‘There will be some healthy dishes, and some not so healthy…’

Michael Rowland

Hello. Welcome to my blog. My name is Michael Rowland, nice to meet you.
As well as being a 32-year-old man, I am a self confessed ‘foodie’ and this is probably all you need to know. However, if you really are interested, I present a weekly local radio show, enjoy music and cinema, long walks and I am a massive rugby fan. By which I mean I really really like rugby, not that I am some kind of humongous 60 stone giant. I could probably do with losing a few pounds but then couldn’t we all…

Continue reading

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Work Was Love Made Visible – a book review by Laura Watkins

Before reading John Hanner’s novel, I was confused as to how a tale about a tree surgeon’s career could warrant the above title.

It was only after I read the book that I understood. Mr Hanner’s work didn’t just involve caring for trees but actively loving his family, a job in itself.

Mr Hanner’s commitment to his wife and three daughters, while balancing his dangerous career, is a poignant reflection point, especially in the modern hustle and bustle of our own lives.

His work, where he very often risked his life to protect and preserve trees, really was love made visible.

Mr Hanner’s book takes us on a journey from his humble beginnings at Tynycae farm, Llanbadoc to countries around the world.

His career has taken him to Rome, Nepal, Finland, Japan, Ethopia and even to Iraq and Iran at war time.

The book is poetically written and Mr Hanner often makes references to the love of his precious Wales.

A perfect little read for those interested in a local man’s adventures.

The book can be purchased from Lindwalls newsagents, Usk and Raglan post office.

Posted in Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Leave a comment

Best Volunteer Award Vote NOW!

Donna Saunders

Markel UK, the specialist charity insurer and Small Charities Coalition, the support organisation for small charities, have announced the return of Britain’s Best Volunteer award for 2015, to reward those who volunteer their time to help small, local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.

The nominations for Britain’s Best Volunteer have now closed, and the voting stage has begun, with a set very deserving finalists who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this year to make a difference in people’s lives. Continue reading

Posted in Business, General, News, Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Leave a comment

Monmouthshire’s schools celebrate St David’s Day

Schools across Monmouthshire celebrated St David’s Day with competitions, Eisteddfods and crafts.

At the Dell Primary School, Chepstow, pupils dressed up in Welsh costume on Monday (2nd March), with Year 5 pupil Curtis Warburton winning the title of bard for his winning poem.

Monmouth Comprehensive School pupil, Katy Mather, was chaired as best poet from Years 7, 8 and 9 at their St David’s Day Eisteddfod. Katy’s chosen poem was entitled Fy Arwr (My Her0), in which she discussed how authors were her heroes.

The Eisteddfod at Monmouth Comprehensive School hosted the first chairing ceremony using the school’s new, handmade chair donated by Mr and Mrs Clarke (pictured with Katy).

Over at Usk Primary School pupils enjoyed their celebrations dressed up in traditional Welsh costume on Monday 2nd March.

Cross Ash School was filled with exquisite food and amazing crafts for their St David’s Day celebrations. The corridor walls were decked with beautiful artwork, sketches, handwriting and stories. Children were informed of the outcome of their hard work at a special assembly with certificates for those who achieved first, second and third places.

Historical sites including Raglan Castle and Tintern Abbey opened their doors to visitors free of charge on Sunday.

“The day went absolutely brilliantly,” said Pascal Bidois, manager of Tintern Abbey.

“There were 800 plus visitors to the site and it couldn’t have been better.”

Secretary of State Stephen Crabb, in his official St David’s Day message, said: “St David’s Day is a time for us to celebrate all that is great about Wales – from our entrepreneurial spirit and rich culture to our historic landmarks and warm welcome.

“Many will be celebrating our national day by embracing the traditions that make Wales the ambitious, confident and outward-looking nation that it is today.”

Posted in Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Leave a comment

Could you help Riley find love this Valentine’s?

STAFF at Dogs Trust Bridgend are hoping this Valentine’s Day will bring a lifelong female companion for 11-year-old Riley who is on the hunt for a family home which he can share with a gentle female dog.
Continue reading

Posted in Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Try to drink responsibly during Six Nations

Tonight sees the start of the 2015 Six Nations Tournament which is widely followed throughout Wales and the UK, and is a time where people come together in pubs and clubs to watch the matches.

Gwent Police is reminding fans to think about their behaviour and the consequences of drinking too much on a Friday, Saturday or even Sunday night during the Six Nations tournament.

During the tournament weekends, Gwent Police will be working with partners to tackle and prevent alcohol-related crime and disorder in town centres. Officers have been contacting licensees to remind them of their role and responsibilities in serving alcohol responsibly. Licensees are also being encouraged to check that their CCTV systems are working correctly.

During the tournament, Police and Trading Standards will also be visiting licensed premises to check that all door staff are SIA (Security Industry Authority) approved, the premises are safe and adhering to the licensing conditions.

Local officers will be working to provide an increased presence in the town centres to deter any crime and disorder on match days. They will also be joined by partner agencies and volunteers such as Street Pastors, a group of volunteers who offer care and support to people on nights out.

Gwent Police will be also be working closely with Council CCTV operators to monitor town centres and look out for any incidents of disorder.

Officers are also reminding those out in bars and clubs to take extra care when out and keep personal possessions safe and secure. This can include: not leaving bags over the back of a chair and keeping wallets and purses close to your body when in pubs, to be discreet when using mobile phones and put them away as soon as you have finished using them and don’t carry more money than you need. Those out enjoying the Six Nations are also reminded to ensure that they have plans in place to get home safely at the end of the evening.

Assistant Chief Constable Lorraine Bottomley said: “We want those going out to enjoy the Six National Tournament to do so safely and without causing problems for themselves or others. We will be out across Gwent keeping people safe and making sure people are able to enjoy their evenings.

“As always our advice is clear, if you are drinking during the Six nations weekends period do so responsibly, look after your friends, and ensure you have a safe way planned for getting home.

“Additional officers will be deployed to help deal with the increased numbers of people who are out. Whilst we are clear that our role will be to help people have a safe and enjoyable evening, I would remind anyone who is out and intent on causing any problems for others we won’t tolerate any anti-social or threatening behaviour. Anyone who misbehaves or seeks to spoil things for others can expect to be dealt with by the Police.”

Posted in General, Sport | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chepstow Christmas Eve treat

Xmas show

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Advice for GCSE students from Careers Wales

What next?’ is a question that will be facing many young people this week as students across Monmouthshire pick up their long awaited GCSE results.


For many it will be a day for celebration but for others it might be one of disappointment. Whatever your results, the message from Careers Wales is don’t panic.

Continue reading

Posted in General, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay to host quiz night for Raglan Church’s Raise the Roof campaign

THE roof of Raglan church is set to be raised even higher when Monmouth Assembly Member Nick Ramsay hosts a quiz and curry evening at Raglan Parc Golf Club on Saturday, September 6th.


Over £6,000 has so far been raised towards the £400,000 needed to repair the roof of St Cadoc’s Church, which is a Grade 11 listed building. The Raise the Roof appeal was launched last year by the Revd Joan Wakeling, who has since retired and the baton has now been passed to Raglan’s new Vicar, the Revd Canon Tim Clement.

Continue reading

Posted in Events/Society, News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relate Cymru offers top tips for coping with exam results day

Families across the country are experiencing the highs and lows of exam results days this August.


Relate Cymru, a relationship support organisation, offers tips for both parents and young people on how to cope with expectations, delight and disappointment.

Continue reading

Posted in General, News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment