The Tintern News


Produced by the Friends of Tintern – February 2007





In 1536 Tintern Abbey was left abandoned, yet in time it became known worldwide: what more could there be to add to the story?


But the Abbey had a secret, which very few have known till now.  Parts of a beautifully carved statue had survived, disfigured and incomplete, but recognisably a Virgin and Child, dating from about 1280.


In 2005 Philip Chatfield, a sculptor with strong local links and a special interest in that particular period, went to see the surviving pieces and suggested making a new statue on the pattern of the old one.  It would not be easy to get inside the mind of the original sculptor, nor to do the actual work, as he uses only hand tools, but he felt strongly drawn to the task.  The small group formed to take things further were delighted when Cadw formally agreed to the proposal.


In medieval times the Abbey, dedicated to God and St Mary of Tintern, was buzzing with life and visited by many pilgrims as well as the local population.  In recent years people have come from far and near, to see the ruins, to attend religious services such as the Christmas torchlight procession and the annual ecumenical service of Sung Vespers, to watch spectacular dramas such as that produced in 2000 on the history of Tintern.  Once the new statue is dedicated we may find an exciting new chapter beginning for the Abbey and the people of Tintern who live with these treasures in their midst – who knows!


Philip Chatfield will be at the Abbey again in February/March.  Do take the opportunity to see him at work.    It is hoped that the service of dedication will take place in May.  We will keep you all updated.


If you would like to contribute to the funding of this project, receive updates/information, or become a Friend, contact Friends of Our Lady of Tintern, 9 Lilac Drive, Monmouth NP25 5DY. 

Email:, website:


Minute Books, Correspondence Books and Receipt and Payment Books of Tintern Parish  & Community Council.


The Community Council has moved its older documents to the Gwent Record Office at County Hall in Cwmbran. This has been done to preserve the chronicled history of the Council which tells the story of community life in the area from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the 1990’s.

In the archives the documents are protected against damage by fire, dampness and theft.


They are freely available to view by the public on any week day under reference


























Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.


Minute Book



1 vol.






D4584.  9

Correspondence Book



1 vol.


Correspondence Book



1 vol.







Receipt and Payments Book



1 vol.


Receipt and Payments Book



1 vol.


Receipt and Payments Book



1 vol.



















Monmouthshire County Council




Grass Routes - A new transport idea!


“How the scheme operates”


This is a completely new bus scheme for the villages around  Chepstow

It does not have a fixed timetable; it does not have fixed bus stops

YOU DECIDE when you want to travel, where you want to go to and from

You just join the scheme, pay your 5 annual fee  and




0800 085 8015




Remember:  Concessionaries travel  FREE


How do I join and use the bus?



A.        To join simply go to the One-Stop-Shop in the Library entrance and pick up an application form. Fill it in and together with a cheque or postal order for ₤5.00 (not cash) take it back to the shop and it will be sent to the operators of the scheme. If you have not got a concessionary pass journeys cost ₤2.00 for adults and ₤1.00 for children. This will pay for either a  one way or return trip


B.        Once you have your membership card go ahead and use the service.


C.        It is available Monday to Friday during the day and will take you anywhere in the area.  For example, you could go from Fordwich Close to the Garden Centre at Pwllmeyric and pick up your friends on the way.


D.       Bookings must be made 24 hours in advance of your proposed journey by ringing the following free phone number, 0800 085 8015. If there is no reply from this number you may leave a message.


E.        When booking you must give your name and address, contact telephone number and membership number and state clearly the pick up point you require and destination and the times you wish to travel.


F.        No monies will be collected on the bus; you will be invoiced directly every month for the number of journeys you have undertaken.


G.       Invoices may be paid by cheque or postal order by posting to the address on the invoice or at the One-Stop-Shop. If you have an All Wales Concessionary pass you must inform the co-coordinator of the serial number to enable you to travel free of charge. Failure to inform the co-coordinator of the number will render you liable to be charged at the appropriate rate.


H.       If invoices are not paid within 30 days of receipt then you will be suspended from traveling until all outstanding monies have been paid.





If you would like this information in another language, Braille, large print,  tape or a range of electronic formats please contact Community Transport Co-coordinator on 01633 644777.



