Scout Trek Cart


It was great to see the Scout trek cart back in use outside the Church Hall advertising the recently held Village Show.

When we reformed the village scout group back in the mid 1970s we had nothing. There was nothing around belonging to any previous group so we hunted down anything we considered could be of use to running the group. One day while in a Barry wood yard I spied an old red painted fire cart, probably used to carry fire hoses, sand buckets, pumps etc to the scene of any outbreak of fire helping to contain the blaze while awaiting the arrival of professionals. The cart was no longer in use. A discussion with the owner resulted in the village scout troop possessing a trek cart; minor repairs were completed and a fresh coat of paint was applied. It was a much loved item when I was a scout.

Around our annual camp sites the cart proved extremely useful for moving tents and boxes etc. One year some of the scouts pulled the trek cart from the village out to New Wallace farm with their camping gear for a weekend camp. Around the village we used it as a mobile cooking platform when we went around selling freshly baked Welsh Cakes in aid of a Red Nose day appeal. Wonderful to see it back in use.




Advent Windows 2023


A St. Mary’s Church Initiative for the Whole Community

Following three previous successful years, we are inviting you to take part in lighting up your windows this Advent 2023.

During the last 3 years, lighting up the windows has encouraged us to wrap up warm and to view the different portrayals of Advent and Christmas. Each presentation has been very individual including Santa, Angels, Snowmen, Kings, and many more. People have used their imagination in what materials they have included. One Window last year was made of all recycled items, and another made totally of Christmas baubles. Some have been very artistic, building on their previous experience, whilst others have been made by children for the first time.

This community fun event will run from 1st – 24th December, with the final window at St. Mary’s Church. There is no entry fee, it’s not a competition and adults and children are welcome.

How it works:

We need a minimum of 24 participants to decorate their windows. Each entry will be allocated a date when they will light up their window for the first time and to continue lighting up each day until 24th December. For those of us viewing the windows this will mean every day from 1st December a new window will be lit up to go and see, so that by 24th December there will be 24 windows in total to view. The windows will be lit from 5.00pm – 9.00pm each evening.

The windows can be designed and constructed from any media including lights, mobiles, cut outs etc. They can be as simple or technical as your artistic tendencies take you. They can be internal or external displays as long as they involve decorating your window. All the displays should relate to Advent / Christmas and can be humorous, artistic or topical.

Each house participating will be asked to:

  • display a given number corresponding to the date their window is ‘opened’ to differentiate it from other residents who will have their own Christmas decorations.
  • keep their window a surprise as far as is possible before the designated revealing evening


If you want to participate you need to:

  • live in a house that has a window (upstairs or down) that can clearly be seen from the street without people coming onto your property
  • be happy to keep the window illuminated each evening after it is ‘revealed’ until December 24th


We are aware that many people give their time and money to support a host of different charities. If you would like to put a charity box outside your house you would be most welcome. Just make sure you empty the box each evening.

For more information ring:

Glenys and Mike Tucker: 07922 109721, or

Jude and Nige Billingham: on 07516 112897

Please let Jude Billingham know by October 27th if you would like to decorate your window. You will need to supply your name, address, email address, telephone number, and any preference when you would like to light up your Window. Contact via email (, by telephone (07516 112897), or text.

Please be aware that in agreeing to participate you are also agreeing to have your address identified on the windows map that will be made available so people can look for your window. No names or email will be shared without your permission.

This is a St. Mary’s initiative for the whole community


Spring Forward, Fall Back



On the 29th of this month many of us will bask in the joy of knowing that the clocks go back at 2a.m. and we get an extra hour in bed. The idea has been around a long time and so has the controversy over its benefits or otherwise.

The idea of aligning waking hours to daylight hours is usually credited to the American Benjamin Franklin who first proposed the idea in 1784. Franklin was dismayed by the wasting of daylight hours and so proposed a way in which everyone would benefit from getting up as soon as it was light enough. He published that old proverb ‘early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.’ In a satirical letter to the editor of The Journal of Paris, Franklin suggested that waking up earlier in the summer would economise on candle usage; and calculated considerable savings. He proposed, tongue-in-cheek, taxing window shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public at sunrise by ringing church bells and firing cannons!

British Summer Time, also known as Daylight Saving Time, was the brainchild of a builder from Kent called William Willett. On his way back from riding his horse in Petts Wood in 1905, he noticed many of the blinds and curtains in the neighbouring houses were still drawn, even though it was light. This led him to consider the idea of adapting the time to better fit daylight hours. It seems Willett had an ulterior motive for his suggestion. He was an avid golfer who disliked cutting short his round at dusk.

