2019 Round Up


Happy New Year to all.

Sorry we haven’t had time to write recently, we have been very busy with the change over of our company to Wenvoe Playgroup CIO. (We will still be known as Wenvoe Playgroup though.)

During the Autumn Term we have been very busy raising funds for others. The Children, their families and staff raised £70 for Breast Cancer during the month of October, by wearing something pink to Playgroup. This also supported the Children’s learning; by beginning to understand that everyone can wear pink.

In November we held a sponsored fancy dress, in which we raised a staggering £322 for CRACKERJACKS Childrens trust, who help support Children with disabilities. Being a Charity ourselves, we know just how important it is to raise funds and support goals.

We had a very successful start to our new term in September. Our Breakfast Club has not only supported Playgroup Children from 8am each day, it has provided support to families; offering their Children breakfast, then onto Morning Nursery and Reception at Gwenfo School. We offer support to take the Children across to School for their busy days at 08:50am. Should you require further information on ‘Breakfast Club’, then please email us.

Our morning sessions are now fully booked until September 2020 with waiting lists for any spaces that may become available for Children currently enrolled.

We have approximately 15 families on our waiting list for September 2020 and we would suggest that should you be thinking of joining Wenvoe Playgroup from September then get in touch via the email as soon as possible. We will hold an open afternoon in May. Your email will be placed on a waiting list (once replied to of course) to receive an invite to attend in May with a view to secure sessions from September 2020.

Nursery admissions for September 2020 are open this month and are usually notified around the end of May for September intake. Keep a watchful eye on the Vale of Glamorgan website.

We can make a note for your preferred sessions at Playgroup (if requiring support) with Gwenfo Nursery whilst you are awaiting notification from the Vale of Glamorgan.

Don’t forget we are enrolled to support the 30 Hour Free Childcare Offer with The Vale and Cardiff Councils, so Children from all areas are able to sign up to the Playgroup for 17.5 hours FREE per week, should families fit the criteria. More about the 30 hour care will be sent to What’s On soon, or if you want to know more now, then email us and we can send you some documentation for information.

We expect a very busy year.



December Church Activities


A Blywthyn Newedd Dda – a Happy New Year to all Readers.

The first Sunday in December was Advent Sunday; the beginning of four weeks of solemn preparation for the greatest event the world has known, the Birth of the Saviour in a stable at Bethlehem nearly 2000 years ago. It is also the first Sunday of the churche’s year, so we are already in the year 2020. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, Christians the world over are looking forward with hope in their hearts for a continuing peace and prosperity for all peoples, of all faiths and creeds.

For the Church in Wales it also marks the centenary of its own birth, away from the Church of England. There was much talk and discussion about the dissolution of the four Welsh Dioceses away from the Church of England in the early years of the 20th century, and the necessary measures, the Welsh Church Act of 1914, were put on hold with the outbreak of WW1 in 1914. With the ending of the war, the movement to break away was once again agreed upon and so the Church in Wales was created with its own Archbishop the Very Reverend Alfred George Edwards, who was Bishop of St Asaph at the time in 1920.

How did these changes affect the Parish of Wenvoe are not very clear. Our Rector at the time was Rev. George Herbert Jenner who, with advancing years, retired from the parish in 1924. The years following the ending of the war were years of financial hardship and Wenvoe had never been a rich parish with any endowments. Mrs Laura Jenner of Wenvoe Castle still had the right to appoint a priest here, so the church just got on proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel, and we now enjoy all that earlier generations of church going folk in Wenvoe left for future generations.

As I write this preparations for the celebration of Christmas are well advanced and we look forward to the “Pebbles” children giving their presentation of the Nativity story in church. Once again a Christmas Card, giving all details of the services in St Mary’s and St Bleddian’s has been delivered to all homes in the parish, and Christmas Edition of the parish magazine “Connections” is full of good cheer for the festive season














The 200 Club continues to be successful in raising much needed money for the building fund. The Christmas Draw of winner numbers was drawn at the Church Hall following the Community Carol service on 18th December, when great fellowship was accorded with mince pies and mulled wine, courtesy of Wenvoe Community Council.. The 200 Club has donated £1,800 to the St. Mary’s Building Fund for this year.

