Widecombe History Group Minutes September 2005

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A Meeting of the Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 7th September 2005 at 7.30 p.m.

Please click here for Helen Harris's talk on Devon's Century of Change

Apologies: Margaret Phipps, Michael and Andrea Venables, Jim Churchward, Valerie & Richard Casey, and Betty Andrews.

Mr. Rodney Cruze was in the Chair and 50 people attended.

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


Projects: Lead

Manufacture of the souvenir Lead Paperweights has continued with about 160 so far produced. They are now on sale at £5 each, the proceeds being divided equally between Widecombe Parochial Church Council and the History Group.

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

A hard working team has organised our Heritage Exhibition at Widecombe Fair. Several display panels have been made by Rodney Cruze and Peter Rennells, much material has been collected and will be exhibited under various headings on the day. Primarily Widecombe Fair, Ponsworthy, North Hall, activities of the History Group and various artefacts found in the Parish will be on show. Peter Rennells, John Kimber, Jim & Ruby Churchward, Betty Andrews, Rodney Cruze and Aileen & Peter Carrett will be manning the marquee for most of the day assisted at various times by members of the Group (see August Minutes). We shall be borrowing some display cabinets from Devon Records Office, Exeter, and we shall be looking into the possibility of buying or making some for ourselves.

Copies of our books, All Along Down Along Widecombe Way £3.50, Dartmoor’s Policeman Poet £4.99, copies of the Widecombe Chronicle and Dartmoor Gazette of 1875, £2.50 and the souvenir Lead Paperweights £5 will be on sale.

It is hoped that visitors to the marquee will be able to add to our knowledge concerning Widecombe Fairs of years gone by, the history of Ponsworthy over the last 100 years, North Hall and anything else relevant to the history of the parish. The Stewards on duty will welcome visitors and take notes.

Regular meetings of the Widecombe Fair and Ponsworthy projects will recommence after the Fair.

Widecombe Fair Committee has decided to invite a Metal Detecting enthusiast to sweep the Show Field after Widecombe Fair. Any coinage found will be passed to Widecombe Fair Committee to be donated to good causes, all artefacts uncovered will be passed to The Widecombe History Group. He will be accompanied by members of the Group and the following agreed to partake: Peter and Aileen Carrett, Ann Claxton, Roger Whale, Heather Garner, Ruby Churchward and the Secretary. A suitable date will be arranged.

The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk: A vote of thanks was recorded to Richard Wells and Mike Jones for organising such an enjoyable evening at Brimpts Farm on Monday 29th August (Peter’s birthday). All those attending thoroughly enjoyed themselves and plans are already being made for Tuesday 29th August 2006. Aileen & Peter Carrett produced a folder of photographs taken at the event.

Bill Allen, Dartmoor National Park Ranger gave the group a montage of photographs regarding the creation of the P.H. stone. A copy will be sent to Peter’s family in Yorkshire. A letter will be sent to Dartmoor National Park to thank them for their assistance with this project.

Beating The Bounds of Spitchwick Manor. An invitation was received from Mr Stephen Patrick William John Simpson, Lord of The Manor of Spitchwick, to any members of The Widecombe & District Local History Group to join him, his agent Mr J. S. Aylette and the inhabitants of the Manor to “A Peramulation and View of the Bounds of the Manor on Saturday 8th October 2005. It will commence at a point adjacent to the Lower Lodges leading to Spitchwick Manor House at 8.30 o’clock in the Forenoon”. The proclamation was dated 21st August 2005.

2006 Programme: Ann Claxton and Wendy Beard will be preparing the 2006 Programme soon after Widecombe Fair, any suggestions by members of speakers or places to visit will be appreciated.

The Speaker for Wednesday October 5th will be Commander Charles Crichton, and his subject will be the History of Devonport Dockyard. On Saturday 8th October the Group will be visiting the Dockyard, leaving Widecombe at 9.30 a.m. and arriving home at 5.30 p.m.

November 2nd Meeting an illustrated talk on “My Favourite Slides of Dartmoor” by Mike Wright.

December 7th Meeting a talk by Dr Tom Greeves on The Three Hares.... “From China to Widecombe”.

Mrs. Helen Harris then gave a most interesting illustrated talk based on her recent book “Devon Century of Change”.

The meeting closed at 10.05 p.m.

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