Give Blood Today



Over 2000 blood donation appointments are available this autumn at the Barry Memo Arts Centre and Copthorne Hotel. The Welsh Blood service are looking for new and existing donors to support them over the coming weeks. Approximately 350 donations of blood a day are required by Welsh hospitals and the Welsh Blood Service is calling on support from local communities to make a significant difference to thousands of patients’ lives.

Blood and its by-products play a vital role in saving lives, with donations helping accident victims, patients having a kidney, liver or an organ transplant, pregnant women, leukaemia and cancer patients, someone about to undergo open heart surgery or premature babies in need of a vital blood transfusion.

It’s easy for anyone aged 17 to 66 to book online and become a lifesaving donor. From start to finish, the donation process takes up to one hour, with the physical blood donation lasting only 5-10 minutes.

Give blood today, visit to find all donation sessions in your area and to book an appointment.

For further information and to register on line please visit or alternatively call 0800252266

October 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. )


The majority of Wenvoe dog walkers are considerate but recently my neighbour told me that she had seen someone park their car outside my house and let her dog (on a lead) come into my garden to do its business. Then she put the dog back into the car, made no attempt to bag the deposit, and then walked her child off to school.

This is not acceptable behaviour. Why should I or my neighbours have to clear up after other people’s animals?

Please be considerate whoever you are. You have been seen.

Name supplied to Editors


I would like to say a huge “Thank You” to the ladies of Wenvoe WI for their very generous gifts, lovely card and Pam’s special poem that I received at our September meeting when I stepped down as their President. It was all a wonderful surprise and I was totally overwhelmed by the kindness shown to me.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have been the President of our local WI for many years during which all committees and all members have given me their continuous support. Everything we have achieved has been the result of good team work.

The time is now right for me to step down. I would like to take this opportunity to give my very best wishes to Janet Young who has very kindly agreed to be our new President.

Madeleine Rees


My family and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their kind messages received after the sudden loss of Gareth in August. Reading the many cards and letters gave us great comfort.

Special thanks also to Jon Ormrod for his kindness and support.

Sandra Davies




Walking for 25 Years



Thursday October 7th. A circular walk based on Barry waterfront and Barry Island. About 5.5 miles. Meet 1pm by the Village Hall.



In 1996 a chance remark to Bert Bates from two village ladies at a coffee morning, who asked the question ‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a walking group as we don’t like walking by ourselves?’ The seed of a local rambling group was sown.

Bert asked John Custance, who was a Ramblers Leader, what he thought of the idea and together they decided to hold an open evening to gauge the amount of interest in the proposal. 15 people attended and discussed ideas. It was decided that it would be an informal group of people who shared a common interest of walking together.

In the past 25 years the group has probably walked every ridge and a vast majority of countryside footpaths within a 50 miles radius of Wenvoe with various leaders. They have walked local long-distance trails, had weekends away and walked abroad. One year a group of over 30 villagers and friends spent a splendid week walking in Corsica.

Within a few years of its formation the group settled into two sets of walks on offer. Bert offered a monthly Thursday afternoon walk, mainly locally of around 5 miles, and different leaders have led Saturday walkers ranging over hills and dales with a variety of distances and difficulty.

Over the years many friendships have been formed amongst the walkers. Regrettably some of our friends have passed on and others now find their health curtailing their enthusiasm for walking.

After sounding out some of the original participants of the group it was thought it would be nice to have Walking Groups’ Silver Jubilee Reunion with a chat over coffee and a short stroll, for those who can manage it. We will meet at Marco’s Coffee Shop in Porthkerry Park, Barry on Thursday 14th October at 2.15pm.

If anybody would like a lift please contact Jacky Custance on 07858 555302



Reducing Air Pollution



Reducing Air Pollution and Carbon Emissions

Last month we wrote about harmful pollutants that may be hiding in the Wenvoe air. Much of the time roads through the village are quiet but at peak hours traffic pressures combine with HGVs and vans with diesel engines, people using Old Port Road trying to avoid queues, parents doing the school run. Those parts of the village that are close to the busy Port Road will also experience higher levels of emissions. What can we do, as village residents, to reduce the pollution?

At its most basic, reduction of air pollution from vehicles is obvious. Reduce the time engines are running. Let’s start with the quick wins:

  • Reduce the number of vehicle journeys. Plan your vehicle use to minimise trips. Walk, cycle or use public transport if you can or share vehicles.
  • Reduce the mileage and time of journeys. Choose to use local services and make journeys when the roads are quieter.
  • Keep engine running time to a minimum. Make sure all the passengers are ready to depart, before you start the engine. Don’t leave the engine idling. On a public highway this contravenes the Highway Code and is liable to an on the spot fine of £20.


You may have all these things in mind already and they make good sense. If we each find one extra reduction we can make, it will make a difference.

