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Widecombe History Group Minutes
A Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 4th September 2013 at 7.30pm. There were 48 people present including 3 visitors.
Mavis and Rick Clipson, Patrick Garvey, Pat & Val Watson, Tanya & Barry Welch, John Walling, Rosemary Mortimore, Lyn Pigeon, Arthur Wrayford, Alan and Mary Goodall.
The Minutes of the August monthly meeting were read and signed.
Widecombe Fair. Peter Carrett reported that everything was arranged. He needed more Stewards but, by the end of the meeting, this had been resolved. Peter and Aileen were thanked for offering to provide overnight security in the Heritage Marquee. Mike and Mo Wright had had a session oiling and maintaining the Old Grey Mare in preparation for the Fair. Joanna Radford has made preparations for the book binding demonstration. Peter Rennells is continuing with his research into the men of the local parishes who fought and returned from WW I. This is known as “The Roll of Honour”.
Peter Hirst Memorial Walk. Thanks were expressed to Mike and Mo, Richard, Chris and Marcia who had organised the Peter Hirst Walk. Special thanks were sent to Ann Whitbourn of the Dartmoor Tinners Research Group who had led the walk with Mike. Annual Outing to Exmouth. There are still places available on the trip to Exmouth on 28th September. This will visit the Lifeboat Station first and then do a boat trip round the Jurassic Coast or, if the weather conditions are poor, the trip will go up the River Exe to see the wildlife.
Archive Centre – Fund Raising
1. Anthony informed the Group that a Silent Auction would be held on Widecombe Fair Day for a framed print of the Widecombe Fair characters. Also for sale at the Fair would be our books, posters, paperweights and notelets, etc.
2. Coffee Mornings. Sue Boustead has volunteers to run the coffee mornings/afternoon teas every month until December. The next one to fill is January 2014.
3. Sue Boustead thanked the Members who had brought mystery jam jars and asked if anyone else could bring them on Fair Day.
4. Wendy Beard had met who Suzanne Hutchins who had suggested that the Group sew an appliqué quilt. The Quilt could then be raffled at Widecombe Fair 2014.
5. Another successful guided walk was held recently adding to our funds. The suggested £2 per person seems very acceptable to visitors.
History As It Happens:
John Lowe was presented with congratulations and a card as he had won third prize in the Edward Morshead Award for his book “The Boys”. This is about the Hampden Bomber that crashed on Hameldown, Congratulations and a card were also presented to Peter Rennells. Peter won the first prize in The Edward Morshead Award for his 15 years hard work on the North Hall Project. The Dartmoor Magazine has published an article about the results of the dig at North Hall.
Moor than Meets the Eye
A list has been published of current projects and Anthony has confirmed that our bid for restoring the pig houses is included in the list.
A long discussion and question and answer session was held concerning the proposed Archive Centre. The Committee and Trustees have had several meetings about this and felt the main points to consider are:
• Raising sufficient funds to renovate and/or build the Centre. How much we can build will depend on the funds raised.
• Roger reported that the project total is estimated at £150,000. Half of this is the building and the rest is for equipment, security, furnishings, computer installation, etc.
• Ann Claxton is researching available grants. To get grants, the Centre may well have to have public access and education for two days a week throughout the year.
• Alan Peake has offered to do the preparatory design work of the scheme.
• Running costs which are estimated at £4,000-£5,000 per year and will increase over time. Roger questioned whether we could raise this sum, year after year. We would need a group of people to work out how to raise these running costs.
• Maintenance after the build. Some group members have offered to help clear the site and then provide maintenance of the site and building, but can we rely on this for the long term.
• Management and running of the building. Do we need a Manager for the site to coordinate maintenance and providing volunteers to steward it?
• Volunteers to steward the Centre – possibly one or two half days per month each. If the Centre is open to the public, it must obviously be manned. Reports from other similar Groups with similar projects have highlighted the main problem as being sufficient volunteers. One suggestion was to establish links with a university or school.
• We also need to consider the age of our members. New young members are needed to provide continuity. We need the next generation to support, understudy and eventually take over.
• We could do the work in stages. Phase I could be to clear the site and renovate the pigs’ houses. A timber extension could be added at a later date.
• A discussion was held about what would happen if the Group and/or the Centre should fold. One suggestion was that the ownership of the building and land should return to the previous owner, the idea of the ground being on a long lease to safeguard that possibility rather than a gift. Geoffrey Fenton suggested the Centre should consist of three parts. The first being an open area with information boards. The second being enclosed and containing displays of documents which would be open to the public on certain days. The third being a secure storage area and office for all our records and computers to which the public would not be admitted. In addition to this we need a secure area for storage of bulky History Group equipment, such as displays boards. This equipment is presently distributed among various Group Members, stored in garages, etc. The Committee and Trustees would like to have feedback from Members by 19th September for their next meeting please. Also please let the Committee know whether you are able to volunteer for any tasks and whether you would be willing to Steward the Centre.
Tuesday, 10th September. Widecombe Fair.
Saturday, 14th September. Visit Bickington Church and see the Tower and the Lych Gate room.
Wednesday 25th September coffee morning at Bittleford Parks 10.00 a.m.
Saturday, 28th September. Widecombe History Group visit to Exmouth Lifeboat Station in the morning, followed by a boat trip along the Jurassic coast at 2.00pm.
Saturday, 28th September. Newton Abbot Museum are holding an Open Day on the theme of First World War Connections where we can find out about our family members. 10.00am – 3.00pm. 9 Devon Square.
Tuesday, 1st October. Princetown History Group have a talk by Lt Col Tony Clark about Military History of Dartmoor.
Wednesday, 2nd October. Coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall at 10.00am.
Wednesday, 2nd October. Widecombe History Group. A brief history of Parliament and the reflections of a new MP. Talk by Mel Stride MP.
Tuesday, 5th November. Princetown History Group have a talk by Roger Paul on Boundary Markers of Dartmoor.
Wednesday, 6th November. Coffee morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall. 10.00am.
Wednesday, 6th November. Widecombe History Group. Jane Marchard will give an illustrated talk about The Whitehorse Hill Cist.
Wednesday, 9th October. Japanese Afternoon Tea at Berrywood, Widecombe.
Any Other Business:
Sue Boustead reminded Members that it was necessary to complete a new Gift Aid Form.
The meeting closed at 10.24pm.
This month we had an illustrated talk by Tony Burgess on The Devon and Dorset Coast
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