The Tintern Village Website

Spring 2001


Dear Friends

This time I want to say something simple but true about the Church. Jesus began it all by being with his disciples and training them, giving them principles and then sending the Holy Spirit to lead them till He comes again.
That gathering of people who love Jesus was, and always is, the Church. It is also called the Body of Christ and Jesus prayed for the Church today when he prayed for his friends (John 17, 20-24). He also always makes intercession for us. That means that though you and I may have an allegiance to a particular local scene, or a denomination, or even a great mentor, in fact we are always "In Church" or "Churching it" when we are together with other Christians.
Church is never a building, though we may need to use them. I try to get out of the habit of saying "down to the Church" and to say instead "down to the building" because although the Church meets sometimes in a building, the building is not the Church. Eclesia describes an element of "coming together" as the people of God.
What we do when we come together is also not fixed - it is always open ended and contains various ingredients. We can see from the New Testament what some of these are. So, simply, what do we do when we meet to worship God together? I think you'll see that these things must be there plus others.

1. We come to 'corporate worship'. Christians can come to God, through Jesus Christ, in any circumstances, when alone or at home, and they should. But God wants us to come together as a corporate body here, and there'll be many such other groups all over the place. The joy for us on a Sunday is to "do Church" with others, and to try to move it to "being Church".

2. Love is basic. We come to express love, acceptance, encouragement to one another. We shouldn't come otherwise. That's what the peace is all about.

3. We come to worship together with all we have - however poor we feel it to be - "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" and prayer and learning and laughter and tears.

4. We come to listen to the voice of God through whatever means He chooses - song, music, voice, silence.

5. When we come together we all bring something, but we allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Sometimes He will surprise us and something unexpected will happen. We must be prepared for signs and wonders, answers to prayers and even miracles.

6. The "means of grace" are so many - often other people, and the ones we are used to - Baptism, and the Holy Communion at the Lord's Table, are a special focus for God to be at work in us by the Holy Spirit.

If these are in place, it will be easy for people who do not yet know Jesus to come with us.

Phil and Kate


A place to go on Sundays?
A place where weddings, baptisms and funerals take place?
A place around which many social events are organised?

Yes it is all of these but this is talking about the building that we know as the church in the town or village.

In the old testament, Solomon, David's son built the temple and dedicated it to God. He asked God to come and dwell in the temple and make it a place where forgiveness and healing are received; where people are restored and reconciled to one another and to God. He asked for people to be set free and be released when they come into God's presence. All this happened as requested and still continues to happen for us today.

The word "church" describes the gathering of believers, not the building in which they gather. Jesus, God's son said that he would build his church (people) and when they meet in his name he would be there in their midst.
When Jesus is with us all the blessings of heaven are available to us. The gathering of believers in the church building (although this is not the only place) becomes like a family where love and acceptance are experienced. In the gathering it is no longer necessary to wear the mask that so many of us wear everyday, pretending to be someone or something we are not. Together we can be real, we can laugh and cry with one another, we can bless each other without competition.

Jesus wants us all to be part of the family, no one will be excluded.


Reg died suddenly at home on the 7th December, but he had been active until the end.

He had many friends in the village and he was a familiar sight to all when he was working in his garden or walking slowly along the riverbank with his faithful dog Basil. They grew old together and died within three weeks of each other.

At Dunkirk, Reg was one of those left behind and only recently he told how in a French farmhouse he heard Winston Churchill on the wireless tell the Nation about the success of the evacuation and ask that prayers should be said for those who were left behind. The prayers were answered and Reg eventually got back on a coal barge.
In 1940 a posting to the Army Apprentice College at Beachley as an Engineering Instructor changed his life and he remained there as a civilian after the war. He taught thousands of boy soldiers engineering skills over the years until he retired in 1983. He was also in charge of swimming and life saving and one year guided Beachley to win the Army Championships.

Married to Nell on Boxing Day 1940, they had 44 happy years together. They moved to Tintern in 1976.

Reg loved to travel and in his last year had been to Portugal and Torquay. In earlier years he had been keen on swimming, shooting and caravanning, but more recently he had concentrated on gardening, cards and family pursuits.

His younger sister Marion lives in Tasmania with an extensive Australian family and Reg kept closely in touch and visited them several times.

In this country he leaves his daughter Maureen and son-in-law Peter, son Robert and daughter-in-law Olivia and seven grandchildren. The family would like to thank all the many people in the village who sent messages of sympathy and it is comforting to know how much Reg will be missed.


Douglas Whiting was born and educated in Newport where he was a member of the Methodist Church.

