Severn Vale Discoveries
Another very hot day dawned as 14 Club Members met at Wilton Road Car Park in Ross. We proceeded to ‘Freds’, as we know him, at Part-y-Seal near Grosmont, for a very pleasant coffee and pastries stop. We were in the garden of their lovely old house, enjoying the park-like surroundings and tranquillity (website, www.partyseal.co.uk, Eds.).
On following the road back to Skenfrith, we took the B4347 to Newcastle and on to Monmouth, crossing over the A40, then turning onto the B4293 towards Trellech, arriving at Chepstow Racecourse after a very nice drive in hot sunshine.
We carried on over the ‘old’ Severn Bridge taking the A403 and B4061 signed Thornbury, through this picturesque town. They had even hung out the bunting for us! We then joined the A38 to Hill and Rockhampton, finally ending up at the ‘Malt House’ pub in Berkeley for an excellent carvery, only three sweets consumed!
A pleasant visit to the Jenner Museum was chosen by most members of our party. There can be found a very well-documented life of Edward Jenner, known universally for bringing smallpox under eventual control.
Jenner was born in Berkeley in 1749. He was apprenticed to a local surgeon aged 14 then trained in London. He spent the rest of his life in Gloucestershire working and practising from his house and garden. In 1796 he carried out experiments on an eight-year-old boy’s arm. He injected pus from a smallpox pustule into a small incision in the arm. He proved that having been inoculated the boy was subsequently immune to smallpox.
Jenner used a small hut in the garden to carry out innoculations, wrote many books, and researched vaccine development.
The return home followed mainly unclassified roads to start with, via Halmore, Gossington and Slimbridge. Then we joined the A38 briefly, to turn off to Frampton-on-Severn, and we followed the road to Framilode, Epney, Longney, via Stonebench to Harwicke. We joined the B4008 and after a multitude of roundabouts and traffic lights joined the A40 to Ross, passing through Churcham and Birdwood. We finally drew into the King’s Head Inn at Birdwood for a final drink.
Although we were a small party, everyone enjoyed themselves, the company and the superb countryside.
Jenner vaccinated the poor of Berkeley area free of charge in this little hut which was first known as the Temple of Vaccinia , before it was simply referred to as ‘Jenner’s Hut’. The rustic thatch covered building is now Grade 11 Listed, as is the Chantry, Jenner’s former home. James Phipps, a local Berkeley boy aged 8, was the first person to be vaccinated by Jenner against smallpox in May 1796. MG