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

Half-term craft session

Chepstow Museum is running its popular drop in craft session – they supply some ideas, templates and materials you bring your creativity to make your own special pieces! There are big tables to share with family and friends – so bring them along or arrange to meet up and spend an afternoon together making and being creative.Image

Suitable for children of all ages, all children must be accompanied by an adult – up to three children per adult. Come for the whole afternoon or just pop in for a short time. A suggested donation towards the cost of materials and refreshments is £2 for children aged 3 +

Chepstow Museum
The Drill Hall, Lower Church Street, Chepstow
Thursday February 23rd 2-4pm

Direct from her sell-out performances across the globe Apphia Campbell embarks on her debut UK tour. Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black is the Colour of my Voice’ follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.Image

Friday 24th February at 7.30 for 8.00
Mackenzie Hall Brockweir NP16 7NW

Harts Barn Cookery School – Mardis Gras special

The latest in Harts Barn Cookery School’s regular Supper Club – ‘The Chef‘s Table’, featuring a different culinary theme every time always provide a fun and informal dining experience.

Starter platter: creamy devil led cajun eggs, Ham & corn bignetts, corn hush puppies with remoulded sauce.

Mains: chicken gumbo, veggie jambalaya, gator meatballs and Louisiana red bean rice.

Dessert: New Orleans chocolate bourbon pecan pie

24th February

Price: £15 per person
Pasadena Roof Orchestra
Since 1969 the Pasadena Roof Orchestra has been faithfully re-creating the glories of popular music from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The fun-packed show features timeless classics from the great American song book – those wonderful songs that miraculously lifted people’s spirits during the depression era, and which made household names of singers such as Bing Crosby, Al Bowlly, and Fred Astaire.Image

Tickets: £21 Friends £18.50

25th February, 8pm
Savoy Theatre, Monmouth
Winter Ladies Day – an exciting event at Chepstow Racecourse

Ladies, get a group of friends together, dress up in your classic winter outfits and enjoy a fantastic day at the races. Men – you are welcome too!

There will be £500 cash prizes for the Best Dressed Woman, Best Dressed Couple and Best Dressed Man.Image

There will also be a fashion show, top class racing plus live music entertainment from Michael Buble and Olly Murs tribute acts.

On the track there is almost £80,000 of prize money on offer including a £25,000 handicap chase (won by Sire de Grugy in 2015) and a £20,000 qualifier for the Pertemps Network Group Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Admission starts from just £20 and there is also a ‘Fabulous Fillies’ package for £30 (must be booked in advance) which includes admission, a free drink, chicken flatbread and a race day programme).

The gates open at 11.55am and the first race is off at 1.55pm.

Newnham Artists exhibition

The exhibition is a celebration of the work of local, amateur and professional artists. The exhibition features a range of artworks which explore landscapes, animals, portraits and abstract concepts.

About the exhibitors

Keith Baugh

The works in this exhibition are paintings from Keith’s own photographs of iconic musicians, re-worked into original paintings.

Christine Beezer

My painting of a wheelbarrow is a simple subject, caught by the transparency and radiance of watercolour.

Carolyn Black

My prints are the outcome of photography, drawing, digital modification and collage. Where each medium begins and ends is ambiguous, as is the orientation of what is seen above and below.

Lucy Edginton

I love painting animals such as my Leopard, and find watercolour studies particularly sensitive to the subject.

Anna Fedden

This watercolour study is of the fisherman’s hut by the riverside in Newnham.

Jenny Harrison

My two paintings touch on very different aspects of portraiture and express in oil the great diversity that I find so rewarding in my painting.

Peter Hood

This unusual river view of Newnham Church was taken from a boat trip and captured in watercolour. It shows the not-so-well-known second small tower and the close proximity of the church to the cliff.

Emily Johnson

My pastel is of a Friesian cow and I delight in the great subtlety of this medium.

Sheila Miller

I’m delighted by the delicious ‘hands on’ methods of blending soft pastels and inspired by the beauty of skies, water and light. My paintings reflect a love and appreciation of natural landscapes.

