History Group Minutes August 2017

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Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 2nd August 2017
Peter Carrett took the Chair. There were 41 members present.
Apologies:  Margaret Phipps, Paula Stevens, Rosemary Mortimore, Rodney Cruze, Arthur Wrayford, Jill Rogers and Patrick Garvey.
The Minutes of the meeting in July 2017 had been circulated and, with one amendment concerning leaflets, it was agreed that they should be signed.
Matters Arising. 
Moor Than Meets the Eye.  Most of the work for ‘Welcome to Widecombe’ has been completed.  Information boards are in place in the church and in shops.  Leaflets have been printed.  Geoffrey Fenton expressed special thanks to David Ashman and to members of the Group who contributed to the scheme. 
Alphabet Book. The Alphabet Book is with the printers.  The Group were very pleased to receive a grant from Parishscapes to help with the costs. The income from the books will be for the History Group.  It will be launched at Widecombe Fair at 11.00am.  Widecombe Fair has donated an extra stall to the History Group for this.  Peter thanked Margaret Phipps and Ann Claxton who prepared the book for printing.  Thanks also to Joanna Radford’s family.
Memorial Garden. Roger reported that it is getting close to the point of taking ownership and it is hoped that contracts will be exchanged in a month or two.  On 5th October, Roger will be presenting the project to the Parish Council.
Dartmoor Search & Rescue.  Marcia Babington was thanked for organising the visit to the Dartmoor Search & Rescue premises, near Ashburton.  This was a very interesting visit and the equipment and training was impressive.  
Fish & Chips with Peter & Aileen were also thanked for the excellent Fish & Chip evening at Liverton.  They have been asked to repeat it.
Lunch at Stover.  Peter Carrett has booked the lunch at Stover for Wednesday, 25th October.  Further details to follow.
Charity Lunch at Dunstone Chapel.  This month’s lunch will be held on Wednesday, 9th August.  12 noon to 3.00pm.
North Hall Dig. This dig took place and Peter Rennells reported two very successful days , several interesting items were found.  Andy Crabb will let WHG know what these are.  Next year will be the last of the digs at North Hall and will take place over two weeks.  Pupils from South Dartmoor School also helped with the dig and Peter thanked all the members of the History Group for their assistance.
Some interest had been expressed in doing a dig on the site of the Piggery.  This may take place in October or November and would consist of two test pits.
Carols Down the Line.  Peter Carrett has booked 20 places for Carols Down the Line on Thursday, 7th December, and has 20 names booked.  More places may be available.  
Car Share Visit to Sheepstor and Yelverton Churches. Marcia has arranged a visit to these Churches on Wednesday, 13th September, at 2.00pm.  It will be hosted by Dr Helen Wilson who will talk about Bench Ends and Choir Stalls.  
Widecombe Fair.  Arrangements have been completed for Widecombe Fair.  Volunteers are needed.  Also filled jam jars are required by Sue Boustead for sale on the day. 
Peter Hirst Walk.    This will be held on Tuesday, 29th August, meeting at 2.30pm in the top car park at Haytor.  We will walk up to the rocks and over to the quarries.  The second half will be from Hemsworthy Gate, where we will look at cairns, old gate posts and tin mines.
History As It Happens
It is 100 years since the First World War battle at Passchendale, when 550,000 troops were killed.  A film called ‘The Darkness of the Moor’ received its premier in Princetown.  This was filmed around the Poundsgate area and Brimpts.
Ben Norrish, whose family lives at Foxworthy and who works in Antarctica, was involved with moving the research station in its entirety some 13 miles across the ice after the ice on its previous location was cracking. 
Terry’s Teaser. 
This month’s teaser is “Where is Rowden Gate?”. Rowden Gate is on the edge of Bittleford Down near Rowden Farm.  There are two gate posts on the road.
Next month “Where is Brook Lane?”
Any Other Business
Kris Blood is cataloguing all artefacts belonging to the History Group.  The Group were reminded that all items must be booked out and booked in again so that we can keep track of everything. 
Peter told the Group about the second of the servicemen researched for the World War I project.  This was William Richard Beard who was born in 1891, with four siblings and who married Eliza French.  He was an Army Signaller in the Royal Artillery and a spotter. He was on the Absent Voters list.  After the war, he moved to Ilfracombe and died there aged 81.
Further research had been carried out about last month’s serviceman, Ernest Beard.  It was thought that he might have served in the Coastguards, but this is not the case.  We still have no information about his military career. 
Kirsty Peake raised the subject of the glider poles still in place on Hameldown.  She feels that they need some maintenance as there is a danger they could be lost.  Roger Claxton knows the whereabouts of one of these poles and it was suggested it could be displayed in the Piggery in due course. 
Project Time
Roger, as usual, showed us a very interesting collection of photographs, including some of the recent North Hall dig and one the Logan Stone on Rippon Tor. There was also a Logan Stone near Rugglestone but there is no photograph of that.  He raised a query about the old original village sign which was originally at the entrance to the car park but was removed during the war. Do we know what happened to it?  A query was raised last month about whether the present church tower was in place at the time of the big thunderstorm and we now know it was. In the book, the Worthies of Devon, there is mention of a bowling alley on the Green in 1638. In Robert Dymond’s book, Things Old and New, of 1876 there is poem about the Rivers of Widecombe. 
The meeting closed at 10.10 pm.
Diary Dates
Wednesday, 9th August.
  Dunstone Chapel, Charity Soup & Cake Lunch, 12.00-3.00pm.
Tuesday, 29th August.  Peter Hirst Walk.  Meet at the Top Haytor Car Park. 2.30pm.
Tuesday, 5th September.  Princetown History Group. Dartmoor’s Moss Gatherers by Dr Annie Pulsford.
Wednesday, 6th September.  Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall.  10.00–12.00
Wednesday, 6th September.  7.30pm. Widecombe History Group. The Royal Clarence Fire and St Martin’s Island by Todd Gray.
Tuesday, 12th September.  Widecombe Fair.
Wednesday, 13th September.  Visit to Sheepstor and Yelverton Churches. Speaker: Dr Helen Wilson.  2.00pm.
Wednesday, 25th October. Lunch at Stover Golf Club.
Thursday, 7th December.  Carols Down the Line.  7.00 – 9.30pm. Coast £12.


The information on this page was last modified on August 12 2017 17:57:37.

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