Littledean Woodside - Joseph TINGLE of Flaxley (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, March 03, 2024, 20:02 (45 days ago) @ Bradley Tingle

Hi Donna,
I'm glad you enjoyed my latest ramblings, and especially Harry's letter.
His old family home in Cinderford is 3/4 of the way up Dockham Road, at the junction of St Annals road. You probably already know that in the early days of Cinderford, c1850ish when still a relatively "new" town, and sometimes still known as Bilson Woodside, it had grown from the earlier settlements around the industrial areas such as Bilson down in the valley to the west, and the likes of Dockham and St Annals on the higher eastern ridge, where the iron mines were operating. I suspect you've already seen this excellent history of town (which also mentions the Royal Oak).

The earliest (online) OS map for the area c1879 still shows the built-up places of Dockham and Littledean Hill to be slightly remote from the rest of the town, and the various mines and pubs are easily seen when you zoom into the central portion.

Sadly I don't recall ever going into the Royal Oak, although we certainly biked past it umpteen times as kids enroute from Harry's, up Dockham Road, left onto Littledean Hill Road and on north past Latimer Lodge towards Edgehills etc. It was the nearest pub to Harry's home, and less busy than those down in the town centre, so ideal for a discrete teenage pint. In later years (80s and 90s) I occasionally visited the nearby Royal Foresters pub, a bit of a hike but it was near the family homes of other lifelong friends who'd moved away for college and then work, so we'd meet-up especially during Christmastimes when we'd returned home to visit parents - I think my last time there was my niece's engagement party c2011. Sadly both pubs are long gone now, like the vast majority of old pubs across the UK. I recall abt 1980 we did a quick list of all the town's current drinking places, mainly pubs but also social clubs and sports clubs, we were surprised to find well over 20 ! - I shudder to think how few there are left now... Like you I have ancestors with long careers in local pubs and I mourn the loss of these important focal points for community and business, they were much more than just the drinking places of nowadays.
In case you didn't know, the history of the Royal Oak and other local pubs are detailed in Geoff Sandals' great website.

I'm sorry to learn your husband is in care, I know how difficult that can be for everyone, but as you say your daily visits and chats are surely of great benefit to you both as you recall your lives and times together. I know I speak for all members of this forum that we are pleased to be helping a little in this respect, and wish him well.

Best wishes to you both, Jeff.

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