History Group Minutes August 2015

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Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 5th  August 2015 at 7.30pm
Terry French was in the Chair. There were 40 people present of which 1 was a visitor.
Apologies: Audrey & Rose Mortimore, Peter Rennells & Miho, Val & Pat Watson, Serena Walcot, Lorraine Ashman, Jenny Pascoe, Roger & Ann Claxton, Jill Rogers, Pat Everitt, Jo Pontin, Ruth Parnell.
The members were very sad to hear that Arch Mortimore had passed away. Arch and Audrey were among the founder members of the History Group. A minute’s silence was observed in his memory.
Report on Committee Meeting
Anthony reported on a recent Committee Meeting. The Committee consists of Terry French (Chairman), Peter Carrett (Vice Chairman), Roger Claxton (Treasurer), Anthony Beard (Secretary), John Walling, Sue Boustead, Margaret Phipps, David Ashman and Marcia Babington.
Following a suggestion to the Committee, it had been decided not to read the minutes of the previous meetings but to circulate them by email instead. Anthony asked all the members to ensure that he had their email addresses. He will bring a few spare copies of the minutes to the meetings. The minutes can then be adopted 'as read'.       The work on the Chapel gate has been completed and the wall repaired. The gutters have been cleaned out, but there is a pile of rubble against the external north west wall which needs to be moved. Miho Rennells is acting as caretaker, but needs a vacuum cleaner. Kirsty and Alan Peake kindly offered to donate a second hand one.
Matters Arising
North Hall Dig
. The second dig at North Hall was very successful. Remnants of a stone wall were found, together with a 17thC French coin and shards of china and pottery. Anthony has suggested to Margaret Rogers, Michael Lamb & Any Crabbe that a public meeting be held in due course to show these in the village.    Geoffrey Fenton was thanked for leading a very successful botanical walk on 3rd August, at Ruddycleave and Headland Warren. Geoffrey pointed out many plants including Sundew, Bog Asphodel, Eyebright, Self-heal ,Climbing corydalis, Butterwort, Bog saint john's wart, heathers & Stag horn club moss and Ivy leaf bell flower.   There was also a very successful visit to Buckland in the Moor and Postbridge Churches, followed by an excellent Cream Tea. Thanks to Marcia for organising it.
The digitising group are taking a break until after Widecombe Fair.
Devonshire Dialect
Joanna Radford is compiling a book about the Devonshire Dialect Alphabet, taking each letter of the alphabet in turn. She is doing five handmade copies and will kindly give the copyright of the book to the History Group. Further scanned copies will be available. Joanna distributed copies of the brochure for the 2015 Open Studios event which takes place 5th-20th September.
Widecombe Fair
Andy Crabbe will be bringing some of the artefacts from the North Hall dig to the Fair. Peter Carrett circulated a form for volunteers to help at the Fair. He needs helpers to set up on Monday afternoon, stewards for the day, and helpers again in the evening to dismantle it all.
The group have been given some video tapes which they would like to transfer to DVDs. One is of the RAF Association meeting on Hameldown by the crash site. Anthony asked if anyone had a VHS player for Roger to use. Joanna Radford and Paula Stevens both thought they had one.
Moor than Meets the Eye
There will be a meeting on 28th September in the Church House. Terry French, Anthony Beard, David Ashman and Margaret Phipps will attend.
Peter Hirst Memorial Walk
This year’s Peter Hirst walk is on Saturday, 29th August at 2.00 pm, taking in the are at the top of Widecombe Hill and possibly Wind Tor. Meet in the car park at the top of Widecombe Hill at 2.00pm. We will see artefacts concerning stone cutters and stonemasons, a burial mound and boundary stones. Mike Wright warned everyone to wear trousers and to check for tics after the walk.
World War I Roll of Honour
A preliminary Roll of Honour is being drawn up with 34 names on it. This will hopefully he done by Armistice Day. Eventually, a final version will be produced. Anthony has been in touch with a calligrapher from Torquay Daphne Murphy and local man Brian Hutchins who has agreed to frame it.
The style of framing will be agreed with the Widecombe P. C. C.
Upcoming Event
Marcia Babington is organising a trip to the Dartmouth Naval College on 23rd April 2016. Further details in due course. Transport will be by coach for security reasons.
A book has been published “Mills on the Teign” by Martin Bodman £16. Contact Tor Mark Press, United Downs Industrial Estate, St Day, Cornwall, TR16 5HY
History As It Happens
Following all his work researching the Hampden air crash on Hameldown on 21st March 1941, and 49 Squadron, John Lowe was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace to meet the Princess Royal. During his research he has made a very good friend, Fred Hill DFC aged 93 who he accompanied to the Palace. While there, Fred met someone he had flown with in November 1941.
