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February 2001


You cannot have failed to notice the scaffolding on the front of the Abbey, which seems to have been there forever. However, it would seem that the Abbey is to undergo a makeover.

As part of the project the south aisle of the Abbey nave is to undergo intensive consolidation work, with masons repairing and restoring stonework and, where necessary, replacing damaged and eroded masonry with new stone.
Restoration work will also focus on the nave's 12 arched windows, with masons carefully conserving the range of carved details and moulding profiles that act as 'signatures' of the original masons involved in the construction of the Abbey.

Where feasible it is hoped that as much of the original fabric of the Abbey will be retained, re-using the Devonian sandstone used to build the complex, which was quarried locally. As it is impractical to reopen any of the original quarries as a source of replacement stonework, stone has been sourced from a number of quarries throughout the UK in order to match the original as closely as possible. Traditional lime mortars will also be used.

Special barriers are to be erected enabling members of the public to observe the work safely. The project will take two years to complete and the new work is designed to have a minimum life of 75 years.


Chepstow and District NSPCC Committee covers the Tintern area. A Spring coach trip to London is being arranged for Thursday 15th March, departing from the Bulwark Car Park in Chepstow (no car parking charge) at 8.30am and leaving London at 7.00pm. This means you have approximately 7 hours in London depending on traffic en route.
Travellers may disembark outside Harrods in Knightsbridge or along Park Lane - but there is only one pick up point in the evening - outside Emporio Armani - along from Harrods. COST 11.00 .

Please book by contacting Jean Papps, 21 Grange Park, St. Arvans, Chepstow, NP16 6EA. Cheques to be made payable to "NSPCC Registered Charity" (please enclose an SAE).

Book early to ensure your reservation.


The Rural 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 aged over 65 and living on their own or any other person whom you consider may benefit from the fitting of a 'Door Stop' or 'Door Alarm' should be forwarded to the address below.
Following assessment of the premise by members of the County Bobby Scheme the most suitable device will be fitted by them to afford protection and peace of mind for the occupant.

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

The committee of the Rural Area Neighbourhood Watch has been given marking equipment for your possessions by Chepstow and District Partnership Against Crime. 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 please contact the above address.

A.J. Parsons


St Arvans PCC have arranged a fund raising evening for St Arvans Church and are holding this at Devauden Village Hall on the evening of Thursday 8th March 2001 at 7.30pm. It is hoped that the subject of the evening will appeal to residents in the Tintern area and that they will come up to enjoy what should be a fascinating evening. Details are given below and tickets should be purchased in advance.

Antiques, Fine Art and Ceramic Experts, Philip Baldwin FRICS and Harry Frost MA, from Brightwells, the Antiques and Fine Art Saleroom in Leominster will be in attendance.

You are invited to bring along furniture, pictures, ceramics, glass and silver. Any items booked in for the experts' opinion and valuation will be charged at 1 per item. No responsibility can be accepted for any damage etc. that could possible occur on the evening and all items are brought at your own risk. If you are bringing items please try and attend between 7.00pm and 7.15pm so that they may be booked in prior to 7.30pm.

Tickets 5.00. Obtainable from Parkfield Stores in St Arvans or by telephoning Mrs Jean Papps (01291) 628691.


The picture below (not available to the Web Site) shows the enormous mudslide between Bigsweir and Redbrook, which has resulted in the closure of the A466 since before Christmas and thus diverting much traffic from Tintern.

To date (17/01) no report has appeared in either of the "local" papers catering for Tintern but on 27th December "The Forest Review", which covers the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, ran a report with supporting photography. The following is an excerpt of that report:

"It is absolutely huge .... about 2,000 tons of mud to shift. It has been moving from the higher ground .... and in places it is so wet that it is practically liquid".

"Unfortunately it looks as though we will be in trouble if we simply clear the road because the material behind will be free to run down too. There are a lot of trees and bushes in the held-back material too, which need a specialist to cut down and remove before we can start work."

The delay in work commencing has been due to the fact that the land that has slipped is privately owned and the council had to come to some agreement with the landowner with regard to costs/work involved.

