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October 2000


Welcome to the first edition of 'The Tintern Independent', a paper for Tintern, about Tintern, by the residents of Tintern. Hopefully this will be a monthly newsletter, produced on a voluntary basis with printing and publication costs covered by sponsorship from local business. It will only succeed with your support.

If you have anything for publication, be it Birthday Greetings, Congratulations, 'For Sale' notices, entries for the Events Diary, articles of interest or items you wish brought to the attention of the rest of the village please leave them for my attention (Eleanor!) at The Rose & Crown, or feel free to contact me on Chepstow 629571.

There is plenty to do in Tintern, with something for everyone and our aim, via your input, is to tell everyone about it!

I look forward to receiving your contributions!


PS. Please note that due to a late holiday, I shall be unavailable from 21st October for a week. However, anything for November's issue can be left at The Rose & Crown during this time for collection on 28th October, when I return.

E-Mail me ( or Fax (01291-689254).


As many of you will be aware it has been the practice in the past for all residents of Tintern to be able to enter the Abbey free of charge and without any formal proof of identity.
Tintern Community Council has recently been approached by CADW, custodians of Tintern Abbey, and asked whether we would be prepared to manage the issue of individual credit card-sized I.D. cards for use as authorisation of entry to the Abbey for residents of Tintern.
They have consented to do this and listed below are the conditions and requirements for obtaining these cards:

a) An Application Form must be obtained and completed (available from Tintern Stores or the Police Station)
b)A Passport-sized photograph must be supplied along with your application
c)Proof of Identity/Residency ie. Utilities bill, Passport or similar must be supplied

The completed Application Form should then be taken to Tintern Police Station between 10.00am and 12.00pm on the 2nd Monday or Saturday of November and December 2000 where Councillors Pat O'Connor and Tony Parsons will be available to complete the process and issue the cards.

Any person wishing to obtain a card but unable to make the above times should contact Sue Hillard, Clerk to the Council, in writing so that alternative arrangements can be made.

There is no charge for this service and the cards are valid for 3 years.


The first weekend in September saw Abbey Mill holding it's annual weekend of family fun and charity fund-raising events. The Grand Marquee situated in the grounds of Abbey Mill, together with beautiful weather and the fantastic loyal local support contributed to a wonderfully successful weekend.

'Jazz by the Wye' was held on Saturday 2nd September featuring the local jazz band 'Just Jazz'. Abbey Mill and The Rotary Club of Chepstow hosted the event in the Grand Marquee, and by the end of the evening had raised just over 900 for local charities in the Chepstow area.

Then, Sunday 3rd September the weekend of fun continued with Abbey Mill's Family Fun Day & Craft Market. This brought together many local groups, including Mencap, RNLI, Chepstow & Monmouth Rotary Clubs, Chepstow Lions Club, Chepstow Town Women's Guild, SARA, Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade and the Sail Training Association plus many others, all raising funds for their good causes. There was a children's entertainer and magic show provided by Abbey Mill and line dancing displays by the local "Forest Stompers".

The weekend was a great success and Abbey Mill would like to thank every one for their support and look forward to seeing you again next year.

Should you like to be involved in next year's Fun Day and possibly hold a stall to raise your own funds, please contact Shelly at Abbey Mill (01291) 689228)


It was a stroke of genius that Monmouthshire County Council decided to close the Public Convenience in the centre of the village at the beginning of July for an update and refurbishment - just when the village is becoming full of visitors. Worse, just before the biggest public event that Tintern has ever played host to - the Son-et-Lumiere. Here we are, at the end of the season and yes, you've guessed it - they have just re-opened the newly refurbished toilets, with facilities for the disabled!
Well done, MCC, hats off to you! Your timing was impeccable!!


The Anchor Hotel has a weekly contract to entertain parties of American visitors who come to see the Abbey and then have supper and are told about the history of the place by that well-known double act, Alan Butt and Grantley James.

History is always more palatable if presented light-heartedly and among other things, it is explained to our visitors that the differences in our two cultures is that they think 100 years is a long time, whilst we think 100 miles is a long way! 'If you see a road around here with grass in the middle of it,' they are warned, 'it is not necessarily a dual carriageway!' The time difference is explained by 'When it is half past six in New York, it is 1943 in Tintern.'

