The Tintern Village Website

Autumn 1997



Dear Friends

On September 16th I will have served this parish (combined with Llandogo and Whitebrook) for eleven years. Some of you may speculate that the sentence prescribed for Grievous Bodily Harm or the trading of narcotics is frequently less in duration. Notwithstanding such pertinent observations, anniversaries are as good a time as any on which to reflect on life in a past era.
In this respect I am grateful to Judith Russill for allowing me sight of former copies of our Parish Magazine. These date from the 1880s, some 115 years ago, and reveal a wealth of detail relating to our churches (Saint Mary, Chapel Hill was fully functional then) and village life.
I have pleasure in reproducing a number of articles which I trust will be of interest. You may well arrive at the conclusion that these indeed mirror "the good old days" or you may breath a sigh of relief that "things ain't what they used to be".

June 1887, The Rector writes :
"The prevailing feeling during the last month has been one of depression on account of the unusual number of deaths which it has pleased God to permit in our midst. Eight funerals have taken place in about five weeks... and this is what their end says to us:- religion is not a thing for the death bed, only to make us die happy:- but it is a thing for our everyday life... so that if we are called as they were, we too may be found ready. Therefore let us not neglect Our Father's clear and loving voice, but make this an opportunity for rising to the only safe level, that of an humble Communicant. Come to the Guild Meeting on the 13th and hear further on these matters."

Great excitement is also recorded in this edition of the magazine relating to the Jubilee Festivities:

"God has given us 50 years of the greatest blessings ever granted to any nation. By sparing Queen Victoria, He has given us a pure and Christian Court... so let us not be among the foolish or selfish people who say, "What has the Queen done for me?", but rather do all we can to commemorate the event and come with joy to the service - which we may hope, by the kindness of the Duke and Mr. Baldwin, to hold in the Abbey - and there thank God for the long reign of the Christian Lady, whose aim has been acknowledged by all to be the "Righteousness which exalteth a nation"".

On May 18th a prayer meeting was held and "the attendance was not large" but the Rector found consolation in that "such a meeting must have more good effect upon the parish than one twice as large called for any other purpose."
By March 1888 the Rector continued to lament the high ratio of local deaths - one for each week - among them, Lady Francis Russell: "... a life of gentle simplicity, full of real sympathy with everything good, yet doing all so quietly that most people never gave her credit for it, nor did she wish they should."

The late Mr. T Davis "leaves behind him a name for honesty and integrity that no one is able to assail."

Also recorded was the forthcoming Confirmation with the postscript; "Are we all praying for our 50 candidates every day?"

With Holy Week approaching, the Rector fires a warning; "If any of us are being tempted to make Good Friday a holiday or to engage ourselves with friends, let us check this inclination at once."

A "Parochial Tea" took place on Shrove Tuesday and a heavy fall of snow did not prevent 70 souls from attending. After items by the choir and refreshments : "The Rector gave a brief summary of his first year's experience at Tintern. He remarked that it had been like that evening, a time of many storms and continual drawbacks, and yet of continual blessing and advance in spite of all difficulties... men were getting tired of the continually growing divisions among Christians. Later that evening some 50 Magic Lantern slides were shown, illustrating the voyage round the world taken by Lord and Lady Brassey in their yacht "The Sunbeam"".

The sentiments expressed by the Rector in August 1888 strike a familiar chord : "This will be a busy month. One feels ready to hesitate in beginning it. A good Bazaar is a large order for a village as poor as this. There is much to do, so few to do it. Four large tents are ordered from Bristol. The largest, 60 feet long, will contain the four chief stalls; another the Refreshment and Flower Stall, a third the Art Gallery and Museum; while the fourth will be kept for entertainments. In addition to these, Mr. Baldwin has kindly offered to lend us his two, the one for an Entrance tent, the other as a Parcel and Cloak tent... without his permission to use the Abbey Grounds, the whole face of things would have been changed."
The main purpose of this Bazaar appears to be raising money for the repair and adaptation of the church buildings. Bearing in mind the present depth of feeling in Llandogo over the same issue century on, it is perhaps worth lingering over the issue as recorded in the early parish magazine;
"We may surely hope that by this time all the objections to our plan will have ceased. Of course these have been almost entirely from outside, from those who desire to have no part or lot with us in other things. But if any objectors still arise, tell them to remember:"

1. Tintern Parva church has been in a sad state for some years past... come what may, we can guarantee that everything needed shall be done.

