The Tintern Village Website

The Tintern Independent Newsletter

Return to News Sheet Menu

January 2001

Why not resolve to make this year the one in which you take up a new hobby or interest. There are many groups and clubs in the village to cater for everyone, Football, the VPA, Fishing, Chess, Philosophy, the WI and Keep Fit to name a few. All would be very pleased to welcome new members and have residents in the area getting involved and lending their support.

The events/meetings of these groups are regularly reported in this paper with contact names and numbers. Alternatively please use the contact details below and we will put you in touch as necessary.

If you run, or are a member of, a club or organisation that we are not currently reporting on and you wish to be bought to the attention of the village, please also contact us.

Finally, we wish all our readers a very happy and prosperous 2001.

The Editor.

Please let me have anything for inclusion in our February issue by 25th January. Items/articles can be left for my attention at The Rose and Crown, I can be contacted on (01291) 629571 or alternatively, E-Mail me (Eleanor @ or Fax (01291 689254).



The last meeting of the year took the form of a quiz evening, hosted by the Trellech V.P.A., with friends from Llandogo and Mitchel Troy.

More than 40 people were present and the team from Tintern was the victors with 47 points out of a possible 50. Well done, everyone who took part!

Following the quiz, refreshments and fruit cup were enjoyed, the meeting ending on a festive note.

The AGM of Tintern V.P.A. is being held on 19th January at the Village Hall. New members are welcome to come along and find out what we are all about.


A complementary therapy, reflexology treats the whole person.

By applying gentle pressure, using the thumb and fingers on reflex points on the feet, corresponding to the glands and organs of the body, reflexology can relieve stress and tension. It improves circulation and strengthens the immune system, helping nature achieve balance in the body. Importantly, a treatment is a relaxing pleasurable experience.

Based at the practice of U Findlay-Donisthorpe, Yorkeley, I make home visits and for new clients there is an introductory offer of two treatments for the price of one.

For information or to book an appointment telephone (01291) 689907

Helen Kemp


The Wye Valley Railway past is vividly brought to life in a new local video - The Story of the Ross to Monmouth Branch Line Railway, produced by BorderLine Film Productions.

Two years in the making, this is the first film dedicated to this line and offers a rare glimpse of the line in its working days, showing what little remains today of the twelve and a half miles of scenic line.

There are stunning aerial views of Ross, Monmouth and the magnificent River Wye as well as Symonds Yat, Goodrich Castle and Tintern Abbey. Rare and unseen archive film of the line includes footage of the last special passenger train, which ran from Ross-on-Wye to Chepstow via Monmouth and Tintern on January 4th, 1959.

The video can be purchased from the Museum and Information Centre in Monmouth priced £13.99


A huge well done to one very talented young girl, Tania Davies, for winning the competition to design a colourful label for a Christmas Pudding.

Seven-year-old Tania's brilliant pudding label design was chosen as the winning entry and printed on a batch of delicious Christmas pudding covers in time for the festive season.


Painting, modelling, acting and a treasure hunt are just a few of the activities enjoyed by the children of St. Michael's on recent Sunday mornings. Through drama, video, readings and puzzles the children hear the words of the Bible. They are helped to relate these truths to their own thoughts and actions and encourage to make Jesus a part of their daily life.
The children have been challenged to learn short bible verses by heart. They are very enthusiastic the following Sunday and repeat the verses and claim their reward! Words learnt at a young age often stay with us throughout our lives and many of us can testify to the comfort that scripture can bring in times of crisis.

More children are always welcome into our "Church family". Why not come and join us?

Parish News


I know many of you are aware of the existence of this service already and benefit greatly from the regularity with which Tony delivers fresh reading matter to our doorstep but what of those of you who are new to the village or have suddenly found yourselves unable to get to Chepstow Library as frequently as you would like.

The following is a timetable for the Mobile Library in Tintern.
Week One commences on 15th January 2001.

Monday Week One

Furnace Cottages 10.30am - 10.45am
Parkhouse 10.55am - 11.20am
Broadstone Terrace 11.25am - 11.45am
Botany Bay 1.40pm - 2.00pm
Sylvan View 2.05pm - 2.25pm
Parc Glade 2.30pm - 3.00pm
Parva Springs 3.05pm - 3.20pm
Bakery 3.30pm - 4.45pm

Monday Week Two

The Old Station 9.45am - 9.55am

The service is provided, as you can see, fortnightly. The library has a vast selection of books to suit all ages and tastes, both fiction and non-fiction and IT'S FREE!