The dynamic duo's hoary old anecdotes are interspersed with some serious facts and the evenings, having been highly successful, are now scheduled to run through until the end of the year


The new season is well underway with both teams welcoming some old and many new faces. The 'A' team are living up to their name and leaving others in their wake. Under the new management of Bobby Morgan they have successfully worried the opposition by winning their first two games of the season with ease, 6-0 and 5-0! The new keeper, Matt McDaid has made his mark and shown outstanding skill. He is well worth watching.

The 'B's, still under the management of Steve Taylor with assistance from Andy Fuller, have also made a impressive start to the season, winning 2 out of the first 3 games. All this despite the fact that one of their star players, Matt Shorrock, has just turned 50!

The Club are still looking for more Members to assist on the Committee. Help is needed in maintaining the field and also with fund raising ideas/projects. Should you have some spare time on your hands and you wish to be involved in supporting the teams, please contact Pam (01291) 689505.

There is usually a home game every week and spectators are more than welcome. Please come and support your local side!


Due to the recent dearth of petrol, our September meeting had to be cancelled as our speaker from Usk Agricultural College was unable to make the journey. However, our Speaker this month (October) will be Christine Evans from Tintern giving an illustrated talk entitled 'A Rhododendron Walk in India'. Christine gave a similar presentation last year but, due to illness and holidays, many of our members were unable to attend so this repeat performance is by special request.

If anyone would like to join us, we shall be in the Village Hall on Friday, 20th October, at 7.30pm and would love to see a really well-filled room.

Judy Bartholomew


To Tintern for winning Best Kept Village in the 350-1,000 population category. Keep up the hard work and see if we can do it again in 2001!!. The Community Council have been presented with a plaque, on behalf of the village, by the event organisers which will be put up in the Village Hall.


Life does have some sudden changes. My mate 'Stan the Shop' has always been good for a yarn over a couple of pints and a pleasant hour or so.
Then he bought a dog........

Now, no longer a member of the 'Stand Around Bar' gang, he sits in the corner, regarding said pooch with the tender, misty-eyed gaze he used to reserve for a pint of Boddingtons. Commendably obtained from the rescue centre, the canine addition to the Smith family has certainly landed on its feet. Protected in all ways, even the odd witticism is frowned upon!

Stan has called his dog 'Ruff' due to the not inconsiderable mane around his neck (I think he's been had and it will grow up to be a lion) but the old standby 'How's the dog - rough?' receives a stony reception.
No longer does the question 'One for the road?' get a cheerful affirmative, just a cool 'He wants a walk' proceeded by a swift exit.

The man's gone to the dogs.

Grantley James


The newly formed Tintern Chess Club celebrated its first victory when it entertained a team from the Cardiff Chess Club at the Anchor Hotel on 30th August 2000.

In a match played over 5 boards, the Gwent team drew first blood when Tony Tonissoo checkmated his young opponent after a strong attack on Board 5. This was followed by another victory on Board 2 as Dave Roberts completed a successful assault on his opponent's King defences in a hard fought game.

When Peter Nowosad agreed a draw on Board 3 in a slightly better position, Tintern could not lose. Further draws by Nick Hassell on Board 4 in a game of fluctuating fortunes and Russell Dodington on Board 1 completed a three-and-a-half /one-and-a-half victory for the Tintern team.

Tintern Chess Club meets at the Anchor Hotel on Wednesdays from 7pm onwards. They will be entering a team in the Newport and District Chess League and team play will commence towards the end of September. All players, of any standard, are welcome. Ring Dave on 689435 for further details.


The new term is well underway. We are still using the Moravian Hall in Brockweir and eagerly await the completion of the new Hall in Llandogo in the New Year, as we will be moving in! Our meeting on Friday 15th September was unable to be held in the Hall but thanks to the kind permission of Ann Cooke we had a wonderful evening of entertainment at The Old Station, Tintern. We held a Bar-B-Que and Treasure Hunt and when darkness fell we took the entertainment indoors.

Our numbers are small and new members are always welcome. We are split into three groups, The Martins - ages 5-7, Junior Young Boys & Young Girls (ages 7-10) and Junior Training Corps (Ages 10-13). Please feel free to come along to our meetings and see what we are about. We meet every Friday evening at 6.30pm.