2. "Chapel Hill church has only pews for a hundred people in a population of nearly one thousand. Again and again people have had to go away from the doors. It is also very badly placed for worship, many people are absolutely unable to get there. Our average attendance on a Sunday is so large that it is impossible to do our work properly. Of course those who are opposed to us are not likely to say much in our favour. We only ask you as reasonable people whether such needs as these can be passed over or "wait", as some have said. A large iron room has been sent to us, just in the nick of time... all we want is a comparatively small sum to erect it."
The reader today can only marvel at the root problem facing the church at Chapel Hill - a congregation so large (over one tenth of the population at a conservative estimate) that many had to be turned away. Would that problem were still with us! I would love to know more about the "iron room"; was it ever erected in the face of opposition? Where was it sited? Can you help with detail?

On a lighter note the same edition reports on a successful Choir Festival held on July 26th at Saint Mary's, Monmouth: "Our party started from the "Royal George", in brakes, at 11.30... the Choirs robed at the Rolls Hall. A procession of 180 was formed, which marched through the Churchyard singing Hymn 56 (A&M), led by six instruments. Our banner was carried by Mr. W Jones. There were, in all, about 500 Choir voices... our party met afterwards for tea at "The King's Head", and started again for home at 8.00pm. The whole of the music was repeated on the Sunday evening following. The great value of these festivals then became most apparent for never did the Choir acquit itself so well; all the music was rendered with perfect taste and finish."

The magazine notes "that there are now 12 classes (in the Sunday School) besides the Bible Class."
Warm praise is heaped upon another Tintern church organisation: "It is probably not generally known that the members of the Young Men's Bible Class have been for some weeks past saving and collecting money for a good Banner, which they intend to present to the Sunday School. The money has all come out of their own hard-earned wages. People who have not yet learned the blessedness of self-denial will perhaps be astonished to hear that these young men have already handed to their Treasurer in 9 weeks the sum of 3 7s 0d. This makes one call to mind the words "Ye shall know them by their fruits"".

By January 1889 the Rector was able to report in the magazine that "Tintern Parva Church is thoroughly restored" and that the large Parish Room (the iron room?) is in place on Chapel Hill. He looks forward to concentrating on more spiritual matters although money is never far from the surface: "Those who have Collecting Cards for Tintern Parva Church still hesitate to send them in. One more has been paid - Mrs. Henessey, 6."... "Among the gifts sent towards the Room, one was put into the Offertory on Christmas morning marked "Advent Savings, from members of the Young Women's Bible Class". This shews that there are some who think."

An enthusiastic reception greeted the second of the Tintern Winter Concerts "which took the form of a Negro Entertainment... We had all the details of Darkie Minstrel business - songs sentimental and comic, clog dance, stump speech, Negro sketch, conundrums and corner-men... If one thing deserves more praise than another it was the sweetness of some of the Choruses."

In the magazine of May 1889 the Clergy of Tintern (Rector and Curate?) thanked the congregation for their "Easter dues of thirty shillings". These were returned to benefit parish funds.

Not all was sweetness and light however, and the Rector felt obliged to take certain individuals to task: "We would earnestly ask all true Church-people to do all they can to protect our Candidates for Confirmation from the cruel persecution that some of them have to bear just now. It is so unmanly for older people to attack them at such a time and to put difficulties before them in order to shake their faith."

Bible Classes continued to flourish with a cryptic observation: "Many of those who were young men two years ago, are now grown into fuller manhood (in every sense, please God)."

