WENVOE COMMUNITY HUB
The draw for the Easter Raffle took place at midday on Saturday, 16th April.
Congratulations to the winners Chris, Harlech Road and Nicola, Port Road, who each won a hamper of M&S goodies. Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket. We raised a total of £464, all of which will go towards our running costs
Gordon ‘Mac’ MacPherson R.I.P.
Sue would like to thank all the wonderful neighbours and friends for their amazing support, cards, flowers, and donations not only after Macs sad passing but also over the last four years which has helped make our lives more bearable. Mac loved Wenvoe and would have been so pleased to see that so many people attended his farewell from the house and at the Crematorium. He will be missed by so many and has left a big hole in my life.
A big thank you for all the donations which has now topped £800 and will be split between the Stroke Rehab Unit at Llandough, The Stroke Association and Cancer Research. God Bless you all
In loving memory of Joan Kingston
3rd March 2022
Harry would like to thank family, friends and neighbours for their kind messages and sympathy cards after the unexpected and sudden death of Joan in the Health Hospital on the 3rd March.
Many will know her from Cambrian Residential Park, as Joan was a point of contact for many years, selling on behalf of the Wenvoe Scouts the Christmas stamps. A project she enjoyed participating in as she was an Akela many years ago.
Thank you for the sympathy and support shown to me and family during our sad loss.
DOGS TRAIL CARDIFF WITH SNOOPY
To celebrate Dog’s Trust’s new rehoming centre coming to Cardiff. A Dog’s Trail is a spectacular, free public art trail that runs from 8th April – 5th June. For 8 weeks the streets of Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, Caerphilly and Porthcawl are home to a series of intricately decorated Snoopy sculptures, each designed by local, regional and national artists , designers and illustrators – both well-known favourites and newly emerging talent .
Each sculpture is sponsored by a business or individual, celebrating the vibrancy, culture and creativity the region has to offer. The trail’s aim is to raise significant funding towards the work of the Dogs Trust so that they can continue to provide their services for those who need them the most.
A Dog’s Trail is a special event that promotes health and wellbeing, brings businesses and communities together and helps boost the regional economy across Cardiff, Caerphilly and Porthcawl.
If you haven’t already done so download the app for free and start ‘collecting’ all the Snoopy’s on the trail. There are 40 large Snoopy’s on display outside in the various locations and 75 miniature Snoopy’s created by local schools.
The Farewell weekend will be 17th-19th June where all the large sculptures are together on the City Hall Lawn – tickets are for sale for this event online.
The auction is the final event for the Dog’s Trail with Snoopy where the the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise funds for Dog’s Trust at the Coal Exchange, Cardiff 21st June.
We have our very own local artist who had her design commissioned for her Snoopy (entitled- ’Quit Dragon Your Heels’). Amy Bainbridge lives in Wenvoe and studies Illustration at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. Her design is on display opposite Caerphilly Castle and was sponsored by Caerphilly Council in a nationwide competition run by Wild in Art.
Well done from all your family we are very proud of your achievement!!
Redbrook /Offa’s Dyke
A walk near the Wales/England border, beginning in Redbrook, Gloucestershire, a typical English riverside village with church, village hall, local shop, post office and playing field. Quite pretty, with clean air, different from how Redbrook was in the past. It is now hard to believe that ‘it was once the most bustling little place imaginable’, but, since Roman times it has been a hive of industrial activity. First iron (smelting was first mentioned in1300), then copper and later tinplate were made here.
In the 17th century Britain was dependent on copper imports. John Coster experimented with new ways of smelting copper using coal rather than charcoal. In 1690 he established a coal fired smelter and by the late 1690s was producing 80 tons of high-quality copper which sold for £100 a ton and was used in wire and battery-ware.
The English Copper Company established works in Redbrook and secured contracts from the Government Mint to become the main supplier of blanks for the copper penny. The copper ores were roasted to drive off sulphur and arsenic and visitors commented that ‘a thick yellow smoke hangs over the works which is unwholesome and detrimental to vegetation’.
