The Tintern Village Website

Noticeboard 2000

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14 Craft Fairs are to be held at the Anchor Inn in Tintern during 2000.
All the craft fairs will be held on a Sunday and are free to visit.

April 16th & 30th
May 14th & 28th
June 11th & 25th
July 9th & 23rd
August 6th & 20th
September 3rd
October 1st , 15th & 29th

These will be the same kind of craft fairs as 1999

17 February2000
Dear John, I would like to add a link to your Tintern village site from the site containing information about the Historical Spectacular at the Abbey this summer (TINTERN 2000) and hope that you would reciprocate by adding a link back to that site.
The URL is
Ned Heywood, producer

The new management team at the Moon and Sixpence are keenly aware that their's is one of the first inns on the Welsh side of the River Wye, just below Offa's Dyke. The menu is in Welsh as well as English, the lounge features photographic displays of the championship winning Welsh Cobs they breed, and artefacts in the pub reflect Tintern's involvement with Welsh history.
This will be an evening to enjoy the "Welshness" which is long overdue arriving in Tintern and the event is being supported by Welsh magazine Cambria.

Grantley James

Judith Russill

Judith has written from her new home in Rhydlewis, Ceredigion (West Wales) telling us that she has settled in well in her new home and that she is now well and truly back in the Guest House business. She will have an advert running in the next issue of the Tintern Parish News (due out on the 1st of March).
Her advert will read

Rhydlewis House

Excellent Guest House, plus self catering cottage situated in the little village of Rhydlewis.
Comfort, style, great food and a warm welcome.
Relax in the beautifully furnished rooms or in the secluded gardens.

Enquiries to : Judith Russill
Rhydlewis House
Rhydlewis, near Llandysul
Credigion, SA44 5PE

phone or FAX 01239 851748
or find me at

8 March 2000
An e-mail received from America
Here is an excerpt from my daily travels of England, Wales and Ireland
Well, time to find a b&b and we did, 2 miles from town of Chepstow by the River Wye, village of Tintern. There is an ancient Abbey at the start of the village built in 1131 and used by the Tintern monks until rotten King Henry the Vlll did away with the monastery life. He had all the leaden roofs removed to be used in weapons of war. He removed all the altar ornaments and what little else they had.
Although there are no roofs, you enter the main chapel and it feels so sacred. All the beautiful carved windows are intact, no glass left, no stained glass.
There was an infirmary for the old and ill monks, the Bishop's chamber, large kitchen and in places you could see there had been four or more stories. Under the living quarters was a stream and this was used as a 'running toilet' leaves for toilet paper?. (my mind wanders at times)
I walked and cussed that d n King Henry the Vlll. Rotten person! I walked the path the monks had used from their quarters to the main chapel, up the small winding stone stairs and through a very low door (for humility?) to where they sat to pray. I faced what was left of the altar with it's high arched window, the sunlight streaming in. I actually believed I heard them singing. There are a few above ground tombs of past Bishops and what was left of the Bishop's throne.
I went outside and faced the entrance and felt like crying, so sad. I wonder if those that destroyed this place felt any shame,
This is an excerpt of my travels through beautiful Wales, Ireland and England.
I am happy just sharing this with the residents of such a beautiful and peaceful place.

Dear Mr. Bathgate, my sister, Mae Thorsell, told me to look for your Notice Board. She was delighted that you liked and printed the excerpt from the journal she kept while visiting England, Ireland and Wales.
Our maiden name was "Weedon" so she was most interested in seeing the villages in England that had Weedon in their names. Her journal is so wonderful, describing all the sights she saw and people she met while on her trip. She sent it to me, and as she had handwritten it all while they were traveling, I typed it for her. The end result was around 150 pages!
She is not well, and the internet is a great companion for her. I'm very proud of her, and though I'll never get to see your lovely village, I feel through my sister as though I'd been there. Her descriptions of food makes one's mouth water, and the comedy of errors that happened sometimes make you laugh aloud while reading it.
I live in a small village in Ohio, population 400 - give or take a few. Is your village that size? Also, in reading your Notice Board I thoroughly enjoyed the Dave Ball Millenium Story. Include me in his list of fans.
If you should care to e-mail my husband and I our e-mail address is: Have a wonderful day.
Jean Fisher

I have e-mailed a reply - Ed

24 March 2000
"Tintern 2000 - Echoes In The Stones"
The 12th century Tintern Abbey will be seen in a very different light this summer.
For the ruins of the famous Cistercian Abbey, set in the beautiful steep sided Wye Valley, will provide the dramatic backdrop to a "Historical Spectacular" which will tell the 2,000-year story of Tintern.

