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Day Out: Archive Films
Presenter Derek Jones
Day Out: Vale of Berkeley
Watch a BBC TV programme made in 1983 of a day spent exploring The Vale of Berkeley...
Originally broadcast in 1983 was this charming half-hour television programme which took a look round the Vale of Berkeley.
The M5 in 1983
As part of the BBC's 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter Derek Jones is seen exploring various places in the vale which runs roughly North to South and is bordered by the River Severn and the Cotswold scarp edge.
His journey begins at Tyndale's Monument - built to honour William Tyndale who was born at Slimbridge in 1510 and who translated the bible into English. Then we hear of the Battle of Nibley Green - the last private battle to be fought on English soil. Derek visits the Tortworth Sweet Chestnut - supposedly one of the oldest living trees in the country, reputedly more than 1000 years old.
Derek Jones at Berkeley Castle
Next stop is Berkeley Castle - the seat of the Berkeley family since the 11th Century. We learn of the siege of the castle during the Civil War when Cromwell's army breached the walls. Derek then tells us of King Edward II who was imprisoned and murdered "in a particularly brutal way" in Berkeley Castle in 1327. Derek meets castle guide Vivienne Gethyn-Jones in the Great Hall and we learn more about the fascinating history of the castle.
We hear of Edward Jenner who lived in Berkeley and who famously discovered the cure for smallpox. Then we visit the local church where Jenner is buried, and we see the stables of the Berkeley Hunt.
Other stops for Derek include the town of Berkeley itself, the nearby nuclear power station, and the banks of the River Severn where we witness the famous Severn Bore and see elver fishermen in action. Another port of call for Derek is a cider press at Blanchworth.
The duck decoy at Slimbridge
Finally Derek visits the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge. Here he meets the curator Mike Ounsted. Mike shows Derek around the site and we see various species of birds including the famous Andean flamingos. Then we get an explanation of how a duck decoy works where wild fowl are instinctively attracted towards a "foxy looking dog".
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 14:34
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