December Walk



Walkers meet at the front of Wenvoe Village Hall. If you are interested in a walk, just turn up.

Thurs 9th December, 10.00am. Meet for a morning walk. We plan to visit city parks and to include coffee and cake to celebrate the walkers’ Christmas. We are hoping this will be at Insole Court around midday. This will enable anyone who is unable to walk on the day to join with us at the café. Many thanks, Bert.

This is not a formal club, but only an opportunity to walk in company: all are welcome, but you come at your own risk.



Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A life Unstrung By Min Kym

.  Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A life Unstrung

By Min Kym

At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play ‘the one’. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. She recorded the Brahms concerto, and a world tour was planned. Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen. In an instant her world collapsed. She descended into a terrifying limbo land, unable to play another note.

This is Min’s extraordinary story of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all it’s a story of hope through a journey back to music.

This is a book that most of the group said they would not have read if it hadn’t been recommended by a musician in the group. Having said that, there was overwhelming praise for the book despite over half saying that they found it full of sadness and loss – the violin, her childhood, the lack of a paternal presence in her life – with many gaps and things unsaid in relation to Min’s family and her recovery from depression. Many felt they were left with questions after finishing the book.

There was some discussion about whether the pressures Min was put under to play and excel, her acquiescence with male domineering figures in her life might have been in some part due to her cultural background. It was agreed that the book was brilliantly written and gave a fascinating insight into the relationship between a musician and her instrument, the life of a musical prodigy and solo performer. The book may well have been written as a cathartic process for Min coming to terms with her loss.

Average score 8.

It was interesting to learn that many musicians are always self critical of their own performance and that for musicians, music always comes first.

Many thanks to our host for the toasty warm fire and cakes!



Celebrate Consciously


Celebrate Consciously Today to Preserve Tomorrow

If each of us changes just one or two things to cut pollution, waste and carbon emissions during the Christmas celebrations and into the New Year, together, it adds up and makes a difference. Here, some of our members share their ideas.

Hello, I am Diane and I’ve joined the Wenvoe Forum as I feel that we can all help the cause. This Christmas I’m aiming to send Christmas cards that have the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. This can be found on the back of the card and guarantees that the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically. After Christmas I will recycle my cards or pass them onto friends who will turn them into present tags or decorations for next year.


Gareth and Glenys Stone. We have lived in Wenvoe for almost 10 years now. We joined the Wenvoe Forum with a view to doing ‘our bit’ and working with others to build on the existing, strong community spirit. Our family have festive fun with the e-bay challenge. We set a price limit and a theme for family presents to be bought second hand on e-bay. We have a lot of fun buying the best present for £5 and in the past they have included Lego, headgear and even original works of art. As we open them together at Christmas we can also enjoy the stories and adventures of e-bay auctions won and lost, as well as the presents themselves. Reducing, reusing and recycling whilst having a fabulous time.

Hi. I am Heulwen and I shall be making my own Christmas present labels from handmade seed paper embedded with various flower seeds for recipients to plant. No waste card to deal with and I’m looking forward to a spring and summer full of flowers that will also encourage pollinators.

My name is Nicola Starke and I am the Headteacher at Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School. My green festive tips include:

  • Donating old Christmas dressing up costumes to the school to loan to other children during our Christmas concerts.
  • Make a funny Christmas video to send friends and family instead of a card
  • Over the festive period swap your car for a lovely walk around the village to spot the advent windows
  • Shop locally and support small businesses when buying gifts and festive food.


I am Sian Jones and live in the village. I am a member of the Gwenfo Forum because I want our Wenvoe Village to be a cleaner safer environment in which to live. I think it would be good for us to embrace the New Year 2022 by thinking of ways to help our carbon footprint, less pollution in the village. For example think about ways to dispose of our Christmas wrappings and cards. Look at buying gift wrapping paper that can be recycled. Christmas cards being bought without glitter and buy from charities to support their cause. My goal for 2022 is for all of us to think and act now before it is too late!




More environmentally friendly ideas on our blog see below.

The Forum is always open to fresh suggestions, creative ideas and especially to new members and contributors.

Twitter @ForumGwenfo, Facebook: Gwen Fo @ and Wenvoe Forum @

Blog site

Any Wenvoe community member is welcome to join the Forum meetings, via Zoom, held at 19.00 on the second Thursday of each month. E-mail if you wish to come along.



