Garlickly Lamb with Peppers and Couscous & Chicken Pesto Crumble

Garlickly Lamb with Peppers and Couscous

  • 2 x 110g packets flavoured couscous [ or plain ]
  • 50g bought or homemade garlic butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 4 lamb leg steaks
  • 250g peppers seeded and cut into strips
  • 20 – 25 Kalamata olives
  • handful of fresh mint or flatleaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, squeezed.
  • 4 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Melt the garlic butter in a large frying pan over a med heat with one tbsp of the oil. Add the lamb steaks and fry for about 4 mins each side. Mean-while tip the couscous into a heat proof bowl and pour in 400ml of boiling water and the remaining oil. Stir, cover, and set aside for the water to absorb. Tip the peppers and olives into the pan with the lamb. Roughly chop the herbs, add to the pan, and continue to cook until the lamb and peppers are cooked. Pour in the lemon juice, season. Toss the toasted almonds into the couscous and stir to mix. Serve the couscous and top with the lamb.


Chicken Pesto Crumble

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic cloves
  • 1 jar of readymade pesto
  • 700g baby new potatoes
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 550g tomatoes chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 175g mozzarella diced
  • Tabasco, to taste
  • 85g fresh white bread crumbs
  • dressed mixed salad leaves to serve

Cut the potatoes in half if large, boil in salted water for about 10 – 15 mins, drain well and set aside. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch-wide strips. In a large fry-ing pan fry the chicken and onion in 1 tbsp of oil 2 – 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 6 – 7 mins over a med heat, stir in the puree halfway through. Stir the potatoes into the chicken mixture with the mozzarella and the pesto [add to taste]. Season and add a splash of Tabasco. Spoon into a large gratin dish. Crush the garlic and add to the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil. Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and cook in the oven preheated to 170C for about 35 – 40 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve with the salad.




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Congratulations Amy Bainbridge

We turned out in force to congratulate Amy for gaining a first-class BA Honours degree in Illustration. Amy was presented with a book token by Claire Ellis who along with Amy has been volunteering with us since Wenvoe Community Library opened in 2016.

Talks at the Hub

Our monthly talks will recommence on Friday the 22nd of September at 7p.m. with Robert (Bob) Bird’s talk entitled A Short History and Measurement of Time. Bob is a fellow of the British Horological Institute and will give an entertaining historical perspective on time and reflect on his 38 years’ experience in restoring mechanical time pieces including a surprising link to Wenvoe.

Tickets are available now at £3 from the Hub.


Here are some new books recommended for you

Nonfiction. Close to where the Heart is by Malcolm Alexander. Set in the wild and remote landscape of Eday, Part of the Orkney archipelago, this book is an honest tale of rural life from the only doctor on the island.

Crime.Triple Cross by James Patterson. A killer smites undercover of darkness, triggers no alarms, and leaves no evidence behind. Alex Cross faces his toughest case yet.

Romance. – One Time Love by Taylor Jenkins Reid. From the New York Times Best Selling author, an epic love story

Cuppa with a Coppa

Our next meeting with our Community Police Officer is at 2.30p.m. on Wednesday 27th September.


We continue with our monthly group meetings and welcome new members to join us on Friday 8th September at 2p.m.

Stitches Monday 1-3

Bring your hand stitching or knitting/crochet’ quilting, embroidery project and chat with like-minded crafters over a cuppa..

Group feedback – We have several weekly meetings at the Hub. Here a few words to sum up what the Stitches group feel about meeting up with fellow crafters:

Companionship, sharing skills, meeting friends, we’ll have you in stitches’.





Flora, fauna, fungi and fruit all featured on a fun filled,
friendly walk at Cosmeston this morning. Moorhen
babies, coots, Canadian geese, apples and blackberries
were all spotted on our walking safari. Who needs the big
5 in Kenya, when we have all this birdlife on our


“A Terrible Kindness” by Jo Browning Wroe

“A Terrible Kindness” by Jo Browning Wroe

This debut novel promoted an interesting and lively discussion between the Page Turners.

William Lavery is a young, recently qualified embalmer who has joined the family business. When news of the disaster at Aberfan reaches him, he immediately volunteers to attend and it becomes his first job as an embalmer. The care and compassion he shows to the mostly young victims of that terrible tragedy, was beautifully portrayed, but had a profound effect on William’s life, to the extent of leaving his wife in later years because of his fear of having children of his own. He is forced to face up to his own issues concerning family and friendship which had been left to fester over many years rather than being dealt with. The book proceeds to become William’s biography.

