The Mercy Ship Fund Raising


The first major fund raising event held in Wenvoe to help raise money for Helen Ormrod's work on the Mercy Ship in Africa was held in May, when Johnny Tudor and Olwen Rees gave us a musical tale of their lives in showbiz. This was reported in the June edition of the What’s On , and was a very successful evening, and a hard act to follow. But I think all who attended our second event on Saturday 23rd June will agree that we achieved another "Double Whammy".

This time, we were entertained – and enlightened – in the most interesting way, by Derek Brockway and Nicola Smith, both of BBC1 Wales fame. The ‘Weatherman Walking’ gave us a fascinating insight in to the mysteries of meteorology, as he had become fascinated by the weather since a child. (As he said, all the British talk about the weather, especially the Welsh!). He served the Met Office in various places from Cardiff Airport to the Falklands, where he did some vital work for the Army, RAF and Navy. As the islands are so remote and very barren and windy, conditions are hard, but he managed to take some lovely photographs of the wildlife there. My favourite was the 3 penguins, all lined up for a photo shoot, just for Derek! (Attenborough, eat your heart out!).

Derek did a special Forecast for Wenvoe for the week ahead, which he assured us would be sunny, hot and "toasty", and said there is a strong possibility that this summer will be very dry (bad news for all you gardeners).

After the interval (for refreshments and raffle!) , we were introduced to Nicola Smith, the BBC1 news reader, whom half the audience knew already as "one of us". Nicola recalled how she and her twin sister Sian, lived in Orchard Close, Wenvoe with their parents for many years, and spent happy hours with their grandmother, Mrs Margaret Barton, whom lived in Walston Road. Many of us remember her fondly as a lovely, jolly, kindly, sociable lady who was a staunch member of the Choir at St Mary's Church.

Nicola was married and christened in St Mary's Church, and a rranged for her own two children, Isobel(7) and Will(5) to be christened there too. (Husband George was babysitting on 23rd so Nicola could talk to us, so "Thank you, George"!). Nicola said she was pleased to be asked to talk to her home village- and in aid of such a good cause.

Nicola described her career rise, and loves her job as it is so varied, no 2 days are ever the same and we now feel we can appreciate more all the hard work which goes in to the outside broadcasts and interviews, often in very inclement weather, for long hours, which only results in 2 minutes of screen time! She showed us photos of the inside of her car boot – stacked with wellington boots, hiking boots, macs, a sleeping bag, change of clothes (and maybe a snow shovel from November on?).

Both talks were humourous. Light-hearted and very entertaining, but also educational with food for thought. We are extremely grateful to both Derek and Nicola for giving so freely of their precious leisure time, and we know that Helen Ormrod joins us in

thanking all who supported this Event, including Tony Williams, who helped us with the venue at the Community Centre, Cath and Andy who ran the bar so well, the Church Social Committee, and donors of the raffle prizes.

Diolch yn Fawr i chi!!