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November 2000


With the generous assistance of John Bathgate, who kindly offered to undertake this task, The Tintern Independent is now available for perusal on the Tintern Village Web Site. For all of you who don't know the address, it is

The site has a wealth of information about what Tintern has to offer to visitors as well as keeping past residents of Tintern informed as to what is happening in the village. It is hoped that the current edition of The Tintern Independent will appear on the web every month but also allow access to past issues in case someone has missed one or they wish to refer to previous issues.

For all those who remain in ignorant bliss of computers and all related technology, do not fear, we will still be producing and distributing hard copies for you to read!! Our inclusion on the Web is very much secondary to our production as a newsletter. However, it will increase our reader figures and hopefully encourage more people to support events/clubs in the Village, by letting them know what is going on.

On a separate note, thank you to everyone who has lent their support to this publication and the many compliments and congratulations for the first issue - I hope that this is a sign that the village will get behind us and make this work.


Please let me have anything for inclusion in our December issue by 23rd November. 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).



Well, Okay, so not quite but you cannot have missed the influx of personnel wandering through the village during the second half of October. Lighting Crew, Sound Crew, Extra's, Locations and many, many more! Add to that the winnebago's, location buses and mobile canteens parked in the Old Forestry Commission yard (much to the delight of the nearby dogs!) and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of a film set.

In fact, you were! 'Quirky Productions', jointly owned by actress Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather etc.) and her husband/manager Steve Sheen, are in the throes of making a feature film bringing such stars as Robert Dawls (Roger, Roger), Nicholas Farrell (Chariots of Fire), and Richard Graham (Real Women) with cameo appearances by household actors Warren Clarke, Dennis Waterman and Brian Conley (who plays Pauline Quirke's husband).

The film is titled 'Arthur's Dyke' and follows the tale of a re-union between three former university law students who walked Offa's Dyke 20 years ago and vowed to meet in the Millennium year and walk it again. During their 'ramblings' they meet Janet (Pauline) who is a 30-something wife/mother walking to 'find herself'. The film follows the bizarre and unexpected events the group encounters along the way.

One of these happenings takes place in the Wye Valley Hotel which Sue and Barry Cooke have turned over to the hands of the production team. Their Lounge Bar has been renamed 'Ramblers Rest' and given a touch of the American West. The intrepid walkers call in search of a place to stay one night to find the 'Ramblers Rest' holding a 'Clint Eastwood Theme Night'. An assembled collection of thirty-plus cowboy-clad, line-dancing extra's (trained by the local 'Silhouette Dance Club') fill out the bar - the rest, as they say, is history!!

Unfortunately I am unable to tell you when this epic will be on our screens, not even which channel, as I was not made privy to this information but rest assured, when I do find out I shall let you know!


Stan and Sylvia Smith of Tintern Stores have generously leant their support by sponsoring our village teams. Stan is well known to support the boys and the results of the games played each weekend are more often than not to be found on the blackboard outside the shop.

The teams have been provided with an extremely up-to-date strip carrying the "Tintern Stores" logo on the front. The main body of the new shirt is Racing Green with white-motley striped sleeves, white collars and cuffs, complemented by black shorts and socks with a contrast band at the top of the socks.

If this wasn't enough excitement for the teams, Stan arranged for world-renowned photographer David Hurn, who lives in the village, to take the team photograph.

We wish the team well this season and may the new strip bring them luck.


Approximately forty people attended a Public Meeting held at Tintern Village Hall on 28th October in order to debate the proposal to reopen the Wye Valley Railway line between Chepstow and Tintern.

Mike Notts from Tidenham introduced Bob Gorringe, Chairman of the Great Western Railway Preservation Group who outlined the proposal.

Mr Gorringe first explained his background. The GWR Preservation Group has twenty items of rolling stock, including steam locomotives, currently held at Strawberry Hill near Twickenham. During a recent move the Group had been looking for places to store their stock and Chepstow station area had been considered. This had been associated with the idea of opening steam trains from the site at Chepstow to Tintern.

The line exists physically as far as Tintern Quarry and the track bed exists into Tintern where it enters a short tunnel before stopping at the demolished bridge site close to the Old Station at Tintern.

The proposal was to build a steam centre on the sidings at Chepstow station and run a steam service to a new station and engine shed to be built near the tunnel entrance at Tintern. Walking access at Tintern would be via the bridge next to Abbey Mill and along the old wire works branch line track bed.

The service would operate throughout the year but the timetable would depend upon the passenger traffic.

Mr Gorringe thought that the proposal would bring benefits to the businesses in Chepstow and Tintern, may reduce road traffic (although there was dissent from the floor on this point), and would employ some local people.
Gloucestershire County Council, in whose area most of the required work would take place, seems to be generally in favour of the proposal but Monmouthshire County Council are not at all sure that the proposal fits with their future plans.

At this point the meeting had a show of hands to indicate the feeling of the meeting. The meeting was overwhelmingly in favour with one vigorous protest and one person "sitting on the track"!

