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


The Society’s brave climbers and their reward

Yesterday, members of the Society visited Newland Church to hear about the HLF funded refurbishment of the tower which is now nearing completion and – for those who wished to do so – to climb the scaffolding to see the work close up.
The talk by Lisa Edwards, the contractor whose firm is doing the work, was fascinating. Her enthusiasm and knowledge was obvious, and members had many questions. I'm sure most people have no idea of the complexity of these projects, with different stones being sourced from quarries around the country – in cases where our own local quarries are no longer operating – the technicalities of mortars and the delicacy of the work to both repair and conserve the stonework. And all of this being done a long way up in the air, in all weathers.
Our very sincere thanks to Lisa, and also to Laura Stevens who organised the morning for us and the tea and coffee and excellent biscuits. A very worthwhile event.
Here's a small selection of some of the photos with people you may recognise.
And the view – wow!
If you have other photos from the day you would like to share, please post them here – I'm sure everyone will love to see them.

Success for the Society at the GLHA Local History Day!

Our Society had a very successful day on Saturday at this county event, sponsored by the Gloucestershire Local History Association of which we are a member.

Congratulations to Keith Walker on being the 2016 Jerrard Award runner up for his article in the 2016 New Regard – second only to Nick Herbert who has been a professional historian and writer all his career. Congratulations to Nick too (who will be our November speaker).

Additionally, for the first time, we won the best display award. This means our display will be the first one featured at the new Gloucestershire Archives Hub when it reopens .

We will also show the display to members and visitors at our indoor meeting ​in Bream next month.

And of course, the day will be featured in our next members’ newsletter.

Well done to everyone involved!


Treasurer, Cecile Hunt with Secretary, Chris Sullivan and Vice Chair, Mary Sullivan by the winning display.

Keith Walker receives the runner up prize from Bryan Jerrard.

Mary is congratulated by GLHA Chairman, Steve Blake