The Tintern Village Website

Spring 2000


"Abide in Him" The First Letter of John Ch2 v28

"Abide" is an old-fashioned word we don't use now in everyday speech. I wonder what it means to you? For me it has two strong images in my mind and emotions. This first is a place; the second is people. To abide somewhere is to live there or to love it so much, that wherever you roam, you'll always come "home". You will feel excited at the prospect and on the journey, and when you get there, you'll feel so comfortable and at peace.
Secondly, the joy of being there will include not only a familiar scene, but people I love to be with. It will not be perfect without those folk. The love of this "abode" contains also a shared appreciation of it - things that others appreciate as I do, and which we share together.
Recently my oldest friend, from childhood, retired early from being a teacher. In the months ahead we'll spend time together walking the hills of Gwent, remembering doing the same things when we were young. We both together share so much.
John tells us we should "abide" in Jesus. The ideal will be to live with Him and "in Him" that we are never aware of being "away".
However, if we do feel we've put some distance between us, to rush back speedily and gladly, knowing the welcome that awaits us. Don't stay away too long from Him.
I chose this word this month, because we seem to be in a period when we are awaiting what the Lord is going to do next with us here. We remain in the assurance that God is blessing and that the Holy Spirit is being poured out. We hear of revival in other places and of the insights many have, that we'll see revival in Wales, but we have not seen this yet. We are waiting and praying.
And in the Parish we are aware of the need for a vision from the Lord for the next phase of mission and evangelism in our villages. It seems the Lord is telling us that as His people we must give the highest priority NOW. to Prayer, individually and corporately. We want to put in place a Prayer Structure for the Parish.
The best advice in such a time is to abide in Christ. Remain very close to Him. We used to say in London in 1994, when so much was happening, "Don't give up the disciplines". Though the Holy Spirit is moving, and we are awaiting an amazing awakening in our Nation, continue abiding - don't be distracted or tired. Continue in the prayer, in the word of God, in receiving Holy Communion, and in a ministry to others which will encourage.
Abide in Jesus



Please note that the closing date for the Summer 2000 issue is SUNDAY 21st May 2000
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor
Mrs E Craig, Orchards, Trellech Road, Tintern 01291-689527


Dr Patrick Norman Heron age 88 died at his home Hillcrest, Chapel Lane after a long illness.
He was born in Bristol. Both his father and grandfather were Doctors and he followed in their footsteps. He was educated at Clifton College and Bristol University where he was keen on sport and in particular Rugby. He played for the University fifteen at full-back and was also in the athletic team. Unfortunately this period was interrupted by illness.
After qualifying he worked in Weston Hospital and later in the Cornwall Royal Infirmary in Truro. He was there at the outbreak of war and volunteered for the Royal Navy but was rejected on the grounds of ill-health. This resulted in another interruption, after which he worked as a G.P. in Scotland and the North of England, replacing doctors who had left their practices for war service. He had fond memories of this period, both of seaside and country practices and life in a rural setting. Eventually he returned to Bristol to look after his father's practice and later succeeded him as doctor to Bristol Rugby Club.
When he retired he and his wife came to live in Tintern and soon joined in village life. They were both fond of walking and enjoyed the beauty of the Lower Wye Valley in all seasons. Dr Heron was a dog lover and wherever he went his Border terriers, Barney and Jody, went too! His greenhouse housed a large collection of cacti which were proudly entered annually in the VPA Show, invariably collecting a "first".
He will be sadly missed by his friends, especially the Cricket Club of which he was President for many years.
The funeral service at St Michael's Church was conducted by Revd. Julian White, followed by cremation at the Forest of Dean Crematorium.



