History Group Minutes January 2009

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A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 7th January 2009 at 7.30 P.M.

Apologies: Roger Whale, Tanya & Barry Welch, Bessie French, Ruth Parnell, Aileen & Peter Carrett and Mary & Alan Goodall.

The minutes of the December meeting were read and signed as correct. Mr Roger Claxton was in the chair and 46 people attended. 

Arising:  Widecombe Fair Tuesday 8th September 2009.  Arrangements are continuing and Ruth Tanner has offered to assist Sue Booty with the collection of information on the day, as they did last year. Aileen and Peter are working on the details. 

Newsletter volume 22 and the programme for 2009 are now available.

North Hall:  Peter Rennells is still collecting information. The remains of the Old Orchard at North Hall would make an ideal site for a 'Wassail Ceremony' we must watch future developments. There is a Wassail Ceremony taking place at Stoke Gabriel on Saturday 17th January. Anyone interested in attending this event please contact Peter on 01364 621302 and mutual travelling plans could be arranged.

Home Start: The Art Exhibition held recently at Kingsbridge was a great success and £2500 was raised for that Charity, in addition to the £240 raised for McMillan Nurses at Peter's pre-view evening. Thanks was expressed to all those who contributed.

Carols Down The Line on Thursday 11th December was a great success. A vote of thanks to Ann Claxton for organising such a grand evening. 

Widecombe Heritage Centre: This will be a project that will take a lot of work and time to materialise. To date we have made contact with The Exeter Diocesan Board and The Totnes Archdeaconry Glebe Committee through Mr Jonathan Aylette their Agent. We are now awaiting his report after his visit and meeting with the secretary. He will be approaching the Diocesan Surveyor to examine the ‘Old Reading Room’ which is the building under consideration, and the secretary has informed him that he is prepared to meet them at any time they wish. Roger Whale has been in contact with Ashburton Museum and The Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre to gain information on how they  work and gather support. Roger Claxton and Anthony Beard have visited The Lustleigh Society, who are currently involved with creating a ‘Community Archive’, very similar to what we are planning. They were met by seven of The Society’s members who showed them their room at The Vestry, Lustleigh, and what they have collected so far and explained their aims and the methods employed in obtaining grants and financial backing. They were also told of the work involved in obtaining grants and the practical voluntary work carried out by members of their community.  Roger & Ann Claxton, our co-ordinators, are drawing up plans to take our planned project forward. The result of any research done on similar projects, comments and anything constructive about the project and any ideas or thoughts of how best to progress should be reported to them. There is a need for a ‘shopping list’ of items to be drawn up.  What would be required?  Planned work to bring the building up to a ‘fit for purpose’ standard. The need for  electricity to be obtained and the costs including wiring and equipment, computers, heaters etc. Internal structural work, insulation, boarding off the walls and ceiling, windows and doors, double-glazing. Equipment like shelves, de-humidifier, acid free boxes and folders and wrappings, and display cabinets.The rent and other out goings and the length and terms of the lease. Council Tax, this should be nil, this needs checking. Insurance, the building should be covered by the Diocese as it is Church Property. We would need cover for our archives and equipment. Construction of down stairs floor. Replacement of doors and windows. Staircase re-alignment.  The list of these items and more, will be built up over the course of time, and it is necessary to make this very comprehensive add detailed before any application for grants is commenced.Members are asked to add to this list and make it more comprehensive.

Diary Dates:  Saturday 10th January is our Annual Party Night to be held at Leusdon Memorial Hall from 7.30 - 11.30 p.m. Tuesday February 3rd: Princetown History Club meet at Princetown Primary School for a talk on The Moorland Plym by Mike Perriam at 7.30 p.m. Wednesday 4th February: The speaker at our February Meeting will be Dr Ian Mortimer and his address is entitled 'Time Travellers Guide to Widecombe'. Wednesday 25th February: The Lustleigh Society have a talk by Michael Dray on ‘Thatching Today - techniques and materials’ in the Village Hall at 7.30 p.m. Wednesday 4th March: The speaker at our March Meeting will be John Walters. He will talk about 'Dartmoor Wildlife'.  Saturday 25th April: Our secretary Anthony Beard will be holding his Devonshire Association President’s Symposium, at County Hall, Exeter, from 10.00a.m. till 5.00 p.m. when he has an interesting group of speakers helping him in his theme of “Telling the Dartmoor Story”.  Details and booking forms can be obtained from him or from:The Devonshire Association, The West Wing, The Bishop’s Palace, Palace Gate, Exeter. EX1 1HX.

Correspondence: Details of the Elford family of Sheepstor are being sought. A catalogue list of records relating to Widecombe School has now been received from The Devon Records Office 

                                                       The meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.             

 please click here for Dr Tom Greeve's Illustrated talk on Early Photographic Images of Dartmoor  


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