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April 2001

TINTERN ANGLING CLUB

The Club A.G.M. in February fixed the subscriptions for the 2001 season. In anticipation of a significant cost increase from the new fishing rights lease, the following slightly increased subscriptions were agreed: -

     Senior Members                £75.00
     Senior Citizens               £40.00
     Junior Members                £35.00
     Junior 'Brook Only' Members   £10.00

New members also pay a joining fee of 50% of the annual rate.

Members are allowed to take two fish per visit (one visit in a day) and the Club rules require all brown trout to be returned to the water in order to help the conservation of this beautiful, wild, natural species.

The season is scheduled to open on 1st April but there are some restrictions and uncertainties because of the Foot and Mouth Disease precautions. The Furnace Pond, surrounded by closed footpaths, will not be stocked and is out of bounds for the duration of the emergency. We hope to stock and use the Beaufort Pond but this is subject to official guidance. So the real start of the season might be delayed - a small price to pay if it helps to control the scourge of FMD.

Our winter competition was fished at the Big Well fishery at Redbrook on a lovely clear, cold February day. Ten anglers enjoyed a great day’s sport, matched only by the warm welcome from Colin and the fishery team. Here, tea and coffee is free on tap all day and the reasonably priced bacon and egg butties - wow! Incidentally, the competition was won by our Chairman, Robert Haysum, returning to his old form with a brace of 6lb-12oz. Phil Harris’ runner up pair weighed in at 6lb-8oz. The best catch of the day was Doug Hughes but, though he took six fish, no permutation could provide a winning brace.

The final icing on the cake was the opportunity to fish a spring-fed pond, gin clear to the fifteen foot bottom - some contrast to the murky old Angiddy. And the fish were watching us!

The Club has planned a busy fishing and social calendar for the season - watch this space!

Dudley Surman


THE DIGGERS MOVE IN!

As promised, an update on the situation at the Rose & Crown.

It would appear that, finally, work has commenced and something is being done to clear the landslide. Contractors started on Friday 9th March and currently they have been filling in excess of 2 large skips a day with very little difference apparently being made! Admittedly, it is hard to see either the landslip or the clearing of the same from the front of the premises, but believe me; there is a lot of heavy work going on.

On the third day they had to don hard-hats as when they arrived for work, the area that they had cleared the previous day was full once again with rocks and mud but they soldiered on admirably and dodged the falling boulders (luckily only small ones!).
They have completed cleared the original slip and are now beginning the arduous task of removing all the lose debris from the rock face - not a task for the faint-hearted, these lads are ‘suspended’ by a rope around the waist while they perch precariously on an already moving surface and rake it towards the ground.

The Tree Surgeons are due to start the felling/lopping of the remaining trees on the bank in the latter end of March and it is hoped that the company instructed to clean the inside of the premises will be in a position to commence work in early April. After all these works are completed, a further inspection by the surveyor will hopefully then lead to an approximate date for re-opening.

It had been hoped that the premises would be re-opened in time for the Easter rush but unfortunately this is looking increasingly unlikely.

All this has been a bitter blow for Dave Stafford, the only consolation being that he not currently in a position to feel the effects of the loss of business caused to the Foot & Mouth crisis. This is keeping many tourists and visitors away from the village and having a damaging impact on ALL traders in Tintern who rely heavily on the bumper tourist trade from March through until late September.

Dave still manages to be overwhelmed by the support shown by the residents of Tintern, not least a recent offer to assist, in any way, including painting and decorating! All this support is more that welcome, and fear not - he has logged all offers and WILL be contacting people if necessary!!

Dave has assured me that when he does re-open, he intends to do it in style!! Watch this space for further updates!


TINTERN PHILOSOPHY CIRCLE

The title of the talk at the March meeting has to be changed at the last minute because the speaker, Mr Tom Anderson, is gravely ill. This sad news, coupled with the extreme weather conditions, made cancellation a strong probability. However, this was not the case; the weather eased and the Circle is lucky enough to be able to call on Ray Billington who addressed those plucky enough to turn out with a fascinating talk entitled "Are We Free?"

