Commemoration of 1949 Waterloo mine flooding

One of our members, Steven Carter, is holding an exhibition on Sunday June 30th, exactly seventy years to the day after the 1949 Waterloo Flooding. Steven’s grandfather was involved in the Flooding (nearly the Forest’s biggest mining disaster) and he has been collecting photos and information for about seven years.

Remembering the Waterloo Colliery
(aka the Arthur and Edward, Upper Lydbrook)
Sunday 30th June 2019

at Hopewell Colliery – a free exhibition of old photographs and maps of the Waterloo Colliery, one the Forest’s deep mines. The photographs show the colliery buildings, the Waterloo Creeper, workers, scenes from the 1949 rescue, some underground maps and a detailed site plan.

Drop by at any time from 10.30 am until 4.00 pm. Memories or old photos especially welcome.

Entrance to the exhibition is free. Refreshments available at the Hopewell Café.

For directions and amenities, see Hopewell’s website:

The sun came out for Westbury

The timing was perfect for our visit to Westbury Gardens this afternoon and a guided tour by Jerry Green, Head Gardener (and only paid member of staff) who shared his eighteen years' experience and passion for the garden with us. Many thanks to our Meetings Secretaries, Caroline Prosser and Liz Rudge for organising this. Interestingly, Dyrham Park came up – apparently the gardens are of similar vintage… how's that for planning? And did you know you can have tea and homemade cake in Westbury church over the summer months? Most pleasant.
Here's a mini-album for those who missed the reality.

Scarr Bandstand Roof

Currently  the largest project at Scarr Bandstand is the reinstatement of the roof, which was burnt down during the 1980s. Friends of Scarr Bandstand secretary Alison Collison explains; “This is complex; we need engineering drawings of the new roof before seeking planning permission. This will be undertaken by architects and engineering specialists. We have applied for a grant to cover these costs from Calor Gas Community Fund.  We only get the grant, however, if we get enough votes from the public for our project.  So please vote for ‘RAISING THE ROOF, SCARR BANDSTAND’ by going to   and clicking on ‘register to vote’.  You get 10 votes…please give them all to the Scarr Bandstand, your local, historic and precious brass band venue!”  

Dr Mark Lewis and Roman Chepstow

Chepstow Archaeological Society is hosting a talk by Dr Mark Lewis at the Drill Hall Chepstow on Thursday 20th June 2019.  Dr Lewis is Curator of the National Roman Legionary Museum in Caerleon and has a new talk based on' Roman' Chepstow and the surrounding landscape and seascape. He last spoke to the History Society in September 2017, and is a most interesting speaker. Details in the poster attached.

pdf icon Mark-Lewis-Talk-Poster.pdf

Ships and bears ….

An excellent talk Friday night to a full Blakeney hall by Phil Cox about the Newport medieval ship. Phil tells us all the documentation – an awful lot – is on this site if you wish to dig deeper.
And then yesterday at Ruardean we commemorated 130 years of the bears courtesy of Reading the Forest, where Roger Deeks (also LHS vice chair) gave a fascinating talk about how the incident would likely have melted into history were it not politically expedient for certain parties to make use of it for their own ends. There was also a panel discussion hosted by BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Kate Clark with Andrew Gardiner of Ruardean, Nicola Wynn of Dean Heritage Centre, Roger Deeks and Jason Griffith of Reading the Forest (and the main mover behind the day). More about Reading the Forest here
Ruardean April 2019.jpg

Commemorating the bears: Sat 27 April Ruardean

On 26 April 1889, an infamous incident took place near Ruardean which has evolved into the question: Who killed the bears? A question which can arouse heated debate between Cinderford and Ruardean residents to this day.

130 years on, Reading the Forest (a project within the Foresters’ Forest programme) is hosting an event at Ruardean Memorial Hall, High Street Ruardean GL17 9US on Saturday 27 April to look at how the story has been represented in literature, drama and film over the years. Free admission. Afternoon teas available.

Gloucestershire Family History 40th anniversary celebration

This year The Gloucestershire Family History Society celebrates its 40th anniversary and also its 20th anniversary of having a Family History Centre. Having moved into the (almost complete) Heritage Hub building GFHS now has some excellent new facilities for research.

GFHS will be holding an Open Day on Sunday 28th April (10.00 – 15.00) to celebrate these milestones. The attached flier gives an overview of the events for the day. All are welcome. Entry is free.


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