Huw Edwards MP was due to hold a constituency surgery at Tintern Village Hall on 8th December. Unfortunately, no one turned up either due to overlooking advertising or they were too tied up with other things. However, it was fortunate that Cllr. Evan was on hand as he escorted our MP around the village showing him the damage done by the late October flooding.

Prior to his attending the Village Hall Mr. Edwards had seen the damage at Lime Kiln Brook at the back of the Beaufort Hotel and revisited the site to inspect the remedial work, which was carried out by Monmouthshire County Council.

In all, Cllr. Evans spent approximately 2 hours guiding Mr. Edwards, showing him the damage to the sports field, the state of the ponds which are full to the top, visiting houses affected by flooding, in particular the School House, and bringing to his attention areas on Trellech Road which need sorting out.

Hopefully, Cllr. Evans giving up his very precious spare time has opened the eyes of our MP to all hand the damage done, and swift action to remedy matters will be forthcoming.


Tintern Angling Club has just passed its 30th birthday. It was founded in 1970 with the aim of providing fly-fishing for anyone who was prepared to take part in the running of the club. Not just fishing but also taking an active part in the restoration and maintenance of the fishery.

We have two ponds and a length of the Angiddy Brook where both natural brown trout and introduced rainbow trout thrive. In the interests of conservation, brown trout when caught are returned to the water.

Our fishing rights are firstly a lease from the owners of the Beaufort Hotel and secondly a grant in perpetuity from our generous president, of the right to fish the lower Angiddy, unfortunately now mostly a car park.

Though Tintern based, the club has always relied heavily for its viability on anglers from Chepstow, Monmouth, Caldicot and the Forest of Dean and we also have members from beyond the Severn who particularly enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of Tintern. A summer's evening fishing dry flies, competing with emerging Mayflies in the Angiddy Valley is probably as close to heaven as most anglers get!

We meet each month at The Cherry Tree Inn, and the next general meeting is the AGM on Wednesday 14th February. New members are always welcome and the AGM provides an ideal opportunity to learn of the club's achievements in 2000 and its aims for 2001.

As our budget for 2001 is not yet finalised, the subscriptions for the coming season are not fixed. They will be discussed at the AGM. Last season they were based on £65.00 for senior members with concessions for senior citizens and juniors. A significant rise is expected in order to finance our new lease which commences later this year.

Our season runs from 1st April to 30th October and we stock frequently with rainbow trout to provide a good challenging sport. Members are allowed to take home two fish per days fishing.

Dudley Surman


I am happy to report a dramatic improvement in our form this month. A 100% record!

On 29th November we were hosts to the very strong Abergavenny 'A' who fortunately turned up with only 3 players therefore defaulting on one board - 1-0 to us! Don Curtis played superbly to outplay his opponent with the white pieces. John Marshall and I had the task of defending with black. John secured comfortable equality but tried too hard for a win and succumbed. Meanwhile I had blundered as usual early on but obtained a solid position through an exchange down. Luckily I was able to secure a draw and thus we achieved our first league victory of the season 2½ - 1½.

Our next match on 6th December was the first round of the Welsh under 1800 (ie. lobotomy victims) Cup having been drawn away at Malpas. I threw away my game on Board 1 by attacking unsoundly but the day was saved by a welcome return to form by Russell Dodington and Peter Nowosad and two excellent wins on Boards 2 and 3 ensured our passage to the next round.

Readers will recall that Wednesday 12th December was fairly moist after the previous nights storm and it was deemed prudent to postpone our home match that night as many local roads were impassable.

On 20th December we travelled again to Malpas for a league match and returned in triumph after a resounding 3-1 victory with wins from Don, John and myself. This performance lifted us (at last) from the foot of the table.

We now have realistic chances of avoiding relegation but these chances are jeopardised by the worrying propensity of our best player - Don Curtis - to fritter his time and energy away at the Bridge table. The Government should step in to outlaw this pernicious, footling practise. These people must be saved from themselves. You know it makes sense!