Following the death of his father, an undertaker in the family business, William wins a music scholarship and becomes a Chorister in a Cathedral School. However, rather than pursuing a musical career, which his mother desperately wishes him to do, family traumas redirect him into a career of embalming and results in him becoming estranged from his mother for many years.

It was mostly agreed by the Page Turners that the book was very well written, thought provoking with interesting characters, and extremely emotional at times. However, some thought that it was very inappropriate to use the tragedy of Aberfan as the opening to a fictional novel. Additionally, it was pointed out by a few of the group that the story became predictable and thus a happy ending was perhaps produced too easily. William was not always a likeable character and some of the traumas he experienced were as a result of his own actions and should not have been blamed on others.

Despite the difference of opinions, the final score of 8 confirms that this novel is recommended as a good read. A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe



It’s been a while since we caught up so here goes. We had our first trip to the French Alps in June this year when 20 members either drove or flew down to Bourg d’Oisians for a week’s cycling. Those of you in the know will know that Bourg is at the foot of Alpe d’Huez a proper cycling mecca. We had a variety of accommodation, some stayed in apartments in the town and others on a couple of campsites near the foot of the climb. The advantage of a pool, bar and restaurant at the campsite over an apartment in town was soon apparent.

You can never be sure of the weather in the high Alps which means you have to do the big climbs on the days when the forecast is good. A good forecast for our first day meant the ascent of the massive Galibier, all 2648 meters of it. From Bourg the ascent is about 1645 meters and it’s 45km to the top with about 5km of flat from Bourg to the foot of the climb. The astute amongst you will note that that is a 35km climb! We naturally divided into two groups, the speedy ones and the slower steady grinders who set off an hour ahead of the speedy group. We were helped even more by the speedy group opting for crepes at the slowest hotel on the planet giving us another 40 minutes advantage. Nonetheless, they still caught us – but not until after the Col de Lauteret at 2000 mts. From there it is a further 8km and 648 meters of ascent and you really start to notice the altitude from then on. But this happy chance of the head start meant that we were all on the col at the same time and no one had to hang around for ages for the last member to make it to the top (yep, me). There were massive whoops of celebration, shouts of encouragement and relief (not all of it printable) from everyone. Having done it last year and having sworn never to do it again, I surprised myself by finding it a teeny bit easier than before. I’ve still sworn never to do it again though. We had the obligatory club photo at the top courtesy of one of the many motorcyclists also celebrating their ascent. The views are absolutely stunning all around including the massive Mieje glacier which you can see on the way up to the Lauteret. The descent is terrifying bearing in mind the longest descent we can manage in South Wales lasts about 5 – 10 mins at most, compared with at least 30/45 mins to descend from the Col de Galibier. You gather so much speed so quickly your hands and forearms ache with having to brake so frequently. Those beers tasted like nectar when we finally got back to Bourg.

We had pretty good weather for our trip but rain on the final day of our week. This didn’t spoil the planned rides though which obviously included a climb of the iconic Alpe d’Huez itself making sure we all went through the town to get to kilometer 0.

That was another big day as we didn’t stop there but went on to the Col de Sarenne, descending to the Chambon dam and then another climb up to the Balcony road. Eye popping is not the word! It’s a tiny road clinging to the side of a cliff with one of those small French parapets that wouldn’t stop a leaf. If you suffer with vertigo, it’s not for you. That was another epic day but my favourite was the day we rode out to La Berarde, a remote valley, out and back but so, so beautiful. I was struck with the huge variety of wild flowers I passed, many of them I recognised from my own garden but growing wild there in vast swathes. We simply do not have such a variety in our fields and hedgerows anymore. We had a glorious lunch at an Auberge in La Berarde before making the return journey.

With all of these long days in the saddle we needed a rest day so we rode out to the Venosc ski lift and took the cable car up to Les 2 Alpes for coffee. We all thought this was hilarious as we wheeled our bikes into the cabins and were taken up the mountain. And I couldn’t possibly say whether bike computers were paused to account for cable car assisted elevation. The cost of each person and bike to ride the cable car? 3 Euros each. Yep you read that right. Compare that with the cost of a trip up the cable car in Fort William which a friend paid recently for one way – £25.00! Everyone fell in love with the Alpes and there is much enthusiasm for a return trip next year.

