The London Marathon For Marie Curie



Hello everyone!

I am incredibly lucky to be running the 2021 London Marathon for Marie Curie, a charity extremely close to my family’s heart. We lost my dad, Alun, to bowel cancer in 2008. At the time, I was only eight years old. Dad spent his final days at Marie Curie Holme Tower Hospice, Penarth, and Marie Curie were unbelievably supportive to dad and us during his illness. This support has remained ever-present in our family’s life in the twelve years since he passed.

Dad completed the 1985 London Marathon in an impressive 3 hours and 20 minutes, undoubtedly one of the best moments of his life. I feel so proud to be able to follow in his footsteps this year (although nowhere near as quickly), and to do it for Marie Curie.

The community of Wenvoe has been vital to our family. From Saturday morning football matches, meals at the Wenvoe Arms with Dad, the village shop giving me my first ever job, the school, the park, the community centre…. The past year has been very difficult for all charities, with normal fundraising efforts being halted due to the pandemic. Any donations to the fundraising page from the people of Wenvoe would be hugely, hugely appreciated, and will help frontline nurses provide care to cancer patients and their loved ones.

Donations can be made at the following website:- userUrl=HenryWaddon1&pageUrl=1

Alternatively, if donating to this website is difficult, you can contact me directly via the following contacts, and we can arrange to donate on your behalf: 07860248977

Thank you so much for your support.

Henry Waddon



When is it time to say STOP?


Vale Communities Unite

Vale Communities Unite is a community group set up by local people in the Vale of Glamorgan during 2020. Its aim is to give residents a voice and to protect the local environment from unwanted development.

Wenvoe is fortunate to be protected as a conservation area. It is a beautiful village surrounded by green fields and wildlife.

As a Wenvoe resident you are safe in the knowledge the village around where you live will remain unchanged and most importantly largely undeveloped.

I moved back to my hometown of Barry in 2019. My parents followed shortly after and settled in Wenvoe. They love the Vale as I do, but I am saddened by the seemingly constant destruction of our green spaces. Planning applications approved without a thought for future generations.

Look back and remember the changes you have seen in the Vale in just the last 10 years or 5 years for that matter. How many more green wedge spaces must be lost before it’s time to say STOP?

On July 14th, 2021, VOG Council voted by 9 votes to 8 to approve the building of a Business Park on MODEL FARM a one-hundred-acre tenanted farm in Rhoose, the farm backs down onto Porthkerry Park. The owner of the land L & G has yet to disclose the name of the potential developer of this land. Leaving local communities speculating as to what type of development may soon be on their doorstep.

As a Wenvoe resident you are surrounded by farmland and maybe you would not be wrong in thinking it’s just one farm. What makes this one so special? But does one farm become two and then three? When will we be ready to say STOP and fight for our environment, to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities as us? To grow up in an environment with fresh air and wildlife. Not the concrete jungles we are getting so familiar with.

This mixed farm has been cared for by four generations of the same family. They are set to lose their home and livelihoods and the destruction of our local area will be irreversible. Imagine your idyllic Porthkerri walk, and then look beyond to the fields in the distance, remember them now as they are soon to be demolished.

There was considerable local opposition to this planning application with over 1000 objections that covered a wide range of issues including:

Alternative local brown sites were not considered including the St Athan’s airfield owned by Welsh Government and currently unused.

The additional problems caused by traffic congestion and resulting pollution on a road system already struggling.

Without the M4 link through Pendoylan traffic will be routed through our villages instead. More damaged roads and unfilled potholes.

The flooding impact from rainwater which already causes problems in the winter at Porthkerri park. Concrete will not replace the natural drainage system of our farmlands and fields, and it must go somewhere.

The wealth of the natural wildlife on this mixed farm included bees, butterflies and other pollinators attracted by acres of wildflowers grown here for seed.

The threat to ancient woodland.

The presence of several endangered species on the farmland.

The importance of the need to produce food locally and to reduce food miles.

For more information and further details of the planned development please refer to our Facebook page – Vale Communities Unite Against the Planned Development at Model Farm.



