August Letters


My last Sunday School

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the children and Parents of Pebbles and the congregation of St. Mary’s for all the good wishes, cards and presents I received after my last Sunday School. It’s been a privilege to work with such wonderful children and their very supportive parents. I look back over the past 12 years with a huge smile on my face as I remember all the fun times we had, especially on Mothering Sunday and Christmas time. Who’d have thought the Incredible Hulk and Bat Man could be part of the Nativity! So, thank you again for being part of those memories which I shall always treasure.


I would like to express my sincere thanks to all our neighbours in the village for their kindness, moral support and practical help during Judy’s long illness and since her death on July 5th.

Keith Bryant

Kind Regards, Alison x


Here are some items of interest which appeared on the Wenvoe Community Facebook page.

Graffiti appeared on the footbridge the night of the 5th of August.

Many houses in the Redrow estate reported images of a cyclist trying car doors at 6:30 am on the 6th of August.

On the 16th August the Wenvoe Arms had cooking oil stolen from their backyard.

All these incidents have been reported to the police and some with photographic evidence and positive outcomes.

We all need to be aware of anti-social and potentially criminal incidents. Report to the police and also let Wenvoe residents know via Neighbourhood Watch and our Facebook page. We are all stronger as a strong community!

Thank you NHW


I think that What’s On should be politics free. Allowing a column by Andrew R T Davies is unacceptable unless you have balancing contributions from Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid and the Greens.



I would like to question the scope of our Wenvoe What’s On. As I understand it this is a local magazine for current (and former) residents of our community which, crucially, I believed was politically independent.

I was dismayed to see the Conservative party-political article written by Andrew RT Davies, in the August edition. If the magazine wishes to stray into politics it needs to be fair and equitable and I would also expect to see articles penned by the Welsh Labour Party, Plaid Cymru, Green Party etc. As the elected member of the Senedd for Vale of Glamorgan, can we expect an article from Welsh Labour’s Jane Hutt?

Waiting times in the NHS are clearly of concern; a strong, well funded and supported NHS should be the backbone of our society.

However, in my opinion, Andrew RT Davies’ article was biased and misleading and an attempt to score political points against the current Welsh Labour Senedd administration. Perhaps the Right Honourable Mr Davies, would also like to comment on the state of the English NHS where responsibility lies with the UK’s Conservative Government?

Please may I ask,in what capacity is Andrew RT Davies writing in our local magazine and as it is entitled a column, is it envisaged this will be a regular feature of future What’s Ons?

Whatever your political persuasion (or non), balance and objectivity is key to a thriving democracy.



You’ve probably received other messages about the inclusion of a column written by Andrew RT Davies, in the latest What’s On.

I have enjoyed many years of reading this magazine and one of the nice things about it is the absence of political themes.

If this column is to become a regular feature then surely you must find Labour, Plaid, LibDems, and Green Party members to make contributions too?

Or is the magazine going to become politicised just for the Conservative voters?

Denise Miles


I have always enjoyed receiving and reading Wenvoe Whats On and have appreciated the hard work that goes into producing the magazine every month. In that context I wonder if you can tell me if the Wenvoe Whats On non political and non religious policy has changed. I was very surprised to see an article from Andrew R T Davies in this months issue. It was called his column (without saying who he is) suggesting this was going to be a regular feature. The facts are that we have a labour led Senedd, a labour led Vale of Glamorgan council and a labour led AM for our area. Of course we have a local Conservative councillor. So if your policy has changed then there surely needs to be a political balance in the Whats On content.

I would prefer Whats On to remain non political as it has been for the 20 years we have lived in Wenvoe. If that’s not now the case I do think there needs to be an explanation in next month’s Whats On.

I look forward to hearing from you. Keep up the good work.



Hazel Nut Brownies

Hazel Nut Brownies

Box of 16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

250g pack salted butter, plus extra for greasing

250g golden caster sugar

225g light muscovado sugar

100g cocoa powder

4 large eggs

100g SR flour

85g chopped hazelnuts

4 tbsp hazelnut liqueur [Frangelico or Disaronno]

Unwrap the chocolates, place on a tray and pop into the freezer. Heat oven to 180C fan. Lightly grease and line base and sides of a 21-22 cm square tin with parchment. Put the butter, sugars and cocoa into a large saucepan and gently melt together, stirring regularly so the mixture doesn’t catch. Once the sugar granules have just about disappeared take off the heat and tip into a large bowl, scrape out with a spatula and leave to cool for 5 mins. Use a whisk to beat the eggs one by one into the mixture. When they are completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth and shiny, stir in the flour, hazelnuts, and liqueur. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 mins. Remove the tin from the oven and use a cutlery knife to mark out 16 squares on the top of the brownies. [Don’t cut through it’s only a guide] Using a spoon to push a little dent into the centre of each square and add a frozen Ferrero Rocher chocolate into each dip. Return to the oven for 3 mins, then remove and cool completely. Once cool, cut into the 16 squares