On December 8th, we will be holding an Open Evening for Parents at Tintern Village Hall - watch the events diary for further information.


The circle began its winter programme in the Cherry Tree Inn on September 19th with a talk by Ray Billington on 'Religion Without God'. Professor Billington, a former Methodist minister and, since 1971, head of Philosophy at the University of the West of England, argued that the spiritual dimension, which is the essence of religion, is reduced rather than expanded by the concept of a personal God. Nature, music, literature, meditation and some human relationships can all lead people to the spiritual side of experience. There was, as can be imagined, a lively discussion which continued well after the formal end of proceedings.

The Circle meets on the third Tuesday in each month. This month's meeting, on 17th October, will be addressed by one of our regular attenders (there are no 'members' as such), Chris Gifford, a former mining engineer, who has chosen the provocative topic 'The Ethics of Nuclear Power'. All readers are welcome to attend what should be another lively meeting. Nobody need feel out of place at these meetings, since they form part of a nationwide movement PHILOSOPHY FOR ALL. You do not need a string of academic qualifications to discuss philosophy.

Next month's meeting, November 21st, will again be addressed by Ray Billington. The topic will be 'What is a Human Being?'

Make a regular note in your diary, the Cherry Tree Inn, third Tuesday in the month, 7.30pm, Tintern Philosophy Circle.


The Planning Inspectorate, Cardiff has published the proposed modification order for the above changing it from a by-way to a footpath. The date was 15th September and there are 42 days in which to make representations to the High Court.


Mrs Margaret Kinsey was the guest speaker at last month's meeting entitled 'Women of the Rhondda'. Mrs Kinsey gave the history of women in The Valleys during 19th Century.

Up until, and including 1841 women worked in the pits, sorting coal and dragging trolleys. The women continued to work after this date simply because they needed the money.
In 1861 over a period of 3 months, there were 4 accidents, one of which killed 178 men in an explosion. The mine wheel would be clanking all day and when it stopped the women were filled with dread, as they knew there had been an accident in the mines. There would then be the very tragic sight of the dead being carried through the villages.

The principal employer of the time was Archibald Hood from Scotland who built schools for the children, clubs for the men and houses which were deemed "posh" if they had a front garden!

With shift work, beds were always occupied, as one person got out another got in. The women worked very hard to keep their houses and children clean and tidy. Rhondda men were always clean and had their backs scrubbed after their shifts, whereas men from other valleys thought it manly to have dirty backs.

Over the years, many shops opened in the Rhondda until it was possible to purchase anything required. A demonstration of the increased fortunes of the valley is shown in the increase in the population. In 1801 there were only 531 people, by 1901 there were 113,000!

Many thanks to Margaret Kinsey for a very informative evening.

Next month's meeting will be held on 20th November, please feel free to join us.

Jean Davey


'Lovely Day', he said, as he stepped from the car
and disturbed my peace and contentment.
I was watching the river, the cliffs and the trees
and tried not to show my resentment.
'Great performer', he said, admiring his steed,
all flashy chrome and pretension
'I don't have a car', I confessed in low tones,
then wished I'd not gave it a mention

'Come here from up country, down here for a break.
Big job you know - in the City',
'I don't have a job', - he'd done me again
'So sorry', he said with false pity.
'I'm from good stock you know, middle England', he said
'Been everywhere - tell you some tales'
'I've got him', I thought as I straightened my back
and simply just said 'I'm from Wales'.

Grantley James


Volunteers from The Severn Princess Restoration Group have cleared the old stone steps in front of The Rose & Crown, which lead from the road to the river, allowing much easier access from the water, after gaining the go-ahead from Landlord, David Stafford.

In celebration of this feat, a small flotilla arrived, crewed by other volunteers of The Severn Princess Restoration group, for a lunchtime pint a few days later. However, the river being tidal, you do have to watch the tide, a point illustrated by Martin, the skipper of the Toura D, who, along with his crew, slightly overstayed and returned to their vessel to find themselves aground.

Undaunted the intrepid crew made the selfless decision to stay with the boat (and in the Pub!) and spent a happy afternoon waiting for deeper water.

