December Library Notes


Volunteers and Friends of the Library

As the library is growing and developing, we are looking for more volunteers to help with the day-to-day running of our services. We would like to initiate a ‘Friends of the Library’ scheme. It is envisaged that friends would not necessarily want to be hands-on in the library but would be happy to help run and enhance library-related activities and run fund-raising events. They might also help us in making the library a community hub, providing relevant talks, events and social activities.

We hope to recruit:

– those willing to step in as volunteers working in the library or to cover holidays and similar when needed and would be willing to give time to supporting events and activities.

– those with specific interests and skills who are willing to provide input in targeted areas such as talks or events.

– those who can offer their services to help raise funds for the library, either through events or other means fitted to their skills and interests.

– businesses or individuals who may be willing to contribute to library development through financial donations.

Anyone who feels that they have some contribution to make to the library will be happily welcomed into the scheme. If you feel you can help in any way, please send us an email or call into the library for a chat.

Book and Bakes – This was another successful event for the library. Many thanks to all who joined us, contributed and gave of their time.

Bus trip – We have a sell-out for the Bath trip and hope to organise other trips in the New Year. We’ve had lots of requests to include: Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, and the Botanical Gardens. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know.

Christmas Raffle – We have two fabulous Marks and Spencer Christmas food and drink hampers to raffle. Tickets, at £1 each, are available in the library. Join us for mince pies in the library for the draw at midday on Saturday 15th December.

Clwb Clonc – Our Clwb Clonc continues to go from strength to strength. We meet every Monday morning to enjoy a coffee and an opportunity to practise speaking Welsh. Speakers and learners of all levels attend. Given the success over the last 6

months, we intend to hold an additional monthly evening session, to welcome those who aren’t able to attend on Monday mornings. We anticipate that this will launch in the New Year and will be advertised in the What’s On. In the meantime, let us know of your interest. Please contact janet.tabor@ with any questions or suggestions.

Christmas Opening Hours

Saturday 22nd December 9am to 1pm

Monday 24th December- closed

Tuesday 25th December – closed

Wednesday 26th December – closed

Saturday 29th December 10am to12noon

Monday 31st December 3pm to 5pm

Tuesday 1st January 2019 – closed

Wednesday 2nd January back to usual hours

New books for December – As well as our usual range of new books we would like to remind you that we are able to order copies of ‘top sellers’ and new publications of your choice. Just call in and we can browse the catalogue with you.

Off the Shelf

Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (Marian Evans)

Maggie Tulliver is an impulsive, intelligent child with dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes; a complexion viewed as disagreeable by her dumb-witted mother. She has a close bond with her brother Tom whose approval she yearns but doesn’t always receive. Maggie’s fate is followed as she grows into a remarkable young woman. Following her father’s bankruptcy, Tom brings the family out of debt. He is secretly in love with his cousin Lucy Dean. Stephen Guest is courting Lucy Deane but falls in love with Maggie. Maggie must choose between her inner desires, moral responsibility and the need for her brother’s love

We all admired the character descriptions and the twists of the plots. The status of each family in society was artfully described through their attitudes, codes of conduct and behaviour, dress and so on. The emotional and moral dispositions of each character were revealed and contrasted. Some of us found it a challenging read, partly because of the physicality of the book and the antiquated English. It was an enjoyable read for which we gave an overall rating of 8.5






The Wenvoe Christmas Craft Fair took place on Sunday 18 November and was a rip roaring success. This was the best turn out we have had so far for any of our fairs and a good time was had by all. Thank you to all our trusty helpers who manned the refreshments, made the refreshments, sold raffle tickets, distributed fliers and posters and helped set up and clear away.

The raffle raised the grand total of £409 for the Ben MacDonald memorial fund raiser which has now been paid in. Thanks again to Kate and Jon Hadley for suggesting that the money raised go to Ben’s fund instead of going to Romeo. It was lovely to see Ben’s family on the day and we hope that they can take some comfort from knowing how much support they have in the village.

Thank you all again.

Glenys and Mike Tucker



Kilpeck Church

Kilpeck Church

We parked at Kilpeck church, a few miles south of Hereford, and went straight to the church. It is a 12th century building with wonderful original features. Corbels (89 of them) decorate the edge of the roof; the images cover a wide range from a bird pecking a smaller bird, Celtic knots, Sheelagh-na-gig, hound and hare, serpents and some strange creatures which are difficult to identify. Then there is the entrance door. Although there is no porch it is in an amazing state of repair. The stone prights and arch, of the doorway, are covered in carvings including dragons and the tree of life. The door itself is solid wood with huge metalwork holding the door together and bolted through the door to giant hinges. A lot of the furniture within the church is Victorian but the architecture is 12th C – 14thC. There is a minstrel’s gallery; its origin is a mystery as the staircase leading to it is Victorian but it may be Elizabethan or Jacobean. The former seems likely as that was when music in churches became more sophisticated and wooden galleries at the west end of churches became popular.

