not join us and pick up a reindeer and some Christmas spirit! These have become collectors items so start making a list of people who deserve one as a gift. Bring a friend and have a festive catch up. We are so looking forward to seeing you there.


Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast

Whether you’re enjoying a ramble along this stretch of the Wales Coastal Path, enjoying a coffee or hot Welsh cakes from the café, or just stopped by to take in the views, Nash Point continues to wow visitors every day. With a large bedrock beach full of fossils and fertile rock pools, stunning rugged cliffs and rock formations, the views are topped off with the majestic Nash Point Lighthouse. In 1977 a rare plant, the Tuberous Thistle, was even discovered growing within the lighthouse station and the grounds were subsequently declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest. However Nash Point has a much darker, even tragic history, meaning walkers and seamen still need to keep their safety firmly in mind.

For those walking the coastal path the Summer experience, of course, changes dramatically in the Autumn when the reason for the Nash Point lighthouse becomes increasingly clear. Together with frequent storms and thick fog, the strong currents have led to many a shipping disaster with many vessels driven aground on the Nash Sands. There is in fact a long history of shipwrecks in the area. In 2019 excavations carried out near Nash Point by Cardiff University unearthed bones thought to be from shipwreck victims from Tudor and Stuart times. There are many local tales of the period when smugglers and wreckers apparently lured vessels onto rocks, attacked the crew, and looted the cargo.

It was a shipping tragedy in 1831 which led to the building of the Nash Point lighthouse. Frolic was an early wooden, steam powered vessel based in Bristol and used for a cargo service between West Wales and Bristol. It was also one of the first paddle steamers to be operated in the Bristol Channel as a ferry service. Frolic was very popular because before the age of the railway it was quicker to travel by sea than road. It’s life came to a violent end whilst sailing from Haverfordwest during a violent storm on the night of 16th March. The 34 metre long ship came to grief on Nash sands at around 3.00 am. In all, 78 lives were lost, consisting of 63 passengers, including high ranking officers and a General, many women and children, and 15 crew. Their remains were washed ashore from Barry to Southerndown and buried in various churchyards along the coastal area of the Bristol Channel.

The public outcry at the loss of the Frolic led to the Nash Point Lighthouses at Marcross being built by Trinity House in 1832 to warn shipping of the danger. Originally, two towers 300 metres apart had fixed lights powered by paraffin. When navigating the Bristol Channel the pilot would sail so that these were lined up in his sights, ensuring that the vessel would be south of Nash Sandbank. The Lighthouse Tower (originally painted black and white stripes) near the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, once housed the west or low light and was 25 metres high. The Lighthouse Tower with the east or high light is 37 metres high and is nearer the fog horn. At the beginning of the 20th century the low light was removed and the high light was changed to a catadioptric lens with white and red group flashing. It was modernised again in 1968 when it was electrified. Interestingly Nash Point Lighthouse was the last manned lighthouse in Wales to go automatic when it became computer controlled in 1998 and the keepers left two years later. The fog horn is no longer used for shipping purposes but is heard when it is sounded on special occasions.

Shipwrecks and other related debris still litter the beaches and coastal waters. In 1948 there were 24 notified wrecks in the Bristol Channel. By 1950, 14 had been cleared by either demolition charges being placed on board, or if sunk on a muddy bottom, by placing explosive charges around them, and covering them by exploding the charges and depositing a thick layer of mud over them. One ship, a tanker of over 10,000 tons that was sunk off Nash Point, required the use of 129 tons of explosives by HMS Tronda to breakup the wreck. We were given a sharp and somewhat surprising reminder of just how strong the Bristol Channel currents can be in 2004. After the flood disaster at Boscastle, Cornwall in that year, a boat from the area washed ashore at Porthcawl and along the Heritage Coast a number of different items were found such as “Boscastle Tourist,” “Fish & Chips” and “Car Park” signs.




It’s been a while since we caught up so here goes. We had our first trip to the French Alps in June this year when 20 members either drove or flew down to Bourg d’Oisians for a week’s cycling. Those of you in the know will know that Bourg is at the foot of Alpe d’Huez a proper cycling mecca. We had a variety of accommodation, some stayed in apartments in the town and others on a couple of campsites near the foot of the climb. The advantage of a pool, bar and restaurant at the campsite over an apartment in town was soon apparent.

