News from Llanvetherine

As reported in TNT last month, Cupid's Hill, the Tug of War team from Grosmont (including Sam Beavan from Great Trerhew Farm, Llanvetherine) qualified for the World Championships in Belfast in early September. TNT can now report that they did their country proud coming 6th in the World Championships. First were Switzerland (apparently it's their national sport), second - South Africa (they have tug-of-war academies), third Sweden - (hosting next year), 4th - Taiwan (legs like tree trunks and trained from the age of 4!), 5th - Germany (we nearly beat them!). They beat England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and many other countries. For a bunch of young farmers they did fantastically well.

On Sunday 6 September volunteers from Llanvetherine held a litter pick between the village limit signs along the B4521. The final tally was around 5 bags extracted from the hedgerows and lay-by. A very enjoyable BBQ lunch was held after the event. The picture on the front of TNT shows the 'Litter Gang' with modified a pick up! Missing from the photo are Chrissie and Peter Spencer-Smith, and Andrew Dawson (taking photo).

St Gwytherin

Llanvetherine Church is dedicated to an early Celtic saint probably of the Silurian tribe During the Roman occupation Wales had accepted Christianity but when the soldiers all returned to Rome in the 5th century, the Celtic peoples remained Christian but were cut off from Rome, so the Celtic church evolved with its own leaders and characteristics. Religious hermits travelled the countryside preaching; at first they built
individual cells then small churches and enclosures – a Llan. Villages developed and so many of our village names begin with Llan. There is a large carved figure of St Gwytherin near the altar in Llanvetherine Church. This stone slab used to be outside the Church. About 30 years ago the Rev Hewlett and Trevor Beavan decided that the stone was being worn away by the weather and should be preserved so they decided to carry Saint Gwytherin inside. A number of able-bodied men were enlisted and, the task undertaken, the medieval saint proved to be  extremely heavy and his journey into the Church took several evenings followed by a few pints of beer at the local pub-the King's-Arms.

In Llanvetherine church there is a beautiful stained glass window donated by the Watkins family of Wern y Cwm. The picture represents the two saints to which the Church is dedicated, Saint Gwytherin and Saint James the Elder, but to older residents of the parish it represents Fred and Harri, the two bachelor brothers who farmed Wern y Cwm for many years. They were born and died there. When I was in school my parents kept the village post office. To help my father I used to deliver the mail to Wern y Cwm before catching the school bus. Fred and Harri were always welcoming and their housekeeper, Mrs Reynolds, used to give me a cup of tea. I can never look at our Church window
without remembering the two brothers, one tall and serious, the other short and jolly. I wonder how many other parishioners remember the Watkins brothers of Wern y Cwm? 

Anne Beavan, Great Tre-Rhew