Our Shared Forest – a strategy for the Forest of Dean for future generations

Over the past several months here in the Dean, the Forestry Commission has been working with various stakeholder groups on a project aimed at setting a new direction for the way in which our Forest is managed. This is an exciting initiative, which has partly arisen from the Heritage funded Foresters' Forest project but is being undertaken by our local Forestry Commission as a separate but very much related initiative.
A draft strategy for consultation is now available and your input is being sought to help shape the next step. The Society's committee will write formally to the Commission to comment on the draft from the history society's perspective, but everyone has this opportunity to have a say in what our Forest will look like and how it will be managed to the benefit of all for generations to come. Please respond!
The draft strategy is attached below
Then this link to complete the survey
This link takes you to the overall FC site about this initiative, for further information.

pdf icon FCE_Our-Shared-Forest_Consultation-Draft_2019v2.pdf

Nicholas Orme on Walter Map’s ‘The Trifles of Courtiers’

 At Westbury on Severn Parish Hall on 22nd March 7.30 pm
Nicholas Orme, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Exeter, will talk about Walter Map, the first known rector of Westbury. Walter Map, born in the early 1130s, was a scholar, a cleric, a member of Henry II’s court, a humorist and and author of ‘The Trifles of Courtiers’, a delightful collection of stories, anecdotes, and personal reminiscences that deserves to be better known.  Professor Orme has also carried out research on the importance of Westbury Church as an early minster.
Tickets are available from Alison Edginton  alisonj.stafford@gmail.com and Alison can supply further information if needed. 
See the attached flyer for full details. 

pdf icon Walter-Map-notice.pdf

Childhood Memories of a Journey through the Soudley Valley by James A Bevan

How much has changed, and how little! In this book, James
Bevan of the Bevan Coaches family takes the reader – by bus of course – on a
memorable journey from his maternal grandparents’ village of Blakeney, up the
Cinderford Road past Brains Green to his own village of Soudley, overlooking
Ayleford and Two Bridges along the way, then on through Ruspidge and finally
into his local town, Cinderford. James’s memories span the early post war years
to about 1960 and every stop is packed with James’s own stories and those of
his parents and grandparents of the families who lived in the houses and ran
the shops, of the annual carnivals, of the churches and youth clubs and the
ways in which people earned their livings in the first half of the twentieth
century. Today, the ‘bus wars’ of the pre-war period are over, there are few
shops, many of the churches and all the chapels have closed, and the days when
a train brought the Soudley school teacher from Newnham are well past. But the
places remain highly and delightfully recognisable. To anybody with any
familiarity with the Soudley Valley, this book is a ‘must read’, but anyone
knowing the Forest will feel instantly at home with it also.

The book will be launched on Saturday Feb 9th (12.00
noon -2.00pm) at the Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley where it will be on sale.
It is also available direct: Tel 01594 842859 or
at James Bevan, Unit 1 Mead Lane Industrial Estate Lydney GL15 5DA.

All profits go to Marie Curie    

Bevan Book cover.jpg

Two events of interest

Information below about English Bicknor history group's next meeting on 17th January, which will be an entertaining talk on Lydney Park Estate followed by their annual festive quiz with mulled wine and stolen.
In addition (unfortunately on the same night), for those with a literary historical bent, see the poster attached for an event at Newnham Library with Doug McLean, former owner of The Forest Bookshop, talking about his various encounters with past literary greats from the Forest of Dean. 
And happy new year!
Cheryl Mayo
Membership Secretary


Lydney Park Estate – Working for 3 Viscounts

humorous history of 40 years working at Lydney Park from Sally James



by our traditional quiz with mulled wine and stolen.


Thursday 17 January 2019

English Bicknor Village Hall

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

Contact: Claire Scales 01594 836191  info@rocklodge.co.uk