Widecombe History Group Minutes May 1999


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The minutes follow. For details of the talk on Prehistoric Dartmoor, please click here.

The Second Annual General Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at the Church House, Widecombe in the Moor, on Wednesday 5th May 1999 at 7.30p.m.

Mrs. Margaret Steemson was in the chair and there were 31 people present.

Apologies were received from ~ Pascoe, Rosamund Whale, Rodney Mortimore, Bessie French, Liz Fursdon and Rodney Cruze.

Chairmans report:- A successful and very happy year with interesting speakers and walks had been experienced by the group. The fact that we refer to ourselves as Widecombe and District is very evident in the number of people that regularly attend the meetings from around a wide area. Margaret then expressed her thanks to the other officials who had helped her during the last twelve months and to all the people that have supported the group by attending meetings and events and generally making the group meetings such successful and enjoyable, social and informative occasions.

Treasurers report:- Financially a successful year to the 31st December 1998, an excess of income over expenditure of � 135.80 was reported by our treasurer Jenny Pascoe. Sales of the Widecombe Gazette reprint has resulted in �22.00 being donated to the Church Funds. The balance of our funds stood at �226.20. Copy of accounts attached to minutes.

Terry French proposed a vote of thanks to the treasurer and the accounts were unanimously adopted. Vote of thanks recorded to Andrew Tilt for auditing the accounts.

A vote of thanks was expressed to the secretary for his enthusiasm and hard work in all the preparation he does for meetings and the detailed minutes that he records of all our activities.

The vice chairman was thanked for his continued support with the smooth running of the group and his work with the archives.

Election of officers for the next year then took place.

Chairman Mrs Margaret Steemson

Vice Chairman Peter Hirst

Treasurer Mrs Jennifer Pascoe

Secretary Anthony Beard

All the above were elected unopposed.

The May meeting then commenced with the reading of the minutes of the April meeting which were duly signed as correct.

Arising from the minutes:-

Freda Wilkinson was thanked for the interesting walk that she had organised around the Longhouse at Uppacott, it was suggested that another visit would be appreciated as several members were unable to attend the last one. Freda will try to arrange this for a future date. She has also compiled a modem list of the names of the utensils mentioned in the 1608 Church House Grant:-

Chittle Baking or camp kettle or cauldron

Keeve Tub or container for flour or mash

Brandice Trivet or iron stand to rest pots or kettles on

Coole Coal or charcoal

Coffer Chest

Bynch Bench

Brandielbrendle? Could this mean Branding Iron?

A letter was received from Tim Whitten of Bonehill attached to a 'paper' on "Bonehill Bunhill". It outlined the history of that hamlet but contained some queries that he hoped some members of the group may be able to assist with . Freda agreed to take it home and read and continue to pass it around the group in the hope that some help could be given.

Peter Hirst has obtained the equipment to help June Kernick with the drawing of a plan of 'Newhouse'. Secretary agreed to inform her. Surprise was expressed as to the amount of ruins still there on both sides of the road, Peter feels that when it is surveyed it will be surprising how much will show up, and then some thought can be given on the use of some of the enclosures and buildings.

Peter has also obtained hasps and padlocks to fit our chest and map drawer.

Time watch - nothing to report.

Members were urged to keep leaflets and books etc circulating.

Beating the Bounds:- Planning and the choice of mementoes still proceeding. An example of a possible medal insert (a couple walking ) was shown to the meeting.

North Hall:- Peter Rennells will give an up to date report at the June meeting. Secretary is in contact with Bill Homer of The Devon Archaeology Society concerning Geo-physical survey opportunities. Peter will contact again Michael Skinner to reaffirm permission to survey and visit the site.

Home Guard:- Terry French reported that the photograph in the Memorial Hall is identical to the Church House copy. Information to be passed on to Colin and Midge Westward. Note - name correction needed on Widecombe Photo!

Film show at Leusdon Memorial Hall on 30th October 1999. Chairman will secure two tickets for Chris Chapman, photographer of Throwleigh who has expressed an interest in attending.

