April Meeting of Wenvoe W.I.


April Meeting of Wenvoe W.I.

The members of Wenvoe WI met on 4th April in the Church Hall at 7pm.

On this occasion, the meeting was ‘a hands on’ session with each member creating their own table decoration, using fresh flowers and foliage, under the able direction of Mrs Carol Charlson, who demonstrated the basic procedure initially. Soon the air was fragrant and redolent, as everyone set to, and enjoyed creating their own ‘masterpiece’ amid much chatter and laughter.

Also members voted unanimously in support of the resolution to be forwarded to the National Federation of Women’s Institute to lobby the Government to increase investment in the training and retention of Dentists in order to redress the current inadequacy of the NHS, to ensure that everyone can access an NHS Dentist in their area.

This was followed by the nomination and selection of members to form the Committee for the next full year of Wenvoe WI . As a result, the new Committee will consist of eight members.

Our next Meeting will be held on Thursday 2nd May at 7pm which will be the AGM.

New members and ‘tasters’ are ensured of a warm welcome.


Janet Young (President)


Focusing On The Reuse Of Various Resources


Considering Tomorrow Today

Focusing On The Reuse Of Various Resources

This year, the Wenvoe Forum members are focusing on ideas around the REUSE (including REPURPOSING) of various resources. As this year’s Tucker’s Spring Plant Sale takes place at the Wenvoe Church Hall soon (Saturday 11 May – 10 am), we thought it would be good to support them (and the Wenvoe Wildlife Group) by having a table offering surplus gardening tools, plant pots and equipment etc. – all looking for a new home. Amongst the other garden bargains there, you’ll be able to choose your plants, sit and have a cuppa and a chat and maybe buy a slice or two of Tucker’s home-made cake and brownies. It’s for a great cause, with all proceeds to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group!

We’ll also be raising awareness of a couple of existing Facebook pages that already support the idea of reusing existing resources – the Wenvoe Recycling & Reuse Group @ https://www.facebook.com/ groups/1870475136410648 and the Wenvoe Buy and Sell pages, @ https://www.facebook.com/ groups/3019469164839088.

Finally, in our linked article this week, a money saving idea in line with the gardening theme courtesy of the Royal Horticultural Society web pages.

How to REUSE spent compost…

It’s not uncommon to have spent compost at the end of each growing season, especially if you grow bulbs or bedding plants in containers. Rather than getting rid of this, which can be difficult and wasteful, there are a handful of ways to reuse it within your garden.

Quick facts…

  • Compost breaks down and compacts over time, so it needs enriching and mixing thoroughly before it can be reused for planting.
  • You may need to add fertiliser if reusing compost for hungry plants like roses

Using spent compost for mulching around established trees and shrubs is good

Getting started…

Soil and spent compost can’t usually be added to green waste bins but our local council recycling centres will accept it. However, finding ways to reuse it in your garden saves you time, money and effort.

The manufacture, transport and packaging of bagged compost has a large carbon footprint, so being able to use it again for growing plants helps save the planet and saves you the cost of buying new compost each time you replant.

What you’ll need to reuse spent compost:

  • Gloves
  • A board or sheet to tip the compost out on
  • Organic matter, like garden compost, leaf mould or well-rotted manure (if replanting)
  • Possibly some other fertiliser
  • A garden fork (if digging-in)
  • A shovel and a rake (if mulching)
  • Focusing On The Reuse Of Various Resources

Top Tip…

Tipping out old compost first lets you assess its condition and decide how best to reuse it. If you find vine weevil larvae when you empty your pots of spent compost, spread the mixture thinly on a tarpaulin or  hard standing and wait for the birds to eat the larvae  as a tasty treat. Once they’ve found them all, sweep up the compost and use as above.

Five ways to reuse spent compost  

1 – Add organic matter and use it again for  planting  

Tip out the spent compost, remove any large sections  of root and work it back to a smooth, fluffy texture  with your hands. Then add handfuls of organic matter,  like garden compost or well-rotted manure, to create a  mixture of around 70% spent compost to 30% new  organic matter. This mixture can now be used for  planting up containers.

