Day Out: Archive Films
Angela Rippon on the River Wye
Day Out: Symonds Yat
Watch a BBC West programme made in 1985 of a day spent exploring Symonds Yat and its surroundings...
Filmed in 1985 and broadcast in January 1986 was this beautifully made half-hour television programme which took a look round Symonds Yat and surroundings.
As part of the BBC West 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter Angela Rippon is shown exploring the area.
Maze man Edward Heyes talks to Angela
Her journey begins at the Jubilee Maze in Symonds Yat close to the Gloucestershire border, where she meets the maze creators Lindsay and Edward Heyes, before visiting the nearby butterfly zoo.
Next stop is a boat trip on the River Wye and a history lesson about the local area - including how the area got its name, why Lord Nelson chose the local woodland to supply the Navy with timber for shipbuilding, and how the area played an important role in iron manufacture in the early 19th Century.
Carl Nicholson from the RSPB
Carl Nicholson from the RSPB is interviewed about the Peregrine Falcons who nest at Symonds Yat Rock. He explains how the birds have recently flourished and are now back at their pre-war population level after several years in decline.
Angela then dons a helmet and harness to have a go at rock climbing. Matthew Neal is the man who's agreed to give her a lesson. She struggles to make it to the top of the rockface but eventually stands proudly at the summit.
Goodrich Castle is the next location on the tour. We get told of the history of the castle including the tale of 'Roaring Meg' - a great mortar that was used to breach the walls during the Civil War.
Finding out about The Buckstone
Then it's on to Great Doward and an Agricultural Museum where Angela is shown all the old tractors, lawn mowers, threshing machines and mangles. Derek Williams and his father Eric Williams are interviewed about their collection.
Angela next explores the natural landscape in Highmeadow Woods and discovers 'The Suckstone' - possibly the largest boulder in the country - which is said to be a marker on a ley line. Another ancient stone she visits is 'The Buckstone' which, according to the Ancient Britons, had magical properties.
Canoeing on the River Wye
She crosses the River Wye by wire bridge and tells us of 'The Slaughter' - a site said to be where an ancient battle was fought. Finally Angela has a canoeing lesson on the Wye from expert Graham Symonds.
Check out the other fascinating films from the 'Day Out' series which were filmed in Gloucestershire by clicking on the links at the top right of this page.
last updated: 21/01/2009 at 14:33
Have Your Say
Do you recognise anyone featured in the programme? What memories does it bring back?
Lindsay Heyes (from the Maze)