John wrote : "The Not Forgotten Association is for people who have served in conflict zones across the world since WW2. I accompanied Fred Hill aged 93 yrs, representing Bomber Command, of which I was a member in the sixties. Fred is my friend, mentor and fellow member of 49 Squadron, the same squadron as that of 'The Boys'. To meet Royalty was great in its own right, but totally eclipsed by my friend recognising a gentleman of equal age whom he had flown with once in November 1941, he was Reg Wolgar. These dear men are as sharp today as they were at the age of 20. That meeting is a Not Forgotten memory for me”.
A local lad, Tom Rainey, and his friend, Lawrence Walters, have just completed rowing the Atlantic from New York to Salcombe. Due to adverse currents, they covered 4,000 miles which took 93 days – a month longer than expected. They broke two records – the most distance covered in 24 hours and the youngest team to complete the distance. They were raising funds (over £60,000 so far) for The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Tom’s father.    The Electricity Board have recently replaced some of the electricity poles which were originally installed in 1962 when Widecombe was connected to the grid for the first time.     Beating the Bounds of Spitchwick Common will take place on 19th September. Meet at Spitchwick Lower Lodge at 7.30am. The perambulation takes about 12 hours.
Terry’s Teaser
“Where is Thornhill Lane?” It runs from Bonehill Rocks down to the cattle grid on Natsworthy Lane. This month’s teaser is “Where is Church Lane Head?” There was an error in previous minutes. Barge Moor should have read 'Varge Moor'. 'Varge Moor' is near Corndonford.
The Poppy Quilt
The Poppy Quilt will be on show at the Church House on 6th and 13th August and Sue Boustead will be selling raffle tickets. Group members were asked to keep selling tickets. A photograph was shown to the Group of the quilt, together with all the participants. They are Suzanne and Brian Hutchins, Kirsty Peake, Sue Boustead, Wendy Beard, Margaret Phipps, Judy Southcombe, Wendy Cruze, Audrey Mortimore and Sue Booty. Unsold tickets and counterfoils should be return to Sue Boustead by the next meeting at the latest. Special thanks were expressed to Suzanne and Brian for all the time they put to it.
An email had been received from a journalist for the Woman’s Weekly, asking for contributors to a feature “Unlocking the History of your Home".
Any Other Business
Anthony asked for a volunteer to look after the Group’s sales materials, books, to bring them to meetings, etc. Terry French offered to take this on.
Terry and Anthony had found photos of sheep pens at Widecombe Fair, dated in 1930s. Anthony’s photo was an aerial view and showed a distinct pathway from the church to the built up gate which appears to line up with North Hall.
Diary Dates:
Saturday 8th August.
Manaton Flower Show 1.30 pm start.
Tuesday, 11th August. Leusdon Church Family Fun Day on Widecombe Green. 10am-4pm. Proceeds to Leusdon Church.
Saturday, 29th August. The Peter Hirst Memorial Walk, Top of Widecombe Hill and possibly Wind Tor meet at 2.00 p.m. at the car park at the top of the hill.
Tuesday, 1st September. Princetown History Group. “Project Donn. Putting the Devon Manor House on the Map”.
Wednesday, 2nd September. Coffee Morning at Leusdon Hall, 10.00am – 12 noon.
Wednesday, 2nd September. Widecombe History Group. Burrator Reservoir and its Social Impact, talk by Paul Rendell.
Monday 7th September The last of The East Dart Historical Association’s Lectures at Bovey Tracey Library exploring the part transport played in tourism.
Wednesday 9th September 2015. Dartmoor WW1 Exhibition at Princetown ends.
Saturday, 19th September. Beating the Bounds of Spitchwick Common. Meet at Spitchwick Lower Lodge at 7.30am.
4th and 5th October. Newton Abbot Travel Club are running a trip to Severn Valley Railway and the Black Country Museum. Contact 01626 354310.
Tuesday, 6th October. Princetown History Group. 7/30pm. A talk by Phil Page on Eden Phillpotts, Author-Conservationist & Social Reformer.
Wednesday, 7th October. Coffee Morning at Leusdon Hall, 10.00am – 12 noon.
Wednesday, 7th October. Widecombe History Group. Church Houses in Devon by Sue Andrew.
Saturday, 10th October. Devon History Society News – AGM & conference 10 am - 5 pm at Exeter University.
Friday 23rd October 2015. A talk about the Union Inn, Moretonhampstead, followed by an evening meal. Further details at the next meeting.
Wednesday, 28th October. Devon History Society have a meeting at Ashburton Town Hall 2 - 4 pm
‘How to engage more people of your community in the work of your Local History Society’.
March 2016. Group lunch at Stover. Details later.
23rd April 2016. Coach trip to Visit The Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Details later.
                                                                  The meeting closed at 9.50pm.

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