Back Up And Running



Hall Now Back Up And Running

The hall is now back up and running, with many classes returning along with children’s parties and adult events. It is lovely to see everyone living life a little more ‘normal’ with the added masks and sanitisers still in place for some.

During the COVID period we noticed a high rate of vandalism in and around the hall. Our booking secretary highlighted this by writing an article in the What’s On. The owner of Concept Fire & Security read of our troubles via the What’s On and offered to help, by installing CCTV free of charge. We would like to show our appreciation to our resident Steve whose company Concept Fire & Safety Solutions Ltd saved us thousands of pounds to protect our hall. Your member of staff pictured, was very knowledgeable, helpful and efficient. Thank you so much for your generosity from everyone at the hall. Should anyone need security or fire support, we would highly recommend: Concept Fire & Security Solutions Ltd, for a most professional, efficient service Telephone: 0800 458 2757. Thank you again Steve and staff.

During the pandemic and with classes closed, we took a financial hit. Although supported with a grant from the Vale, it is the residents and the regular classes who keep the hall alive. Without the fantastic Management Committee and roles that people take in the community, the hall would be handed back to the Landlords and maybe a block of flats or a couple of houses would be built in its place! That would mean no more Playgroup, Dancing, Badminton, Wheelers, parties etc.

The Village Hall is situated on land owned by the Wenvoe Estate, to whom we pay a ‘peppercorn rent’. This came about in 1918 after World War I had ended, as a gesture of goodwill to those who lost loved ones. The estate allowed the residents to build a hall for their community events with the condition that they take care of its upkeep and manage its costs. The hall as you see it today was rebuilt in 1974 with the Landlords extending the lease. A group of 12 residents adhere to the constitution written by the Landowners and keep the Village Hall operating as a Charitable Management Committee.

All rents paid by hirers pay for the up-keep of the hall along with any fundraising and donations. It’s thanks to the community that we are still able to keep the hall today. If you are interested in helping on the Management Committee then please contact us at We have many new residents in the village who we hope will think of continuing the good work that people started over 100 years ago.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us all at the hall.



December Update



Our members met on November 4th for a Fish and Chip Evening, courtesy of the Fish Shop at the Murch, Dinas Powys. There were 24 members present and we all enjoyed our meal, as well as a Word Quiz. Our President entertained us with the customs and foibles of eating in the 1950s.

We have a busy December ahead with a Christmas Party on the 3rd, followed by our annual Christmas Lunch at the Wenvoe Arms on the 8th and finally a Christmas Coffee Morning on the 15th.

We intend to commence the New Year on January 6th with a sale/auction of unwanted Christmas presents and other items.

Our WI meets on the first Thursday of the month in the Wenvoe Church Hall at 7.00pm and new members are very welcome.

On behalf of all our members, I send all readers and residents best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Janet Young ( President)



Cancer Strollers Cosmeston



Amazingly blue, cloudless skies welcomed the living with cancer strollers to Cosmeston. A new walker joined the group and was quickly catching up with a staff member from Gwenfo School who knew her children…from a long time ago!!

‘J’ joined us again and is part way through a course of chemotherapy and welcomed the chance for some fresh air and a chat. The walkers basked in bright sunshine as they drank their various beverages at the end of the walk, a highlight of the activity for many!!



Stress Buster Strollers Nov Walk



Autumn colours in the leaves in Romilly Park, were followed by grey, moody skies as the walkers made their way along the Knap promenade and through the parade gardens. Oggie, another Valeways walk leader, joined the group and shared interesting information as local landmarks were passed. History, chat, coffee, good company and cake…what more could you want on a chilly October day?



The Carer’s November Walk



Grey skies, black skies, blue skies, sun, wind, but no rain meant the Carers enjoyed a brisk walk around Nells Point to Jackson’s Bay and then back along the promenade. Watching a ship attempting to get inside the harbour wall was a highlight of the walk …. or was it the ice cream!!