You can never be sure of the weather in the high Alps which means you have to do the big climbs on the days when the forecast is good. A good forecast for our first day meant the ascent of the massive Galibier, all 2648 meters of it. From Bourg the ascent is about 1645 meters and it’s 45km to the top with about 5km of flat from Bourg to the foot of the climb. The astute amongst you will note that that is a 35km climb! We naturally divided into two groups, the speedy ones and the slower steady grinders who set off an hour ahead of the speedy group. We were helped even more by the speedy group opting for crepes at the slowest hotel on the planet giving us another 40 minutes advantage. Nonetheless, they still caught us – but not until after the Col de Lauteret at 2000 mts. From there it is a further 8km and 648 meters of ascent and you really start to notice the altitude from then on. But this happy chance of the head start meant that we were all on the col at the same time and no one had to hang around for ages for the last member to make it to the top (yep, me). There were massive whoops of celebration, shouts of encouragement and relief (not all of it printable) from everyone. Having done it last year and having sworn never to do it again, I surprised myself by finding it a teeny bit easier than before. I’ve still sworn never to do it again though. We had the obligatory club photo at the top courtesy of one of the many motorcyclists also celebrating their ascent. The views are absolutely stunning all around including the massive Mieje glacier which you can see on the way up to the Lauteret. The descent is terrifying bearing in mind the longest descent we can manage in South Wales lasts about 5 – 10 mins at most, compared with at least 30/45 mins to descend from the Col de Galibier. You gather so much speed so quickly your hands and forearms ache with having to brake so frequently. Those beers tasted like nectar when we finally got back to Bourg.

We had pretty good weather for our trip but rain on the final day of our week. This didn’t spoil the planned rides though which obviously included a climb of the iconic Alpe d’Huez itself making sure we all went through the town to get to kilometer 0.

That was another big day as we didn’t stop there but went on to the Col de Sarenne, descending to the Chambon dam and then another climb up to the Balcony road. Eye popping is not the word! It’s a tiny road clinging to the side of a cliff with one of those small French parapets that wouldn’t stop a leaf. If you suffer with vertigo, it’s not for you. That was another epic day but my favourite was the day we rode out to La Berarde, a remote valley, out and back but so, so beautiful. I was struck with the huge variety of wild flowers I passed, many of them I recognised from my own garden but growing wild there in vast swathes. We simply do not have such a variety in our fields and hedgerows anymore. We had a glorious lunch at an Auberge in La Berarde before making the return journey.

With all of these long days in the saddle we needed a rest day so we rode out to the Venosc ski lift and took the cable car up to Les 2 Alpes for coffee. We all thought this was hilarious as we wheeled our bikes into the cabins and were taken up the mountain. And I couldn’t possibly say whether bike computers were paused to account for cable car assisted elevation. The cost of each person and bike to ride the cable car? 3 Euros each. Yep you read that right. Compare that with the cost of a trip up the cable car in Fort William which a friend paid recently for one way – £25.00! Everyone fell in love with the Alpes and there is much enthusiasm for a return trip next year.

We didn’t rest on our laurels after the Alpes as we recently had our Wheelers weekend away. This is traditionally a 100 mile ride on Saturday, an overnight stay and then a shorter ride back on Sunday. This year we went to Hay on Wye from Wenvoe, heading out via Pyle to the Afan Valley and ascending the Bwlch – a mere bump compared with the Alps – down into Treorchy then up and over the Rhigos, down towards Hirwaun then over Penderyn. From there we joined the A470 descending to Brecon and a rather long tiring slog out to Hay. We stayed at Baskerville Hall a large old country pile of faded grandeur and the kind of 1970’s renovations you don’t see so much these days. It was perfect for us, though less perfect being about 2 miles outside Hay meaning an ‘active recovery’ walk there and back for our curry that evening.

Sunday,s ride home left Hay via the road for the Gospel Pass but due to much confusion as to whether it was open (it is, at least for bikes) some went a different way which seemed to involve a lot of steep punchy climbs but a better road surface whilst one group did ride via the Gospel Pass but the road surface is appalling – even worse than the roads in the Vale of Glamorgan!