The work in hand for 2020 will be the plastering of the lower walls adjacent to the altar, and the rear of the organ console and in February we are due to have the historic floor tiling in the church restored and cleaned. This work will add to the beauty of the church interior and will be as when the tiles were laid sometime at the middle to end of the 19th century in the major restoration of church that took place under the guidance of the Jenner rectors.

The Christmas Chattery

The Christmas Chattery on Thursday 12th December 2019 was a huge success in spite of the awful weather. The church hall was packed with people and we almost ran out of chairs and cups! There was a lovely friendly ambience with lots of chat and laughter. The hall looked very smart with Christmas decorations kindly gifted by the reindeers.

Grateful thanks to everyone who supported us, as in addition to the most enjoyable social occasion, £292 was raised for the church building fund.

The highlight of the raffle was the amazing Christmas cake creation from Glenys Tucker which was won by a lucky resident in Vennwood Close.

Don’t forget that the Chattery meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month when you will find a warm welcome – but fewer people!

Happy New Year to all our readers

Parry Edwards



Village Hall Raffle Results


The Village Hall Management Committee would like to thank everyone who kindly donated prizes to this raffle and to the people who support us by the buying and selling of the tickets. All money raised through the raffle contributes to the on-going insurance, maintenance and daily running costs of the Hall which is primarily for the use of the villagers.

We thank you all and wish you Good Health and a Happy and Prosperous New Year


RHS tips for January


RHS tips for January

  1. Shred your Christmas tree to use as mulch.
  2. Check on dahlia tubers and begonia corms for rot.

3, Brush off the worm casts on lawns.

  1. Start forcing rhubarb.
  2. Prune apple and pear trees.

Environment team tips

  1. If you need some company and exercise join the Wenvoe wildlife group, environment team or turn up for one of the many walks. More information in the columns of What’s On.
  2. Make sure you wear those scarves and gloves you were given at Christmas.
  3. This year try to label all those seeds you’re going to plant.
  4. Clean out the bird feeders regularly, which will help keep disease at bay.
  5. Loads of bargains in garden centres at the moment as they get rid of the seasonal stock. Blue diamond at St Mellons is worth a look.

Sow sweet peas now and those that you planted in the Autumn can be repotted but try not to disturb the roots too much. If you have a heated greenhouse or warm window sill you can sow begonia, lobelia and salvia to give you early plants. Cut off some of the older leaves of helebores to give the flowers a better chance.

Most people prune their roses at the beginning of March. Some gardeners advise that this job is done in January. The lady and gentleman who live at Belgrave house, had advised their gardeners to cut the roses in the west garden down to just above ground level. This was completed last autumn and could well be the way forward. The roses at Vennwood will be pruned, half now and the rest in March to compare. If we get snow, don’t let it linger on your hedges and shrubs as the weight will put them out of shape and could break branches off. Have just read that being heavy handed in breaking the ice especially on shallow ponds can send shockwaves through the water and kill off some fish. They recommend resting a pan of boiling water on the ice to melt it.

Summer bulbs, seed potatoes and onion sets will be available by the middle of the month .

On the vegetable patch, It’s time to to lay fleece down to warm up the ground for early planting. When forcing rhubarb with a large up turned pot, putting straw inside the pot will help to bring it on. The jury’s out on whether its worth chitting potatoes. When working at Mr Phillips market garden the potatoes were not chitted but still gave good yields.

Happy New Year to all. Have a great gardening year.

Take care and happy gardening.


Raffle At The Reindeer Cafe

Raffle At The Reindeer Cafe

We were delighted to receive over £400 from the raffle at the Reindeer Cafe organised by Mike and Glenys Tucker. A portion will go towards the purchase of a battery-operated brushcutter as we are finding that as the orchards and other sites get established it is brushcutting and strimming that take up much of our time. An improvement in the weather would be welcome with many of our sites boggy although not flooded. It does mean that working on the sites is not only unpleasant with all the rain but can cause damage to the soil. A local house clearance has resulted in the donation of a wheelbarrow, some timber and tools – these are always welcome. We have applied for funding from the RHS for the purchase of trees, shrubs and plants that are good for pollinators at the Bee Loud Glade and would hope to hear in January if we have been successful. Bright days and sharp frosts can create great photo opportunities as this photo from the Upper Orchid Field from a few years ago shows. Why not get out and enjoy your countryside!



