History Group Minutes September 2012

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A Meeting of The Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe on Wednesday 5th                                                               September 2012 at 7.30 p.m.
Apologies: Patrick Garvey, Ruth Parnell, Barry & Tanya Welch, John & Zena Lowe, Rick & Mavis Clipson, Arthur & Rosemary Wrayford, Paula Stevens, Rosemary Mortimore, Keith & Angie Radmore, Barbara Norrish, Lyn & Derek Hext, and Roger & Ann Claxton.
Mrs Sue Boustead was in the chair and 41 members attended.
The Minutes of the August meeting were read and signed as correct.
Widecombe Fair Tuesday 11th September 2012:
Aileen & Peter Carrett reported that all is under control for the Fair next week. Exhibitions will include details of recent archaeological digs in the area, bee keeping, tin mining, census details and the uses of wood and much more. Two ‘wooden cogs’ rescued from Cockingford Mill will be amongst the items on show  The marquee has already been erected and at 20ft x 40 ft is ideal for our requirements.  Chairs & tables will be there on Monday. 15 (6ft x 2.5 ft) + 2 (4ft x 2.5ft) tables + 15 chairs.  A rota has been created for stewards of two hour 'stints' and all those who have offered to help had sight of it. A book launch for Colin Pearse will take place at 1.00 p.m. in the marquee and our book stall will be in operation all day. Thanks was expressed to all those that have created a new supply of  paperweights from the salvaged church tower lead, John Kimber, Jim Churchward & Anthony Beard, also to Wendy Beard & Mary Pascoe who put felt bottoms to them and packaged them ready for sale.
History as it Happens:
Early last month there was a serious fire at Linchaford Farm when an electrical transformer caught fire and burnt down a barn and a quantity of hay stored therein and a tractor and some implements were lost.  The water mains work referred to in August minutes is now complete. The cattle grid at 'Church Lane Head' has been repaired after a long wait of several months. The DCC has repaired many of the 'potholes' in the roads of the parish. This prompted a remark that the way this has been done is nowhere so well as the 'Local Council Men' of old used to do it. They sealed the edges and bottoms of the potholes with tar, thus stopping water from getting in under the newly laid material. Water can still be seen seeping out from the ‘mended’ sections and it is considered that the first frosts of next winter will ‘heave out’ the new patch and we shall be back to ‘square one’ with holes galore needed further treatment - what a waste of money!   Who were these local men? Arthur Warren, Dick Routley, Johnny French, Henry Brown, Leonard Norrish, Gordon Partridge, Mervin Helley, all come to mind, and there was a Mr Rowe from Ilsington and Mr Tucker (the schoolmistress' husband.)  It was noted that at Ipplepen recently, a Roman Town has been excavated and details of the dig can be seen at the Methodist Church, Main Street, Ipplepen on Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m., Fridays 2.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. and Saturdays 10.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Further information can be found at www.ipplepenhub.wordpress.com  Roof tours of Exeter Cathedral take place on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 2.00 p.m. and on Saturday at 11.00 a.m. Contact 01392 285983 to book a ticket. £10 adults £8.50 Seniors & Students.
Heritage & Educational Centre:
This is still being planned. When the committee have more information, the group will be informed of its progress. A meeting has been held recently between Glebe Farm, English Nature, DNPA and ourselves but no decision has been formulated.
Outing to RNLI Poole, Dorset, Saturday 6th October:  There are still seats available for anyone wishing to join the trip which will support the brilliant work of the RNLI.  Contact Marcia on 01364 661263 for details and bring a friend to help fill the coach. Depart Widecombe at 9.00 a.m. £30 includes the trip, coffee ‘en route’, a light lunch, a gentle walking tour around the training college with tea/biscuits/cake before heading home. There will be a homeward stop at a ‘pub’ when a snack or carvery can be obtained at your own expense and we should be home by 9.00 p.m.
The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk 29th August:
