History Group Minutes March 2010

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A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at the Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 3rd March 2010 at 7.30 p.m.
Apologies:        Peter & Aileen Carrett, Marcia Babbington, Ann Murphy, Derek Hext, Patrick & Sue Garvey, Alan & Mary Goodall and Bessie French.
Mr Roger Claxton was in the chair and 73 people attended.
The minutes of the February Meeting were read and signed as correct.
Arising: Widecombe Fair September 14th 2010: Preparations are continuing and Rodney Cruze will bring the group up to date at the April Meeting. Uncle Tom Cobley Mechanical Horse is now secure in its stand and dome and is now ready for exhibition. We intend to write to The Widecombe Parochial Church Council to request permission to display it in the Church. We shall also inform the Price Family of our intention and get their approval. Members were reminded that our visit to Ian Minshull's Vintage Collection is scheduled for Saturday 13th March at 2.00 p.m. About 25 people expressed an interest in going. North Hall / Glebe Farm: Peter Rennells reported that he has heard from Anita Travis on the results of her research into the above and he will report more fully at the April meeting. Devon Archive Trust: Members were reminded of the facility at Shilstone, Modbury, of the archives of The Devon Archive Trust and the fact that they are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. where members can source a great deal of information. There is also a lecture room and a cafe for the use of visiting members and groups. A copy of The Donn Map of Devon is held there and this too may be of great use in The North Hall Project as it dates from 1765. Contact 01548 830888 or amy@dra.uk.net Power Point and Projection Equipment: This is currently under investigation. Proposed Heritage and Educational Centre: This is an ongoing project and, as recently recorded, the prospect of the group taking on the whole of the Vicarage Yard, including the maintenance of both buildings, yard and all the boundary walls, may well be more than we could  manage. The Committee is looking at other options and contact will be made with The Widecombe Parochial Church Council to see if co-operation with them could be another way forward which could benefit them as well as us in the process. The Widecombe Parochial Church Council have their Annual Meeting in The Church House on Thursday 25th March at 7.00p.m. and contact must be made with them prior to that date.They need their Electoral Roll revising by Wednesday 10th March. Contact Peter Dracup on 01364 621286 for more details. The Widecombe Parish Council has its Annual Parish Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 17th March at 7.30 p.m. in The Church House and all parishioners are welcome. They have as guest speaker Martin Rich of The Community Council of Devon and he will explaining ‘how to develop a Parish Plan’. We have not heard anything more about the ‘roundels’ above the pillars in the church that were painted over some time ago. Co-operation with The Dartmoor National Park Authority: On Wednesday 24th February we were assisted by Jane Marchand, Andy Cribbett and Sam Edwards of The D.N.P. in getting a stone, recently noticed close to the old church path near Kingshead Corner, re-erected . This stone has about ninety percent of a capital ‘D’ engraved on it and we consider it to be an old boundary stone, marking the junction of Widecombe Town Manor and Jordan (Dewdon) Manor. Four other stones on the boundary line between that one and two crosses have also been identified as possible boundary stones, it is intended to re-erect them at a suitable time. At the same time the ‘standing stone’ at Two Crosses marking the boundary of Widecombe Town, Dunstone and Jordan Manors, was found to be lying on the ground, and this too has been re-erected and improvements to the ground around it has been implemented.
Diary Dates: Saturday 13th March. A visit to Ian Minshull’s Vintage Collection at 2.00 p.m. Tuesday 6th April. Princetown Local History Group have a talk by Tim Jenkinson on Old Devon Milestones at 7.30 p.m. at Princetown Community Centre. Wednesday 7th April. Our April Meeting when Peter Kaminski will give a talk on The History of The Meteorological Office. Wednesday 5th May. Our Annual General Meeting followed by an illustrated talk by Roger Claxton on The Widecombe Tithe Map and the Apportionment Book. This may lead to a discussion on Field Names, Owners and Occupiers over the years. Saturday 8th May. Annual Outing to Arlington Court and Lynmouth. Completed forms and money to Ann Claxton by our April Meeting please.
Advance Notice: Wednesday 2nd June. Our June meeting when Andy Crabb of D.N.P. will give an Illustrated talk on Archaeology on the Moors above Widecombe. Wednesday 9th June As a follow up, Andy will lead a guided walk around that area to (Note Change of Date) look at those archaeological features. (meet at car park at top of Widecombe Hill at 6.00 p.m.)
The meeting this month took the form of discussion evening looking at ‘Education in and around Widecombe’. As well as the usual members many local people came and contributed their memories and experiences during their years at Widecombe School. The present school was built in 1932. Previous to that there was a school in The Church House at Widecombe and a school at Leusdon. Historically many other small ‘Cottage or Dame Schools’ existed. Some older members of the community sent their reminiscences and several people added to the discussion which culminated in a very useful exercise. The amount of material that came out of the meeting will mean much more research is needed into what has become a subject of immense interest. This will entail a lot of work to write up and bring together all the information gathered. It has been suggested that perhaps a local student of English and/or History may pick this up as a thesis for a University Degree!
The end of the meeting took the form of a ‘bring and share buffet’ which was our re-arranged New Year’s Party, cancelled in January due to inclement weather. The Committee wishes to thank all those that brought such a diverse selection of food that was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Peter Rennells for his usual excellent ‘punch’. It was so pleasing to see so many local people joining us for the first time and taking part in our discussion on ‘Education in and around Widecombe’ and for them bringing their memories and mementos and stories. We thank them for their contributions and hope that they enjoyed themselves enough to come again and add to our knowledge of the parish, there is a need for further recording to be done regarding this fascinating subject.
The meeting closed at 10.30 p.m.

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