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Mineshaft sheep rescue in the Forest of Dean.

A sheep rescue

Mineshaft Sheep Rescue: Left to right- unknown, Ken Parsons, Bill Stokes, Jim Johnston, Alfred John Roberts.

Pete Meek added: "... Ken Parsons was my uncle and returned to Coleford many years later where he served until his retirement".

John Creed added:(October 2019): "... Alfred John Roberts ... had his own coal delivery business and was best known locally as Jack, 'Cromp'. ... (he) was also the local RSPCA assistant and amongst other things took part in many rescues of sheep and dogs. Sheep tended to get themselves stranded on quarry ledges and small dogs often found themselves at the bottom of disused mine shafts having chased rabbits into holes that led into those shafts. He was the one who was always lowered down in a roped harness by local police officers and other helpers. As a youngster, I often attended with him to help if I was lucky enough to be on hand when the call came in. He received many awards from the RSPCA for this dangerous work, including Silver and Bronze medals and numerous certificates. He was also a guest on the BBC 'Tonight' programme that was hosted by Cliff Michelmore and his photograph was used on the front cover of the Gloucestershire RSPCA Branch Annual Report in 1957. In that report he was thanked for that year's work that included two rescues and being called out 24 times to sheep, dogs and cats injured on roads and railways. He continued with this rescue work into his late 1960s, much to the annoyance of my Grandmother".

Presentation of a certificate

Inspector James Johnston of Coleford receiving an award from the RSPCA for the sheep rescue.

Photo by Gerald Smith of Coleford.

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