Parish News

On the fourth Sunday in June, the first All Age Communion Service took place at 9.30a.m. with all the “Pebbles” taking part. Many with their Mums and Dads. The church was full and the informality of the service went down well with the congregation, with gusty hymn singing, some with actions, clapping etc. The next All Age Communion Service will be on the last Sunday in July.

The past month has seen much work carried out in the churchyard. For many years the churchyard has been left to “mother nature”, and she has been a vigorous grower of lots of vegetation which we do not need. Contractors, at a cost of £500, have taken away the ivy, saplings and undergrowth which has been festooning the boundary walls of the churchyard and the collapsed dry stone wall between the churchyard extension and the Community Cemetery. This wall is an important feature of the churchyard, being the old boundary wall of the Rectory Orchard, and the wall will be rebuilt, using a local craftsman, once the trees which have been allowed to grow on the top have been removed. This is likely to be a costly exercise but one which the Parochial Church Council agreed to be the correct course of action to take. It will make a much better and well built wall for future generations to admire.

The large Poplar Tree near to the Churchyard Cross has also been removed at a cost of £350 and the stump will be ground out during the coming weeks. It is sad to have to remove trees at any time, but this tree has been cause of much damage around the plinth of the Cross, and as it was likely to grow much taller, removal was the sensible action to take.

The table tomb dedicated to the memory of Morgan Morgan who died in 1776 had been giving concern for some time becoming unstable. So in accordance with Health and Safety Rules it has been lowered to ground level. The vault entrance stone to the Nell family grave near the Tower has also been repaired and made safe, Mossfords carried out this work at a cost of £2010.

The PCC at its recent meeting authorised the payments for all these works which amounted to £4709, the bulk of which has been taken from the results of the Church Appeal which has raised £3875 to date and will remain open to receive additional funds to enable us to carry on with the other jobs scheduled for the next five years.

From the Church Quinquenial Report of December 2014 the lightning conductor on the church tower needed to be checked, this has been carried out at a cost of £127.20 and it was reported that remedial work needed to be carried out, again at a cost of £628 plus VAT to ensure the safety of the building.

Also the church and church hall has been checked for any Asbestos used. The church was found to be free of it, but the church hall has low grade Asbestos in the Artex used on the ceiling and in the roof tiles. The cost of this survey came to £780. The building has had smoke and heat detectors fitted and a carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen area.

The congregation of St Mary’s has risen to the challenge of providing the funds for this work to be done, and as we today enjoy the work done by previous generations, we too have a duty to ensure that the buildings we worship in are fit for purpose for the generations which lie ahead of us. We get no funding from central church funds for this work to be carried out, and our income comes from what is given freely on the collection plate at our services, the 200 club contributes from its funds towards the repair of the building and of course we make sure that we get our contribution from H.M Gov on Gift Aid refunds. That is why the St Mary’s Appeal remains open for future contributions to this vital work to keep the roof secure, the lights on and more importantly the church door open.

Plans are being made for events surrounding our celebration of the Harvest on September 26/27th Scary things will be going on in the churchyard with a Scarecrow Competition for scariest, the funniest, on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The church will be open to view the Harvest Decorations, there is planned to have a talk on our church history, refreshments will be available in the Church Gazebo erected in the churchyard, all in all this is going to be a great occasion to show the church to the village and also to welcome our new villagers from the “Redrow” Grange site, who should have moved into their new homes by that time. The scarecrow competition is open to all ages, all groups and families so get your thinking caps on and join in the fun.

We continue supporting the Food Bank with regular weekly collections in church, Tradecraft products are on sale at The Chattery and the Coffee morning on the 4th Sunday of the month and this year the fresh produce from the Harvest will be donated to the Salvation Army and the canned and dry goods passed on to the Food Bank in Barry.

Summer seems to be late in arriving this year, but who knows what August has in store for us.

Parry Edwards

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators met on July 1 and were pleased that PCSO Russell Evans was able to be present. Items from the discussions included:

A number of vacancies for Co-ordinators have occurred and attempts will be made to fill them by contacting residents in the localities. We hope that residents will feel able to help; the main requirement is to be aware of activity in your immediate locality and act as a method of communication to report incidents. Being aware is one of the best deterrents for criminals. The time required is minimal and you do not have to come to meetings unless you wish to do so.

