New miners’ memorial Pan Tod Beacon, Ruardean Hill

A new miners' memorial is being unveiled on Saturday 2 September at 12pm, by the Society's President, Baroness Jan Royall up at Pan Tod.

The memorial has been built by ex-miner Ernie Hughes, and is made of steel and stone. There are plaques attached with the names of many miners listed on the Society's Miners Memorial CD researched by Dave Tuffley.

Pubs in Lydney – attachment!

​One of the Society's members has sent me the email below – I'm sure it's not only our members who will have information, memories to contribute, so please contact Marie directly if you can help her out.
Cheryl Mayo

Dear Cheryl


I wonder if you can help.  My history project this year for the Heritage Day 8th September at Lydney Community Centre, is ‘Lydney pubs’.  I have one photo of each pub, and will be taking photos of them, or their location, as they are today.  I intend to compile a comprehensive display of pictures and related history of the pubs. 


Geoff Davis has given me permission every year to use pictures and text from the Sungreen website, which is very helpful.


However, I’d be very grateful LHS members could help by contributing information, memories, pictures or stories about any of these pubs.   Information received will be credited.


Last year my project was Lydney High Street which was so successful the boards were displayed at Lydney library for three months.  I’ve been meaning to produce an article, and also a PowerPoint presentation, on my findings, but haven’t got round to it yet!


Please feel free to circulate my telephone number and email address.


With kind regards and best wishes


Marie Fraser Griffiths

01594 843107




doc icon Lydney-pubs-list.docx

The trees of Churchill Enclosure – History Society Walk on 9th July


On a beautiful summer Sunday in early July, fifteen members gathered at Castlemain Depot at
Parkend, to join History Society Vice President and Verderer, Ian Standing, in a pleasant, informative walk around Churchill Enclosure.

Ian provided some context before the walkers set off by outlining the history of management of the Forest. He then invited the assembled throng to differentiate between two adjacent oak trees. This was the start of an afternoon of education, as Ian, together with former Forestry worker Pete Ralph, demonstrated their depth of knowledge of all things tree and Forest. It turned out that one of the oaks was a pendunculate (common) oak, and the other was a sessile oak, both native to the UK. An adjacent poplar tree prompted Pete Ralph to ‘enlighten’ the party that these trees were specifically grown in the Dean to be converted into Englands Glory matches at Morelands factory in Gloucester.

Turning onto the Lime Avenue, a mysterious upturned stone marked ‘GR’ was observed adjacent to one of the innumerable lime trees. Tree rings then became the topic of the conversation. There are fewer rings higher up a tree trunk, and to measure the age of a tree via rings, this must be done at the base of a tree. Obvious when it is explained, but just one more interesting thing learned during the walk!

Stands of Douglas Fir and Norway Spruce were passed by. Ian explained that the rate of growth of
this type of tree compared with hardwood trees was the main economic driver behind their introduction in the Dean. Then the first of a number of diseased trees was studied, red band needle blight is regrettably attacking the Corsican pines, and they will eventually disappear from the Dean.

Arriving at Redwood Grove, a stand of Coastal Redwood trees provided the next stopping point. Ian explained that they are long lived trees that reach enormous sizes in America. The local examples were pretty impressive as well. In 1986 the biggest local redwood had a measured girth of 5 feet, today the girth is 13feet 6 inches, so the tree has achieved a 48 inch growth in girth in 30years.

Next the Charles II  Oak, an ancient tree, came into view. Somewhat storm damaged but still surviving, we learnt that this old tree probably dates from the 17th century.   Continuing past Churchill Lodge, the party passed through a stand of oak, which also had beech underwood . Ian explained that this was the sort of sylvan setting beloved of the travel writers who visited the Dean in Victorian times.

The sad site of a dead oak tree provoked more discussion about tree disease. Ian related how both slow oak decline and sudden oak decline are very serious threats to the oak population of the Dean. As yet very little is known about these diseases, although apparently fallen oaks with ‘decline’ symptoms were known to have small root systems, and this might provide a clue to those researching the issue.

The walk finished opposite Parkend Primary School where Ian invited the walkers to use their new
found knowledge to identify a large oak tree. After some discussion, it was declared to be a hybrid of common and sessile oak!