Tintern Community Council

The first tier not the bottom tier


Monthly Report of November 2006 Meeting


There is a lot of concern in the community over the state of the Wireworks Bridge. The Council have written to Gloucestershire County Council (G.C.C.) who are responsible for its maintenance stating their concerns over the number of side rails missing or bend and some which are very badly corroded.  G.C.C. had replied stating that they had inspected the bridge and although it might not be very photogenic it was structurally sound. They intend making some minor repairs in the new financial year starting in April 2007. The Community Council are not very happy with this situation and are to get a proper survey of the bridge carried out early this year.


A financial statement for the month was presented which stated that the council had funds of ₤6, 535.79. The Council has also prepared its budget for the next financial year and has decided to increase the funds requested from Monmouthshire County Council (M.C.C.) to ₤12,500. This is a considerable increase from last year and unfortunately will have to  be paid for by the community charge payers of Tintern. However, this will give the Council significant funds to be able to demand M.C.C. do something conspicuous about road safety and parking in the village.


There were two planning application.  DC/2006/01108, New dwelling, land adjoining 1 Glyn View. The Council recommended that this application be refused on the grounds that the land is unsuitable for another dwelling. DC/2006/01181: Construction of storage barn, land adjacent ‘The Laurels’. Because this is an agricultural building no specific recommendation is required of the Council. Two applications that had been considered by M.C.C. where refused permission during the month. These were, DC/2006/00635: New dwelling and garage, Primrose Cottage and DC/2006/00876: Revised roof design to amend scheme approved with planning ref M/3855. More detail of the planning discussions can be found in the full Council Minutes.


Survey 2006: The Youth Project Chairman reported that plans for the youth centre had been completed in consultation with community children. Three sites were being looked at;


 i.      Fryers Wharf

          ii.     Extension to Village Hall

          iii.    Sawmills Waste Ground



The Grass Routes bus scheme had started on 13th  November but had so far had no passengers from Tintern. Approaches had been made to the rail companies to discuss timetable changes but these  had so far met with no response. An AONB study for a park & ride scheme to Tintern from Chepstow Racecourse car park was still ongoing.


A quotation to erect the new village notice board in the car park of the Rose & Crown had been received and accepted. It is hoped that this will be available for use by the whole Community early in the New Year.


Councillor Dawn Floyd

Chairman of the Community Council



 News from Parva Farm


As I did not manage to write for the December News, I shall have to look back a bit this time.  I would like to thank everyone who visited the ‘Nativity Scene with Live Animals’, which we held at the Vineyard during December. This raised £93.00 for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Horses and Ponies Protection Society at Brockweir. The Nativity starred Ned and Sally (the donkeys from Abbey Passage Farm), Faith and Hope (the cow and calf) and George, Daisy and Kiri (the sheep). Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus were manikins!


We had a surprise on Christmas Eve. One of our ewes had a lamb. We were not expecting any lambs until the middle of March! We named him Joseph and put him in the Nativity Scene for the last few hours. You may have seen his picture in the Argus. We had three more lambs born at the beginning of this month (January). They are living in the vineyard at the moment as there is plenty of grass out there and they are all happy and healthy and leaping around as lambs do.


This is the time of the year for pruning the vines. We have about 4500 to do altogether and it has been a case of dodging the showers, of which we have had quite a lot this month. Most of the vines appear to be in good condition after the enormous crop they produced last year (11 tonnes). We are hoping that this mild weather will not encourage them to start growing too early as that could cause problems if we had a sudden cold spell.


Events we hope to hold at the Vineyard this year are: “Come and see the lambs” which will start on 14th April, ‘Welsh Wine Week” which starts on 26th May. Our plant exhibition will be during June and the 6th Annual Art Exhibition in July. This is our tenth year at the Vineyard and we are hoping to put together an exhibition about vine growing in Britain and in our vineyard in particular. This will  probably be during August and September.


Now all we need is another beautiful summer like we had last year!


Judith Dudley.








The new year started  with our Annual General Meeting  on Friday 19th January in the Village Hall.   Details of the programme for the year  were finalised  and  a review of the financial position concluded that subscriptions would remain unchanged at £4 – 00  per person for the coming year.   Members wishing to renew their subscriptions and non-members wishing to join  should come along  to a meeting or contact the Treasurer   Bernard Bradshaw  at 10 Parva Springs Tintern  (Tel. 01291 689877 ).  