We were introduced to the term “creeping burglar”. This is a criminal who moves around an area, usually in the early hours of the morning, trying door handles, looking through windows and trying gates. He, or she, is looking for anything which can be useful if stolen. The advice for Wenvoe residents is to make sure valuable items are out of sight and door and window locks are fastened.

Distraction burglary is another common term, often used when two or more criminals call on residents in their homes. One distracts attention and the other steals. Advice to Wenvoe residents is to only let people you know into your home.

Vehicle parking in Wenvoe is a continual problem. PCSO Evans advised us that parking around the school has improved and he patrols the area as often as possible. He has also provided advice to residents in the Rectory Close area about the parking problems there.

PCSO Evans told us that police surgeries would be starting in Wenvoe very soon where residents could discuss any policing matter with him or a colleague.

Alan French


Village Whist

Twenty one players managed to play a full 24 hands, which is no mean feat! First lady was Jenny, second came Gwynne. First gent was Terry, with John second.

Due to holiday commitments of all experienced in leading the whist drive, August whist is unfortunately cancelled this year. We will convene again on Thursday 10th September. Please spread the word, particularly to members who might not receive the What’s On!



Tuesday Group



15th September – Helen Joy – Porky Tails.

29th September – Lynn Oliver – My family in the Great War.

6th October – Lorna Pearson – Humorous Slant with a Welsh Flavour.

20th October – Linda Burnell – Dowsing.

3rd November – John Lewis – Sarah Jane – Accessories.

17th November – Roy Gee- Tales – It shouldn’t happen to a Tour Guide.

1st December – Rosemary Scadden – The History of Insole Court.

15th December – Christmas Dinner.

As everyone can see Irene has once again sorted out a very interesting and varied programme. We would welcome any new members – why not come along to our first meeting for a taster of our meetings.


Village Hall


As there are no plans to hold a Jumble sale in the near future, please do not leave bags of jumble outside the doors of the village hall. The last two bags someone left in July had to be removed and put out for refuse collection as we are unable to store jumble at the hall indefinitely.

Our plans for the Skercrows have had to be abandoned due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to hold an evening with the Skercrows at a later date and will up-date you in September’s What’s On.

If you wish to enquire about booking the hall please contact us via email on wenvoevillagehall

We would also like to say how disappointed we were in finding that someone had taken the plants from the outside planters. The Playgroup children had spent their time and money on making the entrance a more inviting place. To find that someone has destroyed their efforts is very heart wrenching.

If anyone notices anything suspicious or sees anyone causing damage to the Village Hall and its’ grounds, please contact Sandra 029 20594724. Thank you for your support.


Sons & Lovers

by DH Lawrence

In between newer books, Barry Library often select classics for us, which are always received with mixed feelings. Those of us who had not read them before, are glad of a 2nd chance. Those who HAVE read them before, find their impressions now, with the maturity of years, and from a different era, are quite different from their teenage years.

All of us agreed that the book was very well written, with excellent descriptions of the landscape, scenery, flowers, and the hardship of the times, but we felt the characters were not as successfully depicted. The mother of the family was a very strong character, from a cultured, affluent family, who had "married beneath her", and her husband soon felt inferior and inadequate. He took refuge in alcohol to bolster his ego, and, his aggression fuelled by drink, was cruel to his sons. They in turn despised him but worshipped their mother, and her relationship with all her sons, was so unnaturally strong as to be almost incestuous.

William was adored and seen to be his mother's favourite, and Paul, the main character was attracted to 2 ladies, Clara and Miriam. His mother disapproved of both, and did not think them "suitable". Paul also seemed to find them unsatisfactory, yet could not allow either out of his life, or search for someone else. We found endless descriptions of long conversations, and thoughts, about these ladies were tedious and frustrating, and never seemed to lead anywhere.

When the immensely strong matriarch eventually fell ill, the balance of power shifted, and the long, slow lingering death was very well portrayed. The painful end, after she was helped by Paul to take an overdose of morphine was quite horrific.

We found it difficult to mark this book out of 10, as is our custom. It was VERY well-written, and the graphic detail of the tedium of poverty, cruelty, really hard work, long hours, and repression, underlined the comfort and ease of our lives in the last half of the 20th century. But the book's content had no "feel good" factor at all, and was in fact quite depressing. So our enjoyment was much less than our acknowledgement of Lawrence's craftsmanship. (A few of us wondered why the book is no longer part of the A Level Syllabus.) So the overall score was a healthy 7.5 – but with a "spinach warning"! (Good for us but not enjoyable!).

