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Widecombe History Group Minutes
A Meeting of The Widecombe and District Local History Group was held at the Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 4th March 2009 at 6.30 p.m.
Apologies: Carl Heywood, Dougie & Lyn Pidgeon, Sue Boustead, Alan & Mary Goodall, John Butcher, Jim & Ruby Churchward, Betty Andrews, Ruth Parnell, Ann Murphy, Bessie French and Marcia Babbington.
The Minutes of the January meeting were read and signed as correct. The February meeting was postponed due to the bad weather. It was suggested that perhaps the speaker, Dr Ian Mortimer could be invited to our AGM in May. Ann Claxton will see whether that is possible.
Mr Roger Whale was in the chair and 46 people attended. Several new faces attended this meeting and a warm welcome was extended to them all.
Arising: Widecombe Fair Tuesday 8th September 2009: Peter and Aileen Carrett are busy making plans for the Heritage Marquee. A rough plan of the layout of the tent has been produced and the 'sheep to pullover' or 'fleece to jumper' idea is being explored with the help of Shan Palmes a local spinner cum weaver. Ideas as to what exhibitions should be staged would now be appreciated. The mechanical model of Uncle Tom Cobley and All will be the major attraction and we must keep The Price family aware of our progress. Sid Pontin brought a photo of a 'Sailor Sam’, it appeared different from the one owned by The Dartmoor Pixie Band, we must check that! Maggie Faulkner has recently bought another similar dancing doll, she promised to bring it to the April meeting for all to see.
Newsletter Volume 22 has been received with great enthusiasm. It has the 2009 programme of events on the back cover.
North Hall: It was recorded that Glebe Farm, Widecombe, has come up for sale by auction. The sale will take place on Thursday 26th March and the farm is being sold in several individual lots, not as a whole. The House, East Hayes, and two fields we believe are already under offer.
We must try and maintain the good relationship that we have built with the Skinner family over the past years, with the new owner of "Lot 10", which includes the farm buildings, the site of 'The Old North Hall Manor', the fields with the 'crop marks' and the remains of 'The Old Orchard'. A copy of the sale particulars have been obtained for our archives. The Wassail Ceremony at Stoke Gabriel was again a great success. Wouldn’t it be grand if something like that could be held at The Old Orchard here in Widecombe, one day!
Annual Outing 16th May 2009: Ann Claxton gave out details of our Annual Outing on 16th May to Charlestown, Lanhydrock and St Neot, in Cornwall.
Archives: A copy of the words and music of “Widecombe Bells” has been given to the group by Bessie French. This song was written locally by Sylvia Sayer and the harmonies provided by Lily Hambley.
Yarner Woods: Details of walks and talks available about Yarner Woods have been received and passed to Ann our programme organiser and may well feature in future activities for the group.
New House: Dr Tom Greeves has sent us a copy of his picture showing The Nutcracker Stone, now toppled over, at Rippon Tor, with what appears to be a small image of ‘New House’ in the distance. He holds the copyright for this photograph which featured in his talk in January.
Widecombe Heritage Centre: This project is continuing at a steady pace. Regular contact is being maintained with Jonathan Aylette of Michelmore Hughes the Diocesan Agent. He has agreed that the wall against the village square does need attention before it falls out into the road. He is currently obtaining quotes for its repair. Our Chairman and Secretary have recently met with representatives of EDF Energy, the electricity suppliers for this area, to obtain an idea of the cost that would be involved in getting electricity into The Reading Room. A quote of £1144.07 has been received from them. It is felt that this could be greatly reduced if ducting was laid under the wall when it is rebuilt to carry any future electrical supply into the building. This would be done for the benefit of The Diocese, whether we ultimately use the room or not. Mary Pascoe told the meeting a fresh display has been arranged in our cabinets in Widecombe Church. One in particular is about the refurbishment of the bells in 2000.
Warning: Rodney Cruze brought to the meeting’s notice a warning about ‘Scams’ currently appearing through e-mails and normal post. They ask for bank details with promises of large financial benefit. Do not on any account get involved. It all appears too good and as the saying goes....... “If it seems too good to be true, then it generally is!”
