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MGs in the Forest
Sunday 28th July

Well there were at least 9 MGs in the forest last Sunday and as the sun shone we all met for morning coffee in the garden of The Hostelrie Hotel in the delightful village of Goodrich. As most of us had travelled some way to the start of the run, it was nice to meet and chat together before setting off.  Hopefully this will be an innovation that the club will see fit to sponsor in future events.


 

The tulip route was planned to provide a broad variety of forest terrain and include viewing points and places of interest where ever possible. At one point you were asked to clench your bum and go for it as the narrow Folly Lane sprouted a broad green central ridge and had no passing points for at least half a mile. There were also a few steep hills, none better than Vention Lane Hill that wound steeply uphill past The Royal Spring Inn an unspoilt hidden forest gem that is surely worth a return visit one day. You then continued on over The Pludds often seen on sign posts but seldom visited. Faster B roads took us through the heart of the Forest passing sites of ancient coalmines and ponds created by the bygone industry. As well as passing through the ancient town of Coleford the route past through some scenic forest villages, Newland, Clearwell and Parkend the northern terminal for the Dean Forest Steam Railway. On the planning trip I was lucky enough to have the steam engine pass in front as I waited at the level crossing. The route then dropped down into Blakeney and on up through Soudley to the Heritage Centre. This brought back memories of living in Blakeney in the sixties and driving to work in my first MG through the scenic Soudley Vally to Cinderford.   


The Heritage Centre was alive with families all enjoying the sunny weather and abundant attractions. The kids were all on the lookout for the Gruffalo who was due to make an appearance, many thought he had arrived when Adrian turned up but they had to be turned away in disappointment. When Derrick and I arrived the café had been taken over and the central large table was filled with MG owners tucking into huge Sunday lunches. After our meagre cup of tea we decided to check out the museum and enjoyed a very informative hour. The preserved, recreated foresters cottage brought back memories of our childhoods with all the fifties memorabilia. The long galvanised bath, metal framed beds, the kitchen range and early washing kit. The whole Forest was brought to life with all sorts of displays you could even smell the different Forest odours, from wood smoke to wild boar! Bit niffy.


“MGs in the Forest” worked well, the route and locations were highly acclaimed, we even found new territory for our members who reside in the Forest. So I think all returned home satisfied.  

 

 

 

 

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