The Tintern Village Website

Autumn 1996


Dear Friends

In many ways the month of September is a time that marks a new beginning. Schools commence a new academic year and the year starts a new season - Autumn. Your diary might be more pedantic and claim that October heralds the "Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness" but most of us have already said goodbye to Summer and are in an Autumnal frame of mind.
On a personal level September is significant. It was the month in which I was ordained (1979), got married (7 years ago) and came to this group of parishes (10 years ago). In respect of the latter it may be a case of "time flies when you enjoy yourself" or just as likely a cause for regret ("they don't make Rectors like they used to").
I have noted many changes over the last decade. On one hand the Church of St Michael has grown into a well supported and caring Christian Community, on the other I can recall - upon my arrival - the opening of the churchyard extension. In this period the number of faithful departed have filled a considerable section of the area.

Of great importance is that September is the month in which the Church Calendar honours our Patron - St Michael. This feast day falls on the 29th and you are welcome to join with the regulars in observing this day at the 11.00am service. For those wishing to know more about Michael and reflect on his link with this area of the Wye Valley I recommend a study of the article in Judith Russill's "Tintern's Story".
I made fleeting mention earlier of September being, in some ways, a beginning. It is, in other ways, an ending. By tradition this time of year sees the harvest being gathered in and this event, certainly for rural residents, is considerably worthy of note. Accordingly Harvest Festival will be celebrated at St Michael's Church on October 6th at 11.00am. As well as traditional elements the service will feature an appeal in respect of refugees in Bosnia. Your assistance is earnestly sought in this undertaking. We are anxious to collect items of food in tins or packets for distribution later in the month. If you can help I would refer you to the article elsewhere in this magazine and thank you in advance for your support and participation.

I am delighted to reproduce highlights from the recent report on Llandogo School. Many older residents lament the closure of Tintern School and whilst this is understandable we must count ourselves fortunate to have such an excellent educational establishment in the neighbouring village to benefit local children.
For a few years I was a governor of Llandogo School and can vouch for the transformation led by headteacher Anne Thomas and her team. It is my sincere wish that more parents will consider entrusting their children to this school in future, the teaching and other associated activities are of the highest calibre :-

Excerpt from the Inspection Report on Llandogo County Primary School -

Main Findings

This is a good school in every respect. Standards of behaviour and discipline are high, and pupils display an appropriate level of maturity and self-confidence. Under the positive leadership of the headteacher, the school functions as a well-ordered and caring community, with high expectations in matters such as respect, kindness and consideration towards others. A sound emphasis is placed on spiritual and moral development.
Work in all subjects is consistently satisfactory or better. Standards are frequently good, with examples of very good work in several subjects.
Pupils display good attitudes to their work, and are keen and eager to learn. In the main, the quality of teaching is good, and tasks are appropriately matched to individual needs and abilities.
The school is efficiently managed, and provides good value for money. Strong support is provided by the governing body which discharges its duty well. Resources are properly used and managed.
Relationships at all levels are exemplary. The level of support received from parents and other members of the community is exceptionally high and makes a major contribution to the efficiency of the school. Pupils' curricular experiences are considerably enhanced by the range of activities provided by regular voluntary help.
Appropriate support and good learning experiences are provided for children in the early years.
Sympathetic and supportive teaching, high quality accommodation, well maintained buildings, extensive grounds, and the location in an area of outstanding natural beauty combine very effectively to create a school with a positive and stimulating learning environment.

A full report is available from the school and parents will be rewarded by a study of this document.

Among those to whom we extend best wishes for a speedy recovery from illness or injury is Reg Ash. At the time of writing Reg had been swiftly transported to a hospital in Newport where, we are glad to report, he is making good progress. It does seem as though Reg will have to abandon the pleasures of his beloved pipe and will have to curtail his energy in assisting with the "chainsaw gang" Church maintenance group. Reg has been one of the pivotal figures in this loyal band of workers, and volunteers to fill the gap would be really appreciated. Our warmest thoughts accompany Reg and Molly at this time.
Avid readers will doubtless notice a difference in production style of this magazine. We are indebted to John Bathgate for so generously taking on board the Parish News production following the departure of Roy Peake. Producing a parish magazine is often a complicated and fraught task with "deadlines" and compilation placing a heavy burden on individuals. Those of us who simply enjoy the finished product owe a considerable debt of gratitude to those who make it possible. Roy Peake gave us excellent service and, with our thanks, go sincere good wishes to John for accepting this responsibilty. For my part I shall strive to deliver copy on time and to make my writing a degree more legible ("........and pigs may fly").