Freda Wilkinson has had correspondence with a Mr Parker of Dorking regarding his ancestors, the Hannafords of Fernhill (Ponsworthy), and the Warrens (stone masons). His great grandfather John Warren (stonemason), was also the innkeeper at The Old Inn, Widecombe, where Parker's grandmother Eliza Beard Warren, was born. Two of John's sons, Moses and Aaron, followed him into stonemasonry and worked on the then new pulpit for Widecombe Church, in the later half of the last century. Deborah Hannaford told the meeting that the stone was in fact brought from Wooder for the purpose. A letter written in 1850 by a Roger Hannaford to his brother at Dockwell was referred to, and his enquiring and inquisitive mind was mentioned. The death of old farmer Hannaford of Shallowford is mentioned in Roger Hannafords letter(l 850) and when Parker's great grandfather married in 1841, his father was named as Richard Hannaford of Wooder , and Richard's parents were Robert and Elizabeth Hannaford - this needs confirming. Freda mentioned Peter Hannaford in her letter to Parker and he wrote back saying that his mother was a contemporary of Peter's being born at Stone Farm near Lower Natsworthy in 1888. Her father Edwin Hannaford fanned at Stone from c 1890 to c 1935, Deborah Hannaford informed the meeting that no Hannafords were living at Stone in 1935 it must have been several years prior to that date, reference to an old directory, (Kelly's for example), may help clear up this query. Could this be Stone in Buckland Parish? Deborah has also written to Mr Parker and Freda and Deborah were both thanked by the Chairman.

Parish Chest:- A vote of thanks was expressed to the group of people that attended the session at The Church House on 21st April and cut out the calico to size for wrapping the contents of the parish chest, it appears that they stopped work to listen to an appeal on local radio by the Rector Rev Derek Newport, church secretary Peter Dracup and our secretary Anthony Beard for �100,000 currently needed to repair the church tower. It was recorded that the idea of a Memorial Book in the church in which names of past loved ones can be written, to be remembered annually, was the brainchild of Mrs Pauline Boyes of Rutherford House (the old Police Station). The minimum charge for entry is �5.00. The calico pieces were then distributed amongst several members who agreed to take them home and stitch around prior to the June meeting.

Anthony Beard reported that he had been in contact with a Mr Baughn of America and had sent him details of his family connections in our records, (the Barters of Brown Berry Farm, now ruins opposite Dunnabridge Pound).

Peter Hirst and Peter Rennells had attended a meeting on tinworking in and around Dartmoor given by Dr Rob Bruce. This proved very interesting to them, and the survey recently done by Dr Bruce of the tin streaming area, down stream from Ruddicleave Bridge (Buckland Parish), was excellent. There are plans to survey the area upstream soon as far as Blackslade Ford on our parish boundary. A full report and plan is in The Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group's Newsletter No 11. A copy to be put with our archives.

Deborah Hannaford has given the group a photo of Dinna Clarkes, on West Shallowford, when excavated in 1967 and also a very detailed plan of all the houses in the "Hutholes" settlement at Dockwell, drawn by the late Mrs Minter.

Guest speaker for this meeting was Mr Mike Perriam of Buckland and his subject was "Prehistoric Dartmoor'.

Details of his talk will be found here.

A vote of thanks was expressed to Mike Perriam.

Anthony reported that the hall is booked for the year 2000

He has written to Mr Ted Fitch stating the group are still hoping that he will be able to talk to us in December. We will review the situation nearer the time.

Peter Hirst has produced a form for people to register anything that they have available for others to read .

The group is now registered with 55+ lifestyle for the purpose of them knowing of the existence and purpose of the group.

June meeting is an open discussion meeting.

The guided walk is arranged for 12.00 noon next Saturday 8th May starting at Cold East Cross with Mike Perriam as guide.

Westcountry Television are to visit the village on 7th May to interview people on what it was like in the days before electricity, it is hoped some parishioners will meet at the Post Office at 3.OOP.m.

The only ones shown in the film still alive were Ned Northmore, Peter Hicks and Marjorie Middleweek, and the school children of 1962 getting out of Beard's Bus and going into school.

The chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and the meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.

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