AGM Report Postponed


AGM Report

Our Watch AGM was due to be held in February 2021. Obviously, this is not now possible and it is necessary to continue as we are for the current year.

During 2020 we gave reports in What’s On for the months of March, September, October and November. The Watch Co-ordinators kept their eyes open for anti-social or criminal behaviour and will continue to do so. There is still a small amount of disturbing behaviour in Wenvoe and we ask all residents to be aware and report incidents to their Co-ordinator. If you do not know who your Co-ordinator is please contact our Secretary, Jackie Gauci, telephone number below.

We will continue to provide reports at intervals during 2021.

Our Officers are:

Chair: Alan French

Vice Chair:   Colin Thomas

Secretary/Treasurer:   Jackie Gauci. Tel. 07876 207843 or      

Alan French



What A Difference A Year Makes!


What A Difference A Year Makes!

Hopefully our members, their families and friends, are staying safe and well.

What a difference a year makes! This time last year we had an interesting, varied programme planned. We were all looking forward to our Summer After-noon Tea – the event when we would be raising money for “Dogs for Good”. (A Charity that sup-ports disabled people and their families.) However, “Some Day We’ll Be Together” (the title of that well known song from the 1960’s).

In fact several song titles come to mind when we stop and think about the current situation. There has been much “Tossing and Turning”, along with “Wishing and Hoping”. Many families are facing severe heartache and grief. “In thoughts of you” springs to mind as we feel deeply for them. Our self-less NHS workers certainly deserve the titles “You’re Amazing”, “You’re Special” and “Thank You”. As Vera Lynn sang so proudly “We’ll Meet Again”. When we are able to meet up we shall un-doubtedly be “Happy Together”.

As soon as we are given the go-ahead to resume our monthly meetings members will be contacted straight away.

If you are celebrating a birthday in February please accept our warmest wishes.

In the meantime always remember “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Number 1 hit from 1963 sung by the recently deceased Gerry Marsden).

13 Years of the Upper Orchid Field

It is around 13 years since the Wildlife Group first got involved in looking after the Upper Orchid Field.

At that stage it was quite neglected and the sloping area was covered in self-seeded Ash trees. At first the Vale of Glamorgan Council were prepared to cut the field but financial issues soon meant that they could no longer help. Currently the field is cut by a contractor with removal of debris and the costs are shared between the Wildlife Group and the Community Council. The field is important because it is one of the last wildflower meadows in and around Cardiff and Britain has lost around 97% of its meadows in the last 100 years. We have plenty of fields but these are mainly just grass with a few nettles, creeping thistles and docks and relatively devoid of wildlife. In contrast the Upper Orchid Field has records of over 400 species of plant and animal and that is without having any expert surveys done. Also the field is a popular spot for walkers, joggers and families with great views and plenty of colour from Spring on, including several thousand orchids in the Summer.

We have noticed that Bramble has been creeping in from the perimeter and we have lost in excess of 5% of the area of the field to this recently. Hence the combined efforts of the Wildlife and Environment Groups to reclaim this land in the last few months and the large bonfire piles awaiting a good dry spell.

There are also 7 immature Oak trees (see this month’s Nature Notes) in the middle of the field and as these grow larger we estimate that we will lose 25 square metres of wildflower area each year. We decided to remove three of these to maximise the space for wildflowers although we are planting 16 more trees on the perimeter of mixed species which will greatly increase the biodiversity on the site – including Black Poplar, Cherry, Buckthorn, Aspen and Rowan.

However, with some creative work by Mike Tucker we now also have a small area set aside for young families where you can picnic.

We shall celebrate National Meadows Week with a tour of the site on 6th July – check What’s On nearer the time for more details



Teacher’s Adventures In Mexico

A Teacher’s Adventures In Mexico

Having read some of Mrs Jones’s recollections of her teaching career in a recent What’s On, it has prompted me to share some of my memories and experiences at the chalk face!

In September 1985, I boarded a plane to fly to Mexico City, the capital and largest city of Mexico and the most-populous city in North America. Located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the centre of Mexico, it lies at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). I was to work at a large 3 -18 years International school in the north of the city. Over 60 nationalities were represented at the school with children coming from all around the world, including England, USA, Spain, Colombia, South Africa, Egypt. The attraction was to work in a multi-cultural school… and have the opportunity to eat real tacos and burritos, learn a new language and visit the pyramids and coastlines of Mexico and neighbouring countries!

In the first week new staff had the opportunity to get to know each other, and the school, and to travel to some of the sights of the city. The most memorable visit was the day trip to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan. This enormous complex is found on the outskirts of modern-day Mexico City and is the site of some of the largest freestanding pyramids in the world.

