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The Village Websmith - Web Design & Services in & around Blakeney

Blakeney is a small, thriving village on the eastern edge of the Forest of Dean, on the main A48 road between Gloucester and Chepstow. It was at a house called Hawfield that Thomas Stenhold was born. He was Groom of the Robes to Henry VIII and his son, but is renowned (along with John Hopkins of Awre) for publishing the first metrical version of the Psalms. The house where he was born still exists in the village. Thomas Sternhold died in 1549.

Situated at the confluence of the Blackpool and Soudley Brooks, Blakeney is a busy Forest village that was a natural site for early industry (an iron forge and furnace existed here as early as 1228). The oldest building is the 16th century Swan House, formerly an inn, although there are several 17th and 18th century buildings in the village, the largest being the early 18th century Church of All Saints. Blakeney's industrial past is recalled by several buildings, including two corn-mill; the Upper Mill, by the A48 and Nibley Mill ( a partly half timbered house with adjoining stone mill where the B4431 Parkend road joins the A48). The old Blakeney Goods Station and the imposing six arched railway viaduct were built for the Forest of Dean Central Railway, which was begun in 1856 and was intended to run from Howbeach Colliery (situated about 1mile north east of the village) to a new dock at Brimspill on the Severn, it was never completed and only ran to a junction on the main South Wales line.

During renovations on one of the houses near Blackpool Brook, a large high-status Roman villa was discovered. This building was located next to the Roman military coast road from Newnham and it not only had a heating system, tiled roof and a stone courtyard but also a slip-way on the stream, indicating it was accessible by boat from the Severn. Pottery on the site dated construction to c75AD, making it the earliest villa known in the Dean and it was occupied for around sixty years until being demolished sometime in the middle of the 2nd century. It is thought that it was the residence of a high ranking Roman official, possibly an Army officer from the legionary fortress at Gloucester.

The Church of England church at Blakeney was built in the 1800's. Before this time, the parish was combined with the village of Awre, a little further to the east and closer to the River Severn. The font is what appears to be a 15th century stoup for holy water, believed to have been removed from Awre church during the reformation and buried for safety. It was found near Gatcombe when the railway was built, and used locally as a flower pot for many years before being brought to the church at Blakeney. In the early 1800s there was a considerable non-conformist movement from the established church, and a tabernacle was built at Blakeney in 1823, a mile north of the village. This building is now used as houses. A replacement tabernacle was built in the village in 1849 (before the church of England church was built). For more information, please call us on the number shown, or click in the header of any page to email Blakeney-forest-of-dean@villagewebsmith.co.uk.

Photo from Featured Project near Blakeney
Welcome to Magnificent Monday - MOJO Day!

Monday is MOJO Day here. The day that we suggest ways to focus on what is truly great about your business and yourself, then make sure that everyone knows about it.

When someone asks you what you do for a living, how do you answer? Is it just a plain statement of fact? How about using that opportunity to sell? Having a 'stock answer' that encapsulates not only what you do but also what you bring to other peoples' lives by doing it can turn even the most casual question into an opportunity to sell.

This is not necessarily meaning to sell to the person asking the question, but by enthusing them with your MOJO, you can sell through them to all the people that they know.

By having a memorable introductory statement to use face to face, you can make an imoression every time. Don't be afraid of sounding trite by delivering the same message either. It may be the thousandth time that you have said the words, but it is the first time that the person you are speaking to has heard them. Practice makes perfect, so trying out different ways of putting your MOJO into words can help make your message stick too.

So where do the words come from? Well, if your website content is well written, the 'joined-up thinking' approach is to use a distillation of that messsage, cut down into the fewest possible words and adjusted to make it comfortable in use. This is a great skill to develop for business networking meetings to make meeting you the stand-out handshake of the day.

As an example, the Viilage Websmith's standard first time introduction is "We help small business people expose themseleves more effectively". What's yours?

Over the years, hundreds of Village Websmith customers have been helped to identify their MOJO, put it into a powerful message, then get it seen by potential new customers. Call us today on 0203 239 0350 or click in the header of any page to email us and get your MOJO working.

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