Our local authority chiefs will have been delighted recently when their efforts to promote the Vale as a fantastic location for TV and film makers came to fruition. Film crews arrived in Barry recently for the production of a new Channel Four drama and there are strong rumours of similar sightings in Wenvoe in recent days.

The Barry film crew set up in a car park near Whitmore Bay for a new series ‘The Undeclared War’ starring Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg. It’s a six-part drama series about cyber-conflict, apparently based at GCHQ. Filming took place on the Island, within Barry Rail Depot, using the promenade and even some of the Beach Huts. Film companies are obviously taking note of the Vale website which proudly claims we are ‘a county of contrasts; miles of dramatic coastline backed by rolling countryside, small quaint Welsh villages, bustling market towns and large civic centres brimming with character and personality.’ It’s nothing new of course. The Vale was used as far back as 1959 when John and Hayley Mills visited to film parts of ‘Tiger Bay.’ Gavin and Stacey, Dr Who, Torchwood and many others followed. More recently, the 2018 Netflix hit Sex Education starring Gillian Anderson, filmed at the Paget Rooms in Penarth.

What about renting your own house out and getting the opportunity to meet the stars?

It’s not just our coastline and civic buildings these film companies are after. Film companies rent private houses, apartments and gardens. So this could be your chance to mingle with the stars. Brenda Blethyn, Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have all filmed in the Vale in recent years. If you prefer international superstars, that is also possible. The film Criminal starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and new Wrexham FC owner Ryan Reynolds, was filmed at St Athan in 2015.

If you are very lucky you could be approached with a note through your door. To be sure to join the latest craze though, you will need to register with a location agency and get them to assess your house or apartment for suitability. Send in good quality images and details of your property and surrounds, ensuring there are no pets or children in the pictures. From there, the location agency will market your property to potential clients when it fits a particular photo shoot or film brief. The agent will vet the company and project for you, ensuring that public liability insurance is in place.

You can mostly stay in your home during filming, which may often only take a few days, unless the director wants total secrecy e.g. ahead of a high-budget movie when you are offered hotel accommodation. Other important factors in getting chosen are the availability of ample nearby parking for film crews and your willingness to being open to allowing the film crew to redecorate inside or outside your home. They will of course make good on any changes done.

So what do you think? You could well be in your home sharing a pot of tea with Tom Cruise or then again is this ‘Mission Impossible?



Community Council Recommences


Community Council Recommences

Wenvoe Community Council will recommence face to face Council meetings from

17th June 2021


We request anyone who wishes to attend, emails their request to the clerk  as due to covid restrictions we will be limited on numbers in the hall. As such should several members of the public wish to attend regarding  the same or similar matter then only one group member be able to attend. At present we may not be able to accept all requests due to Covid hall limitations.


Covid precautions apply, as such please do not attend if you are feeling unwell especially if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid.  On arrival please pay attention to the signage around the community centre, scan the QR Code or provide your details to a Council representative . There is a one way system in place.  Please adhere to the following guidelines;


  • Stay at home should you feel unwell
  • Use Hand Sanitisers around the centre
  • Follow the one way system
  • Keep your distance – 2m social distancing is in place
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wash your hands


You will also be required to wear a mask which will only be allowed to be removed when seated  during the meeting, unless you can provide your exempt card.





May  Letters


May  Letters

(The EditorPen+inks 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. )








I recently had to undergo surgery to one of my
eyes. I would like to thank my wonderful friends and
neighbours for all their help and support. I would be
absolutely lost without them, and count my blessings
each day.
Thank you,
Carol Wyllie






I would like to thank all my family and friends
for the kind wishes and cards on the occasion of my
recent 90th Birthday.
Thank you,
Mary Turner






Whoever was responsible for the loud fireworks
on Thursday evening the 20thMay, should consider
the effect they had on the elderly people and the
dogs and animals. Not a good idea.
(Name withheld)




Walking  Books


Walking  Books

As Welsh Government Covid restrictions meant the Page Turners could not meet inside, it was decided to have a meeting in the fresh air and walk ‘n’ talk. The Page Turners met over Cold Knap, starting off beneath the railway tunnel as the rain pelted down. The rain disappeared, the sun shone and after a short ramble around the lake, the Page Turners stopped to discuss their last book choice…from December 2020.

The book under discussion was A Little Life”, a 2015 novel by American author, Hanya Yanagihara. The novel tells the story of four friends from college through to middle age, with a particular focus on Jude, who has a mysterious past which he is reluctant to discuss. It is a mammoth book about a difficult subject matter, yet achieved a ranking on the Guardian’s list of the 100 best books of the 21st century. Nicola described it as a challenging read and the Page Turners agreed it was a harrowing read as the abuse of Jude is described in great detail; although the novel is very well written, Babs summed up what people thought when she said she couldn’t wait to get to the end of the book. To be recommended if you want a rollercoaster ride through one man’s disturbing, traumatic and distressing past.



