Yorkley Star Cricket Club – help keep the history going

Most local people will be aware that Yorkley Cricket Club's future is under threat because of extensive and recurring boar damage on Cut and Fry Green.
The Club has been in existence since the 1880s and matches were played throughout both world wars.
To save the grand tradition of this historic club, it has been decided that a fence will be built to protect the green, after which the damage can be repaired. The total cost is estimated at around £15,000.

West Dean Parish Council started the funding with a cheque for £2,000 and now the Club has been
awarded funds from the highly competitive Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help Initiative’.

In order to determine the amount given by Tesco, the community is asked to vote for the project.

So, this is where you come in!

Please visit your local Tesco (Lydney or Coleford, although I believe any Tesco can take your vote) and cast a vote for the Club during the period 27th Feb to 6th March.

Could you also please print off the poster attached and put it anywhere you can think of – your car, your window, a willing shop etc.

And if you use Facebook or other social media, the attached document can be used to explain what is happening and ask others to help also.

Thank you for all your efforts! We'll post the outcome on this blog when all is decided.

doc icon Yorkley-Star-CC-Poster-for-voting.doc

Built Heritage Project – your chance to have a say…

At the Society's indoor meeting on 16 Jan, Justin Hughes introduced us to the 'Built Heritage' project, part of the Foresters' Forest Heritage Landscape Programme.
The aim of 'Built Heritage' is to produce a photographic record of historic features that are important to the people who live in, and visit, the Forest of Dean.
The Programme is therefore asking residents of, and visitors to, the Forest of Dean to take photographs of any historic features (buildings, ruins etc) which are special to, or known to them. These could be industrial structures, forest lodges, houses, or just the remains of unusual historic buildings or structures in the forest that you happen to value or be fascinated by.
After receiving all the photos – the deadline is 4 March 2016 – the project will
assess the sites people have photographed to create a list of works in priority order.
The full details and accompanying form can be found below. Any questions should be directed to the Programme at

pdf icon Built-Heritage-Method-sheet-and-record-Final.pdf

Next indoor meeting Sat’y 13 Feb: The Tradition, Culture and Persistence of Brass Bands in the Forest of Dean.

The Society's next indoor meeting will take place this coming Saturday 13 February at the West Dean Centre, Bream, commencing at 3 pm.
Roger Deeks, a member of the Society,  will speak on the topic:
The Tradition, Culture and Persistence of Brass Bands in the Forest of Dean.
More details about the talk can be found on our events page, just follow this link

Forest of Dean Scowles on Radio 4

A BBC Radio4 programme on the Forest of Dean Scowles was aired last Thursday at 3 pm. To listen, just follow this link  (may be time sensitive)

Scowles in the Forest of Dean

Helen Mark is in the Forest of Dean in search of mysterious geological formations known as ‘scowles’.

These semi-natural features in the landscape are thought to be unique to the Forest of Dean but are plentiful in this area. They are crater-like features in the woodland that have been eroded over time by water-action and exploited by miners through the centuries for their bounty: iron-ore, coal, and ochre have all been found in abundance in the Forest of Dean.

Helen descends into the mysterious, mossy world of the scowles and comes face to face with one of it’s inhabitants: a large cave spider and looks for the greater and lesser horseshoe bats. These two species thrive in the craters and caverns of the the Forest.

Tales of mining and the blast furnaces that smelted the iron-ore lead Helen across the Forest before she finds herself on a film set.

The visually stunning nature of the scowles have led to television and movie crews visiting the area to film in this mysterious, other-worldly landscape. They have become the backdrop to some memorable moments in the TV series Merlin and Dr Who and most famously in the recent Star Wars film, The Force Awakens that was filmed in a part of the Forest called Puzzlewood.

Presenter: Helen Mark
Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

LIDAR in the Forest of Dean

The Society's members and a large number of visitors enjoyed a talk by Justin Hughes, of Worcester Archaeology, on the use of LIDAR to detect previously unknown possible archaeological features in our landscape. The work, originally carried out by Gloucestershire County Council's John Hoyle and his team, is being revisited as part of the Heritage Landscape Partnership Programme, and a number of the Society's members are involved in field and recording activities.
Justin's presentation is attached here (please respect any copyright), together with a link to a site where you can explore old ordnance survey maps, some of which Justin showed us in his presentation.
Ordnance Survey Maps Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952 – National Library of Scotland

pdf icon Unearthing-our-history-Forest-of-Dean-History-Society-2015-01-16-web.pdf

Bicknor History Group post-Christmas event

Get over the January blues with English Bicknor History Group's  post-Christmas
get together.



 Medieval Festivities

Period music and
conversation, then quiz with mulled wine and

and Gillian Guest

 Thursday 21 January 2016, 7.30pm,
English Bicknor Village Hall

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

Contact: Claire

Eric Warden-Heggie


An opportunity to help out in the Archives

Below is an email we received from Gloucestershire Archives, looking for volunteers to help out for a few days in January and February.
If you're interested, please contact Anna direct –  details below:
Dear All
We are going to start work on some of our old sites again at our stores behind Gloucestershire Archives on Alvin Street and need your help.
Jon Hoyle is looking for 6 volunteers each day on Wednesday 27th January, Thursday 11th February and Thursday 25th February 2016.
You will get the opportunity to handle the finds from various digs and help to get them ready for archiving at the museums in the county.
If you’re available to help can you let me know please and I can book you in? Both days will begin at 9:30am and end by about 3:30pm. As always if you can’t make all day that doesn’t matter as long as you let me know what times you will be able to do.
If you need a car parking space please can you let me know so that we can let the Archives know numbers?
Bring your own lunch but tea, coffee, biscuits, lightning wit and ready repartee will be provided as per usual!
Kind regards,
Anna Morris
Archaeology Service
Shire Hall
Tel. 01452 426245

Our Inquiries Blog is now live!

Members and the general public have always been able to contact our indefatigable Research Inquiries Officer, Averil Kear, via the website's Contact page and Averil has then responded individually.
Our new Inquiries Blog means that Averil can post – as appropriate – the questions she receives and her replies onto this website, so that everybody can learn, and, as importantly, contribute to the answers. 
So please make use of this great new resource which enables us to tap into the collective knowledge of the Society's members and the wider public.