Performance Space: Story Telling: ‘The Dispossessed’

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
  As part of her collection of historically-based narratives which provoke questions about society today, Heather Jane will present a story set in her homeland of Gloucestershire. 'The Dispossessed' is a tale weaving poaching, 18th century criminality, and dispossession of people from the land in Berkeley and the Forest of Dean; followed by historical facts and discussion pondering the modern-day fall out of enclosures.

Studio 1: Starting the flame: Agitators, Conchies and Miners in the Forest of Dean

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
In August 1917 a meeting of Forest of Dean Miners passed motions against the conscription of miners and in favour of an immediate negotiated peace to end the war. This talk will discuss the role agitators and conscientious objectors played in this process and what happened next. Ian Wright recently authored Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old: The Forest of Dean World War One Conscientious Objectors.

Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old

The Forest of Dean World War One Conscientious Objectors

Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old - Front Covers
During World War One, 28 men from the Forest of Dean sought recognition as conscientious objectors rather than be called up to fight. This is the story of these men, the options available to them, the way they responded and what they did after the war. Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old explores the role that religion, class, culture and place had on these individual decisions. It argues that the actions of the conscientious objectors were an expression of a much wider anti-war sentiment, […]

Studio 2: 800 Years and Counting

The 1217 Charter of the Forests in the Forest of Dean and its Enduring Legacy

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - royal larder or people's larder? The Charter of the Forests, a lesser-known but wider-ranging companion to the Magna Carta, confirmed any "freemen" or commoners could help themselves to many of the resources of forests across England. Within 500 years, those subsisting in the woods were declared illegal squatters as aristocrats and the Crown tried to fence them out and grab all the iron ore, coal, timber and land. Successive waves of tenacious, described […]

Freedoms of the Forest

800 Years and counting: celebrating the Forest Charter 1217

Hopewell Colliery, Speech House Rd, Coleford, Forest of Dean GL16 7EL An afternoon celebrating 800 years (and counting) of the 1217 Forest Charter, and how Foresters have defended those rights ever since. Stalls, Berry Hill Silver Band, theatre, live music, Vorrest poetry, Warren James, HOOF, and much, much more! Book a car ticket here

Davis Day

From the Forest of Dean to Canadian labour history

When Thomas Davis and his wife Annis and their family from Pillowell in the Forest of Dean decided to emigrate to Canada in 1890 they could not have known that their choice would have tragic consequences or that their personal tragedy would be remembered in Canada to this day. One of their boys, Thomas, would be killed in one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian mining history and another, William, would be shot dead by the police in one of the most violent strikes in Canadian labour […]

Hopewell Colliery

Hopewell Coliery
Some of you might remember Rich Daniels and Robin Morgan, the Free Miners who led the tour of Hopewell Colliery on our Warren James day in the Forest of Dean several years ago. Robin started work at the age of fourteen and remembers being lowered down a pit shaft in a bucket on his first day of work. Now nearly eighty years old he has decided to retire! Rich has now taken over the lease of Hopewell Colliery. Rich is planning to develop the mine as a museum and heritage centre and is keen to […]

Hoof Hustings

This film is to be premièred on a big screen at Our Forest My Vote (The Hoof Husting) at Forest Theatre, Five Acres college, at 6.30pm on Wed April 22. It will be followed by a Question Time-style debate with the audience, HOOF and parliamentary candidates, asking what will they do to protect our Forest of Dean? Entry: voluntary donation (suggested £1). hoofelection2015.wordpress.com/. Film set to music from Dick Brice, Max, Forest of Dean Brass, Asha Faria-Vare, Billy Bragg & Heathens All, […]

FoD Torchlit Procession

Light up the forest with luminous clothes, armbands, banners and homemade lanterns… Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire Wednesday November 5th 2014 5.30pm - 7.00pm Well behaved dogs welcome Wheelchair and pushchair-friendly No fireworks, bonfires or Chinese/Sky lanterns - we want to protect our forest! Wednesday November 5 - Clause 21 of the Infrastructure Bill (and HOOF’s amendment will be debated - and voted on) in the House of Lords. More at

Coal On One Hand, Men On The Other

The Forest of Dean Miners’ Association and the First World War 1910 - 1922

Coal on One Hand Men on the Other Front Cover
Coal on the one hand, Men on the other examines the impact of World War One on the development of the Forest of Dean Miners’ Association (FDMA), covering the period from 1910 to 1922. In order to understand the response of the leaders of the FDMA to the outbreak of war, this account identifies debates and conflicts within the union in the pre-war years. It also considers the influence that political philosophies and events in South Wales had in the Forest of Dean as a result of migration between […]

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