Widecombe History Group Minutes September 2007

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

Apologies: Dilys & Peter Harvey, Fred Daw, Phyllis Pascoe, Bessie French, Jo & Sid Pontin, Ruth Parnell, Arthur Johnson, Norma Tempest and Pat Gibson

Mrs Mary Pascoe was in the chair and 62 members attended.

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


The History of Widecombe Fair.

The book has been printed and will be on sale at Widecombe Fair on Widecombe Fair Day 11th September 2007 in The Heritage Marquee.

A copy was shown to the meeting and was greeted with great excitement.

Copies will also be on sale in some of the shops in the village from Tuesday morning the 11th September.

The price will be £6.95. For overseas Europe: £8.60 (incl p&p)

For all Other Countries: £10.00 (incl p&p)

Orders can be placed through our website......www.widecombe-in-the-moor.com

MacMillan Nurses:

The Coffee Morning held at Leusdon Memorial Hall on Wednesday 5th September raised £500 for the Charity.

Dartmoor Trust & Dartmoor Archives:

Anthony Beard & Roger Claxton will meet with the Trustees on Monday 24th September to discuss The Peter Hirst Legacy and its use.

Guided Walk on Saturday 22nd September:

Meet at The Lower car park at Haytor at 11.00 a.m. bring a picnic. Richard Wells will be our guide and we shall visit Haytor Granite Quarry and Railway, Holwell Quarry, Houndtor Medieval Settlement, Holwell Lawns, Haytor and so back to the car park.

Peter Hirst Memorial Walk 29th August 2007 (Peter’s Birthday):This was great success and Richard Wells and Mike Jones were both suitably thanked for organising such an enjoyable walk and gathering afterwards. The visit was to Crockern Tor and Wistman’s Wood and various information was imparted during the walk. Particular mention was the ‘Tinners Parliament’ that was held at different times on Crockern Tor and the implications of those meetings. Sir Walter Raleigh was recorded as having attended one of these meetings and the stories attributed the area were related. 42 people attended the walk including members of The DTRG and others that were friends and associates of Peter. This annual event continues to draw us together to commemorate a good friend.

Holne ARP Bell:

A vote of thanks was recorded to Peter Carrett for making a new handle for the bell. This is used at all our meetings to call order!

Autumn Outing:

Ann Claxton, our programme and outing organiser, was collecting the money for our trip on Saturday October 6th 2007 when we shall be visiting Saltash and Buckland Abbey. Please get your money to Ann as quickly as possible. It is getting booked up quickly! Anthony to ask Paul Way for permission to park as before.

Alan & Mary Goodall’s Book Collection:

They have produced a list of books in their possession that they are prepared to loan members. Members to contact them direct.

The Church Paintings:

This is still creating interest and intrigue. Could this be a reflection on the fact that Religious Buildings have a history of being used by various faiths over a period of many centuries? This general consensus of opinion has been expressed.

The Elford Family Tree:

The papers were on display during the evening and will be at future meetings for members to view.

Sawdye & Harris:

Terry French has had permission from the Auctioneers Sawdye & Harris of Ashburton to look through their collection of old advertising posters that they have in their archives relating to auctions in and around the area. Some concerned grass sales, house sales of furniture etc, others show the list of agricultural implements and stock for sale at farms when the farmer retired from farming or the farm changed hands, either being sold or tenanted.

There was great deal of interest shown and it was decided that several should be copied and added to our archives as reference for when we look at farming in the Parish through the years.

It was suggested that we should get them digitally copied and the images could be stored on CD. This idea was approved. Copies can then be made as and when required.

North Hall:

Interest in North Hall has increased enormously in the last two months. This has resulted from a meeting with Archaeologists at Exeter University who were involved with a project at Stokenham. Penny Cunningham visited our North Hall site and expressed the opinion that they would like to survey the various fields.

She came back with her fellow archaeologist Sam....... ....and they surveyed the physical ‘humps and bumps’ of the site and then did a geophysical survey of two of the fields. Mary Pascoe reported that she had received a letter from Penny to say that she had not had time to complete the digitalisation of the findings in the computer but the initial work had proved promising and has shown some surprising results. We await with interest their findings. We were pleased to report that Mr & Mrs Skinner’s son David was showing a lot of interest in our activities and we shall continue to encourage him to be involved. We hope we shall have more details by our October Meeting.

The 1842 Tithe Map:

Anthony Beard reported that he has a letter concerning the conservation of our Tithe Map. Peter Hirst and he had been in contact with The Conservators at The Devon Records Office in the year 2000. Deborah Phillips of DRO had inspected the map and found it in quite good condition but she did express the opinion that some conservation work would be worthwhile. At that time the facilities to do that were not available but she did remark that when the new building was in place consideration should be given to this as room would be available for such a project. At that time the cost was estimated at about £500. It was decided that this should be now taken up with The Parish Council to see if progress could now be taken to reopen this subject to secure its conservation.

Widecombe Fair 2007 and the Heritage Marquee:

Peter Rennells who is acting as co-ordinator of this event reported on the arrangements for next Tuesday 11th September.

Rodney Cruze has gathered together a fine collection of farming memorabilia and he is prepared to bring some of it to our marquee and put it on display. His theme this year will be harvest and cultivation. He has a wagon, haysweep, grabs and a mowing machine and a varied collection of ploughs, scuffles, potato bankers and lifters. These he will display outside the marquee and inside there will be dairy items, i.e. cream separators, pails, pans, weights etc.

Peter has organised the interior displays and all those who have volunteered to help were informed of the exhibits that they would be requested to man. Several others offered to step in at various times during the day to relieve each other, giving everyone a chance to see the Fair and its activities and ‘ave a cup o tay’.

Items covered this year will be - Farming through the ages, North Hall, Beatrice Chase, Candy Pottery, Widecombe Fair Pottery Memorabilia, and examples of the tremendous amount of material that we found during the research into our new book - The History of Widecombe Fair.

Correspondence & E-mails:

i) Newton Abbot & District Society of Arts have a concert on 22nd September at The Arts Centre, Teignmouth at 7.30 p.m. with Russian Concert Pianist Leg Marched. Tickets TIC Newton Abbot

ii) Anthony Beard is attempting to obtain a grant from DNP Authority towards the Heritage Marquee.

iii) E-mail 01/09/07 from June Kernick stating that there is an enquiry about the STEVEN’S family in current DFHSoc’s Mag. Eileen Carrett expressed interest and will make contact.

E-mail 02/09/07 Anonymous. Requesting details of HANNAFORD family. Suggest contact be made with June Kernick. (We can confirm Susanna d of Robert & Susanna Hannaford, labourer, of Lower Town, bapt. 12/12/1819).

E-mail 03/09/07 Request for someone to digitally photograph headstones of Widecombe Churchyard. No Volunteers.

E-mail 04/09/07 Enquiry re: Hamlyn family. Will pass to Andrew Hamlyn.

iv) Princetown History Gp meet 2nd October for a talk by Dr Goodridge entitled ‘Farm Buildings and Cottages of The Bedford Estate’.

v) Diary date:- Leusdon Memorial Hall Grand Autumn Whistdrive Sat 27th Oct.

vi) Community Awareness:- Malicious Calls on Mobiles, asking you to press #90 or #09, DO NOT FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.

The next Meeting is Wednesday 3rd October when the speaker will be Tess Walker and her subject will be ‘Something in Common’ a talk on Dartmoor Commons with particular reference to our area.

The meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.

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