Exciting Learning Opportunities


Time continues to fly in school!

Due to half term break being slightly later this year, we celebrated Saint David’s Day in school on Wednesday 5 March. For the home/School competi-tion, the children completed weatherproof daffodils for our Peace garden – to form a beautiful spring dis-play. The children wore traditional Welsh costumes, Welsh shirts or dressed in red to mark the day of cel-ebrations. Ella Darko in Year 6 was crowned the Bard for writing a super poem about air raids. All the children entered various competitions, including art, story writing and handwriting. Well done to every-one!

The children have been engaging in some exciting learning opportunities; Mrs Ford accompanied a group of Year 5 and 6 pupils to a Modern Foreign Languages taster session; Years 5 and 6 marked the end of their WW2 topic with a street party.

Throughout Lent, we are collecting food for our local food bank and have invited the children to bring in a tin of food each week – we are aiming to collect 1,000 cans by Easter.

Year 3 led a wonderful assembly about our planet. Class assembly is always a special time, with fami-lies invited to attend.

We are very proud of our footballers and netballers. Mr Bean, Mr Thomas and Mr Atkins accompanied our football team to the Cardiff and Vale football competition. They were placed second in the second group. Our netballers competed at St Patrick’s and won all games played. A very big well done to all involved and a massive thank you to our volunteer coaches.



Old Docks Offices In Barry


If you’ve travelled along Ffordd y Mileniwm from Palmerston to the Barry Waterfront, you will have passed by one of the most iconic buildings in the area. This imposing building looks out over Barry Island – but at one time it faced the busy Barry Docks and housed the Docks Offices.

Barry docks office building

At the end of the nineteenth century a group of industrialists got together under the leadership of David Davies of Llandinam and with financial investment from John Cory of Tŷ’r Dyffryn, amongst others, to develop new docks in Barry for the exporting of the coal mined in their mines in the Rhondda Valley. The Chief Engineer of the docks project was John Wolfe Barry – who had also been involved in the construction of Tower Bridge in London. Interestingly, one of the other engineers who worked on the docks project was Henry Marc Brunel – the son of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The headquarters of the Barry Docks and Railway Company was built between 1897 and 1900, designed by architect Arthur E. Bell after the style of Christopher Wren. It cost £59,000 to build and an imposing bronze statue of David Davies stands in front of it today. The statue is the work of Alfred Gilbert, the man who designed the statue of Eros in London. A copy of the David Davies statue stands beside the A470 in his home village of Llandinam in mid Wales.

This building exhibits many interesting and unusual features. It is one of a number of buildings which are found all over the world called ‘calendar buildings’. Other examples are Avon Tyrrell House in Hampshire, Cairness House in Aberdeenshire, Adare Manor near Limerick, Schloss Eggenberg in Graz in Austria and so on. The features seen in such buildings are a reflection of various numbers in a calendar.

In our building in Barry there are 4 floors (4 seasons in a year), 52 marble fireplaces (52 weeks in a year),

12 panels in the porch (12 months in a year), 2 circular windows – one on each side of the porch representing the Sun and the Moon, 7 lights behind the traceried fanlight window (7 days in a week), 365 windows (365 days in a year) and a staircase made of Portland stone, which consists of 31 stairs (31 days in most months).

In 1984 much of the building was destroyed by fire, but fortunately, it was rebuilt and today can be seen in its former glory. It now houses the offices of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.



Ann M. Jones



Badminton Players Wanted



We are a small group who play badminton (after a fashion) on Tuesday evenings, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm, in the Village Hall. We play for fun, but it’s quite energetic, and is certainly good exercise. If anyone would like to join us, or just try out the game, you would be most welcome.

Please contact Pia (029 2059 5216) or Dickon (029 2067 9108) if you would like to know any more



We Are Surrounded By Poisons


You may not realise it, but we are surrounded by poisons in the shape mainly of plants and trees. Our rural ancestors knew what to eat and what to avoid but as we become increasingly divorced from an understanding of the countryside, we are losing that knowledge. The recent interest in foraging carries that risk and children are always vulnerable. A nine-year-old girl died recently after eating some Woody Nightshade – a very common plant that grows in the hedgerows around Wenvoe and St Lythans.

