Chris Jones, the S4C weatherman


Tuesday Group were delighted to welcome Chris Jones, known to many as the S4C weatherman. Chris started his talk with a bit about his background. He was raised in Aberaeron and then went on to Bangor University where he studied media. After this he was out of work for some 18 months during which time he did a variety of jobs to make ends meet. He was then fortunate to be approached by a new company Merlin TV who offered him the post of Assistant Cameraman. During this time he travelled the world making films on a variety of subjects – these included following the British Bobsleigh team in Calgary, and filming in South Africa prior to independence. After 11 years, Chris became tired of all the travelling and decided to go freelance. He was offered the chance to work in front of the camera presenting the weather for S4C, a position he has held for 29 years. As well as this, Chris works for several charities including Prostate Cancer and Keep Wales Tidy.

Chris described how presenting the weather over the years has changed and it is now much more informal. On a completely different note Chris has recently launched a range of socks all with a weather theme. These are proving to be extremely popular.

When not working Chris enjoys walking and recently walked the Inca Trail which was one of his lifelong ambitions. However the weather will always be his main interest and he hopes to fulfil another ambition – chasing tornedos in the US.

Although some of our regular members were absent we all had a very enjoyable evening as well as learn-ing some of the facts and fiction about a favourite British topic – The Weather.



Lead Stolen from Vestry Roof


Lead Stolen from Vestry Roof – During the weekend of the 3rd – 4th March, thieves made off with the lead covering the flat roof of the church vestry. This was during a time of wet weather and was discovered at 7.30am on the Sunday morning when water was seen coming through the ceiling and running down the walls. Temporary repairs have been made, but much damage has occurred to both ceiling and walls. The church architect in consultation with CADW and our insurers have agreed to replace the missing lead with steel sheeting that is acceptable to CADW. Part of the cost of replacement and redecoration of the vestry is covered by our insurers and the balance is to be paid by the church building fund.

This is happening so often that it has become a normal occurrence and the police do not even want to attend to the crime. The damage was minimised by the prompt action of the churchwardens and Mike Tucker. They removed registers and papers and put a tarpaulin on the roof. Thank you, Mike – you were a great help.

Gwenfo School has held a non-uniform day and raised £200 towards the cost of replacing the stolen lead. This is an extremely generous gesture toward the repair, and we wish to acknowledge the gift with grateful thanks.

Donations from the community would also be gratefully received.

Lent 2019 – The penitential season of Lent began on Ash Wednesday. The previous evening on Shrove Tuesday, a Pancake Evening was held at St. John the Baptist Church Hall in Sully. There was much frivolity, with pancake tossing, eating and entertainment. Congratulations to Lynda Francis for being the best ‘pancake tosser’ of the evening.

The theme for Lent this year is ‘Count your blessings’ promoted by Christian Aid, and there are booklets in church to enable day by day prayer and reflection. Through Lent, the themes of awareness, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, transformation, and blessing, give us the opportunity to discover more about the lives of those who are pushed to the brink of survival by climate change and precarious livelihoods.

Another activity in Lent is the weekly Lenten Lunches. Every Wednesday soup, rolls and cheese are served in the Church Hall, and donations go towards our target for Christian Aid. The house to house collections this year take place from 12th to 18th May. Please help us to raise the money so badly needed in many places throughout the world.

Chancel Floor Scheme – The plans to lower the floor of the chancel have again been under scrutiny by the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the statutory bodies. “Vicar Jon” and our architect were invited to a meeting to discuss and explain why we think this is a necessary step to take. The aim is to take away the Chancel Step to enable wheelchair users access to the part of the church they are currently excluded from. The Building Committee has met to discuss the way forward in the light of the negative comments from the members of the DAC. The decision was taken to engage archaeologists to investigate the likelihood of burials under the chancel floor before a final decision is made to allow us to proceed with the work.

During the month we received the sad news that Mrs Denise Fry, lately of Burdon’s Hill, but who formerly lived in Orchard Close, had passed away after a spell in hospital. Denise was married to Alan Fry, for many years Churchwarden and Secretary of the PCC and was very involved with many church activities. She was a member of the Mothers Union, sang in the church choir alongside Alan and was a great help in supporting him in his church work. We offer our condolences to her daughters Rhiannon and Ros and their families who will miss her in the days and weeks ahead. Her funeral was well attended with many friends and neighbours offering their support and help during this very sad time for them. ‘May she rest in peace and rise in glory’.