This was totally unlike the scrumptious feast of homegrown Welsh strawberries and cream, and delicious cakes, provided by our hostess that evening – Thank You, Babs, you're a hard act to follow!


Wenvoe Action Group


We are pleased to report that, following significant objections by local residents and other organizations, the proposal to delete a large section of public footpath 21, Wenvoe, has been withdrawn and an improved proposal put forward.

However, several residents have voiced concerns regarding the new proposals, and we have passed these on to the Vale Council:

1. The proposal would still require the deletion of some public footpath on land unaffected by the Redrow development. This is contrary to the criteria set out in section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

2. The proposal would lead to the closure of the public walkway on the offshoot of Clos Llanfair, known by some residents as “the gully”. There are no details of what would become of this dead-end. It could become a haven for anti-social behaviour/drug use or be used for fly-tipping.

3. The proposal fails to include details of how bicycles, mopeds and motorbikes will be prevented from using the Clos Llanfair access, as the Redrow planning permission allows access for pedestrians only.

The temporary closure orders for both footpaths 21 and 22 leading from Clos Llanfair expire on July 26th. WRAG has campaigned alongside various other groups to have these footpaths re-opened to the public on their current alignments once the temporary orders expire. The Vale Council is currently taking advice regarding the legality of continuing to keep the footpaths closed via a succession of Temporary Closure Orders, and they will be making a decision shortly.

Full details of both the original proposal and the amended proposals, including maps and our comments to the Vale Council, can be found via the “links” section of our website at www.wenvoerag.


The Old Rectory Care Home

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Rectory opened its doors to care for elderly people in 1985, and to celebrate this fantastic milestone we held a wonderful summer garden party in the grounds of the home. We were very well supported by the residents, their families, and some other regular visitors. Fingers sandwiches were served, along with some home-made cakes, some scones with jam and cream, and some bara brith. Thank you so much to the very special family that donated their own cakes and a wonderful arrangement of flowers.

The highlight of the afternoon was most definitely the performance of the choir from Ysgol Sant Curig, Barry. The residents were thrilled, and the smiles on every ones faces will definitely not be forgotten. The children most certainly made the event an extra special one, and one that we will not forget. They were led by Miss Watkins, and accompanied on the keyboard by Miss Evans, and also on there to support the school and the event was the Head Teacher of Ysgol Sant Curig, Mrs. Sian Owen.

Mrs. Beryl Richards opened the home in 1985 with just one resident. Mrs. Richards was a qualified nurse, and put all her skills and knowledge to work at the home. The home was her passion for life, and it remained her passion her whole life.

During this celebratory year we also celebrate that four of our staff have been nominated and three have been short listed in the Care Forum Wales Care Awards, a great testament to the team. Whatever happens with the awards the fact that some of the staff have been recognised by an organisation such as Care Forum Wales is a great accolade, and a testament to the Registered Manager Gordon Paton.

We have recently held a meeting with the Wenvoe Historical Society to discuss the history of the grade 2 listed home. Prior to being purchased by Mrs. Richards it was in actual fact a family home. More information on the history of this building will follow over the next few months.

The gazebo is up and has a fantastic spot in the main garden – giving us wonderful cooling shade from the sun when we welcome visitors for tea and biscuits.

We have once again enjoyed several strawberries and cream or ice cream afternoons, especially during the Wimbledon final weekend. We were all disappointed when Andy Murray lost in the semi finals – we were all very tense but Andy can come back next year we’re sure.

We have been holding wonderful music afternoons in the lounge. We have moved a record player into the room, and are playing wonderful albums, that always evoke a smile and a memory from most of our residents. The record player is used a great deal to play ‘Name that tune’ too – with hilarious results. Frank always leads the way, as his knowledge of music, especially classical music, is legendary. We have also held several quiz afternoons, with the residents always knowing the majority of the answers.

Our aerobics and ball sessions are popular, and are getting us all thinking as well as moving. We look forward to updating you again soon. We hope you all enjoy the Summer break and that we all get to enjoy some good weather.



