An Opportunity For You To Contribute Ideas


Considering Tomorrow Today


Have you ever wondered why your Community Council or the County Council didn’t do something that you thought was obviously a good idea? Or perhaps you thought a plan was a bad idea or you simply identified something as “not good enough”? Please do not just sit back and let the thought fade, there is an opportunity for you to contribute ideas, don’t let that energy pass by.

The Wenvoe Rural Affairs Committee (WRAC) (of which Wenvoe Forum is one of the members) met on March 7th to share news, updates and plans for the future. The most important and exciting news was that the Vale of Glamorgan are revising their Development Plans for the County in a process comprising public consultation and engagement, starting with preparation of new Community Development Plans. The new 5-year Development Plan for Wenvoe is unlikely to advocate no significant change, so the team will need to document the activities and features that you want protected, further supported or newly created. What, in your view, needs improvement or termination and why? Work and meetings have already been undertaken on the higher level 15 year development plan for the Vale. The next stage is a showcase of a variety of projects to provoke imagination, probably in May. Community Engagement is key to success so prepare yourselves unless you simply do not care.

Note that some community councils have already revised their plans and obtained funding for development projects from VoG but more is available. Also note, that political and budgetary pressures are likely to drive changes from reactive management by community councils to a more proactive approach e.g. Owners of woodland including community councils might generate income for themselves / their communities by selling official carbon units to offset carbon usage in the world of low carbon or carbon neutral business. Doesn’t that make you wonder why our council has not taken over the local quarry and surrounding woodland. The recent felling of trees that were not all diseased was certainly a lost opportunity.

A quick poll of members of the Wenvoe Forum identified ideas regarding flood water, electricity generation, better use of water particularly grey water and usage of community land. You are bound to have additional ideas – please share them with WRAC or the Forum or on the community Facebook pages.

On a different note, the WRAC meeting had a presentation from the “Restore the Thaw Landscape”. That certainly inspired me to find their web page – on Facebook.

You might think that Aberthaw is distant from Wenvoe but the project has already financed work for improvement of countryside and streams that are tributaries to the Thaw.

Restore the Thaw Landscape is an exciting new project which will deliver biodiversity improvements in the catchment area of the River Thaw in the Vale of Glamorgan. The project is being funded by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Project Zero, the Waterloo Foundation and Nature Networks, a fund delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of Welsh Government and in partnership with Natural Resources Wales.

Restore the Thaw Landscape aims to benefit local wildlife, landowners and the community, and will provide various opportunities for organisations, community groups, and volunteers to help with the conservation work. More detail on line:

https:// Landscape-Project

Wouldn’t it be great if Wenvoe had a project like this that brought the community together and had benefits for everyone. Get your thinking caps on!


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Success at Crufts


I’m sure many people reading this will have at some point spotted my wife Carolyn, either walking around the village or over the playing fields training her three border collies.

She competes at the highest level of Dog Obedience in the UK. Last month she was again in Crufts competing with her top dog Luca. Luca and Carolyn won the title in 2022 when we were relatively new to the village.



This year she finished second in the competition, losing to the second placed dog from 2022. This then led to the pair doing the demonstration round in the main ring. Anybody interested in seeing the footage can see it on You Tube by searching ‘Dog Obedience Demonstration Crufts 2024.’

or here –

If ever you see her around the village she is always happy to stop and talk, especially if it’s about canines of any sort.

This year will in all likelihood be Luca’s last year in competition as he’s reached the grand old age of 11. Carolyn does however have two other Border Collies in the production line. Her bitch Eva (5) is likely to qualify for Crufts next year, while Luca and Eva’s son Asher will be entering his first year of competition this year.



Library Hub – April 2024


Tel: 02920 594176 – during opening hours or

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Library Hub – April 2024

Books – Our Selection of New Arrivals

Young Readers – Cassandra Darkbloom and the Thead of Power by P A Staff

Crime – Autumn Chills by Agatha Christie

Fiction – Weirdo by Sara Pascoe

Non-Fiction – The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy.

With many more titles for you to peruse.

Jigsaw Puzzles

We have a selection of puzzles if you would like to borrow one. Just come in and collect, bring it back (if and) when you finish.