We didn’t rest on our laurels after the Alpes as we recently had our Wheelers weekend away. This is traditionally a 100 mile ride on Saturday, an overnight stay and then a shorter ride back on Sunday. This year we went to Hay on Wye from Wenvoe, heading out via Pyle to the Afan Valley and ascending the Bwlch – a mere bump compared with the Alps – down into Treorchy then up and over the Rhigos, down towards Hirwaun then over Penderyn. From there we joined the A470 descending to Brecon and a rather long tiring slog out to Hay. We stayed at Baskerville Hall a large old country pile of faded grandeur and the kind of 1970’s renovations you don’t see so much these days. It was perfect for us, though less perfect being about 2 miles outside Hay meaning an ‘active recovery’ walk there and back for our curry that evening.

Sunday,s ride home left Hay via the road for the Gospel Pass but due to much confusion as to whether it was open (it is, at least for bikes) some went a different way which seemed to involve a lot of steep punchy climbs but a better road surface whilst one group did ride via the Gospel Pass but the road surface is appalling – even worse than the roads in the Vale of Glamorgan!

Despite a very good cooked breakfast that morning we all stopped at the bus station café in Abergavenny for coffee and more snacks. Did you know a fried egg bap is called an egg banjo? No, nor me. Anyway, we had a good pace back via Usk, Caerleon, and the Newport flats to Cardiff where, for the first time (for me at least) that weekend, it literally poured down. It was so heavy that we were all soaked within about a minute just as we came to Newport Road. Oh well, considering the dire forecast I thought we had done rather well, chasing the rain rather than being in it. We had another drenching as we rode through Ely but made it back to HQ (Wenvoe Arms) in good spirits for well earned beers.

We have a sportive event arranged for 24th September in memory of Paul Davies who sadly left us this year. We last held this event in 2019 but obviously due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to run it since then so we are quite excited to get it underway again. It is a signed route through the Vale with 2 different lengths, an 80 mile route and a 40 mile route. We will have marshalls out on the route and two refreshment stops probably well stocked with Welsh cakes which were extremely popular last time. Registration will be in the Community Centre. Fingers crossed for good weather!

As you can see we are a very active club but always keen to have new members. We don’t have a children’s/youth section I am afraid but what we do offer is a friendly cycling club where you can make new friends and get out in the fresh air regularly. We have regular Saturday morning club rides with 4 different paced groups, our slowest and chattiest is the social group but if you are a speed monster you will need the steady group. If you want to join, just find us on Facebook







People’s Collection Wales is a free website dedicated to bringing together Wales’s heritage. The Collection is full of fascinating photographs, documents, audio and video recordings and stories that link to the history, culture and people of Wales. These items have been contributed to the website not only by national institutions but also individuals, local community groups and small museums, archives and libraries across Wales. This endeavour was established in 2010. It is Welsh Government funded, and the three leading partners organisations are Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, National Library of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Each local authority in Wales has a small team of volunteers dedicated to collating, scanning, describing and then uploading to the website historical photographs and documents pertinent to its locality.

So far many locations of the Vale of Glamorgan are generally well represented: but as yet not so Wenvoe! These three are the only images of Wenvoe which have been uploaded to date Therefore, if you are in possession of old photographs or pictures or postcards that you would like to see  preserved for posterity and shared with the world, then please loan them to Ian Moody (28 Walston Road  –  20594573) or Tony Hodge (10 Walston Road  –  07532 222 381) each with a note to describe them on the  website: Who?, Why?, What? and When? We will look after them as if they were our own and return them  safely to you. Thanks



  Gwenfo School News – September Notes


Gwenfo Primary are holding their first PTFA meeting of the year on Friday 22nd September at 2.45pm at the school. Parents, teachers and friends associations support schools to raise funds for additional equipment, trips and resources for the children. If you have a little spare time, lots of energy and ideas for fundraising then we would love to hear from you. We are looking to set a calendar of events for the year ahead so don’t worry if you can’t commit to everything it will just give us an idea as to the kind of events we can aim for! A warm welcome awaits you at the first meeting of the year.

Volunteers – We are also looking for volunteers to support us in activities around the school. We would love to be able to involve more friends from the village. We can arrange for the relevant safeguarding checks and would love to hear from you if you have an interest in outdoor spaces and gardening, accompanying us on school trips, supporting children with their reading, helping out at PTFA events or simply being an extra pair of hands every so often! If there are any community groups who would like to link up with the school please do contact us too. Please pop in for a chat, or email

Vacancies – We have a number of vacancies at the school both permanent and temporary. We are looking for midday lunch supervisors who work from 11.40-1pm daily and also breakfast provision supervisors who work from 7.50-8.50am daily. Adverts will be circulated via the Vale of Glamorgan website soon but if you are interested in a position please email the school and we will send out application forms and further details when the jobs go live.

Nicola Starke, Headteacher,

Gwenfô Church in Wales Primary School Tel:02920 593225


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