Forest of Dean tour guides come to the rescue!

When the members of the Rockfield WI in Monmouthshire found out that the speaker for their November meeting had double-booked, they knew exactly where to turn for help.

The contacted the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guides to step in and fill the sudden gap. The guides have experienced, qualified speakers who have traveled as far as Oxfordshire to enlighten and entertain organisations. With an extensive list available, the guides were able to find something to satisfy the local WI group.

The guide who saved the day spoke on “A Tale of Two Rivers”, covering the two rivers surrounding the Forest of Dean — the Severn and the Wye. However, given the group’s proximity to the River Wye, the guide focused mainly on the Severn, and contoured the talk to meet the needs of the local group.

If your group finds yourself in a similar predicament, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Iron and Coal

Plaque commemorating accident in the Pludds Colliery

Members of The Narth Gardening Club experienced something very different from flowers and shrubs when they invited a speaker from the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour guides to deliver a talk on Iron and Coal in the Forest of Dean. The enormous, wide-ranging topic was whittled down to cover some history, some VIP’s, and some hints on interpreting industrial archaeology.

Members of the club broadened their vocabulary with new words such as “scowles”, “leat”, “freeminer”, “gale”, “gaveller” to name a few. They were taken through the centuries, covering the iron age, the Romans, the Plantagenets, the Stuarts who set up the Kings Iron Mines to the disgruntlement of the privileged Freeminers. They heard about the Mushets, father and son, who were so instrumental in the iron industry and the development of steel. They heard about the antics of striking coal-miners during the 1926 General Strike.

They saw photos of important monuments such as the early 17th century Guns Mill blast furnace, Darke Hill Iron Mine, Whitecliffe Furnace, New Fancy geomap; commemorative art works from the Sculpture Trail, from Pan Tod, from the site of the Union Colliery, etc.

The session, followed by tea and homemade cakes — welcome refreshments after an in-depth topic.