I was late to the meeting, it was good to see you all in full swing without me!
Jenny was reading an article from the Pulman’s Weekly regarding the father of a baby, I missed the full details.
Jenny also showed us a coin found in her late relative’s effects, a 350 AD emperor magnentius after Constantine, to hold something of that age is amazing.
The main part of the meeting was taken up with the plans for an entertainment next month in the church, the Group have been asked to put together some scenes from the village history.
Some of our group are looking at the possibility of re printing Alan’s Booklet of walks around the Village, updating it with some historic additions to three of the walks.
We have the talk with Martin Howell on Thursday 19th October.
I have been told a steam train is coming through on the 23rd September about mid-morning.
David brought up the notes in the Yates file at Honiton Museum giving details of brickmaking at Colesworthy in 1599 and the “Great Wynd” that caused the damage that required the bricks, the nearest in time is the Storm of 1596 that affected the Spanish Armada, if anyone knows of a storm around the time before 1599 we would love to see the notes on it.
The next meeting will be in the Nog Inn on 5th October.
The next meeting in the Nog Inn at 8 pm on Thurs. 7th September 2017.
Martin Howell has kindly offered us a new talk called "A miscellany of
little known facts about Churches" on Thursday 19th Oct, 7:30 pm in
Jim Wooley and Bob Neal from Ottery Heritage are coming to talk
about Jim’s book on WW1 in Ottery St Mary also in the Church on
Thursday 30th Nov at 7:30 pm
We have received a thank you from the Train Group for whom we did the display for their AGM.
Very pleased to have Margaret from Whimple History Society join us this evening. Margaret has passed an auction sale catalogue of Brig. Acland’s dairy cattle sale to the Group. Also, we have accepted her invitation to visit their Museum and take a guided walk around the village. We will also share our events across the two groups, as we do with Ottery. Thank you, Margaret. http://www.whimple.org
George, Colin and I and our dogs had a lovely afternoon’s walk on Rogation Sunday, we walked the path by Beechwood Farm down to the steps by the new A30 and back through the village to Green Lane. The views from the path are wonderful across Ottery to the hills behind. Thanks to George for sorting out the route.
We hear from David that he has made good progress on transcribing the war time diaries and would like to share them with us in due course.
My Mother in Law mentioned to me that during her school days, Oak Apple Day which was celebrated on 29th May by the wearing of Oak Leaves, this tradition marked the birth of Charles II.
I went to an event in the Devon Record Office, now called Devon Heritage, this was to mark the establishment of the Devon Manorial Register, which launched on 15th May via The National Archives at Kew and their Discovery website.
This is the link:
This just a finding aid, you must take note of the references and visit of contact the repository. You have the following search options: NSearch by manor, parish, county and record office.
Jackie and Bob went to Cadhay open day and learnt about Samuel Coleridge, he went to school aged 9 by himself on the stage coach to London.
This links gives more detail:
We discussed Blacksmiths in the area, Huxtable and Heals at Fairmile, the group recalled smithys at Colestocks , Fenny Bridges and Payhembury. This website lists known Devon Smiths: http://blacksmiths.mygenwebs.com/index.php
Bob has bought a couple more medals, one from the 1911 /17 Revolution in Mexico, the battle there was the last time the Stars and Stripes were seen on the battlefield.
Bob also mentioned the Boxer Rebellion:
Bob also told us about this wonderful woman, Flora Sandes, she fought alongside the Serbian Troops:
Margaret told us of the Land Army and Lumber Jill's memorial located at the National Memorial Arboretum. The Farm Women's Union helped to raised funds.
Some of the Land Girls married local men and farmers, there was a Hostel at Whimple, where they lived while doing their basic training on the Whiteways Farm.
Jenny is working with Battle Fields Trust to get the Site of the 1549 Battle at Fenny Bridges recognised by English Heritage, she is helping design an information board or stand. This would go, perhaps with agreement of parties involved, on the wall by the Village Hall, or free standing in the car park? The Trust would be looking at a cost of £800 for the wall or on legs £1,500. The funds to be funded pound for each pound raised locally.
Jenny is looking for a picture of a likeness of a soldier or Peasant of the time. Bob suggested contacting one of the enactment groups who stage events in the dress of the time.
Alan read us a poem by the Late Nelson Owen on growing old, in the Devon Dialect, it was wonderful here the dialect spoken by a Devon Man. Nelson was a well known man in Ottery, responsible for setting off the canon on 5th Nov to mark the start of the Carnival and Tar Barrel day.
