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Widecombe History Group Minutes
A Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 7.30 p.m.
Apologies: Syd & Jo Pontin, Barry & Tanya Welch, Alan & Mary Goodall, Dougie & Lynn Pigeon, Carl Heywood, Barbara Norrish, Joy Routley & Joan Brookes.
Mrs Sue Boustead was in the chair and 50 members attended.
The minutes of the September meeting were read and signed as correct.
The chairman welcomed all members to the meeting as well as Miss Elizabeth Braund, Peter Mason of Lustleigh, and our newly appointed Vicar of Widecombe, Rev. Geoffrey Fenton.
Arising: Widecombe Fair 13th September 2011: Aileen & Peter Carrett thanked everyone who had helped in one way or another towards the success of this year's exhibition in the Heritage Marquee staged at Widecombe Fair. They in turn were thanked for the immense amount of work that they had put in to arranging the layout etc. They were disappointed in the fact that the tables and chairs did not arrive until about 5.00p.m. the day before when so many members had turned out to assist from lunchtime onwards. The fact that the tables were late meant that we were unable to start erecting the displays until the evening. This has been raised with the Widecombe Fair Committee, and they have assured us that this will not happen next year. Watch this space! The possibility of getting tables and chairs elsewhere was discussed but it was agreed that we should respect the Fair Committee's promise. The 'Steward's Badges' were a great success and they are being stored for future occasions. A short video of the Uncle Tom Cobley Model has been made and will be shown to members soon. Photographs of other models of UTC were shown to the meeting and it is hoped that 'Lifton Farm Shop' may well loan us their model, that they exhibited at The Devon County Show 2011, for next year's exhibition. At Finch's Foundry at Sticklepath there is a ceramic model, and this too could be an object of interest. It was decided to send Widecombe Fair a cheque for £50 towards their funds as they had had a financially difficult year.
North Hall: An email (06.07.11)from Margaret Rogers and Michael Lamb was received stating their willingness to consider a "Wassail Ceremony" in North Hall Orchard on 20th January 2012 which could be arranged to include the children of Widecombe School. They need to talk to Peter Rennells who has knowledge of similar events.
Archives:Richard Wells, our archivist, again received several item for our archives. This collection is getting larger by the month and storage space is becoming a premium. Articles relating to Beatrice Chase, Widecombe Fair, including a programme from 1964 given to the group the donor mentioned that he may have some more for our archives, photographs of the village and a copy of the 'Common's Register of the Village Green' were among the items added this month. Our thanks go to Richard for his devotion and the time spent cataloguing these items for us.
Devon Village Life: (Dartmoor Magazine):Peter Mason of Lustleigh, has been commissioned to write features in The Dartmoor Magazine on shops, trades people, churches, chapels, schools etc and is looking for photographs to illustrate the articles. Two of our members, Roger Whale & John Walling offered to assist him. Others are invited to contact him on 01647 2777498.
Dartmoor National Park Authority: It was reported that Maurice Retallick of Ilsington, has agreed to store some of the old agricultural implements, mentioned in the minutes of the past two months, for a twelve month period onlyDNPA need to keep this matter in the forefront of their thoughts as this is a temporary reprieve giving them 'breathing space' and a permanent solution needs to be found.
Heritage and Educational Centre for Widecombe: The Widecombe Parish Council (WPC) and the Widecombe History Group (WHG) have formed a joint committee to attempt to bring this into fruition. The committee have had their first meeting which proved very positive. It is now hoped that with the co-operation of the Teignbridge District Council (TDC) the difficulties so far experienced may get solved. The secretary will attend the WPC October meeting on Thursday 6th October, to maintain our support of the project and be available to answer any queries. We have had no news on the North Hall Cafe Site (Village Sports Field) which is possibly being sold by DNPA. Peter Carrett suggested that we should view a building being erected at Mole Valley Farmers, Heathfield re: suitability? Anthony is still trying to get details of the two 'Jewish?' paintings in Widecombe Church and he will call into the Exeter Synagogue when next in Exeter to see if he can gain more information.
