We parked near the Plough and Harrow Inn and walked straight across a sodden field towards Broughton. We wended our way to Monkton and across farmland towards the coast. Some of the fields were muddy and we soon had great clarts of mud on our boots making our feet heavy. Foot stamping and dragging feet through long grass cleaned boots as there were no puddles!
There was no wind, the air unusually still, and it was eerily quiet. Far off to the west we spotted a Murmuration. Joining the coast at St Donats, we turned towards Nash Point. We sat on rocks outside Atlantic College and stared out to sea eating our lunch. Someone spotted two heads in the water coming towards us and then carrying on across the bay. They stayed together and we could not identify them. People at the coast watch centre said, ‘great black backed gulls.’
At Nash Point we descended into the valley and a couple of peregrines took off as we arrived. It was high tide, so we kept to the cliff tops. There was not a ripple on the sea. The path inland at Monknash was slippery from heavy rain during the week. At the old mill the stream was full and the tufa quite spectacular.
The volume of water in a stream made some of us reticent to cross the top of a small waterfall but we did. The trees beside the stream were old and gnarled from the wind and their roots a foot or more above the earth A large horse followed us across a field, and we passed the remains of a mill, whose roof was replaced by a wacky hairdo of ivy.
Back at the Plough and Harrow, the Barry Male Voice choir, having a social lunch, burst into song as we waited to be served. With the roaring fire and Real ale to drink, what a great atmosphere to end a lovely walk.
Walk 6.6m 400ft Map OS151
Abercarn is in the Ebbw valley and driving towards a parking area, we passed a huge church, St Luke’s iron church. According to a foundation stone, it was built in 1923. It became redundant due to a dwindling congregation in the 1980s and although it is grade II listed it is now derelict (but in the care of Cadw?). Looking at photographs on the internet you can see that it was once a truly impressive church. Its architect was J. Coates Carter who was born in Norwich and is notable for his design and restoration of churches in S. Wales (including Llandaff cathedral and the Paget Rooms in Penarth). It is not clear who commissioned it, but it could be a Crawshay as they owned an estate in Abercarn. It is early gothic style with slim cast iron columns.
( See More Photos of Church https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/st-lukes-church-abercarn-south-wales-12-08-08.35494/ )
We set off downhill through leaf strewn woodland to running water, Nant Gwyddon, crossed a bridge and reaching the other side started climbing. We walked through mixed woodland accompanied by almost incessant bird song, it was mild, so Spring was in the air!
As we climbed the trees seemed to be older and the path was edged by beeches towering above us. Along an old hedge-line tree branches intertwined as they reached skyward. Roots penetrated old boundary walls and trees and stones were clothed in green moss with the roots clinging to the hillside.
Coming out onto open access land with open moorland, we could see the Pen y Fan area wreathed in cloud with Corn Ddu clearly visible in the distance. We kept looking at the scudding clouds in the hope that we would see the whole range and just before we arrived at woodland they cleared, and Pen y Fan peeped out of the cloud.
All the paths were good and flat underfoot but there was a fair amount of climbing so we waited until we were at the top of our climb before, we stopped for lunch on the wild moors. As soon as we stopped three scrambler bikes came past us and another two passed as we ate.
Resuming we started to descend, climbing over a fence and then a few trees blocking the path (felled to deter motor bikes). This wood was a fir plantation and as we emerged from the trees we could see vast swathes of land stripped of its tree cover by the forestry workers and evidence of erosion.. We spotted frog spawn in a pool, long catkins and tiny red flowers on a hazel, and fungi growing on a dark tree trunk and several sheep’s skulls.
The paths throughout the walk were in good condition, so we were able to stride out on the descent and we didn’t need to climb a single stile. Wonderful.
Walk 7.75m 1400ft Map OS152
Dear Readers, Welcome to this month’s report on the GOOD NEWS to be given to the faithful worshippers in St. Mary’s every Sunday at 9.30am.
By the time you are reading this page, we will have been in the solemn season of Lent since Ash Wednesday on the 22nd February when the traditional ceremony of “ashing” was carried out during the Holy Eucharist service at 10.00am. Perhaps an explanation will help those who are not regular churchgoers. ASH WEDNESDAY is called because on that day Christians in church will be marked with a cross on their foreheads with ash, derived from the burning of last year’s palm crosses, with the words “Dust thou art and unto dust will you return”. It is a reminder of our origin and our mortality, and is a sign of penance for the starting of our Lenten observance. Church teaching during Lent was for us to give something up, that has changed now to doing something extra, to help your neighbour with a task if they are unable to do it themselves. To greet a perfect stranger with a smile. To go out of your way when you come across a need that needs to be addressed. The first Wednesday in Lent is also St David’s Day, Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant and David is remembered for his teaching to his followers “TO DO THE LITTLE THINGS AS YOU HAVE SEEN ME DO” that still holds good today, and echoes the message of Lent to do something extra. Following the service, there will be an opportunity for some hospitality in the Church Hall with coffee/tea and Welsh cakes. During Lent there will be a service in church each Wednesday morning at 10.00 am and all are welcome to join the faithful who will appreciate the additional service in mid week, which is normally a more quieter service than that on a Sunday morning.
