Feniton History Group 46th Meeting

Wonderful to see so many. It was good to natter and ponder over the maps the Group have in it's collection.

Work is progressing on the WW1 men.

Our next meeting. This will be in the Nog Inn on Thurs. 3rd April

"Oreo" is a young puppy in Pam's care for the "Hearing Dogs for the Deaf organisation and joins us for her socialisation training!

A note from Jenny:

The Battlefields’ Trust are organising a small event for anyone who would like to be introduced to the Battle of Fenny Bridges, Feniton Honiton . EX14 3BJ

On Saturday 12th April we are meeting at the Greyhound at 11 am and then walking to Bloody Meadow and then on to the church. After people have visited the church, they will be returning to the Greyhound for lunch and to look at display boards

We are charging £3 a head (plus lunch) and the money will go towards an information board which will cost us £1500. We have been debating where to place it. I would like the church to benefit from it, but Malcolm is keen to have it placed in the Greyhound. They are keen too as it will provide a centre of interest at the pub.

I am also planning to write to the council eventually and see if we can twist their arm and get them to provide a new Fenny Bridges sign over the bridge with the battle field symbol. Before that we are planning to get English Heritage to officially recognise the importance of the Battle field.

Jenny Wilson ,Feniton History Group. On behalf of the Battlefields' Trust. http://www.battlefieldstrust.com/

Feniton History Group 45th Meeting

We had a short business meeting, various history societies and the Devon Record Office have contacted me as to  how we record and research the WW1 Commemoration. The men who died have already been recorded, but we have been asked to find the men who returned home. So if any members can add to this I would be pleased to hear from them. I have a page from the Deanery Magazine of the time listing serving men, so will start with that:

The difficulty is deciding whether we add the men who seem to be from outlying villages like Gittisham and Broadhembury on the 1911 census.
We have been asked to help with a fund raising event in July for the Melanesia Church. The Devon History Society would like us to present  our WW1 research at their AGM on 11th Oct. 2014. After that we can put it together to place in the Church over the Remembrance weekend in November.
That done we viewed the Blackdown Hills DVD on Dunkeswell Airfield during the 2nd War, wonderful collection of memories and photos.
Alan then rounded of the evening with his reminiscences of War time Feniton. A Spitfire in their garden one Sunday lunch time. The glow in the sky when Exeter was bombed. The pulsating drone of the German Bombers at night. The American High B17  the "Flying Fortress", often returned damaged, holes, props missing and the odd fin. The boys cycled up to Turbury Cross to view a fully laden bomber that crashed and left a huge crater in the road and damaged the hedgerows, the gaps can still be seen. There was parachute silk hanging in the hedges. It failed to take off and slid on along a field. Alan remembers a glider coming down  near Cadhay, a Dakota from Smetharpe came to collect it, a frame with a rope across it enable the glider to be hooked up and launched into the air. They often saw Dakotas and gliders on the way to the Normandy Landings. Very interesting Alan, thank you.

Feniton History Group 44th Meeting

This was a planning meeting to discuss changing the monthly meeting at the request of prospective new members, as they could not make the 3rd Thursday.  We agreed on the 1st Thursday.

The very successful evening with Jenny's  Uprising PowerPoint has received a very good response. Following on from this Jenny hopes to arrange a 2nd showing with a walk to and from the battlefield with the Civil War Society next year which we will host.

I will run some more Genealogy afternoons at the farm and perhaps another similar afternoon in the church next year.

A possible idea for the future is to build up a sequence of maps across the years. I have spoken to JM Kennaway and he will be pleased to show us the estate maps. which would cover the area  around Sidmouth  Junction.

Bill showed us some beautiful carvings he is replicating.

Geoff spoke of the wonderful oral project undertaken by the Blackdown Hill AONB in regard to the Wartime Memories of airman and locals around Dunkeswell Airfield.  I will show their DVD at our next meeting. the Website  is   http://www.dunkeswellwarstories.com/

Brenda told us about the first council houses in the village in the Sidmouth Junction area. They were built in the 1920s as "Homes for Heroes". Honiton Rural District Council asked the parish council to choose the applicants to live there. Tom Copp was the first occupier.  

Sad to hear from Geoff of the cuts to the Devon Record Office cuts, but the parish registers are due to be published in line through Find My Part.

2014 is designated to commemorate WW1, we will to hear what the County plans are before we decide what action to take on this.

The above was interspersed with the Planning Inquiry for new houses in the village!!!!  A very hot topic in the village at the moment.
If you wish to find out more about this use the parish council website: http://fenitonparishcouncil.wordpress.com/

This just leaves me to thank you all for your support and wish you A very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Next Meeting will be in The Nog Inn on Thurs. 6th Feb 2014 at 8 pm.


"The Western Rising" PowerPoint by Jenny Wilson

Feniton History Group  Thurs 14th Nov 2013 in Feniton Church
Jenny's presentation was very well received.  It gave the reasons for the uprising, the lost of the Celtic status of Cornwall and being forced to abandon the old ways and accept the Protestant Book of Common Prayer in 1549. Cornwall saw itself as a separate nation.
Beautifully illustrated with slides of Cornwall along with  the sounds of bloody battle and men on the march.
It is heart wrenching to think of the barbarity of these events, the battles of Fenny Bridges, Alfington, Aylesbeare, Clyst St. Mary and the siege of Exeter.
These important events seem lost to time and not really mentioned in today's Histories. Jenny's research fills that gap.
The evening raised £130 which was split between the Philippines Disaster and ME research.

