Widecombe History Group Minutes December 2007

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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 5th December 2007 at 7.30 p.m.

Please click here for Ted Parrott's talk on The South Devon Railway.

Apologies: Bessie & Terry French, Simon & Annabelle Booty, Norma Tempest, Peter Rennells, Peter & Dilys Harvey, Fred Daw, Phillys Pascoe, Di Leeworthy and Ann Murphy.

Mrs Mary Pascoe was in the chair and 55 members attended including visitors from Australia and some more new local first time visitors.

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


The History of Widecombe Fair book is continuing to create interest.

The Dartmoor Trust have not yet replied to our letter sent to them in October. They have notified us of their intention to create a permanent post of full time Archive Manager to run The Trust’s Dartmoor Archive. They are also hoping to move to a permanent site at Delamore, Cornwood in 2008. It is interesting that since our letter to them in October they now refer to the archives as "The Dartmoor Trust’s Dartmoor Archives". We feel this is a step in the right direction, as well as strengthen the links with the community.

Our Archives are continuing to grow and thanks were expressed to Richard Wells (librarian) and to John Kimber & Pat Watson for spending most of one day recently cataloguing new material.

Annual Programmes are drawn up each year by Ann Claxton and she is always pleased to hear from anyone who has suggestions for speakers, places to visit, venues for outings and trips. She has organised a trip on The South Devon Railway ‘Carols Down the Line’ for Thursday 6th December leaving Buckfastleigh at 7.30 p.m. prompt. Please give her all the support you can by booking early for events as this makes her task so much easier.

The Annual New Year Party will be held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 2nd January 2008 at 7.30 p.m. This will take the form of a ‘bring & share’ supper. Liquid refreshment will be supplied by the group courtesy of Peter Rennells (liquid co-ordinator!). Roger Claxton hopes to have a rolling display of local sale and auction posters. Copies can be ordered from Roger at a small cost.

The 1842 Tithe Map will be displayed at a future meeting of The Widecombe Parish Council. A date will be arranged and the Group Members and The Parish Council will be informed.

The Council has approved up to £500 to be spent on repairing the Map. We await this being confirmed in writing and we shall then hope to co-ordinate the DRO in visiting us at the same time to view it and estimate the current costs involved.

The Parish Council meets on the first Thursday of each month.

North Hall.

The research into this is progressing under the control of Peter Rennells. Peter will be giving a talk on the History of North Hall at our February 6th Meeting. He will outline the investigations so far and what they have achieved . Official Archaeologists are now taking an interest and giving Peter much support. Further history of The North Hall Cafe is sought and if anyone can add to what he has so far uncovered he would be pleased to hear any stories also pictures and documentation etc.

Peter has been involved with this for the last 10 years and to many of our more recent members much of this will be completely new history. A fascinating evening awaits us.

Correspondence and e-mails.

  1. It was agreed to pay annual subscription to Friends of Devon Archives. £10.
  2. It was agreed to send our annual donation to The Parish Link. £50.
  3. It was agreed to join The British Association for Local History. The annual subscription would be £52 and this would give us insurance cover for accidents at our functions and exhibitions.
  4. A letter from Henry Harris of Totnes suggest we send a copy of The History of Widecombe Fair to the periodical The Countryman. This has been done.
  5. Contact for info regarding Freelands Tower, Manaton. Replied suggesting The Book of Manaton
  6. Contact for info regarding Hannaford House (Manor). Replied not really a Manor House as it is in Spitchwick Manor. Believe it was used as a Maternity Home in 1939/1940.
  7. Peter Carrett brought the meeting notice of the number of ‘SPAMS’ within the e-mails received by people mentioning large sums of money ‘supposedly’ won and asking for confirmation of banking details. Have Nothing to do with them. The Police are warning of similar rackets. If it sounds too good to be true it more than likely is!!!
  8. A letter from Widecombe Fair Company thanking the group for the £150 recently sent to them by the group.
  9. Secretary has written thanking Katherine Weston and her colleagues for the excellent morning we spent at The DRO on Saturday 24th November. Those that took part had an insight into the DRO activities, the vast store of artefacts held at Great Moor House, and we were impressed at the availability of much of the material. We thanked them for the work that they had done prior to our visit by getting a great deal of ‘Widecombe material’ out on exhibition for us to see. Letter from DRO suggesting we have at The Church House a two or three day exhibition of their archives associated with Widecombe and The Community Roadshow Bus in the village car park. Also perhaps incorporating The Devon Family History Society who could focus on a Family History Day and The Devon County Council’s 2008 Celebrations called Devon Rocks celebrating the local geology of Devon. It was suggested the this could possibly coincide with the weekend that our Secretary Anthony Beard is inaugurated as President of The Devonshire Association for the advancement of Science and Literature 30th May - 1st June 2008. On reflection this is not a good idea as Anthony will not be available to participate.
  10. Mail regarding Langworthy Farm & Langworthy names. Suggest contact direct with present owners.
  11. Mail regarding a ‘half-house’, could this be a ‘Halfway House or an old type dwelling ‘Half for the family and half for the stock’? Also requesting a contact for spinning and weaving. Suggested Shan Palmes 01364 631180.
  12. Mail regarding William Collins refered to Lustleigh History Group.
  13. Mail regarding Samuel Hannaford refered to Moretonhampstead Group.
  14. Mail from Ann Stancombe suggested contact DRO.
  15. Mail from Moretonhampstead Group publicising talk by Dr Ian Mortimer on 16th January 2008 at 7.30 p.m. at St Andrews Church admission £2. "The Time-Traveller’s Guide to Medieval Moretonhampstead".

    Carols down the line.

    This will take place tomorrow Thursday 6th December.

    Widecombe Fair September 9th 2008

    Rodney Cruze is gathering together a collection of old implements and articles appertaining to The Farm Barn. Anyone with such articles that they are prepared to loan please contact Rodney.

    In association with this it is hoped to have a Grain to Loaf exhibition and demonstration. It is felt that a demonstration at Widecombe Fair of where the daily loaf comes from would be an interesting and educational project to the many thousands who visit the show and is too good a chance to miss Contact should be made earlier with The Dartmoor National Park Authority if this educational project needs any funding.

    The meeting closed at 10.14p.m.

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