Clayton Ryder: Charcoal burning, heritage

Deeks, Roger ORCID: 0000-0003-3012-8913 and Ryder, Clayton (2016) Clayton Ryder: Charcoal burning, heritage. [Audio] (Unpublished)

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Clayton is site manager at the Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley. The Centre is one of the few places in the country that carries out traditional charcoal burning on a regular basis. In the twelfth century it is estimated there were 900 men carrying out charcoal burning in the Forest of Dean. The method had died out but was revived at the Centre by Peter Ralph, a former Forestry Commission worker. The burns are currently held twice per year with additional special events as needed. Two tons of wood will yield on average a quarter ton of charcoal. One of Clayton’s roles as site manager is to prepare and take part in the charcoal burns, a role he has undertaken for the last twelve years. People come from all over the country to take part in and learn about the traditional ‘earth and turf’ method used at the Dean Heritage Centre. Clayton used to breed pigs, two of which he homed at the Centre as part of the visitor attractions. Overview: The ‘Voices from the Forest’ collection represents a series of oral history recordings made between 2016 and 2019 (continuing) and funded as part of the Foresters’ Forest project, a National Lottery Heritage Fund landscape partnership programme. The recordings take a biographical, life story approach to discover the occupational histories of men and women in the Forest of Dean in the last half of the twentieth century. It compliments a series of recordings, made in the 1980s by Elsie O’Livey in the Forest of Dean, that feature the life stories of people in the first half of the century. The recordings are a rich source of material for social geographers, social and cultural historians and those interested in the history of the Forest of Dean and the broad occupational history of the area. The recordings feature recollections of men who worked thorough the last days of large-scale coal mining in the area, forestry related work and their adaptation to new modes of employment in fabrication and manufacturing industries. The collection has made a special emphasis on recording the experiences of women in the domestic setting, their experiences in the factories that grew throughout the period and the diaspora providing domestic services in London, Cheltenham and elsewhere. The improvements in domestic utilities, education and opportunity are reflected across the recordings. The recordings also reflect the economic uncertainty that existed throughout the twentieth century and the persistence of traditional activities such as sheep commoning, freemining and small holding that provided alternative forms of sustainable family living. The experience of major events such as the Second World War, post war rationing, and the Foot and Mouth epidemics are covered. The recordings were made in the homes of the interviewees and consents and permissions were in accordance with GDPR (2019).

Item Type: Audio
Uncontrolled Keywords: Forest of Dean museum heritage charcoal commoning
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2340.8 Small and Medium-sized businesses, artisans, handcrafts, trades
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Jason Griffiths
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2019 15:15
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:47

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