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

It’s been a rainy weekend but there’s bright week ahead in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.

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…

adminupload_5755b5248cd48frankensteinWith 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.
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?’

21st June

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

An Evening with Michael Morpurgo
A truly memorable evening in store in the company of Michael Morpurgo, one of the most celebrated authors in Britain tody. He will be talking about his work and in particular WAR HORSE and PRIVATE PECEFUL as the 100th anniversary of the Somme approaches.adminupload_573a31e570ad9morpurgo

21st June

Summer Meditation Walks

Martin Kerrigan is an experienced Buddhist meditation teacher who has been practicing, primarily within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, for over 20 years. He has also been involved in a number of multi faith events.

Meet at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust car park, Lancaut, NP16 7JB    half a mile north of Woodcroft village on the B4228 near Chepstow Gloucestershire

This is a free event sponsored by The Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust, custodians of the ruins of St James’s Church, Lancaut.

Please note this event is not suitable for children under 12. No dogs please.

Wednesday 22nd June 6pm – 8pm

Chepstow Festival
The Chepstow Arts and Community Festival is a month long celebration of theatre, music and creativity in the town. With over 80 events being staged by a wide range of community groups. This years Festival is underway and the next Festival meeting will be on 26th May at 7:30 PM in the council chamber, Gatehouse, High Street, Chepstow. All are invited to attend if they wish to stage a Festival event or be involved as a helper.

adminupload_57530fa7506d9chepstowfestivalThe Festival will culminate on 24 July 2016 with a 200th anniversary celebration of the opening of Chepstow’s historic cast iron bridge.

This summer there are 13 exciting theatre productions in Chepstow Castle by Britain’s top professional touring open-air theatre companies. Since 2012 we have had the benefit of the audience cover which keeps audiences of over 250 dry in the event of rain.

Linton Festival
The Linton Festival has been successfully run for 16 years to date.  The Festival attracts international bands and has firmly established its place on the festival circuit.  Attended by happy Festival Goers from all over UK many of whom return year-on-year.

24th-26th June

Get tickets here

Arts in the Marches

Arts in The Marches are delighted to be working in collaboration with Taurus Crafts on a second “Summer of Sculpture”.adminupload_574481641f154petley

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

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 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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