The Solitary Rambler

PARKEND, MOSELEY GREEN AND MALLARDS PIKE
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Filmed 27th May 2018
Post-production completed 6th July 2018

Running time 18 minutes
Synopsis

The village of Parkend lies in the very centre of the Forest of Dean , and I visit on a day when I know the steam trains are running on the Dean Forest Railway . Unfortunately my walk tends to be rather wet as I have to negotiate heavy downpours and thunderstorms. However, I persevere and finally the day brightens up as I reach a charming place to end my day, the delightful Mallards Pike …..
Locations

Filmed in the Forest of Dean in the county of Gloucestershire . Locations include Parkend , Dean Forest Railway , Oakenhill Wood, Moseley Green, Churchill Inclosure and Mallards Pike Lake. This continues the series of films in 2018 celebrating 25 years of “The Solitary Rambler”.
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Background and production details

I wanted to feature the Forest of Dean village of Parkend as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations which, although had featured in my 2006 film “ Denouement in Dean ”, was very brief. Therefore, I decided to film it more thoroughly in 2018 and do a walk, which would include other nearby previously visited locations in the Forest, i.e. Moseley Green and Mallards Pike. As Parkend was also the terminus of the Dean Forest Railway I opted to go there on a day when I knew the steam trains would be running so that I could include this in my film. I had pre-booked two more nights at the Premier Inn in Monmouth on the 27th and 28th May 2018, so I could make this film on the day I would be arriving for my first night’s stay at the hotel.
 
The weather forecast for Sunday 27th May was not good. Heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecast for the day, but I had no choice as that was when I was in the area, so it was a case of either filming that day or it not getting done at all. That morning I drove from North Somerset , after another stay at Mum’s, and made my way to Parkend. It was cloudy, but there was no rain at that point. I captured many shots of the village and when I came to film the old railway station I was lucky to capture a steam train as it both arrived and departed. It was just after filming here that the heavens opened. I sheltered for a while under the station footbridge and was in two minds whether to start the walk or to give up. I decided to go ahead in the hope that the rain was just a quick shower. I walked past the village church and followed tracks through Oakenhill Wood towards the disused mineral loop line of the Severn and Wye Railway , but I got absolutely drenched. I just had to carry on towards Moseley Green, but it was extremely difficult to film in the heavy rain. However, I managed to get a shot of the entrance to Moseley Green Tunnel, seen previously in “ Saunter in Soudley ” back in 2002 when my Bristol friends Michael and Nigel were exploring it.
 
When I got to the hamlet of Moseley Green I was soaked to the skin and, although I took a few shots around there, it was just too wet to carry on. Therefore, I opted to walk back to Parkend from the Rising Sun Inn and get back to my car. My car was in a huge puddle of water by the time I got back to Parkend! I moved on anyway and it began to dry up as I parked up at the next and final location, Mallards Pike. It brightened up a little here, so it made up for the wet stuff earlier. I walked right round the lake capturing shots as I went and made one reference to my previous visit in the aforementioned “Saunter in Soudley”. I took a couple of shots of the zip wire in the Go Ape centre , which is now near the lake, and that was the day’s filming done. I very gladly drove on to Monmouth to check into the Premier Inn to shower and unwind after my very wet part of the day! A couple of days earlier I had bought a pair of gaiters, so this had been my first time of wearing them. They were certainly well-used on their first day and looking back I wonder how I coped without them before now!

Recording the musical score didn’t take me very long during the post-production of “Parkend, Moseley Green and Mallards Pike”. This was partly because there are a couple of long stretches where I felt music wasn’t needed, so in the end I recorded a little less music for the completed film than I generally do in others. I created a new theme for this, for which I tried to give a fresh feel to by using more of a jazzy sound to the music. I used the jazz guitar voice from my keyboard, which provided the main accompaniment, and for the melody I used a variety of voices such as a whistle, jazz trumpet and violin.


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