Bicknor History Group – Thursday 10 November

We hope to see you next Thursday when Donny will be continuing to tell us about Littledean Hall, but with a ghostly theme this time.  He will also have his book on sale (reprinted especially for us) at £10 (rrp.£10.99)

All the best, Claire

Inline images 1
Claire & Darren Scales
Symonds Yat Rock Lodge
GL16 7NY
Tel:01594 836191



Ghosts of Littledean Hall

With Don Macer-Wright

on from his talk on the Hall’s history ..

Thursday 10
November 2016

7.30pm, English
Bicknor Village Hall

Entry: £2.50, FREE for EBLHG members
– join on the door

Claire Scales  836191

Responses on phone boxes

Jennifer Lang sent me this after she had contacted Cinderford Town Council who directed her to their facebook page where they had posted the following:
BT have informed us of their intent to remove four Public Phone Boxes in the town due to lack of use.
Below is a list of the boxes and the number of times calls have been made from them in the last 12 months.
Church Road by the Nags Head – 55
Valley Road by the shop – 3
Edge Hills Road – 40
Steam Mills – 27
Three of these boxes are the old red boxes and we can adopt the boxes for £1 each. We are going to adopt the boxes and hopefully put them to use. In many areas they have been used to house defibrillators or put to other comunity uses.

And this from John Belcher:

Hello Cheryl,
There is a disused one at the DHC. Any ideas for use? The Berry Hill one outside the Globe is to become a 'swaps' book library.

Telephone boxes

It has come to my attention that 72 telephone boxes in the Forest of Dean are to be removed by BT in the next few months. I understand that town/parish councils can purchase these boxes for £1 each and then the community can use them for other purposes. As historic reminders of the past, I do feel that some should be retained in situ so I would like to invite everyone to write to their local councils urging them to approach BT and retain some of these iconic boxes.
Below is the list of those they intend to remove.
Averil Kear
Enquiries Officer

‘Voices of the Forest’ – can you help?

Roger Deeks, one of the Society’s members, is working on a project which is part of the
Foresters Forest Heritage project which aims to capture the experiences of people employed
in the Forest and their occupational histories. Roger is speaking to the Society about the
project next April.
To date he has spoken with two former employees from New Fancy as part of the
‘Voices from the Forest’ series being undertaken by the University of Gloucestershire.
Eventually, all the interviews will be catalogued and accessible in the Dean Heritage
Centre and researchers will be encouraged to use the collection.
One of the harder groups of people to find are those surviving from the now extinct
industries particularly:
Lydney Tin Plate Works
In domestic service (it continued as a form of employment until well after WW2)
The brick industry (Broadmoor or anywhere)
The chemical/distillations works at Cannop
Munitions in WW2
He is interested in any other, preferably land based occupations and skills that should
be recorded.
If you know of anyone who could be interviewed please let Roger know by
emailing  or calling 01594 517053.

Visit our website at

Banwell Bone Cave

Banwell Bone Cave is quite remarkable. The cave holds thousands and thousands of prehistoric animal bones, about 60,000 years old, washed in there when glaciers melted. 
The site also contains a number of beautifully renovated follies, originally built in the 1820s when the cave was discovered and put on display to the public. The two-and-a half hour tour (includes a short film) ends with tea and cakes with the owners.
The caves are on private land and only open to the public very infrequently. Tuesday 27 Sept will be the last time this year as greater horseshoe bats hibernate there, so they don't open again till May next year. 
If you are interested, please contact one of the owners, John Haynes 

Annual General Meeting – 2.30 p.m. on 8th October 2016

The Society's Annual General Meeting is at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 8th October at the West Dean Centre, Bream. After a short AGM and the tea break, Ian Pope will talk on "The Crawshays and their Coal Mines".
I attach two documents. One is the Agenda for the meeting. Members – this is your Society and your meeting. If there are issues you want to raise, new Committee members to nominate, now is your chance. Contact Chair Simon Moore or me in advance if you want to. The other attachment is the Minutes of the 2015 AGM. We'll be asking for approval of these.
Best wishes,
Chris Sullivan
Acting Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society
visit our website

pdf icon AGM-2016-AgendaFinal.pdf
pdf icon 2015-AGM-Minutesfinal.pdf

Closure of Black Bridge – your help is needed

A petition has been started to appeal to the PROW people to repair and reopen Black Bridge in Lydbrook.
You can read the details and sign the petition here.
Aside from being an important right of way over the river on the Wye Valley Walk, this historic railway bridge is part of our industrial heritage which is fast being eroded and allowed to disappear. 
Please sign the petition to show you support its renovation.

History and Mystery of the Perry Pear – Friday 16th Sept 7.30 pm

The Society's  next indoor meeting will be held in the St Briavels Assembly Rooms tomorrow night, when Jim Chapman will talk to us on the 'History and Mystery of the Perry Pear.'
You can find more details on our events page, which will also give address information for those  not familiar with the Assembly Rooms.
Non-members welcome. Admission £2.

Dedication of Commemorative Stone New Fancy Colliery 10 Sept

The weather was the only thing which let us down on this important day. The Parkend Silver Band entertained us with a most appropriate playlist, including the previously almost lost Parkend March, and the speeches by Keith Walker, Chairman Simon Moore and our President Baroness Royall were all excellent.
We were especially grateful to have with us 90 year old Mr George Hogg (pictured here), who worked at New Fancy as a blacksmith – they had their own forge, so many shovels etc to repair. And in the crowd also was the great granddaughter of a New Fancy miner. 
No doubt there were others with connections – please let us know by posting a comment here. 
There will be a full report of the day in the November newsletter which goes out to members.
This website has also been updated with extensive new material on New Fancy and revised material on the Miners Memorial and the Geomap. Follow this link
Finally, our latest New Regard journal was launched yesterday, with the lead article being about New Fancy and how it became an amenity site.  Go to our e-store to purchase a copy (members obtain a discount) or come to one of our indoor meetings where it will also be available, along with other Society and members' publications.