David Roberts


Many of you may have missed this article which was published in The Village News in September last year when I was reporting for them on behalf of Tintern. However, I take this opportunity to refresh your minds about this superb production, which is now available on video for you to enjoy again and again from the comfort of your home.

Like H G Wells' fictional hero in "The Time Machine", I had the privilege to spin through the centuries. However, he was famously alone but I shared the experience with over one thousand other people, waiting as the grounds of Tintern Abbey were washed over with a soft red light. As if orchestrated, just after ten o'clock a perfect half moon slid slowly from the darkening sky, hiding its light behind the trees that crown the valley. The warmth of a late summer's day still lingered and the air was windless, as a crowd whispered to each other as if anticipating a play in a London theatre.
Our 'roof' would be eventually sprinkled with stars, as the production of "Echoes In The Stones" gradually took shape. It is a clever, almost onomatopoeia-type phrase, evoking the spirit of the place and inviting us to listen for resonance and nuances of times past gripped within the architecture.

Moths skittered towards the lights as a RADAesque voice boomed into the night, speaking of the creation of the valley. Pointillist patterns, worthy of the French painter Seurat, danced playfully onto the nave wall from a projector. A giant white triptych of a screen lay to the right, giving us pictures to compliment the ever-shifting pattern of script, sounds and special effects.
I imagined the smell of incense, although it was probably the dozens of different perfumes dispersing into the night air. A story unfolded, told simply and brought to life by local people as the actors.
Philip Madoc's voice was a lyrical and melodic addition, at one time accompanying the hypnotic projected Celtic symbols that were swaying on the wall so finely, it felt like the flow of wine and good company that accompany a memorable meal. It was so smooth that it soothed, slowed and sped up the heartbeat so deftly, whilst slyly educating at the same time.

The Cistercian Order walked in the grounds where medieval sandaled feet had already once trodden, now clothed by modern actors but eerie nonetheless. They chanted and they prayed, reminding us of St. Bernard and his vision of a simple life. The brothers had manual labour to sate their bodies; from which they grew strong and fit, study for their minds and prayer for their souls.
As observers, unseen and silent, perhaps we mourned man's cynical drift from the spiritual life.

Henry VIII, as we reached the sixteenth century, was a panto villain; a greedy, amorous despot stripping churches of pride and wealth. Thomas Cromwell was surely one of the first management executives, long before rationalisation and downsizing became part of our language.

Tintern Abbey made a brave stubborn stand but was legally ransacked nevertheless. The sense of loss and injustice would surely have made the holy stones and bones of St. Bernard sigh with the disappointments of an age.

There were many entertaining and absorbing pieces of theatre that evening, all linked together by their tie to Monmouthshire. The skulls to represent the Black Death swirled menacingly in a pirate's dance on the building, shadowed by the symbolic grim reaper. It was a reminder how a scared and scarred population was devastated by disease, helplessness and despair.
Much later, there was a true feeling of sweat and ambition within the creation of the forges of the Industrial Revolution. A young boy stood up in front of me, unable to contain his wonderment at the controlled pyrotechnics beyond a far wall. There was a cannon-boom belch of fire and flames bludgeoning the air as a faint smell of sulphur drifted upwards. "Wow" said the boy, voicing everyone's silent appreciation so admirably. He had been awed earlier as St. Tewdric was carried away dying by his stag-led hearse. This was the stuff of legends; mystical and powerfully Welsh.

A great deal of smoke built up during the evening, giving the impression of mist that wrapped itself like a threadbare shawl around stones before evaporating through the tall windows. Then gradually there was a slight pre-midnight breeze, it grew cold and the yawning ache of tiredness was beaten back by our compulsive need to continue the saga.
Foppish Victorians picnicking and intellectualised the ivy-clad ruin. We had now become the ghosts of the future, as all ahead of us looked so very real. We were sitting in the place that had inspired a teenage Turner and besotted Wordsworth. It is sobering to imagine how many future poets and artists were lost in the devastating World Wars that characterised the first half of the twentieth century.
Firstly we saw a fete that represented the hope, fun and innocence of a new era. The detail was so real that I too wanted a cup of coffee from one of the stands. The horror and the poignant reading of soldier's letters home that followed was a grim contrast. Searchlights that swept the sky probably gave some of the older people some unpleasant goosebumps.

