Diamond Wedding Anniversary


April Letters

(The Editor


s are not responsible for opinions expressed, although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information. The editors reserve the right to protect the anonymity of anyone who wishes to contribute articles or letters for the magazine provided they are aware of the identity of any such person. )




We would like to thank all friends and neighbours for the good wishes, cards, flowers and gifts on the occasion of our Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Because of lockdown, what we thought would be ‘just another day’ turned out to be something special.

Our mystery – A lovely card came through the door, envelope written in gold but they forgot to sign it.

Thank you

Joyce & Eric White




Parkinson’s Disease Appeal


Many Wenvoe residents will remember Helen and David Blessley and their contributions to village life. They moved to live in Penarth but still maintain village connections. Helen, being a superb cook, wrote a column called ‘Helen’s Kitchen’ for the magazine for over 15 years. This appeal has been written by their son-in-law, Marc Dunmore. 

The first thing we would like to say about David (Sarah’ s Dad, my father-in-law) or as I like to call him, Mr B, is that he is funny, strong, determined and not one to complain about anything. He is 78 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease around 25 years ago.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. Mr B struggles to move, he struggles to eat, struggles to remember, he struggles to speak clearly and sleep is uncomfortable and disrupted. He has a hospital bed, walking frames, inflatable cushions and 2 wheelchairs to try and help. The alarms sound every 3 hours to remind Helen (Sarah’s Mum, my mother-in-law) to give his medication every 3 hours to deal with these symptoms but although the medication is supposed to help it can cause confusion and hallucinations. Parkinson’s Disease gets worse over time and at the moment there is no cure.

Helen is Mr B’s wife and main caregiver. She plays an integral part in his health, helping him to get the right treatments and help that he needs. As a result, he has been able to maintain the best possible lifestyle in the circumstances. However, this disease is not easy for anyone involved with the person living with it, whether family members or caregivers.

Not only do we want to help fundraise for Parkinson’s UK to help find a cure but also to provide funding for the local side of Parkinson’s. Our local Parkinson’s support group has been a lifeline for both Helen and Mr B. Not only can these groups introduce you to other families with Parkinson’s but can provide wonderful assistance for families like ours with information and events to help support everyone involved.

Mr B faces many challenges every day and we wanted to experience our own challenges. Over the course of the year Sarah will be virtually running Lands end to John O Groats (874 miles) culminating in both of us running the London Marathon and then…when one marathon isn’t enough, we will be running the Newport marathon a couple of weeks

later. The training for all this will most definitely be a challenge to fit in alongside dodging Covid, home schooling and working. However, when put into context with the challenges that Mr B and others like him face seems humble.

As you may be aware we have in the past run a few marathons between us so we wanted to make this one different and demanding. We did enquire about pushing Mr B round the London Marathon course in his wheelchair; however, this is not able to happen. So, instead Mr B will be joining us in his wheelchair, pushed by us, on some of our training runs around Cardiff. I’m sure there will be hard days for us both when the effort of running seems too much but we will take a leaf out of Mr B’s book and be strong, determined and try not to complain (not much anyway!!).

Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me, and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Parkinson’s UK. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please donate to this fantastic cause! We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

Donations can be made via https:// uk.virginmoneygiving.com/marcdunmore. Once on the page you can click “donate” and then there are easy step by step instructions.





A favourite walk is to Dyffryn as there are several routes that can be taken. Hopefully before long Dyffryn Gardens will open and refreshment can be taken there before returning home. The photo below is of the mid-week walkers a couple of years ago, everyone with a smile on their faces despite a thorough drenching.

The first and most straight-forward route is to walk along the road to Dyffryn via St Lythans, though the road is a bit busy for this to be truly relaxing. From the village you can go along Pound Lane and into Wenvoe woods, which emerges onto a track running from Burdon’s Hill to the St Lythans Rd. From here there is a footpath to 12th C St Lythans Church where you can explore the churchyard and spot the vent at the top of the tower which was an outlet for the oven where bread was baked.

