Widecombe History Group Minutes March 2007

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

Apologies: Terry & Bessie French, Mary Pascoe, Sue Booty, Alan & Mary Goodall, and Annabelle Booty.

Please click here for Wendy Major's talk entitled, "Old Ashburton (Part 2)".

Mr Peter Rennells took the chair in the absence of our Chairman and Vice- Chairman and 52 members attended.

The minutes of the February meeting were read and with the addition of two further apologies, Ruth & Arthur from last month, they were signed as correct.


The History of Widecombe Fair book is progressing well. It is now time to select the illustrations for the book and an urgent last chance appeal was made for anything that can be used for this purpose. Photographs, newspaper cuttings, programmes, etc please contact the secretary on 01346 621246.

Widecombe Fair 11th September 2007:

Plans and ideas for The Heritage Marquee at this year’s fair have begun and "The History of Farming in the Parish" will be a major feature. To support the launch of our book on Widecombe Fair much of the material gathered during the research period will be on display.

10th Anniversary Dinner & Dance:

This will be held at Badgers Holt, Dartmeet on Saturday 28th April, 7.30p.m. for an 8.00 p.m. start, tickets £14 per head. Booking forms and details from Alan & Mary Goodall 01626 833 607. Payment required at our meeting on 4th April .

Annual Outing to Geevor Tin Mine & Trengwainton Gardens:

This will be held on Tuesday 22nd May 2007 and the cost will be £25 per head, (£20 if a member of The National Trust - be sure to bring your membership card with you). This will cover transport and all entrance fees but not food. Thanks to the generosity of a member we shall all enjoy free morning coffee at a stop on the way. For all other food during the day it is up to each individual to purchase or bring with them what they need. There will be a stop at a pub on the way home for a chance to have an evening meal.

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

Tickets and booking forms and details from Ann Claxton 01364 621 232

Chagford LHG meet Thursday 29th March 8.00p.m. at Endicott House for a talk by Mike Perriam on The Story of Exeter.

Princetown LHG meet Tuesday 3rd April 7.30 p.m. at Princetown School for a talk by Mike Perriam on The Moorland Avon.

The display cabinets in the church continue to get favourable comments. We try to vary the exhibits.

Blackshirts in Devon:

Dr Todd Gray has sent the secretary further details of the connection within the Widecombe Parish and this will debated for a while within the group.

E-mails & correspondence:

In recent months there has been an increase in the number of e-mails and letters received.

The secretary read all e-mails received and the comments from members on the subjects raised helps with the replies. From the March Meeting the following arose:

  1. [Further to (a) - 7/02.07] A request from Mrs Jean Woodhouse for more details of places associated with tin mining and Stannary Law. Secretary has suggested contacting Dr Tom Greeves an authority on tin mining on Dartmoor.
  2. Hugh Meller asking for details of a house built for a Miss Jameson near Chagford. Secretary will reply suggesting contact with Chagford Local History Group.
  3. June Kernick is assisting with an enquiry regarding Hannafords of Totnes from Mrs Woods of Oxted. [see (f) 7/02/07
  4. Melissa Waterson of T.V.Channel 4 is researching family life. Contact 020 7013 4514 if interested in taking part in a documentary on the subject.
  5. [further to (c) - 7/02/07] The secretary has sent a copy of an apprentice indenture document 045 relating to a James Wreyford aged 9 years dated 8/06/1819 to John Wreyford of Southwick.
  6. A request for our Parish Document CD received from Ann Stancombe of Reading has been dealt with by Roger Claxton.
  7. Graham Usher requires details on old wells (windlass and bucket) and how they were maintained and cleaned. We have no information to hand. Contact us on our website history@widecombe-in-the-moor.com if you have information or contact him direct on graham.usher@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk
  8. Rachael Rae (Rachael Penny) still researching Brodrick family. [ ref (j) 7/02/07] Tim Wright is prepared to help with this enquiry. Suggest she contacts him again.
  9. [ref (n) 7/02/07] Information sought on a Mr Christopher Caton late of Widecombe. Secretary will reply with any information gathered.
  10. Malcolm Hoare of University of Warwick seeking information of activities of The Home Guard in Widecombe. Secretary will reply mentioning old photographs and exercise.
  11. request from Ian Batchelor for information about ‘pixie house’ at Sheepstor. Secretary to reply and perhaps suggest sources if information.
  12. Two e-mails requesting information, received within two weeks of each other, from the same family regarding their relation who may have signed the visitors book in the Church in about 1945. Secretary cannot be expected to reply in such a short time as his post is entirely voluntary and research takes time! He will however try to reply soon if he can find any information.
  13. Steven Jon Widdicombe of Australia enquiring about life in Southern England with particular reference to work and accommodation. It was agreed that by the contents of his letter this would not be an area suitable for his aims.
  14. Details of a film "I Live in Grovenor Square" and A Film Version of Galsworthy’s "Escape" made in the Dartmoor and Harbertonford areas in 1944 have been received from Henry Harris of Totnes. Also included with his letter a request from Totnes Image Bank & Rural Archive for any information about anyone who took part in the making of those films.

Diary of events:-

Advance notice of the re-opening of The Brimpts Tin Mine Trail on Saturday 23rd June 2007 at 2.00p.m. following a refurbishment by The Dartmoor Tin Research Group. Further details later and afternoon tea can be booked for the event.

The Annual Parish Meeting of The Widecombe Parish Council will be held at The Church House Widecombe on Wednesday 21st March at 7.30 p.m. when all local organisations are invited to give a report on their activities and achievements. The History Group will be represented by Peter Rennells this year.

It was also brought to the notice of members that on May 3rd 2007 there will be The Parish Council Elections. Anyone who would like to stand should contact the Clerk on 01548 854478 for details.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th April when Len Copley will give a 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 Carpark at Houndtor at 1.00 p.m. for a picnic lunch before the walk commencing at 2.00 p.m.

Saturday 28th April - The Anniversary Dinner & Dance at Badgers Holt see above.

Wednesday 2nd May is The Tenth Annual General Meeting of The Group at 7.30 p.m. at The Church House which will be followed by the May Monthly Meeting which will take the form of a discussion evening with particular reference to our exhibition at The Church House on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July 10a.m. to 4.00 p.m. each day.

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

Wednesday 6th June - Monthly meeting with John Stuart and a talk on "Clapper Bridges".

The meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.

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