May Report

WI Everyone was welcomed to our meeting by the president especially Federation Chairman Ann Davis and Federation Secretary June Humphry. Judith Jessop came as a visitor and we hope she will join us again soon. Details were given of our Table Top Sale. The following events are as follows – Culverhouse Cross WI fashion show, Link meeting at Wenvoe on 16 June and the charity tea party on 14 July. May has been Resolution Month and members present voted unanimously to support this year’s resolutions – alleviating loneliness and keeping microplastic fibres out of our oceans. Presentations were received from our secretary, treasurer and president and we would like to thank Mike Flynn for auditing our accounts again this year. The committee for 2017 – 2018 is as follows –President, Madeleine Rees, Vice President, Margaret Morant, Secretary, Pam Ewington,Treasurer,June Davis. Committee members are Maria Williams, Janet Young and Jayne Aust. The evening concluded with humorous stories from Ann Davis.
Our next meeting is on 1st June at the Church Hall at 7pm, when our speaker will be Viv Wigmore who will be speaking of her “Journey in Jewellery Making” Visitors are welcome.

May Garden Notes

I would like to start this month's column with a thank you all to who attended the W I table top sale and Spring Craft Fair in May. I loved hearing your thoughts and ideas on gardening and will pass on advice given to me through this column.

Much needed steady rain in the middle of May has really helped the gardens and allotments recover but, of course, also encouraged weeds to cover any bit of soil without a plant in it. There are lots of ways to discourage weeds; some use a mulch of bark chippings or gravel. Ella Webb, a dear family friend, uses both chippings and gravel but would recommend more plants to cover bare soil. It's very effective and looks so nice. This time of year there are some bargains to be had at garden centres. With a big turnover some plants get neglected and are sold off cheaply. A good soak in water overnight is needed then plant out. At this time of year they will catch up.

Hanging baskets are lovely to look at but they do need quite a bit of attention. You cannot be half-hearted when looking after these. They will need watering once, sometimes twice a day and feeding once a week at the very least and of course they will need regular deadheading to encourage new blooms. Older villagers may remember the Condick family. Kenny Condick had a passion for gardening and his garden, just off Caerau Lane, was a multiple competition winner. Hanging baskets were his forte. If you where lucky enough to obtain one from him you were told not to put it outside until June and he was not a person to be disobeyed.

If you think your lawn needs watering, the two main things to remember are a) that it takes a long time and b) if you're on a water meter it may be a little costly. Grass is a great survivor and will tolerate water shortage. Just sprinkling water on to a lawn for a short time will encourage roots to be near the surface where they will dry out quickly and weaken the grass. Unless you're really sure it needs watering, let it be.

Remove any leaves that have fallen from Roses (as they harbour disease) and don't compost them. I know I keep on about it but do not forget to treat for black spot.

Council chairman Colin Thomas has been asked, while at his allotment, about the best times for planting various vegetables. Colin says that he plants out when he knows he will be around to take care of them as, with many things in life, the first few weeks are the most trying. The National Open Garden Scheme ( has plenty of gardens to visit locally and this is a perfect way to get inspiration for your garden and raise money. Last year the scheme donated £2.7 million to charities

One of the best things about working around this village is seeing other people's gardens. I love learning more about plants from fellow gardeners and hearing how their plots have developed over time. Brian and Sandra Jones live in one of the Old Wenvoe estate houses on Walston Road, opposite the church and I was fortunate enough to be invited to take a look at their garden. Brian showed me around what is the best cottage garden I've seen for a very long time and also told me a bit of it's fascinating history.

Now is the time to plant Foxgloves,Canterbury Bells and Delphinium seeds if you want good, cheap plants next year. Grow them on in pots and plant out to final position in September.

Brian Foster, of Church Rise, is a wizard at growing Tomatoes and Cucumbers. He mixes his own potion,and will tell you the ingredients (with a bit of arm twisting) but not the proportions. He's always picking tomatoes before me – moan! If you have any tips for next month's article, stop me when you see me around the village.