Examples of the deterministic view, held by many prominent philosophers from St Augustine to BF Skinner, were given along with those who held a contrary view - the Libertarians, such as the Existentialists. Members didn’t appear to come down decisively on either side and the youngest member present thought the argument redundant. That’s the nature of philosophical discussion!

The Circle has severed its links with the Cherry Tree Inn because of irreconcilable differences between Hatti, Ray and the management. No difficulty was encountered finding another venue and Consequently meetings will be held at the Beaufort Hotel for the months of April, May and June courtesy of the kind hospitality of Mr & Mrs Howard Shields.

The July meeting will be as last year, in the beautiful gardens at Veddw House, Devauden. There will be no meeting in August and the Circle will reconvene on September 18th at the newly redecorated pub, the Rose & Crown, Tintern. There, the convivial landlord, Mr David Stafford has graciously provided us with a splendid room adjacent to the bar. We are looking forward to enjoying many memorable evenings in the same intimate atmosphere there, and at the Beaufort, where members, and their not inconsiderable custom, will be valued and appreciated.

The next meeting on Tuesday April 17th at 7.30pm at the Beaufort Hotel will again be addressed by Ray Billington and his talk will be entitled "Beyond Good and Evil".


MAY BE THE LAST!

Unfortunately, next month's issue of the Tintern Independent looks like being the last, certainly for the foreseeable future. Over the past 7 months, I have soldiered on, more or less alone, covering costs, searching out news and stories of interest to Tintern, continually chased representatives of Clubs and Organisations for reports on their activities and details for the Events Diary.

The publication, although free to you, is by no means cheap to produce and my thanks go to the minority of people who have afforded me the luxury of their support, not least Beth at Imagination for putting up with me monopolising her office one day a month during the print run, to Andy, also of Imagination, for kindly donating the use of his copying facilities, to Dave Stafford of the Rose & Crown for his support from day one, which hasn't faltered even when his business was forced to close (and notwithstanding the fact that he has since asked me to marry him!), and to my Mother, for her tireless criticism (all constructive!) and, on the whole faultless, proofreading. Without these and a few other people, the Tintern Independent would not have come to fruition.

Should you, the village, wish this publication to continue, then I beg for your support. I started this for you and I am assured that you all read it avidly. Sylvia tells me that it leaves her shelves within 48 hours and certainly there never seem to be any issues left anywhere by the time the next one is due. If there is anyone out there who knows of any way in which to obtain funding to assist in the continued production then I would be pleased to hear from you. I would like to see the Tintern Independent continue but under present circumstances it takes up a great deal of my time having to chase people every month (you know who you are!) and the drain it makes on my finances is too great to bear alone.

I am hopeful that someone out there can assist me and look forward to your support!

Eleanor Saunders


AMPHIBIOUS COACHES TO TINTERN!

The following is an extract from a report that I was given last summer:

"Views from the river are magnificent; through Chepstow Bridge with Chepstow Castle to port and Castle Woods stretching away beneath. Past Alcove Wood, Longhope Reach and Piercefield Camp. Chapelhouse Wood clinging to the hillside on the English side and Wintour's Leap high above, with St. James' Church, a tiny disused chapel, just before the trees open out to the fields at Lancaut. We were dive-bombed by swallows (or maybe swifts) and watched cormorants, guillemots and were they flamingos fishing in the river?! Opposite Lancaut is a large heronry in the trees at the base of Piercefield Cliffs.

Doubling back around the horseshoe bend at Lancaut we had a fine view of the Wynd Cliffs, although we could not locate the Eagle's Nest Viewpoint. On the Welsh side, cattle grazing in the fields of Livox Farm appear to be remote from all habitation.