Let’s think in a bit more detail. Firstly, considering the centre of the village, especially as the school is at the heart of the densest traffic and therefore our youngest residents are at greatest risk. Consider walking to activities within the village rather than driving. For most people it’s only a few minutes’ walk to school, church, the library, the shop, the Wenvoe Arms. The school is already in a scheme to promote walking to school which has many advantages beyond pollution reduction – well done Gwenfo Primary. The Forum will help if we can.

No-one is going to blame anyone for jumping in the car when it’s raining hard, and those a bit further away might have to adopt other strategies but every vehicle journey saved will improve the air. In time we are likely to be moving to electric cars which will help, though still create some local pollution through brake and tyre particles and asphalt dust.

Turning off engines whilst stationary makes a difference. Some car models do this automatically but if you are going to be stopped for a minute or more it’s worth turning off the engine. Be conscious and conscientious! Some of the vehicles left idling while passengers are in the shop come from outside the village. With the help of the Vale of Glamorgan Project Zero team who met with us all in July, the drivers of council vehicles at the Alps Depot have been alerted by senior managers that they need to switch off their engines. We are exploring signage to ask other drivers for the same courtesy.

We hope to be able to measure the air pollution and wouldn’t it be nice to declare Wenvoe a VERY LOW pollution zone? We are told it adds to house values. Perhaps in time we might be able to put signs at each end of the village to deter those who use the village to dodge queues on the main road too.

Turning to those parts of the village nearer the main road which are predominantly used by non-Wenvoe residents, it may feel that pollution in these areas is outside residents’ control. Working on the basis that every little helps all, the suggestions already made still hold true. It is possible that we can do more.

The Welsh Government plans to introduce legislation in 2023 on reducing the speed limit to 20mph in many places that currently have a 30 mph limit. Initial research showed that the public is generally supportive. ‘There is evidence that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and a reduced severity of injuries, as well as bringing environmental benefits by decreasing emissions from vehicles and by encouraging active travel.’ (Beaufort Research 2021)

There is a public consultation exercise and Wenvoe Forum will submit its comments. As well as supporting speed reduction, we will also highlight how our community is divided by a busy through route which will retain a much higher speed limit. We will underline how the lack of safe crossing points impacts on residents and restricts their capacity to walk or cycle safely and reach public transport provision. We will stress that consideration should be given to providing road crossings as part of the plan. Any roll out of this plan and decisions on which 30mph zones will be lowered will involve the local authority, so we will also copy our response to the Vale of Glamorgan LA.

This development is in an early stage. As it progresses, we can try to shape developments to provide the most benefit to us and our environment.

If your What’s On is delivered in time you can personally respond to the consultation which closes on Oct 1st

We will keep you informed of other opportunities to influence. Comments and new members welcome.

List of Suppliers: Other ways of reducing vehicle miles are to plan your weekly menus and have food and goods delivered. Back at the beginning of lockdown the wonderfully community spirited team behind Wenvoe Community Support Group Facebook page created a list of traders who will deliver to Wenvoe. We have added to and updated it and you can find an expanded version on our blog Please let us know if we’ve missed anyone.

@ForumGwenfo; e-mail Facebook: Gwen Fo @ Wenvoe Forum @;




Dickensian Fayre



Wenvoe Playgroup are organising a Dickensian Fayre at the Village Hall on Sunday 5th December, to raise funds for the playgroup. The fayre will feature Father Christmas and the Salvation Army Band. There will be stalls featuring local small businesses. So if you make cakes, crafts or sell produce we would love to have you there.



Wenvoe Playgroup are organising a Christmas Fun Run on Sunday 19th December in the village. All children between the above ages are welcome to enter. All will receive a tee shirt for taking part. If you would like to sponsor the event or help out on the day we would love to hear from you.


For information please contact Russell Godfrey or Tel: 07724827496 or Louise Williams




September Meeting Notes



Our meeting on 2nd September was a “Welcome Back” occasion after 18 months with no monthly meetings. Retiring President Madeleine welcomed everyone. A special welcome was given to our Advisor, Barbara Bowring (who is also the President of Barry Highlight WI), our new member Alexandra Griffiths and our visitor, Debbie Tanner.

Our member, Paula Johnson, recently received 2 highly commended certificates for her photos of Summer Holidays. Well done Paula!!

The meeting commenced with a minute’s silence during which our thoughts turned to Margaret and Gloria who sadly passed away in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Margaret was our Vice President, a former President, a former Treasurer and our only founder member. Although Gloria was unable to rejoin us this year we shall remember them both with great fondness.

Members were delighted to see Avril present and now well on the road to recovery. We were pleased to learn that Pam Cockerill has now had her second cataract operation and we are looking forward to welcoming her back soon.