Phil Morgan

I find the intensity of using oil paints in my two paintings a great inspiration.

Sheila Mounter

My work is concerned with the painted surface rather than creating a recognisable image. It’s about the paint and the marks that can be made.

Thomas Penny

I draw inspiration from architecture, nature, and how we perceive colour and form.

Kiyoko Shermer

I enjoy painting flowers, particularly the magnolia which dominates our garden every summer.  I use watercolour which I think brings out its delicate figure.

Mandy Thompson

My pictures are wet felted landscapes made from merino wool with added stitching.

Sara Ulyatt

Both the works in this exhibition are inspired by the wonderful summer flora found on the Awre peninsula.

Taurus Crafts
Free Entry


Exhibition of paintings by Joan Baker, Charles Burton, John Elwyn & Bert Isaac

Curated by Peter Wakelin for the National Eisteddfod 2016

Border Country by Raymond Williams is one of the great Welsh novels. Published in 1960 this influential autobiographical novel explored the changing lives of people on the Welsh borders, in town, village, farm and industrial valley, from the 1920s to the 1950s.

In this exhibition, originally created for the 2016 National Eisteddfod held at Abergavenny but now showing at Chepstow Museum until February 26 2017, works by four Welsh artists, Joan Baker, Charles Burton, John Elwyn and Bert Isaac, all contemporaries of Raymond Williams, have been brought together.  They represent a fascinating period in South Wales in the 1930s, 40s and 50s when artists wanted to record ordinary life around them in direct and truthful ways.

Border Country, which was set in and around Abergavenny (fictionalised as the town of ‘Gwenton’) told the story of a young lecturer who comes home from London to help look after his dying father and in the process remakes connections with the life of his working-class community. It was set on the border of Wales and England, but Williams was interested in other kinds of borders too – between town and village, vale and coalfield, generations, classes, men and women.


Feast the eyes and expand the mind, discover the changing Art of Landscape

Chepstow Museum presents a course of 10 lectures exploring how the depiction of landscape has changed over the centuries

By popular lecturer Eleanor Bird

At the Drill Hall, Lower Church St Chepstow beginning Mondays 2-4pm beginning 23 January 2017

Potter’s Wheel Day or Weekend Workshops

Spend a relaxing day or weekend making pots on the potter’s wheel. Small friendly groups and seven electric potter’s wheels ensure plenty of individual attention and guidance. You will explore a whole range of making techniques based upon the potter’s wheel including: throwing, turning, attaching handles & motifs and decorating methods using under-glaze and coloured slip.

Day 1

The workshop starts at 10am where you’ll be individually assigned a potter’s wheel for the duration of the workshop. After tea/coffee, introductions and initial demonstration you will be taken as a group, step by step, through the pot throwing process. Once you have got the hang of things, you will be encouraged to develop at your own pace with individual tutoring as and when required. Around 1pm, a lunch consisting of rolls, cheese, ham, salad and fruit is served. In the afternoon there will be further demonstrations after which you will work larger lumps of clay, make bigger pots and explore different shapes and forms. At the end of the workshop you will select your favourite one or two pieces, depending on size to be fired and glazed. (Extra pots can be fired at cost – approx. £6 per item payable on the day) The session ends at 4pm.

If you are participating in the weekend workshop, the results of your labour from day one will be left to dry overnight.

Day 2

10am. Your pots from Saturday are now ‘leather-hard’ and ready to be turned. After further demonstrations you will learn how to throw foot-rings, add handles and other motifs. After lunch and once you have experimented with the techniques, you will select your favourite one or two pots, depending on size, and colour them using under-glazes and decorating slips. Extra pots can be fired at cost approx. £6 per item payable on the day. The weekend concludes at 4pm.

Your fabulous creations will be left with us to dry thoroughly before they go into the kiln. Once they have been fired and glazed, we’ll carefully wrap and dispatch your finished pots to your home address. You will be delighted at the professional results when they arrive on your doorstep approximately one month later.

Cost: £120 a day £215 weekend. Includes refreshments, lunch, all materials, firing, glazing and the cost of posting your finished masterpieces. These prices will be honored for all 2017 bookings as long as they are made before 1/1/17.