A small block of granite will soon stand amongst the daffodils on Chapel Hill. It will mark the gingko tree planted there for Patrick a few years ago as a memorial? a votive offering? or just one more tree in Tintern? Call it what you will.
From the beginning Patrick loved Tintern for its beauty, and the people for their friendliness. Shy by nature, he was happy working out of doors, cutting grass in the church yard or clearing woodland paths in those early days when the Wye Valley Walk was being prepared for its present fame. As a WRVS driver for twenty years he was well acquainted with the scenic lanes of Tintern, Trelleck and the Regions beyond. After he became housebound he was pleased to hear any scraps of village news that I might recount.
I would like to thank everyone for the sympathy and kindness I have received since Patrick died and for the help we both received during his illnesss, which made it possible to care for him at home.

Kay Heron


A cheque for 105 has been sent to this charity, this being the sum donated by friends in lieu of flowers at Dr. Heron's funeral.


If anyone who kindly lent me books and who has not had them returned, please phone 689408 to recover their property and receive an apology from KAY HERON


Thanks to all helpers and customers and especially to Father Christmas and his helpers and chauffeur, who made the afternoon such a success.
Mr White Elephant would like to apologise for not being at the Christmas Bazaar. His "trunk" line wasn't working and he didn't get the message. Or did Mrs White Elephant fix it because she wanted some jobs done? Mr White Elephant says he now has a mobile so will be back next Christmas Bazaar.


50/50 CLUB

Results of the final few draws of the 1999 series are as follows :
1st 2nd 3rd
Dec Rosemary Beak(22) TCR Evans(85) Jane Parrett(87)
Jan J&E Wait(63) Heather Mather(37) Nicky King(35)
Annual Jackie Hutchison(27) Judy Bartholomew(44) and (48)

The first draw of the 2000 series will be held on Sunday 5th March 2000 (not as stated in the Winter issue). This is a month later than usual for we have made one or two modifications to the draw. Instead of Tintern and Llandogo churches organising separate draws we have combined to have only one. At the same time there will be five prizes per month and five annual prizes, and the annual prizes will be drawn and paid out in December (ready for Christmas).
The last monthly draw will be on the first Sunday in February 2001.
So if you still want to take part and have NOT bought a share, get your money (12 per share) to David Cowell by the 3rd of March at the latest. Cheques payable to "Llandogo and Tintern PCC" or cash accepted



The Christmas Party was held as usual in the Village hall and was well attended, but our Secretary and Mrs Joan Dexter, who usually decorate the room and organise the refreshments were both ill and sorely missed. However the reserve team coped and the evening turned out to be a very pleasant party.
The January meeting is always our A.G.M. and by tradition not very well attended due mainly to a dread of becoming lumbered with a job during the coming year. However this time we had a goodly number and so we managed to scamper through the agenda quite quickly, with ideas for competitions and offers to host the monthly "tea breaks" coming thick and fast.
The Village Hall was not available to us for our February meeting but thanks to the hospitality of Mrs Joan Dexter (who managed to seat and refresh twenty-five or so of us without turning a hair) we enjoyed an illustrated talk on "Foreign Gardens" by Mrs Judy Chaloner from Usk College which really brightened up a rather murky evening.
Next month our speaker is Mr Jim Saunders from Penallt and in April Mr Hines from Gwehelog who is the local "Batman".
So if you would like to join us, please come to the Village Hall on the third Friday at 7:30pm and you will be made very welcome.



Tuesday Clubbers have recovered from Christmas and are looking forward to Spring. We all feel more cheerful now that flowers are once again blooming in woods and gardens. Most of our ailments have cleared up. If anyone would like to join us for tea, a natter and bingo, please do.