Training For Settling In Canada


Ex-service men’s centre near Cardiff

For the second year in succession a number of ex-service men and their families are undergoing training at the British Legion Emigration Training Centre at Wenvoe Grange, near Cardiff. On completion of the course, which will last several weeks, they will be sent out to definite jobs on Canadian farms. Last year 38 families were trained and sent out, and reports received by the Legion show that 80 per cent of them have proved successful. An after-care organisation keeps in touch with them in their new life, and is able to offer advice and assistance which are of the greatest benefit to the newcomers in their unwonted surroundings. Many of them have not only discovered new interests in life but have been able to save considerable sums of money, which will serve to set them up in farms of their own when they have acquired the necessary experience.

The number of families undergoing training at Wenvoe at present is 15, consisting of 30 adults and 38 children, but it is hoped to increase the number to 20 families before the end of the month. The board and sleep at the Grange, a fine old mansion conveniently situated near the main road leading from Cardiff to Barry; and while of necessity the life is largely communal, every endeavour is made to preserve the family units as much as possible. Every family, for instance, has its own bedrooms, and opportunities are provided to enable them to live a normal family life so far as practicable.

The men are taught mixed farming on the farms in the neighbourhood. They leave the centre in the morning and return home for the midday meal, if within a convenient distance: otherwise they take their luncheon with them. Work is carried on until about 6 p.m. Women receive instruction in milking at an adjacent farm and in breadmaking at the centre. In the evening there are lectures on various branches of agriculture by the Glamorgan County Council instructors, and bootmaking, haircutting, and rough carpentry are taught. In addition to board, all at the centre receive pocket money during training. Children of school age attend the local council school.

Times 10 March 1931



It’s Not Just A Walk In The Park.


A breath of fresh air, it’s not just a walk in the park.

During the periods of lockdown we experienced over the past eighteen months we were only too delighted to get out of the house for one of the few permitted reasons and take a stroll round the village. A breath of fresh air to blow the cobwebs away! Fortunately one effect of lockdown was to reduce vehicle use and engine emissions considerably and for a while air pollution was reduced so the air was fresher. Now, however the pollution is returning.

The air around here looks good; we don’t see the smoky clouds or thick looking air of big cities in India and according to Air Quality Wales the whole of Wales is in the green band. However the UK adopted EU standards on air pollution which, in the case of fine air particulates, allows 4 times as much as the World Health Organisation recommendations. In truth no levels of air pollution are safe, it’s more a matter of less harm and damage done might not be evident for some years, seemingly unproblematic air may be storing up problems for the future.

According to the Air Quality Wales website the 2 types of pollutants cause the biggest public health concern:

  • Particulate matter (known as PM10 and PM2.5), that easily penetrate the lungs. They are created primarily by vehicle emissions, tyre and brake wear and industry and construction. These are so small that they are drawn down into the lungs and heart and can even enter the blood stream. They are implicated in a whole host of health conditions including kidney, liver and brain damage alongside the more obvious impact on the lungs and heart. Children are more at risk than adults because of their quicker breathing rates and more active lives, though anyone with additional conditions may be affected.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and Ozone. These are primarily created by road traffic, energy generation and industry. They particularly affect those with lung conditions.


Links are made between air pollution and cancer, cognitive decline in later life and according to Sustainable Wales (https://www.sustainablewales. org. uk/air-pollution)

poor air quality contributes to brain-related health problems in children, including cognitive decline. One recent study found that exposure to air pollutants in very early life was linked to a worse change in IQ between the ages of 11 and 70.”


There are things we can all do to improve air quality in Wenvoe. Broadly, we need less vehicle use,

shorter times with running engines, remembering that though much less polluting, electric vehicles do contribute to air pollution. Next month we’ll suggest some strategies that we can all adopt. We can make a difference.

  1. This will also cut carbon emissions so we’ll be doing our bit for climate change and supporting VoG Project Zero at the same time.