Walking along the St Lythans – Dyffryn road you reach Dyffryn Gardens in about 1 mile. Returning along this road follow the brown tourist sign for the footpath to the St Lythans burial chamber, a megalithic dolmen built in the Neolithic period around 4000 BC. The dolmen has three upright stones and a capstone which is 3 metres wide and 4 metres long; all the stones are mudstone.


From the dolmen you travel to Maesyfelin (the mill field) farmhouse. The footpath passes between the house and some outbuildings and through a gate. Over a couple of stiles straight ahead (east), you will often encounter a herd of cows. Across a couple of fields with the Goldsland woods (private) on your right and you emerge onto a stony track. Remains from seven Neolithic humans have been excavated from a cave in these woods. It is thought the corpses had been placed there to decompose before being removed to sites such as Tinkinswood or St Lythans burial chambers. This seems to be the sole site in Britain where corpses were left to rot prior to placement in communal tombs.

On an open piece of land is the Bee Loud Glade with a noticeboard giving information about the ongoing work to attract pollinators. The rest of the open area had a good display of flowers last summer, including one of my favourites the tiny but gorgeous blue flax which can be used to produce linen or flax oil. The footpath runs along the southern edge of this area and into a small woodland, along the northern boundary of Wenvoe golf course, and back to Burdon’s Hill. Going south here leads to the Port Rd or turn left going up the track, almost always with some mud, and take the stile on the right back into Wenvoe woods, to retrace your steps to Walston Rd.

For a longer walk you can continue past Dyffryn Gardens along the road and take the footpath to 6000 -year-old, Tinkinswood burial chamber (through a field and over a stream to reach the chamber from the road). A larger dolmen than the one at St Lythans, the Tinkinswood site contained human remains and pottery dating to the early Bronze Age. It is a good place to stop for a while. Instead of returning to the road you can cross a field and a small holding. There is a large open field, with Dyffryn Gardens to the left which seems to have a sense of quiet peace. Eventually the path emerges beside the Nant river and you can walk through Dyffryn village, with a stream either side of the road and some lovely houses.

At the end of the village there is a footpath around a small farm, where there are llamas, sheep and other animals. This leads into Dyffryn Springs fishery where you skirt a lake and can spot waterfowl and heron. After this are Old Wallace and New Wallace farms, where you walk through the stable yard and can look across the valley towards Barry and the airport. After New Wallace the track becomes a road, leading to Goldsland farm and the golf course and eventually the Port Rd south of Wenvoe

Other variations allow diversions through the Wild Orchard and Coed Nant Bran, even taking in St Nicholas and/or the Downs. Whichever path you take you can rely on mud somewhere, the possibility of having to wade through an inch or so of water (or 3inches this winter) and the vagaries of the British weather. But you will also see some beautiful countryside, lots of history beneath your feet and around you, and plants and animals aplenty if you keep your eyes and ears open. Many of these paths cross farmland and it is important to keep to the footpaths, keep any dogs on a lead and leave nothing but footsteps. I hope you enjoy your rambling as much as I do.

Walk 5-8.5 miles depending on which route is taken. Map 151



Research On Remembrance In Wales


Dear Wenvoe Community Library,

I read about your library from the https://libraries.wales/ website, and I hope you would not mind me asking for your help for my research. I know the importance of libraries in local communities, even if the current pandemic context makes your work and social sharing more difficult.

I am a French PhD student in history and psychology at Swansea University and I am involved in a project with a Welsh and a French research team to study the memory of disasters. We developed an online questionnaire to gain a better understanding of memory and oblivion processes involved when we are to remember past disasters. Our main goal is to progress in the understanding of individual and collective responses to these events. More broadly, this study aims to make an important contribution to ongoing scientific debates on the management of communities and territories affected by one or several disasters.

We are currently struggling to make our study known and we need more volunteers participating to be able to draw relevant conclusions.

I would like to ask for the help of your library in distributing our questionnaire, for instance by adding information about our study in your newsletter if you have one, or via your library network. Our objective is to gather the answers from a large public living in Wales, no matter the age or the background. Your help in sharing our questionnaire would also be a great opportunity for us to inform Welsh communities about our scientific interests.

