History Group Minutes March 2012


A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 7th March at 7.30 p.m.

Charity No:-       1144684

Apologies:          Barry & Tanya Welch, Patrick Garvey, Doug & Lynne Pigeon, Carl Haywood, Jo Pontin, Mavis & Richard Clipson, Rodney Cruze, Lynette & Derek Hext, Barbara Norrish, Alan & Mary Goodall and Serena Walcott.

Mrs Sue Boustead was in the chair and 50 members attended. Two new members were welcomed to the meeting.

A garden voucher was presented to Sue Booty to thank her for the years she has produced our Newsletter.

Arising: Widecombe Fair 11th September 2012: Aileen & Peter Carrett who are co-ordinating the arrangements for this year's Fair reported that plans are progressing. Items likely to be part of the exhibition in the heritage marquee are

a.            The history of policing in the parish.                           

               There may be need to have room for a small van beside the marquee for police memorabilia.

b.            Tin mining in the area.

c.            Censuses of Widecombe including the 1911 census

d.            Activities of the Bellever area.

e.            Bee keeping as a hobby.

There is a need for a rota of stewards to be drawn up to man the marquee so that individuals can have a break period during the day to see the Show. Steward’s badges will be made available.

Archives: An enquiry has been received regarding any archives we have regarding Olive Katherine Parr (Beatrice Chase). Richard Wells was able to produce a couple of items and the secretary will pass this information on. (see email 07 March 2012) Received a list of Widecombe names connected with Ipplepen.  01803 812612 for further details.

History as it Happens: It was noted that a great deal of work had been done to the fields belonging to Widecombe Fair. The hedges have been repaired and inside the old iron fence of New Park a new double fence has been placed between which there has been young trees planted to create a barrier. Amendments to The Jubilee Celebrations recorded in last month’s minutes were reported:

a.            Sunday 3rd June after the ‘Big Lunch’ at Widecombe and Leusdon there will be further celebrations on Widecombe Village Green, to which all the parish are invited. This will be followed by a Service in Widecombe Church at 6.30 p.m.

b.            Monday 4th June, more celebrations on Widecombe Village Green culminating in a beacon being lit at Top Tor, sometime after 10.00 p.m. with, it is hoped, a Firework Display. The celebrations on the green will continue until late. The Queen will light the last beacon at 10.30 p.m.

c.            The Russian film crew stated in the February Minutes did not visit the area after all!

Ponsworthy Bridge was damaged again last month by a large lorry. Some of the coping stones are now in the East Webburn river and will need replacing.

Digitising: This has recommenced under Roger and Ann Claxton’s guidance and is proving very successful. Of interest one note was found alluding to plans to bring electricity to Widecombe c 1927. This did not materialise until the 1960s.

Projector Stand: Aileen & Peter Carrett have obtained for the group a projector/lap-top stand for use with the screen they previously obtained for us.

AGM to be held on Wednesday 2nd May: Members are reminded that anyone wishing to stand for trustees or officers must fill in the appropriate forms and get them proposed and seconded accordingly and returned to the secretary by our April 4th Meeting. Forms obtainable from chairman Sue Boustead.

Programme May 2012 to May 2013: Marcia Babington  brought copies of the latest programme of events of Widecombe History Group for the year beginning at our AGM in May 2012.

(please note that this is a formal notice of forthcoming AGM’s.) WHG outing to Greenway, the home of Agatha Christie, via ferry from Totnes, and afterwards another ferry on to Dartmouth, scheduled for Friday 25th May. Booking forms were distributed and those interested were encouraged to sign up by the April 4th Meeting. Full payment please by May 2nd at the latest. £21 for National Trust members, £29 for non-National Trust members. Refreshments will be available at various points during the day but are not included in the cost. You can if you wish bring your own.

Emails, notices and correspondence: The Secretary reported that he has responded to several enquiries during the past month and he brought to the meeting notices received and some queries that he needed suggestions on how best to reply to. Terry French has obtained two photographs of the Mel Tor Cart-Wheel Rolling c 1954. He has had them enlarged and is in the process of naming the people shown. (see email 01.July 2011) Secretary was asked to write to DNPA and The Duchy of Cornwall expressing the meeting’s disappointment of their current thoughts on the removal policy of wartime remnants which are in fact items of archaeological interest. We at Widecombe particularly wish for the few poles remaining on Hameldown and Pudsham Down to be left there and their purpose to be well recorded. This has coincided with an email request for details of the ‘Hampden Bomber Crash of 21st March 1941’. Enquiry from Jo Price, Australia, seeking information on the Warren family of Higher Uppacott c1860. Enquiry regarding ancient routes on Dartmoor. Suggest looking at books by Crossing & Hemery. The Abbot’s Way and tracks from Buckfastleigh to other Abbeys is suggested.  University of Exeter Press is launching a new book by the late Harold Fox, “Dartmoor’s Alluring Uplands” details email uep@exeter.ac.uk

Diary Dates:  Wednesday 14th March, Widecombe Parish Council’s Annual Parish Meeting. 7.00p.m. for 7.30 p.m. Our secretary will talk on our plans for an Heritage, Educational & Information Centre in the village. Saturday 17th March, we shall be represented at The Devon Record Office’s “Open Day” at Great Moor House, Sowton, Exeter, from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Several members expressed their intention to attend and also help with manning our stand. Saturday 24th March, at 7.30 p.m. at Leusdon Memorial Hall, Lt. Colonel Alex Janzen, Chief of Staff 3 Commando Royal Marines will talk on his recent tour of Afghanistan. This will be followed by a supper, (Bring your own wine!) and donations of £3 minimum are requested in aid of  'British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association'.  For more information ring Norma on 01364 631565. Saturday 31st March at St. Boniface Centre, Crediton, there will be the Inaugural Meeting of The Industrial Archaeology Section of The Devonshire Association. Tuesday 3rd April at Princetown History Group, Judy Moss will ask the question and provide the answers to “Who was Merleswain?”. Wednesday 4th April. there will be a coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall from 10.00 a.m. Wednesday 4th April, Paul Rendell will give an illustrated talk on Industrial Dartmoor at our monthly meeting. Thursday 5th April, at Shilstone, Modbury, a talk on Radford House: Gone but not forgotten,  01548 830832 for details. Wednesday 2nd May is our AGM followed by a talk on 'Greenway' Agatha Christie's old home this will lead to visit on Friday 25th May. Thursday 24th May, at Parke, Bovey Tracey, the DNPA have organised a 'Dartmoor Local History Morning' with various speakers and Anthony Beard, our secretary, will chair the meeting, 9.30a.m. - 1.00 p.m. Friday 25th May outing to Greenway - details at top of page two of these minutes. Monday 11th June, we have agreed to welcome members of Plymouth & District Archaeological Society to Widecombe for a guided walk around the village. Meet at The Village Car Park at 7.00 p.m. (Peter Rennells, and Peter & Aileen Carrett have agreed to help Anthony Beard with this). N.B.    There are provisional plans for a “Wassail” at North Hall Orchard on Saturday 5th January 2013 with Grimspound Border Morris Men at 6.30 p.m. by kind permission of  Michael Lamb and Margaret Rogers.

The meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.

                                 This month we were given a talk  by Yvonne Thoms entitled

"Reminiscences of a former Housemaid at Buckingham Palace." 

Please click here to access that talk

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