St Leonard’s Tower, Newton Abbot: Rodney Cruze showed the members a medal which appears to commemorate the visit of William III, Prince of Orange, to Newton Abbot on 7th November 1688. Further research into this will be done by the April Meeting. A copy of associated literature was given to the group.
Correspondence: We are attempting to find photographs of Heathercombe Brake School c1970/1980, the school closed in 1989. To date with no success. We are still trying to trace the details of The Elford family tree once given to the group. In answer to an enquiry about a William Lambshead members gave the secretary some information that he will pass on. A copy of a page from The Motor Trader of 27th January 1932 belonging to Rodney Cruze caused amusement. It stated that The Devon County Council at that time, were concerned about the number of ‘disfiguring filling stations’ that were appearing on Dartmoor. The meeting noted that at one time there were four in the parish of Widecombe, at Dartmeet, Poundsgate, Merry Park and in the middle of Widecombe Village. There was also one at Haytor, now there are no active filling stations on the moors at all.
Diary Dates: Friday 6th March, at Leusdon Church at 3.00 p.m. there is a service as it is Women’s World Day of Prayer, there will be a speaker and all are welcome Saturday 14th March, at Holne Village Hall there is an Archaeological Finds Day, from 11.00 a.m. till 4.00 p.m.. This has been organised jointly by The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and The Dartmoor Society. Tickets obtained on the door, £2.00 for members, £3.00 for non-members. Free tea/coffee/biscuits. Have you found any interesting archaeological objects or coins? This is a chance to get them identified by expert staff of The R.A.M.M. Further details from 01395 267838. Saturday 14th March, a Ceilidh at Leusdon Memorial Hall, at 7.30 p.m. Wednesday 25th March, The Lustleigh Society has a talk by John Michael Kennaway on ‘The Fall and Rise of The Country Estate‘ at 7.30 p.m. in their Village Hall Wednesday 1st April, Widecombe & District Local History Group have a talk by Elizabeth Stuart on ‘The Historical Aspects of the Duchy of Cornwall’. Tuesday 7th April, Princetown Local History Group have a talk by Robert Hesketh on ‘Devon Place Names’. Monday 27th April, we will host a talk and guided walk around Widecombe for The Shaldon & Ringmore Women’s Institute. Tea/coffee and biscuits, downstairs from 10.30 a.m. Talks by Rodney Cruze, Roger Whale, Peter Rennells and Anthony Beard from 11.00 a.m. till 12.30 p.m. A break for lunch 12.30 p.m. till 2.00 p.m. Assemble at village car park at 2.00 p.m. for a guided walk around the village and surrounding area arriving back at The Church House for a cup of tea at 4.00 p.m. when our books etc will be on display for sale. Tea ladies and book stall helpers needed. We do not make a charge for this but request a donation for Group Funds and hopefully sell some of our books, paperweights etc. Churchwarden Alan Wheelhouse is prepared to meet us all in church at 3.30 p.m. when he will play ‘Jerusalem’, the Women Institute’s Anthem Wednesday May 6th, Our AGM with the possibility of Dr Mortimer giving a talk. Devonshire A ssociation President's Symposium 25th April 2009 This will be held at Devon County Hall: Several people have requested details and some have registered an interest in attending. Secretary will look into the booking procedures. John Walters, our speaker tonight, with Paul Wilson & Marilyn Tucker of The Wren Trust, Chris Chapman, Dr Tom Greeves, Norman Cowling and Anthony Beard will be speakers at The Devonshire Association’s President’s Symposium to be held at County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, on Saturday 25th April, from 10.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m. Tickets are £20.00 and includes morning coffee, buffet lunch and afternoon tea. The theme is “Telling The Dartmoor Story” Details can be obtained from the Registrar, Devonshire Association, The West Wing, The Bishop’s Palace, Palace Gate, Exeter. EX1 1HX. Telephone 01392 221737.
The meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.
An Illustrated talk on Dartmoor Wildlife by naturalist John Walters followed.
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