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.
Glyn Ford, a member of the Society since 2014, is Director of the NGO Track2Asia, an elected Constituency Representative on Labour’s National Policy Forum and a member of the Labour Party’s International Committee. He is regarded as one of the top European experts on the Korean Peninsula, with 50 visits under his belt. Glyn has recently published a new book entitled Talking to North Korea Ending the Nuclear Standoff.
Read more about Glyn’s book in the poster attached. Ford Flyer
This new book by local historian and author Joyce Moss looks at the impact of the Reformation in this Gloucestershire Deanery. Available from Lightmoor Press, follow this link.
Joyce will talk to the history society on this topic at our next meeting, Sat 19th January, 3 pm at the West Dean Centre Bream. More details here. All welcome, non-members £2.
Well, that was fun! Thanks to the efforts of many people, the Society ended its 70th birthday year with a 1948-style Christmas, including handmade decorations, an exhibition of period toys, some beautiful Christmas lights and tree decorations and a ration-based afternoon tea. Apparently, some of these morsels were considered tasty enough for the recipes to be asked for, so here they are (click on the Festive ration recipes link below), together with some photos of the exhibits.
Members gave generously to the Forest food bank in memory of rationing and post war food parcels.
The Society’s last meeting of the year goes back to Christmas 1948, as the last in our series of 70th birthday celebrations. Exhibits of toys and decorations, a tree, display and reminisces … all welcome £2 non-members.
To commemorate the days of rationing, and in memory of WW2 CARE packages and food parcels from the colonies generally, we are asking for non-perishable festive fare to go under the tree, which will be donated to a local food bank. Be generous as others were to the British!