Big John Has Disappeared


The gregarious seven tackled an overgrown area at the top of Walston Road. One of the team found metal discarded in a hedge. There is no need to bother throwing metal away, just leave it outside your house and it will soon disappear.

We welcomed a new member, Gareth, into our midst. One of his tasks was to find big John who disappeared; he is still missing as this is being written!

Never mind, the rest of us will congregate on the village green at 9.30am on Monday 14th June.



Native Variety Water Lilies

Native Variety Water Lilies

If you are tempted to include a water lily in your pond there is a wide range of colours and types to choose from in the Garden Centres. But what about our native varieties?

One is the White Water Lily which looks just as you would expect a water lily to be. This is a common plant of still or slow-moving ponds, streams and canals but you would need a big pond to accommodate one. The leaves or lily pads can be up to 30cms across and the flowers 20cms – this is the UK’s largest flower. It can grow in water up to 5 metres deep. It has been used medicinally for centuries, including by monks and nuns as an anaphrodisiac.

Then there is the Yellow Water Lily, looking more like a huge Buttercup, and also called Brandy Bottle. Bees enjoy it which is great but, again, you need a very large pond or slow-moving stream for it. A good place to see it is the Glamorganshire canal at Forest Farm, Cardiff

The Fringed Water Lily is another variety and is the plant that the Wildlife Group have included in their newest 750 litre pond. It is native to certain parts of England but not Wales although it is well-established in some ponds, particularly on Gower where you can find it in Broad Pool. It is suitable for smaller ponds but botanically is not actually a member of the water-lily family. It is one of the Bog -Beans which you will also find in the same pond. Available to purchase locally.



Limerick Competition Winner


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Winner of the Limerick Competition

This year’s competition attracted the most entries to date. Thank you to Alina for judging them all. Her description of the winning entry was ‘It’s got the correct number of syllables for each line; it’s witty, pithy and gives us a slightly naughty picture of what was, perhaps, going on behind the heavy brocade curtains of some of the more sedate Wenvoe houses. Especially as I feel that Thoreau could drive some of us to Bordeaux, or Chateau Neuf du Pape, or even Pinot Grigio’.

Congratulations to Gareth Stone who wins a bottle of Prosecco.

There was once a village in lockdown

Held online events to ease meltdown

Reading books by Thoreau

Drinking wine from Bordeaux

Then dancing to music from Motown.

We Want Babies, Children and Young People to Love Wenvoe Library

Our children-friendly library is bursting with brilliant books and captivating stories to spark and inspire your imagination. The library has a variety of crafts, jigsaws, Duplo, Lego, games and great reads for all ages. Look out for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge at uk

When we have our new library (and a coffee area for mums and dads), we want to expand our services such as Baby Rhyme Time, storytelling for the under-5s, workshops and much more. We are working towards an exciting programme of activities. There’s already always something to do in the library and all you have to do is come along. Everyone is eligible for membership from the day they are born.

We would welcome your suggestions for future children’s activities.

Volunteer contribution

Alina Trigger recounts how the earliest prose stories of the literature of Britain became widely influential and remain to be actively read many centuries since they were written.

Literary Allsorts.

Whether read to, or reading by ourselves, we as young readers came across four small words that

invited us into a world of magic, mystery and adventure: Once upon a time…the quintessential ‘opener’ to a story.

Opening lines of a story or a novel can prove crucial. Many authors were, and still are, known to have spent an extraordinary amount of time giving careful thought on how their narratives should begin. Some suffer writer’s block until they have composed a suitable opening.

As the initial invitation into the world of a writer’s creation, they set the tone, be it ironic, witty, sinister, or a social comment. From Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter ‘openers’ often become the most iconic passages in a book.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in need of a wife. The witty and rather caustic comment indicates how Jane Austen will deal with the issues of manners, education and marriage among the landed gentry in early 19th century England. The reader is about to be treated to an elegant comedy of manners.

J.K. Rowling’s introduction to a series about a boy wizard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is ironic and smug. Mr and Mrs Dursley of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. She is telling her readers that ‘normal’ is boring. And how right she is.

George Orwell creates the ominous and unsettling atmosphere of a dystopian society with a seemingly simple opening sentence. It was a bright cold day in April – so far so good – and the clocks were striking thirteen. Something is wrong. The reader is hooked.

Marley was dead: to begin with. Immediately, Dickens hints that perhaps Marley is not totally dead and that there is more to Marley’s death than at first appears. And a wonderful story full of social comment and redemption unfolds.

No matter how great a novel might be, if the opening lines fail to capture the reader’s imagination, there is the possibility that the book may never be read. Opening sentences not only raise questions, introduce themes and the overall tone of the novel, but intrigue their potential reader.

What about famous last words? Ah, those will be for next time.



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