Village Life Concert


Feniton History Group held the 81st Meeting in the Nog Inn

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.  

Facebook Page "How Feniton used to be"



Click on Link : How Feniton used to be





Lots of wonderful photos of the carnivals and the railway.

Dates for your Diaries

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
the Church.

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 

Feniton History Group held the 80th Meeting in the Nog Inn

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.

Feniton History Group held the 79th Meeting in the Nog Inn

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.

Feniton History Group held the 78th Meeting in the Nog Inn

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.