Widecombe History Group Minutes May 2003

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The SIXTH Annual General Meeting of the Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 7th May 2003 at 7.30 p.m.

The meeting preceded the regular May monthly meeting.

Mrs. Margaret Steemson was in the Chair and 49 people attended.

Apologies were received from Wendy and Rodney Cruze, Betty Andrews, Freda Wilkinson, Arch Mortimore, Pat Gibson, Jan Peet.

The Minutes of the last AGM were read and signed as correct.

Chairman reported on another very successful year during which we had some very interesting speakers, excellent outings and guided walks and a wonderful atmosphere at all our meetings. She thanked all the committee for their support during the year and all those that attended all the meetings and added so much to the enjoyment and fellowship of the Group.

Treasurer Jennifer Pascoe reported that the finances of the group remained very sound and that a small excess of income over expenditure of £76.56 was realized for the year ending 31st December 2002. Donations made by the group to other organizations, mainly the Parochial Church Council, were slightly higher (£243) this year as they included some carried over from the last year. Peter Hirst proposed the adoption of the accounts, this was seconded by Phyllis Pascoe, and was agreed with a sincere vote of thanks to Jenny. She then proposed a vote of thanks to Andrew Tilt who audited the accounts, carried.

Election of Officers:

Chairman Margaret Steemson

Vice-Chairman and Archivist Peter Hirst

Secretary Anthony Beard

Treasurer Jennifer Pascoe

Family History Sec. and Website Coordinators Roger and Ann Claxton

Programme and Outing Secretary Ann Claxton and Viv Layfield

Librarian Richard Wells

The meeting closed at 7.50 p.m.

A meeting of the Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 7th May 2003 at 7.50 p.m.

Mrs. Margaret Steemson was in the Chair and 49 people attended.

Apologies:- Rodney and Wendy Cruze, Jan Peet, Betty Andrews and Pat Gibson.

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


1) We are still looking for tubes on which to mount the Dropcloth prior to storage.

2) There is a need for a volunteer to take on the production of paper weights from the lead salvaged from the Church roof.

3) Richard Wells is patiently waiting to meet the Committee to start his work as Librarian.

Family History and e-mails:


April E/02. Barbara Newport, Editor of the Parish Link has agreed to publish the family names in connection with the enquiry from Chris Wiecek of Australia who is interested in Widecombe family connections. Anyone interested contact Christ direct.


Ann Claxton reported that there are still some seats available for the outing for Saturday May 24th to Coldharbour Mill and Midelney Manor. Contact 01364 621232.

A letter from Widecombe and District Ladies Social Club inviting our members to join them on a Mystery tour on Thursday 12th June, coach leaving Widecombe at 6.30 p.m. stopping for something to eat en-route. Tickets approximately £5 obtainable from Margaret Phipps 01364 631421.

Guided Walks:-

Peter Hirst lead a successful guided walk around Bullaton Farm in April and he is prepared to organize in conjunction with Ann Claxton, other walks to suit members including one in and around Chudleigh when Alan Brunton will act as our guide. The next walk is on Saturday 7th June at 12.00 noon, meeting at Hound Tor for a walk around the Medieval village there and then drive to Hutholes to view that sight as a follow up to the talk to be given by Debbie Griffiths at our June meeting on Wednesday 4th June. As usual bring a picnic.

Bogus Callers:

The Police are warning people to be aware of casual callers offering to tarmac drives and do building repairs, do not get involved with these people.

Crow Act - Right to Roam:

The meeting was informed that the provisional map can be viewed at Parke, Bovey Tracey, from 13th May for three months.

Oral History Project :-

It was agreed to notify Debbie Griffiths and Becky Newel at D.N.P. that the Group are looking favourably on this project and hope to participate. Volunteers to do these recordings needed. Contact Secretary.

The Secretary brought to the notice of members activities of other local History Groups. A talk and book launch will be held at Moretonhampstead Parish Church on Wednesday 21st May at 7.30 p.m. by Ian Mortimer author of "The Greatest Traitor" - ‘The Mystery of the death of Edward II’. Whimple Local History group are opening a museum at the end of May and they would welcome us there and open it specially for us and give us a guided walk around their village.

A copy of Volume II of the activities of The Society of Moorland Dowsers was presented to the group by Joyce and Tony Heath for our archives. Year 2002.

Aileen and Peter Carrett gave the group an illustrated booklet showing a recent walk and the trip to Bullaton Farm.

A.J. Coles:

The Secretary produced some interesting items relating to A.J. Coles, Jan Stewer, at one time Headteacher at Puddington, these included:

a) brass tin, given to all of the armed forces Christmas 1914 from H.R.H. The Princess Mary’s Christmas Fund, still containing tobacco and eleven cigarettes;

b) a silk handkerchief listing the engagements of the 2nd Battalion Devon Regiment, Natal Field Forces November 1899 to June 1900;

c) a copy of Jan Stewer’s ‘At Home and Abroad’;

d) a letter dated March 15th 1902 from Jan Stewer to Mrs. Farley;

e) a poem dated 2nd November 1899 titled ‘Ladysmith Seige’;

f) three photographs, one showing Mr. and Mrs. Farley;

g) a beautiful carved pipe, the bowl of which is a horses’ head, which is the pipe referred to in the letter which mentions the knife which carved the pipe.

The Secretary has accepted these items on "permanent loan" from Mrs. Dilys Fouache, grand-daughter of Mr. Farley. This came about through a chance meeting between Brian Harris and his mother Margaret and Audrey Lamb with Mrs Foache. It was mentioned that Kate Strasdin may well be able to advise on conservation of the cloth. Secretary will write to Mrs Foache listing the items and confirm that if any member of her family wishes to regain these items they will be return to them.

"All Along, Down Along - Widecombe Way"

Peter Hirst gave a short report on the progress of the production of our book ‘All Along Down Along - Widecombe Way’, that we are producing in conjunction with Orchard Publications of Chudleigh.

The draft has been approved by the Committee and is virtually ready to go to print, subject to an acceptable front cover colour photograph being obtained. Chris Mayhead who has supplied all the pictures for the book is currently searching his library for the ideal one.

The Publisher is pleased with the material and we are now looking forward to the launch. Date and time for this will soon be announced.

Watch This Space!!!

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The information on this page was last modified on March 18 2013 12:55:03.

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