George has been walking the area where the Battle of Sedgemoor took place. He is surprised that this Battle is more famous than our Fenny Bridges one when so many more died here.
George has also walked along part of the Pill Box Stop line, a military defence,
We asked Alan if he had ever worked at Whimple Station, he was the last rail employee to work there leading up to it becoming unmanned in October 1970.
The rail staff would use the Fountain Inn and the management used the other one!
Not sure how this bit of gossip came about, but, Feniton was known as “Sin City” by the users of CB radios, I won’t elaborate further, in case it offends!!!
Bob who once worked as a postman told us about the confusion of similar place names and that Postcodes were often ignored at times!
Well another fascinating evening, many thanks to all.
Please note I have asked that we have out next meeting in September on Thursday 7th.
Hope you have a wonderful summer.
The evening started off with today’s history!! The local election for Devon County Council. Hugh asked us about the history of wards in East Devon. This link helps a little:
The latest change is the reorganisation of East Devon, Feniton is now with Honiton, after being part of Ottery Rural for many years, the changes being brought about by evening out the number of electorate in each ward. We found it very strange that Whimple is now matched with Blackdown.
Geoff has been a polling office and told us about the legal responsibilities he had, including the power of arrest!
Field names were mentioned and how the names evolve over time, we have a couple of fields, Harvey’s and Peek’s, which are named after the family who lived in the adjacent house. Our neighbours have one named “Hundred Acres”, needless to say it is very small!
Next topic was horses, how the police use them to handle crowds at football matches, in the South West the horses are stabled with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Many of us can remember horses doing the milk and bread deliveries, also the rag and bone man who used them into the 1970s. Colin’s father was still using a horse in the late 1940s.
Bob went to see a Civil war enactment and was very interested by the whole event depicting the English Civil War.
Skirmishes are not classed as important, we nattered about Jenny’s battle research of Fenny Bridges in 1549. Our newer members have not seen the PowerPoint of Jenny’s research, so it was suggested we ask Jenny if we can show it one evening in the Nog.
We noted that some famous Battles were designated to the wrong fields, Bosworth and Hastings to mention a couple. Canons were loaded with all sorts of full of shot to wipe out the opposition.
Many battle sites seemed to be devoid of finds in later years, the followers would have cleared the fields of anything of value, even the dead had their teeth removed.
Bill has been reading Graeme Smith’s book, which he can recommend, The Awakening of Abraham Brown. Bill also is interested in finding out more about magnet fishing in canals and rivers. his would bring up anything metal thrown away, old bikes and shopping trollies come to mind!
We nattered about the Thames Mud Larks and their finds on the tide line.
Alan has a flint and would love to find out if it is a worked tool or just split by mature.
Geoff visited Sidbury Manor gardens, a big house with tired walls. It is the family home of the Caves. Open to the public each April for the National Garden’s Scheme.
Bob told us about his recent purchases. We mentioned the collection of medals on the BBC Antiques Roadshow. These covers the service of a man who served in the Boer War, WW1 and WW2. Some soldiers were denied medals, the Duke of Wellington did not approve them.
Next meeting on Thursday 1st June in the Nog Inn at 8 pm.
Don’t forget the Rogation Walk on Sunday 21st May, 2:30 pm at Beechwood Farm, Green Lane.
It is amazing, we all turn up at the Nog Inn with nothing prepared, and hey presto we have a wonderful evening full of topics and interests.
The business part:
We will be taking the Railway Photos to the Ottery Heritage AGM meeting Tues 20th Jun 2017. Chris Saunders will keep in touch with the details nearer the date.
7.30pm: Annual General Meeting
8.00pm: 'The Train Now Departing' The Historic video of the South West branch lines in the age of steam, plus some personal memories from special guests.
The Map site we looked up has sent an update, not had chance to look at it yet, I will send their email with this report. http://geo.nls.uk/maps/gb1900/
We would like to hold the Rogation Walk on Sun 21st. May I suggest we meet in Green Lane at 2:30 pm by the path at Beechwood Farm. Then follow the public footpaths to the back of the village hall and return by road to Green Lane. Dogs welcome, but must be kept on a lead in the fields where livestock are.
Then we moved on to our natter over a pint.