A huge £100,000 community production-partially funded by the Millennium Commission, Monmouthshire County Council, Chepstow Town Council and many local businesses - will track the colourful and occasionally violent history of Tintern, whose romantic appeal has been recorded down the years by celebrated writers, poets and artists.

A cast of some hundred amateur actors and enthusiastic extras will soon start rehearsing for a spectacular son-et-lumière to be staged before a nightly audience of 1400 for nine performances at the end of July and beginning of August.

"Tintern 2000 - Echoes In The Stones" is the title of this year's event, which will be seen as a Monmouthshire-wide celebration of the Millennium, and which will build on the experience and skills developed during the creation of the successful Chepstow Festival son-et-lumières that have been held at Chepstow Castle over the past decade.

Whilst the Abbey is central to the tale and provides the magnificent setting, the story is not confined to the development of the Cistercian Order and the monastic way of life. During the 90-minute production the contribution that Tintern and its neighbouring communities made over the past two thousand years will unfold.

"This year's theme is spiritual rather than religious," explains Ned Heywood, the Chepstow potter who has helped mastermind all previous six son-et-lumières.
"Tintern attracted many more than the founders of the Abbey. For long before the monks came the Celts and Anglo Saxons farmed and fought over this land - and after the Abbey was ruined the area developed as one of Europe's leading industrial centres."

As an introduction to the 20th century the story will include the role that local young men played in the First World War-with the raising of the 1st Mons Regiment that suffered heavy losses in France in 1915. As darkness falls the ancient Abbey will be illuminated by a spectacular display of pyrotechnics.
Huge 80ft images will be projected onto the ruined Abbey walls, while brilliant lighting effects, fireworks and specially composed music will combine with the creative talents of hundreds of local actors and back stage crew in telling the tale of the peoples of this wooded valley.

The production team is still hoping to hear from a few more locally based young men and women, mainly in the 19-30 age group, who may want to Join the cast and from anyone else interested in getting involved in the event and helping to create costumes for the vital wardrobe department.

Television and stage director Nick Bamford will direct the event while poet Anne Cluysenaar has written the script.

For further information on the production, including advance booking details, visit the Tintern 2000 web site:

11 April 2000
An e-mail from Texas
This is being sent after the fact, so to speak. My husband and I - a pair of Texans with Welsh connections - spent a night in Tintern two weeks ago, our last during our trip to the UK. A night was not long enough, but at least the last night was spent in Wales. We stayed at Belle Vue and ate at the Rose and Crown. Both are highly recommended, and we plan on visiting again.
Your website is marvellous, and we wish we had looked at it before we left Texas. We will next time!
The Gardners

16 May 2000
Query via an e-mail, any answers please e-mail the Editor via the e-mail address above.

Hello John
I am trying to find information on a drawing I saw many years ago called "Departing day at Tintern" do you have any knowledge of this sketch ?
Kim Gray

16 May 2000
E-mail from abroad
Because I stumbled onto your website, I will be making Tintern a stop on my upcoming trip to UK. Thank you for the inspiration.