Certain class members went to Monmouth ("in one of Mr. Wooley's brakes") to play football against a local team. The Bible Class lost 0 - 1. Other results are recorded: Brockweir 1, Tintern 0, ("our men played very creditably"). The return match was played a few weeks later: "A good match had been looked forward to, but was spoiled entirely by the rough play and vulgarity of Brockweir... our men must be congratulated on their mild play and good behaviour." The result was a draw. Tintern v Whitelye "was very quiet and gentlemanly" and was rewarded with a draw.

In conclusion I refer to an earlier parish magazine, October 1887, where the Rector was proposing a not altogether popular project: "A very remarkable and rapid chain of circumstances has brought us to the probability of a very important change. The Church Council has decided, after long and careful deliberation, to build one church, if possible, for both parishes (Tintern Parva and Chapel Hill). There is not the slightest doubt that our two present Churches are quite unsuited to the needs of the people, both on account of their size and position. Surely it is a fact that cries for our earnest attention that in a village of over 900 souls the larger church has only pews for 150, and that on an ordinary Sunday evening more than 30 people who started to worship should have to return for want of seats. So our intention is to erect a good iron Church as soon as possible, and gradually to replace it by one of stone."

Obviously "parish streamlining" is nothing new. Neither is compromise it would seem. From later magazines, quoted above, it appears that feelings ran high over this issue in the parish. History shows that neither church was closed as intended but an "iron room" - if not a church as planned - was soon constructed and served to accommodate an assortment of religious activities.

Such is a glimpse of our village history. Much of what occupied our ancestors is no more. The Church of Saint Mary, Chapel Hill, did eventually close some ninety years later. Most of the well-attended church groups are beyond living memory and the days when the village was a separate parish with two serving clergy will not come again.

Not all is lost however. The Church of Saint Michael, whilst ministering to a smaller number of regular attenders, remains as an important part of the community. The officers and members of this church are no less dedicated than their counterparts of a hundred years ago.

Times change and it is to the abiding credit of our parochial system that the local church often responds to that change in a positive way. It is certain that the voices we have heard from a century past would be bewildered by, among many other things, the impact of tourism we have experienced in our own time. It may be true that the bulk of these tourists are "passing through" but the Church of Saint Michael has adapted itself to minister to them - as pilgrims - in a variety of ways without ignoring local residents. Many Sundays will see tourists in our pews and the Visitor's Book will provide ample testimony that a significant number of others gratefully refresh their spirituality in our modest church. Long may it be so.

With every good wish and blessing.

Julian E Ll White (Rector)


It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong;
not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich;
not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned;
not what we preach but what we practise that makes us Christians.

Sir Francis bacon



February (16th on) 60 115.10
March 221 489.33
April 100 283.96
May 84 288.41
June 112 386.50
July 100 214.84
August (to 3rd) 22 239.75

Total 699 2017.89
1996 period 630 1277.39

An increase this year of 69 attenders and 740.50


Julie Hoskins
Alice Rose Moscardini
Alex Ray Gregory


Neil William Mackie & Julie Marie Farmer


Julian Bellamy
Sybil Margot Scott
Mandy Thomas



I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the beautiful wall paintings in Llandogo Church, and are aware that they are badly in need of restoration. It is essential that the restoration work is carried out by well-qualified professionals and needless to say it will cost a great deal of money.
To raise funds specifically for this project an Art Exhibition (Art for Art's Sake) will be held in the church from Thursday 2nd October until Monday 6th October featuring local artists both amateur and professional.
You are cordially invited to the opening preview of the show on Thursday 2nd October at 7.00pm. Light refreshments will be available.

Towards the end of the year a competition, exhibition and auction of children's paintings will take place and from the October exhibition onwards entry forms will be available in the Church. Hopefully we will involve many local children in their own special fund raising event, where they will feel that they are making an active contribution to the future of their Church.

Janis Hall, Restoration and Renewal Committee Member.


