Widecombe History Group Minutes May 2007

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A Meeting of The Widecombe & District Local History Group was held at The Church House on Wednesday 2nd May 2007 at 8.00 p.m.

This meeting was preceded by the 2007 AGM.The AGM minutes can be found here.

Apologies: Peter Rennells, Peter & Dilys Harvey, Fred Daw, Bessie French, Mavis Clipson, Norma Tempest, Rosemary Mortimore, Simon & Annabelle Booty, Ruth Parnell, Arthur Johnson, Anthea Veneables, Marion & Mike Wright, Audrey Lamb, Joyce Heath, Nora Lamb and Pat & Val Watson

Mrs Mary Pascoe was in the Chair and 45 people attended including some first time visitors. A warm welcome was extended to one and all.

The Minutes of the April Meeting were read and signed as correct.


Widecombe Fair Book:

We are still awaiting the first draft edit from Alan Brunton of Orchard Publications. Chris Mayhead has produced the first CD of the illustrations for the book and the ‘team’ who viewed them are pleased with the project so far.

10th Anniversary Dinner & Dance:

This was an outstanding success. On a proposition by Roger Whale seconded by Peter Carrett and agreed unanimously this will become an Annual Event. Alan & Mary Goodall who arranged this year’s event have been asked to organise it and they have agreed.

Anthony thanked the Group for the lovely collage of photographs showing many of the activities of the Group over the past ten years which was presented to him at the Anniversary Dinner.

Annual Outing to Geevor Tin Mine & Trengwainton Gardens:

This will take place on Tuesday 22nd May. Leaving Widecombe at 8.00 a.m. and returning at 8.00 p.m. The cost will be £25 (£20 for National Trust Members - be sure to bring your N.T. membership card with you). Contact Ann on 01364 621232.

A recent visit to the launch of The Devon Rural Archive at Modbury has prompted the group to re-open the research into North Hall, the old Manor House for the Manor of Widecombe Town. We need to contact Sean Hawken again to see if a Geophysical Survey is possible on our site.

Widecombe Market: Does anyone wish to man a refreshment stall at one of the Saturday Markets held at The Church House next winter?

Rodney Cruze is investigating the possibility of obtaining a banner to use to attract visitors at some of our events. It would be useful at Widecombe Fair Marquee or events we stage elsewhere like The Church House.

Organisations involved with the recording and storage of images and documents relating to Dartmoor:

Further to last month’s discussions Anthony Beard and Roger Claxton are building up a file on the activities of various organisations that seem to have similar aims. For instance, The Dartmoor National Park has run a very successful "Oral History Project" in which it has recorded the voices and memories of people that have lived and worked on the moors for most of their lives. There now appears to be another group "The Oddbodies" that are doing a very similar thing. The Devon Rural Archives, recently launched at Modbury, are looking into the history of Old Manor Houses and the like, which appears to be so much like the activities of The Buildings Section of The Devonshire Association. Could our North Hall project fit in with this?

The Beaford Archives have thousands of pictorial images relating to Devon in their archives, how is this different from the aims of The Dartmoor Archive?

Is there contact between these two bodies? If there is co-operation between these different groups in sharing their assets, information and collections, it could be financially beneficial to all organisations. We are concerned that there are so many groups that appear to be doing similar projects to each other. Are they acting in competition with each other or is there some underlying co-operation taking place?

The manner in which the public funds, whether it is Council Funding, National Lottery Funding, or as in the case of The Dartmoor Archive and The Dartmoor Trust money left by individuals, are used for the support and recording of our heritage, is of great interest to our members. We realise there is always the question of storage and now there is such a brilliant purpose built facility at The Devon Records Office this could be an ideal place to store documents and artefacts that would be easily made available to a wider number of researchers.

To avoid the ‘doubling up’ of resources and the associated expenditure, would it be a good idea for organisations like the Dartmoor Trust, who tell us they have no storage facilities, to use their expertise in building up a file/catalogue/website of where so much of this wonderful research material is stored? This would be such a wonderful source of information, where researchers could download the information of where and by whom the wide variety of heritage material relating to the history of Devon/Dartmoor is stored. Just imagine what a great benefit and help this would be when trying to trace factual material.

The real information required is, where are items stored, when can they be inspected, who is the caretaker, and their availablity. We have been contacted by many people seeking information but we are limited as to how much we know and can pass on. A website like this would be a great help.