Agnes DiPietrantonio

6 Jun 2000
Hi John
You ought to be aware that Tintern now has a chess club - meets 7pm Wednesdays at The Anchor (thanks Alan).
Although currently small, membership includes a couple of local Welsh Junior International players.
The club is new but is actually a break-away group from the established & highly successful Monmouth Chess Club.
New members very welcome - just turn up.
Call either Dave Roberts (team manager) on 01291-689435 or Sue (689757)
Sheron Hassell

6 Jun 2000
........ for local residents going away needing someone to look after their small animals in their absence.
- Rodents (hamsters, gerbils, pet rats, mice etc) @ £2.50 per week.
- Guinea-pigs, Rabbits etc @ £4.50 per week. No cats or dogs please.
- Horses & Ponies - subject to seperate pre-agreed prices, we can also visit local fields & stables to feed, groom and excercise horses & ponies (very experienced rider/groom).
Prices include all bedding, food (concentrates & fresh), hay and water (small animals). Each pet is fed, watered & handled daily. Rabbits & guinea pigs are groomed daily. Hamsters, mice, rats & gerbils must come with their own cages. All hutches and cages are cleaned weekly.

Sheron Hassell

Phone 01291-689757
email :

29 Jun 2000
It's good to see the public toilets near to the Rose and Crown being worked on. The building will remain but is being internally refurbished. The steps down are being replaced and a disabled ramp is being provided.
The area around the toilets will be paved and new fencing will finish off the job.
Work started on the 26th June and will take seven weeks.

July 2000

Echoes in the Stones

This is the titleof the Son et Lumiere presentation at Tintern Abbey over three weekends in July and August.
With a cast of over 100 local actors and a twenty plus team of professional directors and technicians, it was a £100,000 spectacle telling the history of the village from pre Roman times to the first World War.
If you have got any connections with Tintern and didn't see it you will have missed an unforgettable experience.
N.B. I'm nothing to do with it, so this is not an advert. I went along to report on it and was totally entranced.

Grantley James

Dates July 27/28/29, August 3/4/5/10/11/12

9 July 2000
sender=Alistair Cumberford
comment=I am trying to trace some old school teachers of mine and found the name 'Jeremy Le Poidevin' in the Tuesday Club archive. Is he the same Jeremy Le Poidevin who worked at Merchant Taylors' School Crosby, Liverpool as an English teacher until 1985? Or related? I would appreciate any reply :) Alistair Cumberford

Any help out there? I have checked the phone book and found one name - Ed

28 August 2000
Dear Mr Bathgate
Just a note to say thank you for your help in tracking down my old teacher, Jeremy le Poidevin, a while back.
Although the Tintern link turned out to be a red herring, I've eventually found him in N. Yorks.
Thanks again
Alistair Cumberford

13 July 2000
sender=Clive Cheeseman
comment=Enjoyed a very pleasant holiday in Tintern during the last week of June. Would suggest your site adds a village street map and details of public transport i.e. nearest rail and coach stops are in Chepstow ( where to get info. ) plus info on Chepstow - Monmouth bus services.

Map now added - How to get here Instructions also added - Ed

3 August 2000
Hello John,
You don't personally know me but I am a former resident of Tintern having moved away to Nottingham in June of this year.
My mother Mrs Janet Hill recently wrote me a letter telling me about my former residence Sylvan View being on the web, so I took a look and am very impressed and delighted to see some old familiar scenery.
Michael Hill
p.s. Please say hello to everyone, some of them are bound to know me. Thanks again........

3 August 2000
Tintern is the Best Kept Village in Gwent in the 351-1000 population category. Much of the credit goes to the 'Chain Gang' of church workers who have worked hard cutting grass around the village and the VPA members who planted daffodils and keep parts of the village spick and span. Tidy gardens and flower planting thoughout the village have all helped. Tony Parsons, Chairman of the Community Council, says that it's really been a community effort.

Llandogo Primary won the Best School category for the fourth year running - congratulations.

13 Aug 2000
sender= Barry Davies
country= Wales
comment= A big thank you to all who contributed to such a wonderful night out. Echoes in the Stones was a triumph. No doubt this is only one of many many thank yous. A masterpiece. What a pity that the final night looks a bit damp at the moment. Good luck and thank you once again.

The last night turned out to be a lovely evening and the performance was excellent. Ed.

