Heritage Open Days 2019

Coleford Area Partnership have reminded us that the next Heritage Open Day programme runs from the 13th to the 22nd September in the Forest of Dean.


This is the 25th year of Heritage Open Days and this year there will be 49 events.


The full programme can be found on the national Heritage Open
Days website under Forest of Dean District:




There is also a Facebook page:




Especially note the talk at 2.00pm on Friday 20th September at the Main Place, Coleford on “Protest and free-mining in the 17thCentury” which is being delivered by Simon Sandall of Winchester University.


Also you can view fantastic video footage recorded by John Belcher of the late Robin Morgan at work underground at Hopewell Colliery. This will take place on Tuesday 17th September at 11.00am – also at The
Main Place. 

Two events coming up and also link to the Glos History Festival

Never Better, historical performance Gloucester  – part of Gloucester History Festival 
From email forwarded by GLHA:
Never Better is a hauntingly beautiful, immersive 'walkabout' performance, inside Blackfriars Priory. As you move through the building, transformed into the 'lunatic asylums' of 150 years ago, you'll be taken on a journey inspired by the history of Gloucestershire’s mental health. The performance tells real life stories, combining theatre, dance, live music, a choir, medicinal beer, and even a flock of chickens. 
The show takes place on the 7th and 8th September 2019 at Blackfriars Priory, GL1 2HN.
There are three performances each day; 1pm, 4pm and 7.30pm.
Performances are free, but you must reserve tickets.
For further information and to book your tickets please use the following link – https://neverbetter.site/

English Bicknor Local History Group
'John Kyrle, Man of Ross' with John Hurley 
Thurs 12 Sept, 7.30 pm English Bicknor Village Hall
Entry £2.50, free EBLHG members – join on the door
Tel Clare Scales for queries 01594 836191

Visit our website at forestofdeanhistory.org.uk

Archaeology Talk about Ruardean Castle Community Dig – Thurs 29th Aug 6pm

Robin Jackson will be delivering a talk about the community dig at Ruardean Castle in Ruardean Village Hall on Thurs 29th Aug at 6pm .
The next community dig at the Ruardean Hill site will start in Sept and the Open Day for that is on Sun 22nd Sept, when there will be guided tours. Visit Foresters Forest for updates.

Harry Beddington

As per the earlier post, Harry Beddington’s one act farce was performed at Jolter’s Press yesterday as the finale to the Mitcheldean Poetry Festival. As it did in Cinderford in 1948, it made the packed audience laugh out loud. If you missed it, it will be repeated in Bream later in the year by the Oh Crumbs team – come back to this post nearer the time.

Bream Heritage Walk

Yesterday was a perfect day for a walk in the woods around Bream and some 20 of our members (and three dogs) made the most of this, guided by the extremely knowledgeable Geoff Davis. We didn’t do the whole walk (some 6 miles) but rambled for about 2 miles looking at old mine workings and some very large and interesting holes in the ground.

One thing Geoff mentioned was that he’s pretty sure the white cottage you can see in the picture below is the one referred to by John Bellows in his original 1880 A Week’s Holiday in the Forest of Dean. For those of you who haven’t read this charming and often amusing book, you can buy the replica edition with an Introduction by Vice President Ian Standing on Amazon.

Harry Beddington Sun 21 July – from Reading the Forest

In 1938 F.W. Harvey made a pioneering broadcast at the BBC in Whiteladies Road, introducing the Forest dialect. The slightly pompous BBC, tethered to public schools and received pronunciation (PR) were shaken to hear the voices of ordinary people on the airwaves. The Forest dialect has been a thing of fascination ever since.

75 years ago, Harry Beddington, proud of the dialect tradition and friend of F.W. Harvey, wrote about a character called Jolter using dialect. He also wrote several plays, one of which was awarded a prize at the very early Gloucestershire Festival of Music and Drama.

An ensemble cast of Darren Hoskins, Andy Scarf, Louise Bullen and Lynn Teague will be assembling at Jolter Press, The Mews, Mitcheldean at 6.00pm on Sunday 21st July, to perform a revival of 'Footing the Bill' Harry's one act farce. It is free of charge and a BBC film crew (camera & producer) will be coming along to film for the final scenes of an Inside Out West TV feature on Harry & dialect due for broadcast in the autumn.

Darren, Andy, Louise and Lynn need a good audience to make this a successful production and you don't have to speak in dialect to get what this play is all about. Please support the play and share this opportunity with friends.

(Thanks to Andrew Maliphant and Colleagues from the Mitcheldean Festival for supporting this event)