The Tintern Village Website

The Tintern Independent Newsletter

Return to News Sheet Menu

December 2000


Time seems to have gone exceptionally quickly this year and Christmas is upon us once again, with the crowded shopping centres, shorter days and colder nights.

I wish our readers, sponsors and contributors a wonderful festive season and very best wishes for 2001.

I know many of you will have already made plans for eating out during the coming weeks but I defy you not to try one of the very tempting seasonal menus on offer at some of our local hostelries.


It's all change at The Fountain Inn. After 13 very happy years, Chris and Judith Rabbitts have decided to move on. They are getting out of the catering business as Judith's hands are giving her trouble and she can no longer cope with the food preparation side of the job. Chris and Judith and their sons are not leaving the district at the moment, they will give the future some consideration first whilst living at Broadstone.

Jeff and Vivian Maachi took over the helm on November 27th. Jeff is changing from telecom work abroad to pub landlord (well, they say it's all down to communication!). This will be their first pub and we wish them every success for the future.


November's meeting at the Royal George was 'Make your own Christmas Decoration'.
The Committee had provided artificial flowers and greenery, sprayed fir cones and candles. By the end of the evening a vast array of beautiful arrangements had been made to deck Members' homes for Christmas, as good as anything one could buy, if not better.
Brenda Newth, from Tintern's own Pottery, brought some blank Christmas ornaments for members to paint. Under her helpful eye little angels, Father Christmas' and crackers were decorated. One member painted 3 angels with different coloured hair to match that of her granddaughters, they looked lovely.

Some members went to Cardiff for an invited shopping trip to David Morgan. They were provided with a 10% discount card, which helped with Christmas shopping for themselves and others. They had a lovely lunch with Christmas crackers and wine, waited on by the Manager (no queuing at the self-service).

Two Tintern members joined with other W.I. members from all over the County in Usk recently to learn how to make edible Christmas Tree decorations. Under the Tutor's guidance some beautiful Santa's were made. The catering section of the W.I. provided lunch with lovely puddings made by the group. Another lovely day arranged by the G.F.W.I.

Being a W.I. Member gives access to all kinds of Day Schools, Cookery, Gardening, Science, Flower Arranging etc., even topical conferences. Make 2001 the year you take up a new hobby, support your local W.I. and join us. Please contact (01291) 689212 for further details.

Jean Davey


The River Wye has a free public right of navigation but since Tintern ceased to rely on the river navigation for its livelihood its access, namely two slipways and a dock, have been obstructed. These were always the natural outlets for storm water at the points where the three Tintern valleys enter the river.

We have campaigned since 1976 to get these slipways reopened because there is a public right of navigation on the Wye which is very difficult, almost impossible, to access.

There was a public enquiry in Tintern in January of this year and as a result the Planning Inspector has recommended that the Abbey Slipway should be reopened. This is an ancient highway river crossing but he has recommended that it should have footpath status. This means the public will be unable to launch or land small boats, a facility which belongs to Tintern.
Over fifty local people who remembered this slipway open and being used prior to its infilling in 1961 completed Rights of Way evidence forms.

We have been fighting for public rights with no personal gain other than access to a public river shared with any other member of the public. We have lodged an appeal in the High Court but we need public support to help us keep Tintern's PUBLIC river access.

If anyone has any old photographs or any information about the Abbey Slipway or the cart road that runs along the river bank, the Quay, or if they are willing to support us please contact us on (01291) 689422

Jim & Mary Simpson


The Cherry Tree Inn was packed on November 21st, when over 40 participants turned up to hear Ray Billington open up a discussion on 'What is a Human Being?'. The lively and sometimes intense debate ranged between belief in the immortal soul and, in contrast, that we are the sum total of our genetic structures and biological past. The debate, as they say, continues.

The next meeting is on Tuesday December 19th at 7.30pm, when the speaker will be one of the regular attendees, Steve Eddy, tackling the complex subject 'What is time?' Whatever the conclusion, discussion will be curtailed to allow for two extra happenings. Firstly, we shall enjoy some snacks provided by Jill, the Landlady, at a cost of £2.50 per head. Anyone who wishes to be provided for who has not already informed her should please do so by 14th December at the latest. Her telephone number is (01291) 689292. Then, in keeping with the season, the evening will end with a cabaret, including vocal and instrumental music (harp & fiddle) and an ultra-modern sermon.

With such a packed programme, all are asked to be punctual.

