The Tintern News


Produced by the Friends of Tintern – April 2008







Homing squirrels


I recently moved to Tintern and have brought with me my team of over twenty Russian homing squirrels. They work just like homing pigeons, only on the ground. These amazing animals can find their way home from hundreds of miles away, even from continental Europe.


Their success rate is very high and it makes them as reliable as the postal services when it comes to delivering urgent messages. In the Second World War, homing squirrels were collectively awarded the Order of Lenin by the then Soviet Union in recognition of their bravery and sacrifice in carrying vital messages to the battlefront.


I am very keen to hear from any Tintern residents who would be interested in forming a local Homing Squirrel Group. A programme of activity might include squirrel training, study of squirrel behaviour, social events, and taking part in national homing squirrel races. The big event for homing squirrel enthusiasts is the Bushy Tail Conference and Exhibition at the NEC in November. If sufficient numbers are interested, a coach will be organised from Tintern to visit the exhibition.


Homing squirrels are available for hire under my supervision for one-off message carrying or for longer-term contracts. I have reciprocal agreements with homing squirrel owners in all parts of the UK and in much of Europe. For more information, please call me on 077741 7268604.


Andy Furbelow

1st April 2008







Plastic poses the greatest problems of all materials to recycle.  Our speaker from Monmouthshire County Council, Simon Antony, explained the difficulties of separating the many different types of plastic.  However, it is hoped that in the not too distant future plastic bottles will be collected for recycling. In most of Monmouthshire the recycling of glass bottles, tins, textiles and compostable waste has been established and the system is working well.  Recycling food waste is another problem that they hope to soon tackle.  Simon’s talk provoked many questions and much discussion making it a very lively and interesting afternoon. As usual our talk was followed by tea and cakes.  Since this is mentioned in most reports that I write for Tintern News I thought it would be appropriate to include a cake recipe. 




2ozs Margarine                              1 Teaspoons Bicarbonate Soda     

2ozs Caster sugar                           2 Teaspoons Ginger

2 Eggs                                            1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

6ozs SR Flour                                 8ozs Golden Syrup

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder            Half Cup Boiling Water



2ozs Butter or Cream Cheese, 3ozs Icing Sugar



Cream margarine and sugar.  Beat eggs.  Sieve flour, baking powder, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon together.  Add eggs and flour mixture to cream mixture.  Melt golden syrup in pan. Pour in half mixture and stir.  Then add other half gradually. Gradually add in water to make a batter mixture.  Divide mixture between two 8 inch tins and bake at 375F, gas mark 5, 190C for 15-20 minutes.  For the filling cream butter or cheese then add the icing sugar.  Enjoy!


On Tuesday 29th April Tintern WI is helping to organise an evening of Welsh Folk Dancing in Tintern Village Hall.  It will be a social event when several WIs get together for fun and friendship.


Tintern WIs next monthly meeting will be on Monday 21st April when we will meet in the Village hall car park at 1.00pm.  From there we will share cars to travel to Abergavenny to visit the Silk Factory.  Members are reminded that there will be a cost of £5.00 for the visit.









Our monthly meeting was held in the Village Hall on Friday 14th March  when Mrs Susie Vaughan  gave us the benefit of her enthusiasm and expertise on the subject of “Hedgerow Baskets”.  The talk was illustrated with many fascinating examples of her work.  


The next meeting will be on Friday 18th April at 7.30pm  in the Village Hall when Mr P Lawrence will be sharing with us  “The Joy of Painting”.


The membership fee for the year is  £5.00 per member, which includes a discount card for Millbrook Garden Centre (from April) which can quickly recover the cost of membership. If any new members are interested in joining contact Bernard or Christine Bradshaw at 10 Parva Springs  on 01291 689877  or come along to a meeting. BDB




PC Mike Cowburn has taken over at Tintern Police Station from PC Andy Mason, who has transferred to Monmouth.


The Tintern volunteers continue to operate as previously. The Police Station is generally open, thanks to the volunteers, between 10am and 12 noon Tuesday through to Saturday. You may catch PX Mike Cowburn at the Police Station at other times; if a Police car is parked outside this is a good clue that PC Cowburn is about!


The landslide remains a major concern especially with the likely build up of traffic during the summer months. The situation will be monitored and parking regulations will be enforced if necessary. The traffic lights are likely to remain over the summer months, while work on the landslide area continues.