Please note price increases as from 1/1/2017 – £130 a day & £240 weekend.

These are the dates for our one day potter’s wheel workshops:

Sat 14 Jan, Fri 27 Jan, Sat 4 Feb, Sat 18 Feb, Fri 24 Feb, Sat 18 Mar, Fri 24 Mar, Sat 8 Apr, Sat 22 Apr, Sat 6 May, Sat 20 May, Sat 10 June, Fri 8 Sept, Sat 16 Sept, Sat 7 Oct, Sat 4 Nov, Fri 10 Nov, Sat 2 Dec

And weekend dates:

7 & 8 Jan, 28 & 29 Jan, 25 & 26 Feb, 11 & 12 Mar, 1 & 2 Apr, 29 & 30 Apr, 3 & 4 June, 1 & 2 July, 5 & 6 Aug, 9 & 10 Sept, 30 & 1 Sept/Oct, 28 & 29 Oct, 25 & 26 Nov

Half-term at Taurus Crafts

This February Taurus Crafts hands-on activities take on a creepy and crawly nature with an insect theme to many of the sessions.

King Arthur & The kooky caterpillar. Watch an amazing puppet show with BBC ventriloquist Leesa Cartwright. Make your own Kooky Caterpillar puppet and perform your own puppet show. £2.00, (1hr show), age 2+   10.30, 11.30, 1.45. 13th,18th, 20th &  25th Feb.

Throw Your Own pot with a Taurus Crafts’ potter & take away an unfired pot. £8.00, (20min approx), all ages, 11.00-1.00 + 2.00-4.00, 11th, 18th, 25th Feb.

Stone carving with Cats Eye Carving. £5.00 to have a go (20min), £20.00 to carve a design on a 4” square piece of stone to take home (45min), age 5+ 10.30-4.30. 13th,16th, 20th & 23rd Feb.

Finger Knitting with Silk Road Bazaar. Learn this innovative technique to create your own necklace. £15, (1hr), adults & children aged 7+. 11.00-4.00, 11th-26th Feb.

Arnie Kazzam. Laughter & magic show. £2 per child £1 per adult, (40min), all ages. 12-12.40 & 2.00-2.40. 15th Feb.

Beaded wire Insects with Balm Jewellery.  Make a beaded wire insect or jewellery with new & up-cycled beads. £3.50 (20 min approx), all ages, 11.00-4.00, 11th & 19th Feb.

Pom-pom creepy crawlies with Mad Dog Designs. Create pom-pom creepy crawlies with yarn, Free (20min approx)  all ages, 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00, 13th, 18th, 22nd & 26th Feb.

Doodlebug Rocks! by Nicole Iredale Designs.  Create fun decorative stones using unique and colourful insect artwork. £4. (30min-1hr), age 4 +, 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00, 14th, 15th & 21st Feb.

Paint your own pot. Paint pottery items & have them glazed and fired. From £6, (20min approx), all ages, 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00, 12th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th Feb.

Spiders, scales & snails. Come and meet tarantulas, stick insects, millipedes, giant snails + more. £3, (stay as long as you need), all ages, 1.00-3.00, 12th, 17th & 24th  Feb.

Paint a colourful chocolate bug with The Chocolate Bar, £5/person (20min approx), all ages, 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00, 13th,15th,16th,17th, 22nd,23rd & 24th  Feb.

Free bug trail Hidden around Taurus Crafts are images and facts about insects. See if you can find and match the images of ten insects with the interesting fact. Trail sheets are in the Gift Shop. Hand in your finished trail sheet to enter the prize draw. Free, 11th – 26th Feb.

During all activities, children must be accompanied by an adult.

Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders

Back again for another stupendous night of terrific music Andy is undoubtedly the musician’s musician having worked with every great artist in the last fifty years including Clapton, Hendrix, Van Morrison, Jeff Beck, Rogers Waters, Stevie Windwood – the list goes on. Now hear him in his own right with a great night of brilliant music.

Tickets: £20

Saturday February 11th at 7.30


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