Ray Billington


The Rose & Crown played host to a wonderful evening's entertainment on 3rd November at the end of an exceptionally wet and windy week which saw disruption to the best laid plans. Relaxed and bronzed after a week in the Portuguese sunshine, undeterred, and to that point, largely unaffected by the atrocious weather Dave Stafford geared himself up for the regular Friday Music Night. With the return of the hugely popular Welsh band, 'STEAMHOUSE' plans were put in place for a capacity crowd and he was not disappointed!

Having a regular booking for Bed & Breakfast from the BBC's Outdoor Broadcast team for Chepstow Races, the night was guaranteed to go with a swing, as these boys certainly know the art of letting their hair down! Put that with a birthday celebration, a leaving party and the talents of this band, the place was buzzing before things even got started!

STEAMHOUSE have travelled far and wide. Their lead vocalist, Jane, has been singing since the age of 15. She has toured New Zealand and Europe, appeared on television and has an amazing stage presence with a love for her job that is best described as a total addiction. Accompanied, vocally and instrumentally by Paul, Pat, Tony and Jerry, all of whom have played with numerous stars in the music industry, both here and abroad and you had an exceptional band which set the evening alight with a wide range of covers from Peggy Lee to Robbie Williams.

However, the evenings entertainment was further heightened with the arrival of some of the cast appearing in the film production 'Arthur's Dyke', as reported in last month's "Independent". Amongst these was none other than Dennis Waterman, who was coerced into drawing the raffle, held by the band to raise funds for their chosen charity, NSPCC. The first prize being a bottle of red wine aptly called 'The Dogs Bollocks'. (It was not a fix that the barmaid won the prize - she bought her ticket in good faith like the rest of us!). Mr Waterman, obviously not content with just singing along with the band in his own corner, then proceeded to entertain the crowded pub with a few numbers of his own - and this time it was Jane who was doing the accompanying! He was very well received and later on, boosted by the warm response 'borrowed' a guitar from Tony and launched into an instrumental! He was heckled with the refrains of the "Minder" theme tune (being the television show for which he is most widely known) from members of his own party, the rest of the audience joining the camaraderie.

The atmosphere was electric with people dancing in (and, in some cases, ON!) any available space and the air was redolent with many a voice in song. A superb night was had by all.

STEAMHOUSE will next be appearing at The Rose & Crown on 23rd March 2001. As for Dennis Waterman, management is in discussion with his agent.


I urge all Children not to panic! Rudolph will be helping Father Christmas in his usual duties and accompanying him on his delivery rounds this year but he has an unexpected day off! He and his owner, that esteemed, rotund, red-clothed gentleman, were to make an appearance at the St. Michael's Church Christmas Bazaar this month but unfortunately this has had to be cancelled due to insufficient helpers being available to run the stalls. As we are all aware, this is the busiest time for Father Christmas' helpers and they cannot be expected to undertake every task. They had hoped to enlist the services of village members to act on their behalf. Lets hope that next year they are able to rely on our assistance - Rudolph has too many days off during the year as it is and we don't want him having any extra time off as he will become too unfit to pull that sleigh!


We continue our headlong progress towards relegation from the first division of the Gwent League. On 1st November our home match against North Gwent had to be postponed due to the Anchor Hotel being submerged. We will replay on 3rd January 2001 when hopefully our opponents will be reeling from excesses over the festivities.

On 8th November we had our first creditable result, a 2-2 draw with Pontypool but went backwards again in our next match at Cwmbran when we could only score 1 draw out of 4 games (½ - 3½).

This week (29th November) we face the awesome might of Abergavenny 'A', when we will have to be at our very best. However amongst all the doom and gloom, mention must be made of the excellent performance of John Marshall after a four year layoff. A series of solid unbeaten performances has ensured him our top board slot.

Dave Roberts


A well-known local photographer and naturalist, Mr David Lewis from Raglan came to show another fascinating collection of slides at the V.P.A. last Friday (24th November).
His illustrated talks are always eagerly anticipated and the meeting room in the Village Hall was so full we had to have an overflow into the Kitchen.

It is the custom to ask our speaker to judge the monthly competition - our arrangement of Autumn foliage which was won by Mrs Carol Ostler with 2nd and 3rd places going to Mrs Christine Bradshaw and Mrs Jean Dexter respectfully before the evening ended with a cuppa and biscuits provided by Mrs Diane Parsons.

Judy Bartholomew


I would like to take this opportunity to extend sincere commiserations to all homes and business' that were affected by the floods and high winds at the beginning of November. Hopefully now Monmouthshire County Council, along with the rest of the Government, will start to take notice of our pleas for improvements to the flood prevention measures currently in place and perhaps understand that the voice of the people really does know what it is talking about!


