Ever wondered how much truth there is in the story that the Spanish Armada had orders to destroy the Forest of Dean? Or, why exactly did the killing of two bears in the 1880s became such a huge news story about the Forest, later making its way into poems, novels and even a television play? These and many more questions are being explored in our brand new podcast series The Stories Behind the Stories. Each episode explores one of the many persistent and well-loved (mostly!) stories about the Forest of Dean that have made their way into print. Structured as an investigation we attempt to trace each tale back in time to its original source. Along the twists and turns of each journey we dig deep into Forest history and look into the way it, as a place and community, has been written about over the years. You'll hear guest expert interviews, readings from the books, and some short dramatised scenes brought to life by local actors.
Episode 1 deals with the story of the Spanish Armada's connection to the Forest by starting with its appearance in the 1907 novel Sea Dogs All! We find out about its author Tom Bevan and his connections to the region, and about the audience he was writing for at the time. How much of the story was pure fiction, and how much historical fact? What was the Forest like at the time of the Armada, and why might the story have become so popular and so often repeated? And, what on earth is the meaning of our title for episode 1 , 007's Angel and the Plot to Burn the Forest?
The first episode is being released on January 14th, with the following episodes on the 14th of each month. You can sign up to receive each episode via your favourite podcast service - we're on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify - or listen here on this website (just check back with us on the 14th).
Here's our promo for the new series...