History Group Minutes March 2011

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 A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 2nd March 2011 at 7.30 p.m. 

Apologies:-         Doug & Lyn Pigeon, Carl Heywood, John Butcher, Alan & Mary Goodall, Roger & Dot Dickinson, Derek Hext, Mavis & Rick Clipson, Richard Wells, John Kimber, Jane Boswell, Roger Whale and Dot Jones.

Mr Terry French was in the chair and 45 members and some visitors attended.

Arising: Widecombe Fair Tuesday 13th September 2011: Aileen & Pater Carrett reported that arrangements are well in hand. Leonard Norrish has given the group a selection of bus tickets connected with Beard's Buses and Merry Park Garage where he once worked. Peter will get them and a couple already owned by the group, framed ready for showing in September. There is still a need for anyone with old kitchen utensils suitable for display at the Fair to contact Aileen or Mary Pascoe.

Membership: There are still a few members that have not up-dated their contact details, please contact Sue Boustead.

Heritage & Education Centre: It has been decided not to pursue further the possibility of using the Reading Room for this purpose. We have had considerable dialogue with the Diocese but costs and conditions make it an unviable project for the group to undertake. The idea of using part of the rear of the Church for this purpose did not appeal The Widecombe Parochial Church Council. We had hoped that they may have asked us to meet them and discuss our ideas but this did not materialise. Negotiations are now taking place with The Widecombe Parish Council and The Dartmoor National Park Authority about another site.

North Hall: Peter Rennells is still looking for comments about his proposed information leaflet about the site. Our speaker at tonight's meeting has given him food for thought. Peter has given the group a copy of a reproduction of an 1809 Ordnance Survey Map of Dartmoor. “Discover the Landscape of the Past”.

Millennium Book & CD: Secretary has contacted Chris Mayhead and he is of the opinion that the book is buried in the Time Capsule on the Village Green. There is still a need to do more research on this subject. We must keep the Parish Council informed.

Digitising the Parish Documents: Roger & Ann Claxton have given several members some basic computer training to help with this project. They have arranged members in groups of three or four for this scheme. Members with no previous computer experience have also joined in and are benefiting from the lessons. It is intended that quite soon we shall begin the process which will be of great benefit to those wishing to access our archived documents and material. The Group wish to record their appreciation to many people that have contributed towards this by donations and grants. All this is positive work being done by the group and promises to be an exciting project.

Walks & Talks: The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk is scheduled for Monday 29th August, Peter's birthday, and will be led by Richard Wells and Mike Wright. This year we will be looking at Haytor Quarry, the Granite Railway and perhaps part of Stover Canal. Richard Wells & Pat Watson will lead a special walk on Friday 1st April, looking at the archaeology of the Challacombe area including the Old Village, Headland Warren, Birch Tor, reaching Warren House Inn for lunch. After which we shall return to Challacombe via Vitifer Tin Mines, Sousons & Sousons Plantation. Meet at Challacombe at 11.00 a.m. and wear sturdy footwear. It is intended to take a vehicle to Warren House Inn before the walk commences so that anyone who needs to drop out at lunch time can be ferried back to Challacombe. About 20 members expressed the wish to participate.

Annual Outing: Ann & Roger Claxton have organised our Annual Outing for Tuesday 10th May to Rame Peninsular, Mount Edgecombe House, Earl's Garden and Antony House. Leaving Widecombe at 8.45 a.m. arriving at Mount Edgecombe House approximately 10.30 a.m. We shall leave there at 1.45 p.m. for Antony House, departing from there at 5.00 p.m. arriving home about 7.00 p.m. Further details obtainable from them on 01364 621232. National Trust Members £17.00, Non-National Trust Members £23.00. Book early as a great deal of interest has already been shown and numbers are limited.

A. O. B: Any expenses for the year ending February 2011 must be given to Roger Claxton our treasurer as soon as possible. There is a need for volunteers to fill a couple of posts at our AGM which will be held in May.

a)            An editor for our six monthly Newsletter.

b)           A team leader for our programme organising committee.

c)            Vice-chairman.