He was also a member of the Territorial Army and at the outbreak of the Second World War was mobilised in the Royal Corps of Signals, with whom he served throughout the war until being demobilised in December 1946 having reached the rank of Warrant Officer.

In 1941 he married Elsie, whom he had known from being at school together. Their son, David, was born in 1947 whilst Douglas was studying at Imperial College, London, from where he graduated with a B Sc in electrical engineering.

Then Douglas embarked on a life long career with Imperial Chemical Industries working in such places as Welwyn Garden City, Middlesborough and Frodsham as well as visiting many other parts of the world in the course of his work.

Finally in the seventies he retired and he and Elsie came to live near St Briavel's.
Douglas quickly involved himself in the activities of the Lower Wye Valley Preservation Society, of which for a period he was Chairman, and in PROBUS, in which he became variously President, Chairman and Secretary. The later post he held until he reached 80.

Throughout his life Douglas was a staunch Methodist and often took on the role of organist whenever he was required to do so. In Tintern, where he and Elsie worshipped right up to the time when the Methodist Church there sadly closed, he was the organist and the person responsible for the close links that were forged between the Anglican and Methodist Churches.

He was a keen gardener and for years while living at St Briavel's they were self-sufficient for vegetables and fruit.

Douglas was a kind and generous man who made many friends. He always put the considerations of others before his own. He was a man who would come straight to the point of an issue having ascertained the relevant facts. He was well known and respected.

"Say not in grief that he is no more - but in thankfulness that he was."


Kathleen, popularly known as Betty, was born in the last year of the First World War in Birmingham. She married Tony Pask-Hughes at the early age of 22 years after five postponements to the wedding because of the evacuation of Dunkirk.
She was widowed seven years later, leaving two daughters, one aged five years and one only ten days old.

She married Peter Kerr eight years later and together they eventually moved to the Wye Valley, living firstly in Brockweir and then moving to Llanishen.

She was sensitive and compassionate and as a young girl made a significant contribution collecting money for the Sunshine Home for Blind Babies. She loved nature and spent many hours sketching, painting and gardening and joined the local VPA. Her appreciation of beauty was also evident in her home environment.
She spent many hours watching badgers in the Wye Valley, which led to an interview on Woman's Hour. She was a strength to Peter in her support for his work for the Wye Valley Preservation Society and against cruelty to animals.

Her love of the Valley and appreciation of her friends there led her to move to Tintern after Peter's death.
She loved and enjoyed her family and spent happy hours with her grandchildren. She showed fortitude and determination in overcoming two hip operations and complications. Her humour, love of the Valley and nature remained until the end.

An extract from a letter of sympathy received by her daughter 'I shall always remember Betty as a particularly kind, friendly, easy person; someone with whom one felt an instant rapport'.

Betty Kerr's daughters, Jillian and Rosemary, wish to thank all her friends for their kindness and help over the years and particularly for their support in recent months.


Please note that the closing date for the Summer 2001 issue is SUNDAY 20th May 2001.
Articles and requests for advertisements should be sent to the Editor
David Ford, Monkstone, Chapel Lane, Tintern, tel : 01291-689233

Advertisements in this magazine are charged at :
5 per quarter page per four issues
10 per half page per four issues
20 per whole page per four issues
The current print run is 250 copies

For a once only payment of 5 you can have an advert placed on theTintern Village Web Site at
Adverts on the web can easily use colour and photographs

50/50 CLUB

Results of the last few draws are :-

      December         January           February

1st J Bathgate (30) T John (47) K Avery (13)
2nd M Lock (117) W E Morris (72) K Haynes (95)
3rd M Shewell (84) J Porter-Davison (34) J Porter-Davison (33)
4th R Parker (126) R Townsend (158) M Bell (32)
5th J Gibbard (131) R&M Ash (19) K B Kerr (25)

1st W J Dexter (11)
2nd C T Beach (119)
3rd C&D Heritage (66)
4th B Rosewell (142)
5th C&M Bryant (28)


As ever our year began with the A.G.M. at which we thanked Mr Bryan Jones for his excellent Chairmanship over the past three years before allowing him to slip back into relative obscurity amongst a surprising number of members. A combination of a cold wet January evening and a meeting without a Speaker usually means only a handful of people present. This year was very different, much to the delight of our Treasurer, Mr John Bathgate, as he was able to collect annual subscriptions from a captive audience with ease.

Next, we welcomed our new Chairman, Mrs Christine Bradshaw, and wished her well during her years in office before thanking Mr Martin Davey for agreeing to act as Vice-Chairman. The Speaker for our next meeting was announced and we were then able to escape to our own firesides.