The other piece of GOOD NEWS is the publication of the latest edition of “CONNECTIONS” our quarterly Ministry Area Magazine, which is full of the activities in the nine churches since Advent of last year, together with all the arrangements for observing the period of Lent, to Holy Week and the major church festival of Easter itself. Copies are available in all our churches, and are FREE but donations towards the cost of printing are always welcome, and a copy is always placed in the library at the Hub in Wenvoe, where you can read it, but why not have a copy at home to keep all the events at your fingertips. We also provide a digital copy if that is more convenient or you can forward it to a friend who has a former connection with Wenvoe.
Last month we reported how the church was facing up to the increased cost of maintaining the church as a warm comforting place during these Winter months. We are not alone with this, as many other churches are facing the same additional costs, just as we are in our own homes. That message is worth repeating again this month..
We all know only too well how our household bills have risen as a result of the war in Ukraine and the cutting off of the supplies of gas from Russia has
increased the cost of heating our homes. The church is not immune from this and the rising cost of other bills to keep the church functioning is a real worry for church officers trying to balance the books at the year end. The church survives solely on the income that comes from the offerings on the collection plate, the scheme of Giving Direct via our bank accounts, donations, fund raising and our precious reserves. Our largest outlay is the monthly payment to the PARISH SHARE to the Diocese, to cover the salary of the incumbent and other expenses in the financing of the diocesan policies, so the question we need to ask ourselves is this….When did you last review your weekly giving to the work of the church? Since COVID and the lockdowns we are seeing fewer people at our worship, yet the bills keep rising for a church that is in every sense a church for the community at large. The church door is open to all, at most times and Vicar Lyndon welcomes enquiries about donations, large or small, to help today’s generation to hand the building on to the future generations yet to be born. As a Church we have good reason to be thankful to the many generations who have gone before us. Through their good Christian stewardship and generous legacies they have provided for the mission and ministry of the Church over many centuries, the fruits of which we continue to enjoy today. So another question we can ask ourselves is Have I made provision in my will to help foster the work of the church after my days. Congregations in every church are commended to remember their spiritual home to help the work of mission and ministry by leaving a legacy which can make a vital difference in maintaining a church that can be used by the whole community when the needs arise. Thank you for reading this and if you are able to donate a gift, however small, it will be gratefully received.
Mothering Sunday on March 19th. There will be an opportunity to join with our Ministry Area of De Morgannwg to attend the service of Choral Evensong at the Cathedral. This is very appropriate to be at the mother church of the diocese on this day, and expressions of interest will be sought with a view to providing transport to and from our churches nearer the time. The morning services will be at the usual time and maybe there will be flowers to give Mums and others to mark the specialness of the day.
Thank you for reading the church news. We launched the CHRISTIAN AID appeal for the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, donations can still be made via our secure letter boxes at the Church Hall and Church Porch. There is always a welcome to join our services. The church door is not a barrier but a threshold to joining a warm loving community ready to greet you.
Every Blessing and Peace
We expect to see sun, sea and sand at Barry Island on the Carers walk….so were surprised to see an arthritic spaniel exercising his legs by swimming around Whitmore Bay. Inspired and motivated by the dog, we doggedly strolled around both headlands on a calm, chilly winter’s day. Our new walker was welcomed to the group and tucked into a delicious ice cream at the end!
This is Wenvoe FC in the playing fields at Station Road in 1975. In the background is Whitehall quarry which was still producing stone at this time and to the left of photograph is the old cricket pavilion.
The old cricket pavilion . When the present village Scout Troop reformed in 1976 they used the building as their meeting place for around 6 months.
As always, we want to keep you updated on our exciting Parc Dyffryn proposal, the Pre Application Consultation has finished and the full planning application has been submitted. We’ve just created a Virtual Interactive Site Map on our Parc Dyffryn website, which is designed to bring the scheme to life to give locals a flavour of what could become a reality We have also included information on our hugely important Environmental Enhancement Plans for within the proposal boundary and for land outside the proposal. There’s loads of detail on the website so please do have a click around and explore You’ll also see a link to the Welsh Government website where you can view the Full Planning Application.
