September Letters


Ref: Andrew RT Davies article

I am writing further to letters in the last issue of the What’s On with regards to the article by Andrew RT Davies.

Firstly, I would like to apologise if this caused offence.

The idea was to get a view from the Senedd with regards to local issues, the title of the article should have been A View from the Senedd. Andrew’s office have apologised for both the topic written about and the title of the article.

This was never meant to be a party political article.

I asked the What’s On editors to include a view from both the Senedd and Westminster. I thought it would be of interest to the community.

In the 28 years I have lived here, to my knowledge no other party has ever made any effort to include anything in the What’s On.

Yes, I am a member of the Conservative Party, but as local ward Councillor, I am committed to representing all members of the community whatever their political views are.

My one and only objective is to represent the community I live in to the best of my ability and ensure we have the best facilities possible.

I hope this clarifies matters for all concerned.

Your sincerely

Cllr Russell Godfrey


We would like to thank fellow dog walkers and neighbours who have asked after Andy through his recent illness. He passed away peacefully at home last month surrounded by family. Our family have been supported throughout by City Hospice and Marie Curie staff – all of which were superb.

Sue, Rufus, and family – Greave Close


All the family of the late Melissa Jayne Davis, nee Ankin, would like to pay a huge thank you for all the wonderful support given to Melissa before and after she passed away on 7th July aged 46. Melissa fought bone cancer very bravely and remained at her home with all her family. Melissa was born in Wenvoe and lived here until she married Mark, then lived in Barry with Rhian, their fourteen year old daughter. Rhian is now going to do the Shine Night Walk for Cancer Research on 7th October in Cardiff with Linda, Shirley, friends and school mates in memory of Melissa who was well loved and is truly missed by everyone. So many happy memories to never be forgotten. With heartfelt thanks for everyone’s support.

Marilyn and Terry Ankin and all the family


Tucker’s Christmas Reindeer Sale


Mike and Glenys invite you to come along to their 4th annual Christmas Reindeer sale on Saturday 19 November from 10.00am to 4.00pm at 29 Vennwood Close. Apart from the stars of the show there will be some lovely things to buy and a festive atmosphere to get you in the Christmas mood. We are being joined by some local crafters on the day and will be holding the usual raffle with some excellent quality prizes (including a luxury food hamper and a home baked and decorated Christmas cake). Once again, profits from this and from the sale of some crafts, will be donated to our charity of choice, the Wenvoe Wildlife Group. Between you and us there might be a visit from a gent in a red suit on his sleigh! There will, again, be home made cake sold by the slice and all craft tables will be under the cover of decorated gazebos. Why not join us and pick up a reindeer and some Christmas spirit! These have become collectors items so start making a list of people who deserve one as a gift. We would love to see you.

A Round Up Of Activities

Considering tomorrow today

A round up of activities

We had a great time at the Wenvoe Village Show. Well done all those Wenvoe Hub volunteers for rekindling it after the restrictions of Covid over the past couple of years. This year’s at times, very hot and very dry weather has made it a surprisingly difficult one for gardeners, especially inexperienced ones but the show gave motivation for some to expose their hard won produce to keen eyes of judges. It is a lot of hard work to organise but a lovely opportunity to get together.

The Wenvoe Forum decided to join in and we had a stand set up outside in the car park and provided some information. We spoke to lots of people about the various things the Forum has been involved with recently and for those of you who weren’t there here is a round up.

Maybe it was the warm afternoon and the thought of a cold beer that set the agenda, a lot of people were interested in the Community Hop growing. A few Forum members and others in Wenvoe have been growing hop plants in their gardens, harvesting them and sending the cones to join the crop of the Community Hop growing group in Cardiff. They are made into a delightful green hop beer provocatively called Taff Temptress, brewed by Pipes of Cardiff. The Forum has an aim of recruiting enough local growers to brew Wenvoe’s own community beer. Judging by the interest at the show and the new growers recruited, we might not be so far away. If you want to join us e-mail

Along with most of the world, we have been focussing on energy recently and have been asking residents to complete a survey for us. We are trying to assess what we can do to help people in this coming winter when energy prices are going to be so high. We do know the answer would probably be “cash” but in the long run we have to learn to do without fossil fuels and other carbon creating heating, lighting and cooking methods. The real answer is to use less energy altogether and now seems a perfect time to accelerate the process of learning how to do that. Our survey offers different ways in which we might be able to help for the community to prioritise what the forum develops. Please complete it by 31st October, you will find it on our blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress. com/ or we will leave some copies at the library and please pass it back to the library or e-mail it to us To encourage you to complete and return a survey, each that includes a name, will be entered into a prize draw for a bottle of wine.