Willett’s proposal, which he published in 1907, was to advance the clock during the summer months. His original proposal was for the clocks to be put forward by 80 minutes in total, in four steps of 20 minutes each Sunday at 2am during April and turned back in the same way in September. He argued that this would mean longer daylight hours for recreation, improving health and also saving the country money in lighting costs. Liberal Party MP Robert Pearce introduced the first Daylight Saving Bill to the House of Commons on 12 February 1908 but it failed to become law.

The idea resurfaced during World War One when the need to conserve coal made the suggestion of daylight saving more pertinent. The Summer Time Act was finally passed in the UK on 17th May 1916. Backed by press advertisements, the clocks went forward one hour on the following Sunday, 21st May. To return to GMT on 1st October 1916, people were advised to put their clocks forward by 11 hours rather than turning the hands back an hour, as in those days this would break the mechanism.

Sadly William Willett died of the flu in 1915 aged 58 and didn’t live to see his ideas become law. Fittingly though, there is a memorial sundial in Petts Wood, set permanently to Daylight Saving Time, in his honour. His ideas still form the basis of the system we use today. Advocates for it claim the lighter summer mornings save energy, reduce traffic accidents and get people out leading to them becoming more active with associated health benefits. Critics claim darker winter mornings are more dangerous for children going to school and mean farmers working longer hours before daylight.

Whichever side of the argument you favour, the fact remains that we need to make a note to put our clocks back at 2a.m. on October 29th. Nowadays of course our mobile phones, computers and laptops do not need reminding of this momentous event



Public Rights Of Way



If you, like me, occasionally criticise government for focus on the short term then we should all respond to the VoG Council’s request for comments (by November 30th) on the plan that will direct their work on Rights of Way over the next ten years. Responsibilities for maintenance of the legal record of public Rights of Way might suggest the council’s role is passive but the VoG clearly recognises the benefits offered by rights extending over nearly 600 Km of paths, bridleways and restricted byways with their proactive plans including “The Great Glamorgan Way” and upgrade of some paths to bridleways.

Copies of the Draft ROWIP, in Welsh and in English, are available from reception at the Civic Office, Holton Road, Barry and local libraries. Searching for ROWIP on the VoG website enables you to download a copy or read-online. This opportunity to contribute your views is too valuable to be missed.

Kenneth Hansen


Samuel Finley Breeze Morse





Samuel Finley Breeze Morse was born in Charlestown, Mass. on 27th April 1791. He was not a scientist – he was a professional artist. Educated at Phillip’s Academy at Andover, he graduated from Yale in 1810 and he lived in England from 1811 to 1815, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1813. He spent the next ten years as an itinerant artist with a particular interest in portraiture. He returned to America in 1832 having been appointed Professor of Painting and Sculpture at the University of the City of New York. It was on this homeward voyage that he overheard a shipboard discussion on electromagnets. This was the seed out of which the electric telegraph grew. Morse is remembered for his Code, still used, and less for the invention that enabled it to be used, probably since landline telegraphy eventually gave way to wireless telegraphy.

The first message sent by the electric telegraph was “What hath God wrought”, from the Supreme Court Room in the Capitol to the railway depot at Baltimore on May 24th 1844. For his 80th birthday in 1871 a statue was unveiled in Central Park on June 10th, with two thousand telegraphists present. Morse was not, but was that evening at the Academy of Music for an emotional acclamation of his work.

Although most people nowadays would think of Morse code being used for long-distance radiotelegraphy, the land-line telegraph was standard until about 1880 for short-distance metropolitan communication. Over longer distances the telegraph tended to follow the line of the railways because there were no difficulties over rights-of-way. The lines were mostly overhead, since the problems of insulating underground lines proved insuperable for many years – indeed the development of the original line was hampered owing to this problem.
The telegraph, of course, came to be important for the military, being used first at Varna during the Crimean War in 1854. It was widely used in the American Civil War, where rapid deployment techniques for land-lines were developed; the Spanish-American War found the first use of telegraphy for newspaper correspondents (1898). The first military use for radio telegraphy was during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 – 5.

A Resident Remembers


After bombing raids on Cardiff in 1941 which saw houses in Grangetown flattened by the use of parachute bombs; these explosives were naval mines that were dropped by parachute and would explode at roof level causing maximum impact to the surrounding area. An 8 year old Brian Williams was evacuated, along with the other children. Brian was sent to The Marish Farm in Brecon where he spent the next 18 months getting to grips with farming life in rural Wales. The farmer’s first words to him were “you’re in the country now boy so make sure you shut the gates”. He made a nostalgic return this year, 82 years after his first visit, where he met with the farm’s current owners and told them of his time there. Threshing wheat, shearing sheep, riding horses and by all accounts thoroughly enjoying his time on the farm.



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.




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


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