There is a slim possibility that, in the future, the service would go to the Old Station but only as a very long term aim as there would be the need to replace the missing rail bridge. There was a suggestion from the floor that the bridge replacement could be just a footbridge so that people could walk from the Old Station to the new terminus.

The trip would be twenty minutes each way. However, the single line produced restrictions that would generally make the round trip 1 hours.

There are no proposals for the train to continue to Monmouth as much of the track bed and many of the bridges have disappeared and the replacement cost would be too high.

If you are interested in this project and would like to get involved or just know more, please contact Mike Nott on telephone no. 0771 856 9862 or alternatively E-Mail him at michaelnott@hotmail.


The circle meets on the third Thursday of each month in the Cherry Tree Inn from 7.30pm until about 9.30pm. It is an example of the philosophy in pubs movement which is growing nationwide, and is open to all who enjoy discussing the issues which underlie many of today's problems.

On October 17th, a regular attendee to the Circle, Chris Gifford, spoke with a deep conviction on 'The Ethics of Nuclear Power', building on his experience as a former mining engineer. The discussion that followed was intense, and showed that this still remains a moral dilemma for many, half a century after the dropping of the first atomic bomb.

On November 21st, Ray Billington, the co-founder (with Hatti Pegram) of the Circle will again be the speaker. His topic is one that should appeal across a broad spectrum: WHAT IS A HUMAN BEING and will cover both scientific and eastern and western religious perspective. As always, anyone who is interested is welcome to join the circle in the ideal setting of the Cherry Tree Inn, with refreshments literally on tap.


October's meeting was the first time we had all met in the Village Hall since April! The summer months are spent wandering around other peoples' gardens, our Annual Show was in August and the petrol crisis put paid to September's get-together, so there was plenty to talk about as you might imagine.

The main item of news was the break up of the county-wide affiliation of V.P.A's based on Usk College which had been in existence for 40 years for so. This is a great shame in many ways but I am sure the individual societies will remain strong for many years to come.

The speakers at our meeting this month were Christine Evans and Mark Carr of Tengboche in the Angiddy Valley and they gave us a wonderful insight into the differing flora at various high altitudes in both India and South America. This was illustrated by some superb slides and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

November should see us enjoying another illustrated talk, this time by David Lewis of Raglan. We shall meet at 7.30pm on November 17th in the Village Hall and any newcomers would be made very welcome.


Further to last month's report that Melvyn and Elaine of the Moon and Sixpence were sponsoring a race at Chepstow Racecourse, I am pleased to report their day was a success, both personally and from a business perspective.
There was a very good turn out for the meet and maximum publicity was given to the Moon & Sixpence with a large advertising board at the finish line. Although the race was not shown on the television, it was well supported and Elaine feels that the investment was well worth it. She would recommend the investment to anyone and is hoping to repeat the sponsorship next year. Watch this space!


The Studio Cinema at Coleford shows the usual multiplex fare most of the time and the programmes are published in the Monmouthshire Beacon on a Thursday. However, the Studio hosts two cinema clubs showing films that might not make the commercially driven screen.

The University of the Third Age (U3A) shows films once a month on Tuesday mornings at 10.30am. Doors open at 10.00am for coffee. The current programme will be:

Tuesday 14th November:
'The Tichborne Claimant' (PG). Directed by David Yates starring Robert Pugh in a rather superior example of those Victorian dramas so loved by the BBC. Set in 1866, a claimant to a title runs into all sorts of scrapes with the English Class system and judiciary.

Tuesday 12th December
'The Last September' (15) Starring Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon in an evocative, literate adaptation of Elizabeth Bowen's novel depicting the last days of British Rule in Ireland.

The Third Screen shows films that are rather more 'difficult'. The films are shown at 8.00pm on Monday evenings, doors open at 7.30pm. The current programme is:

Monday 20th November.
'Run Lola Run' (15). The most successful German film for years. Lots of fun, it is fast, stylish and energetic with a bit a chaos theory thrown in as Lola repeats her task of raising DM100,000 in just 20 minutes to save her boyfriend from a drugland execution.

Monday 4th December:
'Le Grande Illusion' (U). This is the re-released version of the 1937 classic anti-war film by Jean Renoir.

These films are shown in Studio 1, comfortable, with an excellent big screen and digital surround sound. The car park opposite is free and although busy on a Tuesday morning seems able to accommodate the audience. Do come and see for yourselves.


Tintern Chess Club has had a less than dazzling start to the new season. Having rather fortunately been selected for the first division of the Gwent League, we expected the going to be tough and so it is proving. So far we have had narrow 1 - 2 losses against Abergavenny 'B' and Malpas and a 0 - 4 wipeout against a strong Monmouth side. There are 8 teams of four players, each team playing each other twice so there is plenty of time to make up the lost ground.

However, our ramshackle squad of inadequates is about to be strengthened by the addition of talented and determined new players - including, rumour has it, Don Curtis from Chepstow, the Welsh Champion in 1959 (A.D. I think).

The Club meets at the Anchor Hotel on Wednesdays at 7.oopm. New members, spectators, groupies etc. always welcome.