High tides, causing the Wye to spill across the A466, are another concern. During April the largest tides occur from April 6th to the 9th of April, when the tides are predicted at over 14 metres at Newport. While this is not exceptional, wind and rainfall are also important factors.


In the early months of 2008 there have been several incidents involving the theft of metal items in the Tintern area. There was also a walk in burglary when chainsaws were stolen. One criminal from Newport was checked out in the Tintern area; he was using a Mitsubishi Warrior and pretended to be hunting rabbits. Also beware of Bogus Officials; there have been several incidents recently at Chepstow, Caldicot, Rogiet, Usk and elsewhere in the county.


If you have any messages or would like to speak to PC Mike Cowburn, you can leave a message on 01633 – 642 068 or Email .

Michael Cowburn. PC 32.

Concerned Angiddy Residents for the Environment (CARE)

Some updates regarding the Tintern Angiddy Project (TAP Ltd):
(1) TAP has now submitted an ecological report in support of its planning application.  Given the concerns that have been raised regarding the proposed pipeline, it is very surprising that this document makes no attempt to assess the impact on the brook of the prolonged severely reduced flows that would result from the proposed scheme.  Furthermore, according to the Environment Agency, large parts of the survey have apparently been conducted at a time of the year which is largely unsuitable to give a comprehensive understanding of the ecological value of the site. When is TAP going to take these concerns seriously?
(2) TAP has recently issued updated drawings for the proposed hydro scheme.  Of particular note are its plans for the Beaufort Pond dam, a listed monument in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, whose image adorns the TAP website homepage.  The new plans show that the threshold level of two arches of the dam will be raised to divert water to the other two arches where an arrangement of stainless steel filters, collection boxes and associated pipework are to be housed.  With the exception of the reserve flow, which will exit through holes cut into the stainless steel collection boxes, for the majority of the year there will no longer be any flow at all cascading from the four arched spillways.  Does TAP still believe that its proposed scheme "will not be very visible" and is sympathetic to its location?
(3) On its website, TAP has helpfully published indicative costs and conservative estimates of annual benefits for various renewable energy systems.  For small scale hydro, TAP suggests that an installation costing £200,000 could yield a return of up to £25,000 per annum.  If so, why does TAP still think that spending around £300,000 to generate less than £10,000 per annum represents value for money to the taxpayer?

TAP's application for planning permission is currently under consideration, so if you are also concerned about the TAP scheme, please write to the Planning Dept at Monmouthshire County Council, County Hall, Cwmbran, NP44 2XH, quoting reference DC/2007/01452.
You can view TAP‚s planning application, and the associated reports and comments, by logging onto Monmouthshire County Council‚s website <> , and following the planning links.  The planning application number is DC/2007/01452.

Nik Cristinacce, Liz Ashley, Ian Manners, Deborah Manners, David Gibbard, Jan Gibbard, Terry Bedford, Armaiti Bedford, Barry Saunders, Paul Smith, Jan Smith.
All from Concerned Angiddy Residents for the Environment (CARE)

TAP Project Update

There have been no further developments concerning the planning and EA applications. Consultation is on-going. During the month of March the bryophytes survey was completed with the conclusion that the proposed works will have no significant impacts on the bryophyte flora of the area. Water flow rates remain well above the levels required to support the project.

The first AGM for TAP Ltd took place on 3rd March. The chairman welcomed members and issued the following statement.


 Chairman’s Report for the 1st AGM of TAP Ltd


I am delighted to give this AGM Report as Chairman on behalf of Tintern Angiddy Project Ltd, which was incorporated on the 7th September 2006 as a Community Project and Company Limited by Guarantee.


Since then I and the other 3 directors have worked collectively and unanimously in the effort to achieve a community owned micro hydro electric scheme that will be financially rewarding and sustainable for the community of Tintern for many years to come.  Our first phase and arduous task for the past 18 months, which is now nearing completion, has been the preliminary ground work and feasibility studies to prove that this hydro scheme would be financially viable and have no negative impact on the community or its residents and the local environment and ultimately to gain planning approval.


We have left no stone unturned in acquiring this information.  In some cases TAP has exceeded normal levels of research to provide Tintern community, local authorities and other public bodies with the confidence that TAP is a well structured and an accountable community venture.


All TAP directors have made it their responsibility to personally meet with local residents, land owners, local authority officers in the effort to understand and meet statutory requirements or local concerns.  TAP has also commissioned specialists to produce in depth reports and although the following information is not exhaustive this shows the level of directors’ commitment towards the project.


