What’s Ynysfach W.I been up to lately?

Church Hall ready for St. David’s Day

March began with a trip to Abergavenny for a little retail therapy and a browse around the wonderful indoor market. We set off amid snow flurries and a bitingly cold wind – some of us wondering if perhaps we would be better off staying at home! However we braved the elements and had a thoroughly enjoyable day – shopped ’til we dropped, enjoyed a good lunch and back home in time for tea!

March is also the month in which we take part in the annual skittles competition between four local WIs. Our first match was against Catwg WI and it turned into a real nail-biter! We won the first round comfortably, we narrowly lost the second leg – so all was even as we broke for refreshments. Suitably refuelled we began the final round, all went well up to the last , then Catwg’s last player need to score more than seven to win the game! The first ball missed…….the second knocked three skittles down…….the last ball of the match scored five! Shame,  we had really enjoyed the evening but that was the end of the competition for us for another year. Catwg went on to play Glynneath in the final when Glynneath won the trophy.

Our monthly meeting in March is always our Welsh night when the hall is decorated to celebrate St David’s Day. We had a lovely supper of leek and potato soup made by Maureen followed by Bara Brith and Welshcakes made by members of the committee. We enjoyed a game of ‘handbag bingo’ and some comical Welsh stories read by June. We rounded the evening off with a rousing sing-song which wouldn’t have disgraced the Millennium Stadium!


Waiting for the singing to begin

In April we had a trip to the Grand Theatre to see the musical ‘Evita’ which we very much enjoyed.

We were entertained later in the month by Catwg WI who had organised a concert in St Catwg’s Church, Cadoxton , for the local WI groups. The group of young singers called Allegro performed many songs from the shows which we all enjoyed very much, it was lovely to see youngsters really relishing the chance to entertain. All the money raised by the concert was donated to Ty Hafen.

Our speaker at our April meeting was Clare Revera from ‘Out to Learn Willow’. She gave a talk and slideshow describing the ancient craft of willow weaving, an art practised in all countries of the world since forever it seems. Clare also brought with her baskets that she had made including a basket based on an historical design made only in Penclawdd as a cockle asket



. Following the talk Clare demonstrated how  to make a bird feeder out of willow and we all had a go at making our own. Clare had, of course, made it seem so easy but certainly my piece of willow had a mind of it’s own! We all succeeded in the end with a bit of expert tuition. A very interesting and challenging evening!

Jean Hill with her bird feeder



On a sad note we have had to say goodbye to two of our members during this period , Betty Harris and Jean Thomas.

Betty was one of our founder members and had been part of the group for almost 45 years, she was great fun and always enjoyed being part of all we did.




Jean was a very talented lady, a wonderful quilter, a painter, a singer and she made the most

delicious cakes.



We will miss these two good friends.

Report by Jen Colley (President Ynysfach W.I.)