February brought an absorbing illustrated talk by Dr Naylor Firth on the geology of the United States National Parks. He limited himself to the western area where the mountainous regions revealed fantastic rock formations. He went on to show us how flowering plants and shrubs were beginning to clothe areas devastated by volcanic eruptions only a few short years previously before ending with a few of his last year's holiday slides from Utah.

As a reward he was asked to judge our monthly competition (won by our new Chairman amidst loud laughter and cries of "Fix") and then stayed to answer many questions during the tea break.

A short business meeting brought the evening to a close and we meet again in March to learn about growing vegetables.



Tintern WI now meets at the Village Hall on the 3rd Monday of the month at 2.00 p.m. Members voted to change the venue and time to enable those who do not like going out after dark to come. Also it would be easier to have some afternoon trips out.

We should like to thank Mrs. Pearce and all at the Royal George who have made us so welcome over the years. We were all so well cared for.

Our next Meetings are as follows:-

19th February 'Mapped Out'. Talk on old maps of the Tintern area
Competition : Most objects in a 'Vesta' matchbox

19th March Speaker
Spring posy

23rd April Visit to Millbrook Garden centre
Best bargain

21st May Lunch, followed by Resolutions and Election of Committee

18th June Speaker
Tastiest scone

16th July French picnic
Favourite postcard

20th August Garden party at Furnace Farm

Jean Davey 689212


Father Christmas thanks you for inviting him to meet the children. He said that he had never met such well-behaved and polite children.


The Tuesday Club enjoyed their Christmas lunch at the Abbey Mill, thank you Shelley and Chris and their helpers. Even though, at times, they thought they might have to use Chris' boat to get home! Numbers have been up and down since Christmas because of illness, but we hope with the better weather we will all be back together soon.


21st March   Cheltenham         9.30 Llandogo

25th April Stratford on Avon 9.30 Llandogo
16th May Elan Valley 9.00 Llandogo (Not much walking)
20th June Sidmouth 9.30 Llandogo, pick-up in Tintern
4th July Bowood House 9.30 Llandogo, pick-up in Tintern
25th July Weymouth 9.30 Llandogo, pick-up in Tintern
22nd August Victorian Fayre, Llandrindod Wells 10.00 Llandogo

Contact: Mrs Knight 01594 530906



This Company, enrolled on 5th December 1999, has maintained its strength in numbers although some promised help soon failed. Three helpers, faced with commitments, withdrew - two taking their offspring with them.

One disappointment is the poor response from the village school and parish in recruitment to the Martins. However, we are eternally grateful to the Moravian Church in Brockweir who immediately offered accommodation, thus avoiding difficult and expensive arrangements with Llandogo and Tintern village halls.
The confined room available at Brockweir rules that we reserve recruitment to all sections until September 2001. By that time the excellent new Village Hall will be opened in Llandogo. We have already staked a claim, especially as the Rector is a member of the Village Hall Committee!
He will propose a change of meeting-night since we have found that Friday is NOT a good night as children go away at weekends, visit separated parents and go to school events and parties.

The year 2000 has been successful. The O.I.C., Mr. Matthew Browning, his wife and second-in-charge Sharon, registered helpers Mrs. Jane Avery (Martins), Mrs. Mary Mills (Martins YBYGC), Des and Jean Carter (JTC & Prospective SC), continue with the weekly participation and support of the Rector in skills.
Every first Sunday of the month there is a family service involving the Brigade members, and this contributes to the Brigade's success.

During the year the Company officers have achieved endorsements to the anticipated Preliminary Certificate of Leadership. Both the OIC and 2IC attained the First Aid Certificate. Mrs. Browning passed the Basic Food Hygiene certificate and our Hon. Treasurer Mrs. Jacqueline Evans attended the Treasurer/Accountant course at N.H.Q. on 27 January 2001.

Members of the Company have participated in and achieved awards at National Swimming and Battalion sports. They have also taken part in Diocesan training days and Tom's latest Challenge with creditable results.
While activities and elements of the Badge schemes are restricted owing to the limited accommodation, we will be content to wait until the end of Summer Term. Occupation of the new Village Hall at Llandogo is expected by July. We should move there at the commencement of Autumn Term in September. By that time, or at least by this time next year we should be able to extend to the formation of a small Senior Corps. Already we plan to operate Team Challenge as an incentive.

With good wishes,
D.J.E. Carter, Company Correspondent.