Opening Hours

In October 2016, we were open for 11 hours per week. A reminder of now:

Monday 10.00am – 5.00pm

Tuesday 10.00am – 1.00pm

Wednesday 9.00am – 4.00pm – Singalong & Storytelling at 9.30 am

Thursday Closed

Friday Silver Foxes 10.30am – 12.30pm

Saturday 9.00am – 1.00pm

We have 6 jolly groups running regularly. If you want to know more, pop in and pick up our What’s On leaflet or contact us on: 02922 805574 or email: We are always pleased to hear from you.

April Special Events

Seeds Galore for our Sunflower Competition. Can you grow the tallest sunflower in Wenvoe? Pick up a pack from the hub from 1st April and get growing! A book token will be presented to the winner of each category of under 8 & 8 and over. Judging will take place during autumn half term – £1 per entry.

Themes for April

The theme for the Library foyer in April is Easter and Spring.

Report from the Hub Team

A new coffee machine has been installed.

Volunteers – we are fortunate to welcome new volunteers to the Library. As always, we are in need of more volunteers.

Watch this Space

The Hay Literary Festival Trip is being organised for the end of May 2024. Cost will be coach only.

A trip to the Westonbirt Arboretum is being organised for later in the year. The cost will be for the coach only. Adult entry tickets around £12.00 each

A trip to the National Eisteddfod in Rhondda Cynon Taff is being organised for August.

A Whist Drive will be organised and held in the Hub.

Of Wooden Ships And Iron Men

Of Wooden Ships And Iron Men

As part of the work that Tony Hodge does as a volunteer on the Digitisation Project in Barry Library to upload historical photographs and the like to the “Peoples Collection Wales” website, he came across the following account complete with photographs and the pen and ink sketch of the Bristol Channel pilot cutters. They were in an envelope addressed to the Barry Borough Librarian with a 3p Christmas stamp which has been identified as being issued in 1971. It is introduced as:

“This is part of Jack Davey’s life story as told to me aboard the “Result”, a square tops’l schooner, in 1926”. It had been sent by R D Evans, Hillhead, Falmerston Road, Mount Pleasant, Newhaven, Sussex. (NB the history of the HMS Result, which was built in 1893 and continued in service until 1967, is fully documented on the National Historic Ships UK website and is worthy of its own article.)

“Barry Roads for Orders”. What memories such a cry invokes. The first time I heard it was on the Barque “Friends” one hundred and five days out of Valparaiso, it was the first year Barry Signal Station was opened. Previously we had made either Queenstown or Falmouth for orders, and then picked up our pilot. On this trip we were bound to Barry for orders. With the sleet driving down from nor’east, Simon Bartlett’s cutter the “Dawn” with the letters BY on the mains’l was a most welcome sight, as she lay hove to off the Fastnet.

The picture made by the sailing cutters at sea was truly wonderful, particularly after a long voyage, when they seemed to make home that much nearer. The arrival of the pilot on board with fresh news, after being out of touch with the outside world for so long a period, had to be experienced to be believed.

The history of the Bristol Channel Pilots and their cutters is lost in the dust of antiquity together with many of the early records of ships and shipping which had been written, but we know that a pilot named Ray took Cabot’s “Matthew” down the Bristol Channel in the sixteenth century, and that the Ray family, father to son, father to son, have been pilots ever since.

What wonderful sailing craft these cutters were, and what a wonderful breed of men sailed them.

Until 1914, when amalgamation took place, the system was competitive, each pilot owning and sailing his own cutter and going westward “seeking”. That often meant sailing as far as the Fastnet Rock off the west coast of Ireland, or up St George’s Channel and the Irish Sea to Liverpool, or around Land’s End and into the Straights of Dover, looking for ships that required a pilot to take them to Barry or even Bristol.

Two years after I left the “Olivebank” I took a job with Simon Bartlett on the “Dawn” as a deck hand. The following is an account of a typical trip “seeking”.

The cutter was generally sailed out by the pilot, pilot boatman and an apprentice, the boatman and the apprentice doing the work and the pilot would take the tiller if he felt like doing a little sailing. After the pilot had been put aboard the incoming ship the cutter was sailed home by the apprentice and boatman.

As the Bristol Channel has the second highest rise and fall of tide in the world – the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia has the highest – and few havens of shelter once Barry or Ilfracombe were left behind, this was seldom a fine weather trip.

It was a case of “ride it out” and although the cutters were built of wood you had to be an iron man to sail them year after year summer and winter. How true the saying: “From Padstow Bay to Lundy Light is a watery grave both day and night”.

