Wenvoe Neighbourhood Watch AGM


The AGM of Wenvoe Neighbourhood Watch took place on 20 February 2019.

Two new Co-ordinators were welcomed, one covering Springfield Close and the other Old Market. There are now 32 Co-ordinators covering the whole village including most of the new housing developments.

A small number of criminal acts were reported from within the village. Fly tipping occurred at St Lythams but was cleared very quickly by the Council after notification by the Co-ordinator. On another occasion vehicle headlights were stolen but the thief was caught, and the headlights returned. In one area it was reported that residents were proposing to install a surveillance camera in response to local thefts.

On the Saturday after the meeting some lead was stolen from the roof of the Church. If anybody has any information about this, please would they contact Vicar Jon.

Residents are advised to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or criminal act to their Co-ordinator. If unsure of your Co-ordinator please contact Alan French: 02920 59 8092.

Officers elected for 2019 are:

Chairman Alan French

Vice Chairman Trevor Case

Secretary/Treasurer Jackie Gauci

Minutes Secretary Bert Bates

Future Co-ordinators meetings in 2019 are July 3 and October 23.

Alan French



For The Love Of Libraries’


Faced with the threat of closure, it was the ‘Love of Libraries’ that underpinned the decision by members of our community to create the Wenvoe Community Library. Now, three years later, this group of volunteers are looking forward to the opening of the new library early in 2020 in surroundings which will be a hub for the community. Whilst funding from Welsh Government and the Vale of Glamorgan Council have made this possible, the volunteers are under no illusion that for the library to retain a place at the heart of our community, they need our continued support.

Authors Jaqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman and Salley Vickers shared their ‘Love of Libraries’ at the British Library in London on Sunday 10 March. Each author talked about the importance of libraries to them as children and how those libraries influenced their work as writers in later life. Sylvia and Cathryn Harvey write about an inspiring day.


For Jacqueline Wilson, the library served as a place of refuge during the summer holidays with arguing parents. She has wonderful memories of the silence, the smell and the blissful feeling of losing herself in the world of books. In this safe haven, she discovered books by Louisa M Alcott, Jane Austen and Mazo de la Roche. As a young mother later in life, she took her daughter Emma to her local library, letting her choose picture books like The Tiger who came to Tea and Where the Wild Things Are for them to read together. When Emma got older, the Nipper series became a favourite and served as the final inspiration to Jacqueline to fulfil the lifelong dream of becoming a writer. And the library also served an important role in Emma’s later life- she became fascinated by the French literature section and has gone on to become a professor of French Literature at Cambridge University. Jacqueline’s books focused on those stories not often heard, of children in difficult family situations in urban areas, that have become a staple for children across the country.


As the child of RAF parents, Philip Pullman moved many times throughout his childhood. Eventually, the family settled in Harlech, North Wales. Philip loved it, and it was there that his love of libraries and the stories they contain developed. A local lady ‘from the big house’ lent him books, and there he discovered HG Wells, the Tarzan novels, and The Moomins. As a teenager, the fortnightly mobile library introduced him to the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell, and his school library opened his mind to great artists through the art history books published by Fontana. His university years at Oxford meant he spent a great deal of time in the Bodleian (readers of

his books will know how much this influenced his later work), and after graduating he worked in Charing Cross library for a time and as a teacher, before becoming a full-time author. In many of his novels, libraries feature heavily, particularly in His Dark Materials series and La Belle Sauvage, the first of the Book of Dust series.


Salley Vickers started her talk with her challenging childhood. As her parents were outspoken Communists, they often struggled financially, and the family was unable to buy books. As a result, Salley, from a very early age, spent much of her time in her local library, whose wonderful children’s librarian recommended books for her and let her choose her own. Salley developed a love for The Moomins, by Tove Janssen, especially the character Snuffkin, whose famous line, “all small creatures should wear bows on their tails”, has become one of Salley’s favourite quotes. Other discovered favourites included The Princess and The Goblin and other books by George McDonald, and Rosemary Sutcliffe’s The Eagle of the Ninth series. But her most treasured childhood book is Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce. The wonderful librarian, a Ms Blackwell, whose guidance was so invaluable to Salley as a child, served as the inspiration for her latest novel, The Librarian. In the novel, Sylvia Blackwell’s goal is to inspire the children of East Mole to read, but elements of her personal life cause tension within the town, threatening the existence of the library altogether.

