May Meetings


For our last meeting of the session we were delighted to welcome one of our members, Ginny Golding, as a speaker. Ginny’s talk was about her time in the police force during the 1960’s and 70’s. It had not been her intention to go into the police and she actually applied as a dare ! When she applied to Cardiff City police at the age of 20 there were 10 applicants who were whittled down to two – and she got the job. The other applicant who failed at that time subsequently became the Chief Constable of Gwent.

She described her initial training in an old army barracks in Ryton on Dunnmore as just being like in the army complete with lots of marching.

Ginny returned to Cardiff as WPC19 complete in a uniform in which she as a dead ringer for Joyce Grenfell .For the next 18 months there were parades and inspections at 6.45 each morning. She spoke of being on point duty at Kingsway in Cardiff and as there were no radios at that time a flashing light on a pillar would indicate that they were needed back at the station. Her one claim to fame at this time was that she was the first officer to drive to drive the new Panda Car in Cardiff in May 1968 and her photograph was published in the Western Mail.

She was fortunate to have a varied career and after a spell with the traffic department went to Preston to the detective training school and then spent an enjoyable three years in Canton putting her training into practise.

The next training was in the use of firearms which led to a period in protection of well known people including James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Margaret. The downside of this period included interviewing people wanting British Citizenship. This took hours and was extremely boring.

Finally Ginny described her period in Special Branch which involved long periods away from home where she was not allowed to even tell her husband of her whereabouts. This obviously put a great strain on her relationship with her husband so after much soul searching she gave up her career in the police which had spanned 16 years.

Her talk was interspersed with anecdotes, the odd case history and one thing was clear that the “ political correctness” of today did not exist then !. She agreed that it’s a different world nowadays and she is not sure she would enjoy a life in todays police force.

I hope all our members have enjoyed this session and our thanks go to Irene for once again sorting out such a varied programme.

Our next meeting will be on September 19th – this will be the AGM followed by nibbles etc and everyone can catch up on what we all hope will be a wonderful summer.

Tools with a Mission


Tools with a Mission

Equipping craftsmen and women to earn a living in the developing world.

This is a Christian charity sending a variety of tools across the world. TWAM CYMRU has a depot in Penarth, the only one in Wales but one of several others throughout the UK.

The depot is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00 – 12.00 and is supported by a large team of dedicated collectors who pick up tools and other donations in almost any condition for refurbishing at the depot, from where it’s sent to the Ipswich centre to be collated and loaded into containers to go overseas.

Your local contacts are Roger, Tel.07763 123683 or Andrew,Tel.02920 705614

A short list of requirements is below but please ask if you have some thing not mentioned.

This information is to be found in a leaflet in St. Mary's Church, Wenvoe

Sewing & Knitting
Knitting machines Sewing
Thread buttons &
Old curtains & sheets
Wool, knitting needles &
Embroidery thread
Tapestry wool
Fabric & canvas

Hand Tools
Plumbing tools
Carpentry tools
Blacksmith’s tools
Electrician’s tools

Car mechanic’s tools
Sharpening stones
Tape measures, rules
G and sash clamps
Builder’s trowels, hawks & floats
Adjustable spanners
Welding gear
Work benches
Hand & power drills
Boxes of screws, nails,
Brackets, nails & fixings

School News for May


It is hard to believe that we are coming towards the end of another half term……and that when we return to school, we will be in the final half term of the school year! Time does literally fly when you are having fun!

This morning, we held a hugely successful open morning; we were delighted to welcome so many parents, grandparents and friends to school. Our children were absolutely amazing, as always! It was lovely to be show our visitors the new nursery class and Year 1 classroom. We also celebrated Gwenfo Book Day today – this is our variation of World Book day which was earlier in the year – and the children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite book characters. Thank you to all our parents and carers for providing such wonderful costumes and for helping to make the day so special and memorable. A very special highlight of the day was the opening of the Infant Writing Shed; it was officially opened by our very own published author, Mrs Briscombe and was such a lovely celebration of the joy of writing, imagination and creativity.

Some of the children on the Communication Group have put together an overview of their learning and the activities they have been involved in.

Luey Maunder – Year 3. We really enjoyed visiting Cardiff Airport with Year 4.

In our class, we have been learning about thrust, weight, lift and drag – it has been good fun.

Mali Robinson – Year 4. Years 3 and 4 went on a school trip to Cardiff Airport; we went in little groups.

First, my group went to watch planes taking off and landing. Next we went into a building called Aeros. Where we met a man named Benjamin. He talked to us about the planes and then we went in a real training plane which was awesome

Rhys Hill and Milly Jorna – Year 5. On April 5th, Year 5 went on a residential trip to Tregoyd House. We did all sorts of fun activities, such as problem solving, zip wiring and abseiling.

On May 18th, we had a Book Day and we dressed up as many characters, such as Gareth Bale and Mary Poppins.

