A packed event at Clearwell Caves

Over 100 members and guests filled the big cavern at Clearwell Caves last night for Di Standing's talk on Underground Dean which literally took us on a tour of the cave systems beneath our feet, including some most beautiful ones with pools and stalactites, and on ancient and Victorian mine workings, many now flooded. Many thanks to Di and the caving team who helped out and fed us miner' 'bait' of bread and cheese, and to Therese Powell and her helpers for the welcome hot tea and coffee. And of course special thanks to Jonathon Wright of Clearwell Caves for letting us use the big cavern and for the atmospheric candles…

East Dean Grammar School Alumni event 20 and 21 July

The Oak Leaves Association has members from all over the country who once attended East Dean Grammar School. The school had an astonishing record of achievement in its existence and alumni regularly support the association through meetings, talks and a Journal. It is 50 years since EDGS closed its doors and it is remarkable that the Association still has about 300 former pupils and staff that keep in touch. On 20th July (11.00am until 4.00pm) and 21st July (11.00am until 2.30pm) the Association is mounting an exhibition of photographs and information about the old Grammar School at Cinderford Baptist Church, 9 Commercial St, Cinderford GL14 2RP. The public are welcome on both days and old pupils are particularly welcome on Saturday.
Alumni are welcome to bring any pictures or memorabilia to the event.

Wyedean School prize winners

On Wed 4 July, Chair Mary Sullivan presented prizes to the Year 7 and 8 winners of the Society’s sponsored competition to write about an aspect of the history of the Forest of Dean. It was lovely to be with these enthusiastic young people and to share the platform with author Sarah Franklin who talked to the students about her WW2 novel set in the Forest, Shelter.  Sarah was there as part of the Coleford Festival of Words happening in and around the Forest this week.

DSC00826Many thanks to Wyedean and especially Lucy McManus for organising it all, and to the library for hosting the event. We look forward to further collaboration.

Bicknor History Group meeting


The Flooding of

Waterloo Mine

A unique opportunity to hear the
recording of Harry Toomer BEM relating his heroic role in the disaster

Presented by Eric Warden-Heggie


Thursday 12

7.30pm, English
Bicknor Village Hall

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

Claire Scales


BBC Radio Gloucs Programme

​Listen on

 Pete Wilson's Radio Gloucestershire programme

​ as Keith Walker,

 Ron Beard,

​and Deputy Gaveller ​

Dan Howell


 in a programme called 'From Silver Spoon to lead balloon", which was based on the article

​about Blakeney Hill Galena Mine which Keith

 wrote for New Regard No 32.

Visit our website at forestofdeanhistory.org.uk

History events coming up in July….


In Pillowell Woods – FW Harvey 
The concert detailed below launches a new edition of In Pillowell Woods, a volume of Will Harvey’s poems first published by Frank Harris, one of the Society’s founder members, in 1926. Frank was a  Lydney newsagent, avid fan of Will Harvey and wrote the foreword to the book.


The Landmark Trust – Public Open Days Abbey Gatehouse – July 2018
Public Open Days at the historic property Abbey Gatehouse on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July 2018. This will be a chance for the public to see inside this property which has been restored by The Landmark Trust.


A Fortunate Man – films, exhibitions, discussions, tours….22nd – 24th June Soudley and St Briavels

Reading the Forest, a Foresters’ Forest project, is bringing us this packed weekend on the life of Dr Eskell, made famous by John Berger and Jean Mohr’s book, A Fortunate Man. The full programme is shown here and below that is a downloadable version  – lots to do and see and many memories also, not just of the man, but of the Forest at the time.
The weekend is part of the Society’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Everyone welcome – you don’t need to be a member…