Fireworks that stretched, exploded into butterfly colours and then fell spent into the dark were the finale; technology in the new Millennium. Grown men and women became children, delighting in the lure of noise and lights.

How dark the Abbey looked below, very secretive and sleepy. We had been told of its history but somehow it had retained a little slice of its peculiar magic. As we filed out by torchlight I looked back at the nave and realised that it still held something back from us that invited another visit. Echoes perhaps, or an enigmatic variation.


Priced just £15.00, the video is available from Ned Heywood, The Workshop Gallery, 13 Lower Church Street, Chepstow, telephone (01291) 624836.


Way back in the summer it was announced that a group of Tintern residents had got together in the hope of submitting an application for a lottery funding grant towards a worthwhile project in the village. Forms were left in the shops and public houses throughout the village asking us to complete and return these with our proposals/ideas for a project on which we would feel the money would be well spent. Many of us completed these.

What has happened to the "committee". Many people in the village who submitted forms have been wondering what is being done. Were none of our ideas deemed worthy or has an application been submitted and we have not been told?

Sue Samuels, one of the original committee members, has told us that despite attempts at communication with other members, she too remains in the dark.

This was a wonderful idea and certainly, whatever the chosen project, would have been of benefit to the whole community. Therefore, on behalf of the residents of Tintern, would existing members of the founding committee please make their intentions known. If they no longer wish to run with this project then please let is know and step aside to make way for those who do.

If anyone wishes to become involved with the committee and the application for lottery funding or has any ideas on where this money would be best spent please contact Sue Samuels on (01291) 689603 or E-Mail her at

She cannot undertake this task alone, and nor should she. It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to obtain funds for a project which will enhance our village.


Time as a smoothly flowing river, Time as a measure of motion, Time existing in consciousness and memory, Time as a substance and the absence of awareness of Time, were some of the observations made by poets, philosophers, scientists and mythologists and quoted by Steve Eddy in this talk "What is Time?" Thus began a most delightful evening at The Cherry Tree Inn, which concluded with a calibration of the festive season from members of the group.

Folk tunes on the fiddle and Celtic harp were played by Bernard Holland and Claire Hamilton, medieval carols were played by Claire and sung by Rosy Whaley and a modern sermon was given by Ray Billington, appropriately dressed in a cassock. Supper was provided by Jill and Steve Pocock.

More delights are in store in the New Year, the first being a talk on "What is Truth?" to be given by Ray Billington on Tuesday January 16th at 7.30pm at The Cherry Tree Inn.

Hatti Pegram


"The Tintern Independent" started in October 2000 and to date has been run with the financial assistance of a couple of local business' and personal investment.

From the comments we have received since our first issue the majority of you are very grateful to have a paper which regularly informs residents of Tintern with news of what is going on. Many thanks for all the praise, it is certainly pleasant to have such positive feedback and encourages us to produce the next issue.

However, there is now an increasing demand for more copies each month. So far we have struggled on. The publication/printing costs are not cheap and it is a fairly labour-intensive project for at least 2 weeks of each month. We appeal to anyone in the village who feels they are able to offer assistance in meeting the growing costs.

If you feel able to help in any way, large or small, please contact Eleanor (01291) 629571 to discuss this further


The Film Clubs at the Studio Cinema, Coleford are showing the following this month:

Tuesday January 9th
The U3A presents "Love's Labour's Lost"
This musical version of Shakespeare's comedy commences at 10.30am and stars Kenneth Brannagh, Alessandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone and Natascha McElhorne. Recommended for anyone who likes Shakespeare or Gershwin. A most enjoyable picture, words and music combining beautifully.

Monday January 15th
The Third Screen presents "Timecode"
Did you see the original "Thomas Crown Affair" with the action unfolding on various split screens? "Timecode" goes further. It uses four segments each showing the action around a Los Angeles film production office going on simultaneously. The four segments each run for a continuous 93 minute take. Not once do the separate camera operators fall over one another or even catch a glimpse of each other. and the producer has ensured that his script has some decent jokes.
The film stars Jeanne Tripplehorn, Salma Hayek and Julian Sands and incorporates a masseur, attractive women kissing and a shooting. Perhaps not for those who prefer 18th Century "frock" films. The show commences at 8.00pm.