We are going to start a prayer group. It will be held at Whitebrook Church at 7.30pm from Tuesday the 23rd September. Initially there will be 8 sessions, held once a fortnight. We will then assess how successful the group has been and if any additions or changes to the way it is run should be made.
Everybody is welcome. That includes people of all denominations and those with no formal belief. Anyone who is interested to exercise his or her thoughts within a quiet group and, perhaps, share some of them should come.
We will meet for an hour and a quarter. We will not go on and on because nobody can think when to stop.

The first meetings, at least, will begin with a reading and a song, probably from Taise (does anyone play a guitar?). Members of the group will take it turn choosing what to read. The song may be repeated during the session but most of the time people will be thinking about the reading and their own private thoughts and sometimes sharing their thoughts with the rest of the group.

One rule of the group will be that people should not be openly critical of what others have to say. Sharing that something which someone has said has caused another person to think again is another matter.
If, beyond the reading and the song, a session is entirely silent, that will be fine. If people want to talk that will be fine too.

We look forward to seeing some of you at Whitebrook.

John Dearnley
for more information, contact 01594.530080


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 11.00am, at St. Michael's

As in previous years we welcome your gifts of food in TINS and PACKETS for famine relief abroad.
Please contact the Rector (01594-530887) if you can assist in this appeal and would like your donations collected.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11th, in the Village Hall.

Limited number of tickets - secure yours NOW!


Please note that the closing date for the Winter 1997 issue is SUNDAY 17th NOVEMBER 1997
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor : Mrs K Heron Hillcrest, St Anne's Lane, Tintern 01291-689408


My first is hops, and also in hoe.
My second is in grapes, but not in snow.
My third is in worship, and also in prayer.
My fourth is in vegetable, but not in tare.
My fifth is in season, and also in seed.
My sixth is in salad, but not in weed.
My seventh is in tractor, but not in sprays.

Can you find the festival when we praise ?

from the Magazine of St James Church, West End, Southampton


Complete this limerick:

There are many good gardeners in Gwent
But in Tintern, the annual event
Is the VPA Show
Where we all have a go

Send your entry to the Editor before the 31st October.
Mrs Heron
Hillcrest, St Anne's Lane, Tintern 01291-689408


Some time ago the Rector was approached by a young mother with a request to consider greater participation by children in the life of Saint Michael's Church.
Whilst fully supportive of the principle, the Rector explained that over past years a number of attempts had been made to engage children at this level. The groups run by Kip and Doreen will be clearly recalled by many, as will the joint Anglican/Methodist initiatives launched by the Rector and Revd. Andrew Cordy. In recent times the efforts centred around the Pentecostal Church and the Methodist Hall have sought to address this perceived need.

With the approval of the Parochial Church Council a questionnaire was distributed among parents of young children in the village, to assess the degree of enthusiasm in respect of a formal Children and Church programme.
We are indebted to Mrs Mary Mills for her involvement at this level and to those that responded.

A total of 20 questionnaires were produced of which 4 (one fifth) were returned. In addition to an invitation to express detailed comments on a Children and Church programme, to which there was no response, six questions were asked.

1: Do you feel that the local church fails to engage the interest and participation of local children? Two of the four returns answered "yes", one with the qualification that "I realise children are not always easy to engage!" One return answered "no" to this question. The remaining return did not answer the question either way.

2: Would you be interested in your child/ren participating in a regular church based programme? All four returns answered "yes".

3: Would you be willing to accompany your child/ren to a regular (eg one Sunday every two months) church service designed to meet the needs of young people and families? All four returns answered "yes".

4: Would you be prepared to assist on a regular basis if such a programme were established? Two returns from the four indicated that regular commitment could not be promised; one return was "unsure" and the final return recorded "not at present".

5: If the answer to question 4 is "yes", would you welcome training to help you in this respect? One return answered "yes", two returns recorded no comment and the final return answered "no".

6: Your name and address? One return from the four did not return this information.

An identical questionnaire was also published in the Parish News (with a circulation over 200) but no further returns were received.