Some of you will know of Deadly Nightshade and Hemlock and may recall that Socrates’s death sentence was carried out by making him drink Hemlock. But would you recognise these plants? Hemlock grows commonly in the Vale, particularly along the Sully seafront and can be found in abundance along the M4 as you travel towards London. But you might be surprised to hear of the risks associated with parts of the plants of Snowdrops, Bluebells, Holly, Daffodil, Rhubarb not to mention Tomato, Aubergine, Potato and Peppers.

Apart from knowing not to eat Potatoes when they are green, the vegetables mentioned here are, of course, fine to eat in themselves – the poisons are in the leaves or the roots. The last four are all members of the Solanaceae family which includes Henbane, Mandrake, Deadly Nightshade and, still the biggest killer of them all – Tobacco. Recently there were cases of poisoning in the Chinese community because daffodils were on sale in the vegetable section of supermarkets and were mistaken for a type of chive used in Chinese cuisine.

To our ancestors even the poisonous plants had their benefits when used in the correct dosages. Deadly Nightshade (pictured here) has the Latin name Belladonna or ‘beautiful lady’ as it was used to dilate the pupils and make women more attractive. In the mediaeval hospital at Soutra Aisle in Scotland run by Augustine monks there is evidence of the use of Hemlock, Black Henbane and Opium amongst others in carrying out operations and treating conditions like depression and cancer. The Roman physicians used Mandrake as an anaesthetic in Alexandria two thousand years ago. For those who know their Harry Potter they will recognise Mandrake as the plant which screams if it is pulled out of the ground and hearing that scream is enough to cause death.

The Wildlife Group are planning to lead a poisonous plant walk in the summer where you will have a chance to see and learn to recognise some of the plants referred to. You may also learn such things as why the Mandrake had such a deadly scream. If you are interested in coming along register your interest with the Wildlife Group



Annual Easter Egg Trail


Annual Easter Egg Trail

Upper Orchid Field

This is the 5th year that we shall be running the Easter Egg Trail on the Upper Orchid Field so why not bring the youngsters along for a bit of fresh air?

It will run from Tuesday 16th April so just turn up anytime from then on and take a form from the dispenser on the main noticeboard. Only the first 30 completed forms will get an Easter Egg.

In contrast to previous years you should now take your form to the Wenvoe Library which is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

As this is the Chinese Year of the Brown Earth Pig, all the clues will be linked to pigs or the soil.

Just bring a pen or pencil.

Wild Boar










Marine Colliery Personal Reflections



In the March edition of the ‘Wenvoe What’s On’, the leading article talked about the crippling explosion at Marine Colliery in Ebbw Vale on 1 March 1927, killing 51 miners. This led one of our readers to reflect on her childhood growing up in the mining community of Cwm, some 3 miles from Ebbw Vale in the years following the Marine Colliery Disaster. She shares this with us here:

‘The Marine Colliery was situated in my home village of Cwm where I was born and lived until the age of 16. In such a small community and in the surrounding area, few families were left untouched by the Marine Colliery Disaster on 1 March 1927. In the valley it was always referred to as ‘The Explosion’ and through family connections with the pit and faithful entries in family Bibles, local children were made fully aware of the events of that dreadful day.

My own father worked at the Marine Colliery when he left school, but he never worked underground. However, my grandmother was left a young widow with two small girls to raise, the elder of whom was my mother. In that single day, Gran lost her husband, her father and brother. Can you imagine surviving such a loss at that time?

The Marine Colliery is long gone, and a monument has been raised in memory of the miners. The valley has largely been restored to its former beauty, but as with other disasters, scars will always remain.’

Marilyn Case.



Please Help To Find Edge

Our missing cat’s name is Edge. He is about two and a half years old and has black and white short-hair, with a fairly distinctive black dot on his chin. He doesn’t have a collar but he has been chipped so if found, a vet would be able to get him back to us. Edge was last seen on Wednesday 27 February around Old Port Road near the primary school.

If spotted or found, please contact myself (Ben) on 07445308404 or my wife (Hannah) on 07856607570. Alternatively, pop a note through our door at 8 Wenvoe Close (up the road from Wenvoe Library).

Kind regards, Ben Jones



Upcoming Events


Meet the Author: Ian Pate talks about ‘Motorway Madness’. See page 12 for details.

National Limerick Day: May 12th.

Win a bottle of Prosecco and help celebrate Edward Lear’s birthday by writing a short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a Limerick, there are five lines; the first two lines rhyme with the fifth line, and the third and fourth lines rhyme together. Please drop your entries into the library. The winning entry will be decided in the library on Saturday 11 May.