Holy Week and Easter Day:- See list of services on the Church Notice Board.

With Blessings to all our readers Parry Edwards



Situation Vacant




Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School

Weekdays 7.50am-8.50am

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Supervise and organise the staff of the Breakfast Club.

Complete weekly record sheets & staff timesheets where relevant.

Place orders, undertake stock takes and stock rotation.

Process invoices.

Check equipment and supplies.

Provide quality care and supervision to pupils at-tending breakfast club.

Prepare tables/benches for pupils attending breakfast club.

Set up and participate in a wide range of stimulating activities both indoors and outdoors, appropriate to the ages and needs of the pupils while in breakfast club.

Ensure pupils have breakfast and a drink.

Clean up after breakfast club has finished.

Put tables/benches away.

Please call into school to speak to Miss Starke, or ring 029 2059 3225. For more information or an application form or email gwenfops@valeof

Closing Date: Tuesday 2 April, 2019.



Fun Day at Pencoed College


Every June Bridgend Dogs Trust host their annual Fun Day at Pencoed College. The day involves activities of all sorts to attract the public and involve them with exciting events involving dogs. The day is Bridgend Dogs Trust’s biggest fundraising event, with thousands of people turning up to get involved. A main attraction and fundraiser is the Tombola stall and Dogs Trust are inviting donations suitable for this. Items can be anything but must be new; unopened and safe. Perfume; food and drink; unwanted gifts; trinkets; home items; toys, anything really.

If you have anything you can donate please contact Martin on 07581 192108 who can arrange delivery to Dogs Trust, Bridgend

Thanks Martin



RHS tips for April



March and April bring out the usual pests like slugs and snails. While difficult to deal with, we seem to find a way. But the other pests prevalent at this time of year have two legs and come aggressively knocking at your door, offering to clean your drive or tidy up your garden. They know people want their places cleaned up in the Spring. There is no happy outcome with this sort, so please just say ‘No’. It will save you a lot of money and worry. If you need work doing, the best thing to do is ask a friend or neighbour to recommend someone or contact British Soil in Wenvoe, as they have a list of approved contractors.

RHS tips for April

  1. Keep weeds under control with regular hoeing.
  2. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts.
  3. Tie in climbing and rambling roses.
  4. Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower mixes outdoors.
  5. Start to feed citrus plants.
  6. Increase water to house plants.
  7. Feed shrubs and roses.
  8. Prune fig trees.
  9. Divide clumps of bamboo
  10. Repair bare patches on the lawn.


Everyone is busy in the garden, planting out, sowing seeds or carrying all you can manage from garden centres. However, you do need to be careful as a late frost will ruin all your hard work. Listen out for Derek and keep some fleece handy if temperatures are going to drop.

Mrs Woodruffe of Greave Close loves cosmos which is a great plant and a good cut flower. It will stay in bloom until the first frosts, but you must keep dead heading. Young sweet pea plants need the tops pinched out. This will make the plant stronger and increase side shoots. Perennials are always a good thing to grow from seed or buy as plants. You will, however, need to give them enough room to not just grow up but also to spread out.

Sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil at the end of the month with a little compost to help speed germination. Mark each seed with a cane which will be needed as support. If you put a two pence coin alongside the sunflower seed, then you won’t have any trouble with slugs.

Camellia flowers are now starting to fade, so pick off blooms as they turn brown to keep the plant looking tidy. Once all flowers have gone, clean around base of plant then give the shrub a good boost of ericaceous liquid feed.

Brian and Sandra Jones plan to open their garden in July. If you would like to be on the list of gardens to visit, please get in touch. Some of you don’t realise how good you are.

Take care and happy gardening.



Girls Like You


Girls Like You

Blogging about International Women’s Day has become almost tradition at this point. You may think it odd that I continue to celebrate this day every year though it’s not considered an international holiday. But every year, International Women’s Day exemplifies the importance of positive reinforcement for young girls. Whenever I browse social media on March 8th, I’m always flooded with stories about strong women I can aspire to be or shown stories of the women who’ve fought for the rest of us to have made it so far. I’m also shown ways of helping others, whether that be through the UN Women’s social media pages, or Plan International or Amnesty International, I see a way of helping women who aren’t as fortunate as I am. But the most prominent feeling I get from International Women’s Day every year is that women deserve to feel valued and that by lifting each other up we can all feel stronger. Cheesy, but true.