Report of the meeting of Tintern Community Council with the Judges held at the Village Hall on 19th October 2000 at 10.00am

Michael Palmer, representing the sponsors, The Daily Telegraph and Calor Gas; Gloria Jones-Powell (Judge), Powys; Ken Rowlands (Judge), Wrexham; Basil Watkins (Judge), Vale of Glamorgan; D.H. Davies (Judge), Carmarthen; Cllr. B. Young (Vice-Chairman, TCC); Cllrs. Mrs C. McEwen, Mrs P. O'Connor, J. Prewett, Mrs J Saunders; County Cllr. H.D. Spencer.

The initial questionnaires were divided into five categories: Environment, Business, the Young, Older People and Community Life. Members of the Community Council explained that these subjects could not be enlarged upon in isolation, as they were all interconnected.
Instead of a formal presentation of each subject therefore, there was a wide-ranging discussion about what Tintern is and how everything slots together. That everybody present was willing and able to contribute made for a lively and informative meeting.

After mutual introductions, the Community Council opened proceedings with a brief foray into environmental concerns and how they are managed. Any points raised by the Judges that were rightly the concern of County Hall were answered by County Cllr. Spencer.
That so much environmental work locally in undertaken on a voluntary basis was commented upon favourable by the Judges. The low environmental impact of Livox Quarry led on to the number and variety of home-based business' there are in this scattered community.
The voluntary manning of the Police Station evoked considerable interest and there was some surprise that the volume of seasonal tourism has so little impact upon village life (apart from employment opportunities). The Sports Clubs' fundraising Car Boot Sales take advantage of tourists' presence, as does the Flea Market in the Village Hall, all of which enhance Community Life.

Mention was made of the number of different 'interest' groups that we have, both formal and informal, and our lack of Youth Club was queried. Against that was something we all take for granted - our doctors dispense AND make house calls - a new concept to a couple of the Judges!

Being blessed with a fine morning and available time, we all strolled over the Tram Bridge, from the other side of which is an extremely attractive view of part of the village, especially at high tide. The prime position of our Old People's Bungalows was a plus point, though not the speed of the traffic, noted when walking to the Police Station and further shops.

Before parting, the Judges emphasised how much they had enjoyed their visit and how little 'outsiders' know of a place unless they ask. For the Councillors it was interesting to learn how much other people appreciate what we have.
Cllr. Brian Young thanked the Judges for their consideration and encouragement and Mrs Jones-Powell thanked the Councillors for their work and attendance.


With the recent downpours, one of the obvious casualties has been the Sports Field, which at times has been under a foot or more of water. Tintern Abbey AFC has had to cancel matches but, in spite of the pitch being under water for several days, are not allowed to do so until after the Saturday morning pitch inspection, as set out in the League rules! How ridiculous, when everyone knows that the water does not drain away overnight!

However, not to make light of the very soggy situation in the area, a discussion recently took place as to how to make use of the flooded fields and roads to our advantage and possibly enlist members from the semi-redundant football teams.

With the football field so deeply underwater at one point, sports such as water polo, stone-skimming (believe me, there is a lot of passion for this sport!) and windsurfing came to a fore. When the floodwater has dispersed the mud wrestling could then commence.
As for the roads - well, given the ferocity with which it travelled, white-water rafting and surfing were mentioned. Another suggestion was to adopt a sport popular in the Middle East and Asia known as Wadi-bashing, a wadi being a dry river bed which becomes a raging torrent very quickly during a downpour. This could be renamed "River/Brook-bashing". The sport involves driving a vehicle (preferably 4-wheel drive) none-too-slowly through a flowing torrent of rapidly rising rain water on a section of road where it crosses a river bed (be it that the river normally doesn't flow in times of drought or goes under the road). I guess the aim of the sport is to arrive safely at the other side with a still driveable vehicle.

Then there are all those sandbags - what to do with those when the tides have abated? As we all know the bags rot very quickly rendering them totally useless for reuse. Well, the suggestion is obvious, empty them all out and set to the task of building a replica of the village - in the current climate there is no chance of the sand having an opportunity to dry out! Think of the boost to the tourist trade and who knows perhaps this could be the money-spinner to generate the revenue for the repairs to roads, fields and improved drainage throughout the village.


Councillor B. Young (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Mrs C. McEwan
Councillor Mrs P O'Connor
Councillor J Prewitt
Councillor T Evan
Councillor Mrs J Saunders
County Councillor H D Spencer

Notes from the Minutes of the October meeting, which was held on 27th October. A full copy can be seen on all six of the public Notice Boards.