TAP has commissioned a full Environmental Survey to assess the impact of the project on the Angiddy Valley. This was undertaken by Wye Valley Surveys who have covered all aspects of flora and fauna, invertebrates with additional experts called in to help with crayfish and bryophytes.

An archaeological survey was commissioned and undertaken by Dr Neil Phillips of APAC Ltd to ascertain that nothing of archaeological interest will be damaged during installation of the hydro project.  Its methodology covered the geography and topography of the area plus the historical background.  Supporting evidence was given by the British Geological survey, CADW, Monmouthshire County Record Office, all within the framework of Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) Gwent, Glamorgan Archaeological Trust (GGAT), Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments Wales Aberystwyth (RCAHMW) and CADW.

TAP has also engaged a specialist company called HydroGeneration to liaise with the Environment Agency to obtain all the necessary EA permissions.  HydroGeneration will supply complete system design and have verified TAP’s own findings on the viability of the scheme, the micro hydro scheme being capable of generating 145000 KWh per year.

The Environment Agency is the major department that scrutinises all TAP directors’ reports.  We have met with the local EA officer plus their bio-diversity and fisheries officers.  The EA alone will be the body that determines how much water TAP will be able to use whilst maintaining the equilibrium of the Angiddy River.

Further meetings were held with Monmouthshire County Council Highways officers, Rights of Way officers, Planning Case officer and Land Asset Management officer.

Communication have been held over many months with Forestry Commission Wales.  Site meetings with the local Forestry commission officer Richard Gable have enabled TAP to gain landowner’s approval from their head office and meet their requests and supply an arboricultural report for the length of the pipeline.

It has not been easy acquiring some of these specialist reports and on several occasions it has been frustrating waiting for replies from public bodies before TAP was able to move on to the next area or report to address; but perseverance has prevailed.

I would like to thank Phil Powell our Technical Director who has spent many hours on the phone, or emails, or at site meeting with electrical and hydro experts, seeking the correct information for components, the right size electrical cables and water pipes and several visits to the architect to advise of improvements. 

Morris Jones, our Finance Director has worked relentlessly with sourcing and grant funding.  To date we have sought funding from Rainford Trust, Axis 3 Rural Development Plan for Wales, CEDS, SDF, Co-op Bank, O2, Tudor Trust, Magnoxnorth, Biffa, CADW, CFAP etc to name a few.  My thanks again to Morris for paying our specialists on time and keeping us within budget.

Norman Williams, TAP’s Marketing and Publicity Director has had the grand task of communication involving, in the past year, monthly reports to Tintern News and the update emails to all the members of TAP, the additional support to myself with letters to public bodies and supporting site visits.  Norman has regularly maintained our water flow measurements 3 days a week for HydroGeneration and the EA. Norman has helped with all the information for the TAP website and minuted all the meetings attended by TAP Directors.

Finally I would like to thank members of TAP and residents of Tintern for their continued support for this ambitious project.  All Directors have given up valuable personal time to achieve this pioneering community project and look forward to implementing phase 2 and raising sufficient funds to see this project through to completion.


Chris Rastall          Chairman for TAP Ltd


Other AGM items

Morris Jones, Finance Director, gave an update on the finances of TAP Ltd, and confirmed that sufficient funding was in place to complete the pre-project surveys.


All 4 directors of TAP Ltd were subsequently re-elected by the members present.

The AGM was concluded with a questions and answers session.


Further details about the project can be seen on the web page


If you would like to become a member of TAP, the web page includes an application form which can be printed and posted. Membership only costs £1. Alternatively please contact Morris Jones on 01291 689550.


Please help

Letters in support of the Project could be helpful to the success of the Planning Application. This can be done on line by visiting the TAP web page  Click on the Planning Application heading and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you may write to Monmouthshire County Council, Planning Department at County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH. Quoting the reference number 2007 / 01452


Norman Williams, Marketing & Publicity Director, Tintern Angiddy Project Ltd

Telephone 01291 680016








Llandogo Early Years based at the Millenniumn Hall , Llandogo now has funding for 3 year olds. We run Wednesday and Thursday 1.00 - 3.30pm and Friday 9.00 - 11.30.
Children aged two and a half until 5 years are welcome. If parents would like more information then they can contact Rachel Davies on 01291 689833. We also run a parent & child group Monday 9.00 - 10.30 cost £1.50 per session same contact details as before.




Happy 80th Birthday to Daisy Morgan on 24th April with love from all her family.



