Widecombe History Group Minutes July 2006

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A Meeting of The Widecombe & District Local History Group was held at The Church House Widecombe on Wednesday 5th July 2006 at 7.30 p.m.

Please click here for Dr Todd Gray's talk entitled, "Lost Devon".

Apologies:- Sue Booty, Bessie French, Rosemary Mortimore, Mary & Alan Goodall, Fred Daw, Ken Hamlyn, David West, Simon & Annabelle Booty, and Val Watson.

Mr Terry French was in the chair and 48 people attended.

Terry opened the Meeting by welcoming Dr. Todd Gray once again to our Group. On this occasion he is going to give us an illustrated talk on “Lost Devon”.

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


Widecombe Fair Book:

We are still appealing for memorabilia etc. to be made available to us as we write the history of Widecombe Fair. Please share with us anything that you may have regarding the Fair of years gone by, programmes, photographs etc. and personal stories.

Ponsworthy Book:

This work is continuing at a fast pace, the draft text is virtually completed and Chris Mayhead is putting 60 photographs on to CD ready for the publisher to review. It is intended to launch this book at Widecombe Fair in the Heritage marquee on September 12th, 2006.

Leusdon Book:

We appeal to anyone who has any memorabilia, photographs, documents, relating to this area to contact Margaret Phipps on 01364 631421.

Widecombe School 75th Anniversary:

We need to obtain from the School the actual date on which this Anniversary will take place in April 2007.

Widecombe Fair Company Limited:

To date the metal detector, John McGregor, has found several small pieces of metal, some out-of-date coinage and also £10.35 in current coinage which has been passed to Widecombe Fair to be given to Charity.

The Heritage Marquee at the Fair this year will be about the same size as last year, and the South Devon Herd Book Society will be staging an exhibition with us and some livestock adjacent to the marquee.

Details of what we will be exhibiting will be discussed at the August meeting.

Church Display:

The two display cabinets in the Church are full and the displays are being changed once a month.


Richard Wells each month receives extra items for our archives and it has been agreed that three or four people will meet with Richard at the Church House on Monday 31st July at 10.00 a.m. to help Richard with the cataloguing of the contents of our Chests. This month he received a copy of the 1842 Tythe Map, complete with list of all the fields listed therein, some books donated by Mr. & Mrs. Matthews of Bovey Tracey and the Dartmoor Dowsers Annual Reports.

Guided Walks:

The re-organised walk from Postbridge to the East Dart Waterfall has now been arranged for Saturday 22nd July. Meet at Postbridge Information Centre at 11.00 a.m., bring a picnic and sturdy footwear.

A Guided Walk from Cross Furzes to Shipley Bridge, via the Avon Dam, will be organised for a Saturday in August. Details at the August meeting.

The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk is scheduled for Tuesday 29th August 2006, meeting at the Forest Inn, Hexworthy, at 6.00 p.m. prompt, for a walk up the Swincombe Valley, Gobbit Tin Mines, Fairy Bridge, John Bishop’s House, Dolly Treble’s House and back to the Forest Inn, where a buffet will be available at £4 a head. Please give your name and money at the August meeting to Richard Wells and Mike Jones, who are organising this function.

Friday 7th July - A Guided Tour of Lee Moor China Clay Works, meet there at 6.00 p.m.

The trip to Wales on the 11th/14th October is totally subscribed. Please bring your final payment to the August meeting.

Plans for Nine Houses at Widecombe:

We have been informed by Dartmoor National Park Authority that the plans for this proposed development have been withdrawn.

Widecombe Church House Management Committee have requested that the History Group appoint a representative to sit on their Committee. Mr. Rodney Cruze expressed an interest. This will be confirmed at the August meeting.

The late Sylvia Needham:

A very successful ceremony was organised at Sharptor overlooking the Dart Valley at 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 17th June, 2006, when her ashes were scattered and about 80 people were there to participate in the proceedings. Drinks and cream teas were enjoyed at Bell Tor Head carpark afterwards when all those attending were able to celebrate Sylvia’s life.


It was agreed to organise a manufacturing session in the near future in preparation for Widecombe Fair.

Future Events:

Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre will be open in the Summer from 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Monday to Fridays. Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon, admission free. On the Friday evenings of July and August, it will be open from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

The next Dartmoor Archive and Road Show and Exhibition will be held on Thursday 6th July at Postbridge Visitors Centre from 11.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.


June/01: Enquiry from Veronica Jacklin for information regarding the Quaker Churchyard at Sticklepath. We have recommended that she contact Mr. Bert Stead who is the Caretaker of the graveyard. An acknowledgement has been received from Veronica.

June/02: Enquiry from a Brian Hart concerning Sarah Satterley who is interred at Widecombe has been passed to Revd. Corynne Cooper to deal with.

Notice has been received of a book published by The Mint Press of Exeter of a novel written by Derek Gore, entitled: ISCA, The Fall of Roman Exeter, available at £7.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd August, and will take the form of a discussion evening.

The Working Parties will give a report on their activities on:

a) The Ponsworthy Book project,

b) The Widecombe Fair Book project, and

c) Plans for Widecombe Fair Heritage Marquee.

The Meeting closed at 9.50 p.m.

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The information on this page was last modified on March 18 2013 12:55:39.

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