Link to Parc Dyffryn Website: https:// www.parcdyffryn.com/
Many thanks for taking the time, we really appreciate it
Jessica King Projects Coordinator
OTHER SOLAR FARMS
There are proposals for large solar farms at Dyffryn
known as Parc Worlton , Bonvilston, East Aberthaw
and Taffs Well
MP– Alun Cairns – email@example.com
Constituency Office 01446 748657
MS – Jane Hutt – Jane.Hutt@senyedd.wales
Office 01446 740981
Vale Councillor – Russell Godfrey 07927 5889240
Wenvoe Community Councillors
Chair – Janet Williams 07484 721168
Mike Harvey 07595 087022
Colin Thomas 029 2059 4237
Rhian Sexton 07778 536381
Rhys Jervis 07429 530288
+ 2 vacancies
Clerk & Finance Officer to the council-
D. Barrett 029 2059 1139
January and February Meetings of Wenoe W.I.
Wenvoe WI began the New Year in what has become something of a tradition for our members at our January gathering– a Bring and Buy Sale!
This was an event, whereby members brought their unwanted Christmas presents, or any reputable items from home, to be sold at ‘knock down’ prices. Items ranged from toiletries, photo albums and photo frames, to books, artefacts and kitchen ware. A member even brought a magnificent table lamp. The motto for the evening was ‘your junk is my treasure’, and we raised over £80 at the close of the evening.
Our February meeting, however assumed a totally different perspective in that we held a ‘Poetry Please’ evening. Members brought poems they loved ranging from ‘Albert and the Lion, ‘Naming of the DOG’, a Murder Mystery poem entitled ‘The Dorking Thigh’, poems dedicated to the onset of Old Age to the well – loved variety which Pam Ayres had penned. Several members read out their own compositions too.
This year is a special one for the WI movement in Glamorgan as it is the centenary of the Glamorgan Federation WI, and events are being planned across the county. Wenvoe WI too is planning, so please watch this space for more information.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 2nd March at 7pm, when the subject will be ‘The Trials of a visiting Hairdresser’, to be given by a local mobile hairdresser, Mrs Mel Wookey.
All new members are most welcome, so why not come and meet new friends and have a cuppa too
THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Gardening Thoughts From The Silver Foxes
The gardening thoughts this month come from the Silver Foxes, who meet their probation officers at the Library Hub on Fridays.
- Reduce the buds on roses for bigger blooms if you’re going to enter the village show.
- Cut back dogwoods and use the trimmings for pea sticks.
- Leave any bulbs growing in the lawn for at least 6 weeks after flowering before cutting back.
- Fill the runner bean trench with newspaper to help retain moisture during dry periods.
- Sweet pea seeds can be sown outside now.
- Split hostas before they start vigorous growth.
- Put fresh gravel around early flowering alpines to show off the blooms.
- Slugs will be on the march now and very hungry as well, so be vigilant.
- Place canes adjacent to tall perennials before they put a spurt on.
- If you could do with some excellent conversation and company then come and join us.
The 20th March is officially the first day of Spring but we know this can be cold and wet, so please don’t be tempted to rush to the garden centre and fill your trolley with all those lovely plants that have been grown in heated greenhouses. These plants will suffer badly when you get them home unless you have the right conditions to look after them. Nurseries and garden centres know this happens and will have replacement plants back in over the next few weeks so you can buy again when the first lot fail. Once the weather warms up, plants you delay in purchasing will catch up without fail. In Wenvoe we are lucky to have a garden centre on our doorstep and people want to support local businesses, just don’t throw your money away. We are encouraged to go peat free and from next year peat products in England will be banned for everyday gardeners. Professional gardeners will initially be exempt but a ban is planned for them too. Head gardener at Hestercombe gardens, Claire Greenslade, has said they are going peat free but the bedding plants that are purchased from nurseries are still grown in peat at present so, if you’re concerned about the use of peat, check that your supplier is doing their best to bring this practice to an end. British Soil based in Wenvoe have been peat free for a number of years and produce some good composts to grow plants from seed and to bring on young plants.
If some of your daffodils have not flowered it may be that the clump is overcrowded and may have to be split up. The main reason for daffs not producing blooms is that they are not planted deep enough, they need to be inserted at least three times the depth of the bulb.
One of the jobs that will give you a good return on your time is to remove the top 5cms of compost from your containers as this is where most pests, diseases and weed seeds congregate over winter. Replace with some fresh compost and a general fertiliser or, for roses, a balanced rose feed will give excellent results.
On the allotment they are still adding manure and preparing the ground. If the ground is too wet you are better off waiting as the ground will be compacted which will reduce the yield. Spring broad bean seeds can go in now as well as early potatoes. Be aware that there may be late frosts so don’t plant more than you can protect with fleece or cloches. One of the allotment holders is a renowned horticultural show judge so expect a critical eye on your produce at Twyn Yr Odyn.
There are plans for another Gardener’s Question Time in the Spring ( date to be announced). This will give you a chance to ask any questions you have and pick up some tips to enhance your love of gardening.
Upcoming events include the Spring plant sale Sat 29 April 10 – 3 at 29 Vennwood Close and the Wenvoe Open Garden Day on Sat June 17th 10 – 5.
Take care and happy gardening.