In conclusion I join with those who lament the recent loss of family and friends. Elsewhere in this publication you will find a tribute to Vera King. I would simply add that she will be remembered with fondness by many not least on account of her association for some years with the antique shop in Llandogo. To her children, Janis and Barry, we offer our sympathy and support.
Ronald Berry of Hazel Grove passed away suddenly at the wedding reception of his grandson in early August. The feeling of shock was mitigated in part by the fact that this was almost certainly the manner in which he would have chosen to depart - witnessing a family marriage and surrounded by family and friends in a convivial environment. Ronald placed great value in the quality of life and lived it with satisfying results. As a caring father and grandfather and as a golfing enthusiast his memory will be cherished by many who encountered him.



June : 128 320.75 (120 275.44 in 1995)
July : 59 147.12 (76 221.96)
August : 89 245.91 (113 197.93)

Total : 276 713.78 (309 695.33)


Sean Calum McMahon
Ross Steven Selwyn-Kendall

The Rector and Members of the PCC express their sincere appreciation for the gift of flower stands in memory of the late Douglas Phillips (donated by Mrs Ena Phillips) and churchyard seat in memory of Harry Dodds (donated by Mrs Dodds). These items have not only enhanced the Church of St Michael but also prove to be of great practical use.

Good wishes to you all,

Julian E L White



This parish will be supporting the FOOD FOR BOSNIA appeal along with other churches and organisations. Will you assist us in this urgent undertaking?
A 38 tonne lorry will be leaving this area for Bosnia on October 21st - please help us fill it!

Our HARVEST FESTIVAL SERVICE in TINTERN CHURCH on OCTOBER 6th at 11.00am will provide the focus for your generous donations BUT WE NEED ITEMS OF THE TYPE SUGGESTED BELOW BEFORE THEN TO INCLUDE IN A SPECIAL DISPLAY. We will be pleased to collect items from your homes (or feel free to deliver them to Llandogo Rectory).
Contact any of the following names to make collection arrangements :-

Julian White (The Rectory) : 01594-530887
David Cowell (Churchwarden) : 01291-689579
Des Carter (Churchwarden) : 01291-689478


Tins and packets with illustrations of the contents help overcome language problems.
Tins of meat - ham, corned beef, stewed steak, luncheon meat, minced beef etc.
Tins of fish - sardines, pilchards, tuna etc.
Tins of fruit - peaches, pineapples, pears etc.
Tins of vegetables - peas, tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables of any sort, soups etc.
Condensed and evaporated milk.
Packets - pasta, spaghetti, long grained rice, dried fruit (all types and mixed), sugar, PLAIN flour, salt, dried milk powder, coffee, tea, drinking chocolate, Oxo cubes, dried yeast, biscuits.

IMPORTANT : PLEASE DO NOT PACK BOTTLES - cooking oils, soaps etc in food parcels.
IN ADDITION : for the children also include chocolate bars, sweets, pens, pencils, crayons, drawing books and small toys as special treats.
REMEMBER : Please pack a tin opener! Many families have lost all their possessions.


It was the church's harvest festival, and my wife had prepared a small basket of fruit, vegetables and rolls for our young sons to present to the vicar. Halfway through the proceedings, we suddenly heard our three-year old screaming and crying. Rushing up to the front of the church to see what was the matter, we found our son too upset to say. Eventually he composed himself enough to whimper, "That man took my packed lunch."


Please note that the closing date for the Winter 1996 issue is SUNDAY, 17th NOVEMBER 1996
Keep your articles, items of interest, funny stories etc in good supply as we can always use them as space permits.

Send or deliver them to the Editor :-
Mrs K Heron Hillcrest, St Anne's Lane Tintern


Their many friends were sad to say good-bye to Roy and Beryl Peake when they left Gothic Cottage for their new home in Barry, not very far from Tintern so we may see them sometimes. Roy's assistance in the typing and production of Parish News has been noteworthy. He has the pen of a ready writer. Some of his articles, especially those about his childhood, when he was an evacuee in South Wales, have been carefully preserved.
John Bathgate, a worthy successor, has taken on the daunting task. We welcome him and are grateful for his assistance.