2 – Improve your garden soil by digging-in spent  compost  

Though it won’t add much in the way of nutrients, it  will improve soil structure, helping with aeration and  drainage, and in turn will boost soil biodiversity.

3 – Mulch your beds and borders to lock-in  moisture and suppress weeds  

Use a shovel to pile the compost onto your beds and a  metal rake to spread it over the soil to a depth of  around 7.5cm (3in). Over time the mulch will be  worked in by soil organisms, thereby improving the  structure and health of your soil.

4 – Improve the appearance and health of lawns

  Add spent compost as a top dressing in autumn,  mixing it with sand and brushing or raking it into the  holes created by spiking (aerating). Spent compost  can also be used to even out dips and hollows when  repairing lawns.

5 – Boost an existing compost bin or start a new  one  

Even spent compost will contain a variety of soil  organisms that can be put to work breaking down  garden and kitchen waste. If you’ve got lots of spent  compost to add to your compost bin, do this in layers  between other waste. Adding spent compost to the  base of new bins can help kick start the composting  process.


How to reuse spent compost / RHS Gardening

We do hope that you find these ideas and tips useful.  Good luck with your gardening. Please keep a look  out for our other activities, and join us or send  messages on:

Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/  gwen.fo.1/ and Wenvoe Forum @ https://  www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402  twitter @ForumGwenfo or e-mail –  gwenfo.forum@gmail.com


New Forum members are always welcome to join e-mail us e-mail gwenfo.
Contact to us on :-Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/
and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402 or
twitter @ForumGwenfo
See our Blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/

“Memphis” by Tara Stringfellow

“Memphis” by Tara Stringfellow

This is Tara Stringfellow’s debut novel; she is a former attorney and known for published poetry and prose and her love and use of language is displayed throughout the novel. The story follows four strong women over three generations and is based around the family home in Memphis. The author uses her own family history to base the novel on and some of our group felt that this intimate family connection led to a positive bias of the women in the story compared to the men, whose story was not told in any detail. The story has lots going on in it and does have some upsetting content but is also filled with joy and laughter. Stringfellow writes about each of the women in different chapters and the story moves back and forth between different eras; this means that the story jumps around. The majority of our group felt that to enjoy the novel, they had to continually refer back to the family tree to establish which character they were going to read about and what period they were in. The book did split the group’s view of it, with one member rating it extremely highly and a “must read” where others struggled to find a connection to the story. The majority of us enjoyed exploring the characters and following the story through the years.

The average marking of the group was 6




Penhow – As you read this the weather will be sunny and warmer (I hope), but we undertook this walk towards the end of all that winter rain. We parked on the A48 near Penhow, taking a footpath to Penhow castle. Our route took in Penhow Castle farm, passing Magor services on M4, Pencoed castle and back to Penhow via Llandevaud.

The manor of Penhow was held by Caradog ap Gruffydd, Prince of Gwent before the Norman invasion. The estate was seized, and a Norman knight built Penhow castle in the 12th century. By the mid twentieth century the castle was deteriorating and was restored by film director, Stephen Weeks. It is a Grade II listed building, private home and some claim the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Wales. Walking through the farmyard we admired the agricultural buildings and castle and visited the small church complete with bell tower and bellringers’ ropes.

We walked along the road as the fields were waterlogged and a stream beside the road, St Brides brook, was overflowing. Indeed, we paddled along the road and kept to its centre to avoid puddles. Some, who will remain nameless, really enjoyed splashing through the water and generally playing as they walked! It was another matter whenever a car came along as we had to find refuge to avoid being drenched.

We arrived at St Brides Netherwent (circa 1290), an isolated church with snowdrops in the churchyard and a claim for the oldest inscribed bell in Wales. The inscription is ‘Ave Maria Gracia Plena, one like a pot and the other like a pan’ with other embellishments. The bell is still rung to call people to worship 700 years after it was made. There was a very smart steel doored toilet in the corner of the churchyard which was available for use.

