History Group Minutes June 2016

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Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 1st June 2016 at 7.30pm
Terry French was in the Chair. There were 44 members present and 3 visitors.
Apologies:  Wendy Beard, Patrick Garvey, Ruth Parnell,  Peter Rennells, Peter Butcher, Mary Pascoe, Pat & Val Watson, John & Zena Lowe. John Walling
The Minutes of the meeting in May 2016 had been circulated and it was agreed that they should be signed.
Terry French mentioned two people who had passed away.  Tony Heath was a former member of the History Group and Gillian Alchin used to run the Café on the Green with her sister and was a renowned local character. 
Local Events
On Saturday, 4th June, there will be an information day in Widecombe Church House for Moor Than Meets the Eye.  The topics will be the North Hall dig and the Moor Mediaeval project.  There will be four speakers, exhibitions and tea.  Meet at 1.30pm for a 2.00pm start. There will be another dig at the North Hall site in the week commencing 27th June, with an Open Day on Saturday, 3rd July.  There are reserved places on the dig for History Group members but please let Andy Crabb know if you would like a place.
Widecombe Church are organising a Flower Festival to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday on Saturday, 11th June, and through the following week.  History Group members are decorating one of the windows.  There will be Songs of Praise in Widecombe Church on Sunday, 12th June, at 6.00pm.
On Monday, 20th June, a Japanese Ladies Choir will be singing at Leusdon Church at 7.00pm.  Admission is free.
History Group Events
Next month’s speaker, on 6th July, is Simon Dell who will be speaking on The Bicentenary of Dartmoor Prison.  On 13th July at 10.00am he will lead a walk round Princetown.  The walk will include the church, prison museum and possibly the French and American cemeteries.
The History Group will be holding a Barbecue, organised by Peter Carrett, at Leusdon Hall on Saturday, 9th July, 4.00pm – 8.00pm.  Cost will be £5 per person.  Open to all comers. 
Death Penny
The Group had an opportunity to purchase a Death Penny, awarded to the relatives of Sidney Arthur West who died in 1918 in the First World War.  He is commemorated at Leusdon Church. 
Kirsty Peake is progressing with the next edition of the Newsletter.  Contributions need to be with her by 11th June.
History As It Happens
A meeting was held in Widecombe about the possibility of building a new Village Hall.  It is felt that the Church House is inadequate in some respects and that a new Hall would be of great benefit to the Parish.  The meeting was well attended and the consensus was that it would be a good idea.  Yvette Elliott will be carrying out a feasibility study.  Various topics were discussed, including events that the Hall could be used for, possible sites and funding. There was general agreement from the History Group members.
A tribute to Joanna Radford had been published in Broadhempston Parish Magazine.  Joanna was Clerk to Broadhempston Parish Council at one time.
Joanna Radford and her daughter, Tamsin, stated that the copyright of her last book “Devonshire Alphabet” had been left to the History Group.  Very few copies of this delightful little book have been produced so far and the Committee will look into getting more copies produced for selling. 
Miles & Gail Fursdon have won an award.  It is The Dartmoor Society Award 2016 for “a superlative hydro system”.  The Chairman, Dr Tom Greeves, described it as probably the finest example we have of making wise use of Dartmoor’s core renewable resource of water in a traditional way but with a modern purpose.
Terry’s Teaser
This month’s teaser was “Where is Rakes Bridge?” It is between Broadaford and Great Cator.  Terry mentioned that a lot of vegetation near there had been cleared recently and left on the grass verge. This prompted a discussion about who owns the grass verge.  Arthur Wrayford believes that the Council only owns the tarmac and that the landowner owns the land up to the middle of the road.  It would be interesting to investigate this fact.
Next month’s teaser is ”Where is Cokers Hill?”
Any Other Business
A new book has been published “Mills on the Teign” by Martin Bodman.
Geoffrey Fenton asked for volunteers to help the owners of Southcombe Gardens when their gardens are open for the National Garden Scheme charity.  Four group members volunteered.
An LP of Anthony Beard’s songs had turned up at the Leusdon Coffee Morning and obtained by Margaret Phipps as she felt it should be in our archives.  It is recorded in 1978 at the Royal Seven Stars, Totnes, where he did regular shows for some years.  These resulted in him being “spotted” and joining Radio Devon. The cover of the LP has a picture of Anthony beside a plough and the plough is now in Widecombe Church.
After Tea
Roger Claxton showed us two films, both very interesting in different ways.  The first was ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’ – an item that appeared on television in the USA, very fanciful and exaggerated and rather ridiculous. Roger and Anthony Beard had written a reply which can be found on our website.  The second item was the film ‘The Coming of Electricity to Dartmoor’ which was much more interesting.  Some of the poles up Widecombe Valley have just been replaced, the first time since 1963.
The meeting closed at 10.00pm.
Diary Dates:
Saturday, 4th June.  Moor Then Meets The Eye.  Information Day in Widecombe Church House. 2.00pm.
Tuesday, 7th June.  Princetown History Group.  Carvings in Postbridge Church by Helen Wilson.  Meet at 7.00pm at the Village Hall, Postbridge.  
Saturday, 11th June for the week.  Flower Festival at Widecombe Church to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. 
Sunday, 12th June.  Songs of Praise in Widecombe Church at 6.00pm.
Monday, 20th June.  Japanese Ladies’ Choir at Leusdon Church. 7.00pm.
Wednesday, 22nd June.  Dunstone Chapel, Soup Lunch and Cakes, 12.00-3.00pm. In aid of charity.
Monday, 27th June for the week.  Dig at the North Hall site with an Open Day on Saturday, 3rd July. 
Tuesday, 5th July.  Princetown History Group.  Stone Rows in the Meavy Valley by Dr Sandy Gerrard. Meet at 7.00pm at Sharpitor car park.
Wednesday, 6th July.  Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall.  10.00-12.00.
Wednesday, 6th July.  Widecombe History Group.  Simon Dell.  The Bicentenary of Dartmoor Prison.
Saturday, 9th July.  Widecombe History Group Barbecue at Leusdon Hall.  4.00pm to 8.00pm.
Wednesday, 13th July.  Walk round Princetown with Simon Dell.  Meet at 10.00am.
Wednesday, 27th July.  Dunstone Chapel, Soup Lunch and Cakes, 12.00-3.00pm. In aid of the Devon Air Ambulance.
Tuesday, 2nd August.  Princetown History Group.  666 by Gordon Paton.
Wednesday, 3rd August.  Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall.  10.00-12.00.
Wednesday, 3rd August.  Widecombe History Group.  Lost Devon by Felicity Goodall.
Monday, 29th August.  Peter Hirst Memorial Walk.
Wednesday, 26th October.  The second Widecombe History Group Lunch.  12.30pm.


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