Creamy Sausage Cannelloni

Creamy Sausage Cannelloni

[Half term one for the kids ]

1 tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

pack of 6, quality sausage, squeezed out of their skins into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

300ml double cream

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

small pack basil, leaves shredded

8 sheets fresh lasagne

125g ball mozzarella

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion for about 3 – 4 mins over a medium heat. Add the sausage chunks and cook for another 5 mins to brown all over. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min before stirring in the cream, mustard, chilli flakes and seasoning. Cook for another 2 mins then stir in the basil. Heat the oven 180C fan. Divide the sausage chunks and some sauce between the lasagne sheets and roll each one up. Arrange in a casserole dish, spoon over the remaining sauce then top with the mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 20 mins until the pasta is cooked and the mozzarella gooey and crisp at the edges


A Beautiful Summer’s Morning



On a beautiful summer’s morning the team tackled the border at the front of the Community Centre. After a job well done, Brian produced a bottle of Champagne to celebrate his birthday, while Glenys made a cake to wish Brian and Sandra every happiness in their new home and thank him for his service to the group. To be honest you would need to travel far to meet a nicer man.

Two new members joined the team this month, which will help us in keeping the village tidy.

If you are interested in the headgear worn by the team in the photograph, it will be on show at the scarecrow festival.

The next outing will be on the village green at 9.30am on Monday the 12th September



The Environment Team have put the anvil and vice from the old Wenvoe blacksmith’s shop on display adjacent to the Church Hall. The blacksmiths was located on the corner of Walston Road and Old Port Road opposite the church. The bungalow on the site is called The Forge and there is a well still in the garden. The team was given consent for this by the Community Council









My “Antiques Roadshow” Moment


This is a tale of serendipity perseverance and self-confidence. In 1988 while rummaging around a second-hand furniture shop in Canton I came across a copy of “South”, Sir Earnest Shackleton’s account of his fateful 1914 Trans Antarctica Expedition. It had a very attractive cover and having read bookshelves full of books on Travel and Exploration in my teens I knew a little about the expedition. I bought the book for the princely sum of 50p. Although the Trans Polar expedition failed it became one of the greatest tales of heroism and survival in the history of Polar exploration. The Endurance became trapped in the ice, was crushed and eventually sank. The tale of how Shackleton managed the rescue of the whole crew without loss is a great read especially the account of the incredible 800-mile voyage across the Southern Ocean in a small boat.


I hadn’t noticed at the time, but the book turned out to be a First Edition albeit a second impression. I was intrigued by the inscription on the flyleaf which read

“To Vince from those who appreciate his worth and villanies” (sic)

And signed J G McIlroy and F Wild

Research showed that Frank Wild was second in command to Shackleton and McIlroy was the expedition surgeon. Further detective work revealed that “Vince” referred to crew member John Vincent. Vincent had been recruited as Bosun but because of his aggressive behaviour Shackleton had demoted him to Able Seaman. He was one of only a few members of the expedition that was not awarded the Polar Medal. This explained the reference to his “villanies”. I deduced that this volume must have belonged to him. Because of this provenance it occurred to me that this book might be of value to a collector of Polar memorabilia but for me it became part of my small collection of first editions.

Some years later I faced up to the fact my book collection would likely end up back on the shelves of some charity shop or even the skip. It was time to cash them in. Cue The Antique’s Roadshow coming to Cardiff. After queuing for an age, the specialist book expert declared that my book was not a first edition because it was a second impression. It was quite interesting because of the inscription but he didn’t think it was worth much. I was convinced that he was wrong, but he was the expert. So, disappointed, the book went back to my bookshelves.

Fast forward to this year, 2022, the centenary of the Shackleton Expedition. There was a massive amount of interest in the press and media which peaked when the wreck of the Endurance was found largely intact on the floor of the Weddell Sea. Much was written about the expedition and especially about the epic 800-mile rescue voyage of the small boat, “The James Caird”. By this time, I knew that John Vincent the original owner of my book, had been one of the five members of Shackleton’s crew on this voyage. I figured that there would never be a better opportunity to find a buyer for the book.

This time I emailed a few auction houses specialising in rare books. Most resulted in lukewarm interest, but one responded quite excitedly and suggested that I include it in their July auction. They put in an estimate of £1000 to £1500. Bingo. I was right. It was quite a valuable find.