On our table at the show we had a recording of Manny Ebubedike’s thorough rundown of a host of energy saving tips small and large. The recording is a must listen and you will find it via our blog site.

One way we can help was mentioned last month. Tackling some of the bigger alterations and installations that will help reduce energy use and keep those bills down is a daunting prospect, full of potential pitfalls. The community could actively help each other with some of these issues by sharing their own experiences. Those who have already travelled the path could shine a light for others. One of the activities we will be undertaking is creating a few case studies and making them available on our blog site. If you have experienced the purchase and installation of a solar panel scheme or of a heat pump or improving insulation, and you are willing to share the story whether good, bad or indifferent as an anonymised, written, case study, we would like to hear from you. A forum member will interview you and do all the hard work of writing it up. Nothing will be made public without your permission. Please e-mail, your e-mail address will go no further without your permission. You may be able to help someone get on the road to a more climate friendly future.

To help keep children interested while their parents or grandparents were talking to us at the stand, we held a free guess the name of the bear competition. So now this delightful little bear has a new home and is called Embo.

Fundraising to Replace Memorial Bench

Fundraising to Replace Memorial Bench Destroyed in a Storm.

I am sure that many of you are aware that the attractive, and well used memorial bench on the village green was sadly destroyed in a storm in November last year. The bench was in memory of my mother, Audrey Rees, and was donated to the village by myself and my father in 2010. It goes without saying that it has been heart-breaking to see such a well-cared for, and appreciated bench, in memory of a close family member, destroyed by a falling tree. A bench which I personally used to take the time and care to thoroughly clean and oil every year.

I know that the bench on the village green is much missed by the village as a whole. I would love to replace it with an identical one. A replacement bench would cost £1,220. I have therefore launched a fundraising campaign, to hopefully raise the amount necessary in order to replace it. Any donations, whether they be large or small, would be gratefully received. Donations may be made in the following Gofundme crowdfunding campaign: https://gofund. me/4a825edc

Should any donations be raised in excess of the target amount, these would be donated to a worthy cause, namely the Wenvoe Environment Team. The Environment Team help to maintain the village green, and any other community areas around the village which need attention.

I thank you for your time, support and kind words.

Esther Rees


The Derivation And Meaning Of Place-Names



The English name ‘Highlight’ first appears on maps in the 16th Century – during the reign of Elizabeth 1st – as the name of a farm. Before that time, the name was Welsh – ‘Uchelolau’. The name ‘Highlight’ was obviously an attempt at translating the Welsh name – but unfortunately, it was erroneously translated – although this incorrect version was adopted and has been used down the centuries to this day.
The original Welsh name – Uchelolau – is made up of two elements – ‘uchel’ and ‘olau’. ‘Uchel’ is an adjective – still used today – which means ‘high’ – so that part of the Elizabethan translation was perfectly correct. The problem lies with the second element. There is a Welsh word ‘(g)olau’ which means ‘light’ – and this is what was used in the translation to give us ‘Highlight’.
BUT, ‘olau’ also has another meaning (just as ‘bark’, for example, has more than one meaning in English). ‘Olau’, at one time, was used as the plural form of ‘ôl’ which means ‘mark/ footstep/ track’. (Today we use ‘olion’ as the plural of ‘ôl’). So ‘uchel’ + ‘olau’ correctly translates as something like ‘high track’.
I think ‘Ridgeway’ would be a more correct translation of ‘Uchelolau’.

This is obviously an example of a bi-lingual name – made up of two elements with the same meaning – ‘bryn’ and ‘hill’ – a perfect example of tautology!
This phenomenon can be seen in place-names which are centuries old. The name Chetwood in England is made up of two elements – ‘chet’ from the Celtic/Brythonic word ‘kaito’ (which has given us ‘coed’, meaning ‘wood’ in Welsh) and the English word ‘wood’.
Then we have Bryndown near Dinas Powys – ‘bryn’ – the Welsh word for ‘hill’ followed by ‘down’ meaning ‘hill’ of course – as in The Downs at the top of The Tumble – and Gibbonsdown, meaning Gibbon’s hill.
Another obvious example is the River Avon. ‘Afon’ is the Welsh – or old Brythonic – word meaning ‘river’.
Bredon Hill in Worcestershire is an example of triple tautology. It is made up of three elements, all with the same meaning – ‘bre’ from the Brythonic or Celtic word ‘bryn’ meaning ‘hill’ – ‘don’ from the Old English word ‘dun’ again meaning ‘hill’ – followed by the word ‘hill’ itself!
But Torpenhow Hill in Cumbria takes the biscuit! It is made up of four elements – all meaning ‘hill’. ‘Tor’ is from Old English, ‘pen’ is from Brythonic and ‘how’ is from Old Norse. Then the word ‘Hill’ is added for good measure!