Jean Davey 689212


Today's Women Working for TO-morrow's World
The WI is the largest and most influential voluntary women's organisation in the country. It enables women to turn their interests into acheivements and their concerns into campaigns. We are not just jam and Jerusalem. The WI has its own Residential College where courses on practically anything can be taken. Day Schools in many subjects, gardening, crafts, flower arranging, cookery, public speaking, story writing and many more can be taken locally.
How about giving Tintern WI a go? We meet on the third Monday of the month at the Royal George Hotel at 7:30pm. You can come as a visitor before deciding to join.
Members of WIs often visit each other's groups for social and other events. A brave representative from Tintern journeyed into Llandogo WI as rumours were spread that "Exotic Dancing" was taking place. With visions of scenes from films on the Arabian Nights before her, she went happily into the hall expecting to find an Arab tent look-alike. But no, it was still the Village Hall scattered with tables at which were sitting some staid ladies of various ages. The Dancer was most attractive, dressed in orange chiffon with lots of beads and sparkles. Pat Wright of Bristol was the dancer and members were expecting a demo. This was not to be yet.
Those willing and not so willing were issued with filmy scarves which were tied round their hips and they then learnt how to wiggle them. It was hilarious. We weren't sure who found it more so, those who took part, or those that didn't.
After various dances had been tried or massacred, Pat did some dances for us. They were beautiful. Apparently these dances are done by women for women.
We must ask her to Tintern.

Our programme for the coming months :
March 20 S.A.R.A.
April 17 Bits and Pieces
May 15 Antiques Roadshow - bring your own antique
June 19 Outing to Langstone Court
July 8 WI Summer Supper at the Village Hall with an American Theme
July 17 Posh Picnics
August Garden Party

Would anyone be interested in a proposed trip to Aberglasney and Middleton Hall? The WI is hoping to arrange one if there is enough support.

Jean Davey 689212


March 22 Newent and Daffodil Tour Llandogo 11:30am
April 26 Winchcombe and Sudely Castle Llandogo 10:00am
May 24 Longleat House and Gardens Llandogo 9:30am, pickup in Tintern
June 21 Sidmouth Llandogo 9:30am, pickup in Tintern
July 5 Cheddar and Wells Llandogo 10:00am, pickup in Tintern
July 19 Tewkesbury Llandogo 9:30am
August 23 Victorian Festival, Llandrindod Wells Llandogo 10:00am
September 20 Swansea and Mumbles Llandogo 9:30am, pickup in Tintern
October 17 Moreton-in-Marsh Llandogo 9:00am
November 22 Worcester Llandogo 9:00am

nb : All coaches are NON-SMOKING
Phone Mrs Knight 01594-530906



Tintern's volunteers are still manning (or womanning) the Police Station. Shifts are now for two hours instead of four. We are looking forward to our new volunteers starting. If you feel like adding to their number, please contact Tony Parsons on 689446


As in the rest of the country, the snow just before Christmas came as a surprise. It has always been my ambition to get stuck in a pub during a snowstorm, but as my local is only one hundred yards from my house, I feared the excuse would not hold much water.
Unfortunately, the losers were local hotels and businesses. Treacherous roads, combined with an electricity failure for most of Sunday, meant a very quiet day, when normally the Sunday before Christmas can be very busy.
As always, however, the valley looked beautiful and, as they always do in the snow, people lost their insularity and talked and joked with one another in the middle of what is quite a novelty in this part of the World.
It didn't last long but certainly provided a touch of early Christmas.

It is just over six months since Stan and Sylvia Smith rescued the Village Shop from closure or, more accurately re-opened it, combining the newsagents and many of the features of the butcher's - both shops having succumbed to the pressure of modern times.
They have set out, they say, to reinvent proper shopping. They are open seven days a week, twelve hours a day and always have a smile and a cheerful word to greet you.
Over their first half year they have provided an oasis, compared to the atmosphere in most supermarkets.
There is also within the Village Shop a big involvement in village life. Sylvia is a community councillor and member of the W.I. while Stan couples his enthusiastic support for the football team with playing a mean hand of crib for the Anchor.
I wonder if the couple realise what a service they have given to the village, especially the elderly, who otherwise face a journey to Chepstow or Monmouth.
The couple have created far more than just a commercial enterprise - just look at the blackboard outside, where you can leave greetings or other messages and where Stan puts the football team results when they win and diplomaticaaly ignores them when they lose.
We wish them continued success for the future.

The camera roadsigns (to indicate speed traps) made quite an impression last week when a party of Japanese tourists were seen to park next to the sign to take their photographs of the Abbey.

