Reasons to visit the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean this week

Frankenstein Fest

Marking the anniversary of a remarkable night 200 years ago, June 16 2016 when the spark was ignited that created one of the most iconic horror stories of them all…

With the celebrations of Chepstow’s Wye Bridge opening in July 1816, came the idea of marking other events that made 1816 significant.

It was known as the ‘Year without a Summer’ because of the dreadful weather conditions in Northern Europe that resulted from a massive volcanic eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia the year before.  Percy Shelley, the 18 year old Mary Godwin (not yet Shelley) met up with Lord Byron, in the impressive Villa Diodati. The weather confined them to the house, and long nights were spent talking late, reading poetry and telling ghost stories…

In a mini Frankenstein Fest organised by Chepstow Museum, there’s a chance to discover much more about the poets and their party.adminupload_5755b5248cd48frankenstein

16th June

Two BBC Dramatised Documentaries made 10 years apart, “Frankenstein, Birth of a Monster” and “Frankenstein & The Vampyre – A Dark & Stormy Night” an Oxford Scientific Film for BBC, look at the events, the people and the story of Frankenstein, but with surprisingly different outcomes. Free admission

Friday 17th

Frankenstein film double bill – the 1931 classic and Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 film “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”

20th June

Iwan Morus, Professor of History at Aberystwyth University, introduces some of the ideas and individuals behind the science that made Frankenstein real to its first readers, in ‘Will the Real Victor Frankenstein please stand up?’

June 21st

Learn about Mary Shelley and her extraordinary and eventful life. Daughter of unconventional and radical parents, Mary’s life and work will be examined by Professor Fiona Sampson, whose new biography of Mary Shelley will be published in 2017.

Tickets available from Chepstow Museum tel 01291 625981

Madness tribute
“BADNESS” formed in 1994 and quickly became one of the top Madness tribute bands & Ska / 2Tone revival bands in the country. Within six months the band were selling out various venues across the U.K.adminupload_56f7c43a7bef5badness

With tours of Israel, Germany and Spain under their belts, and having played every town & city in the U.K. (well almost!) “BADNESS” have built up a cult following and regularly sell out venues across the country. Re-live the “Dance Crazy” days of the late 70’s & early 80’s with the No.1 SKA revival band in the U.K. But be prepared to “Enjoy yourself” ~ It’ll be a Hot & Sweaty one!

17th June

£20 per adult including a two course dinner. This is an over 18’s seated event
For more information call 01594 560 400

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Rain or Shine Theatre Company bring you Shakespeare’s most famous magical and hilarious comedy…adminupload_5724e75c8e81cdream3
With well-loved characters such as Bottom and Puck in tow, join us for a rip-roaring, fast-paced jaunt through Shakespeare’s best loved comedy this out-door season.

Filled with magic and mischief, inspired by warm nights, young love and the Elizabethan Carnival, this is as show sure to delight!

Friday 17th June 2016 at 6.00pm

Babington Meadow is immediately south of Capel Pentwyn in Penallt. Postcode NP25 4SE.
Tickets £12 Adult, £10 Concession, £7 U-16, £25 Family ticket
Rewilding Britain

George Monbiot: Rewilding Britain

A spellbinding talk from Guardian columnist, environmentalist and activist. George Monbiot who outlines his vision for bringing back missing species and ecosystems allowing natural processes to resume and rewilding not only the living worlds but also our own lives.adminupload_573a307188a6frewild

Monmouth Savoy Theatre

Friday 17th June at 7.30pm

Tickets: £15
Takeaway Experience
If you’re a lover of curry and beer, Harts Barn Cookery School has teamed up with Hillside Brewery to bring you the most, epic cooking experience in the Forest of Dean.

Pop down to the cookery school and join Versha Patel to learn how to make a delicious Chickpea curry and light naan bread.

Then up to Hillside Brewery for a fantastic brewery tour and beer tasting – leave with your takeaway in one hand and beer in the other!

Choirs in the Castle
Join Wynne Evans and the Chepstow, Monmouth and Caldicot male voice choirs for a fantastic event in Caldicot Castle.

adminupload_57000d283afb0choirs1Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth Male Voice Choirs will join forces at Caldicot Castle this summer for an evening of entertainment in aid of the Monmouthshire & District National Eisteddfod on Saturday 18 June 2016. The choirs will be joined by the acclaimed Welsh tenor Wynne Evans, who will host the concert.

