‘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 roger.nedstop@btinternet.com  or calling 01594 517053.

Visit our website at forestofdeanhistory.org.uk

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.

Ruspidge Local History Event 1-2 October 2016

The last time the local historians of Ruspidge put on such an event, it was a great success, so they’re doing it again.

All the details are in the poster attached.
In particular, if you have anything relevant you can loan or bring along at the time, the
organisers would love to hear from you. Telephone Heather on 01594 822 678 if you can help.

pdf icon Ruspidge-History-Event.pdf

Aspects of Wood – August coach outing

Months in the researching and a couple of trial runs later the annual society coach outing was a great success on Saturday 20th August.
Although during the week leading up to it the sun had shone and it had been very warm the weather did a complete change around for the day with intermittent rain showers and wind (not the 40 mile winds that had been forecast – thank goodness) but this added to the mystery of the the day (will it or won't it rain when getting off the bus); as normal, until we arrive at a stop nobody really know where they will be exactly going or visiting or what they will learn – only hint as to what the theme the trip will follow is the title given to it.
As normal several stops & walks; a visit to Newland village & church; Charles II oaks, enclosures, lodges, wood management, WWII shadow factory, hedges, tanneries galore and much much more.
There was a stop for tea in the morning at the up and coming Swan Tearooms in Aylvington (due to open to the public end of September) and, while it poured with rain, lunch at Whitemead park – members enjoy their different stops for tea and lunch every year.
Looking forward to next years trip – already in the planning!
Cecile & Averil
Trip organisers 

The New Fancy commemorative plaque is in place

The plaque is now attached to the stone marking the site of Shaft No 2 at New Fancy Colliery site, thanks to two hours hard work by Daniel Roberts and Lee Truman of local stone masons, M E Damsells.  Plaque in place 12 Aug 2016

So we’re now ready for our ceremony on Sat 10th Sept.  Parkend Silver Band will open for us, at 10.45 am, with the actual dedication taking place at 11.15. More of the band from 11.30 to midday, and we will also have Society members available until 4 pm at the GeoMap, the Miners Memorial and the viewing point, as well as the stone itself, to explain what all these sites are about.

Do come and see us!