Centuries of metal making at Redbrook produced huge amounts of waste. Most waste products were recycled; furnace slag was crushed and sent to Bristol glass makers and molten waste from copper smelting was cast into black slag blocks, copings and quoin stones which were used in many of the local buildings and exported down the Wye. (In the19th century Swansea smelted most of the Britain’s copper and was known as Copperopolis.
In the 19th century Redbrook tin was the thinnest tin you could buy. The Redbrook tinplate company became world famous with demand coming from the United States for packing tobacco. The village ran to the works hooter and Redbrook’s residents lived cheek by jowl with the noise, smoke, and smell from the works until 1961 when they closed, unable to compete with the Welsh strip mills.
As we set off along the river Wye, a group of children were doing artwork in the open air. Colourful examples of their past work were displayed on a noticeboard. It was wonderful to walk through a woodland in bud and to see the water in the river sparkle in the Spring sunshine. Soon we found ourselves climbing steep slopes and scrambling over/around fallen trees. A huge number of tree trunks were piled up where a logging company had felled trees from the hillside. Our route took us through a large field; the first wildlife of the day was spotted, a small group of deer.
The spires of the impressive All Saints church at Newland could be seen in the distance and we walked across fields of ewes with lambs, and past a building with coloured pencils as fence posts before reaching the village. The church was open and contains many memorials and stones. There is a medieval chapel dedicated by King Edward 1st in 1305 which was appropriated by the wealthy Probyn family. The local pub derives its name from the Probyn family crest; it was thought that Ostriches could eat iron, so the bird is shown with a key in its beak, alluding to the Probyn family wealth which came from metal industries.
The graveyard attached to the church has several benches and there are alms houses on the boundary, but we didn’t stop as we had hills to climb before lunch. As we left through the lych-gate, we could see that most village houses are stone and full of character.
The fields were strewn with lady’s smock (or milk maids and various other names). It is an important food plant for the orange-tip and green-veined white butterfly.
We arranged ourselves over a group of tree trunks and stumps to relax in the sunshine for lunch with views of the valley below us. As we finished, the temperature dropped as a breeze started. We descended the hill to a road where a stream ran alongside. Following the road, we passed fishing lakes and a small holding with two turkeys in the garden. Then we tackled a steep hill finding goats at the farm at the top. On a narrow footpath next to a house, we spotted a sign ‘5mph Please drive slowly children playing and animals’.
From here there was a brilliant view of the surrounding hills, especially Sugarloaf and then it was mostly downhill back to the cars at Redbrook. Now we crossed the pedestrian bridge, beside a crumbling old railway bridge, over the Wye into Wales, to enjoy a well-earned drink at the Boat Inn. Here we could see all sorts of energetic people – canoeists who appeared to be a hen party, cyclists, and walkers. [Walk 7miles 1300ft – Map OL14]
April 2022 News Update
Looking back over the years, the “church news” has tried to keep all the community up to date with what has been happening in the church during the seasons of the church’s year. Why do we wish to do that, for those who go to church regularly will know what is going on, what has taken place and what is planned for the times ahead of us. That is not always the case and in the 10 years or more that it has been my privilege to report of church matters, the whole community is given the choice of reading the monthly reports or not, for as has often been said on this page, the church is the church for all the community. It is the rallying point for those of faith or no faith, when occasions arise that the wider community need a place to gather to say farewell to a friend or neighbour, or when a child is brought to be baptised or a wedding to be celebrated. St Mary’s doors have always been open for those who seek to know more about Jesus Christ.