There are plenty of examples of this phenomenon in all parts of the world and I’m sure many will surprise you – Lake Tahoe (Lake Lake), Sahara Desert (Desert Desert), Mississippi River (Big river River), Faroe Islands (Sheep islands Islands), East Timor (East East), The Rock of Gibraltar (The Rock of the Rock of Tariq) and many more.

Next month – Merthyr Dyfan, Holton, Buttrills, Tregatwg/Cadoxton. Môr Hafren/Severn Estuary.

Ann M. Jones


Village Hall News

Village Hall News

We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone to celebrate 100 years of our Village Hall. Over 18s only, as we have a licensed bar.

You are welcome to bring your own snacks, however, please do not bring your own alcohol as it will be in breach of our licence. Carrier bags may be checked on entry. Thank you.

Many tickets to this event sold in August and they are selling fast. It’s sure to be a great night. See you there.

We were hoping that the Children’s Halloween Fancy Dress disco would have returned this year. We are sorry to say, as Halloween is in school half term and many of our volunteers are away, we are unable to offer this.

We are holding our Christmas Draw in December, so please keep a watchful eye out for draw tickets (available from Committee Members) in November.

We rely on support from all of our residents in the village to keep the hall up and running. If you are unable to support by attending an event or purchasing raffle tickets, as a Registered Charity we can take donations anytime of the year.

The hall relies on hirers rents, fundraising and kind donations for its up-keep. Without the support of a Voluntary Management Committee the land the hall stands on would be handed back to the landowner and demolished.

I have personally volunteered for 28 years and I know there have been many residents over the past 100 years who have fought to keep the hall alive with fundraising efforts, not to mention finding the funds to have it rebuilt in 1974 and for the continual roof repairs from 1996 to date.

A big thank you to all past and present residents for doing such a great job in supporting efforts to keep the Village Hall going for 100 years. Well done and THANK YOU ALL .


Hedgerows – Small But Mighty

Hedgerows – Small But Mighty

Described by the Woodland Trust as ‘small but mighty’ these are ‘the most widespread semi-natural habitats in Britain’. We mean, of course, hedgerows. Taken for granted by most people they bring a huge number of benefits as have been described by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species. Soil erosion is reduced as a hedge lessens wind speeds which can blow topsoil off a field and this helps to minimise the pesticides which can accompany the soil into our watercourses. Pollution is also reduced from herbicides which can be washed off fields in the same way. The severity of flooding can be minimised as hedge plant roots improve the ability of water to penetrate the soil but the roots also themselves suck up some moisture. Biological pest control comes from all the spiders, beetles and birds for whom hedges provide shelter. Climate control benefits from the ability of a hedge to absorb carbon and a well-managed hedge can provide some wood fuel. The benefits of a hedge extend to 16 times its height so a 2-metre hedge spreads its help to some 32 metres over the adjacent land. The warmer soil brings benefits to livestock as lamb mortality from hypothermia is reduced and during hot spells cattle are kept a little cooler. Crops are also helped with warmer soil and the host of insects which pollinate the crops. Many species of wildlife, including Dormice, get an advantage from the corridors provided by a hedge rather than ending up in isolated pockets.

In spite of all this, farmers were once incentivised to grub up hedges and since 1950 we have lost 118,000 miles of hedgerow in Britain. Nowadays planting a hedge can attract grant money but there is some way to go. Many people may be able to help by planting a stretch of hedgerow in their garden or replacing an existing hedge which may just consist of Leylandii, Privet or Laurel which brings limited benefits to wildlife. A traditional hedge often included a mix of Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Ash and Oak with extra fruit from Bramble and Guelder Rose (pictured). The Scouts are planning to plant some more hedgerow at Goldsland Farm this Autumn so if you would like to help, look out for more details in the coming weeks


August 2022 Book Choice

“Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight “- An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller gives an insight into growing up within a dysfunctional family in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe at the time of the bush wars. She tells us about her experiences – many of which are harrowing. She gives details of an unruly and chaotic life; her mother was an emotionally remote woman, who was eventually diagnosed with manic depression. However, the author tells her story with humour and honesty and her memoirs are fascinating. It does include references to the family’s racism and their attitude to the black community in which they were living.