Married at St Mary's Church, Risca, on the 17th of August were Miss Caroline Yarworth, the eldest daughter of Mrs Sheila Yarworth of Tintern and Mr Martyn Williams, only son of Mr Mike Williams and the late Mrs Elaine Williams of Risca. The bride was attended by her sisters Gaynor and Bridget, with a helping hand from the page boy Master James Guscott of Bettws.
The Church had been beautifully decorated by the Bride's Mother with help from the ladies of the parish.
The Bride wore a full length cream dress with a three tiered veil, hand decorated with pearls. The Groom and male members of the party wore navy blue lounge jackets and striped trousers, with the Bridesmaids also wearing navy blue. The Mother of the Bride wore a peach suit with cream accessories and hat.


On Saturday, September 7th, at midday, a vintage Rolls brought Beverley Jane Waite with her mother Ann to the Methodist Church at Riverside. Grahame, with family and friends from near and far were there. Thanks to the good offices of Rev. Andrew Cordy, temporarily returned to us, the happy couple became Mr and Mrs Young (Jnr). The Bride's dress was cream and gold, with chiffon veil and train.
Beverley did most of her growing up at Beech House, Tintern. She is Ray and Ann's daughter and the grand-daughter of Edgar and Amy Waite whose home this was from the early years of the century.
The reception was held at the Royal George Hotel. Everyone enjoyed a lovely day, remaking family contacts on this joyous occasion.


It has been a very fine summer, enjoyed by most of us, but some have been less fortunate. Mr Mike Taylor, Mrs Dorothy Michael, Mrs Betty Kerr and Mrs Pat Robinson have all been in hospital but now, happily, are recovering. Others have needed emergency treatment at Casualty Departments and are indebted to kind friends who rendered first aid, provided transport and spent hours in waiting rooms when they might have been relaxing in their gardens with cool drinks and soft music.


Once again the sun shone from a cloudless sky on the occasion of the Parish Lunch. This was on Sunday the 23rd of June when thirty or so of us gathered after morning service in Judith Russill's immaculate garden at Wye Barn. After half an hour's preliminary socialising we were invited to help ourselves from a loaded table indoors on which, centre stage, were two beautiful Wye salmon so gracefully arranged on their serving dishes that it seemed a sacrilege to disturb them. Fortunately Judith was able to set aside such scruples and they quickly proved as good as they looked. The supporting cast of assorted salads, quiches and other items, followed by a variety of sweets, were contributed by many ladies of the company and were much enjoyed.
So, with good weather, good food, good wines, good company and scintillating conversation, what more could be desired? Here's to the next time.

The second event was on the evening of Monday the 8th of July when the Ross based Cantilena Singers presented a programme of "Songs for a Summer Evening" under their conductor, Joyce Backhouse. This was arranged by Madge and David Cowell on behalf of the St Briavel's Centre for Child development and attracted a full church on a beautiful evening.
The songs themselves were many and varied both in period and style, ranging from the wit and sometime spikiness of Benjamin Britten to the Edwardian lushness of Parry with traditional folk songs in between. Notable among these was the haunting "O waly waly" which tells the oft- repeated tale of a love sick maiden forlornly hoping (usually in vain) for the return from sea of her absent lover. These secular items were sandwiched between two widely different ecclesiastical ones. The first was part of a Latin Mass written by William Byrd in the time of the first Elizabeth with the four voice parts weaving independently and intricately around each other. The second, with which the programme ended, was Aaron Copland's account of the Creation story from the Book of Genesis. A real "tour de force" for choir, conductor and, especially, the narrator sung by Sarah Tolley. We were warned in advance to expect not a little dissonance from such a composer and it was quite a relief to have the benefit of a number of relapses into recognisable chords. A bit of a shock for those of us brought up on the four-square tones of Hymns Ancient and Modern, but superbly sung and worth the effort.
The wine and biscuits served during an extended interval were enjoyed by all, whether musical buffs or not and, as someone remarked, the scene was reminiscent of the Glyndebourne Opera down in Sussex. Not true - down there it frequently rains!



Sunday 9th June was chosen for what has become an annual event in the Tintern calendar. A month earlier than in previous years but a date chosen after careful consideration based on past experience. Not the least among the deciding factors being that to change the painted road signs used last year only needed the alteration of one letter to make "9 Jul" read "9 Jun".
So that visitors would be less fatigued, especially if the weather was hot, gardens selected were fewer and closer together than last year.
The weather turned out warm and sunny in spite of cold and unsettled weather during May, which changed for the better during the week prior to the day. We would have liked a few more visitors but those who did turn up were, we hope, interested in what they saw and enjoyed the experience as did those whose gardens were on view.
In addition to seeing the various gardens, visitors had an opportunity to buy refreshment and plants, have a free glass of lager, take part in a raffle but, most fascinating of all, to inspect the scale model of a substantial town house of the last century, complete with occupants and sound effects, created by Roy Hallett. This latter is a work of art, craft, ingenuity and technical skill, representing many hours of intricate work.
Our thanks are due to those who worked so hard to prepare their gardens for this event :-