We have received an invitation to join Widecombe Pre-school for lunch at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 16th March. They coupled this with an invitation requesting that we bring something to show the children about the parish. It was decided that Peter Carrett, Mike Wright, Terry French and the secretary should go and represent the group and take with them the Widecombe Fair Mechanical Model and demonstrate it to them. It was noted that in the recent Dartmoor Magazine a report of Mary Pascoe’s and John Kimber’s research into the death of two young lads at Christmas 1819 is recorded.   Several Dartmoor books are for sale contact 01626 833516. Leonard Norrish has given the group a copy of his Grandfather’s Apprentice Indenture dated 1st August 1887 and a copy of his “Certificate of Registration as Master Farrier from the Worshipful Company of farriers dated 9th March 1900”. Barbara Norrish has given the group copies of letters and plans relating to the proposed widening of Ponsworthy Bridge in 1970/71. The widening did not happen!

Diary Dates: Thursday 3rd March at the Church House Widecombe Parish Council meet at 7.30 p.m.  Thursday 10th March 11.00 a.m. arrange to collect our display cases. Rodney, Terry, Peter & Anthony.  Wednesday 16th March at The Church House, The Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30 p.m. All local organisations are requested to make a report on their activities over the past year. Doors open at 7.00 p.m. for ‘cheese & wine’ before the meeting. All Welcome! The secretary will attend. Tuesday 5th April Princetown LHG will have a talk by Michael Duffy on “The Defence of Devon in the French Wars 1689-1815” Wednesday 6th April a coffee morning at Leusdon memorial Hall 10 a.m. Wednesday 6th April our monthly meeting at Widecombe Church House at 7.30 p.m. when our speaker will be Rev Christopher Pidsley and his subject will be "Haldon Belvedere and the Palks of Haldon House“. Ann will try to organise a visit to Belvedere.

Correspondence: Once again it has been a very busy month for the secretary with letters and emails etc. a résumé is listed below.

A.           A letter sent in support of Dr Todd Gray in his efforts to secure financial support of the DRO.

B.          Continual contact with USA regarding Widecombe and a recent American TV programme.

C.          Teignbridge Council are trying to recruit people into a ‘Talking Teignbridge Panel’.

D.          Notice that Parish Council Elections will take place on 5th May anyone interested in being a candidate contact 01626                        215113.

E.           Gerry Joria tracing Caunter family. May well visit Widecombe in late March

G.           Devon Rural Archives meet at Shilstone, Modbury on Friday 15th March contact 01548 830888 for more details. Also                         received a questionnaire offering training which secretary will respond.

H.           Med theatre thank the group for their help regards Ilsington.

I.            BBC History considering visiting Widecombe for a Farming oriented programme. Interested parties contact 020 7796                       4842.

J.            Contact has been made with Sophia Wise who is currently studying for BA(hons) Photography Degree, with special                           reference to Dartmoor. She was invited to our meeting. She came, and we hope that she benefited from her visit.

K.           A Steven Bray wrote asking for information of the BRAY family of Widecombe.We responded with what information we                     were able to obtain.

L.        Notification that £4837.43 was raised by Carols Down the Line run by South Devon Railway over last Christmas. This has                been donated to seven charities and good causes. They thanked us for our support and they will be running similar                            excursions on 06/07/08 December 2011. Reservations can be made from 1st September.

M.        A copy of an old ‘Dockwell Document’ has been given to the group by Jan Olszewski, a relation of the late Hermon                               French, it will be nice when we can display this in the parish.

N.         An enquiry about village walks. It was suggested the secretary should point them to our publication “All Along Down Along   Widecombe Way”. Obtainable direct from us at £4.50 including postage. See www.widecombe-in-the-moor.com

O.         A letter of support from Widecombe Church House Management Committee.

P.         A letter from Widecombe Parish Council inviting secretary to make a report on this past year’s activities at the Annual Parish Meeting Wednesday 16th March at 7.30 p.m.

                                                The meeting closed at 9.55 p.m.

                                                             The Speaker this month was Philippe Planel and

the subject was “Investigating Landscape History with a Parishscapes Approach”.

Please click here to access that talk

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