Along Priory Reach the Ban-y-Gor Rocks tower above the woods with the setting sun highlighting the human ants clambering over the rock face. Round the bend again and past the old and new quarries at Livox, still quite discreet from the river. Superbly wooded cliffs to the left and particularly to the right all the way to Devil's Pulpit on Offa's Dyke, and signs of habitation again at Abbey Farm, Tintern.

Under the old tram bridge and part way round the horseshoe bend to our moorings."

Further on in this report, the writer ponders;
"Maybe there is a market for amphibious coaches so busloads of tourists could see the Abbey from the river...."

One wonders whether this person has the power of foresight, because it is hoped that soon such "coaches" will be available to both local and tourist alike.

As part of their fund-raising campaign the "Severn Princess Restoration Group" are hoping to run regular daily trips from Chepstow to Tintern and back, as they did during August and September last year. Originally, they had planned four trips of twelve passengers per trip over a single weekend, but demand was such that they took a total of fifteen trips, all full, over the two months.
(12 x 15 = 180 visitors).

The major logistics of making such trips has been severely hampered in the past due to the tidal nature of the river, but the "Severn Princess Restoration Group" are hoping to install a floating pontoon on the banks of the river to ease access on and off at a point just past the Rose & Crown. As many of you know, having had trips with Jim Simpson or others in the past berthing has not been easy and in order to reach "land" one had to climb up the ladder and over the railings just down from the Moon & Sixpence.

Many of you will recall the sight of the boat, "Toura 'D'", secured to the fence or nearby tree trunks last summer when the skipper, Martin Peebles, and crew became regular visitors to the village. Martin has now acquired another boat, the "Sea Princess" and has spent a lot of time and effort in ensuring both vessels are "sea-worthy". He and his companions from the Group have now looked into the viability of combining this with fundraising for the continued work on the Severn Princess, trade for Tintern and their sheer love of the water. They have obtained the appropriate licences for carrying passengers and met all the relevant safety criteria and feel it would be a shame to waste the opportunity.

This is, of course, an extremely positive plan for the whole of Tintern. It is hoped that, along with the twenty passengers on board the boats, a bus will travel to Tintern at the same time, bringing a combined total of forty people into the village with every trip. The idea is that the passengers on the bus would arrive first and spend a couple of hours or so shopping, visiting the Abbey or Old Station etc., or taking refreshment at one of the many establishments in the village and then when the boats arrive, the bus travellers will 'swop' with those on the boats who in turn will spend a while exploring the village in a similar fashion before being bussed back to Chepstow.

There would not be the congestion caused by an extra number of vehicles, there being only one vehicle with permission to park off-road in the top car park owned by the Rose & Crown. There is the strong possibility that these visitors would return on subsequent occasions perhaps even bringing others with them. Even without that, it would greatly increase the trade in Tintern, from which we would all benefit, following the appalling weather this winter and the on-going restrictions imposed by Foot & Mouth.

The river is a hugely underdeveloped resource and the pleasure to travel in so leisurely a manner from Chepstow to Tintern, taking in the surroundings and the gently pace of life should be a treat that we can all enjoy. The potential benefit of this project to Tintern is enormous and it is hoped the whole village will support the aim to open the river to traffic once more.

NB. Travellers came down the Wye by boat more frequently in the 18th and 19th Century. In 1781 a boat from Monmouth to Chepstow cost one and a half guineas, and the local Innkeepers would advise the traveller to come on horseback, thus saving his money to spend imbibing at their premises! However, the traveller soon found that he could get a boat "at no very dear rate", and sent his horses on to Chepstow! So you see, the idea is nothing new, just regenerating a trade long since forgotten!

The Tintern Independent has been told that the cost of these trips will be approximately £12 (£8 for children). Each one-way trip last approximately three quarters of an hour and it is hoped that during the high season there will be two round trips per day, tide permitting.