The findings of the questionnaire were brought to the Parochial Church Council and discussed at some length.
The P.C.C., noting previous efforts to establish a Children and Church programme, reached the conclusion that there did not presently exist a sufficient level of interest or enthusiasm to support another immediate undertaking in this direction.
The P.C.C. also felt that the small number of returns did not provide a clear mandate to establish a Children and Church programme in the short term future. In particular the less than emphatic response to questions 4 and 5 were a cause for concern. It is a fact that any Children and Church programme depends greatly upon a good number of committed and well-trained adults to ensure success. If the majority of respondents felt unable to commit themselves to this it is also possible that the legislation regarding the Child Protection Act would impose a further burden.
In general the P.C.C. also lamented the fact that the significant number of infant baptisms held in the church over recent years had led to negligible "follow on" in terms of attendance at regular acts of worship.

The Church of Saint Michael will continue to extend a warm welcome to children when they are in evidence. We hope that opportunities will, from time to time, arise where young people can feel free to participate in services. We further hope that the future will present an opening at which the possibility of a firm commitment to a sustained Children and Church programme will present itself.
Once again the P.C.C. wishes to express their appreciation to Mrs Mary Mills for high-lighting this issue and promises, that should greater interest be apparent in the future, they will be pleased to support a programme that seeks to address this area of concern.



During all the rain we had in June, we visited Mrs Rainforth's garden at "The Graig" Pen-y-Clawd. All day we expected to have to cancel as the showers got heavier but in the end eleven members braved the weather to make the trip.
Mrs Rainforth welcomed us as the rain lifted and we were able to wander around her garden in the dry. She is a nonagenarian looking after a very large garden with only help on the lawns and for some big jobs.
The garden held many trees, lawns, large flower beds, fruit and vegetables, a bog garden and a stunning view down the valley.
If you missed the visit and want to get a look, Mrs Rainforth is holding a sale of plants and bric-a-brac in aid of "Save the Children" on Sunday September 28 between 11.00am and 3.00pm. Refreshments will be available.
To find "The Graig" pass through Mitchell Troy towards Raglan, ignore the first notice for Pen-y-Clawd, go under the A40 and turn left at the second notice for Pen-y-Clawd. The Graig is then less than a mile on the right.

On the following day in June, the County Show was held at Usk. Nine VPAs exhibited at the show. We had 10 exhibitors from Tintern with 53 entries.
I counted 11 firsts, 11 seconds and 7 thirds for Tintern. This gave us a total of 202 points which only got us into fifth place. Shirenewton came top with 133 entries and 350 points.
Every entry gains a point, so next year we could do with more entries, particularly as it seems that every other Tintern entry picks up a prize and more points.
We did have one big consolation. Tintern won the Mrs Williams Cup. Brian Young's vegetables did the trick here, particularly as we got a first in the "Collection of Five Vegetables" category.
Tintern has the marmalade market all sewn up. We came away with first, second and third in that category.
It's an interesting show to visit, it's not just the VPAs exhibiting. We were only a small part of all the activities on display.



For us the Summer months mean evening meanders around local gardens come rain or come shine, this year culminating in a visit to Wendy and Alan Boast at Rose Cottage over the water in Brockweir. The weather was a bit "iffy" but this didn't matter, as to us this was a "new" garden and needed exploring to the full. There was plenty to see and exclaim about around the house and then a short walk down the lane brought us to their allotment where fruit and vegetables abounded.
Back at the cottage, over some light refreshments, we discussed the arrangements for the Show, twisted a few arms to get entries for a county- wide competition and finally gave Wendy a vote of thanks for hosting a delightful garden party.

