A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 7.30 pm.
Apologies: Ruth Parnell, Arch & Audrey Mortimore, Roger Whale, Dot Jones, Carl Heywood, Doug & Lynne Pidgeon, Maggie Faulkner, Marcia Babington, Peter Rennells, John Kimber, Patrick Garvey, Sue Booty, Sam Boustead, Derek Hext, and Jane Boswell.
Mr Terry French was in the chair and 39 members attended.
Arising: Widecombe Fair Tuesday 13th September 2011: Aileen & Peter Carrett have the preparations well in hand. Public transport, lace making in Devon, natural history and bygone kitchens are the themes together with a 'trace your family tree' information stand.
Membership: Please check your entries on the membership list to see that your contact details are up to date.
Heritage and Educational Centre: The possibility of creating a centre for Widecombe is continuing. The possible site is the Parish Field adjacent to the Council Car Park. We are currently sourcing quotations as regards to cost from several firms. We hope that this could be a great asset to the Parish. The idea has been received with enthusiasm by the Parish Council and D. N. Park Authority. There will be Parish Council elections in May and we must formally approach the new Council once it is formed. Roger Claxton and Anthony Beard made representations at The Annual Parish Meeting in March about our activities during the past year.
Management Committee Report: The committee met recently and have made the following recommendations.
a. An inventory should be made of all History group assets held by individuals.
i.e. (a) The Secretary has all the store of our books.
He also has our large banner.
He also holds a complete set of minutes from day ONE.
(b) Rodney Cruze has our spare display cabinets.
WE do need to develop this!
b. (a) Our librarian Richard Wells has a complete record of our archives held in The Church House and those held in the Parish Chest and a file similar to this should be developed.
c. (a) It was recommended that we should all donate £1 when taking part in our Guided Walks. This was agreed.
History As It Happens: Secretary suggested that we should adopt a system of recording in our minutes each month a "History As It Happens" paragraph. This was agreed and from now on members are requested to give a note to the secretary at each monthly meeting of anything that has happened in the Parish during the previous month.
North Hall: Members have had an invitation to join Margaret Rogers and Michael Lamb at The Cafe on the Green, on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th April at 10.00 a.m. each day to hear from a Ross Dean who is doing a Geophysical Survey of The North Hall and Great Moor sites for them. Coffee and biscuits will be served and a briefing of what is intended will be given. There will be an opportunity for questions and bring your wellington boots. A practical demonstration will be given at the site and members are then asked to leave him to carry on his research. On the second day we shall probably hear from him of some of his conclusions. About twelve members have expressed an interest for each day. Secretary will inform Messrs Rogers and Lamb. Anthony has also heard from Bill Gilbert of New Foundland, a Medieval Archaeologist, and he will also be looking at the site in late April in conjunction with John Allan of Exeter University and Peter Rennells our researcher, by invitation.
Walks and Outings: Pat Watson and Richard Wells were thanked for leading a most interesting walk from Challacombe via Headland Warren, Birch Tor, Warren House Inn, Vitifer Tin Mines, Golden Dagger, and back to Challacombe on April 1st.
Future Walks and Outings: Put these date into your Diaries: The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk will be held on Monday 29th August. This will be led by Richard Wells and Mike Wright. We shall visit Haytor Quarries, the Granite Railway and perhaps part of Stover Canal. Meet at the top carpark at 11.00 a.m. Tuesday 10th May our Annual Outing to Rame Peninsular, Mount Edgecombe and Antony House. Leave Widecombe at 8.45 a.m. return about 7.00 p.m. National Trust Members £17.00, non-N. T. Members £23.00 contact Ann Claxton with your money by Wednesday 4th May 01364 621232. Possibility of a trip to Sharpham Gardens and House on either Saturdays 13th or 20th August. There is a possibility of a trip to Honiton to view the Lace making Collections on Saturday 24th September when we shall meet the ladies that will be demonstrating at Widecombe Fair, then on to Lyme Regis.
Millennium Book and CD: We are still searching for these. If anyone has them please return them to the secretary. We urgently want them back for the archives.
Diary dates: As well as the above please note that on; Tuesday 3rd May Princetown LHG will have Terry Faull talking on Barn Conversions and Swing Riots. Wednesday 4th May at Leusdon Memorial Hall from 10.00 a.m. there will be a coffee morning in aid of Rowcroft Hospice. Wednesday 4th May Our A.G.M. will precede our Monthly Meeting. Aileen Carrett will be showing pictures of our activities over the past year. Members are invited to attend The A.G.M. of Widecombe Sports Group on Thursday 19th May at 7.00 p.m. at The Church House when a presentation will be given regarding the funding for organisations which promote activities that involve the community. Wednesday 1st June our monthly meeting will include an illustrated talk by Simon Hughes (S. W. Archaeology) and Andy Crabb (D. N. P). N. B. Further to this there will be a guided walk on Wednesday 8th June around the Bellever Round House site led by Andy Crabb - details to follow. Tuesday 7th June Princetown LHG have guided walk to Wistman’s Wood led by Simon Dell. Meet at Two Bridges at 7.00 p.m. £1 donation please. We shall be giving a guided walk around Widecombe to members of Torquay Museum on Tuesday 12th July at 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Digitising Parish Records & Archives: Under the guidance of Ann & Roger Claxton the process of digitising our records has begun. Due to the fact that The Church House is regularly in use for so many events we are only able to use it on Mondays with any regularity. However we have been approached by Fiona & Robert Wallace of The Cafe on the Green with a possibility of the use of a room there. If this comes to fruition it would mean that the mammoth task of recording Widecombe’s History would be speeded up as the room would be available much more often. At present we have four teams of four people working on this. More volunteers are welcome.
Correspondence: There has been considerable correspondence during the past month and the secretary has replied to several emails. Included amongst these was a request from DRO to participate in a consultation process, families tracing ancestors, a village walk publication, The Devonshire Association AGM, and an enquiry about Beatrice Chase. They will be dealt with as soon as possible. A.O.B.: The visit to Widecombe Pre-School Group was great success and we have had a lovely letter in appreciation from them, we have written thanking them for a grand morning. Peter Carrett has produced a photographic memory of the event. Richard Wells has received a considerable amount of archival material in the past two months. Thanks were expressed to him for his enthusiasm and how he keeps track of it all. The Devon Rural Archive invite people to visit their website: www.devonruralarchive.com The meeting closed at 10.07 p.m.
The Reverend Christopher Pidsley gave the meeting a fascinating illustrated talk about The Haldon Belvedere and the Palk Family associated with it and Haldon House.
Please click here to access that talk