I would like to thank  Jenny, the church  and the Group members for all their help on the night to make this a very successful evening.   

The Acland Film Showing

 The Cine Star Archive film evening on 8th Oct. 2013 was a joy, it went so well, Paul Dibbens and his family were so warm and friendly and helpful, they loved the setting in the church and to be showing the film in the village where a lot of it was filmed was perfect.  There must have been well over a 100 guests, the catering worked out well, enough left over so as we did not look stingy! We raised £200 for the church.

The old film was very nearly lost, after a clear out, only to be found by the late Eric Yates who had heard about Paul Dibbens and passed the film to him. Paul's wife Elaine spent many years searching for the location and family. Their efforts and dedication came to fruition with the showing in the village.

It showed life here in the 1930s, haymaking, out and about in the village itself and the Acland family at home and abroad in the Sudan, training the troops on Exmoor and the young sons training their ponies in the fields around Feniton. Playing Tennis and cricket. John Bishop, a local retired farmer, remembers playing in the  cricket team with Sir Anthony, there was Mr Hapgood the head garden wearing his bowler hat, and Jo Chown also glimpsed members of her family in the lane to Curscombe. It is thought one of the ladies making jam was Gertrude Gibbins, my husband's grandmother, in her flowered overall!

It was amazing, Sir Anthony Acland , son of the old Brig, came, he had not seen the film since the 1940s and he told us the background to the film scenes, just wonderful.

The Cine Star Archive  is going to edit the film picking out the bits filmed in the village and he will make the available on his website and for free download.

Paul and Elaine's son Ricky has made stills from the film and these are shown on the website and available to purchase.

I want to thank everyone who came on the night making it such a success Also. Many thanks go to the Group members for all their help and support, in front of house and in the kitchen. 

I also need to offer thanks the East Devon AONB for donating the 50th Anniversary Books, showing how Brigadier Acland worked to get the AONB recognition in the 1950s.

Chris Gibbins.

Feniton History Group 43rd meeting

We were very pleased to welcome Graeme back to update us on his hobby of field walking and metal detecting. He has made more interesting finds regarding trading sites and Roman coins in the local area. He set us a fascinating quiz, to identify and date the twenty objects laid on the table., some very obvious, some very tricky, a ox shoe, a very old lock, a bronze age gouge, a cow horn protector, love tokens, a large needle pushers used by a saddler, a roman dress pin and some coins, some were burnt and possible for the site of the house fire at Escot in December 1808.
We had a lively discussion about the dates of the items and the sites where they were found. 
We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and  our thanks go to Graeme for all the effort he put into  making it so interesting. The winner of the framed artefacts was won by Cliff with the most correct answers. 

Ox shoes

On Mon the 16th  Sep we arranged a field walk following the talk, the weather was rather unsettled, but Cliff and myself had a pleasant hour or so wondering Campfield, sadly nothing outstanding came to hand.
The next meeting will be the showing of the Acland Films in the church 8th Oct.

Our condolences and thoughts are with Jenny at this difficult time due the passing of her mother.
Business meeting notes:
This is the email I promised last night to confirm the business part of the meeting and upcoming dates.

Weather permitting: A field walk in Campfield, where the ploughing match took place, bring your wellies
and a walking stick, plus a bag to put finds in. 10:30 am in the field on Monday 16th Sept.

An afternoon with Find My Past and Ancestry at Colesworthy 2:30 pm Friday 20th September. Please
bring your own laptop if possible, I am short of a machine , the lid having fallen off my spare one!

The Acland Films in the Church, meeting about 6: 00 pm, to set up on Tuesday 8th October
Raffle prizes please, help on the night to sell raffles with Geoff.
Refreshments, Tea/Coffee, fruit juices, cheese, biscuits, cheese straws etc, I will get the cheese, and beverages so please can members help out with the savouries and biscuits. Thank you.
Admission is free, so will ask for donations for the food.  Paul Dibbens would like a donation towards
his fuel costs, so suggest £30 for him, the rest going to St. Andrew's for the venue hire.

Jenny's PowerPoint on the Western Uprising has be postponed due to bereavement, this will now take place in the Church 8:00 pm on Thursday 14th November, setting up the equipment from about 7:00 pm.
Tea Coffee as usual, admission £3:00 and a raffle. Jenny has asked us to support her fund raising.
http://www.investinme.org/index.htm. We will do this on a 50/50 basis with the church.

We must also thank Graeme and his partner for such a wonderful and interesting evening. You must have put
a lot of time into setting it up. It was fascinating. Much appreciated.

Feniton History Group 42nd meeting at The Nog Inn

Jo came in with a leather case full of early parish magazines, all eagerly thumbed through, thank you Jo, a real treasure trove. I can see some snippets from these appearing in the magazine for a second time over the coming months. Jo also brought along some old trophies, Val claimed one for the Flower Show the others, perhaps could be put in the Sports club.
George is still working on the Greek document for David.
Val gave us an insight into printing, before the modern digital era, it was a skill to set up a page using each individual letter. I can feel another talk coming on Val  !!
Brenda is still pottering through the online newspapers and found a sad snippet regarding an inquest relating to a cycle accident near the tennis courts in 1934, Elizabeth Harris wife of the local Coachbuilder died after being hit by a cyclist.
David and Jo attended a talk on Exeter Cathedral, the speaker was very interesting, and it was decided that David would arrange a repeat in the Church in aid of Hospice Care.
We have asked if Jenny and George could put on the Fenny Bridges Battle for the October Meeting. Details nearer the time.

It was a fascinating evening, thank you all.