Widecombe History Group Minutes March 2000


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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held in The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 1st March 2000 at 7.30 p.m.

Mrs. Margaret Steemson was in the Chair and 44 people attended, she began by welcoming some new faces to the meeting.

Apologies: Rodney and Wendy Cruze and Rosamund Whale.

The Minutes of the February meeting were read and signed as correct.

Arising:

North Hall -

Peter Rennells reported on finding 10 more maps relating to Widecombe at various places, there is a book on the Fitzralphs family in the British Library, he is currently corresponding with The Bishop of Dundork, Northern Ireland, who is trying to find the whereabouts of Fitzralph’s Grave in the churchyard over there. He has also spoken to Lorna Skinner to see if she and Michael would still be prepared for ‘The Time Team’ to investigate North Hall if our research led to this, they seem to look at this quite favourably. He has ordered the aerial photograph that the February meeting authorised.

Police -

Geoffrey Bamsey still researching this subject.

Storage -

The Dartmoor Trust are prepared to provide up to £250 by way of matching funding to support the acquisition of a suitable container for storing our documents etc. We shall persue this when the current decoration to the Hall is completed.

Any Other Business -

1. A letter from the Widecombe Sports Group inviting the History Group to send a team to take part in a Quiz to raise money for their funds, to be held at the Old Inn, Widecombe on Tuesday 21st March, at 8.00 p.m. It was agreed to enter a team of 4 (£4 entrance fee), the team to be: Terry French, Roger Whale, Chris Mayhead and Audrey Mortimore.

2. Peter Rennells has been in contact with The Friends of Devon’s Archives, c/o the Devon Records Office, Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PU, who are holding a lecture on early Devon Manors at Exeter on Tuesday 14th March, and he would like to be able to attend in the hope that he may gain further information concerning North Hall. They are also soon producing a series of books containing copies of early Devon maps. It is only possible to attend their meetings if individually or as a group we have membership, it was agreed that the group should join for the fee of £10. Anyone then wishing to attend any of their meetings will then only have to pay their own admission , in this case it is £5 which also covers a buffet meal. Peter was quite happy with this arrangement. Peter has bought recently a copy of a 1993 edition (quarterly publication), of The Devon Family History booklet, and found in it a reference to the Weymouth family and a person in Australia trying to trace family connections. He has shown this to Mrs Gladys Mann of Great Dunstone, as she has a Weymouth Family Tree, she has contacted the Australians and it appears that there is some relationship and she is corresponding with them. He also suggested that the History Group should join the The Devon Family History Society, whose address is ‘The Tree House’ at Exeter, for a further fee £10. He has obtained a copy of their most recent quarterly periodical and found the names of at least five local families who are currently trying to find connections. Caroline Belam suggested that it is possible to obtain back copies of their ‘Devon Family Historian’ for about 10p per copy. Peter felt that this too could be a valuable source of information to the group, it was agreed to join them also. After the meeting Peter discussed this with Anthony and offered to act as contact/secretary for the three Societies that we have now joined, our treasurer Jenny Pascoe will set up Direct Debits for the two new Annual Subscriptions as she has done for the Devon History Society. Peter will then be responsible for the correspondence with these societies and the care of the periodicals that all three societies produce, and their distribution within the group.

3. Anthony Beard reported on a successful mission to obtain for the Parish, three cast-iron bell clappers, which were being offered for sale at Messrs. Bearnes sale rooms at Exeter on Tuesday 22nd February. viz. Lot 339, 3 iron bell clappers, 94, 76, and 65 cms. long. These bell clappers are by repute from Widecombe Church.

These turned to be from the estate of the late Lady Sylvia Sayer. Her son, Capt. Geoffrey Sayer, agreed on behalf of the family to withdraw them from the auction and donate them to Widecombe Church where they will be displayed with a plaque commemorating the gift. Further research on their history and that of the bells is ongoing. Anthony Beard and Chris Mayhead will produce an article and photographs relating to the tower, the bells and the clappers and submit it to :- "Dartmoor - The Country Magazine" in the hope that they may publish it, to further The Church Tower Appeal. If they are successful, any remuneration received will be donated to the appeal!

4. The remarks in the March Parish Link written by ‘The Old Buzzard’, were well received and caused some amusement. The author is still unknown to the meeting, but general approval was expressed. (copy attached).

5. Rod Newbolt-Young has given the secretary the website address for the millennium satellite aerial photographs :- getmapping.com - this will be persued in due course.

6. Flower festival arrangements still progressing.

7. Speakers for 2001. Peter Rennells has obtained a list of speakers from other history groups with recommendations and fees charged.

8. A book token was presented to both Margaret Steemson and Anthony Beard as a token of thanks for the time and effort they have both put into making the group run so successfully. This was a great surprise to the two recipients, they were both speechless for once - that’s a change - they thanked the group for their extreme kindness.

Please click for Roger Claxton’s Talk on the Website, Database and Internet and how it works and how it can benefit the whole community.

Margaret Steemson proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Roger for a most interesting insight into this ‘mindboggling source of information’ and she mentioned the amount of work that he and Ann have put into this project not only for the benefit of the group but for the whole community.

Roger in reply appealed to us all to send details of items, projects, information etc, for addition to our website, to him and Ann, and they will add to the site all that they think suitable for inclusion and particularly copy that will add to the interest of the pages for those that ‘log on’, his hope is that we for our part will continue to feed them, with these gems of information, so that they can keep the ‘site’ updated and increasingly interesting.

Beating the Bounds -

Peter Hirst updated the meeting on the details. A letter (copy attached to Minutes) has been sent to all owners and occupiers of land adjoining the boundaries on either side, requesting permission to walk across their ground during the months of May, June and July in accordance with the programme published in the February Parish Link, (a copy of the programme has also been added to the minutes),. A donation of £50 has been received from Pam Clare towards the expenses of this project, a vote of thanks was recorded to her, some other small donations (£5/£10), have also been received. Further donations however small would be greatly appreciated to help with the cost of the mugs and maps etc.

Roger Whale brought to the meeting his original design which will be reproduced in stencil form by Douglas Middleweek for decorating the mugs being produced to commemorate the walk. A sincere vote of thanks was recorded to Roger for an outstanding effort. Douglas will produce 100 mugs to start with and then get the balance made up when we know the final total needed.

Peter Hirst has met with Mrs. Sue Price, the Headteacher of Widecombe Primary School, and will continue to liaise with her regarding the children’s participation.

Grants and Financial Aid -

It was reported that the Widecombe Parish Council has donated £50 towards the running of the community Website and Widecombe Fair Company Limited had donated £50 towards the Website and a further £200 towards the Beating of the Bounds project.

Secretary is in the process of applying to "Small Grants for All" in the hope that some help with the cost of our website, database, storage etc could be obtained.

Tea rota April Betty Andrews and Ruby Churchward

Tea rota May Vivien Layfield and Wendy Cruze

The meeting closed at 10.10p.m.

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