Delia’s Way Vs Real Women’s Way

Delia’s Way Vs Real Women’s Way

Delia’s way Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

The Real Women’s Way: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Gods sake, you’re probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

Delia’s way To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

The Real Women’s Way: Buy powdered potato and keep it in the cupboard for up to a year.

Delia’s way: When a cake recipe calls for flouring the tin, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

The Real Women’s Way: Go to the bakers. They’ll even decorate it for you.

Delia’s way: If you accidentally over salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant “fix me up”.

The Real Women’s Way: If you over salt a dish while you’re cooking, that’s tough. Please recite with me The Real Women’s motto: I made it and you will eat it and I don’t care how bad it tastes.

Delia’s way: Wrap celery in foil when putting in the fridge and it will keep for weeks.

The Real Women’s Way: Celery? Never heard of the stuff.

Delia’s way: Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

The Real Women’s Way: The Fray Bentos pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust and so I don’t do it.

Delia’s way: If you have a problem opening jars, try using rubber gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

The Real Women’s Way: Go ask the very gorgeous neighbour to do it.

Delia’s way: Don’t throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

The Real Women’s Way: Leftover wine?

Delia’s way: When catering for an evening buffet, calculate food portions and timings a week in advance, so that you’re not rushing on the night.

The Real Women’s Way: Nip into Marks & Sparks on the way home that evening, and buy everything in ready made.

Delia’s way:When you have finished the preparation for your buffet, wash up and treat yourself to a glass of wine.

The Real Women’s Way: Hide the packets and drain the last of that “pre dinner” wine bottle…



People With Power Get Away With It

People In Power Get Away With So Much


By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein and a trafficked 17-year-old. Prince Andrew has since stepped down from royal duties, but he’s not been completely cut off from the royal family. His family has refused to comment, and that in itself is evidence enough of his guilt. But Prince Andrew isn’t technically being held accountable for his actions; whether the allegations made by Virginia Roberts are true or not, Prince Andrew still maintained a friendship with Epstein. Yet, because of his status, he’ll stay on the palace payroll and soon this story will be buried.

It happens all the time. People in power get away with so much because they have the power and the money to make it go away. They become infamous, but that also keeps them in the spotlight for longer and further enhances their fame. Think about Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; that’s all she’s ever known for, whilst Clinton maintained his beloved status as President. Lewinsky should never have had the affair with Clinton, yet she wasn’t the one that was married with a child. She wasn’t the President. But because of her lack of status and power in the debacle, she’s been vilified for her involvement.

There are plenty of actors who fit the infamous role; who’ve gone on to gain more roles possibly because it adds to the press of the project. When famed director Woody Allen was found to have been part of the many Hollywood big leagues to sexually abuse hundreds of people, some actually came to his defence. One of those being Scarlett Johansson, who’s surely used to controversy by now.

Johansson was first caught up in controversy when it was announced she would star in Ghost in the Shell, an English language adaptation of the popular Japanese manga comics. It was argued by many that Johansson’s role should be recast and played rather by an actor of Asian descent, as the series, and the character are Japanese. The problem was further exacerbated by Screencrush publishing a report noting that Paramount and DreamWorks had tested a post-production visual effects technology which was said to make Johansson appear more Asian. Although Johansson has stated she would never play a character of another race, she did have the option to drop the project and allow the studio to find a more suitable fit for the character. Ed Skrein, who was originally cast as Ben Daimio in Hellboy stepped down from the role after educating himself on the origins of the character, stating he didn’t want to ‘obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the arts’ and noting, ‘I feel it is important to honour and respect that’ (the character was later recast with Daniel Dae Kim as Daimio).