Advance Notice

We have three trips planned so book your seats early to avoid disappointment. Hay tickets are on sale now at the Library.

Sat 1 June – Hay Festival £15: Take time to explore the Festival site and the town of Hay. The full Festival programme will be released online in April.

Sat 13 July Cheddar Gorge £15: Leaving 11.30am – arriving 2pm then on to Clark’s Village (outlet shopping centre) in Street, Somerset 2.45 – departing 5.30pm

Sat 30 November: London Trip £22.

Further details on other trips to follow.

Easter Raffle

Tickets are £1 and are on sale at the library. The 3 prizes are: 2 hampers filled with M&S goodies and a Basket of Easter Flowers which are kindly donated by Alison Bentley, The draw is at midday on Easter Saturday 20 April in the Library.

Home Service: If you have mobility problems and finding it difficult to visit the library, we offer a home service where we can deliver, return and even help you choose your books. Please contact us for further details.

Volunteers: As our range of services are expanding, we need more volunteers. If you have a few spare hours a month to help us in any way, please email us or call into the library for an informal chat and a warm welcome.

Clwb Clonc: Join the growing number of learners and first language Welsh speakers who want to practise their conversational skills. Weekly meetings on Mondays in the café at Pugh’s Garden Centre at 11 am, and at 7pm on the second Thursday of the month in the bar of the Wenvoe Arms. Croeso i bawb.

Book reviews: We would love to hear your reviews on any library books you have read. We have postcards on the desk for you to provide a brief recap of the title in question to future readers All

that’s required is a paragraph covering the major plot points without giving things away, summarising some of your thoughts on the book and suggesting the type of reader to whom you would recommend the book.

Book Bags: We have some lovely grey canvas book/ shopping bags for sale in the library at £5.00 each.

Off the Shelf: This month we read Jan Morris’s classic Venice, which we found to be a brilliantly written book with amazing historical insights and detailed description of a grand city. Making full use of her senses, she wrote about the expected and unexpected and gave us an intuitive analysis of Venetian temperament and its characters at work and at play. A book to tempt a first-time or a return visit.



Your Local Welsh Medium School



Your Local Welsh Medium School

Eich Ysgol Gymraeg Lleol

Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant in Barry is your nearest Welsh medium school. It is about 10 minutes by car. The Vale of Glamorgan Local Authority will provide free school transport for those living beyond 2 miles.

Established on its current site in 2001 it has grown from strength to strength and now has over 250 pupils.

A few years ago the school had a major refurbishment to cope with the increased demand for Welsh Medium Education in the area. As a result we can now boast a wonderful learning environment; it is spacious and inspiring for our pupils and teachers.

Teachers and Governors are proud of the school’s ethos and continuously ensure it is maintained. Visitors have always told us that there is a very special ‘feeling’ to the school. We believe that this is created through the exceptionally strong emphasis we have on equality, diversity and respect for every child.

The Local Authority of Vale of Glamorgan continues to judge the school with the highest quality mark; the official classification is known as a ‘Green school’.

Our continuing excellent reputation was confirmed at our last Estyn inspection. The published report remarked that there is a ‘caring working relationship between adults and pupils and that the school is a caring community in which a high priority is given to pupils’ wellbeing’. The report added that ‘pupils are exceptionally well behaved during lessons and informal situations. They are welcoming, polite and treat each other, staff and visitors with genuine respect’.

As Head Teacher I would encourage all parents in Wenvoe to come and visit us before deciding on a school for your child or children. If you are interested in visiting the school please contact us on 01446 421723.

Head Teacher: Rhydian Lloyd.



St David’s Day Walk


Welsh cakes were distributed before the March walk to celebrate St David’s Day and to provide an extra boost of energy to combat the extremely windy conditions.

The Living with Cancer Strollers were advised to avoid trees around the park due to the wind, so the walkers stayed on the more open paths. This meant that newly cleaned and shining boots quickly became immersed in thick mud, as the rain the previous day had turned many of the grassed areas into mini quagmires. Nothing a quick wipe with a cloth wouldn’t be able to handle!

Our two youngest strollers enjoyed the puddles and mud so much that they abandoned the walk at the

Play  area! The rest of the group battled through the wind and red cheeked, and in some cases, red nosed, arrived at the cafe for a well-deserved hot drink.

If you want some gentle exercise, with a welcoming and sociable group, join us at Cosmeston on the first Thursday of every month at 10.30am.



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