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

To join our Facebook group, please ‘friend up’ with the Gwen Fo account @

You can also follow us on Twitter @ForumGwenfo. For information on our activities, link with us on social media:-

Facebook: Gwen Fo @ and Wenvoe Forum @

twitter @ForumGwenfo

For further information and updates, our new blog site is available at

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



Lessons From The Past And A Gathering Storm


Extreme weather events seem to be on the increase as July brought us a mini heat wave followed by storms and heavy rain. On one recent occasion, 23 December 2020, the Vale experienced on average 33mm of rainfall over an 11 hour period and properties notably in Dinas Powys, Sully and Penarth were flooded. Of course flooding is nothing new. Well before global warming, the Bristol Channel floods of 30 January 1607 provided us with a perfect example of the impact of a severe flooding event. The coastline of South Wales and the West Country was devastated, with an estimated 2,000 people drowned and 200 square miles of farmland destroyed, along with livestock, houses and other buildings. In Wales, parishes wholly on the Gwent Levels fared the worst, and the 1607 flood is commemorated at several of their churches, although not all of the plaques are contemporary. Those at Redwick, Nash and St Brides can be seen from outside, and show the height of the floodwaters. At Goldcliff the plaque in the chancel reads: “… heare was lost 5000 and od pownds besides 22 people was in this parrish drownd ..”. £5000 is equivalent to around £650,000 today.

Cardiff was the most badly affected town and although small in those days, a huge area was affected. The flood waters came right up to the town centre and the foundations of St Mary’s Church (the corner of St Mary Street and Wood Street today) were destroyed. A farmer lost 400 sheep in Llandaff. Bodies were washed up and buried in a communal grave in Rumney Church. The Vale also suffered mercilessly. Coastal defences at Sully were easily breached as the narrowness of the Bristol Channel constricted and heightened the waves. Relatively new defences at Aberthaw were easily swept aside and a memorial garden at nearby Gileston commemorates the flooding and devastation which ensued.

So what did cause 1607 and could it happen again?

The Puritan pamphleteer William Jones, typical of writers at the time, explained such natural disasters as the result of God’s wrath and the sins of the population. The author of ‘Woeful news from Wales’ was in no doubt that the sinfulness of man and his disobedience of God’s law was to blame for the flood. Victims were ‘lewd and profane wretches’ who apparently deserved what they got. Some contemporary accounts mention stormy weather, whereas others fail to mention the weather, suggesting that the flood occurred without warning. This has led some scientists to suggest that the flood may have been caused by a tsunami, but the latest research suggests the likely cause being a storm surge. Some experts believe a combination of an extremely high tide and storm surge (the Severn Estuary has the 2nd highest tidal range in the world) mean another event of the scale of 1607, although unlikely, is possible.

In 2019, the Vale Council joined Welsh Government and other local authorities across the UK in declaring a global Climate Emergency. As a lead Local Flood Authority, the Vale has a statutory duty to investigate, log and report all instances of flooding. Public and charitable organisations often step up to help in such situations. Even so, it is a sobering thought that the first responsibility for protection of property in the event of flooding lies with the owner or occupier of the property, who is also responsible for any subsequent losses, repairs or remedial measures necessary.

As part of its response to climate change, last year the Vale launched its Project Zero Plan aimed at preparation for the impact of climate change and the ever increasing risk of flooding in many of our communities. The plan includes a commitment to reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and at a practical level taking measures aimed at preventing floods, installing district heating schemes and a wider rollout of electric Nextbikes




History Of Wenvoe’s Allotments


As a former allotment holder I was fascinated to read this article in the South Wales Star dated 31 March 1893.

Next business: the selection of Field wardens for the Allotment. Mr T Thomas and Mr G J Thomas re-elected.

Wenvoe Vestry Meeting: The Allotment question. In reply to questions the Chairman stated the whole of the allotments had been cultivated this year. Last year there was one left uncultivated but now they had some difficulty in suiting all who applied and had to divide two or three pieces between two persons. Last year three prizes had been offered and he was pleased to say that this year the Rector had expressed his willingness to give a prize of 10 shillings for the allotments.

