Widecombe History Group Minutes October 2003

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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 1st October 2003 at 7.30 p.m..

Click here for Derek Gore's talk on the Roman Conquest of the South-West.

Mrs Margaret Steemson was in the chair and 45 people attended. She began by welcoming everyone and once again we had some people attending for the first time.

Apologies:- Sylvia Needham, Peter & Dilys Harvey, Fred Daw, Bessie French, Peter Rennells and Phyllis Pascoe.

The minutes of the September meeting were read and signed as correct.


Secretary reported that he had contacted Mr Hodges regarding the scrap lead/paperweight project, he would be sending to Mr Hodges soon a sketch of the Church which it is hoped will be suitable for engraving on the paperweight.

The dropcloth ‘saga’ needs concluding. Volunteers will be required to do this. Please contact the secretary.

We await Richard Well’s article in the next Dartmoor Newletter, and we must assist him with his librarian work.

Outing:- The outing to Bishops Lydeard and Dunster was a resounding success. Thanks were recorded to Ann Claxton for arranging such a delightful day out. A bouquet of flowers was presented to her as a token of appreciation. When is the next one?

We understand that Coldharbour Mill Leat is being refurbished.

A book token was presented to Freda Wilkinson as thanks and appreciation of the excellent talk she gave the group at our September meeting.

The Parish Document Browse CD is still being assessed.

Programme 2004:- Ann and Wendy have nearly completed the programme of events scheduled for next year and hope to be able to present it to the next meeting. They are still open to suggestions for future speakers, venues for walks and outings etc. they all get filed for future reference.

Chudleigh L.H.Group have recently held a "Big Dig", when about a dozen gardens had exploratory trenches dug to see what could be found. Some gardens revealed very little, however one produced several broken clay pipes, this hopefully will substantiate the belief that Chudleigh once had a clay-pipe factory, in another garden were found empty brass cartridges, (.303 Lee Enfield) and also several military uniform buttons, no doubt we shall hear more details about these finds when we go for a guided walk around Chudleigh in April 2004 with Alan Brunton. Alan has informed the group that our book "All Along, Down Along - Widecombe Way" is continuing to sell well.

Tetra Mast:- It is believed that many local people have signed a petition and written letters in support of the objection to the proposed extension of the communication mast at Blackslade Manor.

During any other business

David Cole of Newton Abbot, battlefield guide and tour manager, mentioned that if there was anyone in the group looking for information of relations that had been killed and buried in Europe during the last two World Wars, he may be able to help. He has built up a great deal of information and has visited many of the war graves and cemeteries in recent years and he also has many contacts that could help. An early minute book of the Local Royal British Legion is in the Parish Chest and this could be of interest to Dave. Contact Dave direct on 01626 202871 or djvcole@blueyonder.co.uk

Rodney Cruze stated that the Mormons have access to many old census details that can be read on CD if contacted, he then asked if anyone has information of "Brownings" living in the parish in 1841. They were miners at Pitton, Michael suggested that on the register associated with the 1842 Parish Map, their names may be recorded.

The meeting had a most interesting illustrated talk on "The Roman Conquest and Occupation of The South West", given by Mr Derek Gore. Derek then offered to take members on a guided walk around the Roman Walls and Defences at Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, on Sunday 5th October at 10.30 p.m.

Lustleigh Local History Society meet on the fourth Thursday of each month at Lustleigh Village Hall at 8p.m. the speaker for October 22nd is Chris Chapman on Truelove Farm and silence at Ramscliffe, (foot and mouth outbreak). Admission £2.

Beautiful Devon a talk by Chips Barber at Bickington Church Hall on Friday October 10th at 7.30 p.m. Admission £3.

Chagford LHG meeting on October 30th - Local Crime and Passion - by Mike Wrayford.

Meeting will be at Endacott House, Chagford

Moretonhampstead LHG’s AGM Wednesday 15th October in the Community Centre, Court Street, Moretonhampstead at 7.30p.m.

A newspaper cutting has been received from Henry Harris of Totnes regarding the Hannaford family. Secretary will pass this to June Kernick, genealogist with Hannaford connections.

Letter from Terry Faull of Bere Ferrers, passed on to us by the Widecombe Parish Council, regarding the plight of ‘Holy Wells’ in Devon. Visit www.holywells.com for more details. This prompted the idea that this could be part of our next meeting discussion, see below.

The next meeting will be held at The Church House on Wednesday 5th November 2003 at 7.30 and will take the form of a discussion evening, as it will be Guy Fawkes Day - how has that been celebrated in the past? The effect of lightening in the Parish will be also discussed, and the variety of water wells, springs and what has been once described as ‘Holy Wells’ if any in the district, will be considered and associated lanes such as ‘Shute Lanes’ and/or ‘Water Lanes’. "Fire and Water".

The meeting closed at 9.55 p.m.

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