Now back to the trip, which I think will interest you, it has been copied from the log book.

4am. Breeze freshening.

5am. Log 120 miles. Breeze strong still freshening

7.45am Block Split. Peak halyard chaffed and stranded. Hove to and had gaff on deck. Cut out and renewed block and spliced afresh the purchase. Had a bit of fun in the lumpy sea, especially when we hauled up again. The sea is oppressively lonely.

10am. Have gone about on the starboard tack going west by north with 75 miles to Cape Clear. Wind freshening , sky heavy and overcast. Took another roll in the mains’l.

10.30am Hauled fores’l slightly to wind’ard so as not to shake her up too much with this hard driving.

12 noon. Reaching shead (north by east) slowing. Breeze strong. Down to storm jib. Double reefed fores’l and seven rolls in the main.

12.45pm Sighted a Clan Line and made up under her lee.

2.25pm Pilot put aboard and then made for home. When Old Head of Kinsale (ie in County Cork, Ireland) was on the beam, homeward bound bearing east ¾ south.

When I arrived home after this trip I read in the “Western Mail” that the gale had caused severe damage around the coast stripping roofs of buildings, uprooting trees and causing ships to seek shelter.

After five years with the pilots I went back to the deep sea again



“Christmas is Murder” by Val McDermid

“Christmas is Murder” by Val McDermid


A book of twelve short stories with different themes: detective, revenge, supernatural and historic. The settings were varied. Several readers felt that short stories worked well for bedtime reading. The stories were generally felt to be well written, but not chilling. Members who enjoyed other books by Val McDermid, felt that these tales were not up to her usual standard. Our favourite story was ‘Holmes for Christmas’ because it incorporated real historical events and the famous Sherlock Holmes. Our least favourite was ‘The Girl Who Killed Santa Claus’, since it was too predictable. Score 6/10.


Let The Dandelions Flower


Let The Dandelions Flower

Whilst weeding the flower beds, a couple of passers-by advised me to let the dandelions flower as they were a good early source of nectar for pollinators. These pretty yellow flowers seem to turn into seed clocks in a matter of minutes, you would need to watch them like a hawk if you don’t want your garden covered in them by the end of the season. These broad-leaved weeds smother everything around them. Just try digging them up, it’s nearly impossible, especially when they get established. Your neighbours will not thank you for spreading these across their borders. A few years ago, the authorities dug up 12,000 sq. metres of verge around Wenvoe, where weeds (wildflowers) were in their element.

Slugs are out in force now so protect the young shoots of hostas, lupins and delphiniums. Some of the new shoots of delphiniums and lupins can be cut off at the base, then potted up and put in a plastic bag, these Basel cuttings root easily and are a great way of getting more plants at little cost. The new leaves of roses will benefit from a fungicide spray now to prevent black spot and rust, before it can get established. If you follow the advice given by tv gardeners to wait until April before cutting hydrangeas back, they will give a better display. Cut them back to a new shoot.

This month the people at Greenmoor nurseries will be planting up their hanging baskets. These will stay undercover until established. Don’t put these outside until late May at the earliest, or they will go back and not give their best. As with potted up plants they will need a regular feed and consistent watering throughout the season, along with deadheading to keep them flowering.

And so it begins, the annual fight at the allotments between man and beast. This spectacle goes on until the end of the season. The young plants have been nurtured by the growers then planted in the hope of providing produce. On the other side we have the foe – slugs, snails, mice, rabbits and birds all vying for their bit. Runner beans are one of the favourites of both man and beasts, we like them in a dish smothered in butter, but the pests love them as they come out of the soil. Onion sets planted in neat rows are scattered about by the birds looking to see what’s underneath. There is still time to plant more peas to make sure you get at least some to cook as the mice will have decimated the first planting. Carrots planted earlier to avoid the carrot root fly need to be thinned out, allowing those remaining to grow on so the rabbits can have their fill.

Remember don’t be greedy when planting potatoes, it’s tempting to cram them in. If you do there will be no air flow between the foliage, and they will be more susceptible to blight.

Next month the Tuckers Spring plant sale will take place at the Church Hall on 11th May so if you have some extra plants you’d like to sell, this would be a good opportunity. There will be a raffle with proceeds going to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group and homemade cakes sold by the slice to take away or enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. See you there.