Mr and Mrs Stan Mitchley The Woodlands
Mr and Mrs Ken Doano Sisial Dwr
Mr and Mrs Roy Hallett Alistone
Mr Bryan Young Japonica Cottage
Mr and Mrs Simon Morgan The Falls
Mrs Hazel Taylor Wye View
Miss Judith Russill Wye Barn

The day raised 337 for Church funds.


The answer to this question is that it varies from year to year depending on what repairs are needed but in 1995 it cost 9,545 which works out at about 184 a week. More than half this annual sum is taken up by two items, the quota and the insurance premium for the church. The latter speaks for itself and is currently 666 a year. The quota requires some definition, it is that amount paid by all parishes into the Church in Wales central funds from which such things as clergy stipends and retired clergy pensions are paid. The quota, or parochial assessment as it is called, is apportioned by each Diocese and can be compared to the Community Charge or the old "rates" but levied from each Parish in Wales. In 1995 St Michael's Church quota was 4329. In 1996 it has risen to 5628.
From the above it will be seen that the Church costs in excess of 6000 just to pay the quota and insurance premium before attempting to heat, light, clean or maintain the building for services to be held in it.
In order to raise the money to pay for the Church to remain open and active it is necessary to supplement the money put on the collection plate weekly by the congregation with cash from fund raising functions like the Bazaar, Gardens Open, and Flower Festivals.
As well as supporting these fund raising events, there are ways in which individuals can and do support the Church financially even though they may not be churchgoers.


Over the past three years much time and money has been spent to improve the facilities of the village hall.
The Hall Committee would like to see the hall used more - if the income can be increased, then the Committee can continue to improve the standard.
Tintern can now offer a most attractive venue for your parties and functions at the most competitive rates in the area.
So, when planning your party, think of the Tintern Village Hall as your venue, and contact the Booking Secretary, Mrs Gerry Hubbard on Tintern 689214.


For many months of this year, the domestic part of our neighbouring Parva Farmhouse was hidden inside a complicated web of steel scaffolding while the roof and entire upper storey disappeared beneath a striking blue canopy. It was impossible to see just what was going on underneath, but "sources" told us that it was to do with raising the upper walls and the roof itself to give the Stubbs family much needed additional bedrooms above the existing ones.
Patience was eventually rewarded a month or so ago when the shroud was removed and all was open to view. Amazingly, such a wonderful job has been made of the alterations that even those who had long known the original find it nearly impossible to tell the new from the old. Seeing that the buildings date from the 17th Century it is gratifying to learn that some, at least, of our 20th Century craftsmen are capable of such workmanship when put to the test.
So greetings and best wishes to Derek and Vickie Stubbs together with congratulations on their choice of Architect and Builder.



On the 7th June the apex of the East Window of the Abbey was shattered during a storm which also caused considerable damage to electrical appliances in Mrs Shewell's home, Abbey Farm. This was due to the fact that the house was surrounded by metal scaffolding at the time. The herring gulls, which have lately taken to squatting on our ancient monument, seem to appreciate the alteration to their nesting site.


Having expressed the hope in the last Parish News that the weather would improve for the remainder of our summer activities, lo and behold! it did.
We spent a very pleasant evening at Orchard House, Coed Morgan and the Sun shone even more brightly for us at our annual Garden Party in July. This year we were invited to Parva Barns and afterwards gave a heartfelt vote of thanks to Maureen and Peter Davey and Reg Bisson (not forgetting Baz) for allowing us to tramp all over their garden, play clock golf on the lawn and generally make nuisances of ourselves.
And then came Show Day - the morning went well; exhibits were staged; judges made their decisions, and then just when we hoped to see visitors and villagers flocking to find out the results of our labours, the heavens opened and the rest of the day was washed out. So, for those of you unable to join us for the presentation of trophies, the winner in the flower and vegetable sections was Mr Brian Young (who also won Best in Show for his bowl of roses) with Mr Doug Pickering as runner-up. Mrs Jean Bathgate won the cup in the cookery section and the other Best in Show award went to Miss Catherine Mitchely for her soft toy. So, honours won and the Village Hall cleared, we picked our way home through the puddles to a well earned "cuppa".
Next month, we begin our series of Autumn meetings with an illustrated talk by Mr Colin Titcombe entitled "Wentwood Forest". If you are interested, we meet at 7.30pm on the third Friday in each month and would be delighted to see some new faces as we start a new term.