Happy Gardening

Looking Forward To June

Welcome to the merry month of June, called after the goddess Juno, and also the subject of the lyric “June in busting out all over, the meadow and the hill” by Rogers and Hammerstein from the stage show “Carousel” in 1956. Sunday worship at St. Mary’s is also “busting” out with new life, with a huge welcome given to the 14 candidates who were confirmed by Bishop Dominic at St. Peter’s Church in Dinas Powis on the 21st May.
Another “Busting out” was the flowering cherry tree outside the south porch in the churchyard. It flowered most gloriously this year and many people came to see it and take photographs. Let us hope it was not its swansong and that it will continue to blossom for many years to come. The replacement hawthorns alongside the path to the porch are flowering already and the churchyard is an asset much appreciated by the community, and is a perfect setting for the weddings planned during the year.
At the recent meeting of the Parochial Church Council, Trudy Kennedy was welcomed as a new member, and prayers were said for our new Bishop, the Very Rev. June Osborne, who is at present Dean of Salisbury Cathedral. It was also reported that the work to replace the frost damage to the mortar on the south curtilage walls of the churchyard would be replaced free of charge during the summer. The faculty notice for the installation of the French drains to the south wall of the nave has been affixed to the church door in preparation for submission to the Diocesan Advisory Committee. This requires that the concrete channelling be removed and a new “soak away” be dug under the path away from any burials. The work required under the last quinquenial inspection has now been completed, and the new drains will Help to remove the dampness within the walls.
Concern was raised about the lack of wheel chair access leading from the chancel step to the altar rail. The chancel step is also proving to be difficult for members of our aging congregation, and investigation will be made to see whether a suitable ramp can be purchased to make access safer and easier.The “200” Club continues to prosper and at present the subscription list stands at 293 paid up shares, thanks to 130 shareholders. A total of £2750 was transferred to the St. Mary’s building fund during 2016, leaving a balance of £1295 at the end 2016. Prize winnings totalling £1600 had been returned to shareholders in the course of the year, and this will be increased to £1700, with an extra £100 in May and again in July. The Usual summer “super draw” will be in August. Invitations for share renewals will be sent out at the end of August.. Thanks are due to Dickon Oliver for his stewardship of the “200” Club.
The big event in May was the “Christian Aid House Collection” in our three parishes. A report will be given in next month’s “What’s On” . The amount we collect has been has been helped by the money donated during the Lenten Lunches and the Agape Supper on Maunday Thursday in Holy week. Once again thanks are due to the social committee and their helpers.
The “Welcome” Pack to our new residents on the Redrow “Grange Site” have been updated and distributed when the houses are occupied. The pack contains a welcome to the parish and has individual leaflets explaining what is going on in church. It is professionally presented and printed and the invitation is extended to visit and join in any of the activities at a time of their choosing.
This year the joint Parish Picnic will be held at the Jubilee hall in Smithies Ave, Sully following the morning services on Sunday June 25th. There will be games and activities for those who wish to take part in them.
The parish magazine across the three parishes “Connections” contained a very full report of the Ministry Area Visit to Brecon. The day went well and after a lunch in the “Pilgrims Rest” there was an opportunity to tour the cathedral and attend Evensong before returning home. A similar visit is planned to next year.
Whitsuntide/Pentecostal greetings to all our readers.

Parry Edwards


Songs for Teenagers

When you’re barely 17 it’s like the world seems to pass by in a blink of an eye. What feels like a few weeks ago becomes a year in Sixth Form land – and what feels like a year is only a matter of eternally long weeks. GCSE to A-Level is one of the biggest jumps I’ve found. The work is pretty much the same – practically 16 exams worth of work at GCSE feels equivalent to three subjects’ worth of work at A Level. But do you want to know why it feels as though it’s the biggest jump? It’s not necessarily because of the work; you become accustomed to that with a month or two. It’s not the lessons – that what free lessons are for, additional revision times when it’s impossible to find time to finish everything at home, even if you spend around 5 hours a night revising or doing homework.

