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Steve & Sue’s Run May 25th 2010

After record temperatures for May over the past weekend, it was a relief to have a fine cool evening for our run, ably assisted by Simon, whose partner Lyn had developed the route some weeks ago.(Lyn is a fraud officer for the Forest of Dean District Council and knows all of the back roads throughout the Forest) We were delighted to have 16 cars and some 36 members and friends, plus my BGT, turn up at Soudley Ponds without mishap, although a certain Birmimgham based correspondent failed to locate the one and only Fish & Chip shop in Littledean first time round! It was also good to have some new and Forest based members with us for the evening, so from the organising team, a very big thank you for all turning up. It makes all the hard work worthwhile!



The run was circa 40 miles in length with an option to add a further 3+ miles to run into Tintern and back. First cars away at 6.25pm were the intrepid teams of Pete Veilvoy and Derek Newman with four friends aboard the two cars. Now we’d timed this run to take around 1 hr 45 mins and indeed 98% of the starters achieved this and better, so a time of 3hrs 30mins could only suggest that, Pete & Derek’s crew did indeed sample a fine selection of refreshment houses along the route!


From Soudley Ponds the route sped through the ‘Bluebell woods’ from Soudley to Mallards Pike via ‘Boys Grave’ and then headed towards Parkend. After crossing the Dean Forest railway and passing the CSMA site, the route headed towards Bream and St Briavels. Having taken a left turn by “Sally’s Florists” it was downhill towards Pastors Hill and Brockhollands, eventually bringing the route back towards Bream again, before taking several single track roads to St Briavels. Then passing the ‘The George Pub’ with the castle behind, the route sped downhill once more, with a nice hairpin bend to negotiate, towards the river Wye at Bigsweir. No sooner did the route cross into Wales then it was back to good old ‘Blighty’ via the Brockweir bridge, unless you chose to run the extra 3 miles into Tintern and back. It was a long haul uphill along a single track road to reach Milkwall and Coalway before heading back towards Parkend. Then via Cannop Ponds and Speech House the route wound it’s way uphill avoiding Cinderford to drop down into Littledean to finish at ‘The Belfry’.

With ample parking and excited youngsters viewing our cars, we retired to the Restaurant that had been set aside for us by Shane Grindle and his team. There were 22 of us who sat down to eagerly awaited meals and we weren’t disappointed by quality, quantity or cost of good food, beer and fine company. As everyone made their departures for all points across the county the final duo of cars arrived at around 10.00pm. I’m reliably told by our Birmingham correspondent, who was staying at ‘The Belfry’, that there were still members at the bar gone 11.00pm!

Thank you for all the kind comments about the route and arrangements. I’ve already persuaded David and Janet that it’s their turn to organise the 2011 Forest evening run.

Steve, Sue, Simon & Lyn


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