Widecombe History Group Minutes May 2006

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This meeting was preceded by the 2006 AGM.The AGM minutes can be found here.

A Meeting of The Widecombe & District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 3rd May 2006 at 7.55p.m.

Please click here for Natalie Gibb's talk entitled, "The Work of The Dartmoor Archive".

Apologies:- Joy Routley, Barbara Norrish, Bessie French, David West, Ken Hamlyn & Sue Booty.

Mr Terry French was in the chair and 54 people attended, once again a few fresh faces were noticed, who will we hope become regular members of our meetings.

The minutes of the April meeting were read and signed as correct.


Widecombe Fair Project

The party working on this are continuing to meet and gather information. A great deal of time and energy is being spent on this but all those involved are enjoying the challenge. We are still looking to people to give us their early memories of Widecombe Fair and share with us any stories or memorabillia connected to the Fair over the past hundred years so that we can produce a comprehensive ‘History Of The Fair’. Please share with us anything that you have within your family’s treasures.

Ponsworthy Project The draft copy of our writings and deliberations is nearing completion. We would still appreciate any photographs relating to Ponsworthy that anyone would be prepared for us to copy and use to illustrate the booklet. The area of Ponsworthy covered by this is boardered by Sweaton, Primms Cottage, Uphill and Linchaford and all points in between.

Leusdon Chapel(Uppacott).

Mr John Tucker came to this meeting and distributed several copies of a leaflet that was produced by his late father,W.J.Tucker, about The Poundsgate Moorland Chapel, built in 1833. The interest created by this prompted the reaction from Margaret Phipps that when the Ponsworthy Project is completed the group should extend its interest on to the Leusdon area. This would include Leusdon Church, the Old Leusdon School, The Memorial Hall, Uppacott and of course the Chapel at Uppacoptt. There appeared considerable support for this idea. It is the Chapel’s Anniversary on Sunday 7th May. Anyone with photographs or any memorabilia connected with this area is encouraged to start collecting it together, and we would appreciate them lending us any of it.

Widecombe School 75th Anniversary - April 2007.

Mary Pascoe reported that she is continuing with the collection of material from the school record books. The pieces of history about the parish and its activities coming from these books will add to our knowledge of the parish in bygone years. She thanked Wendy for typing up all that she has found to date. There is an urgent need for someone to search out those that can remember the school days at The Church House. Names suggested are Fred Daw, Olive Miners, Deborah Hannaford and her brother Ted, Joan Hamilton(nee Palmer), Roy Hill, Margaret Harris and we need to know if there are any more that should be interviewed!

Widecombe Fair

The metal detecting is continuing with visits by John McGregor. To date a ‘Cartwheel Penny’ dated 1797, some jewellery and a quantity of coins amounting to £5.46 have been found. The money will be passed on to The Widecombe Fair Co to give to charity and the older artifacts have been passed to our group and will gradually be exhibited in our display cabinets. The finds from John’s second visit are awaited with interest.

The film show that included “Up Along-Down Along” on 20th April was a tremendous success. Thanks to all that contributed.

The guided walk on 22nd April around Merrivale was well attended and enjoyed by those that took part. Douglas Pidgeon brought to the meeting a copy of the corrections written by Freddie Stoyle, (the son of the only headteacher of Foggingtor School), regarding the story of Foggingtor School that appears in The Princetown Book.

Tony Heath of The Society of Dartmoor Moorland Dowsers presented the group with a copy of their 2005 Journal. A vote of thanks was recorded to Tony and his team for their generosity.

Members should be aware that they can borrow this journal and any other books and documents through our librarian Richard Wells. We have recently received some books from Mr & Mrs John Matthews of Bovey Tracey

We thank Sue Booty for her production of Newsletter 17 summarising the activities of the group over the past six months. (November 2005 - April 2006)

Dates for the diary:-

  • Leusdon Memorial Hall Wednesday 10th May, Coffee Morning in aid of Rowcroft Hospice 10a.m. .
  • Torbay postcard club talk by Bernard Chapman on the history of postcard publishers Chapman & Son of Dawlish. He is 4th generation member of the family firm. St Pauls Church Hall, Preston, Paignton 7.00p.m. Friday 12th May.
  • Postcard Fair at St Peter’s School, off Sidmouth Road, Exeter Saturday 20th May (10.00a.m. - 4.00 p.m.)
  • Annual Outing. This year it is to Whimple & Killerton on Saturday 13th May.
  • First Guided Walk with Richard Wells Saturday 20th May, meet at Princetown Carpark at 11.00a.m. for a walk from Princetown to Norsworthy Bridge, bring a picnic lunch.
  • Princetown Group, Tuesday 6th June, a visit to The Lost Farms of Burrator with Chris Kelland. Meet at Norsworthy Bridge (Grid Ref SX567 694) at 7.00 p.m.

Dates for the future

  • Our next meeting is on Wednesday 7th June when we shall have a talk by Mike Jones on The Candy Pottery 1922 - 1950.
  • Outing to The China Clay Works at Lee Moor Friday 9th June, meet at Tesco Carpark, Lee Mill at 6.30 p.m. to board coach for tour.
  • Second Guided walk with Richard Wells Saturday 17th June - details at June Meeting.
  • Our 5th of July Meeting, a talk by Dr Todd Gray - Lost Devon
  • Third Guided walk with Richard Wells Saturday 15th July - details at the July Meeting
  • Special Outing to Wales on 11th - 14th October

The meeting closed at 10.03p.m.

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