Mr J Thomas also explained what had been done in the past in regard to the allotments. He stated that at the Dinas Powis show 3 prizes had been given for the cultivating of the allotments- 10 shillings, 7 shillings 6 pence and 5 shillings. The judges had said people could not expect a prize if they only grew potatoes..if they did it showed they had a garden elsewhere and only set potatoes in the field. The allotments were intended to help the men who cultivated them as gardens. They had done well with their allotment; although they gave the people 8 perches for 1 shilling a year they had sufficient money in hand to give them about 2 shillings worth of lime for their 1 shilling.

There were 24 allotments of 8 perches each. They belonged to the working classes and had been left by the Enclosure Commissioners for the industrious poor of the village when that body took over St Lythans Downs.

(|Note: 8 perches is 0.05 of an acre; one shilling is 5p in new money)

by Nigel Billingham

The Wenvoe allotments are located at Twyn-yr-Odyn adjacent to the playing field. Please contact to enquire about the allotments and contact the Wardens for any concerns.




Richard Burton Exhibition

Becoming Richard Burton

Was Richard Burton your heart throb too? Or maybe you wanted to be Cleopatra or even Liz Taylor herself? Don’t miss this exhibition!

Postponed from 2019, ‘Becoming Richard Burton’ is now running at the National Museum Cardiff until 3rd October. This is the first major exhibition about the life of Richard Burton and has been organised in partnership with Swansea University and the Richard Burton Archives which hold papers, diaries and photographs donated to the university by Burton’s widow, Sally.

Admission is free, and if you are flagging after an hour or so (as I was), you can adjourn to the coffee shop on the Ground Floor, to revive yourself, then return for the last half of this excellent exhibition.

Boring and stuffy, it ain’t!! A lovely walk down Memory Lane, with lots of nostalgia, and anecdotes about Richard’s life abound. The videos and audio commentaries which supplement it just add to the aura, and it makes any Welsh person very proud to think of the so very many great talents that have emerged from such a small country. Apart from Burton, one thinks of Antony Hopkins, Sian Philips, Glyn and Donald Houston, Michael Sheen, Harry Secombe, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Katherine Jenkins, Charlotte Church, the Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Michael Ball, Huw Edwards. I am sure I have missed out several more, and that is not even talking about our 2nd national religion, RUGBY players!!

So, Wales has really proved the old saying “Small is Beautiful” and we can fly our flag proudly! And DO book a place online to see this exhibition. You will certainly enjoy it.

Val Roberts




A Wenvoe Forum


We had a very interesting and encouraging meeting with Vale of Glamorgan attended by our Senedd Member, Jane Hutt, Councillor Jonathan Bird, Tom Bowring, VoG Head of Policy and Business Transformation and Nicola Sumner Smith from the Creative Rural Communities Team.

Tom gave an overview of the Vale Council’s approach to reducing the carbon emissions they generate as part of their commitment to combat the climate crisis. For those of you who missed the meeting here are links to very short videos that were issued as part of VoG’s consultation on their plan Project Zero.

These along with other links will be on our Facebook group. To join it please ‘friend up’ with Gwen Fo on Facebook:@

You’ll then be invited by ‘Gwen’ to join the Forum group directly: 02

Look forward to welcoming you there.

You will see that there is a lot of emphasis on working together and we certainly got the impression that Vale of Glamorgan and Welsh Government acknowledge that communities must be involved if we are to succeed in addressing climate change. We seem to be ahead of the game in involving them so let’s capitalise on that, get our ideas together promptly and ask for their help. Send any ideas to or share them via the Facebook page.

Currently we are quite a small group and will need help from all of you if we are to really make a difference. We will be deciding on the next priority at the next forum meeting. Look out for details in the September What’s On.

Ideas on climate change that were discussed on 1st July and under consideration are:


Whilst climate change is high on everyone’s agenda you may have ideas for strengthening the Wenvoe community and economy or just making it a nicer place to live. We are keen to hear them and will work with you to make things happen.

Keep a look out for activity, join us and send messages on:

Facebook: Gwen Fo @ and Wenvoe Forum @

twitter @ForumGwenfo

e-mail –




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