We had our Annual Peter Hirst Memorial Walk on what would have been his birthday when we met at Burrator Reservoir Dam and then proceeded to the ford close to ‘The Scout Hut’, from where we did a circular walk taking in the slopes of Gutter Tor, Ditsworthy Warren House, the sight of the recently filmed ‘War Horse’, Drizzlecombe and the stone rows with their standing stones etc, Eylesbarrow Tin Mine, and back to the Scout Hut from whence we started, a walk of about 4-5 miles. We then went to The Plume of Feathers at Princetown for refreshments and a good day was had by all. Thanks were expressed to Mike & Mo Wright and Richard Wells, who planned and led the walk. At the end tribute was paid to all past members of WHG that are no longer with us and the happy memories we have of them all.
Air Crashes on Hameldown:
As John & Zena Lowe were unable to be with us John Kimber informed the meeting that they are still collating information about the sites and those involved, and we shall hear more from them at a future meeting. There were about 22 air crashes on Dartmoor and it is believed that two Spitfires crashed in the Hameldown vicinity one in Widecombe Parish, and one just over the border in Manaton. This is thought to have been in the ‘Pike’s Wood’ area. Enquiries should be made from the present owners. Kirsty Peake has offered to get some photographs of the poles that still remain on the top of Hameldown. These poles were placed there to prevent German gliders from landing, other poles are known to be on Pudsham Down, Buckland Parish.
Terry French brought to the meeting two photographs of The Cartwheel Rolling at Meltor of 23rd June 1956. He has been able to name most of those shown in the photo’s, he would appreciate it if anyone can help fill the ‘blank spaces’. He also would like a copy of the 1962 event so that names can be added to that one too!  Anthony Beard read a letter from John Ellis, volunteer guide at St Leonard’s Tower, Newton Abbot. He is researching the history of the tower and has come across newspaper cuttings of 1887 relating to the decision to install a ‘carillon’ in the tower. This will feature in the archive he is developing. He has also found a copy of a letter sent to The East & South Devon Advertiser dated 7th January 1888 by a man purporting to be Decky Hoffin, Stoney Farm, Widecombe, written in the Devonshire Dialect which our secretary read to the meeting causing great hilarity.
Dougie & Lynne Pigeon have obtained a DVD of a film made in the Burrator area c1973 from the South West Film & Television Archives (SWFTA). If we show that DVD at a future meeting we have agreed to make a donation to SWFTA to help furtherance to their work.
Diary Dates:
Monday 10th September, Preparation Day for Widecombe Fair. Meet on the field at 2.00 p.m.
Tuesday 11th September, Widecombe Fair. please remember to help clear up at 5.00 p.m.
Tuesday 2nd October, Princetown LHG have a talk by Tony Burgess on The City of Exeter.
Wednesday 3rd October, Coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall 10.00 a.m.
Wednesday 3rd October, WHG Meeting 7.30 p.m. when John Risdon will give an illustrated talk on the Mariner’s Way.
Tuesday 16th October, Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust have a talk on Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust at The Phoenix Hall at 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday 6th November, Princetown LHG have a talk by Tom Greeves on Josephine Browne.
Wednesday 7th November, Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall at 10.00 a.m.
Wednesday 7th November, WHG Meeting 7.30 p.m. when David & Jill Burke will talk of their experience in restoring Buckland Court.
Tuesday 20th November, Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust AGM 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday 4th December, Princetown LHG, AGM at Prince of Wales Pub.
Wednesday 5th December, Coffee morning at Leusdon memorial Hall 10.00 a.m.
Wednesday 5th December, WHG Meeting at 7.30 p.m. when Phil Page will talk about Eden Philpotts.
Saturday 15th December, Widecombe Christmas Festival.
(N. B. Audrey Mortimore & Sue Boustead have agreed to run the draw as last year - any prizes would be appreciated.)
The meeting closed at 9.59 p.m.


Please click here for this months talk by Terry Faull entitled The Swing Riots

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