A detailed call for volunteers was also published by Swansea University on its website (swan.ac/gas), and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SwanseaUni/status/1354806627447181316). I also gave a short interview that you can find on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lucrece.heux.1).

We wish to communicate our results to the volunteers who participated once our study will be finalised. If you are interested, we can also work with you to inform the visitors of your library about the conclusions we will be able to draw. The link to take part in the study is: https://survey.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/formSV_cMiOQgpbmi33U9f.

I remain entirely at your disposal if you have any further questions. Thank you for your attention,

Lucrèce Heux,

Doctoral Student/ Myfyriwr Doethuriaeth,

Swansea University/ Prifysgol Abertawe.



Challenging Times Ahead


We Could Never Have Imagined The Challenging Times Ahead Of Us

This time last year we could never have imagined the challenging times ahead of us – times that were going to cause great stress and great sadness for many people. We hope all our members, their families and their friends are keeping well and staying safe.

By the time this article is printed members will have received their Easter wishes and packet of “bee friendly” sunflower seeds. The flowers will remind us of our dear friend, Margaret, who brought a ray of sunshine to our WI with her welcoming smile and warm greeting.

Our link with each other remains ongoing via our telephone calls, e-mails, Glamorgan monthly newsletter and the WI Life magazine. No doubt members were very moved by the “Tales from the front line” featured in the recent edition of WI Life. The “Star Letter” in the same magazine was very uplifting, as it featured the President, Vice President and Secretary of Bricket Wood WI (Hertfordshire Federation) being involved with giving the vaccine to the staff of Watford General Hospital.

As soon as we are given the go-ahead for meetings to resume members will be notified straight away. In the meantime we are all looking forward to the time when we can be together again. Until then, think of happier, brighter, healthier, safer times in the days ahead.

If you are celebrating a birthday in April please accept our warmest wishes for that special day.

Until we meet again please remember – stay in touch, stay well and keep safe



American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins


“American Dirt”, by Jeanine Cummins


American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an immigrant to US with her son. At the opening of Jeanine Cummins’s devastating and timely novel, bookshop owner Lydia and her eight-year-old son, Luca, are the only survivors of a targeted massacre by the Mexican cartel that dominates and terrorises their hometown of Acapulco. Sixteen of their relatives have been shot at a family barbecue, including Lydia’s husband and Luca’s father, a journalist who had been investigating and reporting on the drug traffickers.

What follows is the story of a mother’s desperate attempts to keep her son alive, away from the cartel whose influence stretches across Mexico and from whom she knows they will never be safe. It is through their ordeal that Cummins humanises the migrant crisis, delivering a powerful portrayal of the extraordinary lengths people will go to in order to save their loved ones. It is a moving portrait of maternal love and an unflinching description of the experiences of displaced people on the move.

As members we really enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written, had powerful descriptions throughout and the turn of events were easy to follow. Although these were menacing at times and difficult to read, we persevered and appreciated its honesty. The characters were powerful and the main characters Lydia and Luca extremely likeable. We would recommend this book and gave it a score of 9/10. Chris Munroe



Library Life after Lockdown


Tel: 02920 594176 – during opening hours or wenvoelibrary@outlook.com

Like and follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/WenvoeCommunityLibrary

For general enquiries you can email us at wenvoelibrary@outlook.com



Click and Collect

Order online or phone in your orders on Tuesdays between 10-12 and we will let you know when to collect your books.

Library Life after Lockdown

Following almost four months of lockdown, the directors and volunteers of the library are chomping at the bit to bring the virtual world back to reality. We have not been sitting quietly but have been busy planning an exciting programme of events to include trips, visits, book sales, musical evenings, workshops, talks and of course the Village Show. We are sure that you are itching to join us on a bus trip – Covid permitting, we were initially thinking of Bath and Tenby. If you have any requests, please let us know.

Limerick Competition

Competition 8 – 12 year olds

Design an illustration for a cover for your favourite book. We will print the best entry in next month’s What’s On and display all entries in the library for all to see when we are next open.