Our Summer outing to Weston-Super-Mare was mercifully lady bird free this year and the weather, though windy, was fine.
Our long suffering member Mrs Pat Robinson has just gone into hospital for yet another operation on her knee and we wish her the very best of luck.
Last month we met in the Arnatt garden and on August the 27th we hope to meet in the Abbey Farm garden.

The Tuesday Club was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of our member, Mrs Vera King. We send our sympathy to her daughter Jan. Sadly we also heard of the death of Mrs Lyn Crum. Lyn and her late husband, Bert, were very popular members for many years.



On Sunday, 7th July, rival cricket teams, Llandogo and Tintern met on The Leytons to play for the Brown/Hollis Cup, which was won by Llandogo. Tintern awaits Summer 1997 for their revenge, may they have an equally beautiful Summer's day. Families and friends came to support the teams, Mr and Mrs Alan Butt of the Anchor Hotel gave the teas, all of which helped to make this a very enjoyable occasion. During the match a collection was taken in aid of S.A.R.A (Severn River Rescue Boat).
The Tintern Eleven has played league matches regularly but these friendly games keep the spirit of Village Cricket alive.

50/50 CLUB

The winners in recent monthly draws were :-

1st 2nd 3rd
June Mrs E Wait (30) Christine Morgan (73) K F Haynes (52)
July The Rastalls (90) A&W Boast (47) St Michael's (100)
August The Rastalls (90) The Rastalls (90) M&J Davey (84)


Our thanks to Mr Percy Palmer who first spotted this gem. Percy is a doyen of the Chepstow Probus Club and was the last skipper of the Aust Ferry before the opening of the Severn Bridge.

There's nothing the matter with me,
I'm as healthy as healthy can be.
I have arthritis in my knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I'm awfully well for the state that I'm in!

Arch supports I have for my feet,
Or I wouldn't be able to cross the street;
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But in the morning I find I'm all right.
My memory's failing, my head's in a spin,
But I'm awfully well for the state that I'm in!

Now the moral of this tale that I unfold,
Is for you and me, who are growing old;
It's better to say "I'm fine" with a grin,
Than let folks know the state that we are in.
"Old age is golden" I've heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed,
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table till I get up.

Ere sleep overtakes me I say to myself -
"Is there anything else I can lay on the shelf ?"

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the "obits".
If my name is still missing, I know I'm not dead,
So I have a good breakfast and go back to bed!!!


This is the American version of the poem. I saw it in the Ullapool News while on holiday in Scotland.

There's nothing whatever the matter with me
I'm just as healthy as I can be
I have arthritis in both my knees
And when I talk, it's with a wheeze
My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.

I think my liver is out of whack
And I have a pain in my lower back
My hearing's poor and my eyes are dim
Most everything seems to be out of trim
The way I stagger is sure a crime
I'm likely to fall most any time
But all things considered, I'm feeling fine.

Got arch supports on both my feet
Or I wouldn't be able to walk the street
My fingers are ugly - stiff in the joints
My nails are impossible to keep in points
My complexion's bad - with a wrinkled skin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.

Teeth drive me crazy. I'm restless at night
And in the morning, I'm an awful sight
Memory's failing, heads in a spin
I'm practically living on aspirin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in...!



I have been using a video camera at some local functions and have copies of the tapes if anyone wishes to borrow them. I would ask for a donation of 50 pence for the Church Funds.
The following titles are available now :-

Tintern VPA Show August 17th 1991 (10 minutes)
Tintern VPA Show August 26th 1995 (17 minutes)
Tintern Open Gardens June 9th 1996 (18 minutes)
Tintern VPA Show August 10th 1996 (20 minutes)

The tapes are on VHS cassettes. Other titles may become available.

Please contact John Bathgate on 689328, 6 Parva Springs if you wish to borrow a tape.


Did you see an unexpected follow-up to our piece in the last issue about St George? "St George wins promotion in the Church of England" was the headline in at least one national paper in July. Apparently their General Synod had just voted in favour of him being included among the select 28 festivals of the Christian year with full and obligatory liturgical provision in their prayer book.

Was this just coincidence or dare we suggest that the Tintern Parish News is read in loftier places than the village and its surroundings.