Gertrude Jenner – Suffragist



On occasion of her death in April 1894 at the age of 69, the popular Evening News, while recognising her great charitable work, described Wenvoe’s Gertrude Jenner as a picturesque, eccentric and pathetic character. She was in fact a fearsome crusader for women’s issues and good causes. Her campaigns for political, legal and social justice brought her fame and influence far beyond the tiny hamlet she called home.

Gertrude Jenner was born in 1835 and was the unmarried daughter of Robert Francis Jenner of Wenvoe Castle. Miss Jenner’s activities were regularly reported in the columns of the Barry Dock News, Western Mail and Cardiff Times. The Evening Express described her as a ‘quaint little old lady with a keen, but not unkindly face.’ Never afraid of a struggle, she was a familiar figure at the High Court of Justice in London, where she appeared year on year, unsuccessfully fighting to prove her claim to part of the Wenvoe Castle Estate. She invariably appeared carrying her signature handbag and a good sized umbrella. On one occasion she occupied three hours of the court time of Mr Justice Grantham, who patiently listened to the ‘talkative little woman bedecked in frills and ribbons.’


Miss Jenner will though be remembered for much more than campaigning on her own behalf. She worked tirelessly to raise money for colliers following mining disasters, carried out voluntary work among women in colliery districts and campaigned ceaselessly for improved wages and living conditions in the mining communities. She successfully petitioned the authorities to reduce the sentences of women convicted of capital offences and was proud of having saved at least 14 women from the gallows.

Gertrude Jenner was ahead of her time in being one of the first suffragists in Wales. She was a formidable and persuasive speaker. On 25 February 1881, she presided over a meeting held in Cardiff Town Hall to ‘consider means of promoting interest in Cardiff’ towards female voting rights. This was a preliminary to a larger

meeting that was held on 9 March, attended by local dignitaries and chaired by the Mayor of Cardiff. Miss Jenner spoke passionately at these meetings, arguing that everyday life proved widows and spinsters, who contributed to the rates and taxes of the country, were too often victims of tyranny and oppression. The vote would help to redress the balance. There was loud applause when Miss Jenner exclaimed that ‘women would make as good a use of their votes as men did.’

This of course, was a small step in the long struggle by the suffragists in which many Welsh men as well as women played a part. The campaign finally came to fruition with the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, enfranchising all men, as well as all women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications. While this gave the vote to 8.4 million women, it was not until 1928 that the law was extended, granting the vote to all women over 21, on equal terms with men.

One final anecdote sums up Miss Jenner’s determination to fight for women and social justice. In 1896 she wrote a letter to the Home Secretary, bringing attention to the horrific exploitation of a fifteen year old Cardiff girl employed to go up in a balloon parachute at a public entertainment. The unfortunate teen was drowned when the balloon crashed into the Bristol Channel. In her letter, Miss Jenner called for an Act of Parliament to outlaw such ‘dangerous, discreditable and demoralising occupations for children of such tender years, and for the simple but glaring purpose of making money and pandering to the wishes of sensational and idle-minded sightseers.’

Gertude Jenner was buried in our local churchyard and her grave can be found barely 100 yards from her cottage across the street. The Evening News reported ‘Miss Jenner lived at Ty Pica, a cottage on the Wenvoe Estate and it was there she ended her queer, troublous little life.’ Perhaps it takes a former Spice Girl to put this description into context. ‘It’s really important to remember that most people in the public eye are human for a start and a lot of things you read in the media get slightly misconstrued and manipulated.’ (Geri Halliwell)




March Applications

Planning applications

• Land off Port Road and at entrance to Redrow Homes) development. Erection of a temporary sales cabin at the entrance to the site. This is to replace the show house office. The proposed location not supported, due to the lack of parking with the construction of three houses also in progress adjacent to this area.

• St. Annes, Old Port Road, Work to trees covered by TPOs

• Brynheulog, St Andrews Road, proposed stables. Planning permission has been granted for a wooden construction. Permission sought to change approved materials to include rendered blockwork walls, slate roof and roller shutter doorway. Concerns expressed by members.