1. Millennium Seat :
Cllr. Mrs McEwen said that she thought we should have some official function to mark putting the seat in place, maybe get the newspapers involved. Cllr. Evans said that he had some brass for the plaque, County Cllr. Spencer said he would take the plaque to get it engraved. Cllrs. Evans and Spencer to liase. When this is done we could formally mark the occasion.

2. Police Operational Order re. Flooding :
Cllr. Mrs O'Connor said there had been another meeting that she could not attend. Mr Martin Evans is monitoring the situation of the culvert down the slipway. There are stores of emergency sandbags at the back of the Beaufort Hotel and Wye Valley. The chairman should hold keys, Clerk to arrange.

3. Resignation of Councillor :
The Clerk read out a letter she had received from the Chairman, Cllr. Parsons, saying that he had been advised to retire from the Council on health grounds. Cllr. Evans said that a letter should be sent to Mr. Tony Parsons thanking him for all his hard work. Cllr. Mrs McEwen seconded this. Clerk to write.

4. Vacancy for Councillor :
No further applications have been received and the Clerk was instructed to write to Mrs Dawn Floyd asking her to the next meeting of the Council.

5. Village of the Year :
A letter of thanks had been received from the organiser of Great Britain Village of the Year. The presentation took place on 19th October and Cllr. Mrs Saunders made a very good report of this presentation. The Council thought that this report should be placed with the Minutes on the Notice Boards so that everybody would have a chance to see how much other people appreciate what we have. (The Independent obtained a copy of this report for reproduction in this month's edition for you to read at leisure).

6. Village Hall Committee :
Cllr. Evans said that £893 had been paid for insurance, they had spent approximately £500 on heaters and Mr Tansil had carried out extra work amounting to approximately £300/£400. The Tintern Recreation Centre had received a donation from the WI. Cllr. Mrs McEwen remarked that she thought the insurance was quite high.

7. Llandogo School :
Cllr. Mrs McEwen reported that Mr. Phil. Cooke, Director of Lifelong Learning & Leisure, gave a complete apology for the way the school's application for teacher funding had been dealt with earlier this year. He assured the governing body that in future the applications would be dealt with more efficiently and has invited Head Teachers and Governors to become more involved in the process. He also asked if Tintern Community Council would write in reply to the consultation document and state that Llandogo School is not just a feeder school for Monmouth but also Chepstow Comprehensive. The Clerk to write.

8. Resignation of Clerk :
The Vice-Chairman read out a letter from the Clerk. Cllr. Evans said the Clerk must advertise for her replacement. The Clerk said that she was sorry to be leaving but the demands on her time were too many.

9. Forestry Yard Car Park :
Cllr. Mrs McEwen remarked that the Film Crew had taken over this car park. The Tourism Officer of MCC was aware. Cllr. Mrs McEwen thought we should make protest about this use of the car park when this Council has made moves to get this car park in use for visitors to Tintern. County Cllr. Spencer said to write to Rick Longford, Environmental Dept., MCC. The Clerk to write.

10. Electing New Chairman/Vice Chairman
Cllr. Mrs McEwen seconded by Cllr. Prewett proposed Vice Chairman Brian Young for Chairman. Cllr. Mrs McEwen seconded by Cllr. Saunders proposed Cllr. Mrs O'Connor for Vice Chairman.

The meeting closed at 9.50pm

Should you need to get in touch with Tintern Community Council, please contact the Clerk to the Council, Mrs S Hillard, 3 Park Glade, Tintern, NP16 6TS (01291-689772).

Anyone wishing to bring any matters to the attention of the Community Council should attend the Meeting at the Village Hall (26th January 2001). Please arrive by 7.30pm, as these matters must be discussed before the meeting officially commences.


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

Tintern Chess Club 7.00-10.00pm The Anchor Hotel

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

1st December
Rob Fletcher Band From 9.00pm Pop/Rock from 70’s ....The Rose & Crown

8th December
Backseat Driver From 9.00pm Soft Rock Group The Rose & Crown

11th December
Torch Light Carol Service 7.00pm Tintern Abbey (Meet at Beaufort Hotel at 6.15pm)

15th December
Independence From 9.00pm Country Rock Music The Rose & Crown

18th December
Tintern W.I 7.30pm Christmas Dinner

19th December
Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm Cherry Tree Inn (Topic - ‘What is Time‘)

22nd December
The Naughty Harrys From 9.00pm Pop/Rock group The Rose & Crown

31st December
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY All night! The Rose & Crown


Please let me have anything for inclusion in our January issue by 27th December.
Items/articles can be left for my attention at The Rose & Crown,
I can be contacted on (01291) 629571
or alternatively, E-Mail me (Eleanor @
or Fax (01291 689254).




