Monmouth Civic Society

How to tell genuine hardship cases from those who just want to cash in on people’s generous nature is one of the biggest challenges facing charity workers, members heard at their Christmas meeting.

Monmouth Civic Society invited senior Salvation Army officer Ray Baynes to tell them about the church’s work in Newport, where with his wife Joyce, the local captain, he is dedicated to transforming the lives of the most needy in the community.

Starting with his own story of redemption from a most unpromising upbringing and going on to his joining the Salvation Army after decades working in IT for the Ministry of Defence he spoke movingly of the difference he and his fellow officers are able to make to people’s lives. But he explained that while lots do desperately need help, he always has to be on his guard against the many tricksters out to play the system.

Civic Society members donated £100 towards the Salvation Army’s work at Christmas.

Following the talk, everyone tucked in to an impressive spread provided by members, washed down with wine and apple juice.

Mr Baynes’s account was the latest in the series of fascinating short talks enjoyed by members at their meetings held on the last Wednesday of every other month at Ty Price, the community hall in St Thomas Square. The next one is on January 29. While meetings are an occasion for members to voice concerns, between times the society is at the service of members to raise matters with the authorities.

If you would like to join Monmouth Civic Society, please ring 01600 715076.

Monmouth Bridge Club

Results from Monmouth Bridge Club are as follows:

Monday 25th November 7pm to 10pm: North/South: 1st Gordon Casson and Jon Dullforce; 2nd David Savage and Mary Britton; 3rd Nigel Saunders and Thomas Keyton. East/West: 1st Richard Brierly and Paul Williams; 2nd Sheila Nechvatal and Brigid Hamilton-Jones; 3rd Sue Burrows and Neil Smith.

Wednesday 27th November (No Fear Bridge) 2pm - 4pm: North/South: 1st Neil Smith and Gail Jones; 2nd Terry Hill and Tim Coombs; 3rd Jennifer Neale and Jill Blewitt. East/West: 1st Celia and Norman Skitt; 2nd Val and Terry Morgan; 3rd Brigid and Thomas Hamilton-Jones .

Thursday 28th November 7pm - 10pm: 1st= Tony Harris and Pauline Sanders; 1st= Terry Hill and Charlotte Jones; 3rd Richard Brierly and Ros Walker.

Ross Vaga Probus Club

On 26th November members enjoyed a fascinating talk, illustrated by pictures, from John Handby on the history and priceless architecture of Herefordshire’s Historic Churches.

John is a trustee of the Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust which was established in 1950 and provides grants for the repairs, restoration and improvement to the fabric of Historic Churches of all denominations in Herefordshire. In the year 1200 there were 200 of these but there are currently 107 Grade 1, 176 Grade 11* and 96 grade 11 listed Churches in the county!

He gave some fascinating examples of Churches dating from Saxon times including: Kilpeck’s Romanesque Church with its incredible carvings; Garway Church, built in 1280 with its tower a defense against the Welsh, and its history as a location for the Knights Templar; and Leominster Priory with its ducking stool – last used in 1809 but ducking was only abolished in 1976!

Vaga Probus is a men only club which meets twice monthly in Ross. Visitors are welcome. Please contact the secretary on 01989 218295 for details