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History weekend … Freedoms of the Forest

HOOF Film Poster 2017 red (Mobile)Saturday 8 July at 8 pm, as part of the Coleford Festival of Words, ‘HOOF – the film’ will be shown at the Coleford Baptist Hall. Rich Daniels, HOOF Chair, Freeminer and Verderer, will lead a short discussion on the way forward.
Highly recommended, especially if you were there! History in the making…
£3 entry to cover costs.Donation bar. DVD and HOOF CD sales with proceeds to HOOF.
Hopewell Colliery Poster 2017 v2 (Mobile)Sunday 9 July, also as part of the Festival, ‘Freedoms of the Forest: 800 years and counting’ at Hopewell Colliery 2 pm – 5 pm – a celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forests which returned access rights to the common man, and how Foresters have been defending those rights ever since.
Lots of entertainment – Berry Hill Silver Band, Six Foot Way Forest folk band, theatre, speeches, Lydbrook School reading Forest poetry, Keith Morgan, Max, Tom Cousins doing his thing, stalls and displays …
Entry £5 per car to help with costs. Hopewell Cafe open and mine tours available.

Friends of Scarr Bandstand


Having received some £12000 from the Foresters’ Forest project, the Friends of Scarr Bandstand have been busy preparing the bandstand for this years events.

There are two FREE events taking place this summer;

On June 22nd and June 23rd, at 7pm, the Gloucestershire Youth Players present Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

On Saturday August 26th, starting at 3.30pm​, Parkend Silver Band, and Drybrook Band will perform at the bandstand.

The attached leaflet gives full details.

The Friends of Scarr Bandstand are actively seeking new members to join the organisation, full details are shown on the attached membership application form.

pdf icon Scarr-Bandstand-Whats-On-Summer-2017.pdf
pdf icon Friends-of-Scarr-Bandstand-Membership-Application-Form-V3.pdf

The weather held!

Some 30 members of the History Society and the Bream Gardening Society enjoyed a day out in the beautiful valley of Woodchester Park, with its Victorian boathouse, five lakes and Jacob sheep – almost like home! The tour of the unfinished mansion was fascinating, with Victorian ladders and carpenters’ tables still sitting there after 140 years or so. And the cake with afternoon tea was excellent!10 June 2017 5 10 June 2017 4 10 June 2017 3 10 June 2017 2 10 June 2017 1 Here are a couple of pictures to give you an idea.

FODLHS Members Win Prestigious Awards at Recent Local History Day

At the recent Local History Day held in London and organised by the British Association for Local History, two leading members of the Forest of Dean Local History Society received awards.

Ron Beard, former Chair of the History Society, received the prestigious ‘BALH Award for Personal Achievement’ for his work over many years in helping the History  Society into the electronic age by producing the Miners Memorial CD, Photos for  New Century CD, and the Laura Morse (WW1) CD.
Ron was and still is actively engaged in Forest mining history research.

Cherry Lewis received the ‘The David Hay Memorial Article Award 2017’, which is the top award for research and publication. Her article was judged the best of all the articles reviewed from over 100 journals received by the BALH. The winning work was ‘David Mushet and his contribution to the “map that changed the world”’, which was published in volume 30 of the History Society journal “The New Regard”. Cherry has continued her research by recentlypublishing “The Enlightened Mr Parkinson” an important and well received book discussing the life and works of James Parkinson, after whom Parkinson’s disease is named.

The photographs show Ron Beard and Cherry Lewis being presented with their awards by Professor Caroline Barron, president of the British Association for Local History.

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A Walk around Parkend Mines with Ron Beard

Many thanks to Ron Beard for his walk and talk around old Parkend mines this afternoon. Sixty members (and 5 dogs) came along and the combination of Ron’s deep knowledge of the topic, the glorious weather and the chance to wander through our beautiful forest, made for a most pleasant afternoon.
Thanks also to Pat Beard as the picture carrier and to Keith Walker for the effective sound system.

A couple of photos –  the second one was taken at our last but one stop, where the views were stunning.

Ron addresses the crowd in the sunshine

Ron addresses the crowd in the sunshine

Stunning views

Stunning views