School started. I was teaching throughout the age range from 3 to 18 years and had classes of energetic, enthusiastic kindergarten children one lesson, and streetwise, lackadaisical, less energetic 18 year olds the next! But it was all a wonderful, fantastic teaching experience… and I knew I would enjoy my time at the school, and in Mexico.

Then, on September 19th, two weeks after arriving …….catastrophe for Mexico. As I sat in my house contemplating the day ahead, I felt the house shake, breakfast dishes on the table were juddering and the light fitments on the ceiling were swinging around. It was only when I arrived in school, I realised what had happened: a powerful earthquake, magnitude 8.1, had struck Mexico City. The quake was centred off the Pacific coast of Michoacán, more than 200 miles west of Mexico City, yet, much of the damage was in Mexico City, which was constructed on an ancient lake bed whose soft sediments amplify seismic waves.

Mexico’s president, Miguel de la Madrid was criticized for his government’s weak response to the disaster. At first, the president rejected offers of international aid and played down the damage caused by the quake. Mexican citizens themselves started to organise their own rescue operations and emergency support. My school contributed to this emergency support, by becoming an Earthquake support centre. Fortunately, the school and its immediate surrounding area had escaped the damage to buildings that the city centre had experienced. Staff could volunteer to collect, collate and distribute food, clothing, medicines, blankets and water for some of the people made homeless by the earthquake. Donations poured into the school. It was the job of school staff to sort the donations and then for some staff to travel in school minibuses to the city centre to distribute the aid.

The city centre was a disaster zone: mangled buildings, roads strewn with rubble, crushed bridges, shocked and confused people. I had taught about the effects of earthquakes in GCSE Geography lessons, and now I was witnessing them firsthand. Some people had lost everything and individuals and families were grateful for any assistance we provided. It was a sobering and sombre experience for all of us; it was always a very subdued group that travelled back to the relative safety of the school.

More than 10,000 people died as a result of the quake, some 30,000 others were injured and an estimated 250,000 people were left homeless. More than 400 buildings collapsed and thousands more were damaged. International and government aid eventually arrived and the school’s contribution became less essential.

For many people around the world, the 1985 Mexican earthquake is remembered for the ‘ninos del sismo’ or ‘the children of the earthquake’. Sixteen ‘miracle babies’ were pulled from the rubble of a maternity hospital that had collapsed in the earthquake; 14 survived. Some of the babies had survived 8 days without nourishment, warmth, human contact and water. Life emerging from the ruins gave hope to Mexicans who had lost everything.

School reopened and teachers and pupils returned to classes. The earthquake had been an unforgettable, remarkable and humbling start to my 4 years in Mexico. It had been a privilege to be a tiny part of the support effort.

Lynne Frugtniet



La La Land

Play Hard Work Hard

La La Land

ITV recently showed a three-part short series The Pembrokeshire Murders, based on the real-life story behind the conviction of serial killer John Cooper.

The series, which included a cast led by Luke Evans and Keith Allen, showed the brilliance of Welsh storytelling, and offered ITV its biggest drama launch in five years. It has even led to the reopening of further cases previously deemed unsolved.

The Pembrokeshire Murders was the first time in a while a television drama led by an all-Welsh cast had been so successful; for many it felt like the first time they’d heard so many authentic Welsh accents in a crime drama since BBC One Wales released Keeping Faith in 2017.

Yet, there may be a reason for this. Although an abundance of TV shows and films are filmed in Wales, very few are actually set here and include Welsh characters.

We all want to see iconic Welsh locations shown on our screens, but very few shows filmed in Wales which may be shown worldwide are, in fact, set here. Although there are many brilliant Welsh programmes on our screens, very few will make it to homes outside of Wales.

There has been some change, at least, in the past few years. In 2008, the BBC launched the ‘Beyond the M25’ initiative, to solidify a more sustainable production base across the nation, in an attempt to ‘bring production closer to the audiences they serve’.

Shows like Hinterland, Keeping Faith and The Pembrokeshire Murders have been testament to the telling of incredible, Welsh-centric stories. When The Pembrokeshire Murders launched on January 11, it saw an immense 6.3 million viewers, with a third of people watching television across all channels tuning in to the first episode.

Keeping Faith saw around 9 million BBC iPlayer downloads after its initial Welsh-language release earlier in 2017 and prompted the BBC to show the programme on all BBC One channels across the UK, as opposed to simply BBC One Wales, as was the case when it first aired.

Programmes such as Belonging and Baker Boys have since been forgotten but were further examples of the representation of Welsh communities from a fervently Welsh lens.

Wales does get some representation on our television screens. However, the problem is that it is often kept to one character, or the programmes depicting Welsh life and culture are shown only in Wales.

