Widecombe History Group Minutes August 1999

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The minutes will be found below. Details of the talk on the Devon Constabulary will be found here.

A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House Widecombe on Wednesday 4th August 1999 at 7.30 p.m.

Mrs Margaret Steemson was in the chair and 29 people attended.

Apologies:- Wendy Beard, Jenny and Michael Pascoe, Mary Pascoe, Bessie French, Ken Hamlyn, Peter West, Liz Fursdon and Rodney Mortimore.


Uppacott Longhouse

A vote of thanks expressed to Freda Wilkinson for the guided walk held on 17th July and enjoyed by those who attended


Secretary will return Tim Whitten's paper to him with Freda's notes, (see June minutes), and confirm that James Beard was farming Higher Bonehill and also did the post round, (farm diversification in the 1920's and 30's).


Peter Hirst reported that some work had been done on mapping Newhouse, but much more was needed to get a fuller picture of the buildings and area. Mr Colin Bowden of Welstor, current owner of the land, would be approached regarding any maps that he may have of the area.

North Hall

Efforts to obtain photographs off the internet have drawn a blank! An offer to finance the purchase of the photographs held in U. S.A. Dept. of Defence Archives, (see June minutes) will be explored. Jeremy Butler still not contacted re. his photographs. Research continuing.

Memorial Hall Film Show 30.10.1999.

9 more tickets required :- Geoffrey Bamsey, Vivian Layfield (Ann Williams) (3), Rodney Cruze (2),PeterRennells(3). Total:-55.

Norma Tempest (Hall Secretary to be notified).01364 631565.

Group Library - books and leaflets

Still accumulating and circulating.

Beating the Bounds

Planning continuing.

Hannafords of Widecombe

Jack Elliott was able to confirm in his copy of "White's Gazette/Directory of 1890" that an Edwin Hannaford was living at Stone Farm Widecombe. The date of his leaving has still not been confirmed.

Terry French told the meeting that in the '1851 Census' there was a family of 11 Norrishs living at Stone Farm, Buckland and "a servant maid of all work" named Elizabeth Waldron. Head of the family James Norrish farmer and butcher.

Meanwhile at Stone Widecombe there was a family of 11 Herns. Head of the family William Hern farmer of 65 acres.

Also recorded separately at Stone Widecombe a family of 5 Dodds and a house keeper named Sarah Anstey.

List of Books/papers etc available to borrow

Peter Hirst still requesting more details.

Archives - Maps and Sale Particulars

Terry French's idea of obtaining recent and future copies for archiving needs to be put into practice.

Projects to be or already being undertaken for future research and possible write-up:

 Reading Room.
Policing. Venton, Bittleford, Dunstone, Widecombe.

Post Office and postal history.

Jenny Pascoe.

North Hall.

Peter Rennells.


June Kernick (helped by Peter Hirst re: plan).


Sylvia Needham

Religious Buildings.

Margaret Steemson

Huccaby Races.

Freda Wilkinson.

Parish Chest (wrappings)

The Group as a whole

Cataloguing Apprentices Documents

Roger Claxton and the group

Cataloguing Parish chest / Group chest

Peter Hirst

Guided walk around Trowlesworthy Warren - Len Copley

Millennium Record

Photographic record of people and property, still being considered.


A vote of thanks was recorded to the ladies who supplied the tea and biscuits for the interval and those that helped them with the washing-up!


September:- Ann Claxton and Wendy Beard. October:- Pauline and Roger Barnes.

Tucker Stone

Peter Rennells had some information on the Tuckers of Natsworthy.

Chris Mayhead will be asked if he could obtain a photograph of the stone. Secretary reported on the Tucker (Natsworthy) Family Vault in the Churchyard inscribed:

In Loving Memory of William Owen John Tucker who died February 27th 1888 aged 61 years and of Sarah Elizabeth his wife who died June 23rd 1877 aged 52 years.

There is no Tucker Crest on the vault, it was decided that research should attempt to find more details and the colouring of it!

Secretary to write to Peter Dracup, secretary to Parochial Church Council as the meeting felt that the stone together with some information should be put in the Church on exhibition due to its historical interest and relevance to the pulpit. Sylvia Needham stated that Peter has some details of the stone in his records and Anthony will gather all the information he can together and produce a draft write-up for the next meeting. Sylvia also gave the secretary a letter that she had received from Winifred Harman enclosing a report written by the late Mr Sommers Cocks of Kingskerswell, on The Tucker Stone:-

"The Arms and Crest are those of the family of Tucker of Throwleigh and North Tawton in the County of Devon, later of Milton and Gravesend in the county of Kent, and of London as recorded at the Heralds' Visitation of Kent in 1619, namely..-

ARMS: Azure a chevron or between three sea horses argent.

CREST: On a wreath a lion's (or bears's) gamb erased gules holding a battle-axe the halt or the blade argent.

George Tucker of Milton, etc., Co Kent, married Frances daughter of Sir Henry St. George, Garter King of Arms, and by her had one son, John Tucker, Under-Secretary to Queen Anne, who died unmarried, and one daughter Frances, who married her cousin Richard Dayrell of Lillingstone Dayrell. No later registration of Arms or pedigree seems ever to have been made.

R. Dymonds 'Things Old and New concerning the Parish of Widecombe' shows that by 1876 W.

J. Owen Tucker was the Lord of the Manor of Nottisworthy (Natsworthy), and that he had presented a granite pulpit to Widecombe Church.

Summers Cocks suggests that the stone may have been intended to be part of a panel in the pulpit - the Vicar and Churchwardens may have thought that the pulpit was to the glory of God not W.J.0.T. and discarded it, only for it to come to light again in 1930, as the stone is so different from granite, this theory seems unlikely!

A second group chest

There will soon be a need for another storage chest for our archives. Suggested that people keep looking and if one suitable is seen contact secretary or chairman.

As there was no further business the meeting closed at 10 p.m.

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