The reason we have a church here is simply because over many generations in the past 800 years, the church has been there to take care of the poor and oppressed. Somehow these earlier members of the community kept the faith alive and growing during the most difficult of times, in our country’s history. The past ten years have been fairly typical of what has been happening in the country at large. We have seen priests come and go, our congregation is often to be said to be made of very elderly worshippers, but young families bring their children to our “Pebbles “ group. When “Messy Church” starts up again, the opportunity will be there to bring young and old together, in an attempt to support family life and “family togetherness”. The “Chattery Group” is an opportunity for those to meet up and talk about all sorts of things, for hospitality in any form is part of the tradition of the church which is offered to friend or stranger alike. We have had two years of severe restrictions due to COVID, when our church was closed for a time, and then allowed to re-open under the Welsh Government rules for gatherings, and yet thanks be to God we have weathered the crisis and we can now offer a Sunday service at 9.30 am when singing is not only allowed but is encouraged. Do feel free to join us, you will be assured of a great welcome, and if you are new to the village, do come and say hello.
The scaffolding has now been erected around the tower in readiness for the work of repointing to begin. The condition of the stone work of the tower was never great, and previous work over the years has revealed that many of the stones have been damaged by poor choice of materials and the application of cement based mortar, rather than a lime based mortar. It is thanks to the generosity of donations from local people as well as fund aiding organisations that we have been able to raise the money to carry out the repairs.
The contractors for the new interior lighting scheme hope to be on site in May to install the new and latest LED lighting units, which will completely change the way the church will be seen. This work has been made possible by the generous gift in the will of the late Ron Thomas, of Walston Rd, who with his wife, had been a worshipper at St. Mary’s for many years. His gift will greatly enhance the experience of worship in St. Mary’s as we will be able to highlight different parts of the church during the times of service, and once we get to know the different combinations of the lighting circuits, demonstrations will be possible on open days etc.
During May we shall be celebrating the 75th anniversary of Christian Aid with a house to house collection and other fund raising activities which Jude Billingham has written about elsewhere in “What’s On” Please give as generously as you can, in these difficult financial times when we are all facing huge increases in the cost of living, but we are in a much better situation than those who rely on organisations like C.A. where their standard of living is much poorer than ours.
The season of Lent came to an end with a glorious celebration of the Eucharist on Easter Day, when Kevin presided. The church was beautifully decorated with Lilies given in memory of loved ones and our organist Robert excelled himself with voluntaries and other pieces of music as well as the hymns, sung with much gusto. The preaching cross in the churchyard was once again decorated by Mike and Glenys Tucker, which announces to the world that there was something great happening, that Jesus has risen from the grave and is alive in the world. The Easter Garden in the porch was assembled by Brian Jones who with Sandra, his wife, arranged the supply of flowers for the church decoration. It is little acts like this that states that here is a live and active church, by no means a museum piece, also the flag flying from the tower and the bells ringing out all proclaim that here is a live breathing building with a welcoming church family awaiting to greet you all.
The Annual Church Vestry meeting of the Joint Church Councils of St Mary’s and St. Bleddians has also taken place and the churchwardens were elected for another year of office. The arrival of our new priest has been delayed for various reasons and the successful candidate remains under wraps until the announcement is made by Bishop June, but we are promised we will not have to wait much longer than is necessary.
St. Mary’s church is now part of the Ministry Area of De Morgannwg, all enquiries to Fr Andrew James of Dinas Powis, Tel No. 02920512555.
A ‘Poem’ by Bill Daniel
(not Pam Ayres, as originally thought)
I have a little Satnav, it sits there in my car. A Satnav is a driver’s friend, it tells you where you are. I have a little Satnav, I’ve had it all my life, it’s better than the normal ones, my Satnav is my wife.
It gives me full instructions, especially how to drive “It’s sixty miles an hour” it says, you’re doing sixty five. It tells me when to stop and start, and when to use the brake, and tells me that it’s never ever safe to overtake.
It tells me when a light is red, and when it goes to green, it seems to know instinctively, just when to intervene. It lists the vehicles just in front, and all those to the rear, and taking this into account, it specifies my gear.
I’m sure no other driver, has so helpful a device. For when we leave and lock the car, it still gives its advice. It fills me up with counselling, each journey’s pretty fraught, so why don’t I exchange it, and get a quieter sort?