The next meeting will be on Friday 16th February  at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall  when Mr Roy Haviland  will be giving us a talk on Chrysanthemums.  






A few games of bowls at the January meeting helped to warm us up and give us some exercise.  It used up a few calories before the Slimming Club weigh in. Then after tea and biscuits to put the calories back on we planned our programme for the year.


At the February meeting we will be having a crafts afternoon when members will be bringing cross stitch, knitting, crochet, sewing and any other crafts to the meeting.  Members can then learn about other crafts as well as doing their own work.  We hope also in February to have a trip to Newport to see an exhibition about the WI entitled “Action Women: the real story”.  This is at the Newport Museum and Art Gallery in John Frost Square from 3rd February to 31st March.         


If you are interested in joining us do come along to the next meeting on Monday 19th February at 2.00pm in Tintern Village Hall.  We will make you very welcome but not necessarily slimmer!








Homemade Soup and Pudding

£3 plus a raffle

Wednesday 7th February

12.30 - 2pm

Tintern Village Hall





Tintern Community Council have invited the Welsh Environment Agency to give a presentation on their work on flood awareness on the banks of the Wye


The Agency have done considerable work on defining areas liable to flooding and producing new means, including Email, of warning householders of the immanency of flooding to their homes


The meeting is in Tintern Village Hall on Monday 12th February at 7:30 p.m.


This is a very relevant topic considering the recent rain, our geography and the advent of the spring tides!


Dare you miss it if you live on the banks of the Wye?






High Tides at Tintern - February


20/02/2007 - 9.45am – estimated height 8.00m

21/02/2007 – 10.25am – estimated height 7.9m 


Pancake Race   Tuesday 20th February 2007


The Annual Tintern Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race will take place again this year.  If you would like to enter a team, or enter as a individual please contact Dave Yeomans at the Anchor 01291 689207 or Janet Hill 01291 689591




Thank you Tintern Community Council and Monmouthshire County Council for the resurfacing of the A466 and the traffic calming measure at the entrance to the Village near the church. It’s much appreciated.





To Bridget and Anthony Ionadies of Ginger Blue.  The Village will miss your lovely coffee and diet-busting pastries, and wishes you bon-yoyage and good luck to you all in your new life in Cyprus.




To loving home – piano needing tuning, care and attention.

£25.00 - ono

Ring T. Evans for more information 01291 689587

Buyer collects





Accommodation required for three months, February to April/May, for Philip Chatfield, the sculptor working at the Abbey. It needs to be furnished and preferably close by; reasonably spacious independent living, with parking space if possible.


If you can help, please contact:


Friends of Our Lady of Tintern,

9 Lilac Drive, Monmouth, NP25 5DY

or email:




every Wednesday in the Village Hall

 6.30pm - 8.00pm

lots of fun and activities

youth welcome from the ages 8 to 13

St. Michael’s Church – cleaning rota

12th February               Trudy and Nine Phelps

26th February               Ann and Barry Richardson

12th March                   Elspeth and Karen

26th March                   Janet, Sue and Barbara

9th April                       WI

23rd April                     Hermoine Ford

7th May                        Jude Spooner




United we stand divided we fall. It seems that most of us around here don’t talk to one or more of our fellow Tinternians!


I know of several disputes between neighbours that are on going and waste vast amounts of time, energy and in some cases money on legal nonsense.

Why is it that we are unable to shake hands and move on? Do people derive pleasure from the wind up? I doubt it; I think it has become a way of life.


You may be surprised to find out I am no exception, after a mistake on behalf of my architect one of my neighbours has been reminding me ever since by calling authorities, whenever I step out of line. Another neighbour stopped talking to me when I built the Café, I really liked this person and another doesn’t talk to me because I was rude when parking on yellow lines. I am sorry to all and really want to shake hands and move on.


Basically because in the scheme of things, I believe we all miss out when we don’t get on.


How can Tintern be represented to the powers that be when we can’t communicate satisfactory amongst ourselves? Think about moving on and saying good morning or afternoon when you see a neighbour.


Why ruin the planet driving to another village to shop when the local shop is on your doorstep.


Can our councillors really support spurious claims when they are meant to be impartial to our planning submissions?


If you have a problem with a neighbour, why not talk to them and sort it out and stop wasting the authorities time, at a time when they have little funds to deliver service.