16 Aug 2000
sender= Mrs Hacker
country= British
comment= I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the Echoes in the Stones on Saturday night. What a Fabulous show!! And the story of Tintern. Although I have lived near Oxford for over 40yrs now, I still regard Tintern as Home. (I was born and bred at Nurton cottage). I visit two or three times a year, would you know if there is to be a video or recording of Echoes in the Stones. If so I would like to know who to contact, hope you can help, I also log on to your web site, it's great to be able to keep up with Home news.
Thank you from Bella Hacker (nee Richards)

A video of Echoes in the Stones is apparently being prepared by the producers of the show. However the producers are away on holiday having a well earned rest and there are no details available at present and probably not for a couple of weeks. When information is available I will post it on this notice board.


Like H G Wells' fictional hero in "The Time Machine", last night I had the privilege to spin through the centuries. However, he was famously alone but I shared the experience with over one thousand other people, waiting as the grounds of Tintern Abbey were washed over with a soft red light.

As if orchestrated, just after ten o'clock a perfect half moon slid slowly from the darkening sky, hiding its' light behind the trees that crown the valley. The warmth of a late summer's day still lingered and the air was windless, as a crowd whispered to each other as if anticipating a play in a London Theatre. Our roof would be eventually sprinkled with stars, as the production of "Echoes In The Stones" gradually took shape.
It is a clever, almost onomatopoeia-type phrase, evoking the spirit of the place and inviting us to listen for resonances and nuances of times past gripped within the architecture.

Moths skittered towards the lights as a Radaesque voice boomed into the night, speaking of the creation of the valley. Pointillist patterns, worthy of the French painter Seurat, danced playfully onto the nave wall from a projector. A giant white triptych of a screen lay to the right, giving us pictures to complement the ever-shifting pattern of script, sounds and special effects. I imagined the smell of incense, although is was probably the dozens of different perfumes dispersing into the night air. A story unfolded, told simply and brought to life by local people as the actors.
Philip Madoc's voice was a lyrical and melodic addition, at one time accompanying the hypnotic projected Celtic symbols that were swaying on the wall so finely, it felt like the flow of wine and good company that accompany a memorable meal. It was so smooth that it soothed, slowed and sped up the heartbeat so deftly, whilst slyly educating at the same time.

The Cistercian Order walked in the grounds where medieval sandalled feet had already once trodden, now clothed by modern actors but eerie nevertheless. They chanted and they prayed, reminding us of St. Bernard and his vision of a simple life.
The brothers had manual labour to sate their bodies; from which they grew strong and fit, study for their minds and prayer for their souls. As observers, unseen and silent, perhaps we mourned man's cynical drift from the spiritual life.

Henry VIII, as we reached the sixteenth century, was a panto villain; a greedy, amorous despot stripping churches of pride and wealth. Thomas Cromwell was surely one of the first management executives, long before rationalisation and downsizing became part of our language. Tintern Abbey made a brave stubborn stand but was legally ransacked nevertheless. The sense of loss and injustice would surely have made the holy stones and the bones of St. Bernard sigh with the disappointments of an age.

There were many entertaining and absorbing pieces of theatre that evening, all linked together by their tie to Monmouthshire. The skulls to represent the Black Death swirled menacingly in a pirate's dance on the building, shadowed by the symbolic grim reaper. It was a reminder how a scared and scarred population were devastated by disease, helplessness and despair. Much later, there was a true feeling of sweat and ambition within the creation of the forges of the Industrial Revolution.
A young boy stood up in front of me, unable to contain his wonderment at the controlled pyrotechnics beyond a far wall. There was a cannon-boom belch of fire and flames bludgeoning the air as a faint smell of sulphur drifted upwards. "Wow" said the boy, voicing everyone's silent appreciation so admirably. He had been awed earlier as St. Tewdric was carried away dying by his stag-led hearse. This was the stuff of legends; mystical and powerfully Welsh.

A great deal of smoke built up during the evening, giving the impression of mist that wrapped itself like a threadbare shawl around stones before evaporating through the tall windows. Then gradually there was a slight pre-midnight breeze, it grew colder and the yawning ache of tiredness was beaten back by our compulsive need to continue the saga. Foppish Victorians picnicked and intellectualised the ivy-clad ruin. We had now become the ghosts of the future, as all ahead of us looked so very real. We were sitting in the place that had inspired a teenage Turner and besotted Wordsworth.