A lack of representation is an issue for many groups, and so a lack of representation of Welsh life and culture should, of course, not take precedence over more representation for other groups, though it does feel important.

Often, it seems as though we rely on channels like S4C and BBC One Wales alone to provide authentic Welsh representation.

We’ll often see Welsh characters in television and film, but it seems as though the roles go to actors from other countries, leading to dodgy accents and a personality filled with stereotypes.

Sometimes, even within shows written by Welsh writers, such as Russel T. Davies’ Years and Years on BBC One, and his upcoming Channel 4 drama It’s a Sin, only one Welsh character is shown in each. It’s better than nothing, and at least the actors in both shows truly are Welsh, but it feels slightly as though this was a battle Russell T. Davies had to fight.

Even without talking about dramas, Wales can often feel like the butt of the joke for showrunners eager to get ratings. ITV’s most recent series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! was filmed in Gwrych Castle in North Wales, and ahead of its release ITV were warned of the impact of using cheap Welsh stereotypes to fuel its script.

Thankfully, the public were listened to and ITV were sure to give Ant & Dec Welsh lessons and stereotyping was rare. There were, of course, the odd annoyances, such as the Joker’s poor attempt at a generic Welsh accent and the whole ‘Tecwyn’ fiasco, but on the whole it was respectable.

Although Wales is the smallest of the four nations, with only 3.1 million residents, it can still seem unfair to limit our screen time. For a nation which is used as the backdrop for hundreds of stories, it seems unfair we don’t often get to use those backdrops for stories of our own. Have you seen the quality of the Mabinogi? A series on them alone could gain you millions of viewers, I’m telling you.

Perhaps the success of The Pembrokeshire Murders could indicate to TV bosses that Welsh storytelling is just as valuable as any other nation. If a show set in Wales with a Welsh-led cast can attract such a large viewership, there’s incentive there to commission more programmes; I’m sure Michael Sheen would be happy to be part of a show if the problem was a famous lead!

As a country part of the four nations, with so much history and culture, Wales is bursting at the seams with stories to share. It’s time we started seeing more of them.

Tirion Davies



Still Open for Click And Collect

Tel: 02920 594176 – during opening hours or
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For general enquiries you can email us at


Its Lockdown time again but we are still open for our Click and Collect service. Phone in your orders on Tuesdays between 10-12 and we will let you know when to collect your books.


Lockdown Memory Book

We are keen to maintain our links with the community by following up a suggestion from one of our volunteers. As a village, we are living through a period of history which will be talked about for decades to come. The library would like to invite residents of Wenvoe of all ages to contribute to a collection of their lockdown events and memories in the form of pictures, drawings and text. We will compile these in a format that will be housed in the Community Library and stored for posterity. We hope you will participate. Please send your contributions to the above email address.


Focus on our volunteers

Our band of volunteers continue to operate the Click and Collect service and are still busy behind the scenes with the Library. We though you might be interested in what else they do to occupy themselves during Lockdown. Each month, one of our volunteers will share their time with us.


Hi Everyone, Jack Russell dog here and this is one of my walks.

Walk along Walston Road and into the quarry. If we want to test our lungs, we turn immediate left up the quarry hill. Good fitness test. We try to see how fast we can do it. I always win; owner last!! Follow path, until we come alongside Whitehall Farm, on left, (where I like to leave a little wee) turn right then immediate left, fields each side, follow path to kissing gate. Bryn Lodge should be on the left. Walk through to the wooden gate and then onto Burdon Lane. My owner loves this lane, it reminds her of a Constable painting. It changes with the light, but is always pretty and tranquil, whatever time of year. Go along Burdon Lane and look out for a wooden style on the left with a gate alongside, taking us into Wenvoe Woods. The wood is peaceful, birds singing, bare winter trees covered with frost, then the spring wild garlic, bluebells, violets, a continuing changing picture. Follow the path through woods leading down, which will bring you to Pound Field Farm on the right. Go through gate and along path to come out on Pound Lane. Following lane to the bottom and you are back in Wenvoe Village. A short walk approximately 30 minutes, but good exercise. Give it a try!!


Home schooling

How are you coping with your children’s home and virtual schooling? If you visit the Vale of Glamorgan Library catalogue, you will find a wealth of relevant resources and materials which can help your child explore topics and skills which are part of their curriculum.

Facebook Storytime

A reminder that we are uploading twice-weekly videos of stories, book excerpts, poems and songs delivered by our talented community members. If you would like to contribute, please email us. We’d love to hear from you.

Clwb Clonc

This Welsh conversation group is still going strong on Zoom. If you wish to join and keep up your Welsh language skills, then sign in on Mondays at 11 am. Please note that the login details are the same each week. Meeting ID: 343 147 0372. Pass code: Heulwen


“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

Albert Einstein




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