The village has been intrigued by the activities of a film crew, here to make a movie based around the area, with the working title of "Arthur's Dyke". This is about a group, who as students had walked Offa's Dyke, and had vowed to do it again twenty years later. It stars Pauline Quirke along with such names as Dennis Waterman and Brian Conley.
A great deal of the action has been filmed in the village, much of it revolving around the Wye Valley Inn, converted to the Traveller's Rest for the movie.
The crew are a great bunch of people who supplied me with the daily jokes in addition to the printed running order. Their sense of humour remains undiminished by the dreadful weather, which ruined many of their locations and played havoc with their schedule.
We look forward to seeing the finished project.

By the way, the "Minder" star, Dennis Waterman entertained the regulars at the Rose & Crown, joining "Steamhouse" on the stage.

Stan and Sylvia's blackboard has recently been used to register their thanks to contributors who have raised 240 for St Anne's Hospice through using the blackboard. What a splendid fun way to raise money, even if Stan does have to censor the odd message left by the more mischievous of us!
Claire and Howard Shiels from the Beaufort Hotel recently raised in excess of 300 for Great Ormond Street Hospital with a coffee morning and fayre held at the hotel. This was part of a nationwide fundraiser by the Olde English Pub Company, of which the Beaufort is a part.

The village football team has new sponsors. Stan and Sylvia Smith of Tintern Stores have presented the team with a new playing kit. It's very modern, continental and predominantly British Racing Green with a Tintern Stores logo.
Stan has also had local photographer David Hurn take the team photo. David is one of the country's top photographers with an international reputation. There can be few teams that have had their photograph taken by someone whose work has been published all over the world.

The Fountain Inn has changed hands. The familiar face (and laugh) of Chris Rabbitts and his wife Judith will be sorely missed. Judith's health is not of the best so they have called it a day, leaving us with wonderful memories of their hospitality.
Their successors are Jeff & Vivian Maachi for whom this is their first pub. We wish them well.

Recently there was an awful postscript to the winter's bad weather when the continued wind and rain caused an enormous landslide from the cliffs behind the Rose & Crown.
"I thought I had survived the worst of the weather unscathed," said landlord Dave Stafford "but I obviously thought too soon". It has resulted in him having to close the pub for an unspecified period as it is now regarded to be unsafe with more of the cliff and trees threatening to come down.
The popular licensee has spent the last twenty-one months building up trade for both locals and tourists. His weekly music nights have featured regularly in this column and he had a large regular trade both for his food and overnight accommodation.
It's a bitter pill for David to swallow and scant reward for all the hard work he has put in. He has always said how much he enjoys it here and has been quite moved by a stream of messages offering support and help, particularly from some of the other licensees in the village.
Like them we all hope things will turn out well and that he will soon be back in action at this popular venue.

edited somewhat from Grantley James Diary. Thank you Grantley


Did you know that the Rural Area Neighbourhood Watch has been successful in obtaining a grant towards the purchase of door security devices for vulnerable persons in this area?
The names and addresses of any persons over 65 and living on their own or any other person you consider may be able to benefit from the fitting of a Door Stop or Door Alarm should be forwarded to the address below.

A.J.Parsons, 1 Park Glade, Tintern, Monmouthshire, NP16 6TX.

Following assessment of the premise by members of the County Bobby Scheme, the most suitable device will be fitted to afford protection and peace of mind for the occupant.
The committee of the Rural Area Neighbourhood Watch has been given by Chepstow and District Partnership Against Crime, marking equipment for your possessions. This equipment is available for those who wish to mark their household and personal goods for easy identification following theft.
Should you wish to obtain further information on this equipment and how you may use it then contact the above address.



The Lower Wye Valley was visited and praised by many famous people, including William Wordsworth, who made several journeys to the area. His most famous journey was in 1798 when he was inspired by the sylvan Wye to write his famous lines, composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. Visitors to the Valley in those times journeyed down the river by boat from Monmouth, or up the river in sailing boats and later in steamers from Chepstow and Bristol.
People nowadays visiting the Wye Valley, Tintern Abbey, Chepstow Castle cast glances at the twisting river as they pass through the thickly wooded valley along the A466. But the first tourists came to see Piercefield, which at the time was the home of Valentine Morris, who was undoubtedly the first person to attempt to commercialise the area.
In 1753 Valentine Morris began to lay out the grounds of his estate with ten named views: The Pleasant View, The Alcove, The Grotto, The Double View, The Great Beech Tree, The Giant's Cave, The Top of the Hill, Lover's Leap, The Temple and The Wyndcliff. The grounds were open to the public two days a week and visitors were escorted at a small charge around the viewpoints by the resident guide.

Piercefield Estate is now the site of Chepstow Racecourse and little is to be found of the old mansion and even less of the sites of these viewpoints. Old books on this area describe these panoramic viewpoints in great detail, but to the majority of writers the Wyndcliff was the most popular excursion by the 365 steps, which were cut by human effort. The journey finished at Moss Cottage, where refreshments could be enjoyed.


