Widecombe History Group Minutes August 2004


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A Meeting of the Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at the Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 4th August 2004 at 7.30 p.m.

Apologies: Anthea and Michael Venables, Rose Mortimore, Barbara Guthrie, Sue Booty, Wendy and Rodney Cruze, Eileen and Peter Carrett.

Mrs. Margaret Steemson was in the Chair and 36 people attended.

The Minutes of the July Meeting were read and signed as correct.

The Secretary reported that he had written to Mrs. Simpson expressing the Groups’ sympathy on the death of Mr. Jack Simpson, who had supported the Group in many ways.

Arising:

Drop Cloth - to be fixed.

It is hoped that a meeting will soon be arranged with Richard Wells, Librarian.

Volunteers are needed to help with the production of paper weights from the Church roof lead. It was agreed to give Mr. John Hodges of Torquay, a Gift Token and a copy of our book ‘All Along Down Along Widecombe Way’ in appreciation of his work in making a mould for the paper weights.

E-mails:

We have been unable to contact to date the person seeking details of John Rose, Devon Constabulary, 1860s to 1880s. We have information for you, please contact us again on history @ widecombe-in-the-moor.com (since resolved)

Widecombe Parish Social and Entertainment Club, contact 01364 621294 for details of the monthly draw and sponsored Fun Run scheduled for Saturday 9th October 2004.

Community Landscape Project: Secretary is arranging a date convenient to Sean Hawken, the Project Leader based at Exeter, and Michael & Lorna Skinner to visit North Hall site. Mr. J. Pidgeon has also expressed an interest to attend.

St. Anthony, Cornwall: John Kimber is in contact with the Estate Agent for further information on the storm of 1640.

2005 Programme: Ann and Wendy are currently compiling next year’s list of speakers, walks and outings. They requested that anyone with ideas for the programme should contact them with names and places as soon as possible.

Local Community Police contact number 0845 2 777444 for any community problems.

A.J. Coles: Film "All Along Down Along out Along Lee" still be pursued.

Parish Documents: A suitable fireproof chest is still being sought.

A demonstration was given to the meeting by means of a computer and screen, of the CD produced by the Group, based on the contents of the Apprenticeship Documents, Removal Orders and Indentures held in the Parish Chest.

The C.D. will be known as Widecombe and District Local History Group, Parish Documents Browse, Version 1, July 2004:-

Obtainable from Anthony Beard, Bittleford Parks, Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbot, TQ13 7TQ, at £15.00 including all materials, postage and package.

The meeting expressed sincere thanks to Roger and Ann Claxton for creating this CD, and to the team of volunteers that undertook the transcribing on to forms of the information found on the documents. This is the basis of the project.

It may well be possible to add to this C.D. in the future, either by scanning some of the original documents so as to avoid continual handling, or by adding the results or findings of other research.

The current C.D. covers about 1182 citizens, 572 documents, 3510 people officially related to those documents, locations both in and outside the parish and the occupations of some of those listed. Search can be done for a citizen by name, occupation or location etc. The documents are numbered, so that further examination of the originals may be done to obtain more information if needed, also reference by number to the other documents that refer to that person.

The possibility of gradually getting the documents copied or scanned onto disc as and when needed, could be done at a cost that would be retrieved from those requiring the details, and that way we could build up a complete set by funding at a zero cost to the Group and Parish.

History of Widecombe Fair: Information has already started to accumulate concerning the history of Widecombe Fair. If anyone can help with pictures, newspaper cuttings, old programmes or stories about Widecombe Fairs past, please contact Anthony Beard at Bittleford Parks, Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 7TQ, or e-mail tony@widecombe.fsnet.co.uk

Any memorabilia would be appreciated. All contributions will be acknowledged. Photographs and other material will be copied and returned.

Thanks to John Kimber for his research into Newspaper reports from The Western Morning News that he has started to collect.

The Dartmoor Trust Leat Project: Anyone wishing to participate in this may obtain maps by contacting Jane Marchand at the Dartmoor National Park on 01626 832093.

The Dartmoor Archive Exhibition held at Neadon Barn, Manaton, was a great success, however it was noted that some of the captions with the photographs needed amending. Secretary will pass on that information to the Trust.

Ponsworthy: The collection of information on the village of Ponsworthy is still on-going and it is hoped that during the Winter months members of the Group will meet and sort the information collected, to up-date the draft document.

Shovel Down Project: Members were disappointed that the representative failed to attend the meeting to give us an illustrated talk on the ‘Shovel Down Project - re-examining Bronze Age land division on Dartmoor.’ Phase 2 of the project is currently being undertaken until Friday 13th August 2004.

Guided Walk around the site - meet at Batworthy Corner 1.00 p.m. on Sunday 8th August. Contact Roger first to confirm time.

Naming of Photographs:-

Several photographs from Ben Knibbs were shown to the meeting and these had captions on them.

Some other photographs down-loaded from the ‘web’ seeking titles were also shown,

a, view from Widecombe Saxon Well towards New Park - the Ponsworthy Road.

b, Venton Farm Barns?

c, where?

d, Standing Stone, could this be at Ditsworthy?

In the absence of our Speaker, thanks to the prompt action of Roger and Ann Claxton and Chris Mayhead, we were given an interesting insight into old Widecombe. Ben Knibbs had supplied copies of various films concerning Widecombe Fair 1948 and 1958 and the surrounding locality, including the big freeze of 1963, the Ten Tors Expedition of 1955 that started at Haytor, a romantic view of Dartmoor, 1958 Jack Bellamy of Postbridge, pony round-ups and a Dartmoor mobile hairdresser, she had moved from London to the Bellever area for a better life c1950’s. These films were shown to the meeting and led to a great deal of enjoyment, amusement and also aroused quite a few memories of years gone by. We were informed that there is still more to come and we look forward with anticipation to seeing them.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 1st September when the Speaker will be Len Copley and the subject will be ‘Ancient Dartmoor Trackways’. On Saturday 4th September, Len will lead a Guided Walk, meeting at High Down Car Park near Lydford at 12 noon. Map Ref:- 528 851

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