History Group Minutes February 2010

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A meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at the Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 3rd February 2010 at 7.30 p.m.
Apologies:   Carl Heywood, Lynne & Doug Pigeon, Marcia Babbington, Maggie Faulkner, John Butcher, John Kimber, Roger Whale, Dot Jones, Alan & Mary Goodall, Pat & Roger Dickinson, Mavis and Richard Clipson and Jim Churchward.
Mr Roger Claxton was in the chair and 38 people attended.
The meeting began with a minutes silence in memory of two members that had recently passed away. Ruby Churchward and Peter Harvey. They will be sadly missed. A letter was read from Jim Churchward thanking the group members who attended Ruby's funeral and for donations made to the selected charities.
As the January Meeting had to be cancelled due to the snowy weather the December Minutes were read and then signed as correct.
A rising: Widecombe Fair September 14th 2010: Rodney Cruze reported that he has been in contact with the Chairman of Widecombe Fair Committee and there is a possibility that the Heritage Marquee this year may be placed against the metal fence at the top of the field close to the vintage machinery section. He felt that this would be good as we could then have any mechanical demonstrations, displayed by the vintage enthusiasts, close to our exhibition. Reed combing, reed stitching and the like, and we would also be near the vintage lorries and cars so that could tie in well with our idea of including transport of the area as another theme.
The Uncle Tom Cobley Mechanical Horse: The total restoration is now complete and there is a need to display this in a suitable place. Secretary will write to Widecombe Parochial Church Council requesting permission to display it in the Church. We realise that it will be at our own risk and to that end Mike Wright has had a suitable stand made with a transparent cover to display this safely. The meeting agreed to the purchase of the unit as shown to the group that evening. The group has been invited to view Mr Ian Minshull's collection of vintage implements, artefacts and tractors on Saturday 13th March at 2.00 p.m. Details and a simple map will be provided at the March meeting.
North Hall / Glebe Farm: Research into this project has been quiet since the last meeting with Anita Travis at the site. To date we have not heard from her regards her investigations, which we hope are on going. We look forward with interest to her findings. To further our local knowledge, attention should be given to the next item in the minutes. 
The Devon Rural Archive: Further to this, notice was given that "The Devon Rural Archive" based at Shilstone, near Modbury, has considerable research facilities, lecture rooms and a cafe where members can spend time and source a great deal of historical information. The Archive is open to the public for research on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. It is advisable to ring beforehand. There is parking and wheel-chair access, this can be arranged in advance.    Sight of the 1765 Donn Map of Devon may be of assistance to our local research! They have arranged a talk by Dr Todd Gray, "The Lost Heritage of Devon" - (How landscapes, building, heritage and history have been lost over the last 500 years), on Thursday 11th February 2010 at 7.00 p.m. at Shilstone. Tickets are £4 available in advance or on the door - 'phone: 01548 830888 or email amy@dra.uk.net They are keen to establish contact with local societies. We shall maintain our connection with them. 
Power Point Projection and Sound Recording Equipment: Suitable equipment is currently being sourced.
Proposed Heritage and Educational Centre: Roger Claxton gave the meeting a brief résumé of where we stand. The discussions are still in progress concerning the Reading Room etc. with The Archdeacon of Totnes, but there is a fear that the idea of utilising both the buildings as well as the yard, and maintaining them and the boundary walls, may well be more than we can manage. While negotiations are continuing we will be looking at other alternatives, for instance we need to see if we could cooperate with our church, and help The P. C. C. with their expenses in running "The Cathedral of the Moor"? Archdeacon Rawlings said at a meeting of " The Dartmoor Society" that more use of our churches should be explored.
The Kingshead "D" Stone: Now that the weather is improving contact will need to be made with Jane Marchand of The Dartmoor National Park Authority, to arrange a fresh date for the erection of the stone and to view other stones that have been recognised as possible boundary stones between Widecombe Town and Jordan (Dewdon) Manors. 
Archives: Richard Wells, our archivist, looked out documents and memorabilia from our collection regarding Widecombe School. A discussion evening about 'Education within the Parish' is scheduled for our March Meeting.
Widecombe Church: Further to our recent visit to Exeter Cathedral and looking at the 'roundels' that we saw there, increased interest has been shown by the group in the 'roundels' that were visible in Widecombe Church many years ago. (A 'roundel' is a shield, or anything of a round shape). We have given The P. C. C. a copy of a photograph that shows this interesting facet of our history. A copy of the 1948 Church Guide needs to be made for them.
It was suggested that some of us should visit churches like those of Chagford, Abbotsbury, Stoke Cannon and others to see how they have developed a more people friendly atmosphere in an effort to improve community uses and benefit.
Emails and Correspondence: The secretary continues to answer written requests for information. Recently we have had a request for information about the group from the Devon History Society to publish in their Newsletter. A letter of thanks from South Devon Railway for supporting their "Carols Down the Line" which raised £4186.07 for various charities last Christmas. A query about a local headstone in the churchyard. A letter of thanks from Marion Kaye, editor of the Parish Link, for our donation towards the costs of production The secretary has written to those who organised the successful Christmas Fun Day” last December and thanked them for their efforts.
Widecombe School Remembered: Our next meeting will be in The Church House on Wednesday 3rd March 2010 and it will take the form of a discussion evening, when past members of Widecombe and Leusdon Schools will be requested to relate stories and memories of their days at the schools. There is a particular request that those that went to school in the 30s, 40, 50s, & 60s will come and tell us their stories. If you do not wish to speak but are prepared to give the secretary a few written notes about your times at school that would be appreciated, as we need to build up a little history of 'Education in The Parish' before those memories are lost. The last part of the evening will be our re-arranged New Year's Party and all members are requested to bring a plate of 'goodies' for a bring and share supper. Liquid refreshments will be provided.
Other Business: We record our thanks to those that supported the draw with prizes, donations and those that managed the draw on the day in particular, Audrey Mortimore, Sue Boustead and Ann Claxton. This event raised about £200 towards our Heritage Scheme Funding. Thanks to Sue for her 50/50 raffle at this month's meeting raising £17.50 for funds.
 Diary Dates: Tuesday 2nd March. Princetown LHG have a talk by John Walters on Wildlife on Dartmoor. Wednesday 3rd March Leusdon Memorial Coffee Morning 10.00a.m. - 12 noon. Wednesday 3rd March Widecombe History Group, discussion evening and party Saturday 13th March Visit to Theale Farm, Lamerton. Wednesday 7th April The History & Work of the Met Office. Wednesday 5th May Widecombe History group A. G. M. This will be followed by a talk from Roger Claxton on Widecombe Tithe Map and the Apportionments Book.
                               The Meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.
Immediately the Extraordinary General Meeting originally scheduled for January 6th was held. This was to approve slight amendments to our Constitution, to come in line with the demands of H. M. Revenue & Customs, so that we can claim 'Gift Aid' on any donations received. The Chairman read them out and a proposal that they should be accepted and the amendment was unanimously agreed. A copy of the new updated amended Constitution will be added to the minute book.
                               This meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.
Earlier in the evening we had a brilliant illustrated talk on;
The History of the Polish Refugees at Stover by Clare Thomas.

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