The Officers for 2021-2022 were elected and are:-

President – Mrs Janet Young, Vice-President – Mrs Madeleine Rees, Secretary – Mrs Pam Ewington , Treasurer – Mrs Debbie David. Committee Members are Mrs June Davis and Mrs Jean Woodman and also Mrs Pam Weavers who was welcomed “aboard” as a new committee member.

At this meeting Madeleine was stepping down after being our President for many years. On behalf of all members our Secretary, Pam, presented Madeleine with a lovely shoulder bag, a generous Marks and Spencer voucher and a poem, created by Pam herself, along with a Thank You card. She was delighted but totally shocked and overwhelmed by the kindness shown to her. Members were thanked for all the support they had given Madeleine over the years and for their continuous hard work, which was all greatly appreciated.

It was time to hand over to our new President, Janet Young. Janet was thanked for kindly agreeing to be our President and was welcomed into her new role.

The programme for 2021-2022 was discussed and members welcomed the opportunity to add their names to the “Poetry Please” list for the next meeting on Thursday, 7th October at 7pm. Members will be informed of the location of our next meeting but hopefully we will be back in the Church Hall. We are looking forward to hearing members favourite poems and we will also be taking orders for our Fish and Chip Supper in November.

We are extremely grateful to Jenny and Digby, of the Wenvoe Arms, for allowing us to use “The Barn” for our September meeting and would like to express our thanks for their kindness.



The Icehouse & Chepstow Racecourse

To the Icehouse

A larger group has walked a couple of times this month, though these events haven’t been advertised in What’s On as we are not ready to open the group to all comers yet. Bert and Gwyn Bates are doing a sterling job of offering local walks, once a month, mid-week.

Our first walk started at the Village Hall, went through the tunnel in Vennwood Close and across fields to Wrinstone farm. We passed through the woods to the Michaelston-le-Pit track and after entering Michaelston took a path heading east, again over fields to pass some rather nice houses. The last stretch of this path has been closed over the summer while a huge wall is constructed next to one of these houses and there were 3 foreign workers, still labouring as we passed. Arriving at the road we crossed to view the Icehouse, with boards across it to stop anyone falling in. We came back by turning left down the road past the houses and through a field which must have been a glorious meadow in the summer. There were beehives standing at the back of it. A brief walk across fields to the Michaelston road and we returned to the village via Salmon’s Leap.

We retired to the garden of a couple in the group and had a picnic in glorious sunshine. It was wonderful to be together again and have a good natter with cake. Walk 6 miles.



Around Chepstow Racecourse

We parked in Chepstow Leisure Centre, with the intention of doing a circuit of the racecourse and headed out to the road where we saw what felt like hundreds of people striding out on a sponsored Macmillan walk. It seemed that their route was to and from the racecourse (no doubt longer than ours).

We set off through a housing estate and along a busy road. We passed a tiled plaque describing Llangynfarch, St Kynemark. Augustinian canons established a small medieval priory here in the 13th century. The name derives from a Welsh Prince Cynfarth whose 7th century church was near here. The Augustinians led a quasi-monastic life without the rigours of strict discipline. Their church was dedicated to St John the Baptist. Excavations in the early 60s found traces of the Priory’s 13th and 14th century buildings.

On entering woodland, we saw lime kilns and signs explaining that they were felling ash trees. Beech trees were in abundance and a lone willow stood to one side with a stretch of Himalayan balsam, whose seeds are said to be edible and a bit like capers. The tree-lined drive to Rossfield farm looked attractive and as we walked past the house, we decided there were probably at least 3 residences. The garden had a brilliant tree house complete with a bridge and rope ladder. As we travelled across a field, we spied some Muntjac deer running next to Briers Grove; for some reason they couldn’t find their way back to the wood when we interrupted their grazing.

At Oakfield stud farm they were haymaking, the fields golden brown. The gates at this stud farm are a particular style having an extra piece added to their tops. St Arvans is a pretty village and terraces with names like Squirrel Cottages and The Row. A Victorian drinking fountain, which residents raised £30 to purchase, stands in the centre of the village. A nearby tree was presented to the parish on the Golden Jubilee of the Women’s Institute movement in 1965.

Continuing we found a huge lime tree that was hollow on its northern side. We climbed a hill so that we had excellent views of Chepstow racecourse, the Severn estuary glistening in sunshine, both Severn bridges and England. A good place for lunch.

Entering woodland, we were soon on the Wye valley walk. Lover’s leap gave us our first view of the river Wye and the steep cliffs of Lancaut on the opposite side of the river. This walk along the Wye is delightful, though there are some steep drops (not great for vertigo sufferers). Travelling through woodland we passed standing stones, a cave, a grotto, Piercefield nature reserve, a viewing platform (which didn’t have a view) and the Alcove from which we could see the river Wye steeply below us, Chepstow castle and the Prince of Wales bridge. The grotto was originally lined with crystalline minerals, iron and copper slag and according to an 1816 visitor ‘We found the grotto full of gay ladies and gentlemen’. It was built into the side of an Iron age hillfort.

