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Widecombe History Group Minutes
A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 6th July 2011 at 7.30 p.m.
Apologies: Patrick Garvey, Roger Claxton, Roger Whale, Dot Jones, Rosemary Wrayford, Rosemary Mortimore, Barbara Norrish, Belinda & Peter Owen.
Mrs Sue Boustead was in the chair and 40 members attended. She welcomed everyone to the meeting and our speaker Gerald Quinn.
The Minutes of the June meeting were read and signed as correct.
Arising: Widecombe Fair 13th September 2011: Once again Aileen & Peter Carrett reported that plans were well in hand. We have received a poem from Nick Wooton that he has recently written about 'Tor Buses’ which he agrees can be incorporated into our exhibition on local public transport. Aileen and Peter asked if they could attend the next committee meeting and outline their plans, so that they can give everyone full details of their intentions at the group’s August meeting. The model of a Dartmoor Longhouse made by Freda Wilkinson, has been traced to her family and we hope to borrow it to exhibit at Widecombe Fair.
North Hall: An email was read from Margaret Rogers & Michael Lamb inviting all our members to a meeting at The Green Cafe at 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 13th July when Ross, who did the geophysical survey of The North Hall site will give his final appraisal on the work he and his colleague did back in May. This invitation was greeted with enthusiasm. Secretary to reply accordingly. We understand that a group of school children visited the site on Thursday 30th June on an educational visit.
Membership Details: Please see that your details are up to date.
Millenniums Book & CD: The search for these continues. Anyone with knowledge of their whereabouts please contact the secretary.
The Hameldown Memorial: In addition to last month’s minutes The Dartmoor Society has also done a write-up on the subject. Copies saved into our archives. Secretary still needs to talk to Deborah & Ted Hannaford as they lived at Natsworthy at the time of the crash.
Digitising the Parish Records: This is making good progress under the guidance of Ann and Roger Claxton.
Heritage and Educational Centre: The Parish Council has invited us to their meeting on Thursday 7th July to explain our plans and ideas.
History as it Happens: Several members contacted the secretary about an Earthquake/ Earth Tremor that occurred on Thursday 23rd June at about 3.00 p.m. (BST). It registered 2.7 on the Richter Scale and affected properties over a wide area. The epicentre appeared to be west of Haytor in the Bovey Tracey, Lustleigh, Christow and Teign Valley area. According to The British Geological Survey, there is a fault known as The Sticklepath/Lustleigh Fault, that runs diagonally across Devon from South Devon (Torbay) to North Devon (Bideford) and passes along the eastern side of Dartmoor. Tremors have been recorded many times before over the centuries, the last being in October 1997 in the South Hams. There was also a mini-tsunami, water rose suddenly a foot or two along the South Coast of Devon & Cornwall on 23rd June. Speculation as to the cause of that varies, but the most likely scenario is that an underwater earth slip took place about 200 miles out into the Atlantic. Local lady Brenda Boston is doing a sponsored bicycle ride from John ‘O Groats to Lands End in August in aid of Starlight (a charity that grants the wishes of children with terminal illnesses). Other ladies in our group are doing a sponsored ‘mid-night walk’ raising funds for local Hospice Care. An animal reported as being a Pole Cat has been shot in the parish after killing all of a farmer’s poultry. South-West Water closed the road between Ponsworthy and Eastern Lane Cross for maintenance work.
Visits from other Groups: Petrockstowe LHG visited us on June 10th on a very wet day so they only saw the church. We received a letter from them stating that in spite of the weather they enjoyed the day and will come again for a more extensive walk around the village at a later date. Tuesday 12 July we will host a visit from The Torquay Museum Society. Meet them at Wayside Cafe at 11.00 a.m. for short talk then a stroll around village and back to the cafe by 1.00 p.m. Friday 16th September we shall host a visit from The Plympton Civic Society. Meet them at 11.00 a.m. Thursday 22nd September we shall host a visit from The Exeter Red Coats. Meet at 12.00 noon for visit to our church. (There is a possibility that we may have a reciprocal visit to Exeter City walls).
Correspondence: Thursday 4th August a talk on ‘The Church in Devon’ by Rev David Keep at Shilstone, Modbury, 7.00 p.m. Adm. £5. Tuesday 19th July a morning talk at Shilstone titled ‘What did Women do all day’ given by Dr Jane Whittle of Exeter University. Adm. £4. Phyll’s Follies present a summer show including a two course meal, at Postbridge Village Hall on Friday 26th & Saturday 26th August. Tickets are £10. 01822 880386. Emails from a Ralph Mills regarding the ‘Tremills’ families of years gone by in Widecombe. He is tracing a family tree and will be in Widecombe during the latter part of July. A follow-up to email from a Margaret Hamilton should be made regarding old photographs of Widecombe. Email concerning a picture of Widecombe and a flock of sheep? Enquiry about the old custom of rolling a Cart Wheel from Meltor down to the river Dart on the Eve of St John the Baptist’s day, this is connected with Leusdon Church dedicated to St John the Baptist and built in 1863. This was recorded as having been done on 23rd June 1954. See The Transactions of The Devonshire Association Vol 87 page 356. Bessie French has recorded in her diary of this taking place on 23rd June 1956 and again on 23rd June 1962. Members can remember seeing photographs of the event and a copy needs to be traced. Further details would be appreciated. Email from Dustina Wessman-Smerdon, a grand-daughter of Mrs Ena Smerdon of Ponsworthy, who is coming from New York to photograph and interview senior members of our community for a project. She hopes to attend our September meeting. Secretary has written saying we hope to see her. Email asking for memories of ‘The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour in September 1957. Nothing was forthcoming.
Diary Dates: Wednesday 13th July visit The Green Cafe to hear more about the latest concerning North Hall. Thursday 14th July: Widecombe ladies Group Outing to Sherborne, contact Margaret Phipps on 01626 834737 (£19). Wednesday 20th July: visit to Kingskerswell Manor 7.00 p.m. Saturday 23rd July: Devon History Society meeting at Lustleigh Village Hall from 10.15 a.m. Saturdays 13th and 20th August: Visits to Sharpham at 10.00 a.m. on each day. Saturday 24th September: Visit to Honiton and Lyme Regis, depart Widecombe 8.30 a.m. return by 7.00 p.m. Cost £18, money to Wendy by the August meeting 01364 621246.
The meeting closed at 9.55 p.m.
There followed an illustrated talk on Kingskerswell Manor House given by Gerald Quinn.
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