The discussion between the authors and the audience highlighted the importance of choice; for children to choose their books and for librarians to choose the books they believe their patrons would like to read. The current push for diversity has failed to take into account the treasure trove that is a library. Where else can you find the stories of so many people from so many different walks of life in one place? Reading and listening to stories teaches empathy and understanding in a way that nothing else can.

By investing in libraries, we are investing in the future by giving children a place to grow and develop ideas, and hopefully, help them become the best versions of themselves. We will leave you with this quote from an audience member: ‘A library is a treasure chest of Serendipity’. It is a place to be discovered and explored, with the unknown surprising you at every turn.


I do hope this will inspire you all as much as it did us. Please share your childhood memories of libraries with us on your next visit to the library or email us at sylviaharvey@hotmail.co.uk. We would like to display a collection of excerpts of your memories at the community events which will celebrate the opening of our new library.



Closure Of The Leisure Group


It is with sadness that this coming month will see the closure of Leisure Group. The club has been running for over 40 years and was originally for both men and women over 60. Over the years it gradually be-came ladies only and of any age. Meeting every week, it was not always possible to have a speaker, but there was always some sort of entertainment.

Over the last few years, we have sadly lost many of our members, and despite our efforts we have failed to encourage new members to join. This together with being unable to appoint new committee members to continue the running of the club, has forced us into the decision to cease our meetings.

Our Easter party, on April 17th is our last meeting, when we say our last goodbyes to Leisure Group.

Betty Williams



Apple and Cheddar Cake with Maple Cream


Apple and Cheddar Cake with Maple Cream

3/4 cup Self Raising flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 – 11/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

115g butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, beaten [beat separately]

6 tbsp. milk

1 cup grated cheddar cheese [use a good mature make]

1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch dice

A good-sized tub of double cream

Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 180C. Butter a 23cm spring form tin. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixing bowl and cream together on high speed for about 3 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down as necessary. Turn the mixer down to low and add half of the flour mixture. Stir in the milk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the cheddar cheese and apple.

Scrape the mixture into the tin, smooth the top. Bake until the top is golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean – about 35 or 40 minutes. Leave to cool, remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

Whip the double cream until thickened. Add a good tbsp or two of maple syrup to the cream. Whip to combine and serve with the cake. YUMMY!



Aspects Of The Wenvoe Wildlife


Madeleine welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a special welcome to our visitor Pam Cockerill. We hope she will visit again and join our Institute.

Our speaker on this occasion was Bruce McDonald. We all enjoyed a wonderful evening learning about various aspects of the Wenvoe wildlife, including lovely slides which showed many interesting features and information about the introduction of Wenvoe Orchards. Our Wildlife Group has won 5 Community Green Flag Awards with the addition, last year, of the wild orchard at St Lythans. It is a great achievement – no other village in Wales has more than two. This is all due to the team work of some volunteers, the Reader family, the Community Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

After refreshments we moved on to WI Business. Names were collected for the Charity Coffee Morning in Dinas Powys on Saturday 6 April. (Transport arrangements will be finalised in our April meeting.) Members were reminded that our Table Top Sale is to be held on Saturday 11 May at 10.30am at Wenvoe Community Centre. Donations towards the Tombola Stall can be brought to our next meeting where they will be gratefully received.

The Glamorgan Federation has organised several events in the near future, including a Driving Awareness Day at Margam Park and a Treasure Trail at Barry Island.

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday 4 April at 7.00pm at Wenvoe Church Hall. The speaker will be Jane Powell who is going to give us ‘An Introduction to Reflexology’. Visitors can be assured of a warm welcome and there will be no charge.



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