The biggest jump is that now, thanks to GCSEs, you have an expectation of yourself; at least now I do. If anything, I compare my GCSEs to everyone else and worry about doing even better at A Level. Because once you’ve received those A*s or As at GCSE – those Bs you get at A Level seem like underachieving somehow. But really, they’re essentially equivalent to maybe even an A* at GCSE.

Everything’s based on grades at A Level I’ve found. ‘I believe you’ll get an A at the end of the two years’… but what about the A*? It’s as if I feel I have even more to prove now. To prove that I’m better than those 3 Cs and 1 B at GCSE, because now I’m taking the two subjects I got an A* in, and one of the 5 I got an A in. Because, for some reason, I feel as though that’s always worth mentioning. Because everyone around me got a minimum of 4 A* it feels like, and I was just stuck with 2.

It’s all more competitive. It’s not so much about the course you’ll enjoy the most, but more about the one that’ll help you to receive those desired grades. To get to that Russell Group University. To get that job. To be the best. Sometimes it feels as though you have to be the best at your A Level course to be considered good at the subject – despite the fact you’ve managed to survive an entire year, mostly maintaining the same grade. Yet – somehow

unfortunately – your heart drops a little every time you see that B. Because it’s not just one letter higher in the alphabet.

You hear in teen films that you should ‘enjoy these moments; because these are the best years of your life’ – and yet, also some of the worst. I’m not saying they’re wrong; being my age I’ve had some of the best times – times that make me belly laugh thinking about them. It’s just, these are American films. Where, it’s unlikely (from my limited knowledge) that they have too many important exams in the same way Britain does.

But the one solace I’ll always take from this time in my life is the fact that almost everyone around you feels the same way. And so, as you walk in to take that first exam, you can be safe in the knowledge that almost seven other kids from your class feel exactly the same way that you do. I realise I’m not in my final year yet, so to some this panic could be slightly premature. But if you’ve made it this far through the year without dropping out of Sixth Form, be aware that maybe we’re stronger that we think?

By Tirion Davies

Phil Morant Steps Down


As a result of the first heavy rain in weeks the team’s meeting on May 15 was cancelled. We’ll try again on June 12th.

The team will miss our founder/member Phil Morant who has decided to step down after years of faithful service. We are grateful for Phil’s dedication to making our village the pleasant environment in which we live. Thank you Phil from your team.

May Roundup


We were delighted to receive a donation from the raffle at the Wenvoe Spring Craft Fair. We hope to put this towards a project linked to Wenvoe Primary School. We have also received donations of plants and herbs from a variety of sources both within and outside the parish for which we are very grateful.

Some of our machinery rolled into action in May which involved topping up the water level of the pond in the Community Orchard and using our new wheeled strimmer to cut the grass at this location – this was the first time it had been cut and some of the grass tussocks proved to be quite formidable. Now that most of the trees are starting to get established we intend to keep the grass shorter to encourage wildflowers although we will leave a patch untended to benefit small mammals such as field voles and shrews.

Judging took place for the Green Flag awards and we hope to publish the results in the next issue. We are already the only village in Wales to have received awards for three locations and this year we are going for four. Work this month has involved constructing four new raised beds at the Community Orchard for vegetables and salad crops and we hope that youngsters will be able to help with the planting. Wildflower meadow seeds have been spread around the Wild Orchard, Elizabethan Orchard and Welsh Orchard.

Scope Sully brought a small team along to the watercress beds at Goldsland Farm and helped to clear brambles and nettles, to spread wildflower seeds in two new raised beds and to decide on a location for a hedgehog home. We hope that they will visit on a regular basis as it appeared to work well for both us and them.

There will have been many new residents coming into the village in recent months so if anyone reading this is interested in wildlife and would like to get involved do get in touch. There is always plenty to be done and roles go way beyond bracken-bashing and could involve planning and design, habitat creation, wildlife monitoring, planting and working with children. We now have seven sites – one for every day of the week!