Many businesses in Tintern are now feeling the effect of having this main through-route closed for such a period of time with a noticeable drop-off in trade, in spite of this traditionally being the "quiet" period.

"The Tintern Independent" contacted Gloucestershire County Council (as they are responsible for this stretch of road) and made enquiries as to what is being done to reopen the road which, with the road works at Temple Dors, is affecting the livelihoods of people who are stuck in this "no-go" area between St. Arvans and Redbrook. They informed us that work commenced on 6th January and is expected to last for a period of approximately 4 weeks. The Highways Department added that if the road can be re-opened with traffic light control before this date then they will do so./p


I shall possibly open a can of worms with this, but as reported in the local press recently, the "Big Cat" has been sighted in Tintern on two occasions in the last month. Hallucination, fertile imagination, mushrooms or whatever/however these sightings took place, it certainly brings a new interest angle into Tintern for a while.

I have my own theory about one of these "sightings". The "Cat" was seen by two young lads on their way home (at 12.30am) from a party (!) on the road outside "Imagination". Am I the only one who has noticed that a recent addition to the frontage of this shop has been statues of two lovely Panthers? I wonder whether our "visitor" is a very amorous yet confused male, who, as any domestic cat lover will tell you, can smell a female at a seemingly vast distance and will wander afar in pursuit of luurrvvvvv. Has our feline fiend decided that these two lovelies outside "Imagination" are worth investigating further and is this what his visit to the exterior of the shop was all about? Did he leave his scent or fail to find theirs and thus wandered on in search of fresh romance. Well, it is February after all, the month in which one day at least is dedicated to love and romance, mystery and intrigue!

I confess, I am one of the nation's sceptics about these cat "sightings". Being an avid lover of the domestic variety and having watched their behaviour at length, I find it very hard to believe that a wild variety of the feline family would expose itself to the dangers of the urban surroundings of Man. We have had such a mild winter, even the excuse that this "creature" is visiting inhabited areas in search of food is questionable. There is certainly an abundance of small prey on which this feline could feed, and believe me they are ruthless, unforgiving hunters. I do believe these "Big Cats" are around and have been aware of their existence for the most part of my life, but remain very much "on the fence" when it comes to "daylight" sightings in built up areas. I welcome proof from anyone able to provide it, and the ramblings of someone after "shut-tap" at the local hostelries is not sufficient!


Our Annual General Meeting was held on the 20th January when our programme was finalised for 2001 and officers were elected to serve for the coming year.

We said goodbye to Mr Bryan Jones with many thanks for his excellent Chairmanship over the last three years and welcomed Mrs Christine Bradshaw to the office. Mr Martin Davy was elected Vice Chairman with Miss J Bartholomew remaining as Secretary and Mr John Bathgate as Treasurer.

A full programme of speakers has been arranged together with several evening visits to local gardens.

Dr. Naylor Firth is giving an illustrated talk of Friday 16th February and anyone else who is interested is cordially invited to join us in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Happy New Year to all

Judy Bartholomew


An application made by Mr A. Francis, who owns "Imagination", for a Sandwich Bar to be built on the site of the old petrol pumps opposite his shop was originally refused by Monmouthshire County Council. Mr Francis appealed against their decision and an Inspector, appointed by the National Assembly of Wales, decided that planning permission should be granted.

In his report the Inspector said "the new building would undoubtedly enhance the condition of what is, at present, an uninteresting enclave which contributes little to the visual quality of the village".

The Inspector was satisfied that problems with motorists stopping to use the facility, resulting in vehicles being parked on the A466, could be successfully overcome by an elongation of the roadside footway across the frontage of the site and an extension of the present parking restrictions.

The new addition to the village would see a redundant stone-faced building resurrected into a light food outlet selling cold food and snacks to pedestrians and walkers.

Any future plans to serve hot food from the outlet have been hit well in advance with one of the Inspector's conditions for granting planning permission is that "the building shall not be used for the sale of hot food".

The new outlet is expected to open in the next five years, after which permission expires.