The choirs will perform separately before joining for a grand finale, bringing them together for the first time in over thirty years. All money raised will go towards funding the 2016 National Eisteddfod, which will be held in Abergavenny from 29th July to 6th August – a festival that is expected to attract over 150,000 visitors to the county.

Medieval Life, Warfare and Merriment
Back by popular demand the Freemen of Gwent will be setting up camp in the grounds of Abergavenny Castle on Saturday 18th June to entertain our visitors. You will have the opportunity to see the inside of period tents, meet the re-enactors such as the bowmaker, arrow maker and maille maker. Have a look at the weapons and armour and take a closer look at the spinning and cooking areas. Skirmishes and archery demonstrations will take place during the day.adminupload_56cca910e9baaaber
Abergavenny Castle 18 June 11-3
Tickets will be available on the gate – £5 adults, £3 children, £15 Family (2 adults and 2 children)

Herefordshire Walking Festival
Nine days – forty six walks and one beautiful county to explore…

There are some splendid festival ‘firsts’. Cross the River Wye on Mansell’s Ferry operating for just this one day, take the opportunity to visit Homme House and its parkland for a family history tour, jump into the saddle for a cycle ride to Berrington Hall and a guided walk through the grounds in this anniversary year of Capability Brown and our longest walk ever – 20 miles on south Herefordshire paths and lanes.

adminupload_575305e3e56d8hwfDiscover Mortimer Forest and the landscape around Leintwardine in the north of the county, walk along the River Monnow in the south, fabulous views along Offa’s Dyke to the west, with orchids on the downs and the Malverns to the east. Learn from the experts on poetry in Herefordshire, a year in the life of local farmers, wildlife in puddles and ponds, bats, birdsong and orcharding.

Father’s Day at Old Station Tintern
Treat dad to a delicious Father’s Day afternoon tea in the railway carriage (includes a special gift for Dad) or, for a more active day, have a go at archery – dad’s go free when accompanied by a paying child.

Afternoon tea: £12 adults, £6 Children.
Limited availability – booking essential.
Archer: £3.00

Arts in the Marches

Arts in The Marches are delighted to be working in collaboration with Taurus Crafts on a second “Summer of Sculpture”.

In 2015 we established the first joint sculpture exhibitions, featuring the work of sculptors from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Welsh Borders. adminupload_574481641f154petley

Returning sculptors include Caro Burberry, (bronze resin) Diane Ree,(3D portraits)  Victoria Westaway (willow) and Ardyn Griffyn, this time with her papier mach birds, plus blacksmith Stephen McRaewith his kinetic steel sculptures and Alan Richardson who presents a new array of eccentric driftwood items.

This year we are joined by three new established blacksmith’s Claudia Petley and Paul Shepherd and DavidPreston; plus new comer Sandrina Gay who is exhibiting her enchanting copper works for the first time.   Di Philipson’s fused glass and Frances Warren’s work made from recycled materials “not just a load of old junk” will also be on display.

The exhibition runs from May 28th until October 2nd, at various locations around Taurus Crafts; including the courtyard, garden, Wonderpod Garden, and the café.

Music at Tintern
Come to the Old Station Tintern throughout the summer for fantastic musical performances from 2pm – 4pm.

Sunday 12th June – Wyedean Gospel Choir
Sunday 19 June – Red Rug (Jazz Quartet formed by young Royal Welsh College and Music and Drama musicians)
Sunday 26th June  – Blitz Time Sally
Sunday 3 July – David Grubb and Borderline (Folk/Jazz Fusion group, led by David on the fiddle)
Sunday 10th July – Silurian
Sunday 17 July – Brass instrumentalists from Chepstow Town Band
Fri 29 July – Alex Ishmael and Henry Blight (Young singer/guitarists in the style of Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg)
Sunday 31st – Mad Toms Crowd
7 Aug – Alex Kirk and Laura Bonar (Post-graduate pianist and violinist)
Sunday 14th August – 3 miles per hour (acoustic trio)
Sunday 21st August – Nataley Simpson (Folk/pop,singer/guitarist)
Sunday 28th August – Jan & Ian
Sunday 4 Sept – Tripling Trio (Post-graduate RWCMD woodwind instrumentalists)
Sunday 18th September – The JAZZ LAdZZ (Jazz/funk fusion)


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