Widecombe History Group Minutes February 2007

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A Meeting of The Widecombe & District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 7th February 2007 at 7.30 p.m.

Apologies: Peter & Dylis Harvey, Fred Daw, Phyllis Pascoe, Roger Claxton, Peter Rennells, Doug & Lyn Pidgeon, John Kimber, Valerie & Richard Casey, Bessie French, Sue Booty, Ann Murphy, Norma Tempest and Rose Mortimore.

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

Please click here for Dr Bruce Bradley's talk entitled, "Flint Knapping".

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

Arising: Our publications and paperweights are continuing to sell well.

Leusdon: Margaret Phipps is continuing to collecting information with regards to Leusdon on behalf of the group for future reference, 01364 631 421.

Widecombe Fair Tuesday 11th September 2007:

The Heritage Marquee at this year’s Fair will feature as one item "The History of Farming in the Parish". Any articles or memorabilia that anyone has, that could be connected with this project, and we could borrow to exhibit or, if written material that we could copy then return the originals to the owner would be gratefully appreciated.

The book on "The History Of Widecombe Fair" is progressing well and we hope to launch this too at The Fair.

10th Anniversary Dinner & Dance:

This will be held at The Badger’s Holt, Dartmeet on Saturday 28th April 2007, 7.30p.m. for 8.00p.m. tickets £14 per head. Further details and booking forms showing choice of menu etc obtainable from: Alan & Mary Goodall 01626 833607.

Annual Outing:-

Due to circumstances beyond our control the date of The Annual Outing has had to be moved to Tuesday 22nd May 2007.

This will be a trip to Geevor Tin Mine and Trengwainton Garden.

Coach will leave Widecombe at 8.00a.m. and return at about 9.00 p.m.

Tickets will be £25 per head (£20 if a member of The National Trust - bring your membership cards) this will cover transport, and all entrance fees. Thanks to the generosity of a member this will also include free morning coffee. All other food during the day it is up to individuals to purchase what they want if they so wish. There will be a stop on the way home at a pub for the chance to have an evening meal.

Display Cabinets in Church:-

Variations in the exhibits continue and a copy of the Village Green Bylaws will soon be added to the display. These were drawn up in 1925.

Parish Link:- Acknowledgement from Elizabeth Swales the editor, of the £50 recently sent, and our sponsorship is now listed in the Newsletter.

Ashburton & Buckfastleigh Cottage Hospital:-

Attention was brought to the meeting that our local hospital has an extremely efficient Minor Injury Unit that can deal with most minor injuries. It is open from 10.00a.m. to 6.00p.m. seven days a week. By using these community Hospitals and demonstrating their need and importance, the patients can be saved the hassle of long journeys to bigger units and undue stress.

Blackshirts in Devon:-

Secretary is continuing his pursuit of further details and information on Blackshirts in the Parish. This has arisen as a result of paragraphs in a new book "Blackshirts in Devon written by Todd Gray ISBN 978-1-903356-46-3".

E-mails and correspondence:

There were several e-mails and letters received this month. The secretary has answered some and a summary follows.

  1. Mrs J. Woodhouse of Ferndown, Dorset seeking information regarding ‘Southsands’ on Dartmoor. Replied this is now known as ‘Sousons’ a farm in the Manaton Parish.
  2. June Robinson of N.Z. wanted details of Widecombe Fair Dates & B&B details. Replied requesting details of her husband’s family tree as he claims relationship to U. T. Cobley. This could be of interest for our book.
  3. Another letter from J. Wreyford of Southwick, West Sussex requesting details of James Wreyford born c1811 also asking for copy of folio 048 an Indenture relating to his apprenticeship. This has been achieved with the help of Richard Wells our librarian.
  4. Request from Ann Willcocks of Ivybridge for copies of our books. With the help of Roger Claxton this has been successfully resolved.
  5. Greetings received from Julie Tolmie of Australia hoping to visit us again in 2007 and stating that she is now pursuing the Smerdons of Elliot’s Hill, Buckland in her family tree research.
  6. letter from Mrs L. Woods of Oxted, Surrey complimenting the group on its Ponsworthy Book and looking forward to the book on Leusdon. This will not be available until 2008 at the earliest.
  7. Request from Lizi Cosslett of Testimony Films 0117 9258589 for volunteers who have life stories concerning memories of working during W.W.II.
  8. Devon Rural Archives will be launched at The Assembly Rooms, at The White Hart, Modbury on Friday 16th March 6.30p.m.-9.00p.m. to begin research into the development of Devon’s Manor & Farm Houses. It is the hope also to create a reference library containing books, maps, plans, surveys, manuscripts, photographs and artefacts which will be available to the public.
  9. Notification of future events being arranged by Friends of Devon Archives. Contact Jill Drysdale 01803 863816
  10. Rachel Rae is researching the Brodrick family and the connection with a past Vicar of Widecombe Rev J. H. Mason and ‘Lady’ Drake. Secretary has passed this on to Tim Wright as he has researched into this connection. It is believed that Rev Mason had a sister who married a Brodrick. Their daughter married a farmer by the name of Drake?.......hence she titled herself as ‘Lady Drake’. There was rumoured of a friendship between her and The Prince Regent.
  11. Jess Carter of Dunsford enquires about Lizewell (Lizwell Farm) in our parish. Particular reference to the Langworthy and Carswell families that may have lived there years ago. Secretary will attempt to find details and will then pass them on to the Mortimore family, the present occupiers, so that they may make a contact. Mary Pascoe reported having read she believes, in a book written by Mike Brown in about 2000AD titled ‘Every day of the year’? or similar, a reference to 1544 a Richard Langworthy of Litzwell who bought Ponsworthy Mill from John Bouchier. It is believed that Lizwell got its name from the fact that the Farm.....’Lies Well’..... in other words is in a very favourable position regarding the weather and prevailing winds etc. Secretary replied with some information.
  12. Secretary has sent Devon History Society a sketch map of the village in readiness for their Summer Meeting that we are hosting, on Saturday 30th June 2007 at 10.00 a.m.
  13. We are in receipt of Princetown Local History Group’s programme for 2007. Their next meeting is on Tuesday 6th March when they will have a talk about Devon‘s Shipwrecks.
  14. Enquiry about a Mr Christopher Caton who once lived at Widecombe. We will try to help. We understand that both him and his wife have both died. We will try to find out about their two sons.

Diary of events:


The next meeting will be on Wednesday 7th March when our speaker Wendy Major will give part II of her talk on Old Ashburton.


The April meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th when Len Copley will talk on "Dartmoor from Mesolithic to Medieval Times".

This will be followed by a guided walk around the Medieval Farmstead site at Houndtor on Saturday 14th April. Meet at the car park at Houndtor at 1.00 p.m. for a picnic lunch - followed at 2.00 p.m. with the walk.

Saturday 28th - Anniversary Dinner & Dance at Dartmeet 7.30p.m. for 8.00p.m.


Wednesday 2nd May our A. G. M. followed by a discussion Evening.

Tuesday 22nd May our Annual Outing to Geevor and Trengwainton Gardens.

The Meeting Closed at 10.00 p.m.

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The information on this page was last modified on March 18 2013 12:55:50.

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