Cllr. B. Young (Chairman)
Cllr. P O'Connor (Vice Chairman)
Cllr. T Evans, Cllr. J Prewett,
Cllr. J Saunders,
Cllr. C. McEwen,
County Cllr. Spencer

Apologies: D. Floyd

Notes from the Minutes of the November meeting, which was held on 24th November 2000. A full copy can be seen on all six of the public Notice Boards throughout the village.

1. Vacancy for Councillor
There had been no applications for Councillor of Tintern Parva, and nothing had been heard from the Electoral Officer, MCC. Co-opting would now be allowed.

2. Millennium Seat
Cllr. Evans showed a beautifully engraved plaque to the Council. Cllr. Evans said that County Cllr. Spenser had paid for the engraving of this plaque, and the Council was very appreciative of this gesture. The plaque is old brass, which was part of the original slide in the play area.

3. Sylvan View - Mr J Morris
County Cllr. Spencer had spoken with the Housing Manager and Social Services Officer with regard to the plight of Mr. Morris. There was now legislation with regard to the slope at which the pathway should have come down. There are certain problems at the moment; the Social Services Officer has done an assessment on the gradients. The overgrown trees at Sylvan View have been reported.

The Clerk read out a letter from the WRVS requesting a donation for their work. The Council felt that as ‘Meals on Wheels’ is of direct benefit to residents of Tintern it was decided that £100 should be donated. Proposed by Cllr. Saunders and seconded by Cllr. O'Connor.

5. Flooding - Anchor Hotel
The Clerk read out a number of 'phone calls that took place with regard to the culvert overflowing and causing a flood at the Anchor. She did eventually get in contact with Martyn Evans, Land Drainage Officer on Tuesday morning. He did attend at the Anchor Hotel that morning and Mr Huw Edwards MP was also there. Mr Butt requested a telephone number in order that he is able to contact somebody out of hours. Mr Evans provided two numbers of standby officers, which he said PC Mason also had at the Police Station.

6. Upgrading/Safety Surfacing for Play Area
A letter has been received from Mike Moran, MCC to say that work was due to commence on 20th November 2000. The Clerk informed Mr Moran that Cllr. Evans would be overseeing this project on behalf of Tintern Recreation Centre.

7. Llandogo School
Cllr. McEwen reported that there was a meeting for parents, only one parent turned up. The new Headmaster brought them all up to date. The Headmaster is very keen on new technology. There was an opportunity to take the children to see the building of the new hall, which is next to the school. The children have the opportunity to 'talk' via the Internet to other schools in Gwent. The school is hoping to get more conferencing facilities. Cllr. Saunders mentioned that she had noticed that there had not been a lot about Llandogo School in the local papers. Cllr. McEwen said she would mention this and maybe they could get higher profile.

8. The Wharf
Cllr. Evans said that Mrs Stubbs, Parva Farmhouse had mentioned the deterioration of the Wharf. She suggests that maybe the stones from Temple Dors could be used in shoring up the Wharf. County Cllr. Spencer said he would mention it to Dave Harries.

9. Churchyards
Cllr. Evans said could we have the Councils agreement to pay for the usual churchyard maintenance of £100 for St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s and £50 each for Penterry and Trellech Grange. The Council was in agreement

10. Cotham's Corner
The Clerk to contact Phil Jones in respect of several stretches of the Angiddy bank, which is damaged.

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.


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 and Church Girls Brigade 6.30pm Moravian Hall, Brockweir

5th January "ian luther" From 9.00pm covers from across the years The Rose and Crown

12th January "Slack Rachett" From 9.00pm Country Rock Band The Rose and Crown

15th January Tintern W.I. 7.30pm Handicrafts Evening The Village Hall

16th January Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm Topic - ‘What is Truth?’ The Cherry Tree Inn

19th January Tintern V.P.A 7.00pm A.G.M The Village Hall

19th January "Tin Pan Alley" From 9.00pm Local Blues Band The Rose & Crown

25th January Burns Night Party The Anchor Hotel

26th January Tintern Community Council 7.30pm first meeting of the year The Village Hall
26th January "Souled Out" From 9.00pm Soul Band from Bristol The Rose and Crown



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




£15.00 per head

Telephone: (01291) 689207



(Many thanks to all those people who attended their Party held at the Moon and Sixpence on 6th December 2000)


(01291) 620593