Despite a very good cooked breakfast that morning we all stopped at the bus station café in Abergavenny for coffee and more snacks. Did you know a fried egg bap is called an egg banjo? No, nor me. Anyway, we had a good pace back via Usk, Caerleon, and the Newport flats to Cardiff where, for the first time (for me at least) that weekend, it literally poured down. It was so heavy that we were all soaked within about a minute just as we came to Newport Road. Oh well, considering the dire forecast I thought we had done rather well, chasing the rain rather than being in it. We had another drenching as we rode through Ely but made it back to HQ (Wenvoe Arms) in good spirits for well earned beers.

We have a sportive event arranged for 24th September in memory of Paul Davies who sadly left us this year. We last held this event in 2019 but obviously due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to run it since then so we are quite excited to get it underway again. It is a signed route through the Vale with 2 different lengths, an 80 mile route and a 40 mile route. We will have marshalls out on the route and two refreshment stops probably well stocked with Welsh cakes which were extremely popular last time. Registration will be in the Community Centre. Fingers crossed for good weather!

As you can see we are a very active club but always keen to have new members. We don’t have a children’s/youth section I am afraid but what we do offer is a friendly cycling club where you can make new friends and get out in the fresh air regularly. We have regular Saturday morning club rides with 4 different paced groups, our slowest and chattiest is the social group but if you are a speed monster you will need the steady group. If you want to join, just find us on Facebook







People’s Collection Wales is a free website dedicated to bringing together Wales’s heritage. The Collection is full of fascinating photographs, documents, audio and video recordings and stories that link to the history, culture and people of Wales. These items have been contributed to the website not only by national institutions but also individuals, local community groups and small museums, archives and libraries across Wales. This endeavour was established in 2010. It is Welsh Government funded, and the three leading partners organisations are Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, National Library of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Each local authority in Wales has a small team of volunteers dedicated to collating, scanning, describing and then uploading to the website historical photographs and documents pertinent to its locality.

So far many locations of the Vale of Glamorgan are generally well represented: but as yet not so Wenvoe! These three are the only images of Wenvoe which have been uploaded to date Therefore, if you are in possession of old photographs or pictures or postcards that you would like to see  preserved for posterity and shared with the world, then please loan them to Ian Moody (28 Walston Road  –  20594573) or Tony Hodge (10 Walston Road  –  07532 222 381) each with a note to describe them on the  website: Who?, Why?, What? and When? We will look after them as if they were our own and return them  safely to you. Thanks



MEETING ABOUT THE FUTURE of St Bleddian’s Church in St Lythans

Thursday, October 12th, 2023 at 7pm

at St Bleddian’s Church in St Lythans

St Bleddian’s is a special place on a site that has been a sacred gathering place for millennia. The church has a faithful, but small, congregation.

Sadly, expenses are more than income and there is likely more than £50,000 of repairs required in order to maintain the building for use.

Therefore, we are inviting all who are interested in the future of St Bleddian’s to gather to hear an update on the financial picture and to explore ideas and possibilities for ensuring the future use of this sacred place.




Would you like to join the What’s On production team? We are looking for 2 or 3 local people to as-sist us with the work involved in producing the village magazine.

If you are a person with good computer skills who would enjoy assembling the magazine ready for printing, we would love to hear from you. This would require a few days commitment around the 18th of the month. At the moment, there are two of us sharing the task. A third team member would be very welcome, and would give us added flexibility to support each other at holiday times etc.

If you are a person with good communication skills and would like to share the task of sending in-voices to businesses/individuals who currently advertise in the magazine, as well as helping to generate new advertisers, we would love to hear from you. We also need help with distribution of the magazine and with magazine income and expenses.

Alternatively, if you would like to help out on a more ad hoc basis, say to cover a deliver’s absence or holiday, then please also get in touch.

The magazine is a village production with most material provided by local residents. Could you pro-vide a regular column on a subject that interests you and others? It could be a monthly or bi-monthly item or even a quarterly piece. We are always looking for stand-alone articles.

Ross has written the front cover of the What’s On for a number of years and whilst he will continue to do so for the time being, we would also like to hear from you if you would like to write a feature for the front page, on an ad hoc or regular basis or an idea for a feature aricle.

Please contact any of the team members if interested. Our contact details can be found at the top of page 2. of the What’s On magazine


Wenvoe FC at Station Road in 1975


This is Wenvoe FC in the playing fields at Station Road in 1975. In the background is Whitehall quarry which was still producing stone at this time and to the left of photograph is the old cricket pavilion.

The old cricket pavilion . When the present village Scout Troop reformed in 1976 they used the building as their meeting place for around 6 months.


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