It is sobering to imagine how many future poets and artists were lost in the devastating World Wars that characterised the first half of the twentieth century. Firstly, we saw a fete that represented the hope, fun and innocence of a new era. The detail was so real that I too wanted a cup of coffee from one of the stands. The horror and the poignant reading of soldier's letters home that followed was a grim contrast.
Searchlights that swept across the sky probably gave some of the older people some unpleasant goosebumps.

Fireworks that stretched, exploded into butterfly colours and then fell spent into the dark were the finale; technology in the new Millennium. Grown men and women became children, delighting in the lure of noise and lights. How dark the Abbey looked below, very secretive and sleepy. We had been told its history but somehow it had retained a little slice of its peculiar magic.

As we filed out by torchlight I looked back at the nave and realised that it still held something back from us that invited another visit. Echoes perhaps, or an enigmatic variation.

Julia Ford

2 September 2000

Nick Niclaason

Memories came flooding back to so many people on hearing of the passing of Nick Niclaason, who was the highly popular manager of The Beaufort Hotel and The Anchor in the 60's and 70's.
He was the master of mass catering when The Beaufort had just about every major dinner-dance in the area whilst The Anchor coped with the huge tourist trade springing from The Abbey.
Just about everyone in the village has worked for Nick at sometime, and after his retirement he regularly paid visits to The Anchor where he was still affectionately referred to as 'Mr Nick' by many of his ex-staff.
In those heady days The Beaufort was a popular venue for the business people of Chepstow and some fair old parties went on, with the participants sometimes persuaded to drink Nick's favourite tipple, whiskey and milk!
There is no greater compliment than to be able to say that I suspect everyone in the village has a 'Nick' story and as time goes by I am sure that both his wife and daughter will have some wonderful memories of someone who had lived life to the full and brought a great deal of pleasure to so many people.

Grantley James

28 September 2000

Thank you for the excellent Tintern web site, which I enjoy. I have just read the remembrance book and would be grateful if two corrections could be made.

1) Hayword Doris Alberta, should read HAYWARD Doris Alberta
2) Heywood Muriel Eva should read HAYWARD Muriel Eva

Doris Alberta Hayward was my aunt, sister to Stuart Valentine Hayward, and Muriel Eva Hayward was my mother, wife of Stuart Valentine Hayward.
Please is it possible that this could this be corrected at source as well. I would be very grateful if you could do this for our family, thankyou,

Sheila Black nee Hayward (Tintern ex-pat)

Changed on the web site and referred to the source. (Ed)

3 October 2000
sender= Babs Hempstead.
comment= Have just had my first real look at your site. Congratulations. It really is a credit to Tintern.
Village News

15 October 2000
Issue 100 of this Web Site has been reorganised and tidied up throughout. The resultant HTML files are rather smaller and should result in faster loading for visitors. I hope you like the result. If you find any errors I would be pleased if you would point them out. You can e-mail me at

15 October 2000

The village is currently hosting a film crew at the Wye Valley Hotel. They are making a film for cinema release called 'Arthur's Dyke', starring Denis Waterman and Pauline Quirke.

23 October 2000
The Tintern Community Council has voted 4 to 3 not to put their minutes on the web.

Trains to Tintern

28 October 2000

The Village Hall hosted a meeting for around 40 interested people to debate a proposal to reopen the Wye Valley Railway line between Chepstow and Tintern.

Mike Notts from Tidenham introduced Bob Gorringe, Chairman of the Great Western Railway Preservation Group who outlined the proposal.

Mr Gorringe first explained his background. The GWR Preservation Group had twenty eight items of rolling stock, including steam locomotives, currently held at Strawberry Hill near Twickenham. During a recent move the Group had been looking around for places to store their stock and the Chepstow station area had been an area considered.
This had been associated with the idea of operating steam trains from the site at Chepstow to Tintern.
The line exists physically as far as Tintern Quarry and the track bed exists on to Tintern where it enters a short tunnel before stopping at the demolished bridge site close to the Old Station at Tintern.

