History group Talk May 2011


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A meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 4th May 2011 at 8.00 p.m.

Apologies:        Arthur & Rosemary Wrayford, Mike & Mo Wright, Roger Whale, Dot Jones, Derek & Lynn Hext, Rose Mortimore, Barbara Norrish, and Wendy Cruze. It was agreed to send a sympathy card to Wendy Cruze on the loss of her mother. Doug Pidgeon thanked members for their concern recently while he was in hospital and for the get well cards received.

Mrs Sue Boustead was in the chair and 38 members were present.
The minutes of the April Meeting were read and signed as correct.

Arising: Widecombe Fair Tuesday 13th September 2011: Aileen & Peter Carrett reported that plans for this year's Heritage Marquee were progressing well. Maggie Faulkner reported that she has Mary Hyland of 'Plantagenesta' coming with her computers and she will help with family tree research. Each client will be limited to 15 minutes thus giving as many people as possible an opportunity to gain from her knowledge. Natural History and Bygone Kitchens will be two of the themes this year along with Local Public transport. Any memorabilia regarding Potter's Buses (Tor Bus) and W. Beard's Buses (Merry Park Garage) will be appreciated. Ladies from Honiton will be demonstrating the various Lace Making Styles of Devon. It is understood that the one way system comes into operation at 8.00 a.m. on Fair Day Morning.

North Hall: Peter Rennells reported that the Geophysical Survey of the site went well when we met on site in April. We await with interest the findings of the exercise. We shall be notified when a meeting will be arranged to hear of their findings and their interpretations. Margaret Rogers & Michael Lamb have promised to keep us informed of any progress made. We note that the orchard has been planted up with additional trees. We also received a letter from Valerie & Richard Casey the owners of another part of the North Hall Site, stating that they have found evidence of clay on their land and some unusual river rounded black granite stones. Richard & Valerie have made available to Peter some maps showing their part of the site. They have their interpretation of what their property shows. There is definitely a need for a lot of co-operation between the interested parties. Samples of the clay have been given to Peter Rennells our North Hall Researcher and he will try and find out if the source of this clay can be traced. Was this used to make ‘fishponds’ water proof? It must be recorded and not forgotten that if was not for Peter's work and research of North Hall over the past 12 years or so, none of this latest exploratory work would ever have been done. With the desire to maintain old orchards throughout the Westcountry and the fact that cider has been made of last year's crop, we should encourage the owners to consider a Wassail Ceremony next January with the inclusion of our local Primary School. William Gilbert (Medieval Archaeologist of Cupids, Newfoundland) and John Allan (Medieval Archaeologist from Exeter) recently visited the site and expressed an interest in it. They think that it is definitely Medieval but could well hold pre-historical evidence. They question whether the crop-marks could be enclosures or even walled gardens connected to the Manor House. It is interesting that so many eminent people have visited the site and their opinions open up more and more theories. One feels that a 'dig' is needed to clarify all these different options. We must await developments. Peter has produced a leaflet giving a pocket history of his research into the North Hall Story and the different interpretations. 

Membership Details: Please check that your details are accurate and that email addresses and ‘phone numbers are correct. Forms for this and gift aid forms and legitimate expense claim forms are available.

"History as it Happens" - during the past month April 2011! We wish to record that on Friday 29th April Prince William and Katherine Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey, London. They are now known as The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. Some music and celebrations were held in the parish to celebrate the event. It was noted in the press that guests to the wedding included a Thomas Van Straubenzee, one of Prince William's closest friend, (he is believed to be a grandson of Sir William Van Straubenzee, who married into the Radcliffe family formally of Bag Parks, Widecombe, it was this family that donated the car park and parish field to Widecombe Parish Council). Sir William also donated the ‘Home Guard Exercise Umpires Copy of 1943’ now in our archives. The pole on which the Tetra Communications Mast will be attached has been erected at the top of Bowden Lane. April saw the beginning of the digitising & cataloguing project of our Parish Documents. Chudleigh History Society have opened their Chudleigh Heritage Centre, situated in the car park near their Town Hall. It will open for five days a week.

Correspondence: Further details of the items below are obtainable from the secretary 01364 621246. or wag.widecombe@tiscali.co.uk

Letters and emails have been received:- From Michele Andrews of BBC Hands on History. From Jacqui Wolstenholme of Teignbridge CVS asking if any volunteer organisations would like to attend a Forum on Thursday 2nd June. A list of evening lectures being run by Devon Rural Archive monthly during 2011. A list of day time events being run by Devon rural Archive May - July 2011. A query about Candy Pottery has been received and this will be passed on to Mike Jones an avid collector of this pottery to answer. Patrick Garvey gave the group a newspaper cutting from The Herald Express newspaper dated Saturday 30th April 2011 which mentions a Channel 4 Television programme made in the late 1980s which included items on this parish and was titled “Dartmoor the Threatened Wilderness” and fronted by Brian Carter. It was suggested that we should try and source a copy of the series. Peter Rennells offered to research this.