Came the day of the sale we watched online. Lot 66. It seemed to take ages to get to it, but too excited to risk missing it we had to watch from the beginning. The bidding opened with a commission bid of £2600. Wow! then, £2800, £3000, amazing. … and finally, as the hammer came down, £4000. Take a breath.  Time to break out the Prosecco. I just knew that a book with such a provenance had to be worth a lot to someone and I was proved right. There are so many societies and Polar organisations, one of them surely would have valued it. Success!

I don’t know who bought my 50p find. I like to think that it went to somewhere like the “Scott Polar Research Institute” and that someday I would be able to see it again. In truth, it’s a bit sad. Of course, the £4000 was exciting and was very welcome but it just vanishes anonymously into a bank account and is forgotten whereas figuratively speaking, the gap on my bookshelf remains. I miss it.

But now the blood is up. Next to go will be my first edition of Bruce Chatwin’s “In Patagonia”. I know this is worth a couple of bob. Then my major project is to convince some art gallery that my original but unsigned Fauve oil painting of Collioure is genuine and worth in my estimate upwards of £2,000,000. I was right last time. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Alan Williams



The John Caird

The Scott Polar Research Institute
Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge » Our present

Original film of the expedition
In cinemas: South: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Glorious Epic of the Antarctic (1919) | BFI

Re-enactment of the Boat Journey


First Anniversary Of The Stroll

The Stress Buster Strollers

Burnet moths, swans, ducklings, a St Bernard puppy, spectacular sunflowers and a stray dog were all features of the Stress Buster strollers amble around the lake gardens and knap promenade. And don’t forget the chatting and Welsh cakes that were shared to celebrate the first anniversary of this walk!!


Danger And Uncertainty Or Creative Energy?

Considering tomorrow today

Danger and uncertainty or creative energy?

In a speech in Cape Town in June 1966, Robert F Kennedy said: ‘There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.’

We are again living in interesting times:-

  • The consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is pushing up the cost of living throughout most of the Globe
  • The supply of energy, particularly to highly industrialised Europe, has been shown to be insecure and there is a real chance that this winter may bring power cuts and restrictions
  • The Covid pandemic has left “Governments” internationally with fewer resources to provide public services or support its most vulnerable population groups, and one suspects that SARS-CoV-2 isn’t done with us yet!
  • In the UK inflation is at its highest level since the 1970s and forecast to rise. Coupled with other factors we face an Economic scenario that has no precedent with no tried and tested roadmap to improvement
  • The “Climate” has thrown up some extreme weather events as if Gaia (Earth Goddess) is reminding us we must act to protect her.


Potentially depressing isn’t it? But please read on as we can together, hopefully take steps along the “creative energy” path to a climate friendly and more mutually prosperous future.

In recent decades in Britain natural gas has been at the heart of both energy generation and domestic heating. With growing awareness of the need to develop more renewable energy sources policy interventions appeared, e.g. the purchase of solar panels for provision of household electricity was made viable but as the policies began to achieve their effect, interventions were withdrawn and investment in solar at the domestic level had a much longer term payback. Currently however quite suddenly the sums have changed again and interest in alternative energy is once again picking up.

  • However several elements of the process create barriers to decision making:-
  • Technical detail of equipment is unfamiliar to many
  • Schemes are set up differently so it’s hard to compare
  • Some householders have not been made properly aware of the impact of such installations on resale of the house
  • The market is now growing quickly and there isn’t a big cohort of reputationally reliable providers
  • Some apocryphal horror stories abound and pitfalls can be hard to see.


The same could be said for the installation of heat pumps to replace gas central heating

The community could actively help each other with some of these issues particularly through sharing their own experiences. Without getting into the legal minefield of making commercial recommendations or technical specifications those who have already installed alternative energy systems could share stories of what went well and what disappointed them, what they would have done differently, and report on whether they actually got the amount of electricity they were promised etc. The information would be invaluable to those making difficult decisions. Even buddying up with someone else who is also considering an installation to talk things through could be helpful.

The Forum is exploring how it can facilitate this process. If you have experienced the purchase and installation of a solar panel scheme or a heat pump that you are willing to share in conversation or as an anonymised written case study, we would like to hear from you. Please e-mail; your e-mail address will go no further without your permission. You may be able to help someone else get on the road to a more climate friendly future. We look forward to hearing about your experiences good or not so good.


We will be at the Village Show on 10th September, please do come and see us. There will be a stand with information, competitions, art activities for children and an opportunity to tell us what you think about Wenvoe and its future.

To join our Facebook group, please ‘friend up’ with the Gwen Fo account @ and then jon the Wenvoe Forum @

Some further information and updates, blog site

Any Wenvoe community member is welcome to join the Forum meetings, via Zoom, which are normally held 19.00 on the second Thursday of each month. E-mail if you wish to join.