Bob told us how nice the Wesley Chapel is at Fenny Bridges, it closed in 1939 and is now a holiday let. The windows and layout are very well done. Good to see it is still being used and not left derelict. It was a pig sty before the conversion.
Hugh is using the British newspapers archive for his football research. Brenda and I love this online resource for local and family history research. Always amazed at the work the journalists did in taking down so many names and details of the occasions they were reporting, and then the typesetters putting it all together for the presses.
Brenda was so pleased to find an article where her father sang and her mother played the organ at a wedding, she had no idea of this growing up.
Jenny has been approached by the Battle Fields Trust to record and highlight the 1549 battle with information boards situated in the village. This will be put to the Parish Council at the next meeting, Mon 8th May 2017. The thought of our group was that the wall by the village hall would be ideal.
The Battle of Pinhoe was mentioned in a tour of Plymtree Church I attended which may have cause the church there to be damaged and rebuilt? Sounds a long shot to me!!! Also the Battle of Wiggaton was mentioned, but cannot find a reference on Google.
Brenda told us about the Newfoundland fishing where cod fisherman from southwest spent much of the year. Amazing to thing they sailed into the virtual unkown, leaving families at home.
Geoff volunteers in the Southwest Heritage Centre, the old Record office, he tells us that many shipping records are now on line here:
In the 1300s winters was warmer, enabling people to live on Dartmoor and fish around Greenland. Ship ownership was in shares and even the town owned them. A ship is owned 64 shares, some were sold to the town. Smoking was good for you and the rum grog neat for the officers!
Devon Colic was caused by Cider, containing lead found in the materials used to make the cider.
The evening was rounded of with some of Alan’s Devon Dialect snippets and a poem
in dialect, “They all be Gone Now”. Thank you all for a wonderful evening.
Next meeting in the Nog Inn 8pm on 4th May.
Feniton History Group invite you to
a talk on
“Medieval Rood Screens - Their Rise and Their Fall...”
Our guest speaker, Martin Horrell, will explain the historic importance and origins of the Rood Screen, their influence and gradual removal in the 18th Century, Mr Horrell is an expert on the subject as well as in church design and craftsmanship. This talk will be a treat for all those interested in historic Devon churches
This will take place in Feniton Church at 7:30 pm on Thursday 20th April
admission £4 to include tea / coffee and biscuits.
Fascinating evening, which I kicked off with my visit to Hampshire, to Old Portsmouth and the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, we discussed the Titanic story and the new evidence of the coal bunker fire which may have cause weakness in the plates. Googling this brings up so many conspiracy theories, I doubt the truth will ever be found.
David has been in contact with a member of a family in relation to a grave in the churchyard, from this contact David now has some wonderful diaries to transcribe, notes about the farm work and his lady friends, fascinating and a real insight in to rural life of the day. We look forward to reading David’s transcript.
George is still working on Nonconformist Chapels. I have his latest research to share with you via a Word document. He told us about the acts to stop non-conformist preaching, the 5 mile act which led to persecution and excommunication.
Jenny brought along her family history research, which she had been working on for the last twenty years and is now in book form with pull out pages showing the family trees. A wonderful effort, and with Jenny’s wonderful way with words it is very interesting.
Brenda told us more of her work on the Parr Cottages, Joseph Chown renovated them, taking the thatch off in 1880. The Rashleigh family were the owners, they had links to Cornwall and Charlestown. The full research is being published in the Parish Magazine.
Alan kindly brought along the railway photos for display at the Railway AGM in Nog Inn at 10:30 till mid afternoon on Sat 18th March. People are welcome to drop in and see the display.
We have the talk on Church Screens in the church on Thurs 20th April church at 7:30 pm
Following on from the Boundary walk we all enjoyed last year, George has kindly offered to find a route for us via Green Lane walking down towards the A30 and back towards the old village. This will be on Rogation Sunday which falls on Sunday 21st May this year.
Robert Neal of OSM Heritage has kindly invited the Group to join them at 8:00 pm Tues 20th June to mark the Beeching axe closing the Sidmouth Junction to Sidmouth Line. This will be a showing of the BBC film 'The Train Now Departing'
Next meeting in the Nog Inn 8pm on Thurs 6th April.
On Thursday 9th February, a prominent East Devon landmark was rededicated by two Anglican Bishops who travelled over 10,000 miles to pay their respects. The memorial at Patteson’s Cross was commissioned to remember John Coleridge Patteson from East Devon, who was a missionary and the first Bishop of Melanesia, but martyred in the Solomon Islands in 1871.