Caring about each other actually brings pride to our community and together we can make anything happen. Where there’s a will there’s a way!


Andi Francis







Personal Notices


Dawn Floyd and the Family of the late Dave Bruce would like to thank Chris and Shelley Rastell for all their help in sorting out Dave’s affairs and for contacting and liaising with The Royal Gwent Hospital so that Dave’s funeral could take place. It was an amazing amount of kindness that you both showed and we all thank you very much.


Thank you also to The Royal Gwent Hospital for the fantastic care and support you gave to Dave during his final days. The NHS doing its job and doing it superbly.


Joan Dexter 1918 - 2007


We lost Joan on the 4th January 2007.  She died very peacefully at home after having telephoned or spoken to her family and friends.


Joan spent her early life in Chingford, Essex with her twin sister, Margaret.  She started to train as a dispensing chemist and actuary travelling up to London by train.  When the war came, she joined the Met Office working on weather forecasts, finally ending as a section leader predicting the weather for trans-Atlantic air ferry flights.  She married her husband, Kenneth, during this period.


After the war, she and Kenneth moved to Lytchett Matravers in Dorset where she took on the role of full time housewife, gardener and mother to her three children, Stephen, Andrew and her daughter, Alex.  She found time to be a Women's Institute member, an arranger of church flowers, a Red Cross organiser, a Darby and Joan leader, a Meals-on-Wheels organiser and transporter and a School Governor.


She moved to Tintern some thirty years ago.  She was happy here, taking up painting and becoming involved with the church and the VPA.  She gained yet another circle of valued friends.


Joan did not want us to mourn and so her friends in the village have celebrated her life with champagne, perhaps with the odd tear. 


A Memorial Service was held at St Michael's Church on the 17th January.  The Rector, Phil Rees, led a very full congregation in an up-lifting service much appreciated by Joan's family and friends.  Readings, were given by three of Joan's grand children and by her son, Andrew.  The service was followed by a private cremation.






From Joan Dexter's children


Dear Tintern


We would like to thank the village for all its support, love and happiness it gave mother during her 30 years of living amongst you – the evidence has surely been shown by the large number of you who came to her funeral and the many words, letters and cards we have received from you. They have helped us at our time of need and shown us how kind people are.


Over the 30 years, mother saw us and our families grow up and saw her first great-grand child. She also welcomed many friends and other relatives to her house and introduced many of us and them to you and her village. She loved Tintern and in return we thank you for loving her.


Alex, Andrew and Stephen




Tintern Village Events

Wednesday 7th February at 7.30pm – Bingo at the Anchor

Wednesday 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th February  Youth Club – Village Hall 6.30 – 8.00pm

Friday 16th February  at 7.30 pm  VPA in the Village Hall

Monday 19th February at 2.00pm  WI in Tintern Village Hall

Tuesday 20th February at 10.30am – Pancake Race at the Anchor


Catbrook Village Events

Friday 9th February - Frank Hennessy and Friends - 7.30 p.m.
Friday 23rd February at 7.30 p.m. - Film The Queen.
Friday 9th March - Ceilidh to Rig-a-jig.
Friday 23rd March at 7.30 p.m. - Film The History Boys.
Saturday 14th April - provisional booking for The Ronaldos.  Further details to follow. 
7th/8th July 2007 - Art for Africa
Coffee Mornings held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10.30 a.m.
This term's yoga classes have finished.  New classes recommencing after Christmas.  Contact Ruth Routh for details, 01600-860648.
For details on all other events or to hire the hall contact Rosemary Stephens on 01600-860451.







Items for the Newsletter – dates for the March 2007 edition


Items for the Tintern Newsletter from home or abroad can be sent by email to delivered to Wye Barn, Tintern, or tel 01291 689456.


Items for the February edition of the Newsletter should be received by 24th February 2007


The Tintern Newsletter is sponsored by the Lower Wye Area Committee.




A note from the Editor


The Tintern News is a vehicle for the expression of opinion by all members of the Tintern community. While it does not necessarily endorse the views of any particular contributors, it does wholeheartedly support the promotion of lively debate on the development of the village and of freedom of speech in general. However, it will reserve the right to edit any contributions in order to preserve moderation and a spirit of good intent in the presentation of arguments. Thoughts from everyone in our community will continue to be very welcome. ER