We believe serious consideration should be given to this idea.

Another thought expressed is, can some of these organisations use their funds to purchase some of the fascinating documents that appear regularly on the open market, then place them on ‘permanent loan’ at a place like the D.R.O.? This would mean that the monetary value would remain with the ‘owner’ but by the securing of the item for posterity and availablility for research, a great service would be achieved and the items would be kept under ideal conditions for their conservation.

Beatrice Chase: The Secretary is attempting to obtain some framed photographs and literature concerning Beatrice Chase. The Group authorised the sum £60 to be spent on obtaining these items in the belief that they could be of great use in future exhibitions and research.

Peter Hurst Memorial Walk: This will take place on Wednesday 29th August 2007 when those taking part will meet at the quarry opposite the Two Bridges Hotel at 6.00 p.m. for a stroll to Crockern Tor and Wistman’s Wood. The walk will be lead by Richard Wells and Mike Jones, after which refreshments will be available at The Plume of Feathers at Princetown at £8 per head. Names of those wishing to take part to be registered by our August 1st meeting. It was agreed that we should notify Dr. Bruce of the D.T.R.G. and The Dartmoor Trust so that any of their members wishing to join us can submit names and money by the above date.

A Guide to Dartmoor C.D.Rom compiled by Mike Brown and for sale at £10.50 was mentioned by Mary Pascoe. Several other C.Ds. concerning Dartmoor villages are also available. We need a contact address or telephone number.

Mr. Terry French reported on the death of Mr. Frank Hext, a past member of the Group who died recently. He did at one time donate to the Group part of the Hext Family Tree.

An invitation was extended to the members by Mr. Peter Carrett to attend the Beating of the Bounds of the Ancient Borough of Newton Abbot on Saturday 12th May, commencing at 12.30 p.m. at Bearnes School, the distance being approximately three miles.

E-mails & correspondence:

  • May(a). Patricia Hunt seeking details of Sally Satterley’s grave in Widecombe Churchyard. There is no headstone that we know of!
  • May(b). Robert Indge enquiring if William Owen John Tucker who once owned Natsworthy Manor is the same man who once owned a property in Grafton Road, Kentish Town, Camden, London on 10th December 1857. Possible, as it is a distinct name.......more information later perhaps!

Newsletter Volume 19 has been produced by Sue Booty and is now available to members.

Anthony reported on a guided walk he did around Widecombe when he met Robert & Kathy Elford a descendant of the Elfords of Sheeps Tor Village with connections to Widecombe. He has been promised a copy of The Elford Family Tree for the group.

Notices Read:

  • Leusdon Memorial Hall. Saturday May 12th Supper & Dance in aid of Hall Funds contact Sarah 01364 621230.
  • Chagford LHG No Meeting in May.
  • Princetown LHG. 5th June meet at 7.00 p.m. at Four Winds Carpark for a visit to Merrivale Newtake.
  • DTRG Brimpts Trail Launch on Saturday 16th June. Guided walk at 2.00 p.m. to be followed by buffet tea at 6.00 p.m. cost £7.50. Contact 01752 696257
  • Widecombe Ladies Social Group have a coach leaving Widecombe on Thursday 10th May at 8.30 a.m. for a trip to Boscastle and Tintagel. Contact Margaret on 01364 631421 for further details.

Our Programme:


Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 6th June at 7.30 p.m. when the speaker will be John Stuart and his subject will be ‘Clapper Bridges’.

This will be followed by a guided walk on Saturday 9th June. Meet at Moorgate SX666872 at 12 noon for picnic lunch followed by the walk commencing at 1.00 p.m. with the title "Count The Clapper Bridges".

Saturday June 30th We are hosting The Devon History Society’s Summer Meeting at The Church House from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. when we will stage an exhibition of our documents, projects and interests.

Volunteers are needed to man the exhibition and deliver a couple of short addresses on the various projects that the Group has undertaken since its inauguration ten years ago. We need to check on the number expected.


Sunday July 1st We shall open our exhibition to the general public from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Volunteers required to marshall the event.

Admission will be free but a tray for donations will be at the door and our publications and paperweights etc will be available for sale.

Wednesday July 4th a talk by Phil Newman on ‘The Archaeology of Mines on South East Dartmoor’.

CHANGE OF DATE. The walk with Richard Wells will now take place on Saturday 14th July NOT the 7th. Details at the next meeting

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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