Arriving back at the car park there is an information board; you could use this to do a short walk along the Wye Valley Walk. The full walk is 136 miles, so we did about 3 of those! Then we headed to Chepstow Garden centre to enjoy tea in the garden.

Walk 6 miles, 500ft. Map OL14



October News Update

October News Update

The church is now open for worship without the need to book your place in the congregation. We are still required to sanitise our hands on entry and leaving, to wear a face mask and keep social distancing.

This last condition is probably the most difficult to adhere to, for when any congregation gathers, having been prevented from doing so for such a long period of time, it is the most natural thing in the world to greet and converse, taking time to catch up on all that has gone before. Singing is now allowed, wearing a face mask, and somehow we raise our voices in praise, so we are getting back to a new kind of normality. Come and experience this for yourselves. You will be very welcome.

The fundraising for the repair of the tower is gathering apace, with the results from a number of fund-giving bodies expected during the month. We are extremely grateful for the response from those who have already donated. The work is being delayed until next spring when the lime mortar can be applied without the risk of any frost. The recent appeal for old and unusable IT appliances to be recycled brought a great response and filled the church hall kitchen to overflowing. We await to hear whether this will bring in funds for the appeal. We must also thank Mike and Glenys Tucker for organising their “stones for the tower” appeal. Do support them; fund raising is a thankless task, and as a well know multinational grocer, puts it “every little helps”.

However, like many things in life, we now have an additional problem with the church clock. Time is standing still on the Wenvoe clock. For some time the hands were stopping at ten to three each day. The clock people, Smiths of Derby who installed the clock in 1883 and have maintained it ever since, have examined the linkage etc and their report is likely to say that somehow the hands of the clock are fouling each other, causing the stoppage. Their report has been received, and the cost of repair is likely to be in the region of £16,000 inc VAT. Funding will be sought from recognised fund holders for church clocks, and the work will be carried out at the same time as the scaffolding is on the tower next year.

We have been opening the church on Saturday afternoons for visitors to see the freshly painted walls and chancel ceiling, and also to see the renowned wall monuments to the Thomas/Birt/Jenner families of Wenvoe Castle. These monuments are among the finest in South Wales and date from 1636-1824. The carved and gilded reredos at the altar was designed by the renowned church designer and architect Sir John Ninian Comper and was gifted to the church in 1901. The restored Victorian tiled floors complete the image of the church that the church restorers of the 19th century wished us to see. Although at the time, the restorations and improvements did not meet with general approval. But times change and we are the grateful inheritors of much that has gone before.

Our children’s “Pebbles” group has been meeting since early September and what a joy it is to see the youngsters back in church. It has been 18 months since they were last in church, and how some of them have grown! We welcome new faces as they join in the activities in the church hall under the guidance of the leaders and the parents. “Pebbles” is from 9.30am each Sunday morning during term time. There is always space for new faces. All are welcome.

We continue to support the work of the Food Bank in Barry and wish to thank those who make regular weekly donations to the food boxes in the church porch. The donations are collected from Wenvoe and Sully every Thursday morning, and they are most gratefully received for the families in the Vale who find themselves in difficult circumstances beyond their control. So, thank you for your help and support. Please keep the donations coming. Diolch.

The work towards the setting up of the Ministry Area, nine churches united to bring Jesus’s love to the Community, continues with the introduction of a weekly bulletin for the Ministry Area which is known as De Morgannwg. These are available in all nine churches, setting out the times of services and what is happening during the week. We are now nine months into the preparations and setting up of the various groups to bring us all into one large Christian family when the Bishop’s Decree is signed on 1st January.

A great welcome is assured to all from our Parish Priest and Churchwardens.

Parry Edwards



Watercress and Bats

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Watercress Beds at Goldsland Farm

We are delighted to welcome the Cardiff Rivers Group who specialise in opening waterways and who will be helping to clear the watercress beds at Goldsland Farm. This is a historic site with newspaper reports from mid-Victorian times telling how women would walk from Cardiff, gather the watercress and then walk back to sell it in the city. It is a haven for wildlife and watercress still grows there although eating it would not be recommended. Initial work will be to start to clear the vegetation and cut back the willows. Regular visitors will start to see changes in the coming weeks. The photo is a painting by Zoffany of a Watercress Seller.

Barbastelle  Bats

We continue with the Barbastelle project aimed at recording this rare bat which has yet to be found in the Vale of Glamorgan. So far large amounts of data have been analysed and there are plenty of bats, Pipistrelles, Noctules and Myotis species but no Barbastelles – but it is still early days. Visitors will start to see changes to both the Upper Orchid Field and the Community Orchard as annual cuts and seed-gathering machinery work their way through the sites



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