FOREST OF DEAN RUN
Sunday 19th October 2014
This was our first Forest Of Dean run and only having been to the forest once since we moved down to Gloucestershire and our first run with the club this year it turned out to be a great day.
It was a sunny morning when we set off, we met up with four more Austin’s on the way and we all crossed the old Severn Bridge together. The wind was blowing hard and made our Ruby ‘wander’ a bit! We had faced the wind all the way from home down the A38 so were expecting it.
We met up as planned at the Woolaston picnic site, sixteen cars in all, we were made very welcome and after flasks of coffee and biscuits later we were off. We had returned from eleven days in Brittany two weeks previously so it was good to be on new roads again, on the right side of the road this time. Charlie Miles had organised the run for the club. The forest was beautiful with the autumn colours showing. We arrived at Redbrook at 11.00am parked the cars at the side of the road. Charlie walked us round the village telling us about the industrial history of the site. Closely linked to the river and railway traffic. We walked through a car park towards the river and found the huge cast iron remains of the railway bridge. At his briefing for drivers when we set off Charlie had suggested a day, next year, on the river canoeing, I think this was greeted with enthusiasm? We will see. Hopefully not in the river at Redbrook as it looked muddy and turbulent.
There was lots of interest in the cars from the locals, they did look impressive in a row. I managed to take a photograph of a pubs two chefs coming out waving as we passed by.
This part of the run led us up the valley to Whitebrook passing derelict and still in use buildings left behind by the industry, mostly high quality paper making, some of it used for bank notes. Turning round at the top we drove down and saw the reverse aspect of the tumbling torrent, hence Whitebrook.
The clouds looked threatening at times but it stayed dry until we were having lunch at the Orepool Inn We stayed dry from then on. Though the Inn was busy we were promptly served a very good meal by the attentive staff. Happy Birthday was sung to Ron. Continuing at 3.35pm we drove through the forest over many sweet chestnuts on the road, just like Brittany. Charlie took us to a spot so we could collect some. Some members had children or grandchildren on board they had great fun playing on the fallen logs. The forest had changed over the past few miles with more oak and beech trees. Walking in the arboretum and through the forest, no nuts! The wild bore had got there first! We had seen plenty of damage they had caused on the run especially on the verges in the forest.
After saying our goodbyes we set off for home, in all we covered around eighty eight miles. Thank you Charlie for a smashing, and informative day out.