The church probably survived so well because of the village’s unfortunate history. The population was devastated by famine and the Black Death in the 14thC. Hence the church remained small and unknown for many centuries. When it was renovated in the 19thC the architect, Lewis Nockalls Cottingham, was sensitive to the Romanesque original design. There are windows designed by Pugin.

The area around Kilpeck had been known as Ergyng when it was a small Welsh kingdom. Later it became part of the Welsh marches and was renamed Archenfield. In 1086 a timber castle was built to establish Norman rule in the area. Although a stone castle replaced the original, little remains of Kilpeck castle sat on a mound to the west of the church.

Now we set off on our walk travelling in a generally southerly direction towards Marlas and then Bagwyllydiart. It was a lovely late autumn day and the countryside soft and rolling made a very pleasant stroll. The views were extensive but now and again mists rolled across the hills creating fascinating scenes.

At Bagwyllydiart we turned northeast, going towards Orcop Hill. This stretch of the walk was mainly on a quiet road and we could see the hill ahead of us. Two of us stopped to buy tomatoes from

a roadside stall and then waited to watch a shrew cross the road in front of us (attempts at a photo were thwarted by the speed with which it darted for cover). Suddenly we were way behind everyone else and it wasn’t until they stopped at Orcop Hill that we caught up.

At lunch we arranged ourselves over huge pieces of a tree which were beside the road and wondered whether it had come down in a storm blocking the road.

Walking through Mynde wood we found large holes which must have been made by badgers, we carefully skirted these. Emerging from the wood we could see The Mynde ahead of us.


The Mynde was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War. It was home to the Pye family from the 1350s until about 1709. Walter Pye was attorney general for Charles I. His second son, Robert Pye, had different religious affiliations which decided his fate. He was beaten by a Roman Catholic neighbour with a billhook and died a few days later. The house is mediaeval with a grand Georgian facade. Apparently it has always been a private residence and is promoted as a film location. According to the Herefordshire Times ‘It has a 1,180 acre estate and parkland passing through a seven-acre lake’.

Now we turned northwest and were heading back towards Kilpeck. We passed through more beautiful rolling countryside. In a field we came across a large flock of sheep that ran from us and covered the horizon. We passed a few pretty cottages and arrived back at Kilpeck church.

Distance walked 8 miles and 750ft climb. OS Map 189



October & November Events

Oct 16th. We were delighted to welcome back M&Co to give us another fashion ashow. We were shown a variety of autumn and winter outfits culminating in a selection of sparkling outfits for the festive season. A big thank you must go to our three members who modelled the clothes making the evening a success.

Oct 30th. John Sheen returned to give us another talk which was entitled “The Happiest Days” and was about growing up in the 1950’s and memories of school from that time. We were encouraged to tell of the things we liked/disliked about our own schooldays.

John brought along a few objects which we all remembered such as the exercise book covered in brown paper as a dustcover and an Oxford geometry set.

The memories of school were interspersed with poems by several authors including Gervais Phinn and Gwyn Thomas which were all very amusing and appropriate.

John went back to his own career as a schoolmaster and we heard some letters written about children’s absences from school which made us laugh.

We then heard some school reports from a variety of celebrities , including this one from Dame Judy Dench – “Would be a very good pupil if only she lived in this world”.

It was obvious from the reaction of the audience that teachers make a big impression on us and John’s talk gave us something to talk about. On a cold winter’s evening it was a pleasure to listen and be amused by such a talented orator as John.

Nov 6th Nick Craddock, from local family-run cider farm, Vale Cider, talked about how they make craft Welsh cider. He described the whole process from planting the apple trees to bottling their award-winning ciders. Vale Cider involves all the family with Nick and his son, Joseph being the business partners who do most of the work but other members helping at the busy times.

The farm is in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan, between Bonvilston and Welsh St Donat’s and a variety of different apples are grown to provide the balance of flavours needed for the best ciders. Welsh bees in their orchards pollinate the apple trees as well as giving honey – and Nick’s pigs love to eat the rejected apples and the dry pomace after it has been pressed.