The refurbishment project by the Ottery St Mary Heritage Society was completed last September, on time and on budget. It was gratifying to learn that the life of Bishop Patteson and the importance of maintaining such a splendid memorial to his name engendered so much interest, both locally and nationally.
The institutions at which Bishop Patteson received his education – The King’s School at Ottery St Mary, Eton College and the Oxford University Colleges of Balliol and Merton – gave generous donations. Major institutional grant providers included the Tale Valley Trust, Allchurches Foundation Trust, Devon County Council and Ottery St Mary Town Council. The Heritage Society has expressed its gratitude to these bodies, as well as to many individuals, for their generosity.
prayer by the Revd. Prebendary Cate Edmonds was followed by readings by David Lanning and pupils from Feniton Primary School. The ceremony of rededicating the memorial by the Rt Revd Leonard Dawea, Bishop of Temotu and the Rt Revd Ellison Quity, Bishop of Ysabel, both in the Solomon Islands, marked a fitting completion to the refurbishment project.
The congregation included Lord and Lady Coleridge, Revd. Stephen Weston, Ven. John Rawlings, Cllr Roger Giles, the Melanesian Mission, members of the OSM Heritage Society, the Feniton History Group, pupils from The King‘s School, Payhembury and Tipton St John Primary Schools and members of the public.
After the ceremony, most people moved quickly to Escot Village Hall to socialize, with a welcome cup of hot soup and other refreshments. Robert Neal, chairman of the Heritage Society, gave a short welcoming address, and Bishops Ellison and Leonard expressed their pleasure and thanks for the opportunity to participate in the ceremony, and to meet many local residents.
Another lively evening!!
I have been contacted by a gentleman asking if he could do a Talk on Dowsing,
Mr Palmer, was decided to look at this later in the year as we are rather busy over the coming months.
Railway Display in the Nog Inn on Sat. 18th March, we can sort the detail next meeting. There will be 30 to 40 guests. This is for the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society AGM.
We have the Church Screen talk on Thurs 20th April we will need to set this up at the March meeting.
Brenda has some excellent articles in the magazine of late, hope you have read them.
Love the one entitled Feniton’s Very Own Dad’s Army, by Brian Carnall. Alan’s article on 19th Century Travel and the Feniton Inn, aka, Parr Cottage history is fascinating too.
Thank you Jenny for helping with the school project on the Battle at Fenny Bridges, we have both received a lovely “Thank You“ cards from the whole class, one pupil told us we will make wonderful teachers when we qualify!! We found the youngsters so polite and interested.
The Feniton Neighbourhood Plan Group are looking at unregistered heritage assets and green spaces, it was thought that most towns have wonderful parks, but not so in the villages.
Will tells us he is starting a Geological job in London so won't be down in Devon for many, many months. He will make contact when job ends but it may be next year. Very best wishes to all at the History Group. We will miss his company, take care Will.
Chris Saunders can report to the meeting that the funding level for the Patteson Cross refurbishment project has now met the expenditure thanks to a donation from Patteson House at The King's School and a grant from Ottery Town Council. The latter does still have to be ratified by full council sometime soon. The Commutation and rededication took place this month.
Chris attended the Tony Beard Memorial Service in Exeter Cathedral, many memories of a fine Devon man. Sadly, missed by all who knew him, personally and as a presenter on Radio Devon
Geoff reported on the following finds while volunteering in the Devon Heritage Centre:
Records from the Exeter camera club now in DRO, he gave details of an outing to Powerham Castle with a heavy plate cameras, they got lost, left the camera on the train, fell over the wall in the deer park, got off at the wrong station on the way back ! Their trips were always an escapade it seems.
Archaeological papers detail a Neolithic dew pond and pebble bed road.
Army recruiting letters and copies and replies in Muster rolls for Devon Napoleonic wars and later.
Caster Castle, the cottage where the gardener for Feniton Court lived, past the Old School on the right on the Curscombe Road. Alan went there before the war with his father as keen gardeners, the sub gardener lived there. The head gardener lived in Thorn Cottage, Mr Hapgood. Christopher Flood was a Honiton Banker and had financial interests in mauch of the property in Feniton.
Christopher Flood notes, he was called “King Caster” one of the Pot Wallop voters. More on this at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potwalloper Honiton was one of these seats.