Eager Readers Some of the new titles for children

Clwb Clonc – Our library’s Welsh language group were treated on March 12th to our second virtual storytelling session. A range of stories this time from the legend of the Unicorn to classics of Welsh Culture with a new twist presented by: – Fiona Collins – a Welsh learner who has been a stalwart of the storytelling community in Wales for many years; Gwen – an accomplished newcomer; Ffion Phillips – a young storyteller from Llanrwst who has a sparkling future ahead of her as a performer. Many thanks to Eirwen Malin for organising this event.

Sylvia’s Book of the Month.

The Paris Library by Janet Skelsien Charles

This book has been recommended to me. It is based on the World War 2 story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris. Reviews describe it as an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family and the power of literature to bring us together. I can’t offer a review as I have only just started it, does sound like a really good read. If anyone has read it, please send us your thoughts.

Quiz Time

This was written by James Harvey a sought-after quiz master from Singapore. Thirteen questions, thirteen answers, each answer begins with a letter from the words: WENVOE LIBRARY. Just to make it more challenging the letters are not in order.  If an answer has more than one word, use the first letter of the first word, e.g., if an answer was William Shakespeare, you would use the W. Tip: if you don’t know an answer, move to the next questions. As you eliminate letters it will narrow down the possible starting letters for the missing answers.

1.Tom Riddle was better known as Lord?

2.Short story writer William Sydney Porter used what pen name?

3.Which writer created the Famous Five and the Secret Seven?

4.What was Zadie Smith’s multi award winning first novel called?

5.What is the family name of the writers of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre?

6.Which Brothers Grimm fairy tale was used as the basis for the Walt Disney animated film Tangled?

7.What is the name of the fantasy trilogy written by German author Cornelia Funke?

8.What is the name of the main character in the His Dark Materials stories, played by Dafne Keen in the recent Tv series?

9.In Shakespeare’s play, the title character Timon comes from which European capital city?

10.Which actor played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film series?

11.What is the name of the Sally Rooney novel that’s just been turned into a TV adaption?

12. What is George Orwell’s real name?

13.What colour is the road that the heroine Dorothy has to follow in L Frank Baum’s fantasy novel, declared to be ‘America’s greatest homegrown fairy tale’?

Answers Here



Parsnip, Parmesan and Sage Bread

Parsnip, Parmesan and Sage Bread

(bread without yeast)


175g grated parsnips [prepared weight]

50g parmesan cheese, cut into 5 mm cubes [Parmigiano Reggiano]

1 rounded tbsp chopped fresh sage

225g SRF flour

11/2 level tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp milk

For the topping

25g parmesan shavings [same cheese]

a few whole sage leaves

a little extra flour for dusting

1 tsp olive oil

In a large bowl sift the flour and add salt. Mix together. Add the grated parsnip and toss in the flour to coat. Add the cubed parmesan cheese and chopped sage. Mix together. Add the milk to the beaten egg. Add this to the mixture a little at a time and mix together with a fork. You should end up with a rough, loose sticky dough. Transfer to a floured work surface and gently form a 15 cm round. Make a cross on the top with the back edge of a knife. Scatter the shavings over the top and dust the top with a little flour. Spoon the olive oil on to a small plate, dip each sage leaf into the oil and scatter over the top of the bread. Transfer to a well-oiled baking tray.

Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C fan centre shelf for about 45-50 mins until the crust is golden.

Serve as a snack with a crisp apple, celery and a soft creamy cheese.



Roasted Root Vegetables with Pitta

Roasted Root Vegetables with Pitta

(Ideal for vegetarians)

2 med sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges

15 baby carrots, washed and left whole

2 med red onions, cut into wedges

4 tbsp olive oil

2 courgettes, cut into thick slices, diagonally

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp chilli flakes

300g crumbled goats cheese

warm pitta bread to serve

Preheat oven 180C fan. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots and onion in a roasted tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for 20 mins. Add the courgettes and rosemary. Mix together vinegar, honey and chilli. Pour over veg and mix well. Roast for a further 15 min. Mix during cooking. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and scatter with the crumbled goats cheese. Mix well and serve with the pitta breads.



1 2 3 6