A to Z of the Dean Wye: S is for…


Nearby attractions include the Dean Heritage CentreSoudley Ponds and the Blaize Bailey viewpoint. Activities at the Dean Heritage Centre include chain-saw wood carving and courses on manual wood turning to make items such as chairs and candlestick holders. There are also many educational resources available on site and, as a result, the Centre is regularly frequented by schools from the local area and Wales.

A long-standing tradition in the village is that of the Christmas Penny.[citation needed] Many years ago,[vague] when the village was a hub for coal mining, a local businessman wanted to return something to the (not particularly wealthy) local residents. He decided that on Christmas Day he would allow all the children to come to the village hall and would give them each a penny as a gift. This tradition lives on to this day and on Christmas morning many residents head down to the village hall to receive their penny. This is always accompanied by a small Christmas service with singing and small performances.


River Severn

The Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world, giving rise to the famous Severn Bore tidal wave that occurs around the Spring and Autumn equinox. River surfers flock from all over to ride the famous wave which can best viewed from Minsterworth.  Salmon fishing was quite common practice using nets and also using Puts or putchers. Which is a type of fish trap in the form of a conical basket, similar in appearance to a five-foot ice-cream cone. Putchers are placed in rows, standing four or five high, in a wooden “rank” set out against the incoming and/or outgoing tides.[1]

As a method of fish capture, putcher fishing is peculiar to the River Severn in Great Britain and is believed to be of prehistoric design. Traditionally the putcher was made of hazel rods with withy (willow) plait, both materials being grown locally on the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels. Modern baskets made of steel or aluminium wire were introduced and took over the willow baskets.

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Severn Bore
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Severn Bore



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