Welcome to the Forest of Dean Local History Society website
The Society was founded in 1948 and has since grown to over 300 members. It is one of the two largest and oldest societies in the County. In 2018 we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Society, and we are planning a bumper year of activities.
Our members enjoy a regular programme of talks and historical walks as well as outings both within the Forest and further afield, with one or two events happening every month of the year. Members also receive a quarterly hard copy newsletter with short historical articles as well as news of the Society. Our newsletter won an award from the British Association for Local History in 2016 as the best newsletter in the country. We also regularly email members who have requested it with information about activities by neighbouring societies and county-wide groups.
Our annual journal, The New Regard, is highly thought of and we are proud of the fact that over the years four contributors have been short listed for the British Association for Local History award for a published article with two outright winners.
Conservation is a big part of the society. One of the society’s key objectives is to promote, encourage and further the preservation of artefacts, archaeological and historical sites, and archives. The society has developed, and maintains a Sites and Monuments Database, available to members, which includes records of more than 120 sites and monuments, 20 associated people, 250 photographs and 450 bibliographic references.
Many of our members are active researchers and we offer help to those who would like to do their own research but are unsure where to get started. The website also provides links to many useful resources. Group projects form an important part of our activities, such as the work currently being done on the impact of WW1 on the Forest community. We will also be looking at all aspects of the Forest as they were in 1948.
Over the years the Society has undertaken a number of historically based projects in the Forest. One project arose as a result of many years of research by a member into fatal accidents in Forest of Dean coalmines and quarries. This culminated in 2005 with the erection of the Miners’ Memorial sculpture, with kind permission of the Forestry Commission, at the New Fancy Colliery site. Adjacent to the Miners' Memorial is the Geomap. This innovative project involved the creation of a Geology Map made of the actual stone that the Forest sits on. The Geomap was awarded the 11th ENI Geological Challenge award for 2008.
A CD containing details of the fatal accidents, mines and mine owners was produced plus three walks leaflets; four leather bound Roll of Honour books, recording all the fatalities, were produced and presented to local libraries. We have now added Dave Tuffley's 'Miners Glossary of Terms' to our heritage section, where it is available as a free download.
Non-members are always welcome to our indoor talks, but to get the most out of the Society we do encourage you to become a member. Details of how to join us can be found here.