Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

September 2005: Newsletter No. 3

NEWSLETTER 3 AUTUMN 2005

Since its conception 18 months ago, The Village Alive Trust has gone from strength to strength. Until early this year, the achievements were mostly invisible: grants to be applied for and the minutiae of organisation completed. Now, the web site is live; interviews with local people telling interesting stories are underway; the Well House at Cross Ash has been restored; and preservation of the Cider House is steaming ahead.

To celebrate all this, the Trust held a Lammas Festival and Fair on the August Bank Holiday weekend at Llangattock Lingoed. Everyone enjoyed themselves.

Village Alive Secretary Jean Prosser said, 'After winning the Best Kept Hamlet Award this summer, Llangattock Lingoed really put on a show for the Lammas Festival and Fair. Almost everyone was involved - the church, the Hunter's Moon, Crucorney Young Farmers, Cross Ash and Skenfrith Hall people, B and Bs, local people showing their craft skills and produce and, to crown everything, wonderful weather. The Village Alive Trust hopes to be able to work with even more groups in the wider area for future events.'

LAMMAS FESTIVAL AND FAIR

The two-day festival began with a service from the Book of Common Prayer taken by Reverend Ambrose Mason. The church was filled with a congregation from the four parishes to celebrate Lammas and its meaning for a Christian community. Visitors from California (descendants of Eliza Jones Davis who was baptised in the church in 1855 and emigrated to America in 1871) were present on a special visit to attend the dedication of a churchyard seat. The day was rounded off with a concert by the Beaufort Male Choir enjoyed by a capacity audience.

The sun shone on visitors to the Lammas Fair the next day for a day of history brought to life. The Medieval theme was set by the re-enactment group, Samhain, dressed in medieval costumes showing life in an authentic 15th century tented encampment.

Wandering minstrels, medieval archers, a relic-seller and a Cistercian monk created a colourful scene, while actors from Chance Encounters entertained with medieval cookery and games. Minstrels Di and Murray Esplin added to the atmosphere with their hurdy-gurdy and other instruments.

On show were medieval crafts, including coracle-making and hurdle fencing by Wyndham and Denzil Morgan, net making by Ed Baylis, lace-making by Barbara Savager, and spinning by Olwen Veevers. Paul Ball demonstrated dry-walling techniques on part of the churchyard wall; a bodger, Simon Greenfield, demonstrated traditional chair making; and the Jupp family demonstrated bee-keeping and sold local honey. Other attractions included tea and cakes provided by the PCC, hog roast, guess-the-weight-of-the-sheep, a herb stall, cider-tasting, Lucky Dip and children’s art competition. Talks and a social history display in the church occupied the intellectuals. The Hunter’s Moon Inn held a real ale festival complete with a bouncy castle!

The Trust thanks everyone who helped make the Lammas Fair such a success, especially Alun Griffiths Civil Engineers, The Art Shop in Abergavenny, Cross Ash Hall Committee, the exhibitors, Gwatkins Cider, Crucorney Young Farmers and local volunteers.

VILLAGE ALIVE WEB SITE AND ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

The Village Alive web site (www.villagealivetrust.org.uk) is now up and running thanks to Professor Ken Prandy. It gives in-depth information on the locality; places to stay and eat; self-catering cottages; information on the oral history project; plus forthcoming events.

AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Village Alive Trust will be held on 27th September at 7.30pm at Grosmont Town Hall. Wine and cheese will be served and the Oral History project will be on display. All are welcome.

CELEBRATION OF THE NEWLY RESTORED WELL HOUSE

The first building preservation undertaken by the Village Alive Trust is finished. Monmouthshire County Council’s conservation manager Edward Holland described the 18th century Grade 2 Well House at New Inn Farm Cross Ash, owned by Ed and Dorothy Baylis, as ‘an extraordinary building,’ rescued from near collapse and beautifully restored by builders J Sobik and Son using traditional materials and methods.

The opening celebration on Sunday 28th August saw Monmouth MP David Davies witness the signing of a Deed of Contract that ensures access by the public on specific days. He said, ‘I am delighted to be able to play a small part in supporting the work of the Trust, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved for making the renovation of the Well House such a success. The Trust is a fantastic advocacy for tourism, heritage and history in Monmouthshire and I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength.’ Everyone then enjoyed refreshments, especially Dorothy’s famous Welsh Cakes.

The Well House featured in the September European Heritage Open Days. Further dates will be on the web site.

BROADBAND COMING SOON

Local broadband connections will be complete in Llangattock Lingoed, Bont and Llanfair Green by December. Newcastle and St. Maughans are connected and other areas will follow. See www.wbnet.co.uk for updates.

COURSES

An Ecological Building Day on 14th October at Calch Ty-Mawr Lime near Brecon: Contact Ty-Mawr on 01874 658249 or tymawr@lime.org.uk.

TAX BACK!

Under ‘Giving through the SA Return’ scheme you can allocate any tax repayment to a charity. To give your tax repayment to The Village Alive Trust you should quote FAR99NG.

STOP PRESS!

The Lammas Fair was grant-aided. Money collected went to St Cadoc’s Church, Crucorney YFC, Cross Ash and Skenfrith Halls, St John Ambulance and Village Alive Trust.

WORK IN PROGRESS AT THE CIDER HOUSE

Builders J Sobik and Son are progressing with the preservation of a Cider House at Llangattock Lingoed, largely unchanged since its construction in 1754.

Come and see the Cider House on the European Heritage Open Days!
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2.00 – 5.00pm
Teas served in St. Cadoc’s Church, Llangattock Lingoed, and guided tours during the afternoon.

VILLAGE ALIVE WHO’S WHO

Chairman: Patti Griffiths
Directors: Prof. Ken Prandy
Rebekah Browning
Secretary: Rev. Jean Prosser
Treasurer: Sharon Nicholas
Members: Karen Ball,
Ed and Dorothy Baylis,
Eric Evans, Harvey Marks,
Jean Prandy, Caroline Macdonald.

Email: village.alive@virgin.net

Sponsors:
CPRW, the Alun Evans Memorial Trust, the Manifold Trust, Grosmont Community Council and local people. The Village Alive project has been part financed and supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and managed by the Welsh Development Agency and the Adventa Local Action Group through the Article 33 Rural Development Programme for Wales.