Widecombe History Group Minutes December 2006

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A Meeting of the Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 6th December 2006 at 7.30p.m.

At the beginning of the meeting the Chairman informed members of the death of one of our group, Rosamond Whale. A minutes silence was observed.

Apologies: Roger Whale, Peter Rennells, Barbara Norrish, Joy Routley, Norma Tempest, Dawn Nosworthy, Alan & Mary Goodall, Sue Booty, Sue & Sam Bousted, Simon & Annabelle Booty, Fred Daw, Phyllis Pascoe, Bessie French, Arthur Johnson, and Joyce Heath.

Mr Terry French was in the chair and 44 members attended.

Please click here for the talk on 'The Life of Rev Sabine Baring Gould and the Folk Songs that he collected'.

The Minutes of the November meeting were read and signed as correct.


Ponsworthy Book: It is still selling very well and Roger Claxton suggested that we should make it available on our website for people to purchase. He will set this up stating the price at £3.95 (or £4.50 including postage & package).

History of Widecombe Fair: The working party is making good progress. John Kimber reported on a recent meeting with members of The Cobley family when further information was obtained. We are beginning to edit the manuscript but are desperate to obtain further photographs of anything relevant to the Fair. Please let us have your contributions soon.

Leusdon: The desire for information continues. 01364 631421.

Metal Detecting in Widecombe Fair Field: This exercise continues.

Heritage Marquee Widecombe Fair - Tuesday 11th September 2007: Plans are already in hand for this event. Secretary asked to put notice in Parish Link regarding The Farming History of the Parish.

Display Cabinets: An exhibition relating to Armistice Day has been featured and the secretary has made contact with Lady Pamela Le Bailly of Cornwall, who during the 1939-1945 War, was a member of The Dartmoor Hunt Mounted Patrol in the Yelverton and Burrator area. She was then Pamela Berthon. Their duty was to ride out in pairs over the surrounding area to look for any enemy parachutists or aircraft that may have landed and report their finding back to the authorities. They wore an armband (their only badge of office) and she has given hers to our group and has been added to our current display in Widecombe Church with a copy of The Widecombe Homeguard Exercise of Sunday March 28th 1943. Secretary reported having spoken to the Lady and she will see if she has any further memorabilia that she can share with us. Our late Sylvia Needham and her sister did exactly the same service in the Holne Moor area.

Newsletter No 18: Sue Booty has produced our latest newsletter looking back over the period May 2006 - October 2006. It demonstrates what an active group we are with meetings, walks, outings and working projects. The back page lists the programme for the next year. Many thanks to Sue for all she does for the group.

Programme 2007: Ann Clacton and Wendy Beard have produced once again a remarkable programme for 2007. Copies were distributed. Ideas for speakers or venues for outings, in future years are always welcomed.

E-mails & Correspondence:

  • A letter from Tanya Scott-Wilson of Lydford concerning a group that she has set up called "Oddbodies". They have a project in hand entitled ‘Stories From The Stone Forest’. Their aim appears to be to record personal memories and stories of people living and working on Dartmoor. They requested that we organise an open meeting and invite them to make a presentation about their aims and what they call ‘a community mapping project’. It was decided that as we are committed to several projects already we cannot undertake anything further at this time. Secretary asked to write and suggest that if they wish to continue to use Widecombe to launch this project that they hire the Village Hall and run an open evening themselves.
  • Dec.06/01: Brian Hart is looking for information on the burial site of Sarah (Sally) Satterley his 3x Great Grandmother who was buried in Widecombe Churchyard. As there is no headstone we are unable to help but have replied listing other Satterleys from 1753 onwards. Suggest enquire from Church Records as to any other further details.
  • Letter received from Lt.Col. Tony Clark OBE, thanking the Group for information we have passed on to him, Ref.06/01.
  • Correspondence concerning Miss Winifred Ethel Penn-Gaskell 1874-1949 late of Scobitor, Widecombe, who died on 6th November 1949, aged 73 years. She presented to Widecombe Fair Committee a Cup which is still competed for today. We were informed that she was a member of the Torquay Philatelic Society and upon her death her unequalled internationally recognised collection of Aero-Philately which amounted to 66 Albums, are now held in the Science Museum in South Kensington.
  • Letter confirming the details of The Devon History Society’s Summer Meeting which will be held at the Church House Widecombe on Saturday 30th June 2007 at which we shall be giving a Presentation, Exhibition and Guided Walk around the village for their Members.
  • Ref. Nov.06/02: The enquiry from Divina Owen concerning details of the 1861 Census will be dealt with this month.
  • A letter of thanks has been sent to David Hoare of Hall and Woodhouse, the present owners of The Old Inn, Widecombe, for the collection of photographic copies of the historical pictures at present on display in the Inn.

‘Blackshirts in Devon’ - a new book by Todd Gray: Tony Heath brought to the meeting a copy of the above book which features some paragraphs under the heading ‘the fascist Uncle Tom Cobleigh of Widecombe in the Moor’. The Widecombe Fair Working Party will consider this paragraph at its next meeting.

Scams: Secretary made members aware of several scams affecting the Teignbridge area :

  • A man claiming to be named Marcus Davis calling on houses and businesses claiming that his vehicle has broken down and his car jack broken, thus having injuries to his leg, asking for money to obtain help. Described by the Police as of mixed-race, 6ft.tall and short dark hair. The vehicle registration is believed to be R654 PDV. Do not part with any money and phone 08452777444 and quote log 462 of the 2.12.2006.
  • Cards being pushed through letter-boxes claiming that a delivery has not been made due to no one at home and giving a phone number which is a premium charge number. Do not reply to this as it entails an instant £15 charge.
  • Other scams concerning e-mails pretending to come from Banks and Building Societies etc. often with official looking logos, either stating that you have won considerable sums of money on lotteries etc. or/and asking for details of bank accounts etc. Do not open and reply to these. No Bank will contact you by e-mail asking for such details.

Dinner: It has been suggested that we should hold a Dinner to celebrate our tenth birthday in May of 2007. Whether to make it an annual event or not can be discussed later depending on how well this is supported. The cost is approxiamately £11 for two courses or £14.50 for three courses. Venue is Badger’s Holt, Dartmeet.

The Wren Trust (Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson) then gave us a most interesting and entertaining evening of fact and song relating to The Rev Sabine Baring Gould and his collection of Westcountry Folk Songs.

N.B. January 3rd Meeting is a ‘bring & share’ New Years Party. We shall have the business of the meeting until about 8.30p.m. then food and drinks after.

February 7th Meeting . Subject ‘Flint Knapping - a talk and demonstration’ given by Dr Bruce Bradley.

March 7th Meeting. Wendy Major will give part II of her talk on Old Ashburton.

The Meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.

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