March Updates

Planning Updates

The following application have been approved.

• Oak Tree Farm, Morfa Lane, Wenvoe. Use of the dwelling without complying with an agricultural occupancy condition. Conditions on future occupation are imposed.

• Land off Chapel Terrace, Twyn Yr Odyn. Construction of new barn to be used for stabling and animal shelter with areas for feed/hay storage and maintenance of plant and machinery in connection with the land

• Wenvoe Quarry, Wenvoe Proposed recycling facility. This is a temporary permission until December 2020 to measure the effect of the operation.

• Yr Ysgubor, St. Lythans. Amendments to consented planning 2013/00272/FUL


A follow up report to the numerous issued raised with highway operations manager last month has been received. Certain matters are receiving attention, but those requiring a financial input have no budgets to facilitate them and will not be progressed. These include additional footpaths, lighting etc.

The Church Hall working party reported back to the Council; their suggestions were supported as a possible way forward, these ideas will be discussed with the rector and officers.

The youth shelter in the Grange Park is in a poor state of repair. The Vale will be looking to replace the damaged polycarbonate sheets. It is intended to replace the present play equipment within the next few years, in the mean time the present fencing will be repaired. No time scale is available at the present time for the equipment replacement..

The leaking water main to the allotment water trough has now been renewed.

Possible local air pollution will be monitored to decide if there is an issue that requires investigation.

The local litter collection planned for Saturday 11th March was cancelled due to inclement weather that weekend! Another date will be arranged, please look out for local posters.



AGM Report

The Neighbourhood Watch AGM was held on 21 February with 18 members present and items from the discussion included:

There was a review of the Open Evening held in October 2017 for new Residents to the village and hosted by the Watch and the Community Council. It was felt that the evening had been successful and residents had been recruited to be co-ordinators for the new and growing areas of the village. With the increasing size of the village it was noted that the Community Council were proposing to erect notice boards in the new estates. The Watch was encouraged to use them to seek additional co-ordinators and provide information to residents.

The process of erecting Neighbourhood Watch signs in both The Grange and St Lythans Park estates had commenced. It involves completing documentation to obtain approval from the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

We received reports on the following issues which were followed up where possible:

• Flooding at the entrance to St Lythans Park.

• Use of footpaths by horse riders and a particular incident when the Glamorgan Hunt was the perpetrator.

• All day parking in Brooklands Terrace by non-residents and subsequent litter problems.

• Vandalism of a new wall at Cambrian Park.


Warning of a scam

The Safer Vale Partnership has made us aware of a group of scams in the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. A typical example is:

The victim was telephoned at 9.00am on a Monday morning at the end of February by a male who said he was Detective Inspector Collins, force number BE1263, from the Metropolitan Police and that her Lloyds bank account had been compromised. She was told that if she wished to confirm his identity she should ring 161, which she did. Another male answered giving his ID as Detective Inspector Martins.

They told her that they needed her to withdraw £8300 from her account which they would then arrange to be collected from her address. The victim went to her bank at lunchtime and withdrew the money telling the cashier it was for house alterations.

A courier attended and collected the money at 2.00pm. He did not give a receipt and the victim has not heard from Police Officers since.

In other cases victims were told their cards had been cloned, they had been subject to fraud or a family member had been arrested. In all cases the caller claimed to be a detective and was very convincing. South Wales Police say that these scammers are extremely persuasive, use elaborate stories and can target anyone not just the elderly.

The Police ask everyone to be on their guard and to warn family members, especially those more


Residents should be aware of such an approach and contact the Police via 101, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, if it occurs.

Alan French




I am sure for many the recent snow brought inconvenience, worry and hassle. Despite that here are my snow highlights:-

 Sledging (on a plastic lid!) with my three year old granddaughter Delyth down Church Rise – the first time she had seen proper snow. She loved it.

 The snow bringing in less common bird visitors to our garden such as redwing, fieldfare and brambling.

 The atmosphere in the Wenvoe Arms on the Friday and Saturday when lots of families called in for drinks and food after time on the Wenvoe piste.