May News

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Glenys and Mike Tucker for their very generous donation from proceeds of the Spring Craft Fayre Raffle. We hope to purchase much needed equipment for the children and will let you know in due course what items the children have chosen. Thank you so much for thinking of us.

We would also like to thank everyone who supported our Marica Bassey Jones night at the hall. Just under £800 was raised for the Playgroup.

Writing this we are now on our way to half term holiday. We cannot believe we have only 7 weeks to go until Summer Term ends. This has been one of the quickest years so far. We would just like to thank everybody out there who has supported the Playgroup over the past year and hope that you will continue to do so in the near future. Many thanks



Wenvoe Playgroup has recently received a generous donation of £300 from the Waitrose Community Matters scheme. Based on green tokens collected in the Barry store last year, the funding will support a range of activities.

We've had further funding success too for an environmental project from the Co-op. We've been nominated as one of their Local Causes. Co-op Members can choose us as their nominated cause between now and October to increase the amount of funding we will receive. The project involves eco-activities workshops for the children, garden equipment, a new mud kitchen for messy play, and a visit to a local community garden. So if you are not already a Co-op Member, please join today and support us every time you buy Co-op branded products and services. Thank you!



I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the very many people who attended the Wenvoe Spring Craft Fair in the Wenvoe Community Centre on Sunday 14 May. Once again, the event was an overwhelming success with all of the crafters doing a brisk trade.

The Potter, the Eccentric Gin Company taster sessions, Tricycle Treats ice cream Tricycle and the refreshment stall were all busy all day and The Village Gardener sold out! The Raffle (to which many local residents and crafters donated prizes) made £272 profit which has been divided equally between the Wenvoe Playgroup and the Wenvoe Wildlife group; two very worthy local groups. Profits from the refreshments on this occasion went to Llamau, Wales' largest homeless charity and £110 was raised.

Huge thanks go to my co-organiser (and husband) Mike and to my family and our friends for all their hard work setting up and decorating the venue, selling refreshments and Raffle tickets and clearing away in the evening. Thank you all for your support and I hope we'll see you at the Wenvoe Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday 26 November when Raffle profits will be divided between Rally for Romeo and St Mary's Church, Wenvoe. If you would like more information please contact me on 07922109721 or at

Glenys Tucker

All The Light We Cannot see” by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot see” by Anthony Doerr 

"This is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer whose sentences never fail to thrall" The Guardian.

Remarkably our whole group concurred with this quotation and during our discussion we ran out of superlatives to describe this brilliantly written book. The story is set in Nazi Germany where we follow the story of Werner Pfenning during his years in an orphanage with his sister Jutta and subsequently, having displayed exceptional talent for wiring electronics Werner wins a place at an elite but brutal academy for the training of The Hitler Youth. It is at the academy that he befriends Frederick who as a gentle character is bullied and finally brutalised.

Doerr cleverly intertwines Werner’s life with the story of a blind girl, Marie — Laure and her father, who live originally in Paris from where during the Nazi Occupation they flee to her uncle’s home in Saint Malo. Her father is deported to a work camp in Germany and she is left behind during the intense bombing of Saint Malo following the D Day landings. Doerr’s commitment to detail to the travails of a blind youngster surviving the difficulties of relocating to a new area is quite remarkable and the group felt that her character gave us an insight into life for so many people in Europe in the later stages of the Second World War. It is in Saint Malo that the paths of the two main characters collide as they both struggle to survive the devastation of the war.

The only detrimental part of the story was Doerr’s over use of Americanisms and perhaps owing to an overuse of adjectives the book may be over long. Ten years in the writing this book deserved to win The Pulitzer Prize and having awarded the book ten out of ten we would recommend it as a real page turner.

As usual we concluded our meeting with great hospitality and superb ginger cake!

1 2 3 4 6