The Annual Show, which as usual was held on the second Saturday in August, dawned bright and sunny and stayed that way throughout the day. Luckily the Hall with all the windows open wide, stayed relatively cool so that both exhibits and exhibitors didn't flag too much. The number of entries in each class was above average and made a colourful display for the visitors to see - and how nice it was to meet plenty of Tintern folk, wandering around the tables and enjoying a cup of tea and a biscuit.
One of our judges, Mr Roy Haviland, opened the Show and presented the cups and if you have a feeling of deja vu when you read the next paragraph, you'd be quite correct.
Mr Brian Young won the cups for Flower and Vegetable classes with Mr Doug Pickering winning the runners-up cup and Mrs Jean Bathgate won the cup for the cookery section.
Of the Best in Show awards, one went to Mrs Kay Heron for a succulent and the other to Mrs Jean Bathgate for cheese straws.
All in all, a very successful day and we now look forward with aching limbs and bent backs to the shorter days and longer evenings when we can relax and plan for the next growing season.

September's meeting is on Friday 19th when a speaker from Usk College will talk to us about "A Wild Garden".



Past history now, perhaps, but are we likely to forget it? The wettest on record we were told; for 160 years according to some pundits. All those ruined hats and other expensive items for Ascot Ladies Day; Wimbledon disrupted and completely washed out for a couple of days; acres of mud at the Glastonbury Festival. And yet we still have news of water shortages, shrinking reservoirs, dried up rivers, and, in some areas less well off than us, hosepipe bans.
With midsummer temperatures down in the fifties and the heating back on, we might wonder where this "Global Warming" had got to.

Not all was doom and gloom, however, for there was a long enough let-up on Sunday 22nd June for our Parish Lunch at the home and garden of Judith Russill where some thirty of us gathered in the sun for pre-lunch sherries and a lot of chat though, one suspects, not about the sermon we had just listened to in rapt attention. There were, of course, clouds in the sky so most of us sat inside for a delightful cold buffet lunch based on Judith's elegantly presented salmon looking too good to eat. Salads, sweets and other items were contributed by a number of members and, we were told, not only by the ladies.
So thank you to all who contributed in any way. Surprise, Surprise, although a purely social event it produced a surplus of 100 for which the Treasurer was, as ever, most grateful.


50/50 CLUB

Results of the most recent monthly draws were :

Month 1st 2nd 3rd
June Ella Williams (81) Judy Bartholomew (92) M&R Ash (6)
July Margaret Shewell (39) Shelley Rastall (75) K&P Heron (25)
August Terry Evans (65) K&P Heron (26) W&A Boast (29)



We meet at the Royal George on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

15th September Members Evening - ideas for next year.
20th October Cookery or craft demonstration.
17th November Our first birthday and AGM. Come and have some cake.
15th December Christmas Party.

Our Bridge, Cross-stitch and Brambler's Clubs are all going well.

SHOPPING TRIP TO EXETER Nov 5th with St Arvans WI, contact Jean Davey 689212, ladies and partners.



Some members of the Tuesday Club recently joined with Llandogo Over-60s and went to Brecon and a trip down the canal which was most enjoyable. This was followed by another trip to the Elan Valley. Llandogo are planning a shopping outing before Christmas. If you are interested, contact the Daveys 689212 for more details. Destination at present unknown.



Those of us who are becoming increasingly worried over the present state of the Church might care to reflect on a report by Bishop Hooper of Gloucester following his examination of the 311 clergy of his diocese.
Of these, 168 could not recite the Ten Commandments and 33 could not locate them in the Bible.
10 could not even recite the Lord's Prayer. 39 did not know where in the Bible to find it and 34 did not know who the author was.
Out of 869 who died leaving wills to be proved, only 158 possessed any books at all, 58 had service books only, and only 17 had bibles to bequeath.
That by the way was in 1549. Perhaps he should have tried ordaining some women.



Towards the front of our green Service book is a lengthy list of saints and the dates on which we should be remembering them and their good works. Many are people we have never heard of, and the more obscure or unpronounceable their names, the greater the joy with which Rector Julian or Organist Adrian draw our attention to them.
But do not despair for help is at hand in the form of a six hundred page "Book of Saints" to be found deep in the "Non-Fiction" recesses of Chepstow library. All our selection are present, including the Saint Monica who confronted us one Sunday in May.

