Widecombe History Group Minutes March 2005

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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 2nd March 2005 at 7.30 p.m..

Please click here for a résumé of the illustrated talk given by Chris Kelland on “Underground Mining in Devon”.

Apologies:- Michael & Andrea Venables, Sylvia Needham, Margaret Steemson, Peter & Dillys Harvey, Phyllis Pascoe, Fred Daw, Jenny Pascoe, Terry & Bessie French, Valerie & Richard Casey, Betty Andrews and Jim & Ruby Churchward.

The secretary expressed his sincere thanks to all those that take the trouble to send their apologies. All the support and encouragement that he gets from members is so rewarding.

Peter Rennells was in the chair and 35 people attended. Some were first time visitors who came with the speaker, we hope that they enjoyed the evening.

Due to the fact that there were ‘flurries of snow falling’ we invited the speaker to do his talk first so that he and his friends could get off the moors before it became heavier. As it was, the snow did not come to too much, but there was a frost of -2 oC when we all left for home at 10.00 p.m.

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


Projects. (a) Lead Paperweights - volunteers required to begin this.

(b) A working party needed to erect the Church Drop-cloth.

(c) The Ponsworthy History Project is developing nicely. Regular meetings of those involved are continuing. More on this at the April Meeting.

(d) The Widecombe Fair History Project is turning up some very interesting information. More on this too at the April Meeting.

Anyone interested in any of the above projects please contact the secretary and help continue the good work already done. We have our own micro-fiche reader if anyone gets material in this form contact the secretary.

Librarian Richard Wells still continuing with his mammoth task of cataloguing and recording our archives etc.


Feb 05/01 E-mail regarding the history of ‘beating the bounds’.

Feb 05/02 E-mail regarding old book on Widecombe Fair.

Other Local Groups

Ladies Circle. Meeting on Thursday 10th March at The Church House for an illustrated talk by Tom Brooks on his trip to Peru.

Social Group. The result of the fund-raising sale of promises went well and £1700 was raised towards future Parish Social Events. The next fund-raising event will be a grand Easter draw. Contact Sharon 10364 621>>>.

Sponsorship. A walk will be undertaken by Margaret Phipps on Saturday 12th March from Pork Hill to Postbridge, to help raise funds for an autistic child. Several members readily sponsored her for this event and we all wished her well for the venture.

Widecombe Parish Council. The Annual Parish Meeting, organised by The Parish Council, will be held in The Church House on Wednesday 23rd March 2005 at 7.30 p.m. when representatives of all the different organisations within the Parish are invited to give a short resume of their activities. The secretary has been invited to report on The Local History Group, The Widecombe Church & Lands Charity and The Widecombe Educational Foundation.

North Hall Project. There is some good news at last regarding further exploration of The North Hall Site. Sean Hawken of The Community Landscape Project at Exeter University has informed the Group that he has recently been on a Geo-Physics course and hopes to be able to put some of this to practical use at our North Hall site during the coming Autumn. We must persue this come September.

A.J.Cole Film. The secretary has made contact with Nicholas Keen regarding the possibility of the group seeing some of the old films made by the late Stuart Keen in particular “All Along Down Along”, featuring the late A.J.Coles (Jan Stewer). Our programme secretaries will keep this in mind when planning our 2006 programme.

Annual Outing to Morwellham on Saturday 14th May 2005. The coach will leave Widecombe at 8.15 a.m. to Calstock by 10.30 a.m. then by ferry to Morwellham. We shall spend the whole day there with a 2.15 p.m. booked trip into the old copper mine, further time to explore the village and surrounding countryside and depart at 5.00 p.m. for home by 6.30 p.m.. Cost £18.00 (coach, ferry, coffee and entrance fee). Take your own packed lunch/teas or food can be purchased on site from various outlets.

Chagford Local History Group. Their next meeting is on Thursday 31st March at Endecott House at 8.00 p.m. when the talk will be “The Railways of Devon”.

The late Peter Hirst.

At Peter’s funeral a collection was made in aid of Widecombe County Primary School and the Governors decided to use the proceeds and some other private donations to produce a new school sign. On Friday 25th February 2005 it was unveiled. An outstanding mosaic, made by the children and depicting the ‘Old Grey Mare and all the Characters’, now stands at the entrance to the school looking out across the road towards the Widecombe Fair Field. When Peter died he was chairman of The Widecombe Fair Committee Company Limited and Vice-chairman of The Widecombe & District Local History Group so it was felt that this was an excellent and fitting tribute to him. Peter’s family expressed the wish that members of The Widecombe Fair Committee and members of The Widecombe & District Local History Group should attend the scattering of Peter’s ashes at Yar Tor on Saturday 9th April 2005 at 10.30 a.m. and afterwards to meet at Brimpts Farm for some light refreshments. Please try to attend this last farewell to a real gentleman.

On Sunday 6th March The Dartmoor Preservation Association will hold its 2nd Annual Sylvia Sayer Memorial Walk beginning at Belstone Carpark at 10.30 a.m.

The meeting was sorry to hear of the recent death of a great supporter of The Moretonhampstead Local History Group. We send his family and the group our sincere sympathy.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 6th April 2005, at 7.30 p.m. It will take the form of a discussion evening with particular attention being given to the various projects being undertaken by members. Some interesting information about Ponsworthy and about Widecombe Fair.

The Month of May will be a busy Month for the Group!

The May meeting will be on Wednesday 4th May 2005 and will begin with the Eighth Annual General Meeting at 7.30 p.m. after which we will have our regular monthly meeting when the speaker will be Trevor James and his subject will be entitled “The History of Dartmoor Prison”.

On the Saturday 7th May Trevor James will show us around The Princetown Prison Museum after which we shall have a walk around King’s Tor. Meet at the main carpark at Princetown at 11.00 a.m. - bring a picnic lunch.

On Saturday 14th May is our Annual Outing. This year to Morwellham please return your booking forms soon. Details see above.

The June Meeting is on Wednesday 1st June when Sheila Phillips will give a talk on The Pengelly Caves of Buckfastleigh. This will be followed up with a visit to the caves at 7.00 p.m. on Friday Evening 3rd June, meet at the Centre.

The March Meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.

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The information on this page was last modified on March 18 2013 12:55:26.

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