The Nightmare Trail

By Davis Adams
Scenes from the Life of Poet and War Casualty: FW Harvey The poet FW Harvey (1886-1957) spent the last thirty years of his life in Yorkley in the Forest of Dean. I was brought up in the Forest of Dean and was always taught that Harvey was our very own war poet and First World War hero who won a medal for “conspicuous gallantry” which included killing a number of German soldiers at close quarters. However this book is about Harvey the man, who was both human and flawed. The book challenges some […]

HOOF New Year’s Message

New Year 2014 message from Rich Daniels, Hands Off Our Forest (HOOF) chairman. THREE years ago, on January 3, 2011, more than 3,000 of us gathered during a blizzard the field at Speech House to send a message to the Government: the Forest of Dean belongs to us, all of us, and we will not allow it to be sold off, disposed or transferred to private hands. Never! Six weeks later, we were told they’d got the message and the Government performed a ‘mea culpa’. “We’re sorry. We got it wrong.” But we […]

The Crimes of Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang”

In the Forest of Dean towards the end of the nineteenth century the ‘Blakeney Outrages’ of the 1890s led to Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang” being accused of acts of poisoning, maiming, stealing, poaching, midnight raids, dynamiting, arson and murder. However, their story cannot be understood without placing their actions in the historical context of the struggle for the customary right to common which in the past involved the use of direct action and political violence. A consideration of […]

Walter Virgo and the Blakeney Gang

The struggle against enclosure in the Forest of Dean in the latter part of the nineteenth century

Walter Virgo and the Blakeney Gang Front
These are some of the headlines which started appearing in the Gloucester Citizen and Western Daily Press in the 1890s. This pamphlet will try and get behind the headlines and reveal what was really going on in the Blakeney area of the Forest of Dean at the time. THE BLAKENEY OUTRAGES “WORSE THAN IRELAND” - THE VICAR ASKS FOR EXCEPTIONAL LAW A REIGN OF TERROR - SPEECH BY MINERS AGENT ASSAULT ON THE POLICE IN BLAKENEY - THE RECENT OUTRAGES MORE LAWLESSNESS AT BLAKENEY - RESIDENTS ARMED ALLEGED […]

ACTION NOW! The Forest of Dean

ACTION NOW!The Forest of Dean is being Enclosed and Sold off! Join us for a 'walk' on Sunday the 3rd of February! Take Notice, Foresters All, that Free Peoples of the Forest, intend to Meet at 12o'clock near the Free Miner Monument in Cinderford Triangle on Sunday next, the 3rd of February instant for the purpose of Opening the Forest, which hath in part of late been enclosed and threatened with Privatisation, Sale, "Land Exchanges" and other forms of political thievery and corruption. We […]

From Bristol with Love

Two good interviews. First one is an interview with Noel in 2011 just after the August Riots. He talks about his involvement in the Hartcliffe Riots, 1981 Riots and football hooliganism. The second is an interview with Dean Forest from the Forest of Dean. He talks about local history, 'Who killed the Bears?', Hands Off Our Forest, Squatting, the Wilderness Centre and much more.

HOOF Say’s: Let’s Have A Party

HANDS Off Our Forest is organising a celebratory party at Speech House, and everyone is invited to let their hair down and cheer the campaign’s victory. Musicians and entertainers, who rallied to the cause of keeping our Forest in public ownership, will be singing songs – many inspired by the great HOOF battle - with a little poetry and comedy also included. It’s hoped that everything from brass to lively acoustic music will help create a party atmosphere. Entry to the HOOF Celebration, on […]

Hands off our forest – saving the Forest of Dean

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Radical History Zone 2011 Poster
We have just seen a massive U turn by this government as a result of huge ground swell of public opinion against the proposed sell off of the Forestry Commission Estate. In the autumn of 2010, the campaign kicked off in the Forest of Dean with a huge public meeting in Cinderford which was attended by over 500 people and a rally in Speech House attended by 3000 people. Tory MP Mark Harper was invited to speak at both these events to present his case, but refused. A number of organisations have […]

A Picnic In The Forest

The Forest Of Dean - Meet at Hopewell Colliery, Speech House Rd., Coleford. Come with us on a Bank Holiday day trip to the historic Forest of Dean. Ian Wright, who was brought up the forest, will talk about the life and times of the Warren James. In the early 19th century James became a spokesman for the foresters in their struggle to protect their traditional way of life from the imposition of enclosures and industrial capitalism. The forest riots of 1831 led to Warren's arrest and […]

In Contempt of All Authority

Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660

By Buchanan Sharp
In Contempt of All Authority: Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660
Two of the most common types of popular disorders in late Tudor and early Stuart England were the food riots and the anti-enclosure riots in royal forests. Of particular interest are the forest riots known collectively as the Western Rising of 1626-1632, and the lesser known disorders in the Western forests which took place during the English Civil War. The central aims of this volume are to establish the social status of the people who engaged in those riots and to determine the social and […]