 My daughter’s garden snowball igloo that with a lighted candle inside looked magical after dusk.

 The lovely scenes on a walk in the snow to the Horse and Jockey on the Sunday.


Did any other readers see less common wildlife in their gardens during the snow?

Nigel Billingham



Parish Events for March

This year the month of March came in like a lion and hopefully will leave as a lamb. The heavy snow fall, and the consequent drifting, confined a lot of us to our homes until we dug ourselves out. Thanks to Mike for doing a great job clearing the path to the church porch to enable access to the church for the Sunday morning services. Mothering Sunday was made all the more memorable with the presentation by our “Pebbles “ children on what their mothers meant to them. So a big Thank You to their leaders for organising this time in church in place of the sermon.

A recent meeting of the P.C.C revealed that we are still awaiting a reply to our request to the Wenvoe Community Council for the ash tree at the entrance to the Community Cemetery to be taken down as its roots are affecting the stone boundary wall. Also that when in full leaf it overshadows the 18th century headstone of Mary Morgan who died at the grand age of 109 years. This grave at present has a lovely show of daffodils in full bloom. The PCC Secretary has now sent a reminder.

Our financial situation is in good health, and donations to maintain the Building Fund are always welcome as we have quite an extensive programme of work planned for the year ahead.

BBC Radio Wales recordings…The Ministry Area has been chosen to record two programmes, to be broadcast on 28th October (Bible Sunday) and 6th January 2019 (Epiphany). The recordings will take place in St. Mary’s on October 8th 2018 and the support of all the congregations across the ministry area is needed to make this worthwhile.

More information about the formation of a Rectorial Benefice will be made available (but not to be discussed) to the Annual Vestry meetings before submitting it to the next ordinary meeting of the PCC on the 14th May.

A faculty will be presented to the Diocesan Care of Churches committee to allow us to improve the drainage at the East end of the Chancel by digging additional French Drains, a complication are the two box tombs which are in the way, which may have to be removed and re-erected close to their original position.

The Social Committee reported that 2017 had been a

busy year, and that this year the Annual Fun Quiz was a great success. The Lent Lunches have continued each Wednesday in Lent and the Agape supper on the evening of Maunday Thursday was also well supported. There has been no charge for these meals and donations were given for the Christian Aid appeal. The “Chattery” continues to be a friendly, enjoyable occasion on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Heartfelt thanks to the faithful small band of people who work so hard to make these occasions happen.

Messy Church – Messy Easter—The first session of Messy Church took place on Saturday 10th March in the Wenvoe Community Centre. The theme was the miracle of Easter and the Resurrection. There was a range of Messy Craft activities which included handprint Easter Chicks, edible Easter gardens, nail and wool woven crosses. Families also contributed to creating two large cross pictures by dipping their fingers in paint and printing their fingerprints onto the crosses which will be displayed in both churches over the Easter period. Many more activities also took place and the session ended with a delightful afternoon tea donated by the congregations of both churches. Messy Church regularly attracts between 50 – 60 people of all ages, so there is clearly a need in the village for this kind of worship.

A reminder and an invitation to the Easter Day Services at St Mary’s on Sunday April 1st. Please see the notice on the church gates and in the “Connections” parish magazine. Easter is known as the Queen of Festivals and a welcome awaits all who come to worship the Risen Lord.

Blessing to all our readers.

Parry Edwards.



The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd

Set in the American Deep South “The Invention of Wings” unflinchingly describes the brutality of slavery in vivid and precise detail.

The book is the fictionalised history of the Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina (Nina), who were at the forefront of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, wound around the intriguing life story of a young slave. Most of us thoroughly enjoyed the fictionalised history, just a little dissension on the “faction” element. We felt we should thank the author for introducing us to the lives of these fascinating and ground breaking sisters, none of us had heard of their pioneering work before.

The novel is outstanding, the exceptional writing quietly yet powerfully raising our awareness of the abhorrence of slavery.

We would all recommend this book and it scored 9.



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