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Widecombe Group History Minutes
Meeting of the Widecombe History Group was held at The Church House, Widecombe, on Wednesday, 3rd May 2017 after the AGM
Terry French was in the Chair. There were 38 members present and 1 visitor.
Apologies: Tim Whitten, Patrick Garvey, Derek & Lyn Hext, Ruth Parnell, Sid & Jo Pontin, Rodney Cruze, Laraine Ashman, Geoffrey Fenton, Serena Walcot, Helen Barrow, Roger & Ann Claxton.
The Minutes of the meeting in April 2017 had been circulated and, with one amendment, it was agreed that they should be signed.
Congratulations were expressed to Jan Peat who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Monday, 8th May.
Margaret asked for final bookings for the Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday, 10th May. Marcia reminded those who were going on the Lewtrenchard Trip that the coach would leave Widecombe Car Park at 9.30am on Wednesday, 24th May. She is collecting names for the trip to the American Museum in Bath in August.
Carols Down the Line in December. Peter Carrett asked if any members would be interested in going to this event at the South Devon Railway. Approximately 20 people were. He also asked if Fish & Chips at his home hopefully on 18th July would be a good idea and about 15 thought so.
The Dunstone Charity Lunch this month is on 10th May. 12 noon to 3.00pm. The proceeds this time will be put towards the renewal of the drainage system at Dunstone Chapel which is getting urgent.
Moor Than Meets the Eye
David Ashman thanked the History Group members who came to the display of the Welcome to Widecombe project. There will be another exhibition in May to show some of the signs that will be put around the village.
History As It Happens
There was an extreme air frost late in April which has affected the English grape vines. The cuckoo has been heard at Hound Tor, Cockingford and Sherril. There are swallows around.
Where it Town Lane? It is the road from Lower Town up to Leusdon.
This month’s teaser is “Where is Belstone Rock and what is on top of it?”
Any Other Business
Peter Carrett said that the Committee were starting to plan for Widecombe Fair. If anyone needs space, please let him know. Sue Boustead reminded the Group that she would like filled and wrapped jam jars for the day.
Mike Wright reported on the first ‘Anthony Day’ which took the form of a walk at Brimpts Mine. About 28 members attended the walk when they saw the Museum and walked up to the South Mine. Later 12 members walked out to the North Mine from Dunnabridge while the reminder enjoyed a very good cream tea. Peter Rennells reported that there would be no dig at North Hall this year but there would be an exhibition of what has been found on the site over the last few years. Peter said that a further eight names had been researched of men who served in the first World War and in due course these names would be added to the Roll of Honour. In Leusdon, 50 men served of which 6 died and in Widecombe 51 men served and 6 died. Peter has been researching the boys who appeared in the Widecombe School photo in 1907. There were 21 boys. 16 of these went to war, of which 2 of them died. One was disabled and unable to serve and Peter is still trying to identify the last 4. He talked about Challacombe which, at that time, had a community school and a chapel and a population of around 130. Challacombe was not definitely in the parish of Widecombe at that time. Peter hopes to write a book to include profiles of each individual man who served in World War I. He has been trying to find out whether there was a big celebration in Widecombe at the end of World War I. There were street parties in many other villages but the only clue about Widecombe is that the head mistress authorised a day off for the pupils. Peter thought it would be a nice idea to have a party in Widecombe in 2019.
The meeting closed at 9.35pm.
Wednesday, 10th May. Dunstone Chapel, Charity Soup and Cake Lunch at 12.00-3.00pm. In aid of Dunstone Chapel.
Wednesday, 10th May. Widecombe History Group 20th Anniversary Dinner at the Café on the Green, 7.00pm for 7.30pm.
Wednesday, 24th May. Visit to Lewtrenchard Manor. Leave Widecombe car park at 9.30am.
Tuesday, 6th June. Princetown History Group. Reverend Bray’s Inscribed Stones, walk with Dr James Fox.
Wednesday, 7th June. Coffee Morning at Leusdon Memorial Hall. 10.00am – 12 noon.
Wednesday, 7th June. 7.30pm. Widecombe History Group. Little Poland by Ken Holland.
Tuesday 18th July Fish & Chips with Peter and Aileen Carrett at Sussex, Liverton.
August – date to be confirmed. Visit to the American Museum in Bath.
Tuesday, 12th September. Widecombe Fair
December – date to be confirmed. Carols Down The Line.
A fascinating talk was given by Simon Dell on the Dartmoor’s Sett Makers’ Bankers
An industry long gone on Dartmoor but much evidence can still be seen on the Moor of the granite work benches. These work benches, known as Bankers, were the work places of men making granite street cobbles, called Setts, for the streets of Tavistock and Plymouth and in other towns beyond Dartmoor. Simple tools were used to split large granite rocks down to the size needed to make the Setts. Not much information has been written down of this fascinating subject until now and Simon and John Bright have produced a book on the subject.
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