This International Women’s Day I’m celebrating the women in my life. Whether that be friends I’ve grown up with through school, friends I’ve met through sports, friends I’ve gained through musical theatre, friends I’ve met more recently at University or the incredible women I’m surrounded by in my family. I’ve never felt limited by any of them, and all I’ve ever received is support. Support to push beyond the boundaries that may sometimes be in my way, and support to continue through those boundaries when there’s no way around them.

This International Women’s Day I want to thank the women who’ve had my back (and held my hair). To my friends, who I see every day being sensational young women and forging paths for themselves. To my family, who’ve shown me ways of being an amazing woman, regardless of whether they’re older than me or not. And to the women I see in the media punching through stereotypes and fighting even when it seems impossible. Thank you.

It’s not the perfect time to be a woman in today’s age; between the fight for reproductive rights, the fight for an equal place at the table, the fight to have the choice who to marry and when and the fight against the stereotypes, it’s still a tough world. But it used to be far, far tougher and we can’t deny that some things are better. Young girls are able to open a magazine and see people like Ashely Graham or Iskra Lawrence looking like their body type and having it be celebrated. Others are looking at entertainment and seeing that they are so much more than the stereotype that have thrust upon them because of the colour of their skin. Others are realising that they weren’t born to be in the body they have and understanding that that’s okay. Some are realising that they get to love whomever they want to love, and it’s a brilliant thing. Young women and women everywhere are beginning to see their value, because there are more outlets showcasing every kind of woman. So yeah, being a woman’s still not perfect, but at least women are understanding that they deserve the perfect rights.

International Women’s Day began on February 28, 1909 when the Socialist Party of America organised a women’s day in New York, with the International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggesting a Women’s Day be held annually. March 8th was introduced by the Soviet Union in 1917 when women gained suffrage and the date became a national holiday, later being adopted as the international date for Women’s Day in 1975 by the United Nations. To reiterate what I say every year, today isn’t a day for bashing men – I’d actually like to celebrate my Dad and my brother for always encouraging me to be me and be the best person I can be. Today is a day to celebrate the women in our history who have shaped the world when it was deemed impossible for them to do so.

Mary Kom, an Indian boxer once said, “Do not say you are weak, because you are a woman”. Don’t limit yourself because of your gender; sex is biological, gender is a social construct. The stereotypes placed on women have been placed there by the men and women of the past. Think – a century ago women weren’t allowed to vote in elections because ‘common sense’ deemed that women were incapable of making sound decisions without the aid of a man. The world has seen a fair share of female political leaders since then. Women who’ve changed the world in some way, or at least changed the world’s perception of what it is to be a woman. Being born a woman ought not limit anyone, and I’ll be damned if the young women growing up in this century think less of themselves because of the sex on their birth certificate.

Whether you were born a woman or discovered later in life you should have always been a woman, you count. You are more than the limits the world will often put on you.

You count, you mean something, and I can’t wait to see you change the history books.

By Tirion Davies





Valeways are offering a new lead walk from April.
The walk is offered to carers of all ages and their
friends and families.
Carers Trust Wales have calculated that there are at
least 370,000 carers in Wales, which is more than
the population of Cardiff. The Carers Trust Wales
believes that 3 in 5 of us will become a carer at
some point in our lives.
The Carers walk will be a gentle stroll which will
offer Carers a chance to exercise, meet people and
enjoy fresh air. Hopefully the walks will support
carers to live happy and fulfilling lives for themselves,
and give them renewed energy for their role
as a carer.
If you are interested in joining this group, the walk
will take place on the last Thursday of every month
at 10:30am. We will meet outside Barry Island train
station and the walk will last between 45 to 60
minutes. If you want any more details, contact
Lynne 07729991491.



Parc Cefn Onn

Parc Cefn Onn.

The park was closed as they are installing ramps and a diversion skirts the eastern edge of the park. In February, Camellias were in full flower and the red trunks of Acers stood out.

Entering open countryside we climbed onto the ridge and walked parallel to the coast. Views extended west of Wenvoe to Penarth, the whole of Cardiff and beyond. We passed an old gnarled, hollowed out tree and a boundary wall dripping with moss.

Climbing through the woodland at Coed Coesau, most of the trees had lots of exposed roots. Curiously large metal hawser-like ropes looped from tree to tree at the edge of the path.

At lunch time we climbed to the top of a crag enjoying views of Caerphilly Mountain to the north and the coast to the south.