Continuing along the flooded road, we arrived at the back of Magor services which was a bit smelly as their bins were lined up near our track. Now we were going slightly uphill and soon moved onto a footpath heading towards Pencoed castle.

There are extensive renovations taking place at the Grade II listed, Pencoed castle and it looked markedly different from the last time we passed it. We hunkered down near one of its boundary walls to eat our lunch and enjoy the castle and its surroundings.

According to Wales Online, the castle was sold for £1.1m in 2020 and there are extensive plans for its development. It is estimated that the castle was built between 1500 and 1560 and for generations belonged to the Morgan family from Tredegar, who built a large mansion on the medieval site. More recently a coal owner and politician, D. A. Thomas, restored the mansion for his adored daughter and her husband. The coal owner died before the work was complete and soon after his daughter divorced. In 2016, a farmer turned property developer, Peter Morgan, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Georgina Symonds, a dancer and personal escort at the castle. An unfortunate building?

A dovecote in the grounds is fascinating, probably medieval and Grade II listed, all four stone walls are still standing and there is only a small opening at the top for birds to enter and leave. The doorway has a wooden lintel and stone arch above it and it has hundreds of roosting perches inside.

We continued to Llandevaud, crossed the common and then walked across fields back to Pencoed farm. We rounded off the walk with tea at St Mellons Garden centre. Walk 6.7m 500ft Map OL14


“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin


“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is a novel that explores the enduring power of love and guilt. Sadie and Sam, bond over video games when the pair meet in a children’s hospital; Sadie as the sibling of a cancer patient and Sam while enduring ongoing treatment for a crushed foot following an accident. We see this childhood relationship renewed and the bond cemented when the couple meet up again during their university years. The novel continues as the couple develop their gaming genius in partnership with Marx a failed actor and student friend of Sam’s as they conceive of, and programme, a game about a young boy named Ichigo, which becomes famous and lucrative. We see the partnership’s well-being impacted as they strive from developing one game to the next. The plot unfolds with various relationships along the way including Sadie’s abusive affair with her tutor Dove. Although the couple were never romantically involved, Sadie’s character in a game ends up married to Sam’s avatar.
Marx was a favourite character with our readers as he grounded the couple and mended relationships. His death devastated both Sadie and Sam. It was he who coined the title of the book based on Macbeth’s speech but with a positive twist. It’s tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent because nothing is permanent, ever.
The story immerses the reader into the world of gaming culture which some of the group found novel and interesting, but the gaming aspect was too consuming for some. Although we enjoyed the book, we all agreed that it involved too many unnecessary side events and personalities which added to the length of the story line.
Our Book Club rated it 6 out of 10

Anne Gill

Cherry Blossom & Daffodils

The Stress Buster Strollers

Cherry blossom, daffodils and fluffy white clouds greeted the Stress Buster strollers as they had a leisurely walk around the knap coastline. Spring has arrived….at least it was Spring today and we were out making the most of it!



An Opportunity For You To Contribute Ideas


Considering Tomorrow Today


Have you ever wondered why your Community Council or the County Council didn’t do something that you thought was obviously a good idea? Or perhaps you thought a plan was a bad idea or you simply identified something as “not good enough”? Please do not just sit back and let the thought fade, there is an opportunity for you to contribute ideas, don’t let that energy pass by.

The Wenvoe Rural Affairs Committee (WRAC) (of which Wenvoe Forum is one of the members) met on March 7th to share news, updates and plans for the future. The most important and exciting news was that the Vale of Glamorgan are revising their Development Plans for the County in a process comprising public consultation and engagement, starting with preparation of new Community Development Plans. The new 5-year Development Plan for Wenvoe is unlikely to advocate no significant change, so the team will need to document the activities and features that you want protected, further supported or newly created. What, in your view, needs improvement or termination and why? Work and meetings have already been undertaken on the higher level 15 year development plan for the Vale. The next stage is a showcase of a variety of projects to provoke imagination, probably in May. Community Engagement is key to success so prepare yourselves unless you simply do not care.