Take care and happy gardening




April Report



A church for the future

Surprisingly few Christians include their church in their wills. This means that many committed Christians miss a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact on God’s work on earth. St. Mary’s has good reason to be thankful to the generations who have gone before. 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.

Imagine a situation where your gift could make a real and lasting difference to the work of the church. To extend a church to provide a meeting place for new church groups, to be a place where community groups could meet or perhaps to repair a church building, so that it can continue to be a place of worship and witness for centuries to come. Whether you give £200, £2000 or £20,000, your gift counts.

Interestingly, reliable research shows that people who make a will live longer than those who die intestate and further, that people who leave a gift to charity live an extra two years longer. Perhaps the act of giving provides a liberating and rewarding experience that makes such individuals happier and healthier. As Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke.6.38)

A church for the present

The congregation has recently been asked to consider switching their monthly contribution away from direct debit (DB) to that of The Church in Wales “Gift Direct” (GD) means of giving. There are advantages in this, as it greatly reduces the workload on the treasurer in the reclaiming of Income Tax when the gift is Gift Aided. With “GD” the tax element is refunded within days of the money being released from your bank account into the church account. We are grateful for any gift given towards the running of the church, and we thank all who support us in maintaining the work and mission of God’s church here in Wenvoe and St. Lythan’s.

We are now well into the season of Lent and when you read this we shall be celebrating the Festival of Easter. This year we have continued with our appeal for donations in memory of loved ones to provide lilies to decorate the church, and we invite you all to visit the church on Holy Saturday afternoon from 2.00 – 4.00 pm to view our beautiful church made even more splendid with flowers in memory of those who have gone before us. Do please come. A warm welcome awaits you.

The Barry Food Bank has been through a critical time with increased demand for their help whilst at the same time contributions of food etc has dropped, leaving them with a short fall. An appeal for cash donations has been well responded to, which




Llwyn Onn Reservoir and Taibach

Llwyn Onn Reservoir and Taibach


Llwyn Onn Reservoir

Driving to the start of this walk, at the beginning of March, the weather was changeable, rain, sleet and hail and we could see snow on the tops of some hills. On arrival at the Garwnant Visitor centre at Llwyn Onn Reservoir, we were welcomed by a light snow shower, the first snow some of us had seen this year.

Our route was north from Llwyn Onn to Cantref reservoir, along the Taff trail and then back along a forest track. It was wet and muddy underfoot, but firm as the footpath was stoney. Quite heavy cold rain had replaced the snow. Where the Taff trail bordered farmland, a new fence had been erected with barbed wire on the top leaving a narrow path between it and the undergrowth to our left which some people found quite difficult to negotiate, especially when low tree branches extended across the path.

Looking across the valley the whole of the hillside was covered in snow and we could see a few tiny figures crossing it. There was also snow lying on the ground around us. The reservoirs were full to overflowing and as we reached Cantref reservoir we stood watching the overflow race along a release stream. This reservoir is one of three forming the Taff Fawr System, it is about 1000ft above sea level and was built in 1892.


Now we returned via the forest track and were surprised to find lots of cabins which were occupied. There were no leaves on the surrounding trees, so we had good views of the snow-clad hills. Passing the cabins, we found a picnic table covered in ice where some of us ate our lunch while others perched on stones or on the ground.

We spotted frog spawn in a puddle and feared that most of it was dead as it had turned white.

A couple of people took a shortcut to the visitor centre while we continued to Llwyn Onn reservoir to come back along its shoreline. Towards the end of the day the sun came out and the snow sparkled, a magical sight after the gloom of our wet Welsh winter. At the visitor centre, which has good facilities, including a sculpture trail, and an incongruous large plastic dog, we rejoined our friends for a welcome cup of tea.

Walk 5.8m. Map OL12



It was another cold morning with rain forecast as we prepared to walk Cwm Dyffryn, near Taibach. The beginning of the walk was level and a river gurgled beside us, surprisingly a large patch of vinca was in full flower.

We crossed a stream, entering more open countryside, and saw a large solar farm on the opposite hill. We were looking out across Swansea Bay and could see the distinctive buildings of the city and the Gower peninsula in the distance.

At lunchtime, we found a hollow, sitting on rocks strewn about the area, and sheltered from the cold wind. Before we finished eating the sun came out.