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Llanvihangel Crucorney is a small village five miles to the north of Abergavenny. We parked there and set off south-east and soon came to Llanvihangel Court. According to the guide books this is one of the most impressive and richly decorated houses dating from around 1600 in Monmouthshire: the interior has plaster ceilings, wood panelling, fireplaces and a magnificent oak staircase. We saw a large barn with only its heavy supporting beams remaining but there is also a notable stable block. The house is open to visitors. See the Historic Houses site for the opening hours. On the lawns as we passed several peacococks were displaying. A short spell on road brought us to a field of longish grass when we headed towards the Skirrid, an irregular triangular shape against the skyline. Continuing south and crossing a field we had great open views behind us and next took a path where the rock had split giving rise to a local myth that the ark had landed here. We were now wending our way through woodland “under the nose of the Skirrid”. After crossing a wooden walkway we started the climb to the north to reach the top. From the four hundred and eighty six metre summit there are magnificent views to the surrounding countryside. After passing the two entrance stones that are all that remains of St. Michael’s Chapel we stopped for lunch just below the summit to enjoy the view and to be out of the cool wind.

After the lunch break we took a grassy path which zigzagged more gradually down than our ascent. Half an hour or so later we reached a field of longer grass and started to go northwards. Once we had crossed another field we joined the road at Pen-y Park. In the stretch near to Cefn Farm there were yellow flowers of Meadow Vetch in the hedgerow and a little further on attractive wild roses. Almost a mile brought us to the Offa’s Dyke Path and we continued north-east in a warm breeze

although under an increasingly cloudy sky. After some forty minutes we crossed the main road and turned into a field with a view of the Skirrid back to the south of us. Here we were walking along the margin of a field of young growing sweet corn. From the corner the village was only a very short distance away but on the way we were passed by a lorry full of sheep. The walk totalled eight and a half miles and 1700 feet of climbing was involved, so some refreshment was definitely in order.

The nearby Skirrid Inn is reputedly the oldest inn in Wales. The stone structure is probably original and likely to date back to the twelfth century while the doorway and many of the windows ore mediaeval. Owain Glyndwr rallied his troops here and used the mounting stone in the courtyard. There are oak beams made from ships’ timbers which have the original markings and peg holes; It seems likely that that these and the oak panelling came from one of the Royal Navy’s fighting ships when she was being broken up. As well as its role as an inn and a public meeting house the Skirrid Inn also came to be used to hold courts. Hangings were held within the building, many of which today we would regard as being for trivial offences and as a reminder of those times there is a noose positioned from a beam. However away from the interior we enjoyed a drink outside in the fresh air where we were glad to relax.



In the May Footsteps there was mention of Woolly Pigs and some of you may have thought that the Wenvoe Walkers were hallucinating out on the Brecons Beacons. Some of you may have seen Country File and be aware of the truth but for the rest of you here is some information. These pigs , Lincolnshire Curly Coats, were famous for their hardiness. They became extinct in 1972. In the 1900s they were very popular in Hungary and Austria as they survived harsh winters. They were crossed with a Hungarian variety of curly coated ‘Mangalitza’ and the resultant cross was nicknamed the ‘Lincolista. There are in fact 3 different Mangalitza breed lines -Blonde, Swallow Bellied and the Red.

In the 19th century the Mangaliza was bred for lard and from crossing the traditional Hungarian Bakonyi and Szalontai breeds with imported Sumadia pigs from Serbia. The hair is similar to that of a sheep and they are now less popular as the demand for Lard has dropped but are kept as Rare Breeds.

So yes they do exist and we do see exciting and interesting things on the walks so consider joining us.


Wenvoe Play group


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In June we visited Greenmeadow Community Farm in Cwmbran. We would

like to thank Emma Wheadon for arranging our transport with Wheadon’s Coaches.

All 55 of us boarded the coach at 9:30am in soggy wet Wenvoe, to arrive in Cwmbran 40 minutes later, where it was dry and cloudy. As the morning progressed the sun shone through, with blue skies arriving just in time for lunch. We were really lucky with the weather and felt blessed, as on our return to Cardiff it was still raining!

The children and their families had an enjoyable day. We walked around the farm in small groups, stopping to feed the animals along the way, taking the odd photo or two! The children enjoyed the open space and the play areas available and an enjoyable social time was had by all.

Some children stopped at the barn to watch a cow being milked, ‘beginning to understand where milk comes from and how’. After the milking, we enjoyed our picnic in the park and ended our day with a tractor and trailer ride. How great was that?

Playgroup is now closed for the summer holidays and will re-open at 9am on Monday 7th September. In September, we will be offering day-care on

Mondays and Thursdays along with afternoon sessions. For further information, please see our Statement of Purpose and Admissions Policies on our web site

Please note: at this present time, we have opened a waiting list for 2015 – 2016. Please contact the playgroup for more information 02920597494 Full details are on our website mentioned above.

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