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Exbourne Local History Group

Programme 2018 - 2019

Exbourne Local History Group

Programme of Speakers 2018/19

18th April   North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team - Robbie Taylor 

NDSART are celebrating 50 years in existence this year.

Team members are all unpaid volunteers trained to the highest standards to rescue lost or injured people both on and off the Moor. There are about 40 highly skilled volunteers in the team which is based in Okehampton. NDSART is a registered charity dependant on donations from the general public.

15th May  A Day Visit to Arlington Court

Arlington Court is an intriguing Regency house set in a picturesque historic garden with a formal Victorian garden with conservatory planted with exotic species and a walled garden providing produce for the tea room and flowers for the house.Arlington Court was owned for many years by the Chichester family and gifted to the National Trust in 1949.The house contains displays of their many and varied collections including a new one about the Round the World voyage of Sir Francis Chichester.

The carriage museum has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave, including the 300 year old gilded Speaker's State Coach (currently on loan from the Houses of parliament).

19th June  "Tavistock - 1000 years of History"    Andrew Thompson - Archaeologist and Historian

For nearly 1000 years Tavistock was dominated by two wealthy and powerful institutions: the medieval Benedictine abbey and the Dukes of Bedford. This talk traces their influence in the street patterns, medieval ruins and Georgian and Victorian architecture of one of England’s most attractive market towns. It also examines how the Bedford estate’s urban planning and Tavistock’s industrial archaeology are so highly valued by heritage professionals that the town is included in the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site.

17th July  "The Showmens' War"   An afternoon visit to The Fairground Heritage Museum, Lifton

This visit will enable members to view their special Heritage Lottery Funded Exhibition - "Travelling Showmen in the First World War" which looks at how the great war affected the travelling show community. This is the first exhibition to be held at the centre since it was recently awarded accreditation from the Arts Council as a "Museum of great significance to one of the great british traditions - The FAIR".

The museum, unique in the UK, is designed to capture the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. The Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is a 45,000 square foot indoor attraction that provides a unique opportunity to view our Fairground Heritage in a beautiful rural location.

18th Sept   "The History of the Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter"   Dr Todd Gray MBE 

The Royal Clarence was the first to be called a 'hotel' in this country. It was destroyed by fir on 28th October 2016 which resulted in the loss of three buildings and considerable damage to a number of others.  In this lecture Dr Gray will examine what has been revealed by the fire and detail some of the research which is currently being undertaken. During the building's deconstruction archaeologist discovered medieval pictures and many other fascinating information about the building. The work was planned to take 3 months before the restored front facade and the modern interior are carried out. The work is planned to be completed by 2019.

16th Oct   "A Vet's Life"   Paul Martin

​Having recently retired after 35 years at North Park Veterinary Group at North Tawton, Paul has a special insight into the changing world of farming and country life as well as the development of the practice from predominantly farming clients to the present day with greater emphasis on small animals. He has a wealth of experience and opinions on 21st century veterinary work  (including the Foot and Mouth epidemic and TB Control) as well happier memories and anecdotes some of which he will be sharing with us too.

20th Nov. "Belgian Refugees in WW1 Devon"  Ciaran Stoker 

Devon gave sanctuary to thousands of people fleeing Belgium during the First World War. During this talk, researcher Ciaran Stoker will explore the stories of the refugees who came here, the hosts who welcomed them into their homes, and the workers who organised the humanitarian effort across the county.

19th Dec    Our Christmas Celebration

Our members dinner, details to be confirmed

15th Jan  "The 1840 Tithe Survey in Exbourne"   Sue Rose

Many of you will have seen the large Tithe Map hanging in St Mary's church. This was just one of the products of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which resulted in a nationwide programme to convert traditional tithes into annual rent charges. This talk will examine the background to the Act and how it was implemented in Exbourne including a look at the minutes of meetings held by Exbourne landowners.

19th Feb  "Okehampton - Market Town or Blighted Town"   Jan Goffey

Jan, who has been an Okehampton Town Councillor for seven years and Okehampton Mayor for the 2017/18 year, will offer her own unique perspective on past achievements, current developments and future plans for the town.

21st Mar   The Annual General Meeting 

 Following the AGM the speaker will be

Adrian Wills of the Rolle Canal Society

The Rolle Canal Society was formed in 2003 to investigate and preserve as much of the Rolle Canal as possible. Society members have researched the history of the Rolle Canal and established a useful archive of documents, photographs and artifacts from the days when the canal formed the main trading route up the Torridge valley to Torrington. The Sea Lock where the canal was linked to the Torridge is well on the way to restoration, and work is planned for improving access to and interpretation of other features further inland.