In a wet patch of footpath, were our first tadpoles of the year; we trod carefully to avoid killing them. Many trees had been felled since we were last here and we gained our first view of Port Talbot steel works and of ‘the blue pool’.

The blue pool is a reservoir which is affected by algae; hence the water is turquoise in summer. It was for sale at £30K and we all joked about buying it. Within the week it had been bought for the princely sum of £15K.

Progress being good, we added an easy trip around the Blue Pool, but it did involve jumping or paddling across a couple of streams. There were lots of tree limbs submerged in the pool and you could easily see how stories of monsters could arise.

We continued our descent through woodland, spotting some coltsfoot coming into flower. A row of trees stood tall even though their roots seemed to be completely exposed on one side, because of erosion.

We reached a grassy path which ran parallel to the M4 and the steel works. From this vantage the steel works looked huge. A farm lay in the narrow strip between us and the motorway, where ewes with tiny lambs rested. A deer was spotted on the hillside, and after some debating about whether it was a rock or tree, everyone saw its head move and four more appeared. They dashed over the crest of the hill on spying us. Escapees from Margam park, we wondered? Soon after, a lone sheep on the hillside was identified as a goat (its beard gave it away) and two others one black and the other brown were spotted.

Before long we were doing the final stretch back to the cars. We retired to Pyle garden centre for refreshment, very happy with our day’s walking.

Walk 7.2m, 1000ft. Map OS 165



District Master Chef Night




As I write, our Scouts are preparing for a District Master Chef night. Last year they won the District Scout cooking competition. Not a mean feat on camping stoves! In the summer they will take part in the All-Wales Camp. The Beavers and Cubs are looking forward to the Area Swimming Competition, having successfully won trophies in the last few years.

Wenvoe is a very vibrant community with lots of clubs and activities but there are not many things for our young people. The Scout Programme aims to help them to learn new skills including outdoor activities and crafts while working in teams, and experience leadership while having fun. Along the way, they earn badges, which cover a wide range of topics. In order to deliver the programme safely, we need adult volunteers to work as leaders and helpers and ad hoc coaches with the sections – Beavers (6-8), Cubs (8-10½) and Scouts (10½-14). We also need Trustees to work behind the scenes to ensure it all runs smoothly and to provide Governance. There is training for leaders. Much of this can be done online and through support from District and Area Scouting. Being involved, is extremely rewarding as you watch the children develop their potential.

We always need new helpers but again we are appealing specifically for people to take on the Beaver group as our current group of leaders are leaving in July. Without leaders we will have to suspend meetings. Ideally it would be good to have people starting to get involved over the summer term. We also need a new Treasurer, Secretary and Chair to lead the Trustees’ team. If you are interested, please contact me to find out more, ideally before our AGM on 16th April, where you could come and meet the team.

At present all our Sections are full but let me know if you have anyone who wants to join, and they will be added to the waiting list:

On 6th July in Romilly Park, we will be taking part in the Barry Scout Fete running stalls and in the Arena. We will hold a smash the crockery event and so we would like you to let us have those unwanted plates, so that we can raise money whilst people are having fun. Even if you do not have anything, save the date, and come to the event. It has been organised since 1933 and is a fun day out with something for all the family. If you cannot come you can still support us by giving us a donation

On behalf of all the Wenvoe Scout Group, have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the coming of spring.

Jane Fenton-May, Group Chair


Spring Has Arrived


March Meeting of Wenvoe W.I.

Spring has arrived and daffodils we planted in the Church grounds continue to bloom in the shape of WI.

The members of Wenvoe WI met on 7th March and our speaker on this occasion was Mrs Gillian Mc’Cabe, a local physiotherapist. Mrs Mc’Cabe holds a clinic in what was the old police station in St Nicholas, where she specialises in dealing with ‘women’s problems’. Mrs Mc’Cabe outlined typical difficulties experienced in a variety of areas in our anatomy and taught us how to cope with and control many of these via simple exercises.

Wenvoe WI intend to hold a Spring coffee morning in the Church Hall on 18th April at 10.30am in aid of our charity for this year – Ty Hafan.

Our next WI meeting will be held on Thursday 4th April at 7.00pm in the Church Hall, when our speaker will be Debra John. Debra (in costume) will tell the story of a Lady who finds herself thrown in the Debtor’s Prison, Swansea, in the nineteenth century.

A warm welcome is ensured for all potential members and ‘tasters’.

Jan Young (President)


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