FOLLOWING THE TRAIL OF THE OLD RIVER TROWS

Travelling by boat from the Severn to the Wye where dramatic silhouettes of the castles of Chepstow and Goodrich and their dark secrets merge amongst the lofty crags of Lancaut and Symonds Yat, where water power and charcoal caused the Forest of Dean iron and Cornish copper and tin to be smelted, and climbing away into the distant meanders of the Herefordshire countryside of shipbuilders and river traders of long ago once watched by romantics and artists, now shrouded in the mists of time, is a wonderful experience.

A Hereford skipper and his crew left Stourport-on-Severn in the 40' twin screw motor yacht "Blue Velvet" in February passing downstream through Worcester, Tewkesbury and Gloucester to Sharpness. They locked out into the tidal Severn and set course for Chepstow and their home port of Hereford arriving at Tintern moorings on the evening tide.

After a month of waiting for suitable river conditions for the trip upstream, which was made possible by the melting snow, on March 23rd Skipper Dennis Parkhill and his crew left Tintern for Symonds Yat. Arriving at New Weir the "Blue Velvet" ascended the rapids, despite the removal of the Pound Lock in 1826 and her 3' draft, to tie up at the Saracens Head, Symonds Yat for the night.

The next day, after the lowering of the ferry ropes "Blue Velvet" pushed on up the river to Ross and through Herefordshire to arrive that evening in Hereford. We finally tied up again at the Saracens Head, this time in Hereford!

The successful voyage of the "Blue Velvet" shows that the Wye is still navigable despite its need for improvement, proper management and the right conditions.

NB. "Blue Velvet's" dimensions - 40' long, 9' wide, 3' draft.

Jim Simpson


GASG: EXPANSION PLANS

The following is a report on the attendance of the 'open' meeting held at February's Community Council meeting when the Chairman welcomed the Gwent Area Scout Group representative and a large body of members of the public.

The Chairman invited the GASG to make its presentation on the revised planning application proposals for the development of its training centre facility at the Botany Bay Activity Camp.
The meeting was told that the main use of the planned facility was the training of adult leaders who now were subject to the weight of much greater responsibilities for their charges regarding legislation on health and safety, welfare issues, social pressures on young people etc and it was essential for formal training in dealing with those responsibilities.
The revised plan reduced to four, and resited, the previous number of log cabin style accommodation units, whilst retaining the training building. Training sessions of more than one day needed the provision of accommodation and the proposed new facilities could also be used by other similar organisations (Guides, Boys & Girls Brigade etc.)
There were no cooking facilities in the cabins and it was not proposed to let these out to commercial concerns as funding for the project would be from Lottery grants and other similar sources and there were no plans to generate income from commercial sector use.
Community use would be welcome and GASG would be happy to give a general invitation to the Community for an open day.

Members of the public fully participated in the meeting, asking a wide variety of questions and expressing a number of concerns.

Whilst there was strong support for the Scouting tradition and the provision of activities for young people, the main focus of concern regarding the Scout Camp proposals appeared to be on past and potential nuisance, disruption from increased or concentrated traffic at specific and random times, obstructions from inconsiderate parking, access by unbooked users and the behaviour of some of the users of the facility. There was also concern regarding the issues on disposal of waste, effluent and rubbish implications. Examples of problems including blocked roads and late night noise were cited and particular emphasis was placed on there being no 'warden' type responsible person to oversee and deal with problems that arose or were reported by residents.
There were also concerns that the development appeared substantial in relation to the planned use, the plans displayed did not show the correct positioning of the road in relation to the site and that the present car park accommodated fewer vehicles that the facility would generate.

GASG made available copies of its Information Leaflet on the Botany Bay application.

The Chairman brought this part of the meeting to a close at approximately 9pm after which members of the public stayed to inspect the displayed plans and speak to GASG representatives. Councillors moved to the normal meeting room for the remainder of the Council meeting.