Yet Johansson’s reputation seems untarnished. She was announced as the highest paid actress of 2019 and has two major films coming out within the next few months. However much I love Marvel, and although I believe Black Widow is long overdue, I’m aware that Johansson’s career should have

suffered a knock for the comments and controversies she’s been in the headlines for. Her status is continuously growing and she gets away with the comments she makes, even when they are comments which anger many.

In turn, Marvel have rehired James Gunn for the third instalment of Guardians of the Galaxy after his own allegations of sexual assault came to light. To an extent, it feels as though Marvel had set a stopwatch between firing Gunn and rehiring him for the amount of time they thought it might take for people to forget the allegations against Gunn. To an extent, it worked, and many have praised Marvel for reinstating Gunn’s title as director for the franchise. Again, a celebrity not being held accountable for their actions and rather being rewarded for their infamous controversies.

We hold celebrities on a pedestal in our society and it’s become incredibly damaging, because having money and status these days seems to exempt you from being held accountable for your actions.

There are plenty of working-class people who have had to suffer long sentences in prisons for crimes the rich are able to pay their way out of. Between the college admissions scandal in America when Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were held accountable (for which Huffman served 12 of the 14 days she was sentenced to prison) and the Brock Turner case (for which Turner – who was convicted of three charges of sexual assault – was sentenced to only six months in jail following a $150,000 posted bail), the rich and famous get away with a lot.

Being held accountable for our actions is important. Arguably from the track record, more important for the rich and famous. Yet, if you have enough money and enough power, you can make anything disappear. The fact that scandals make celebrities infamous but somehow also richer is disgusting. Being a celebrity or having more money than you know what to do with shouldn’t exempt you from the law. If you make a mistake, you ought to be reprimanded and suffer like the rest of us.

Celebrity culture is far more corrupt than I think we often remember. Though that doesn’t mean that millionaires deserve a cop out clause.

They should pay their dues like the rest of the world.

By Tirion Davies



December Activities Report


December Report

Our final speaker for this session was Helen Joy who has entertained us in the past and her talk on the Vale of Glamorgan Show proved equally entertaining.

The Vale show was set up so that farmers could meet and compete against each other in a variety of categories. The first show was held in 1772 and it is always held on a Wednesday in August as this was deemed to be the month that was the least busy for farmers. Since then the show has grown and it is now the biggest show in Glamorgan of any kind. As well as the show itself there are other events associated with the show such as a thanksgiving service the evening before the show, a lunch sponsored by the NFU and the dinner at which all the winners receive their various prizes.

Helen and a group of like minded people formed the Glamorgan Smallholders Association and this proved a popular move as over 50 people attended the first meeting. In 2017 they were given a small corner of the main marquee to promote the organisation and as this was a success the following year they occupied the whole marquee. As well as the animals, they had spinners, weavers, basket makers and Bro radio. They received a cup for the best trade stand in the show.

The Glamorgan Smallholders Association has grown into an organisation which now works in collaboration with the Welsh Government engaging with the public at all opportunities Plans are now well in progress for the next Vale Show when there will be an opportunity for us all to go along and see the variety of projects that the smallholders undertake.

Our next meeting was designed to put us all in the Christmas spirit. We welcomed back Natalie and Amanda from Hearts and Flowers who demonstrated making a centre piece for the Christmas table, various Christmas wreaths and a miniature Christmas tree complete with lights.

The last event of the session was the Christmas meal at The Beech Tree.

After a very successful session we can all look forward to the Spring/Summer 1920 Programme.



New Year Resolutions


January is a time for New Year resolutions

so why not pledge to do some of the following.

 Put up bird boxes but site them away from where cats can get at them

 Attach a bell to your cat’s collar. This does reduce their success rate in killing small birds

 Put out bird-feeders, particularly for the winter months, restocking and cleaning them regularly

 Plant a tree or two. There are trees to suit every size of garden

 Sow wildflower seed in at least one patch

 Put up bug hotels, siting them in the sunniest spot you can find

 Install a pond in your garden – even a plastic bowl sunk in the ground will do some good

 Ensure that hedgehogs can get into and out of your garden

 Let a patch of grass grow uncut and see what unusual grasses and wildflowers pop up

 Just spend some time watching nature


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