Widecombe History Group Minutes February 2006

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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 1st February 2006 at 7.30 p.m.

Please click here for Jill Drysdale's talk entitled, "Prayers and Potions : Death & Disease from a Medieval Perspective".

Apologies:- Michael & Anthea Venables, Sylvia Needham, Michael, Jenny & Phyllis Pascoe, Peter Rennells, Jim & Ruby Churchward, Betty Andrews, Terry & Bessie French, Val & Richard Casey, Ann Murphy, Margaret Steemson, Margaret Phipps, Peter & Dylis Harvey and Fred Daw.

Mr Rodney Cruze was in the chair and 39 people attended.

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


Widecombe Fair: The working party is continuing well with its research into the history of the fair.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 8th February when we hope that Alan Brunton, who published our book “All Along, Down Along Widecombe Way” will attend to give us guidance on the way forward.

It was noticed with sadness the death of Gordon Daw, one of those who had over the years taken the part of Uncle Tom Cobley on fair day.

Our speaker for this meeting, Jill Drysdale, brought with her a transcript of Uncle Tom Cobley’s will of 1794. This had been done for the group by her in conjunction with Sue King. We recorded our thanks and a letter will be sent to them both at Totnes Museum, Fore Street, Totnes in due course. Jill also gave us a copy of the 1841 Census for Colebrooke which mentions Thomas Cobley.

Ponsworthy: Following the showing of Roger Whale’s collection of Ponsworthy photographs at our January meeting the working party is now compiling a story of Ponsworthy from 1900 to date in which we hope to include some of Roger’s early photographs and comparable modern ones showing the same views.

The next meeting of this working party is Wednesday 22nd February.

Display Cabinets: Our new display cabinet has arrived and everyone at the meeting were very pleased with it. They instructed the secretary to obtain another identical one. The secretary has written to The Widecombe Parochial Church Council for permission to place them in the Church and use them for displaying copies of documents, artefacts etc connected with the Church and the parish, we await their reply with hope for a positive response.

The Group has been offered some display panels from the school to add to our display, again our appreciation was expressed. After we get them we can discuss with Aileen & Peter Carrett what further items we require.

Parish Chest: The secretary is currently in negotiation with The Parish Council and the local National Trust Manager about the safety of the chest and the tithe map, this may require a meeting with the local Fire Protection Officer.

“Up Along - Down Along”: Ann Claxton and Wendy Beard our programme organisers are trying to arrange a date for the showing of this film.

Widecombe School: The Church House, Widecombe was the location of our local school until 1932. The present school was built in 1931 and in April 1932 the school moved to its present Building. Plans are afoot to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the occasion and the ‘Friends of Widecombe School’ are anxious to obtain any memorabilia connected to the school, any reminiscences, stories, photographs, books, certificates or artefacts that could go towards an exhibition to tell the story of the school. Please contact either the headteacher Nick Banwell 01364 621 261, or Alison Whale 01364 621 , or Mary Pascoe 01364 621433.

Annual Outing: Details will be available at our next meeting regarding the outing to be held on Saturday 13th May 2006.

The itinerary for our four day/three night holiday break to Cardiff, South Wales on Wednesday 11th October to Saturday 14th October 2006 have been distributed and further copies are available from Ann Claxton on 01364 621 232 or Wendy Beard on 01364 621 246.

Correspondence: Princetown History Group meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30p.m. at Princetown School. Annual Membership £3 and a £1 draw ticket at each meeting.

Princetown History Group meeting on Tuesday 7th....A talk on The Princetown Area by Mike Perriam.

Advance notice at Buckland Community Hall on Friday 21st April......Talk on Dartmoor Longhouses by Jenny Sander.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 1st March 2006 and the speaker will be Natalie Gibbs and the subject will be “An insight into the aims and activities of The Dartmoor Trust and Archives”. In view of the fact that our late Chairman Peter Hirst left the bulk of his estate about £300,000 to The Dartmoor Trust it will be interesting to know how and on what they propose to use that bequest. Feel free to ask any questions after the talk.

Jill Drysdale of Totnes then gave the group a very interesting talk on “Prayers and Potions:- Death and Disease from a Medieval Perspective”

The meeting closed at 10.10p.m.

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