Our roller-coaster ride in the County league continues. After a very encouraging December we were brought sharply down to earth on January 10th by a humiliating 3- home defeat against the runaway league leaders Monmouth in spite of them fielding a weakened side. In eight games against them this season we have only scored a single draw.

Dear readers, we can only apologise for this abject performance against our local rivals and hereby swear to wreak a hideous and bloody revenge at the next opportunity.

A week later we travelled to Ebbw Vale Steelworks to play the bottom club, North Gwent, and played much better scoring two wins, one draw and one adjourned game in which we have good winning chances. This good result lifted us to a mid-table position and relative safety after a poor start to the season.

STOP PRESS. On January 24th just before this excellent paper's publication deadline, we played host to the solid Pontypool side. A 2-1 victory was the result we needed to confirm our status as a side to respect. Our next objective (just possible) is to finish in the top half of the table.

Many thanks again to Alan and Barbara Butt of The Anchor for providing us with the superb venue.

David Roberts


A genteel start to the year with our first meeting mainly being given to discussion of plans for the forthcoming year.

During the meeting members turned their hand to the skill of basic decoupage, covering folders with pictures cut from old cards. It is hoped that these folders will travel with our members to every meeting, thus providing us all with somewhere to store all the invaluable information regarding forthcoming meetings and notes obtained therein.

Please note that both the time and venue of our meetings has altered for this year. Previously our meetings were held with the kind permission of Mrs Pearce at The Royal George but it was felt that, whilst her hospitality was infallible, the venue warm and tea provided, we needed more room and the opportunity to feel a little more free about the somewhat messy projects we undertake at times. We now meet in the Village Hall at 2pm still on the 3rd Monday of the month. Our doors are always open to welcome new members.

Our generous thanks go to Mrs Pearce and all her staff at The Royal George for her support and a small token gift of our appreciation was made to her at Christmas time.

Jean Davey


Due to the Christmas break, no meeting of the Community Council was held during December and therefore there are no Minutes on which to report. However, a new Clerk has been appointed and is due to commence her role with effect from the meeting held on 26th January 2001.

Should anyone have any matters they wish to bring to the attention of the Council, they should, in the first instance, now contact:

Mrs Christine Knapman,
The Old Brewery House,
Redbrook, Monmouthshire, NP25 4LU
Telephone: (01600) 713819
Fax: (01600) 719049


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

Wednesdays: Tintern Chess Club 7.00-10.00pm The Anchor Hotel

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

2nd February "Radio Active" From 9.00pm Local 5pc. pop/rock group The Rose & Crown

9th February "One Sick Lizard" From 9.00pm 4pc commercial modern rock Band The Rose & Crown

14th February Tintern Angling Club A.G.M The Rose & Crown 7.30pm

16th February Tintern V.P.A. 7.30pm Illustrated Talk - Dr. N Firth Village Hall
"Gan Ainm" From 9.00pm Traditional Irish Music The Rose & Crown

17th February Valentine's Celebrations Featuring Local Musicians The Cherry Tree Inn

19th February Tintern W.I. 2.00pm The Village Hall

20th February Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm The Cherry Tree Inn

23rd February "Round The Horn" From 9.00pm Traditional/Swing Jazz The Rose & Crown

Tintern Community Council 7.30pm The Village Hall

Please let me have anything for inclusion in our March issue by 22nd February. 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 @




Tintern Village Hall
Thursday Evenings 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Classes 2.00 per session
Contact Brigitte Doano
01291 425541


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



Contact: Karen Taylor
(01291) 689543

contact: Mrs Dexter
(01291) 689395

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.

Swipe cards for mobile 'phone top-up
Debit and credit card facilities
Fax service

Photocopying A4 - A3 (enlarging/reduction)
Tintern AFC Tote tickets on sale

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.






The Scout Association Representative will be in attendance to answer queries and listen to any objections that the residents of Tintern may have.

Please note: These plans are open to viewing on this date PRIOR to submission to Monmouthshire County Council.

Please arrive early to attend this meeting, or send any comments you wish noted to the Clerk before this date.

Clerk to the Community Council: Mrs Christine Knapman, The Old Brewery House, Redbrook, Monmouthshire, NP25 4LU