Many country pubs make a feature of their garden, not least the Rose and Crown. Normally to visit pub gardens you have to brave the often inclement weather. This one can be viewed in its entirety through the glass door of the main bar and is even illuminated at night. Being just slightly bigger than a pool table, it's hardly labour intensive and is, says Dave Stafford the landlord, the ideal horticultural experience, even though it includes a lawn sweeping down to a pond teeming with fish, all nestling under steep majestic cliffs.

In a strange quirk of fate, history has repeated itself at the Moon and Sixpence, with its new owners being very much involved in the equestrian world, inevitably bringing back memories of the Flowers family and their long successful time at the pub.
Licensee Sue Gadsby is joined by husband, Derek, their children David and Victoria; Elaine, her partner Melvin and their children, James and Becky. All have an involvement with horses.
David is an agricultural mechanic, while Elaine has had success in training point to pointers. Melvyn and Elaine ride.
When you walk into the pub there is great camaraderie and cheerful atmosphere. As you would expect from a family with such involvement in outdoor pursuits, they are providing wholesome, homemade food. They seem to have injected a great ambience without losing the character of the pretty pub.
Fascinated by the history of the pub, Elaine told me the reason for the change in the pub's name (originally The Mason's Arms). Previous owners sank their life savings into it and, undoubtedly being aware of the Somerset Maughan novel, were reflecting on what they had done, when the wife looked into her purse and then the night sky and said "Well, all we've got now is the Moon and Sixpence".

The appalling weather meant a very wet and uncomfortable Christmas for many in the village.
We were affected in two ways, first by water pouring down off the cliffs and hills and then by the highest tide I can remember.
The water coming down affected mostly the houses at the Trellech Road end of the village.
Despite many thousands being spent on a flood prevention scheme for the Angiddy, debris blocked the culvert and a torrent of slurry and water swept down the road and through the Anchor Hotel. This is the eighth time this has happened to Alan Butt who saw his Mercedes car destroyed and such extensive damage to his commercial premises that all their Christmas trade was lost.
Part of the deal when the culvert went in was that it would be kept clear. With the well-forecast bad weather surely a watch should have been maintained on this?
On Christmas Eve came the river and what I felt was an appalling decision by the authorities. The immediate problem was the Trellech Road so they decided to build a wall of sand bags to divert the river coming down the road but to do so they removed them from the front of the houses on the promenade. This included my house where we were prearing for what we knew would be a huge tide. It was obvious we were going to have a major problem.
When I went outside to stack our sandbags against the door, I found, in common with the other properties that they had gone. When I went to the other end of the village to enquire what on earth was going on, I was told by the Police that they would return them in plenty of time. As the river was now on the road this didn't seem likely!
We ended up with two feet of water in the kitchen losing our fridge (with most of the ingredients for a Christmas lunch), carpets and furniture. Somewhat more seriously the neighbouring book and antique shops had severe stock damage.
The problem on Trellech Road had been known all day. The council yard was twelve miles away at Crick. Couldn't they have got some from there?
We were told there was not enough and yet on Christmas morning when all the flooding had finished, I found about thirty outside my front door, Cheers chaps!

Tintern resident David Hurn keeps his light hidden securely under a bushel. David is an internationally known photographer who lives quietly in the village and is extremely modest about his achievements.
This month (Feb) he has a Millennium exhibition in Cardiff at the National Art Gallery featuring more than 250 examples of his work and entitled Land of my Fathers.
Recently featured in an ITV documentary he came to fame in the 1960s with his dramatic pictures from the world's trouble spots. Among many other things he was also responsible for the stills featured on the Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night".
Tintern wishes him huge success in this major exhibition which runs until March 12.

The pub reopened on January 15 with a bang rather than a whimper! Many locals, delighted to see their popular haunt back in action, lent their support enthusiastically to the regret of most of us next morning.
Sunday saw hordes of visitors, many calling to express their best wishes, having followed the pub's misfortunes in the national press.
The first major function was to be a birthday celebration for local resident, Ralph Arnold. This fell on Burn's Night, yet another excuse for carousing around.

