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Tributes to Christopher Gillette: Volunteer at Llanyafon Manor, real ale campaigner and diabetes awareness supporter

a photo of llanyrafon manor house and Chris Gillette
Chris was secretary of the Llanyrafon Manor Community Group

Tributes have been paid to a Cwmbran man who played a key role in reopening Llanyrafon Manor in the town in 2012.

Christopher Gillette, passed away from cancer in June at the age of 73. He was secretary of the Llanyrafon Manor Community Group and had a wide range of interests including the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and raising awareness of diabetes.

Chris Gillette
Christopher Gillette (Photo: Rosemary Jenkins)

Christopher’s sister, Rosemary Jenkins, said: “We as a family are devastated at the loss of Chris. We understood he was going to get well, so this was not the outcome we expected when he went into hospital in March.

“Chris had many interests and hobbies, the diabetes group in Cwmbran, being of major interest to him. He was shocked when he was diagnosed with diabetes and so, with the help of the group, he wanted people to be more aware of the symptoms. He would give talks and share information to help people help themselves manage their condition more successfully.

“He loved his football and was a big Cardiff City supporter all his life. One of his ambitions was to visit every football ground in the UK. This he almost achieved, planning to do the outstanding four grounds when he had recovered from his surgery this year.

“He was heavily involved in the opening of Llanyravon Manor some years ago and was looking forward to getting it re-opened following the pandemic. One of his hobbies was to go there and do the gardening. He loved the history of the manor and enjoyed telling others about it.

“His other main hobby was CAMRA. This was something he really enjoyed over many years, visiting and working at beer festivals all over the country, judging the best pubs around and editing the Good Beer Guide. For a number of years, he helped produce a local magazine called Beer Necessities which proved to be very popular. The Mount Pleasant was his local pub. He loved meeting up with friends there, particularly on Saturday evenings.

“He will be very much missed.”

Chris and his family moved to Llanyrafon in 1958 and he continued to live in his family home. He retired in 2010 after a career in social services and IT security as a civil servant. As well as supporting Cardiff City he used to enjoy watching local Welsh league football matches.

His work at Llanyrafon Manor

Cllr David Williams, Llanyrafon Ward, said: “‘Chris had many interests,  and one was Llanyravon Manor, close to where he lived. He was the secretary of the Manor community group, and Chris had a fund of useful information about the Manor grounds.

“He was able to highlight different plantings, when these had been done, and we linked up to prepare a risk assessment for the community group to ‘come back to the Manor grounds this summer. Sadly Chris was unable to see this come to fruition, but it has paved the way for community involvement to re-start once Torfaen County Borough Council finish the process of finding interested parties to take over the running of the Manor itself.”

His work with the Campaign for Real Ale

Chris was chair of Gwent CAMRA for around 20 years.

Chris Charters, CAMRA Welsh Director, said: “During his retirement, he took on several voluntary posts for CAMRA, regional secretary, South Wales co-ordinator, Good Beer Guide co-ordinator, and more at regional level.

“He was part of CAMRA Gwent Branch committee looking after various positions in the branch. Chris has left a large void in CAMRA Wales and filling his position will not be easy.”

Funeral details for Chris Gillette

His funeral is on Friday 21 July 2023
  • 11.45am- Our Lady of The Angels, 5 Oak St, Cwmbran NP44 3LT
  • 1.30pm- Langstone Vale Crematorium, Magor Rd, Langstone, Newport NP18 2BP
  • 2pm- Llanyravon Social Club, Llanyravon Way, Cwmbran NP44 8HT




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Tributes to Christopher Gillette: Volunteer at Llanyafon Manor, real ale campaigner and diabetes awareness supporter