The Council would like to express its thanks to all those people who attended this meeting, their support was most welcome, and to The Tintern Independent who played a large part in informing the village about the attendance of GASG at the meeting.


TINTERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Present:    Cllr. B Young, Chairman

Cllr. T Evans
Cllr. D. Floyd
Cllr. J Prewett
Cllr. J Saunders
Cllr. C McEwen
Mrs Christine Knapman, Clerk

Apologies:      Cllr. P O'Connor

Notes from the Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd February 2001.

The Chairman welcomed Roger Joy from MCC who had attended regarding the proposed Abbey Lighting Project.

The current position was that permission had been received from CADW to light the building, a price for the capital costs of the lighting - £15,000 - and now the ongoing revenue costs per annum to maintain a system - £360 - were known, a recent MCC Community and Economic Development grant application for funding support had been turned down. After discussion on whether the project should continue and where funding could be found, it was agreed that an internationally recognised landmark like the Abbey should be floodlit to highlight its beauty thereby adding to the attractiveness of Tintern and encouraging visitors passing by in the evenings to come back during the day to see the Abbey and village, to the benefit of shops, pubs, tourism businesses and accommodation providers. A lot of work had been put into the project so far and it was agreed that the project be pursued.

The Council resolved that:
a) Tintern Community Council would initially earmark £1,500 from balances to seed the capital funding of this project
b) A vigorous fundraising programme targeting the commercial sector as well as the community would start and the results and viability reviewed at the May meeting.
c) If the response was encouraging enough in committed donations etc., the council would proceed with a further grant application to MCC and if necessary give consideration to taking an appropriate loan to complete the funding.

The resolution was proposed by Cllr. Prewitt, seconded by Cllr. Evans and carried.

County Councillor Don Spencer supported the resolution and pledged £500 from personal funds for which he received a vote of thanks from the Council. It was also noted that a donation of £500 was due from MCC from the Film Company, which had been using the Sawmills car park, and that this had been intended for the Abbey project, thus bringing the seed funding up to £2,500. A list of potential donors/sponsors would be drawn up. The Chairman thanked Roger Joy for attending and bringing the Councillors up to date.

1. Co-option to Tintern Parva Vacancy
It was noted that although it had been confirmed to the Clerk that prior to Christmas notices of the Vacancy had been posted, MCC had advised her that they had no record or copy of such notices. It has been agreed that for the avoidance of doubt and for their records the process should be started afresh. Vacancy notices would be sent to the Clerk and posted on notice boards on receipt.

2. The Wharf
It was resolved that as the Council now has the responsibility for maintenance of this area, the currently low fees for parking, ground rent and garage should be increased in the new Financial Year. The Clerk agreed to draft a letter to all users advising this together with a form of agreement and consult with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman on the final version.

3. Village Hall
Cllr. Evans reported that the Play Area was nearing completion.

4. Moon & Sixpence
The Clerk reported a complaint from a member of the public about the manure heap opposite the Moon & Sixpence. The manure was on private land belonging to the Public House and the Landlady had informed the Clerk that this was traditionally put there and used by local people for their gardens and baskets. MCC Env. Health had confirmed that this did not constitute a health hazard. Councillors were concerned about leakage going into the river and asked the Clerk to consult the appropriate Agency.

5. Temple Dors Scheme
Cllr. D Floyd reported on a letter sent by Mrs Pearce of The Royal George to the Chairman of MCC expressing concerns about the effect of the Temple Dors scheme and the Redbrook landslip on her business and asking for assistance in rectifying the 'isolation of the village of Tintern.' The letter was for the councils' information and was duly noted with sympathy for Mrs Pearce and other business' that had been suffering the effects of these works and events.

Should you need to get in touch with Tintern Community Council, please contact the Clerk to the Council, Mrs Christine Knapman, Old Brewery House, Redbrook, NP25 4LU (01600- 713819).

Anyone wishing to bring matters to the attention of the Community Council should attend the Meeting at the Village Hall. Please arrive by 7.30pm, as these matters must be discussed before the meeting officially commences.


EVENTS DIARY

Mondays: Brockweir Bowls Club 7.30pm-10.00pm MacKenzie Hall, Brockweir

Tuesdays: Football Training 7.00pm-8.00pm Chepstow Leisure Centre
The Tuesday Club (fortnightly) 2.30pm The Village Hall

Thursdays: Brockweir Bowls Club 2.30pm-4.30pm MacKenzie Hall, Brockweir

Fridays: Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade 6.30pm Moravian Hall, Brockweir

7th April Live Music (Band tbc) From 9.00pm The Anchor Hotel Contact for further details)

14th April Rock & Roll Night From 9.00pm The Anchor Hotel (Contact for further details)

17th April Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm Speaker - Ray Billington The Beaufort Hotel

20th April Tintern V.P.A 7.30pm The Village Hall

21st April "Garrison Damn" From 9.00pm Rock Group from Forest of Dean The Anchor Hotel

23rd April Tintern W.I. Visit to Millbrook Garden Centre

27th April Tintern Community Council 7.30pm The Village Hall

28th April "O'Djangle" From 9.00pm Folk & Dance Music The Anchor Hotel

Please let me have anything for inclusion in the May issue by 25th April. Items/articles can be left for my attention at Tintern Stores; I can be contacted on (01291) 629571 (phone or fax) or alternatively, E-Mail me (Eleanor @ tintern2000.fsnet.co.uk).

ELEANOR.


ADVERTS

STAN and SYLVIA at TINTERN STORES
01291 689598

We are here to help, if you do not see what you want please ask, and if we do not currently stock it, we will do our best to get it.

SERVICES AVAILABLE:
Swipe cards for mobile 'phone top-up
Fax service
Photocopying A4 - A3 (enlarging/reduction)
Tintern AFC Tote tickets on sale
Credit/Debit Card Facilities

FOR THE MOTORIST:
Screen wash, de-icer, WD40, Power Start, 3-in-1 oil, also Meths. & Turps.

Please make suggestions and requests; we really do want to help.


EASTER EGG HUNT (fun for ALL the family!!)
at ABBEY MILL
on SUNDAY 15TH APRIL 11am - 3pm (Prize guaranteed for all!)

Seasonal Menu available throughout Easter


FOR SALE
Ornate Cast-Iron Antique Fireback King Charles II "Royal Oak" design 34" x 29"

£250.00
*****
Cast-Iron Fire Basket

£50.00

Contact: Mrs Taylor (01291) 689543


UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
as viewed by biblical scholars

who wrote it?
who chose it?
which translation is right?
history or myth?
what difference have the Dead Sea Scrolls made?

Ray Billington, in conjunction with "Living Philosophy" will be holding a series of seminars on the above topic at Chepstow Leisure Centre on Monday Evenings (7pm - 9pm) commencing April 23rd

Fee: £20 (Concessions available)

Other Dates:
April 30th
May 14th & 21st
June 4th & 11th

For further details please 'phone: (01291) 689928


THE FOUNTAIN INN
Trelleck Grange, Tintern

3-COURSE SENIOR CITIZEN LUNCH, MONDAY & TUESDAY 12.00 NOON - 2.00PM £5.95 PER HEAD

Telephone: (01291) 689303


FITNESS LEAGUE CLASS

Tintern Village Hall
Thursday Evenings 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Classes £2.00 per session

Contact Brigitte Doano
(01291 425541)


THE PARENTS EDUCATION SERVICE

ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION ON ALL SCHOOL PROBLEMS
Bullying, choice of school, lack of progress, special needs, exclusions, appeals & unhelpful school response.

QUALITY HOME TUITION
All ages, all subjects, all levels.
English as a Second Language
Communication skills for work
Email and postal support for 16+ students:
structuring and presenting coursework
assignments and essays

Telephone: (01633) 677529/214120