Sorrento Chicken

Sorrento Chicken

3tbsp olive oil

2 onions sliced

125g pancetta or streaky bacon, sliced

1 large clove of garlic, crushed and chopped

8 chicken thighs, boned and skin on

2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned

1tsp smoked paprika

300ml chicken stock, [OXO]

400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 sprig of thyme, leaves only, finely chopped

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and pancetta and fry for about 7 mins until golden in colour. Add the garlic for the final min of cooking. Remove everything and set aside. Toss the chicken in the flour, use a freezer bag to toss the chicken and flour together. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the paprika and chicken, and fry over a medium heat until evenly browned. return the onions, pancetta, and garlic to the pan. Add the stock, beans, toma-toes, thyme, and season well. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 25 mins un-til the chicken is tender Stir so it does not stick. Re-move the lid and simmer for a further 5 – 10 mins to thicken the sauce.

Serve with fresh crusty garlic bread and green vegetables.



Clementine Pork Steaks

Clementine Pork Steaks

2 tbsp sunflower oil

4 lean pork steaks, about 100/110g each

250g small button mushrooms, sliced in half.

2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika.

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

50ml clementine juice [from about 2 clementines]

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the pork steaks and fry quickly until browned on both sides, [the steaks will be under done at this point]. Remove from the pan and set aside, add the remaining oil, then fry the mushrooms until softened. Return the pork to the pan, sprinkle in the paprika and stir in the redcurrant jelly, clementine juice and the red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the jelly. Simmer for about 5 – 10 mins turning the pork halfway through until the meat and mushrooms are tender. Serve with boiled new potatoes and tender stem broccoli.



Gardening Advice for March


Gardening Advice for March

Pam Owens of Hopkinstown gardens, Carmarthen, offers her tips for March.

  1. Start mowing if the ground is dry enough.
  2. Enjoy the early Spring bulbs.
  3. Put new batteries in your torch and get out after dark to catch those slugs.
  4. As soon as daffs start to go over remove the seed head to allow the plant to concentrate on feeding the bulb.
  5. Weed those borders to give yourself a head start.

Julie the village hairdresser on garden problems.

  1. Hair clippings put around plants are a great way to keep slugs at bay.
  2. Those stick on copper bands do not deter the slugs from my pots.
  3. Plant marigolds with tomatoes, it will help keep pests at bay.
  4. Garlic grown alongside roses is well known for keeping roses healthy.
  5. Any poor soil will be good enough to grow wildflowers in, as they don’t need much nourishment.

Help those ericaceous shrubs such as Azaleas Camellias and Peiris to flower well by putting an ericaceous compost on top of the roots and fork in. Give your roses a final prune to encourage new growth then feed them: preparatory feed is worth the cost. It is time to top dress the shrubs grown in pots by removing the top 25mm which will contain mostly pests and disease and replace with fresh compost. Gardeners World magazine has said if you’re growing a fig tree, you should keep it in a pot as this will restrict the roots which will in turn encourage fruiting.

Planting seeds early will give you a good start, but they will soon go back if you can’t keep an area warm for them. Young tomato plants will suffer if they are subjected to a cold spell, which will only show up when the plants start to come into flower. Peppers and sweetcorn need a long growing season so an early start is a must. A good tip from The Sunday Gardener, is to bring the compost in from the cold before using it. Terry Walton of BBC radio said he starts his broad beans and sweet peas off by filling a freezer bag with compost and seed then, with his wife’s permission, places them in the airing cupboard where the all-round warmth will soon promote root growth. He then transplants them into deep pots to ensure a good root system.

The Wenvoe allotments are busy with old and new plot holders working hard as the days get longer. They are sowing carrots early to try and beat the carrot root fly, some are using raised beds to avoid the pest. Whatever allotmenteers are doing it will be under the watchful eye of Herbie who will be resting on his seat against the tin sheets so as not to miss anything. Herbie recommends that you ought to grow your strawberries in hanging baskets to stop slugs ruining your crop. He would also recommend putting fresh grass clippings in a trench before filling with soil, this will keep the soil warm and encourage your seeds to germinate.

Take care and happy gardening.



Census Day Sunday 21 March 2021


Census 2021 is a digital-first census, people will be encouraged to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet.

Most people will get a letter with a unique access code on it through the post. All you need to do is enter the code into the secure website and fill in the questionnaire.

There’ll be plenty of support available if you have any concerns about filling it in. If you prefer, you can still return a paper form.

You will be contacted nearer the time to let you know what you need to do.



New Team Member Required


What’s On is looking for a primary distributor, to take delivery of the 700 magazines each month, (delivered to your door) count and split them into six lots, and deliver them to the secondary distributors.

Any volunteers?

It is important that delivery to the secondary distributors is completed within 24 hours of receipt

of the magazine from the printers. Please contact one of the editors.


March Planning Updates

March Planning updates

All the following applications have been granted planning permission.

  • Springfield Store and Post Office, 33, Old Port Road. Single storey rear extension.
  • 6, Grange Avenue. Single storey rear wrap around extension, including loft conversion.
  • 28, Walston Road. Work to trees covered by TPO
  • 61, Walston Road. Fell ash tree in front garden.
  • 8, Heol Collen. Ground floor extension to form an accessible shower room adjacent to a bedroom
  • 16, Heol Draenen Wen. Single storey extensions to rear and side of property.