She was a Christian, born in Carthage, but got herself married to a pagan husband. Her husband's bad example led to the early indifference of her elder son who turned out to be the famed Saint Augustine, who returned to the faith after she had managed to convert her husband. She died at Ostia, near Rome, in 386 AD.

Some are more familiar to us for the places named after them - Saint David, for example. He was born around the year 600 and founded a monastery at Mynyw in the far west of Dyfed and is honoured as the first Bishop of what we now call St Davids. Similarly, Bury St Edmunds, which is named after King Edmund of the East Angles who was done to death by the Danes around 870, "with the name of Jesus on his lips". Then there was Alban, a citizen of the Roman city of Verulam. The first British martyr for whom Verulam was renamed St Albans.
There is also Genesius the Comedian, but borrow the book to learn about him.

What, we may wonder, is the point of all this remembrance? Surely, it is not so much who they all were, where they lived, what they did and how they died, but what they stand for in this day and age. All the Christian virtues of love, devotion, service to others and self-sacrifice, even, when required, to the sacrifice of life itself. As the Green Book has it, "We bless the Holy name for the grace and virtue declared in all thy Saints. Grant that we, rejoicing in their fellowship and following in their good examples....".

By way of a Postscript, the book lists no fewer than forty St Julians, though regrettably, none with any Tenby connections.



"Our General Fund last year was under-resourced"
(Treasurer's note in a Dorsetshire Church Magazine)


This Forest of Dean Club for classic car owners is now just over a year old. Tintern is well represented in the membership. We have seven subscriptions from the village. They are :
Judy Bartholomew
John and Jean Bathgate
Ken Haynes
Colin and Freda Rea
Mike and Diane Taylor
Our Rector, Julian White
Roger and Liz Woods

Recent events for the Club included shows at Beechenhurst in the Forest and at Roger Wood's school at Cwmcarn. The Tintern members also hosted a Garden Party for members at Judy Bartholomew's home.

The Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the Butcher's Arms at Clearwell for a very sociable get together and natter.



Early in August the Savoy Theatre in Monmouth held an open afternoon. Tim Williamson, the new Manager, showed visitors over the theatre to let them see the progress made in renovating the building and equipment. The main auditorium walls and proscenium have been redecorated and look much improved. The theatre is expecting to close for a week in October for scaffolding to be erected so that the decorators can reach the ceiling.
We were shown to the balcony. It has been stripped out and cleared up, apart from the lighting equipment used for the "Rocky Horror Show". It is intended to refit seating in this area and open it up for use. The view looking down on the screen brings back memories of past cinemas; nowadays modern cinemas have no balconies and audiences have to look up at screens.
The Manager showed us the "coming attractions" to demonstrate his picture and sound. The sound equipment has been uprated to a more modern surround sound system and sounds much more realistic than the previous monophonic amplifier and loudspeaker.

It was pleasant to spend an hour in the company of an enthusiast and to see how an old gem is being brought back to life.

Details of programmes are to be found in the weekly Monmouthshire Beacon.



The Third Screen is at the Studio Cinemas at Coleford. It's not a new screen in the physical sense, it's a monthly cinema club bringing us films and events you would not normally have the chance to see in this area.

Last November, Forest Artworks and the cinema participated in the Cinema 100 Festival showing films from the past and present. The Third Screen has built on that experience.
The first film showing occurred in June when a large and appreciative audience saw Mike Leigh's Oscar nominated film "Secrets and Lies". Whilst purchasing tickets, the audience was given the chance to nominate the films that they would like to see at later shows.
The next film on September the 15th is to be "Kolya", winner of the Oscar for best foreign film in 1997. It's the story of a Prague cellist paid to marry a Russian woman, and then left with her five year old son when she runs away to the West. It is set during the build up to the 89 revolution. It is mostly a two handed drama about the growing relationship between the man and boy, each speaking their own language.

The plans for the future now envisage a showing on the third Monday evening of each month. Times for these showings, also the U3A shows on the second Tuesday morning of the month and the regular daily programmes can be found the Monmouthshire Beacon.