Unfortunately, ‘A’ had to miss the walk because of his caring responsibilities, but hopefully he will manage to re-join us next month. It is not always easy to find time for yourself as a carer, but carers do need to look after their own health and wellbeing as much as possible and walking with a group is a great way to have some ‘time out’

and then back along the promenade. Watching a ship attempting to get inside the harbour wall was a highlight of the walk …. or was it the ice cream!!

Unfortunately, ‘A’ had to miss the walk because of his caring responsibilities, but hopefully he will manage to re-join us next month. It is not always easy to find time for yourself as a carer, but carers do need to look after their own health and wellbeing as much as possible and walking with a group is a great way to have some ‘time out’




Llandegfedd Reservoir

Llandegfedd Reservoir

Llandegfedd lake is a large reservoir, constructed in the early 1960s by Cardiff Corporation to provide drinking water to the rapidly growing city. It is now owned by Welsh Water and the lake is a haven for birds, wildlife, walkers and water sport enthusiasts. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its value to overwintering wildfowl. The longer walks around the lake are only open between March and September, though there are short walks of 1 mile or so available all year. Other activities include archery, clay shooting and a recently added mini golf course.

We started at the large carpark at the reservoir. We walked away from the lake, our route going south to Llandegfedd village before heading generally north, but to the east of our outward route, to return to the lake near Coed y Paen.

As we crossed the dam, several skeins of Canada geese came flying to the reservoir. We saw three groups of at least 30 geese each time, causing us to stop and admire them.

We headed into the woods above the pumping station and started climbing. The paths were in a poor state of repair but…at least it was dry so we could walk them. In wet weather it would have been difficult.

We walked through a brown carpet of autumn leaves, dotted in places with the bright green of fallen apples, and across wide open fields. On reaching a stream, crossing it proved impossible, so we took an alternative path along the stream. We found a herd of cows standing along the bank, as if trying to reach the water, even though the bank was too steep. Yet not far away there was easy access – what were they playing at? A sign warned us that a bridge was unusable, but we decided to take a chance on being able to cross the stream.

Soon we arrived at a very tidy Walnut Tree farm; a large area of grass in front of the house had statues of deer and a flock of pheasants, some taking to the air as we approached. Our path took us into a field where a large ram wore a bag of dye strapped to his front to mark any ewes he serviced. And there ahead of us was a brand new sturdy bridge which looked like it had only just been completed. Excellent!

Walking through a wood some white fungi, growing on the limb of a tree, glowed in the dim light.

We passed through Llandegfedd village and the Farmers Arms pub. A little further and we met cattle bunched together in a well-trodden field, next to which there was a huge tank of slurry with its ‘delicious’ smell and a couple of silage clamps. We walked through there quickly.

We entered a path which had road signs at the beginning clearway, 30mph limit, beware cattle and another warning ‘Unsuitable for Access’. Well, it started as a green lane! And soon deteriorated into a gully, all the soil having been washed away so there was only rock at the bottom with steep sides which were 4ft high in places, with, of course, the autumnal growth of nettles and brambles. We emerged near a large cattleshed, the last person being about 15 minutes behind the leaders – that’s how difficult it was.

We found a spot to eat our lunch after this exciting episode; and decided to give the next hill a miss, taking a level route back to Llandegfedd reservoir and adding about a mile to the walk.

At The Forest, I was surprised to see eucalyptus trees growing. We spotted signs for Coed y Paen and Prescoed prison (a category C prison for vulnerable prisoners which has been a Borstal in the past). We also saw a healthy-looking herd of pedigree Holstein cows belonged to Cilwrgi farm, part of the prison. They also have a sawmill, woodlands and workshops and there was a sign for an SSSI on their land.

Entering a field, we found a lone ‘mad’ cow, running towards us like a bucking bronco, getting close and then staring hard with wild eyes. We waved our walking poles to get it to move away – it ran across the whole field before turning to come back but we had hurried on and exited the field. Why was it by itself and what was wrong with it? And no, it was not a bull!

A short walk along a wooded lane brought us back to Llandegfedd lake, and we were soon supping drinks at the Visitor Centre café.

We have done this walk in the past with no problems but some footpaths were not maintained. In the Vale of Glamorgan, we are fortunate that the Walk and Clear volunteers from Valeways work hard to keep footpaths open. Thank you to all the Valeways volunteers. Walk 7 miles, 1100ft. Map 152.



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