As part of our topic work, we enjoyed making George’s Marvellous Medicine using Evan’s Equipment.

The Physicians of Myddfai;


The Welsh Orchard near Maes y Felin includes a selection of plants grown by the Physicians of Myddfai; 12th century (and onwards) herbalists who were known all over Europe. We know a lot of what they believed and prescribed because, unusually for the time, their teachings were well-documented. The plants they used, with a few exceptions, will be familiar to us – many regarded as 'weeds'.

There is a very common little weed growing all round Wenvoe at the moment with blue flowers known as Ground Ivy and this was first recorded for medical use by the Myddfai practitioners. A fresh herb tea of the plant with honey is naturally rich in Vitamin C and it was found useful in dealing with coughs. The leaves could be turned into snuff which helped with asthma and also headaches and hangovers. The Celts treated moderate burns with an ointment using the stems and it was thought to relieve snake bites. The Celts also used it for many other conditions including indigestion, eye problems and ringing in the ears.

It was an important herb in magic and folklore but a very practical use was for dyeing fabrics, the fruit producing a dye that is grey and sage green, the leaves a creamy yellow colour and boiling a dark navy stain. And if this has still not whetted your appetite a common name for the plant was Ale hoof because it was used for flavouring beer before hops became the standard. It is still used occasionally by micro-breweries and is described as giving the beer a taste of 'slightly nettle with a minty edge'.

Whilst it is never advisable to attempt medical treatments using herbs without consulting an expert, it is interesting to note the current curiosity about some of the old remedies. An old German proverb states 'The garden is the poor man's apothecary'.

Wentwood Forest & Tretower

Parc Seymour and Wentwood Forest

Today our walk took us from Parc Seymour to Wentwood northeast of Newport.

There was a cold wind and it felt like winter again. But there’s only one word to describe this walk ‘Bluebells‘! We headed southeast and on the road passed a neat woodland, a donkey and a group of beautiful horses. Then a little later we spotted a couple of shire horses ploughing in a field of bluebells. Now we followed the lane northeast and a field of bluebells appeared on our right stretching into the distance. We couldn’t help but stop and take photos and Misty (a dog) frolicked. We walked amongst them for ages, they were so thick that even the lane was covered in them and we were unable to walk without treading on them. We emerged into woodland which had been cut back hard and replanted.

Heading west we passed Hill farm and then went northwest towards Cross Green. Now picking a zigzag trail travelling generally westwards through Wentwood forest.

We soon found a tree known as the ‘Curly Oak’ an old tree which has split down the middle so that you can walk through its trunk.

The woodland was filled with English bluebells so that we were surrounded. Trees of beech and oak were in new leaf and the lime green and yellowy tones provided a perfect counterfoil to the purple blue of the bluebells. We just drank the colour in, wonderful. Unfortunately because it was cold there was little scent from the bluebells, just a waft now and again.

We came down alongside Bertholau Graig in a southerly direction and as we came out of the wood could see the Bristol Channel in the distance. The colours of the trees here were reminiscent of autumn there was so much yellow. Our route now travelled west until we met a road where we turned south.

We passed an old farmhouse with a dilapidated VW van and as we continued saw at least 20 abandoned old cars and farm vehicles on the property. We entered a large field where a herd of bullocks took some interest in Misty but eventually ran off uphill. Back at Parc Seymour we saw 2 carved wooden chairs on the green one dedicated to the AD and the other AD2000.

We had walked 8½miles and 1100ft. Map 152/OL14


We started at the Cadw site in Tretower on a lovely Spring morning.

Tretower is the site of a medieval fortified manor house and castle. The Picards and Vaughans were influential Welsh families who created sumptuous accommodation reflecting their high status as Welsh gentry. The Vaughans left in the 18thC and Tretower Court became a working farm. It is an interesting site and Cadw have created a suite of rooms as they may have been in 1470.

Tretower is on the Agincourt Wales trail which tells the story of the people and places across the region that played a role in Henry V’s famous victory. It starts at Trecastle and visits Brecon, Tretower, Abergavenny, Raglan, Monmouth and St Briavels before ending at Caldicot.

Having seen Table mountain and Sugarloaf in the distance we set off walking south east towards Cwm-gu and then northeast to Cwm. We were soon high over Tretower and had an excellent view of the castle.

On the moor land we followed the Beacons Way and soon realised why it’s so called as we spotted Pen y Fan and its neighbours to the west. After reaching Cwm we headed generally northeast towards Llewenau Draw and Llewenau.

We were delighted to hear a cuckoo at 3 separate times and then spotted it flying across the valley, confirmed as the sound of its call came from behind us now. Unusually the hawthorn trees in this area had mistletoe growing on them.