Application for Charity Status: Roger Claxton reported that in spite of the fact that we had amended our constitution to accommodate the wishes of HM Customs & Excise regarding 'gift aid', the Charity Commissioners wish us to amend it again, so as to be acceptable to them. Roger has drawn up a new constitution and official notice was given to members at this meeting (05.10.2011) that at the November Meeting (Wednesday November 2nd 2011) the new constitution would need to be ratified. The WHG Committee will meet before that date to ensure that all is correct and suitable.
Digitising of Parish Records: Roger reported that this is going forward satisfactorily and over 800 pages have been scanned and over 250 of these have been catalogued and the work is continuing.
History as it Happens: Thursday 15th September, the Tour of Britain Cycle Race passed through the parish. The speed stage listed as 'The Coffin Stone' was held at Leusdon, and the stage listed as 'Huccaby Tor' was held near Meltor. (Note the confusion of localities On Saturday 1st October, the Rev. Geoffrey Fenton was licensed as vicar of Widecombe in the Moor Parish Church and Team Vicar of the Moorland Churches. Sunday 2nd October, the Friends of Widecombe School held their annual Fun Run During October the Annual Pony Drifts on Dartmoor have taken place. Monday 17th October, as part of the 2011 Two-Moors Festival, a Concert will be held in Widecombe Church when the Countess of Wessex (patron) will attend.
Walks and Talks: A Presentation was made to Ann Claxton, retiring Programme Organiser, in appreciation of all her hard work for the Group. Marcia Babbington, our new Programme Organiser, produced her first programme of events for the period 7th December 2011 to 2nd May 2012. Copies were distributed amongst members. Our next programme will be from 2nd May 2012 - 1st May 2013 The visit of the Plympton Civic Society (16.09.2011) was a success and some of their members bought some of our publications.Meltor Cartwheel Rolling: (Leusdon Church was built in 1863) On the Eve of St. John the Baptist Day, some years a Cartwheel has been rolled down into the Dart Valley from Meltor. We are currently looking for more details and photographs of these events. We have been given copies of two photographs by Barbara Norrish, of when this event was held in 1953. We shall try to name as many of those depicted in the photograph for posterity. Any more photographs of this event would be appreciated and we shall contact Dartington Archives, Totnes Image Bank and Midge Westward to see if they can help.
Correspondence and e-mails: The Secretary has received several enquiries relating to local families including:- a. The Stancombe, Horsham, Coysons and Tarr/Torr/Tor families. b. Professor Williams of Chester University. Looking for records of churchyard memorials. We are digitising our list and we could perhaps send a DVD when completed, subject to a possible donation. Aileen & Peter Carrett have some details of Ilsington that could also possibly be made available.
Diary Dates: Terry French, John Southcombe, Derek Hext and Mike Wright will remove the display cabinets and 'Uncle Tom Cobley' model into the Church House on Saturday 15th October at 10.00 a.m. in preparation for the Two Moors Festival Concert on 17th October. Mike will take the model and repair the dog's leg. The cabinets will need to be returned to the Church on Tuesday 18th October. Thursday 6th October, at Shilstone Modbury a talk on Poltimore House. Contact 01548 830832 for details. Saturday 8th October, The Devon History Society’s AGM at St Luke’s Campus, Exeter University. Sunday 9th October, The Dartmoor Challenge. A sponsored walk will take place supporting the Marie Curie Cancer Care. Two local ladies will take part Wendy Cruze & Alison Whale. Tuesday 1st November, Princetown LHG when Dr Tom Greeves will talk about East Okement Farm Wednesday 2nd November, coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall. Wednesday 2nd November, our monthly meeting when Dr Tom Greeves will give an illustrated talk on ‘Four Willsworthy Farms’. Thursday 3rd November, a talk at Shilstone, Modbury. 'Parterres to Cowpats'. 01548 830832 Wednesday 23rd November, the Dartmoor Society’s Lecture at Bovey Tracey, ‘phone 01822 617004. Thursday 1st December, a talk on Westcountry Farms at Shilstone, Modbury. 01548 830832. Tuesday 6th December, Princetown LHG AGM at The Prince of Wales Pub. Wednesday 7th December, coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall. Wednesday 7th December, our monthly meeting when Dr Todd Gray will give an illustrated talk on Christmas in Devon.
The meeting closed at 10.17 p.m.
An Illustrated Talk was given by Tim Berry entitled 'Ancient Trackways of Great Britain'
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