The Hameldown Memorial: A photograph of the Granite Memorial Stone on the side of Hameldown, recording the initials of the four airmen killed when their RAF Hampton Bomber crashed on 22nd March 1941, has been received. It also shows the memorial plaque, and the wreath laid there on the 70th anniversary of the event. This wreath has now been donated to the group for exhibition some time. Research is needed into the number of aircraft that did crash on Dartmoor during W. W. II. Deborah Hannaford may well have details about this and similar accidents. We should contact her.

The Millennium Book and CD: The search continues for these items. Any knowledge of their whereabouts would be very welcome. 

Digitising the Parish Records: Roger informed the meeting that already we have digitised 212 images and catalogued 42 items. The process begins again on Monday 9th May at 10.00 a.m.

Walks and Talks to be given by us to visiting Groups: They will be making donations to The Widecombe History Group.

Saturday 21st May Anthony Beard, Peter Carrett & Peter Rennells will take a small party from Emsworth Horticultural Society around Widecombe from 10.00 a.m. ending at Rachel Belgrave’s garden by 11.00 a.m. for a walk around her garden.

Friday 10th June Peter Rennells, Peter Carrett and Anthony Beard will lead a group from Petrockstowe LHG around Widecombe. Time to be confirmed.

Tuesday 12th July The two Peters and Anthony will give a guided walk around Widecombe to members of the Torquay Museum Society. Meet them at the Wayside Cafe at 11.00 a.m.

Walks & Outings organised for members: It was noted that - Belvedere Tower at the top of  Haldon is open Sundays until October from 2 - 5 p.m. Members can go as and when it suits them individually. Tuesday 10th May our Annual Outing. This year it will be to the Rame Peninsular, Mount Edgecombe, Maker Church & Antony House. There are a couple of spare seats available so contact Ann on 01364 621232 a.s.a.p. Wednesday 8th June a guided visit with Andy Crabb to Bellever Roundhouse Excavations Site. Wednesday 13th July a guided walk around the ruins of Kingskerswell Manor House and the Church. Saturday 13th August AND Saturday 20th August We are now running two 'drive yourself trips' to Sharpham Estate, nr Totnes. There will be guided walk around the estate each day, coffee half way round, a tour of part of the house and lunch at 1.00 p.m. all for £10. Please contact Ann on 01364 621232 and state which day you prefer. Monday 29th August the Peter Hirst memorial Walk: This will be led by Richard Wells & Mike Wright when we shall visit Haytor Quarries, the Granite Railway, and perhaps the Stover Canal. PLEASE NOTE:          Change of Start Point: We shall start from Haytor LOWER car park beside the information centre at 10.00 a.m. Saturday 24th September there will be trip to Honiton to see the Lace Making Museum and meet the ladies that visited us on Widecombe Fair Day. We shall then travel on to Lyme Regis. 
Diary Dates: N. B. Our meetings are held at The Church House, Widecombe at 7.30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Wednesday 1st June Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall 10.00 a.m. Wednesday 1st June our monthly meeting when there will be an illustrated talk by Andy Crabb and Simon Hughes on the excavation of Bellever Roundhouse. Tuesday 7th June Princetown LHG have a guided walk to Wistman's Wood led by Simon Dell. Meet at Two Bridges at 7.00 p.m. Tuesday 5th July Princetown LHG have a guided walk to Foggingtor Quarries led by Ivan Mead. Meet at Fourwinds 7.00 p.m. Wednesday 6th July Coffee Morning at Leusdon memorial hall at 10.00 a.m. Wednesday 6th July our monthly meeting when there will be a talk about Kingskerswell Manor by Gerald Quinn. Wednesday 3rd August Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall at 10.00 a.m. Wednesday 3rd August our monthly meeting will take the form of a discussion evening ahead of Widecombe Fair. Wednesday 7th September at our monthly meeting there will be an illustrated talk by Sue Andrews on Roof Bosses of Devon Churches. Wednesday 5th October our monthly meeting when we shall have an illustrated talk by Tim Berry on Ancient Tramways. Wednesday 2nd November our monthly meeting will have an illustrated talk by Tom Greeves on Four Willsworthy Farms - from Medieval Times to the 20th Century. Wednesday 7th December our monthly meeting will have a talk by Todd Gray on Christmas in Devon. This month’s meeting concluded with the showing of a selection of photographs taken by Aileen & Peter Carrett of outings and events staged by the group. This created a lot of interest. They continue to create pictorial folders of these events. They have done this ever since the group was formed and their work has produced further interesting and historical archives of the group and its achievements. Peter and Aileen were thanked for their continual input to the group and they in turn expressed thanks to Ann Claxton who had compiled the DVD.
The meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.

The information on this page was last modified on March 14 2013 08:58:36.


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