The proposal was to build a steam centre on the sidings at Chepstow station and run a steam service to a new station and engine shed to be built near the tunnel entrance at Tintern. Walking access at Tintern would be via the bridge next to Abbey Mill and along the old 'Wireworks' branch line track bed.
The service would operate throughout the year but the timetable would depend upon the passenger traffic.
SUSTRANS have control of the track bed at present and are thinking of using them as cycle tracks. Where the railway took over the track bed, trains would be arranged to carry cycles as necessary.

Mr Gorringe thought that the proposal would bring benefits to the businesses in Chepstow and Tintern, may reduce road traffic (though there was dissent from the floor on this point), and would employ some local people.

Gloucestershire County Council, in whose area most of the required work would take place seems to be generally in favour of the proposal but Monmouthshire County Council are not at all sure that the proposal fits with their future plans.

At this point the meeting had a show of hands to indicate the feeling of the meeting. The meeting was overwhelmingly in favour with one vigorous protest and one person 'sitting on the track'!

Questions were taken :

Was there a proposal to continue to Monmouth?

The possibility is almost nil as much of the track bed and many bridges have disappeared and the replacement cost would be much too high.

Was there a proposal to go to the Old Station eventually?

Possibly, but only as a very long term aim as there would be the need to replace the missing rail bridge. There was a suggestion from the floor that the bridge replacement could be just a footbridge so that people could walk from the Old Station to the new terminus.

Where would the money come from?

The cost was as yet unknown. A Feasibility Study and a Business Plan would need to be formulated in the future. The GWRPG had some expertise in finding funding for projects.

What was the attitude of the Tourist Boards etc?

Generally positive. Hugh Edwards MP was helpful, the Gloucestershire MP had not been available for comment.

What sort of timetable was envisaged?

The trip would be twenty minutes each way. However the single line produced restrictions that would generally make the round trip take one and a half hours. This frequency produced an objection from a family living over the Tidenham tunnel.

Is the Tidenham tunnel safe?

Trains through the tunnel were originally stopped as bricks were falling off the lining. The matter would need to be taken up with Railtrack.

Is the quarry likely to reopen?

It is thought that the site was for sale without any planning permission, however the current track would not be able to take heavy wagons.

Intermediate Halts?

It was hoped that the intermediate station halts on the line would be reinstated.

The Chairman asked if any architects were available and for anyone interested in helping to leave their details.
The meeting closed with Mike Nott giving his name and contact details for anyone interested in helping to set up the operation.

Mike Nott
tel : 0771 8569862
e-mail :

Tracing your Monmouthshire Family?

31 Oct 2000
sender= Michael John
country= Wales
comment= Interesting site and well displayed.

My John(s) family are from this area. Over the past few years I have been compiling pedigrees of families all over the Wye valley. Some of the surnames of most of the villagers shown on your site are quite modern.
If anyone would like to visit my sites to see if I have included any of their ancestors or would like me to trace their Monmouthshire roots (free of charge) please get in contact. My Sites are -
This project is ongoing.

Could be an interesting offer - Ed

31 Oct 2000
sender= Barry Davies
country= Wales
comment= can you please advise if there was a video produced on Echoes in the Stones.It was such a memorable evening and it would be lovely to have a copy should a video exist.
Many thanks Barry

I have not come across a video yet. I have enquiries ongoing about a video but I have no news at present. Should I find a video, I will let you know - Ed


Many of us, both in the village and from around the world, thoroughly enjoyed this show. Now you can refresh your memory. A video of the show is available from :

Ned Heywood
The Workshop Gallery (This is the Pottery next to the Veterinarian in Lower Church Street)
13 Lower Church Street
NP16 5HJ
tel : 01291 624836
e-mail at

The price is £15 plus about 50p postage within the UK.

Telephone orders to Ned Heywood at the above telephone number using a credit card, please.

Further to the above Mosaic Films have produced a Tintern 2000 video entitled 'Abbey Extravaganza'. This is priced at £9.99 including VAT and postage and is available from 'The Old Butcher's Shop, St Briavels, Glos, GL15 6TA, tel: 01594 530708'. Their publicity lists a web site


These photographs were taken by Alan Boast :

St Michael's Church, Dec 2000

River Wye, Dec 2000

Brockweir, Dec 2000