Widecombe History Group Minutes October 2005


A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 5th October 2005 at 7.30 p.m.

Please click here for Commander Chrichton's talk on the History of Devonport Naval Base

Apologies:Apologies:- Michael & Anthrea Venables, Bessie French, Audrey Lamb, Valerie & Richard Casey, Rodney & Wendy Cruze.

Mr Terry French was in the chair and 59 people attended, this included 7 fresh faces who we hope will become regular members.

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

Arising:

The Heritage Marquee at Widecombe Fair on Tuesday 13th September 2005

The group was delighted with the response to our efforts at the Fair.

A sincere vote of thanks was recorded to all those that manned the marquee throughout the day, and to all those involved in any way with the creation of such an outstanding display. It must be remembered that this was our first venture into staging an exhibition and by the remarks from visitors and members alike, the number of people in the marquee at any one time, and their comments, this was truly a first class effort. We hope to be able to do a repeat performance on Tuesday 12th September 2006. Keep this date free!

We sold 64 souvenir paperweights on the day and with others sold since we have been able to send a cheque for £252 to The Widecombe Parochial Church Council. A letter of thanks has been received from their treasurer.

We also sold several “All Along, Down Along, Widecombe Way” books, so that has all helped with our fund raising.

A letter of thanks has been sent to The Devon Records Office for the loan of the display cabinets.

The support from The Dartmoor National Park Authority of £375 towards the cost of making the display panels and stands has been recognised and a letter of thanks has been sent to them. The letter also included our thanks for their assistance with the engraving of The Peter Hirst Memorial Stone now standing at Brimpts Farm.

As a result of our Heritage Marquee several people have offered information about Widecombe Fair, Ponsworthy and other aspects of the Parish. All this will be archived for future use. Further letters of thanks will be sent to those who gave us material.

Special mention was made of a Mosaic depicting ‘Uncle Tom Cobley and All’, made by a young man David Cocker, aged 15 years, while attending school at Exeter. He took two months using all his spare time to complete the project and donated it to The History Group. A letter of thanks has been sent to him and his tutor, who brought it to the Fair on his behalf. Advice will be sought as to the care and storage of the Mosaic from Helen Crosby who was involved with the mosaics produced at Widecombe School.

We are to look into the cost of obtaining some display cabinets for our own use. It is understood that Buckland in the Moor has obtained some display panels to be used in conjunction with the opening of their refurbished Vestry and members will view these to see if something similar would be suitable for showing off our documents.

The meetings of the working parties involved with the Widecombe Fair and Ponsworthy projects will recommence now that winter has come with the Widecombe Fair team meeting on Wednesday 12th October and Ponsworthy team on Wednesday 19th October.

Metal detecting of Widecombe Fair field.

We await instructions from Widecombe Fair Committee regarding this project.

Beating the bounds of Spitchwick Manor.

Terry French will be representing the group at this event. It was unfortunate that this coincided with our trip to Devonport Naval Base on Saturday 8th October.

It was agreed to pay our annual £10 subscription to The Friends of Devon Archives.

Mr Tim Wright of Dunstone has given the group a copy of a c1800 hand-drawn map of Widecombe Manor which has many interesting details on it. Particular interest is the showing of North Hall and the boundary stones of the manor. He has also given us a copy of a 1770 poem relating to the parish written by the then vicar John Gerrard to a Mr Stonely of Ashburton. The secretary has thanked him and these items will be archived.

While in conversation with Tim the ‘Kingshead Throne’ mentioned in Hemery’s High Dartmoor page 678 was raised. It appears that this was destroyed in c1934. Sylvia Needham confirmed this and mentioned that there is a field on Kinghead named ‘Barrow Field’ and she believes that this referred to an ancient barrow that was once in the field and the ‘throne’ was in fact a ‘cist’, which previously would have been the centre of the barrow. This led to a question of a ‘seat’ on Corndon Tor, known locally as “Baylem’s Chair”. Could this be any connection with the ‘sun gods’ of bygone days? (Beltane, Celtic May Day Celebrations at which bonfires were lit.)

A letter has been received relating to Rev James Holman Mason one time vicar of Widecombe and ‘Lady Drake (Darke?) of Wooder, Tim Wright who has researched Rev Mason will reply to this on our behalf and give us a copy of his letter.

Ann and Wendy have begun arranging our 2006 programme of speakers, visits and outings.

Two old photographs were shown to the meeting and an attempt will be made to name all those featured in them.

Other Local Societies Events.

Widecombe Fair Annual Dinner will be held at Badgers Holt on Friday 7th October at 7.30 p.m.

Widecombe Ladies Social Club will meet at The Church House on Thursday 13th October at 7.30 p.m. for a talk by John Vickery on making sticks & wands.

Tuesday 25th October at 7.30 p.m. there will be illustrated talk by George Bumann of Yellowstone National Park at St Luke’s Church Buckfastleigh on the subject of wolf and bear ecology.

Saturday 29th October at The Church House there will be a coffee morning with stalls from 10.00 a.m. in aid of a charity that supports one parent families.

Widecombe Entertainment Group will be holding a November 5th Fireworks display at The Rugglestone Inn at 7.30p.m. including a spit roast and barbecue.

Speaker for November 2nd meeting is Mike Wright and his subject is “My Favourite Slides of Dartmoor”.

December 7th meeting is a talk by Dr Tom Greeves on The Three Hares........’from China to Widecombe’.

The January meeting will be held on Wednesday 3rd January and will be in the form of our Annual New Years Party. This will be a bring and share supper with Peter Rennells concocting the liquid refreshment!

Commander Charles Crichton gave a most entertaining and informative address on the history of Devonport Dockyard. We will be visiting the Royal Naval Base at Devonport on Saturday 8th October. Coach leaving Widecombe at 9.30a.m. and arriving home at about 5.30p.m. the trip is fully booked.

The meeting closed at 10.04p.m.

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