Herein is a nautical tale with an extremely happy ending, the boat was watched over, the Rose & Crown had a busier day than expected (with the crew staying until shut-tap that night - they missed that tide too!). The crew had a great time and it went down in the books as one of the best excuses for staying in a pub!

On a serious note, it is wonderful to see the boats able to moor in Tintern again and we look forward to many more nautical visits in the future.


These are now over for another year, with the commencement of the new football season, but I was passed some comments overheard recently;

Party with broad Yorkshire accents viewing the bargains;
'Eee Mother, is there anything you'd like?' 'Noo - you'd only have to dispose of it when I've gone'.

Extremely large lady, giving her grizzling offspring a far from gentle clip around the ear, 'Arold, I knew we'd 'ave an 'orrible time before we came!'

There is nothing like the great British public enjoying itself on a day out!!





It has been mentioned in the local press recently that Council Tax payers in Monmouthshire could face another big increase in their levy next year because of a decision by the National Assembly. The local council is asking people to lobby the Welsh Assembly on this decision at noon on October 10th. If you are able to lend your support, we would be very grateful. This year's rise was 23.9% - next year's may be more.


We have been asked by several members of the Community which members of the Council are representatives for which wards in the village. Tony Parsons, the current Chairman of the Community Council has now kindly let us have these and they are as follows:

Tintern Parva: Councillor A.J. Parsons, Councillor B Young, Councillor C McEwan

Chapel Hill: Councillor P O'Connor, Councillor J Saunders, 1 Vacancy

Trellech Grange: Councillor J Prewitt

Penterry /The Cot: Councillor Terry Evans

Should you need to get in touch with Tintern Community Council for any reason please contact the Clerk to the Council, Sue Hillard at 3 Park Glade, Tintern, NP16 6TS (01291-689782)

Notes from the Minutes of the August meeting, which was held on 1st September. A full copy can be seen on all six of the public Notice Boards.

1. CADW has given permission for the Abbey to be illuminated, and funding is now therefore required.
2. The Millennium Seat is to be sited next to the existing seat in the centre of the village overlooking the river. It will be bolted into place and the brass Memorial plaque attached.
3. Resignation from Councillor Smith was received, with regret.
4. Communal Bins at Botany Bay and Barbadoes Hill. There is a concern that the bins are being used by unauthorised persons and there is now a problem with rats, overflowing and unbagged refuse. They were intended to be used by a limited number of residents to dispose of their rubbish and to facilitate emptying by the operatives. The Clerk to the Council has been instructed to write to P & P Pest Control and two others to obtain quotes for controlling the rats and cleaning of bins. The Clerk will also write to the residents concerned.
5. Tintern Angling Club. The Angling Club feel reluctant to empty the ponds without good reason. Cllr. Saunders and Cllr. Evans said there was a history of the Angling Club opening the sluices, thus lowering the ponds for flood prevention purposes.
6. Sylvan View. The council have been asked if they could contribute to the Sylvan View Millennium Garden. It was suggested that the VPA might be of help, following the annual donation by the Council to them for plants and bulbs for the village.

Anyone wishing to bring any 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.


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

Tintern Chess Club 7.00-10.00pm The Anchor Hotel

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

6th October 'Beyond The Bars' From 9.00pm Country Folk Band playing at The Rose & Crown

8th October 'Wye Break The Habit' 11.00am-3.00pm A 7-mile walk along Offa's Dyke from The Old Station (Adults 2, Children Free)

13th October 'GAN AIMN' From 9.00pm Irish Folk Band playing at The Rose & Crown

16th October Tintern W.I. 7.30pm The Royal George

17th October Tintern VPA (see article) 7.30pm Village Hall

17th October Tintern Philosophy Circle 7.30pm Cherry Tree Inn (Topic - 'The Ethics of Nuclear Power')

20th October 'Round The Horn' from 9.00pm Traditional. and Modern Jazz The Rose & Crown

27th October Tintern Community Council 7.30pm Village Hall

29th October 'Creepy Crawly hunt' at 11.00am and Hallowe'en celebration at 2.00pm, Abbey Mill (prize for all children!)

Best Wishes to Howard of the Beaufort Hotel. Hope you are feeling well again soon.