As a footnote, Percy the Peacock would like his many followers to know that he and Pansy survived the flood, watching the proceedings with interest from the roof. Their youngster is doing well and the family wish everyone a Happy New Year.

edited somewhat from Grantley James Diary. Thank you Grantley


Greetings from the land of cheese and strawberries where we were safely delivered by Chepstow Removals in far from ideal conditions just before Christmas.
We do hope you can find a spare corner in the next Parish News to record our appreciation for the many expressions of good will which we received both before leaving and in the many cards which followed us down. A special word of thanks for the lovely send-off organised by Madge and David and for the generous gift which has been put to a water feature for our courtyard garden (no more muddy paws!). It takes the form of what they call an "Athenian Jar" trickling water into a dish of pebbles and will always remind us of the thirteen happy years we shared with you all.
Not quite the Grecian Urn immortalised by the poet but to us a joy for ever - or as long as we are around to enjoy it.
Love to all,

Frank, Margaret and Rosie Keys.


Thank you to Mrs Kathleen Williams for pointing out that her great uncle Mr John Brown was one of the Stonemasons who with brothers Andrew and "Bill" William Brown contributed to work described in the Winter Edition of the Parish News.


Many thanks to all those who have donated books and spectacles during the last few months.
The Rotary Club of Chepstow is most grateful but say they no longer require books although specs are still welcome. So if you find any during your Spring Clean ! please ring 689421 or leave them at Glen Roy, Trellech Road.



Quite by chance my husband and I happened to be in the Tintern area on New Years Eve and after reading an article in the local newspaper, which said the "Moon & Sixpence" was one of the few pubs to be open we decided to drop in. A friendly atmosphere greeted us and there was no queueing at the bar for drinks and no noisy discos making it impossible to make yourself heard. A good spread of complimentary food was laid on and a karaoke machine provided entertainment. At midnight champagne and partypoppers were provided to see in the New Millennium and after singing Auld Lang Syne everyone went outside to watch the firework display in the village. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and Melvyn, Elaine and Susan worked hard to make it a successful and memorable night. The last reveller left at 10 past 4 in the morning!!
We wish them every success in their new venture.



There will be a Millenium Supper on Saturday 15th April in aid of the Village Hall funds. There will be three courses for 6, bring your own drink. Tickets are available from Stan and Sylvia's Tintern Stores or any W.I. member.
Buy early or you may be too late.



At Parva Farm Vineyard on the outskirts of Tintern we have a collection of ponies - more by accident than by design. There are the two Shetlands - Treasure and Dusty - mother and son and Dusty's pal Charlie, who is a Fell pony from Yorkshire. The latter two go everywhere together. We call them Charlie Farley and Piggy Malone (Remember the Two Ronnies?)
We also have a group of British Spotted Ponies. Camilla is a Welsh type with small spots and mother of Pandora, Star and Song. Pandora is a black cob cross but Star and Song (the babies) are spotted. The other spotted pony on the farm is the oldest and largest pony at 14 hands high and fifteen years old. She is a riding pony and has won prizes at shows but also enjoys hacking in the local woods. She is a very sensible pony which makes it difficult to explain why she got herself into an extremely awkward position one Saturday in January.
Unusually for ponies, Jay cannot eat hay as it makes her cough and wheeze. Every morning she comes into her stable where she has a feed of chopped alfalfa while the other ponies have their hay in the field. This particular Saturday, Jay's owner Jessica was going to take her for a hack so Jay had been left in her stable until after lunch.
Jessica had gone out with Jay's saddle and bridle to tack her up when I heard a shout, "Mum, come quickly, Jay's stuck on the gate!" I could not imagine what she meant by this, but when I ran out to the yard I could see that it was true. For some reason we shall never know Jay had jumped out of her stable and then tried to jump out of the yard over a five-barred gate. She had not quite made it and the catch holding the gate had given way, so that the gate had swung forward with Jay as she landed. She had her front feet on one side of the gate and her back feet on the other. The top of the gate had buckled under her weight and there she was - stuck! It was impossible to lift the gate off its hinges as her weight was on top of it. PANIC!!
Fortunately Jay was standing calmly and did not seem to be injured. We'd no idea how long she had been there. I decided to cut through the gate's hinges and then lower it to the ground, but could not find any saw that was up to the job. More panic - then Jessica suggested the Fire Brigade. I rushed indoors and rang them, asking them not to make too much noise when they arrived so as not to panic Jay.
What seemed like hours (but was only twenty minutes) later they came and left the engine at the bottom of the drive. Jay calmy accepted the arrival of five burly firemen, who set about the task of rescuing her. They decided my plan of cutting the hinges was the best, but did not want to use the generator in case it frightened Jay - so they set to work with hack-saws.
Eventually the gate was free, but then it had to be lowered between Jay's legs without her getting her legs stuck in it. She was so good and though obviously frightened, she stood still and let the firemen lay the gate down and put a board on it so that she could walk over it safely. She was free!
Amazingly Jay was uninjured and, after a few days to recover from any bruising, she was out being ridden again.