His daughter is mentioned in the List of Feniton Rectors.
Henry Erskine HEAD 1828-1860
He was born on 9th January 1797, the seventh son of James Roper Head of Rochester. He married Elizabeth Flood of Honiton, daughter of Christopher Flood, on the 15th December 1823. He was at one time Chaplain to the King of Hanover. He was installed on 4th July 1828 - presented by John Rogers of Honiton, Druggist. During his period in office the church was in a bad state of repair and urgent restoration was carried out in 1836. He either died in Feniton on 16th May 1860 aged 63 or in London on 17h May 1860. (There are two accounts giving different locations and dates!) There is a memorial to him on the North wall of the chancel. Not buried in Feniton. He and his wife had 5 babies die between 1830 and 1836 in Feniton, 4 boys and a girl. Just one child survived, Margaret.
We nattered about how researching has changed over the years, from looking at the actual documents, and trailing to London, now it is all on line, back then you had to trawl the actual files.
Bob’s holiday saw the 1st snow in Spain for 91 years. He told us how important the “right” language is in Valencia, it must be the local lingo.
Brenda, asked if we could advise us of anyone who were at the Feniton school 50 years ago when it moved to the new site. Pupils in 1950s and 1960s may have memories.
Alan was asked to find the origins of the The Hardy Wine family, they seem to hail from Stockland, not Gittisham, as thought, but of course they could have lived there before he emigrated, the enquirer thanked us for our efforts.
A point was raised by Jackie as to how the village streets are named? Found this on a government website:
City, borough and district councils allocate postal numbers to houses and buildings in their area. They also name new roads and streets.
The council involves the land developer in the street naming process. They invite suggestions and possible alternative names from the developer. These street names with postal numbers go before council for approval.
But over the years these change due to new developments and war damage etc.
Thanks to all for a fascinating evening.
Next meeting in the Nog Inn on 2nd March 2017.
Sadly, I missed the meeting due to a heavy cold, thank you to you all for taking the reins, see you do it so well you don’t really need me!
David told us about a talk he went to on Church screens. The speaker has written a book, and would be willing to come and give us a talk. We thought maybe in the Feniton church, later in the spring.
This has now been have provisionally booked the church for 20th Apr 2017.
Hugh brought along the account book of his grandfather’s market garden business and greengrocery round in Plymouth dating back to 1907, with wages listed and prices of items. The business is still being run by a descendant.
We had some more discussion on local place name pronunciations, such as the emphasis of ‘ford’ in Sidford, Colyford etc.
John Masters explained how his locomotive restoration society are rebuilding a Bulleid Merchant Navy Class, named ‘General Steam Locomotive Co.’ 35011. He brought photos of the engine in its original and present rusty state. The SW branch are to have their AGM at the Nog Inn on March 18th, about mid-day until 4.00pm. He would like us to put on a display of photos, layout plans etc relating to the 1960s. It was suggested that in the lounge bar would be best, and that we open it to others who may like to come and look.
Chris Saunders has notified us that the fund raising for the restoration of the Pattesons Cross Monument has reached its target. The monument looks very fine now the work is complete.
Chris Saunders has notified us that the fund raising for the restoration of the Pattesons Cross Monument has reached its target. The monument looks very fine now the work is complete.
Alan has met someone who wants to find out something of the family of a Thomas Hardy who emigrated from Gittisham to Australia in 1850. Alan wondered if we can help. This Thomas Hardy started a winery in 1853 which is still running today and is very well known. To prove this, Alan brought along a bottle of Hardy’s finest Australian wine!
I had a rummage on Find My Past and have found a possible baptism for Thomas in Stockland, there is not one in Gittisham. Just ask if you would like the detail of the search. I have sent a copy to Alan and Brenda.
The following dates need to be noted for discussion at the February meeting.
The Train AGM, The Nog Inn. Sat 18th March.
Talk in Church on Screens. Thur 20th April
Rogation Walk Rogation walk. Sun 21 May 2017
It has been suggested that we invite the following people to share their interests with the Group: Jim Woodley, WW1 in Ottery, David on the Church Graffiti, Graeme on his local finds.
The Parish Council are applying for grants to restore and renovate the Lych Gate. So, 2018 might be a good year to mark this and perhaps have a History Weekend in the Village?
The next meeting will be on Thursday 2nd Feb. 2017.