Note that some community councils have already revised their plans and obtained funding for development projects from VoG but more is available. Also note, that political and budgetary pressures are likely to drive changes from reactive management by community councils to a more proactive approach e.g. Owners of woodland including community councils might generate income for themselves / their communities by selling official carbon units to offset carbon usage in the world of low carbon or carbon neutral business. Doesn’t that make you wonder why our council has not taken over the local quarry and surrounding woodland. The recent felling of trees that were not all diseased was certainly a lost opportunity.

A quick poll of members of the Wenvoe Forum identified ideas regarding flood water, electricity generation, better use of water particularly grey water and usage of community land. You are bound to have additional ideas – please share them with WRAC or the Forum or on the community Facebook pages.

On a different note, the WRAC meeting had a presentation from the “Restore the Thaw Landscape”. That certainly inspired me to find their web page – on Facebook.

You might think that Aberthaw is distant from Wenvoe but the project has already financed work for improvement of countryside and streams that are tributaries to the Thaw.

Restore the Thaw Landscape is an exciting new project which will deliver biodiversity improvements in the catchment area of the River Thaw in the Vale of Glamorgan. The project is being funded by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Project Zero, the Waterloo Foundation and Nature Networks, a fund delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of Welsh Government and in partnership with Natural Resources Wales.

Restore the Thaw Landscape aims to benefit local wildlife, landowners and the community, and will provide various opportunities for organisations, community groups, and volunteers to help with the conservation work. More detail on line:

https:// www.facebook.com/people/Restore-The-Thaw- Landscape-Project

Wouldn’t it be great if Wenvoe had a project like this that brought the community together and had benefits for everyone. Get your thinking caps on!


To join our Facebook group, please ‘friend up’ with the Gwen Fo account @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1 and then jon the Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402



New Forum members are always welcome to join e-mail us e-mail gwenfo.
Contact to us on :-Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/
and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402 or
twitter @ForumGwenfo
See our Blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/

Library Hub – April 2024


Tel: 02920 594176 – during opening hours or wenvoelibrary@outlook.com

Like and follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/WenvoeCommunityLibrary

For general enquiries you can email us at wenvoelibrary@outlook.com

Library Hub – April 2024

Books – Our Selection of New Arrivals

Young Readers – Cassandra Darkbloom and the Thead of Power by P A Staff

Crime – Autumn Chills by Agatha Christie

Fiction – Weirdo by Sara Pascoe

Non-Fiction – The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy.

With many more titles for you to peruse.

Jigsaw Puzzles

We have a selection of puzzles if you would like to borrow one. Just come in and collect, bring it back (if and) when you finish.

Opening Hours

In October 2016, we were open for 11 hours per week. A reminder of now:

Monday 10.00am – 5.00pm

Tuesday 10.00am – 1.00pm

Wednesday 9.00am – 4.00pm – Singalong & Storytelling at 9.30 am

Thursday Closed

Friday Silver Foxes 10.30am – 12.30pm

Saturday 9.00am – 1.00pm

We have 6 jolly groups running regularly. If you want to know more, pop in and pick up our What’s On leaflet or contact us on: 02922 805574 or email: wenvoelibrary@outlook.com We are always pleased to hear from you.

April Special Events

Seeds Galore for our Sunflower Competition. Can you grow the tallest sunflower in Wenvoe? Pick up a pack from the hub from 1st April and get growing! A book token will be presented to the winner of each category of under 8 & 8 and over. Judging will take place during autumn half term – £1 per entry.

Themes for April

The theme for the Library foyer in April is Easter and Spring.

Report from the Hub Team

A new coffee machine has been installed.

Volunteers – we are fortunate to welcome new volunteers to the Library. As always, we are in need of more volunteers.

Watch this Space

The Hay Literary Festival Trip is being organised for the end of May 2024. Cost will be coach only.

A trip to the Westonbirt Arboretum is being organised for later in the year. The cost will be for the coach only. Adult entry tickets around £12.00 each

A trip to the National Eisteddfod in Rhondda Cynon Taff is being organised for August.

A Whist Drive will be organised and held in the Hub.

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