Widecombe History Group Minutes June 2007


A Meeting of The Widecombe & District Local History Group was held at The Church House on Wednesday 6th June 2007 at 7.30pm

Mrs Mary Pascoe was in the Chair and 49 people attended.

The Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday, 2nd May 2007 and the Monthly Meeting held on that date were read and signed as correct.

Please click here for John Stuart's talk entitled, "Dartmoor Clapper Bridges".

Matters Arising

The History of Widecombe Fair is progressing very well. The printer has sent the first draft of the text (approximately 60 pages) and there are around 80 photographs to be added, some of them in colour. The final version will probably be over 100 pages and the launch is planned for Widecombe Fair 2007. When Jim Hine retired from the Widecombe Fair Committee, he was presented with a painting of the view from the committee tent and his family have given permission for this to be copied for the book.

Alan and Mary Goodall have booked Badgers’ Holt for the next Annual Dinner & Dance on Saturday, 19th April 2008.

The outing to Geevor Tin Mine and Trengwainton Gardens was a tremendous success. The weather was fine and of particular note were the coffee and scones. Many thanks are due to Ann and Roger Claxton for organising the day.

There is an opportunity to provide refreshments at the Saturday Markets in the Church House. If anyone would like to do so, please contact Anthony.

Rodney Cruze had obtained a quotation for the supply of a 8’ long, black on white, banner for the Group at a cost of £50 plus VAT. It was agreed to go ahead with the purchase.

Anthony and Roger have written to the Dartmoor Trust about Peter Hirst’s legacy. This was earmarked for the Dartmoor Archives, and was hopefully going to be used for “something of substance”. As well as asking about progress, they suggested that the objective be extended to the acquisition of old books, artefacts and memorabilia which come up for sale fairly regularly. It is understood that The Dartmoor Trust has no storage for such items but maybe they could be housed at the Devon Record Office. An alternative would be to set up a website/catalogue of artefacts with their locations, to enable researchers to find information much more easily. A response to this letter is awaited.

The Beatrice Chase memorabilia had been purchased at a cost to the Group of £40. There are nine framed photographs and several folders of Beatrice Chase material. Anthony thought that this memorabilia and some books might have belonged to a Mr Williams and he managed to contact Mr Williams who confirmed it was so.

The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk, organised by Richard Wells, will be held on Wednesday, 29th August 2007. Meet at the quarry across the road from the Two Bridges Hotel. Later, a buffet will be available at the Plume of Feathers at Princetown. Names must be given to Richard Wells by 1st August.

The Group is hosting a meeting of the Devon History Society on 30th June 2007 and up to 35 people are expected. The day will begin with coffee and tea at the Church House, followed by presentations, lunch at the Wayside Café and a guided walk round the village in the afternoon. We will be setting up an exhibition in the Church House which will remain open on Sunday, 1st July, for the general public. Peter Rennells, who is co-ordinating the event, asked for volunteers to sign up for manning the displays and other tasks such as setting up on the Friday night. Anthony had written to the National Trust asking for permission to put display items outside the Church House under the ”pentice” and also in the grassy area behind the Church House.

Peter Rennells asked for sponsorship for a half marathon being run in aid of the Macmillan Nurses. He felt that almost everyone has or will be touched by cancer and the Macmillan Nurses were a marvellous organisation.

Richard Wells offered to do a short walk (about five miles) on Saturday, 9th June. Around twelve people were interested. Meet at GR 666 862, Batworthy Corner, between Moretonhampstead and Whiddon Down at 12.00.

Emails this Month

  • A request for information concerning Barbara Torrens, wife of Robert Torrens, who lived at Higher Hannaford and died in 1899.
  • Paul Rendell of the Dartmoor Preservation Association emailed some dates for “bracken bashing” sessions on Corndon Tor – 18th and 28th June, 4th and 9th July, 2nd and 6th August.
  • A query about Heathercombe Brake School, also requesting pictures and photos.
  • A request for the words of a poem by T P Cameron Wilson re Pixies: “There be pixies up on Dartymoor And ‘tis no good you say there ban’t” Anthony was able to find this and has sent it.
  • William Gilbert has compiled at Dictionary of Newfoundland English. He is coming to Devon on 11th September (Widecombe Fair Day) and Anthony will meet him the next day and will probably take him to Hutholes and Hound Tor.

The draw held at the Anniversary Dinner was in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and a letter was received thanking the Group for their donation. Aileen Carrett sent a write up and photograph to the Mid Devon Advertiser which were published. It also appeared in one of the evening papers.

Widecombe Fair. Anthony had received a letter from the Widecombe Fair Committee proposing that the History Group should have a one-third share of the marquee next year (2008). It was agreed to wait until after this year’s Fair before deciding. It may be a good idea to hire our own marquee, depending on the cost.

Widecombe School. Wendy Beard and Mary Pascoe have produced some leaflets relating to the History of Widecombe School from the school records. A copy has been shown in the Display Cabinets in the Church.

The recent celebrations at the School, marking 75 years in the present school building, were a great success.

About 48 members of the Plymtree After Eight Club visited Widecombe and Anthony and Roger Whale gave them a conducted tour around the village. No charge was made but a donation of £100 was given to the Group and several books and paperweights were sold.

Robert and Kathy Elford have sent information on the Elford family. This will be put into the archives.

The Group has also been given three books of research work about Cornwall which will also be put in the archives.

Richard Wells mentioned an interesting website – www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk containing customs, poems and stories.

Forthcoming Events

  • Postbridge Village Fair on Saturday, 9th June 2007, 10.00am to 2.00pm.
  • The Friends of the Devon Archives are doing a film show on 25th June.
  • The official opening of the re-vamped Tin Working Trail at Brimpts takes place on Saturday, 16th June 2007. A walk followed by tea and a slide show.
  • Leusdon Memorial Hall – Coffee Morning on 1st August
  • Leusdon Church Fun Day on Tuesday, 14th August 2007.
  • Open Gardens at Ugborough and a tour of the House on 24th June, 10.30am to 5.00pm, in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.
  • A talk by Phil Newman on Wednesday, 4th July, on Archaeology of Mines on South East Dartmoor.
  • The next meeting of the Ladies Social Club will take the form of a walk in Dartington Hall Gardens on 14th June at 6.30pm. Meet in the car park.
  • Newton Abbot Museum – their exhibition for this year is the Newfoundland Fishing Industry.
  • On 21st June, Chagford Local History Group are visiting Stinniel Cottage.
  • Princetown Local History Group are visiting Fernworthy Dam on 3rd July. Meet in the Reservoir Car Park at 7.00pm.
  • The Dartmoor Mountain Challenge 2007 takes place on Sunday, 9th September, in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Fund. This is a sponsored walk – only suitable for the very fit.

The meeting closed at 10.15pm.

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