Focus on groups at the hub


Tel: 02920 594176 – during opening hours or

Like and follow us on Facebook at:

For general enquiries you can email us at

Focus on groups at the hub

For the next few months, we shall be highlighting the activities of the various groups who meet regularly in the Hub

Clwb Clonc – 11 am on Mondays in the Hub

Eisiau magu hyder i ddefnyddio’r iaith? Ydych chi’n siarad Cymraeg ond wedi colli’r hyder i ddefnyddio’r iaith? Neu Ydych chi’n dysgu Cymraeg ac eisiau ei defnyddio? Cyfle gwych i chi allu ymarfer y Gymraeg gyda phobl eraill sydd eisiau magu hyder i siarad Cymraeg.

Do you want to build your confidence in using the Welsh language? Do you speak Welsh but have lost the confidence to use the language? Or are you learning Welsh and want to use it? This is a great opportunity for you to be able to practice the Welsh language with other people who want to gain confidence in speaking Welsh.

Under the umbrella of the old library, our weekly Welsh conversation group first met about six years ago with the aim of enabling first-language speakers and learners at all levels to maintain and develop their confidence in conversing in Welsh. We now meet in the Hub allowing learners the opportunity to improve their Welsh language skills in a welcoming environment. We have close links with tutors and learners from the Welsh learning centre in Palmerston, Barry, who frequently attend.

This isn’t a formal class setting and although help is at hand from more experienced speakers, the ‘grammar police’ are not going to pounce on learners mistakes. It’s just a chance to converse through the medium of Welsh at one’s own level within a supportive group. We meet throughout the year at 11 am on Mondays so just turn up for a warm welcome.

To help develop your reading skills we hold a variety of Welsh language books in the Hub for adults and children, especially easy reads for learners.

The group is very enthusiastic, and plans are in hand to put on a bilingual Noson Lawen (an evening of mirth) to celebrate St David’s Day.

Some members’ comments:

  • I love Clwb Clonc, it helps with my Welsh learning enormously. The group is so supportive, and you can buy a great cup of coffee.
  • I really enjoy attending Clwb Clonc. Speaking with others has helped me to improve my Welsh. Everyone is so welcoming, and it is a great opportunity to meet others who want to speak Welsh.
  • I say go for it. A hub in a village to meet Welsh language fans. A chance to join in and enjoy a cuppa with friends.
  • Clwb Clonc is a good start to the week.
  • Great to meet so many people keen to learn/take up Welsh. Hwyl.
  • I really enjoy this group, it is friendly and supportive

• I’ve been learning Welsh for five years and attend Clwb Clonc every week. It’s very enjoyable and has positively helped my progression.

Other language groups

Building on the success of Clwb Clonc, we have been approached to host similar language conversation groups e.g., French, German, and Italian. So far, we have enough for an Italian group which we hope to commence in the Autumn. If you are interested in attending a language group, please email us or leave your details at the Hub.


A Cuppa with a Coppa at the Hub

Stephen Davies our Police Community Support Officer met up with us in July to address any policing issues we had as a community. This was a well attended group. The main message we received was that the police will remain unaware of local crimes and incidents if we fail to report them. PCSO Davies urged us to report any non-urgent incident either by phone to 101 or by leaving a message online at describing the incident.

Next meeting 2 p.m., Wednesday, September 14th at the Hub when PCSO Davies will give a report of incidents across the whole village and take time to listen to your concerns

A Key Plant For Wildlife

A Key Plant For Wildlife


It features in John Constable’s famous picture, The Hay Wain. It made an important and powerful wand in the Harry Potter stories. Its pith has been used by watchmakers for many years. Its flowers are used to make a rural ‘champagne’ and the berries a jam and wine. Cultivars can be seen in many Wenvoe gardens. And there is much, much more we could write about this small tree which, if you have not already guessed it, is Elder.

In the Hay Wain you can see a small tree growing by a wall on the edge of the cottage and this has been identified as Elder, emphasising its importance to country folk. Herbalists used it – in the 16th century, Gerard recommended its seeds for those who were too fat. It was often planted close to cottages as it was believed to ward off the Devil but may also have helped because its ability to absorb water might have reduced the incidence of damp.

It is a key plant for wildlife, the berries consumed by more bird species than any other native tree although mammals tend to avoid them. It is second only to Ash in the number of Bryophytes (mosses and lichens) it supports. However, you should not see it in any of our orchards except for the Wild orchard. It is believed to inhibit the growth of sweet apples, plums and pears etc. so the recommendation is to avoid having it growing there. Our Wild orchard is made up of native trees which have co-existed with Elder for thousands of years and you will see Elder there growing alongside Crabapple, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear and Bullace.

Unspectacular and easily overlooked, Elder is a key plant in our countryside both for wildlife and for its rich cultural history. For more on this topic try articles by Jeff Ollerton e.g. British Wildlife vol 33, no. 6.


1 2 3