The planning permission for the new library is now expected to be granted before the end of February. The 106 agreement to release the required funds was discussed.

The Council is seeking quotes for repairs to the wooden window frames of the Community Centre building. The replacement with plastic frames was not being considered.

The continuing problem of fly tipping, local incidents of tyres being dumped was highlighted. The amount of waste from fast food outlets was also highlighted, the managers are to be contacted. An article on tipping is included in this edition. Reporting incidents is easy on the Vale web site and they respond quickly to such reports.

The pros and cons of using land adjacent to the quarry access road as a local future burial ground were discussed. The item will be considered further at a future meeting.

The flooding of the footpath near the Beech Tree Restaurant created by the installation of a flood prevention barrier for the St Lythans Estate has been reported to the Vale and a reply is still awaited.

The illegal fly posting in relation to a dog lost in November was discussed. The material, is now seen as a problem, especially locally, with items causing litter in public areas and the surrounding countryside. The Vale officers are to be requested take appropriate action.


March Planning Applications

The February Zoom Council meeting welcomed its new member Janet Williams

Planning applications

  • 77, Burdons Close. Convert existing garage into habitable living space. Existing doors on the front of garage to be replaced with window. No objections
  • The Gables, Station Road East. Change of hip roof to gable roof with new window to gable on front elevation. Re-use existing roof tiles on visible surfaces with window and finishes to match existing. No comment, the application was made under permitted development legislation.
  • Maytime, Port Road. Replace the hedge to front of property with a fence and gates. No objection
  • Whitehall Quarry, Old Port Road. Variation of Condition 1 (time limit for removal of road) of planning permission ref. 2014/00380/FUL (dated 21/05/2014): Proposed continued implementation of planning permission 04/00700/FUL. Supported. The application is to deal with the quarry restoration.

• Land West of St. Lythans. Two livestock buildings with access from highway. Supported



Annual Subscription

Annual Subscription

The collection of the £2 annual subscription for the magazine operated very successfully last year during the lock-down; we will be using the same scheme this year.


Your deliverer will provide you with an envelope with your April edition along with the details so you can include your £2 and return it to the address indicated.

Thank you for your support.

Wenvoe What’s On



Did Submarines Bring Pandemic To The Uk?



Our front page has often explored how the current pandemic has so many parallels with similar events, such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1919. The similarities in the impact they had and the responses to them are often striking and we have been able to learn much from past experiences.

President Trump was one it seems, who did not pay much attention to past events and has been widely criticised for his refusal to act decisively to deal with the coronavirus. The clues about the seriousness of the situation and the need for drastic action were there. One of the earliest victims of the Spanish flu in fact was his own grandfather, a businessman who died at the age of 49. The President of course didn’t feel it necessary to explore the lessons of the past, preferring to cite the amazing possibilities of the future, such as the fact that coronavirus could be killed by powerful light or even disinfectant!

One of the most striking similarities between historical pandemics and the current situation is the proliferation of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories often emerge in times of crisis and as a response to an invisible and powerful enemy hiding among us. Like pandemics, conspiracy theories are contagious and we have had a fair share of them recently. Covid-19 is said by some to be caused by 5G technology and the vaccines we are so desperate for are apparently designed to implant microchips into people!

It is strangely reassuring that there is nothing new about any of this. In the 17th century, plague was often associated with witchcraft. During the 1630 plague in Milan, the combination of folk superstitions and widespread anxiety led to the trial, torture and execution of two citizens falsely accused of spreading the pestilence. The most famous remedy for the Russian Flu in the1890s was the carbolic smoke ball. These were manufactured in London and widely advertised. The balls released a “smoke” of finely ground phenol powder (an ingredient commonly used in soaps at the time) that would be inhaled through the nostrils.

The company that manufactured this treatment promised that it would prevent customers from catching the Russian flu. And if the product failed, the company promised to refund its customers. In December 1891, Mrs. Elizabeth Carlill purchased one of those products and used it on multiple occasions. Then she succumbed to the epidemic. Because the carbolic smoke balls failed to work, Carlill and her husband filed a claim with the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, but it was ignored. In 1892, the couple took their case to court. In the case of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, the court found that Mrs. Carlill was entitled to the money and that the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company was in breach of contract for failing to pay her upon submitting the claim.

By the time of the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1919 conspiracy theories had become more sophisticated. Having recently been at war with Germany, the Germans were prime targets for the conspiracy theorists. The most colourful perhaps was the belief in the UK, United States and much of South America, that German submarines were responsible for the virus, with one New York Times article quoting a US army official who suggested that the influenza had been planted on the country’s East coast by “enemy agents”. The German pharmaceutical company Bayer, found itself in the firing line amid suspicions that the flu was spread in aspirin. The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer went further, citing the expert opinion of Lt. Col. Philip S. Doane, head of the health sanitarian section of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. The Germans, it reported, had stolen into Boston harbour in U-boats, come ashore secretly and let loose vials filled with the deadly germs in theatres and other crowded places



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