In 1821 a poster advertising the sale of the Tintern Abbey Works read as follows :-
"A stream of water, The River Wye affording water carriage to and from all parts of England, unlimited and undisturbed supply of charcoal attached to the Works and, at command from other sources, Lancashire ore brought to the spot by water. Experienced workman attached to their native spot in abundance at reasonable wages".

By 1815 South Wales was contributing about one third of the total production of iron ore in the United Kingdom.


1) The "bark" from Tintern etc sold at Chepstow A Customs Post regulated the price of oak bark in the UK in 1852.

2) Coracles were still used on the Wye between Brockweir and Llandogo in 1863.

3) Work began on the Wye Valley Railway at Tintern on the 27th of May 1874.

4) Chepstow and District Cricket XXII defeated England XI at Piercefield (now the racecourse) in 1881. The scores, England 268 and 47, Chepstow 141 and 193.


Christmas came and we got our feet wet. The following sing-a-long may jog your memory of the not too distant past.

"On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me, three hurricanes, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, four rushing rivers, three hurricanes, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, five gondoliers, four rushing rivers, three hurricanes, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, six flooded fields, five gondoliers, four rushing rivers, three hurricanes, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me, seven oarsmen rowing, six flooded fields, five gondoliers, four rushing rivers, three hurricanes, two downpours and a gale blowing from the North Sea."



Taking the Rise

When a friend of mine went for a physical check-up the nurse asked him now much he weighed. He held his stomach in and replied "Eleven stone six". He was immediately informed that he weighed eleven stone twelve. The nurse then asked him how tall he was. Standing very straight he answered "Five foot ten". Not so, he was told. He was only five foot nine. The nurse finally asked him what his normal blood pressure was. After looking at her for a moment he said "How can you expect my blood pressure to be normal when I came in here a tall, slender man and you have already made me short and fat?"

Mad Habits

If you think you are quirk-free, consider whether you indulge in any of these common idiosyncrasies:
* Refuse to take the top newspaper from a pile.
* Insist on a certain side of the bed.
* Wait for the telephone to ring at least twice before answering.
* Follow strict rules about squeezing toothpaste.
* Weigh yourself only first thing in the morning, stark naked.
* Have jars filled with pennies that you never change into paper money.
* Keep your watch five minutes fast so you're never late.

Hammered Home

A poster outside a Salvation Army building in Stockport reads: Jesus the carpenter needs joiners- apply here any Sunday.

Extended Break

The nice thing about a holiday is that it fills so much of your year. If you take your holiday in August, you get your photographs back in September; your bills back in October; your health back in November; and your luggage back in December.

Turn of the Tide

In time-honoured fashion, Christopher Haynes, an eight-year-old from Peterborough, threw a bottle into the waves at Sheringham, Norfolk, with a message inside asking for a penfriend. A few weeks later he received a reply from a Dutchman who found the bottle on the beach at Zandvoort - telling him never to throw rubbish into the sea again.


No man ever became a scholar by assuming that he was always right. There is nothing in this world more beneficial spiritually and intellectually than listening to someone with whom you disagree.


Mothers are the pivot on which the family spins,
Mothers are the pivot on which the world spins.
Pam Brown

The mother is the most precious possession of the nation, so precious that society advances its highest wellbeing when it protects the functions of the mother.
Ellen Kay

A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.
Cardinal Mermilled


I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I've got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick

Shine on me sunshine
Rain on me rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brown again.

Mary Angelou


It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear.
Dorothy Elsin








Honey Cough Mixture ;-

Put into a bottle 4 ozs pure cod liver oil, 1 oz of glycerine, 4 ozs of honey and the strained juice of 3 lemons. Shake well.

Take three times a day after meals.

Winter Cordial

Four dessertspoonfuls fine oatmeal, half a teaspoonful of ground ginger, two dessertspoonfuls demerara sugar and one lemon. One quart of boiling water.
Method: Mix oatmeal, sugar and ground ginger together in a basin, grate the rind of the lemon and add. Gradually pour in the boiling water, stirring all the time. Put in a saucepan, add lemon juice and simmer for ten minutes.
Strain and serve hot.


I may be young, I may be old
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be educated, I may be unlettered
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be black, I may be white
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be rich, I may be poor
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be fat, I may be thin
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be married, I may be divorced
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be single, I may be widowed
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be successful, I may be a failure
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

I may be a sinner, I may be a saint
But I am Somebody
For I am God's child.

For Jesus is my Saviour
I am God's child.

Poem by Betty Topscott and Fr. Bob de Grandix.