We would like to thank the Firemen for their speedy response and their quick understanding of a tricky situation and the quiet and efficient way they rescued Jay. I'm sure if she could Jay would say a big thankyou too!

Judith Dudley


Tuesday 7th March PANCAKE RACE 11.30am Start FREE
Sunday 23rd April FAMILY EASTER EGG HUNT 11.30am-2.30pm FREE
Saturday 29th April VINTAGE CAR DISPLAY 11.00am-5.00pm FREE
Monday 1st May JAZZ BY THE WYE 2.00pm- 5.00pm FREE
Sunday 18th June (Father's Day)TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC 2.00pm FREE(Children's entertainer and show)
Friday 1st September THEMED NIGHT-LIVE BAND 7.30pm TICKETS
Saturday 2nd September JAZZ BY THE WYE 7.30pm-11.00pm FREE
Sunday 3rd September FUN DAY & CRAFT MARKET 12.00am-5.00pm FREE (Children's Entertainer-Music-Stalls-Family Event)
Sunday 29th October CREEPY CRAWLIE HUNT 11.30am-2.30pm FREE


Husbands are things
That wives have to get used to putting up with.
And with whom they breakfast with and sup with.
They interfere with the discipline of nurseries,
And forget anniversaries,

And when they think they have been particularly remiss
They think they can cure everything with a great big kiss,
And when you tell them about something awful they have done
They just look unbearably patient
And smile a superior smile,
And think, Oh she'll get over it after a while.

And they always drink cocktails
Faster than they can assimilate them,
And if you look in their direction,
They act as if they were martyrs
And you were trying to sacrifice or immolate them.

And when it's a question of walking five miles to play golf
They are very energetic,
But if it's doing anything useful around the house,
They are very lethargic.

And then they tell you that women are unreasonable
And don't know anything about logic,
And they never want to go to bed at the same time as you do,
And when you perform some simple common or garden rite,
Like putting cold cream on your face
Or applying a touch of lipstick,
They seem to think you are up to some kind of black magic,
Like a priestess of Voodoo.

And they are brave and calm and cool and collected
About the ailments of the person
They have promised to honor and cherish,
But the minute they get a sniffle or a stomachache of their own
Why you'd think they were about to perish.

And when you are alone with them
They ignore all the minor courtesies
And as for airs and graces
They utterly lack them,
But when there are a lot of people around
They hand you so many chairs and ashtrays and sandwiches
And butter you with such bowings and scrapings
That you want to smack them.

Husbands are indeed an irrritating form of life,
And yet
Through some quirk of Providence
Most of them are really very deeply esconced
In the affection of their wife.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971)
New York Humorist and Writer