Dave Roberts


Councillor A.J. Parsons (Chairman),
Councillor B. Young (Vice-Chairman),
Councillor Mrs C. McEwan,
Councillor Mrs P O'Connor,
Councillor Mrs J Saunders,
Councillor J Prewitt and Councillor T Evans.

Notes from the Minutes of the September meeting, which was held on 29th September. A full copy can be seen on all six of the public Notice Boards.

1. Police Operational Order Re: Flooding.
The Police will check with Environmental Agency whether any of the river front houses are on automated voice warning for flooding. Sandbags are to be stored in containers in two sites either end of the village for emergency use. 200 sandbags (of a different colour) in each. These containers would be at the rear of The Beaufort and Wye Valley Hotels and would be kept locked. Residents will still order their sandbags in the usual way.

2. Village of the Year.
Tintern has been nominated to represent Gwent in this national competition.

3. Gwent Best Kept Village.
The judges comments will be put on all the public Notice Boards, if space permits.

4.. School Organisation Draft Plan.
Cllr. Mrs J Saunders said she would like to know if Llandogo School is a feeder school for both Monmouth and Chepstow and whether there was a risk of closure as these were unclear in the MCC Draft Plan.

5. No Pavement.
The Clerk read out a letter from a Mr Bullock of Cardiff who regularly visits Tintern but whilst walking through the village recently had to get off the road (at the area past the garage where there is no pavement) and fell into brambles which are growing through the fence. He felt that this stretch of road was getting very hazardous. The Council is very aware of this and suggested that the Clerk write to Mr Bullock and pass his letter on to MCC.

6. Stella Books.
The owners of Stella Books have been asked to remove their 'A' Board from the vicinity of the Abbey. Stella Books feel they need some advertising in the area of the Abbey. Cllr. Mrs McEwen said the information board there was already difficult to read, Cllr. Parsons suggested a map of the village. The Council agreed to get a map of the village and suitable signage.

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 (01291-689782).

Anyone wishing to bring any matters to the attention of the Community Council should attend the Meeting at the Village Hall (24th November). Please arrive by 7.30pm, as these matters must be discussed before the meeting officially commences.




1. The appearance and condition of the village centre, village green, playing field, churchyard/ cemetery, bus shelter, surrounds to village hall, War Memorial, Inns, village school, pond and stream
Marks awarded : 29 out of 35

2. Condition of hedges, fences and walls adjacent to and surrounding buildings and gardens; the cleanliness of verges.
Marks awarded : 18 out of 20

3. Tidiness of flower and vegetable gardens, allotments and the neat appearance of outhouses and sheds
Marks awarded : 18 out of 20

4. Bonus marks for the general appearance of the village (noting the absence of litter and unsightly refuse dumps). Marks for unsightly garages/petrol stations or other commercial properties should be deducted from any bonus points awarded
Marks awarded : 20 out of 25

Total Marks Awarded : 85 out of 100


Tintern has many advantages situated in the beautiful Wye Valley with the magnificent Abbey.

Both the Beaufort and Royal George Hotels are superb. The Anchor and shop opposite are beautifully maintained and free of litter despite so many tourists.

The recreation ground was not so good and the hedge along the main road badly needed trimming.

Wye Valley Centre very attractive but what a shame it is spoilt with all the scrap iron thrown down by the water wheel. Toilets excellent, also Village Hall. Properties along Llandogo Road very good, especially the Rose & Crown.


Tuesdays : Football Training 6.00pm Abbey Field
The Tuesday Club 2.30pm Village Hall (held fortnightly - new members welcome)

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

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

3rd November 'Steamhouse' From 9.00pm Modern Blues Music The Rose & Crown

9th November 'Kevin Van Sax' 8.30pm Saxophonist/male vocalist The Moon & Sixpence

10th November 'Superstition' From 9.00pm Modern Cover Versions The Rose & Crown

17th November Tintern VPA (see article) 7.30pm Village Hall
'Garrison Damn' From 9.00pm Acoustic Rock Band The Rose & Crown

20th November Tintern W.I. 7.30pm The Royal George

21st November Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm Cherry Tree Inn (Topic - 'What is a Human Being')

24th November Tintern Community Council 7.30pm Village Hall
'Ivor & The Engines' From 9.00pm Cover Band - older ballads/songs The Rose & Crown


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

Contact Brigitte Doano
01291 425541


at the ROSE & CROWN featuring live entertainment from LESLEY RYAN
Finger Buffet available from 10pm
Free Soft Drinks for Drivers of parties of 4 or more


Rayburn Solid Fuel Cooker 350.00 (01291) 689646
6ft Pine sunbed, 8 tube & 30 minute timer top and bottom 175.00 (01291) 689646
New Wood Stove, Multi-Burner. 2 top-plates & small oven, separate fire box (top fill) Brass trimmings & guide rail. Suit small cottage dwelling.

On view at IMAGINATION 375.00 (07946) 686645

Happy 1st Anniversary

on 26th November
to Melvyn & Elaine of the Moon and Sixpence

'One year on and still going strong'


BETAMAX VCR Please telephone 01291 689928