Most of the group felt that the book was well written and that the author recalled her childhood memories in detail. We talked about the lives of the family and the author’s relationship with other family members. A few of our group had lived as ex-pats in African countries and this led to a full discussion about their experiences while living there. It was generally felt, however, that although Fuller had lived with and

accepted apartheid as a child, she made no reference in the book to it being unacceptable now that she is an adult and living in another country. The book received mixed reviews from the group and these views were reflected by our overall scoring a of 6/10.


Tips From The Farming Community


This month’s tips are from the farming community

Madeleine Rees

  1. Save your used compost and add some N.P.K fertiliser. It will be better than you get from suppliers, until they shape up. You only need good, new compost for sowing seed.
  2. Plant a green manure crop on any unused ground.
  3. Buy British and stop the pests coming in on imported plants.
  4. If you grow some comfrey, you will have feed for your plants all year.
  5. Make sure you have some sort of greenhouse shading for next year.

Viv Jervis

  1. After using your hedge trimmer make sure you brush the blade with new engine oil. The blades will not become sticky thus saving power.
  2. As the years catch up with us all, remember to take the phone with you when out in the garden.
  3. When starting an allotment, it’s a good idea to plant potatoes as they help clear the ground.
  4. Hoeing regularly will make gardening less of a chore.
  5. Be sure to spray weed killer on bindweed before it dies back, so that it takes it back to the roots.

Time to start clearing the borders of bedding plants ready for winter flowering pansies etc. If you have pelargoniums and some space to keep them frost free, then remove flowers and cut down by half. They don’t need much soil or water, but they do need a bit of space for ventilation otherwise grey mould will set in. If it does you must remove infected plants. They can, of course, be kept on a windowsill where they will flower for ages. October is a good time to divide perennials to give you some free plants. Cut everlasting sweet peas down to the ground. Dahlias can be left in the ground in our part of Wales as long as it’s not constantly waterlogged – just cover with mulch. If you want to dig them up then make sure you remove all soil and put upside down to dry before storing, do the same thing with begonias. They need to be stored in a cool dry place away from frost.

Prune roses from now on. Climbing roses need some care when cutting back by making sure you tie in stems horizontally so they will produce side shoots for next year’s flowers. Remove any damaged stems. With shrub roses just take the clippers to them and cut down by half to stop wind rock over the winter which can open up the base of the plant and allow water in which could freeze and kill off the rose. On the subject of roses, the environment team cut back the roses on the village green three times, mainly to prevent them obscuring the visibility at the junction with Walston Road. This proved highly successful with shorter stems and a profusion of flowers.

Collecting seed at this time of year is so worthwhile, just make sure you dry them and, most importantly, label them.

Mr JCB Alun Arthur has offered this advice for anyone with a compacted conifer hedge. To keep it healthy you need to wash it through in Springtime using a hose to clear the debris as this will allow the hedge to breathe.

October on the allotment is a mixture of harvesting and planting. Some are planting sweet peas for next year. Not Herbie, he would never plant a flower where he could grow a vegetable. He is planting broad beans, onion sets and garlic. There is still time to pot up runners from strawberry plants.

Take care and happy gardening


A Little Life  – by Hanya Yanagihara


A Little Life  – by Hanya Yanagihara


This is a long read that is beautifully written. Set in New York, it follows the lives of Jude and his three male friends after university. Jude is the main character and as the novel progresses the effects of his disability and the horrors of his childhood slowly unfold. He is alone in the world, consequently his friends, especially Willem, are particularly important. It is not a book for the faint-hearted. The extent of emotional and sexual abuse can make it a difficult and upsetting read. Jude is highly successful in his business life and with the loving support of his partner Willem, he is able to tell his story. It is both sad and happy, clearly important to an understanding of the life-time effects of childhood abuse.

Some of us found this a very hard read. Others thought it was upsetting but gripping and quite a page-turner. This is reflected in a score of 7.

Tricia Coulthard


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