A flock of sheep (mostly ewes with their lambs) were grazing ahead of us on the path and as we arrived they kept moving ahead of us despite the fact that there was a large open hillside above. Eventually most of them moved to the side but still some continued until we stopped for lunch when they ‘gratefully‘ stopped for a good munch of the grass.



At lunch we sat on the hillside and gazed at the vast range of mountains around us. Then we noticed a large bird swoop into the field below; it had a distinctive red glow and black markings on its wings; the forked tail confirmed that it was a red kite. We watched as it swooped to ground level and back up again, all the time working its way down the valley. Wow!

Continuing towards Llewenau we could see the Dragonsback mountain ahead of us and as we got closer spotted the iron hill fort which forms the dragon’s head. We turned southwest towards Cil-helyg.

This walk had been designed with the aim of visiting an ancient oak tree which had been found last year. According to the ancient register of trees it is possibly the oldest in South Wales. Now as we walked along a country lane most of us walked straight past it while distracted by a horse in the opposite field. The tree is huge (its trunk must have a diameter of about 12ft) and awe inspiring.

At Cil-helyg we turned north for a while before heading towards Cwmdu and picking up a path leading in a generally southerly direction towards Tretower.

What a wonderful walk full of the awe which nature inspires.

The walk was 7.5miles and 1400ft. Map OL13

Chicken in Lemon and Garlic

Chicken in Lemon and Garlic

4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
5 tbsp olive oil or lemon flavoured oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon, finely pared rind of 1 lemon and the juice of both lemons
4 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the onions and fry for about 5 mins or until softened, not browned. Add the garlic and fry for about 30 secs. Add the sliced chicken and fry for 5 – 10 mins, stir-ring from time to time until chicken is just brown and tender. Add the grated lemon rind and the lemon juice and let it bubble. While cooking deglaze the bottom of the pan and stir into the juices. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with the pared lemon and serve piping hot.
Serve alongside pitted Spanish olives, sun dried to-matoes, lemon wedges and fresh crusty bread to mop up the juices, and not forgetting a good Spanish wine. Enjoy the evening air, CHEERS.

Potato and Tomato Tortilla

Potato and Tomato Tortilla

1kg new potatoes, Jersey Royals scraped or washed, cut into small cubes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large bunch spring onions, chopped

120g cherry tomatoes, halved

6 eggs

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp fresh parsley

salt and ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and set aside. Preheat grill to medium. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onion and fry until just soft. Add the potatoes and fry for about 3-4 mins, until coated with oil and hot. Smooth the top and scatter over the tomatoes. Beat the eggs together then add the milk, parsley and S & P in a bowl, then pour over the potato mixture. Cook over a low heat for about 10 – 15 mins, until tortilla looks fairly set. Place the frying pan under the hot grill and cook until the top is brown and set. Leave to cool before sliding out onto a chopping board, Cut into wedges and serve.


May Letters to the Editor


I would like to say a big thank you to the ladies of Wenvoe WI for their donations and the hard work they put in at our recent table top sale. We appreciate all the help from so many people, from those who hired tables to the kind gentlemen who moved the tables and chairs about on the morning. Due to the success of the morning we are able to make a generous donation to this year’s charity, the Cardiff and Vale branch of the National Autistic Society

Madeleine Rees, President WI




Once again, I wish to use the What’s On to pay our thanks to a lot of wonderful supporters, to many to name.

My granddaughter Rhian, aged 8 years old, had an open day on behalf of the breast cancer unit which is treating her Mum since last May 2016. Over the year, she has made bookmarks and bracelets to raise money for cancer on her open day. Recently she presented a cheque for £1413.00 to the doctor and staff at Llandough Breast Cancer unit thanks to everyone who supported her open day.

All, her dad, grew a beard and had a lot of support from his works, friends and neighbours. He raised £1,000, with Rhian’s four hundred and thirteen pounds to total the £1413 which was much appreciated by the unit.

Also, a special thank you to Dr David Bosley who gave a cheque for £200 in memory of his mother, our neighbour and good friend, Mrs Joan Bosley and it will be going towards raising funds now for Velindre Hospital which Joan would appreciate as she always supported Rhian’s fund raising days. We feel privileged to have had everyone’s support.

Thank you everybody, and not forgetting Rhian’s hard work for a good cause, well done Rhian.

Marilyn and Terry Ankin

June Walks Programme

Thursday 1st June

Coastal walk from Ogmore approx. 5 miles. Bert


Saturday 3rd June

Hendryd Falls & Dyffryn Cellwen. A 7½ mile walk Ian (OL12)


Saturday 10th June

Garway Hill. An 8 mile walk following the Herefordshire Trail for the majority of the walk. Ian (189)


Saturday 17th June

Pen-y-fan Pond and a section of Sirhowy Valley walk. 7 miles. V’Iain (166)


Saturday 24th June

The Llanfrynach Horseshoe, A 10mile walk. . Ian (OL13)

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