The ‘Forester’s Forest’

Over the weekend, members of the Society's committee worked alongside other community and interest groups at the launch of the 'Forester's Forest', at the Magna Carta event on Speech House field.
You may recall that the 'Foresters’ Forest' is a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Programme to raise awareness of what makes the Forest of Dean special in terms of its built, natural and cultural heritage. The launch aimed to make people more aware of the programme and also to offer opportunities to volunteer with some of the many and varied activities which will take place through the various projects currently under development.
There will be a website soon, but in the meantime, go to the facebook link below to learn more. We also plan to have people involved in the project come along to some of our meetings to talk about various aspects, so keep an eye out for that in the Society's website news pages.
Cheryl Mayo
Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society

Dr Nicholas Orme’s talk to the Society at Newland Church June 2015

Dr Orme very kindly gave Averil Kear permission to publish his talk and she has done so on the Church’s website.
The talk was fascinating, focusing on Joan Greyndour as the founder of the Newland School in the 1400s.  Here is the link for those who weren’t present, or for those who were and wish to refresh their memories.
Cheryl Mayo
Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society

A rare opportunity – a service at Lancaut Church

An open air service will  be held on Sunday 13th September at 3pm, at St James’ Church at Lancaut. (NGR SO 536964.) All are welcome to attend this event which is being held to celebrate extensive conservation repairs of the ruin which have just been completed by the Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust.

The Church stands close to the river on the highly scenic Lancaut peninsula and it is thought to have an early Celtic origin. For centuries it was a parish in its own right and owned the rare and spectacular lead font that is now in Gloucester Cathedral. 

Access and parking: Lancaut Lane starts at  (NGR ST 544965), a turn off the B4228 just before the north end of Wintour ‘s  Leap. There is a small amount of parking after 200 yards, and more at the far end of the lane. There are two paths to the Church, but please be aware that both are uneven and steep in places.  The steepest descends from a point about 500yds along the lane, by an information board. The second, more accessible route, is from the end of the lane, diagonally down a field, passing a huge oak. There will likely be signs.

Cheryl Mayo
Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society

History in the making…

A reminder that it’s Bream Gardening Society’s 150th Annual Show this year! So do go along and help them celebrate on Sat’y 15th August from 2 pm, at the Rugby Club in Bream. There will also be the chance to buy Ian Hendy’s book, Unearthed, the history of the Society.
In the evening, there will be further celebrations  – see the poster below for information and where to buy tickets.
Cheryl Mayo
Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society
visit our website

pdf icon BGS-150th-barn-dance-poster.pdf

Our ‘Honeypots of History’ tour

With many thanks to Cecile Hunt and Averil Kear who, as usual, did a thorough job of research and organisation (and found a lovely pub for lunch), to make our coach outing on Saturday 1st August a great success. There will be more detail in the next newsletter, but briefly, our magical mystery tour took us first to Mitcheldean then across to Huntley to see the extraordinary church of St John the Baptist. We then followed the line of the Hereford and Gloucester Canal for a time before finishing with a visit to St Mary's Church in Kempley. A great day. If you have photos you would like to share, (I forgot my camera…)  please send them to, and I will post a selection. Others can appear in the newsletter. Also, please feel free to comment on this post – especially your highlights of the day! Remember that comments are moderated so won’t appear instantly.

Cheryl Mayo
Secretary, Forest of Dean Local History Society
visit our website

The Scarr Bandstand at Milkwall

For over 100 years there has been a bandstand at the Scar,  in the woodland between Milkwall and Sling. The bandstand was originally built  in 1913 by the Milkwall and District Charity Committee.

An annual ‘Hospital  Sunday’ event was held at the bandstand during the summer months. Various bands  would march from different starting points in the Forest to the bandstand.

Local dignitaries would give speeches, the bands would play and money was  collected from the crowds attending. The money was distributed to the local  needy and to local hospitals in Bristol, Gloucester and Monmouth.

The ‘Hospital Sunday’ event ran for many years, attracting  crowds of up to 4000 in its heyday. The introduction fo the National Health  Service in 1948 led to the demise of many ‘Hospital Sunday’ schemes.

 In the 1980s, the Scar bandstand was moved and rebuilt in a  new location lower down the hillside. The photograph below shows the current  bandstand. Unfortunately, little use is now made of it.

 Do you have memories of bands playing at the Scar? Would you  like to see the bandstand in use once again? Please comment by clicking on the  ‘reply’ button above!

Dennis Potter film showing at Lydbrook Memorial Hall on Saturday 18th July

'The British Film Institute is proud to be working with the University of Gloucestershire, and the University of Warwick as well as the Potter in Place initiative to facilitate the screening of "A Beast with Two Backs", a Play so firmly rooted in Potter's home community of the Forest of Dean'  


Exhibition, Talks & Refreshments from 10'30

Theatrical Screening at 2.00pm

Free entry!

pdf icon BBeast-A3-Poster-and-A4-Flyer-Final1.pdf

Ruardean Church & Walk – Change of time on Sunday 12th July to 10’30

Please note the change of time for the walk scheduled for Sunday 12th July, meeting at Ruardean Church. The walk will now start at 10’30 rather than the advertised 14’30. The walk will be led by Simon Moore (FODLHS Chairman) and Cecile Hunt. The walk around Ruardean will include a visit to Ruardean Church.