Vale Cider does not just make award-winning traditional ciders. They also make fruit ciders, mulled cider punch, apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Nick’s talk was illustrated by lots of photographs and short video clips to make it entertaining as well as interesting – and everyone got a taste of their most popular cider, “Serious Scrumpy”. Vale Cider has a website ( and a facebook page ( which have more information and photos about what they do.

Nov 20th When Janet Sully came to talk about the impact of World War One on Llandaff, we were very surprised to learn that little was known or had been recorded. The war memorial showed the names of people killed in the war but Janet wanted to find out about the people left behind. Fortunately Parish magazines provided the source she needed.

We were shown some interesting pictures of Llandaff at the beginning of the twentieth century when Llandaff had a population of around 2,000. We saw a picture of the Cathedral school before moving to its present site and the High Street before it had shops. The Cathedral school sadly lost 56 of its former pupils in the war.

In 1914 a quarter of a million Belgian refugees came to Britain and 55 ended up in Llandaff. Street collections were organised to help them and some were housed by wealthy locals or in the two houses that were set aside for them. At the end of the war the refugees left without a trace.

Some existing buildings were adapted to repatriate wounded soldiers and when The Lodge became too small, St Michael’s college took over and it accommodated around 70 soldiers, mainly officers. They were visited by locals and we saw the picture of a wedding that later took place between a visitor and a soldier.

Rookwood became a military hospital looking after the more seriously wounded and was staffed by the Red Cross or VAD Glamorgan. Some Llandaff ladies gave up normal working duties to help at the hospital. Rookwood was the only building to continue as a hospital once the war ended.

Two large houses became supply depots where the women made bandages and clothes to send off to a central depot. ‘Comforts’ were made here for soldiers and schoolgirls also helped by knitting socks, hats and gloves. Local parish magazines itemised the articles that were made by the ladies and schoolgirls.

In 1917 a big effort was made by the Government to encourage schools to save money by collecting war saving stamps. Those doing well had an extra day off. Girls at Howells School saved money by having certificates as prizes instead of the usual books. Llandaff was asked to raise £40,000 for four aeroplanes but actually managed to raise double that.

It was felt appropriate to honour those who went to fight and at first cards were produced but as numbers increased and names were added this developed into a beautifully illustrated book of honour where a cross was placed alongside the name of those who died.

When the war ended the question of a memorial was raised and this included the restoration of the bell tower and the removal of the two adjoining houses. Subsequently the site for the memorial was moved to the north end of Cathedral Green. The monument, which was erected in 1924 consists of three standing figures on three separate granite plinths and has two soldiers with a female figure in the centre. A fitting tribute to the ladies of Llandaff






Our Grand Christmas Draw is one of our most successful events and as a result it will be taking place once again this year at 7pm on Tuesday 11 December 2018 at the Hall.

Last year we gave out 45 prizes, ranging from £200, numerous cash prizes and vouchers for local stores, bottles of spirits and wine, boxes of chocolates and biscuits etc. Can we increase this number again this year? Tickets available from numerous outlets around the village.







In April, this year, Vale Village Church launched Gems – a club just for girls in year 6 to year 11. It’s a place where girls can develop strong friendships, encouraging and supporting one another in a relaxed fun environment. Through a range of activities, crafts and discussion we aim to inspire a positive identity based on Christian values.

Over the last 6 months some of our highlights were: a firepit in the summer, when we made bread and roasted marshmallows; we learned about love languages– the way that we best receive and show love to other people ( 5 Love Languages for Teenagers – Gary Chapman); how to be on the alert against bullying; making friendship bracelets and, recently, shining sparklers on a chilly, dark night – thank goodness for hot drinking chocolate!

Gem’s is run by volunteers from Vale Village Church. Our hope is that the girls will feel valued, confident in who they are and want to make an impact in their community. The response has been fantastic and numbers are growing as the girls continue to invite their friends. We’d love you to join us, so, if you’re a girl between years 6 and 11 come and join in the fun!

Gem’s takes places on the first Friday of every month, 6.30pm- 8.00pm at Wenvoe Village Hall, CF5 6AG. Follow us on Facebook – Gems Girls Club and Instagram gems. valevillage



Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian Christmas Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 carton [ 15 ounces ] ricotta cheese

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

4 cups of plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder


1/4 cup butter, softened

3 to 4 cups icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 to 4 tbsp. milk

coloured sugar [optional golden caster sugar]

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the ricotta and vanilla. Combine flour with the salt and baking soda. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Heat oven to 180C. Drop rounded tea-spoons of mixture onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 – 12 mins until lightly brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Topping. In a large bowl, cream butter, icing sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach spreading con-sistency. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle with sugar. Store in a cool place. Makes quite a few cookies.



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