Welcome to Wenvoe

Wenvoe (Welsh: Gwenfô) is a Welsh village in the Vale of Glamorgan located on the western side of a shallow valley between Cardiff and Barry, surrounded by woods and farmland.

The Community of Wenvoe encompasses the communities of Dyffryn, St Lythans, Twyn-yr-Odyn and Brooklands Terrace/Parc y Gwenfô. The Community consists of around 800 properties, 500 being located in the village.

Wenvoe is a popular commuter village conveniently situated for the City of Cardiff but set in the countryside only a few miles from the sea and with easy access to the M4 motorway a few miles away. 

The village developed around the parish church, which can be traced back to the 12th Century with the adjacent locality now being a conservation area. The village has a well-stocked store with a post office, a church, primary school, a public house and travel lodge, a part time library and three halls. There is also a public house in the adjoining hamlet of Twyn-yr-Odyn, and another church at St Lythans. 

Wenvoe has a very healthy community spirit which supports many local community groups with activities to meet everybody's needs. Amongst these are Wenvoe Scout Group, Ladies Choir, W.I. Whist Drives, the Church and many social events. It also boasts its own monthly newspaper titled the 'Wenvoe What's On'.

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National Garden Scheme

Have you passed those small yellow signs with the letters NGS and the words "garden open to the public"? Well they would have been put up by individuals who are opening their own garden to the public for the day. They are all part of the nationwide National Garden Scheme and the gardens that you may visit and the days that they are open are set out in the widely available "yellow book", or you can look at the NGS website which gives all the information you may need.

These gardens vary in size from small back gardens to whole parks, and there is often good quality tea and cakes on offer to revive the wilting summer visitor. July is an excellent month to see some of these gardens at their best and there are 65 similar gardens open within 25 miles of Wenvoe during July.

Gardens open near Wenvoe in July are as follow: On 4th and 5th July there are 8 gardens open in Dinas Powys. On 12th July Penylan gardens are open. On 19th July the garden of 47 Aneurin Road in Barry is open and on 26th July Corntown gardens are open.

The National Gardens Scheme has a rich and interesting history that is closely connected with nursing in the UK. In 1859 William Rathbone, a Liverpool merchant, employed a nurse to care for his wife at home. After his wife’s death, Rathbone kept the nurse on to help poor people in the neighbourhood. Later, Rathbone raised funds for the recruitment, training and employment of nurses to go into the deprived areas of the city.

Based on the idea of local nursing set up by Rathbone, `District` nursing spread across the country. With support from Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria, the movement became a national voluntary organisation setting standards and training nurses. In 1926 the organisation decided to raise a special fund in memory of their patron, Queen Alexandra. The fund would pay for training and would also support nurses who were retiring. Someone came up with the idea of raising money for charity through the nation’s obsession with gardening, by asking people to open their gardens to visitors and charging a modest entry fee that would be donated. So the National Gardens Scheme was founded. Individuals were asked to open up their gardens for 'a shilling a head'. In the first year 609 gardens raised over £8,000. A year later, the district nursing organisation became officially named the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

By 1931 a network of volunteer County Organisers had been set up and over 1,000 private gardens were open. Country Life magazine produced a handbook that would become known as "The Yellow Book" because of its bright cover.

In the 1970s entrance fees were raised to more realistic and useful levels, having been held at one shilling despite much inflation. The gardens began to raise significant donations.

Macmillan Cancer Support joined the list of beneficiary charities in 1984 and in 1996 Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices and Crossroads (now Carers Trust) also became beneficiary charities.

Since its foundation, the National Gardens Scheme has donated over £45 million to its beneficiary charities, of which nearly £23 million has been donated within the last ten years. The National Gardens Scheme’s commitment to nursing and caring remains constant and the charity continues to grow and flourish.

So when the sun shines in Wenvoe during July do go out in search of the local NGS gardens, and do take some change for those tea and cakes.

WENVOE 1914-1918

Wenvoe’s War Memorial has the names of three Jenkin brothers inscribed on it, one of which; Victor D. Jenkin, died on the 28th October 1918 - just two weeks before the armistice. What is interesting is that he, and presumably his brothers, were born in Kells, Co. Meath in Ireland and he was serving in an Irish regiment; the Royal Irish Fusiliers (the Princess Victoria’s, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 3rd Battalion). He enlisted in Dublin but died at home in Wenvoe, presumably from injury on the battlefield, does anyone know any more about the Jenkin family?

At the other end of the war, indeed before the start of the First World War, there was a motor car accident in or around the village. The Herald of Wales reported on a court case at the Swansea Assizes in July 1914. This concerned an accident between a motor car and a carriage on 17th May 1914 and which took place at what was described as; ‘….a dangerous corner near Wenvoe…’, in which Thomas Edward Maddocks of Penarth, whose occupation is given as a colliery proprietor, was driving his car at a rate which was not safe, and that in negotiating that dangerous corner was forced to jam on his brakes. The result was that he skidded and his car rammed against a horse drawn governess car, in which the infant son of Wenvoe land agent Claude Dudley Thompson; Colin Merrik Thompson, was travelling. This governess car was upset, and the nine year old boy’s thigh was broken. The newspaper recorded that;

‘There had been permanent shortening of the limb, an eminent London specialist had been called in, and nearly £500 had been spent on the matter. It was alleged that defendant was hurrying to a cricket match, and on the spot he said; "I am very sorry. It was all my fault; I had an appointment, and was ten minutes late"’.

The defence denied negligence but the jury awarded £825 damages against Thomas Maddocks, of Penarth, who in this later report is described as; ‘…a well-known Cardiff footballer.’ He also admitted to having overtaken another motor car at a high speed because of his lateness for the cricket match at Wenvoe.

REFERENCES http://freepages.genealogy. rootsweb. ancestry.com/~econnolly/rohsdgw/royalirishfusiliers/rifusiliersbat03 .html

Sat 18th July, Herald of Wales http://cymru1914. org/en/view/newspaper/4114089/13 1914 Mr. Claude Dudley Thompson, of Wenvoe, and his infant son, Colin Merrik Thompson, sued Mr. Thomas Edward Maddocks, Penarth, colliery proprietor, for damages caused to the boy by the alleged negligent motor driving of the defendant.—Mr. Ralph Bankes, K.C.. and Mr. Wilfred Lewis (instructed by Messrs Reynold and James, Birmingham) for the plaintiffs; and Mr. David White and Mr. Mervyn Howell (instructed byMessrs. White and Co., London) for the defendant. For plaintiffs it was alleged that at a dangerous corner near Wenvoe, on the 17th May, defendant was driving a car at a rate which, under the circumstances, was not safe, and that in negotiating it he jammed on his brakes and, skidding, threw his car against a governess car, in which the lad was being driven. This was upset, and the boy's thigh was broken. There had been permanent shortening of the limb, an eminent London specialist had been called in, and nearly £ 500 had been spent on the matter. It was alleged that defendant was hurrying to a cricket match, and that on the spot he said: "I am very sorry. It was all my fault; I had an appointment, and was ten minutes late." The defence put in was a denial of negligence.


The Witness Friday, 24 July, 1914 Brief News of the

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