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

Contact Brigitte Doano

01291 425541



You are invited to join us in celebrating NEW YEAR’S EVE and see in the real new ‘Millennium’ at THE ROSE & CROWN MONMOUTH RD., TINTERN, NP16 6SE Telephone (01291) 689254




Optional Hawaiian Beach Party Wear!!
(Prize for loudest shirt)



Bullying, choice of school, lack of progress, special needs, exclusions, appeals and unhelpful school response.

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


Available at ABBEY MILL from beginning of December

Don’t forget Christmas Gifts, Stocking Fillers and Ideas in all of our Shops


Abbey Mill, Tintern, Chepstow (01291) 689228

Last Posting Dates for Christmas.

1st Class : 21st December
2nd Class : 18th December
Europe : 14th December
Rest of World : 7th December


Available to hire for Meetings, Parties, Discos, Coffee Mornings etc.

Entertainments Licence


Contact (01291) 689587


Jeff & Vivian Maachi
Trellech Grange, Tintern (01291) 689303


Home Made Soup of the Day
Course Country Pate with Toast
Melon & Kiwi Medley


Roast Turkey, Chestnut Stuffing, Bread Sauce, Cranberry Sauce
Chipolata Sausages, Roast Potatoes & Roast Parsnips
Poached Fillet of Haddock with Hollandaise Sauce
Vegetable Kiev with Cranberry & Orange Sauce

All served with our excellent selection of fresh vegetables.


Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce
Your choice of Sweet from the Sweet List
or English Cheese & Biscuits

Menu includes Freshly Brewed Ground or Decaffeinated Coffee (or a Pot of Tea if you prefer) & After Dinner Mints

£13.95 per person inclusive

This menu is one of several, please contact us for further details


Free-House & Restaurant
Melvyn & Elaine Newman, Monmouth Road, Tintern (01291) 689284


Tomato & Basil Soup
Chicken Live Pate
Smoked Salmon & Prawn Platter


Roast Turkey and Stuffing, Parsnips, Carrots, Baby Brussels Sprouts Roast & Boiled Potatoes with Cranberry Sauce
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Seasonal Vegetable & Roast Potatoes
Carrot & Cashew Nut Roast with Season Vegetables
Salmon in Tarragon and Lemon Suce, New Potatoes & Vegetables


Traditional Christmas Pudding with Cream & Brandy Butter
Rich Sherry Trifle
Fresh Fruit Salad


Mince Pies or Cheese & Biscuits


Coffee and Mints

£22.50 per person inclusive

This menu is available from 1st December. Bookings taken.
Parties of up to 28 catered for.


Jill & Steve Pocock, Raglan Road, Tintern (01291) 689292


Prawn & Avocado
Carrot & Coriander Soup
Duck & Cranberry Terrine


Earl Grey Sorbet


Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
Roast Beef with Horseradish Sauce
Almond & Sesame Nut Roast

All served with:
Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips, Chestnut Stuffing and Bacon & Sausage Swirls Buttered New Potatoes, Red Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Shallots


Home-made Traditional Christmas Pudding (served with brandy butter, rum cream or custard sauce)
Home-made Christmas Ice-cream
Home-made Traditional Sherry Trifle


Mince Pies or Cheese & Biscuits


Percolated Coffee & Mints

£18.00 per person inclusive

Available from 1st December. Bookings being taken.
Parties of up to 20 catered for


Chris and Shelley Rastall
Tintern, Chepstow (01291) 689228


Home Made Cream of Vegetable Soup Finished with Real Cream and served with a Hot, Crusty Roll & Butter
Chilled Fruit Cocktail


Freshly Roasted Turkey - Chestnut Stuffing, Chipolata Sausages & Cranberry Sauce
Roast Topside of Beef Yorkshire Pudding and Horseradish Sauce
Brie & Courgette Crumble - Slices of Courgette & Potatoes cooked in a creamy Brie Sauce with a crisp Almond Topping

Accompanied with a selection of Traditional Vegetables, Roast and Baby Boiled Potatoes


Christmas Pudding and Home-made Brandy Sauce
Home-made Sticky Treacle Tart and Freshly Whipped Cream


Hot Mince Pies


Coffee & Cream

£13.95 per person, inclusive