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The January meeting is always our A.G.M. and by tradition not very well attended due mainly to a dread of becoming lumbered with a job during the coming year. However this time we had a goodly number and so we managed to scamper through the agenda quite quickly, with ideas for competitions and offers to host the monthly "tea breaks" coming thick and fast.


PRESENT : Mr B Jones - Chairman
Miss J Bartholomew - Secretary
Mr J Bathgate - Treasurer
Mrs J Bathgate - Minutes Secretary
Mr and Mrs Boast Mr and Mrs M Davey
Mrs J Dexter Mr K Haynes
Mr J Hamer Mrs C Ostler
Mr and Mrs Parsons

APOLOGIES : Mrs C Bradshaw
Mr R Flashman
Mrs K Heron
Mrs B Kerr
Mr and Mrs Mitchley
Mrs M Shewell

The Chairman welcomed members to the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Tintern Village Produce Association.

1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting were agreed and signed.

2. The Chairman’s Report. The Chairman said it had been a good year despite problems with the weather. He said that we had had a varied programme of talks and garden visits. Entries to the County Competitions had been unsuccessful but we had won first prize at the Trellech Punch.

3. Secretary’s Report. Judy Bartholomew reported on the County events. In March there had been the Quiz in which Tintern came second. The Usk Show had been organised by Tintern and we also did the lunch for the Judges with help from Trellech. As Mike Foster had been ill, the Summer Competition was cancelled. The Harvest Festival was held at Usk. At the October 1999 AGM, Mike Foster gave notice that he intended to retire. Affiliation to the College would then be in doubt and speakers would charge in the future.
Judy thanked the Wednesday morning working parties and wished us all good gardening in 2000.

4. Treasurer’s Report. The year ended with a balance of £23.83. John Bathgate said that we could go another year without raising the subscriptions, but a raise would allow us to subsidise the Christmas party. A rise from £2 to £3 was proposed and seconded from the floor and carried by the members.

5. Election of Officers. The serving officers were returned unchanged.

6. Program and Tea Rota. Judy Bartholomew will provide the programme and rota at the February meeting to be held at Mrs Dexter’s house.

7. Any Other Business.
(1) Trellech VPA invited us to their April 3rd meeting.
(2) The Smallholder’s Association were having a talk by the RSPCA in the Trellech Methodist Hall on March 11th.
(3) We were asked to consider if we would take a stall at the Medieval Fair at Tintern 2000.
(4) There would be a Committee Meeting at 6 Parva Springs on the 14th March at 2.30pm to discuss the Annual Show programme.
(5) The Annual Show would be on August 12th and Mrs Rose Jones is to be asked to open the Show.

The Meeting closed at 8.20pm.

The Village Hall was not available to us for our February meeting but thanks to the hospitality of Mrs Joan Dexter (who managed to seat and refresh twenty-five or so of us without turning a hair) we enjoyed an illustrated talk on "Foreign Gardens" by Mrs Judy Chaloner from Usk College which really brightened up a rather murky evening.
Next month our speaker is Mr Jim Saunders from Penallt and in April Mr Hines from Gwehelog who is the local "Batman".
So if you would like to join us, please come to the Village Hall on the third Friday at 7:30pm and you will be made very welcome.

Our last two meetings in the Hall were most enjoyable with Mr Jim Saunders reminiscing about life in the Penallt / Redbrook area of his youth and Mr John Hines passing on some of his vast amount of knowledge on the subject of "bats".

We also attended the County Quiz at Usk College where teams from all the VPAs meet to enjoy coffee and biscuits as well as attempt to answer a wide range of questions put together by our County Secretary. (Don't congratulate them, they're big-headed enough as it is - but our team WON!).

Another County event in the Spring is a garden competition to find the best garden or garden feature from the nine affiliated clubs. That result we shan't know until the AGM in October when we are shown slides of the winning entries.

For May's meeting, we wandered away from the Hall and up to Pen-y-van where we enjoyed the beautiful garden at Beech Cottage. The weather was kind to us (coolish but sunny) and we were able to wander around and marvel at the work load that garden must require. There must have been weeds but it took an eagle eye to spot them and the extensive range of plants gave us all much to enjoy.

It's at this time of year, when vegetative growth is so fast that you hesitate to walk too far down the garden path in case you can't find your way back again. However I'm sure you could find time to join us in the Village Hall on our Show Day, Saturday, 12th August - please put it in your diary and we'll look forward to seeing you then.
One class for the show is open to all, you do not have to be a member and we would particularly like any children in the village to enter. This class 85 is for a black on white Painting or Drawing to be used as the cover for the Christmas edition of the Tintern Parish News. The art work should be on A5 paper size (or it can be on A4 but it will be reduced to fit the cover). The overprinting of the Title etc on the cover will be added at the production stage. Last year's cover by Ellie Lancaster showed what can be done.


Visit to the Nurtons (June 2000)

Christine Bradshaw, Wendy Boast, Kay Heron and Joan Dexter

Christine Bradshaw, Jean Bathgate, Judy Bartholomew and Wendy Boast
What a mixed Summer we have had weatherwise and yet each of our outdoor meetings has been beautiful.

In June we visited the Nurtons where Mr and Mrs Wood made us most welcome and we were able to wander around the gardens admiring the planting and enjoying the wonderful views until it was time for our business meeting to organise entries for the County Show.

The County Show is held at Usk Agricultural College on their Open Day and to our delight we achieved fourth place, with those of us who attended needing ice cream at regular intervals as we wandered around the campus inspecting the other exhibits.

July found us at the Bathgate's in Parva Springs for our annual garden party on an evening which was not only warm but midge free. So we were able to sit amongst Jean's myriad scented plants to arrange our own Show for August in the hopes of another fine day.

This we had, with plenty of entries on the tables, "of a very good quality" to quote one of the judges but not enough visitors to make all our efforts seem worthwhile. Numbers have been falling over the last few years and this is probably due to the clash with Chepstow Show so watch out for a possible change of date for 2001.

However this year was a clean sweep for the distaff side with Mrs Wendy Boast winning the cups in both flower and vegetable sections whilst Mrs Jean Bathgate won the cookery cup, the best in section cup for cookery and craft, together with the runner's up cup for vegetables. One of our "out-of-town" members, Mrs Linda Simmons, won the best in section cup for a floral exhibit. It's thanks to all our members who helped in so many ways that we made a small profit on the day.

From September onwards we are back in the Village Hall on the third Friday at 7:30pm.

See you?

October's meeting was the first time we had met in the Village hall since April so there was plenty to talk about.

The main item of news was the break up of the county wide affiliation of VPAs based at Usk College which had been in existence for more than forty years. This is a great shame in many ways but I'm sure the individual societies will remain in being for many years to come.

The speakers at that meeting were two of our own members, Christine Evans and Mark Carr. They gave us a wonderful insight into the different flora at various high altitudes in both India and South America, illustrating their talk with some superb slides that everyone enjoyed.

November saw the return of a great favourite of ours, Mr David Lewis of Raglan. He showed us a wide variety of plants and animals that inhabit our area of the county and his selection of slides provided something of interest to each of our members.

December will see us enjoying one of our annual parties (15th December at 7:00pm) in the company of some friends from Trelleck VPA so it seems a good time to sign off for the year 2000 and wish everyone a very happy Christmas