Our return journey followed the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway footpath. In one section a steep descent was negotiated via a long stretch of steps.

The path passes over Caerphilly railway tunnel which was built by Rhymney Valley railway to avoid paying to use tracks owned by Taff Vale railway. The tunnel is over 1 mile in length. Construction was started from 5 shafts sunk from the surface of the mountain. These are now ventilation shafts but originally provided access and pumped out vast quantities of water which were a continual problem for the tunnellers. They were also the scene of fatal accidents; a man was crushed by machinery in No. 4 shaft and seven men died in No. 3 shaft when the skip, in which they were descending, fell down the full length of the shaft. Hidden deep in a manmade valley lies what was formerly Cefn Onn Halt, near the entrance to the tunnel.

A large bank of daffodils at the entrance to the park glowed on an overcast but warm day, with a cool breeze at lunchtime. The walk was 7.4 miles 750ft ascent. Map 151.



Parc Cwm Darran

Parc Cwm Darran.

Parc Cwm Darran lies at the site of the Ogilvie colliery where coal was mined from 1923 until 1975. We started by walking along the Ogilvie lake. There are a few sculptures to the side of the path and numerous pieces of outdoor gym equipment (the Ogilvie Olympics obstacle course) together with old mine wheels. We climbed in an easterly direction away from the park and took a slight diversion to look at a waterfall and moments later we were at the top of it. Continuing our climb we spotted a farm with birds in its yard – geese, ducks and hens. In the distance we could see cows and sheep chasing after a tractor delivering food.

Entering a wooded area, we turned south. The bare trunks of the trees created a picturesque scene around us.

A Grave Yard has a stone marking the entrance: ‘site of Tegernacus inscribed stone removed to the National Museum of Wales for preservation’. A replica declares ‘Here lies Tegernacus, son of Martius’. The original stone probably dates back to the early 7thC but may be much older marking the grave of a Roman soldier from their campaign in the area 47 – 113 AD. There is also the Capel Brithdir Monument now housed in St Gwladys church, Bargoed and a Celtic cross.

We descended to a stream near Pen y Garreg farm and from here started our return travelling generally north. The farmer must have a sense of humour – a sign said ‘Warning Do Not Feed the Moose’.

Further evidence of the Roman presence in the area was found at Caradoc’s Bridge, near Deri. Caradoc was a Silurian leader who fought against the Roman occupation in Wales but was eventually captured and taken to Rome.

We passed under a road bridge, with a fast flowing stream running beside an excellent path. We followed a river for a short distance and climbed to Twyn y Fidffawydd (hillock of the beech hedge). At this point, about 1 mile from the end of the walk, a fine rain started to fall. We picked up our speed and headed along the ridge bracing ourselves against a strong cross wind. Then down into the valley and shelter from the wind. The day had been mostly overcast with occasional weak sunshine, a good walk with lots of variety and decent paths throughout. Walk 7.7 miles ascent 1800ft. Map 166.



Council News


Although no police were in attendance, members reported a couple of incitements. A car stolen from outside a property during the night and a ‘cold caller’ trying to extort additional money from a householder after carrying out agreed work.

New library – the Vale is about to publish the details seeking tenders for the work. At long last the Welsh Government has given clearance for the stage payment of the agreed grant.

The proposed design of the new playground for Twyn-yr-Odyn has been received. Comments are being sought from the public before the Council agree to the project proceeding.

Whitehall Quarry – the area is to be landscaped when the weather is drier; too muddy at present. Cemex are to be requested to regravel the footpath through the quarry which is becoming very muddy in areas.

During a recent storm one of the pine trees in Grange Park close to the school was blown over on a Sunday afternoon. This is the first known loss of one of the trees in a storm; branches have broken off trees in the past. The Council is seeking reassurance from the Vale that an up to date survey has been conducted on the state of all the trees in the park.

Fly tipping incidents are still occurring in the area. If seen, please report to the Clerk or direct to the Vale. It has been reported that football teams hiring the Station Road playing fields have left litter strewn around after a match, again please report such incidents to the Clerk.

Concern was raised about a growing pot hole on Port Road. The public can report potholes directly to the Vale by going to web site and select report potholes. Leave your contact details and a description of where the hole is.

The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, in their latest report, has made it mandatory that in future all Town and Community Council members must receive a payment of £150 a year towards their costs and expenses unless they inform the proper officer in writing that they decline the payment. The payment was previously available if a member submitted a claim.



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