The late Margaret Mathews


Upon reading your news letter I found the paragraph regarding the late Margaret Mathews. I am sorry for the families loss and to let you know that my family have moved into her house; myself  Toni-anne Chislett, Colin Williams and children Tasmin, Lee and Ellis, we hope that we too can enjoy many years at this property and that we also can be part of your community and would also like to thank all the neighbours for making us feel welcome already and that if there is any event or help needed in the future we would like to help.
Miss T Chislett





Church Services – United Benefice of Tintern and Llandogo with Whitebrook


St. Michael’s Church, Tintern – Communion Service 10.30am every Sunday

Rev. Nora Hill.

St. Oudoceus Church, Llandogo – Communion Service 9.00am every Sunday

Rev. John Dearnley


Everyone is warmly invited to all of these services.


Tintern Pentecostal Church - every Sunday at 11:00am and 6:00pm and every Wednesday at 7:30pm







St. Michael’s Church - Cleaning Rota - fortnight beginning:


7th April                       Janet, Sue and Barbara

21st April                     Tintern WI

5th May                        Carole Evans

19th May                      Jude Spooner

2nd June                       Trudy and Nine Phelps

16th June                      Ann and Barry Richardson    

30th June                      Elspeth and Karen



Tintern Community Council – Village Grass Cutting Etc.


The Council is looking for somebody to keep the grass verges they are responsible for cut and clean during the year. They will pay an agreed monthly amount for the right person and would expect that person to provide their own equipment.

If anybody is interested please contact a councillor or contact the clerk on 01291 625833.

The person would be expected to commence work in May.


Look Closer – See Me - This poem was written by a lady in a geriatric ward in London and found in her locker after she had died, by staff, who had thought her incapable of writing. (Sent to the Newsletter by Douglas Hughes)


What do you see nurses, what do you see?

What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

Here’s a crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit with far away eyes,

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,

When you say in a loud voice “I do wish you’d try”.

Well here’s who I am I sit here so still

As I rise to your bidding and eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother,

Brothers and sister who love one another,

A bride soon at twenty, my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now I have young of my own,

Who need me to build a secure happy home.

At fifty, once more babies play around my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me my husband is dead,

I look to the future and shudder with dread.

My young are busy, rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years and the love I have known,

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel,

‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool,

The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart,

Now there is stone where I one had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells.

And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys I remember the pain,

And I’m living and loving all over again.

And I think of the years – all too few, gone so fast,

And accept the stark truth that nothing will last.






Diary - Tintern Events.

Tintern Youth Club every Wednesday from 6.30 – 8.00pm – Village Hall

Tuesday 8th April – Friends of Tintern AGM – 7.30pm Wye Valley Hotel

Friday 18th April - Tintern VPA at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall

Monday 21ST April - Tintern WI at 1.00pm in Tintern Village Hall Car Park

Tuesday 29th April -Tintern WI  - Welsh Folk Dancing in Tintern Village Hall.


12th  27th April. Parva Vineyard - Come and See the Spring Lambs


If you wish to book the village hall please ring 07512 856024 or email: Please note the following: Bookings need to be made at least 7 days in advance. Payment will need to be made in advance except for regular users.


Catbrook Memorial Hall – Events

Friday 18th April at 7.30 pm - Tony Jacobs - 100 Years of Popular Song. £10.00 per head to include entertainment and refreshments. Bring your own drink.
Saturday 21st June - Midsummer Dance with Wye Jazz.  More details to follow.
Friday 4th-Sunday 6th July - Art for Africa Exhibition.
September 27th - Provisional booking for John Prior's Old Time Musical Hall "All Together Now".  More details and confirmation to follow.

Coffee Mornings held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10.30 a.m.  All welcome.

Yoga Classes now commenced on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings.  Contact Ruth on 01600-860648 for details.

For details of all other events or to hire the hall contact Rosemary Stephens on 01600-860451.


Advertising in the Tintern News

The Tintern News is delivered to approximately 250 houses in Tintern.  If you would like to advertise something in the News the current rates is £5.00 for a small ad./half a page, and £10.00 for a full page (per month).  Please send items to the editor at the address below with full contact details.


Items for the Newsletter – dates for the May 2008 edition

Items for the Tintern Newsletter can be sent by email to delivered to Wye Barn, Tintern. Items for the May Newsletter should be received by Friday 25th April, 2008.


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


Tintern News is sponsored by Monmouthshire County Council Welsh Church Act Fund.