Ah well, you see, it cleans the house, makes sure I’m properly fed. It washes all my shirts & things, and keeps me warm in bed!
Despite all these advantages, and my tendency to scoff, I only wish that now and then, I could turn the ‘bugger’ off.
OFF THE SHELF
Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner
This month’s book was Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner
This memoir was written in 2019 at the age of 87 by Anne Veronica Tennant, Baroness Glenconner. A British peeress who after a brief engagement to Johnnie Althorp, father of Princess Diana, was married at the age of 23 to avid socialite, and extremely wealthy Colin Tennant, the future Baron Glenconner. Tennant was part of the fast-living London set and a former suitor of Princess Margaret. He was a difficult, explosive man, and a philanderer whose idea of a Parisian honeymoon was to take his wife to visit a brothel.
Anne (Lady Glenconner) grew up with close connections to the royal family, her paternal grandmother was Edward VIII’s mistress, and her father was equerry to George VI. A confidante of Princess Margaret, she became her lady in waiting 1971 until the Princess died in 2002. She reveals many royal escapades in her book but does not disclose confidences. Soon after their marriage Tennant purchased the island of Mustique on which he gifted a plot of land to the Princess as a wedding present.
Lord and Lady Glenconner had five children, three sons and twin daughters. The couple were married for 54 years until Lord Glenconner’s death in 2010. For at least half their marriage they kept separate residences — hers in Norfolk, his in the Caribbean — and yet the marriage endured.
The insight into the Glenconners’ personal life was breath-taking. Tennant was handsome, witty, and a bully. He insisted on telling his wife about his holidays with his many girlfriends, he was mentally unstable and had several breakdowns. Lady Glenconner didn’t appear at all fazed at the arrival of an illegitimate son, fathered after Glenconner’s dalliance with an artist’s model. “I married all of my husband,” Lady Glenconner writes. “Colin could be charming, angry, endearing, hilariously funny, manipulative, vulnerable, intelligent, spoilt, insightful and fun’. Only a very few confidants apparently knew of the physical abuse she suffered and which she only divulged after writing the book
There was a final insult of mischief and malice from beyond the grave when it was revealed that Lord Glenconner had made a new will shortly before his death in 2010 aged 83 in which he left his £20 million estate, to his valet. The family contested this will, and after a legal battle that lasted several years, the estate was divided between the servant and the fourth Lord Glenconner.
Although autobiographies are not the preferred genre of some, the reading group thought this to be an entertaining read. Members objected to the excesses of Glenconner, but the group had great sympathy for the long-suffering author. Anne wasn’t a victim and was admired for getting on with life in her own way. The part many found most interesting was the author’s efforts in supporting her adult children. She suffered the death in adulthood of two sons; a third son Lady Glenconner nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. At such time, money didn’t help.
Overall, the group found the book to be good read and gave it 8/10.
Wenvoe WI met as usual on 5th April at 7pm in the Church Hall.
Once again, the Wenvoe WI gathered in the Church Hall for their monthly meeting on 5th April at 7pm. The Speaker for that occasion was their president who spoke about the enigma of the eleventh child born to Richard Duke of York and was destined to become King Richard III of England in 1483. Portrayed as a Machiavellian tyrant by William Shakespeare in his play ‘Richard III’, and having ruled for just two years, Richard was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 by Henry Tudor, heralding the commencement of the Tudor era. As Lord Protector of the Realm, Richard did much good for the poor of the land, upholding their rights against the greedy and wealthy Barons, by establishing a Court of Requests. Also, Richard founded the Kings and Queens colleges at Cambridge.
We were pleased to welcome several new potential members to our gathering, and the next WI meeting is scheduled for Thursday 5th May in the Church Hall at 7pm, which will be an Annual General Meeting, to be presided over by Caroline Davies, from the Glamorgan Federation Board of the WI.
Janet Young ( President)