Feniton History Group held their 95th Meeting in the Nog Inn

The Friends of St Andrew’s Church have asked the Group to take part in the Arts & Craft days in the Church on the weekend of 18th / 19th May. It was agreed to accept the invitation, ideas began flowing to mount displays on the carvings in the church, blacksmiths and to look at old adverts for local craftsmen and women.

Geoff has been volunteering and the Devon Record Office for Seven years. He is working on thirty eight boxes from a deceased estate in Crediton, but looking forward to going back to the Railway files.

Sam is working on a dig at Bow, this is a Henge, classed as an ancient monument, Nothing visible  on the surface. It consists of a stone bank and ditch, it may have been  a wooden post  or stone circle.  In Scotland a “ modern circle” classed as ancient has been found https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-46946652

George has been walking along part of the Otter at Fenny Bridges. It is known that the River has moved and been reshaped by nature and man.  Nigel Scarf lived in Rosary Cottage and noticed a mound in the garden, could this be where bodies from the Battle of Fenny Bridges were buried?  David tells us there is to be a metal detecting session in the area soon. 

Brenda recalls going to the Ottery tar barrels just after she met Keith, they became caught up in the crowds and fell into a house window. Brenda tells us she has been working on her family tree, one man was a  blacksmith , he was called up during the war and sent to be in the Royal Naval Air Force based at Shoreham, sadly while away his wife died and he came home to care for their children

Peter is writing his family history.  He would like to do a tandem parachute jump or row the Atlantic, but his Doctor said no very firmly. So he decided to do a marathon of poetry in 26 days, with the proceeds going to the church, King Street Day Care  and the Exeter Leukaemia Fund. He writes from the heart and  feels the emotions.

Jenny and the battle banner will be in the church for Craft event in May. She told us about a book, entitled   The Field Guide to the English Clergy, it is very funny, Jenny read an extract about Bishop Cecil of Exeter, he was known to be somewhat eccentric. On one occasion a guest having tea with him at his home was surprised when he fed pieces of crumpets to two rats that came out of holes in the floor, and threw powdered copper sulphate on the fire to turn the flames green, remarking that he liked the colour. Once, goes another story, while robing in the vestry before a service, he held a handkerchief between his teeth, but forgot to return it to his pocket and proceeded to the altar with it still hanging from his mouth. He had been heard to complain that the Bible was "an awkward book", and while travelling around his diocese he would often ring up his wife to ask where he was, stealing bicycles to get home, they painted his bike red, but he kept taking postman’s bikes instead. 

Alan has been looking at railway history in South Somerset. Many of the towns would have been better served if the railway routes were better planned. 

 The town of Crewkerne is served by the station at Miserton, some distance away. The Salisbury to Yeovil railway had no investment but came to be a profitable to Sherborne. The Castle at Sherborne was a problem until the owner died, then his son let the railway through.

Taunton to Yeovil then to Exeter suffered from business conflict, this was the cause of the bad routes Okehampton had two stations owned by different companies.

Yeovil also has badly planned stations with Yeovil Junction and Penn Mill being somewhat outside the main town. Then of course many branch lines were lost to the cuts imposed by Beeching.

Thank you all for a fascinating evening.

We meet in The Nog Inn on Thursday 7th March at 8 pm

Feniton History Group held their 95th Meeting in the Nog Inn

Thank you to Brenda for writing up the meeting notes.
A very Happy Christmas and New Year to all our friends and members.

Feniton History Group held their 94th meeting in The Nog Inn

We put the arrangements on place for the WW1 coffee morning in the church on Sat. 10th at 10:30 am. We meet to set up about 9:30 am. Cakes etc would be most welcome, thank you. The funds raised will be on behalf of the Poppy Appeal.

 You are welcome to come over to the farm on Thursday 8th at 2:30pm to put our display on the boards.

Bob told us about an Australia medal for the injured, when collecting medals, you must be aware of the fakes put out for sell. The discussion moved to the fake art and antique markets, some medals are sold with the wrong ribbons.

Hugh continues with his work on the History of Plymouth Argyle, the memorabilia is getting
memorable pricy, this was followed by some football rivalry!! He is working on the social history around the football league in the 1880s, the northern teams paid their players, these were often factory teams, but not in the south, football was much more dominate in the North. The Thames Ironworks supported the “Hammers”, West Ham. The local church also was involved in some teams.

During the war there were women’s teams from the shell factories, but in December 1921 the FA cited strong opinions about football's unsuitability for females. It called on clubs belonging to the associations "to refuse the use of their grounds for such matches". The ban changed the course of the women's game forever.

Jackie has loaned her families’ war medals to the school.  The school is making a brilliant effort in commemorating the WW1 100 years.

Sam has War memories from his family, there is a sweet heart photo of a dead soldier, name unknown, the lady remained single, lived in India  and worked as a post mistress.

Val mentioned Frank’s fathers war medals and asked how to preserve a war time telegram
Geoff advised that she persevere the telegram in acid proof paper.

Geoff told us about archiving in the Record Office by tell us what’s not allowed in the record office, pens, metal staples, metal treasury tags and Sellotape. Paper is never folded but rolled and stored in linen bags.

He is recording a collection of Theatre programs with staples left which will be left in. The Theatre fire’s listing of an auction catalogue of contents. The Savoy Cinema  was in London Inn square  where Waterstones now stands in Exeter. . In some cases the Sellotape can be removed and replaced with preservation tape.  The Touring Players theatre programs were often just single sheets due to paper shortages of 1951.
Beware old wax seals can explode!!! Jenny has some large velum parchments which could be framed to preserve them, the wax seals could be placed in a container.

Geoff met Jo Davey, she is nee Broadhurst and is related to Geoff. Nice coincidence. 

Alan found some notes on the Clapperentale Mill in the current Tale Valley Trust Newsletter, there are some ideas of getting it back to working order. It was worked from a leat taking water from the River Tale. The article notes is was a powerful mill, used for farm tasks, animal feed etc and a sawmill.

Brenda mentioned that the railways enable the followers offootball  to travel futher to matches. In 1895 Bolton Wanders on a Monday drew  huge 8,000 crowd.
In 1908 played Exeter v Plymouth for the first time.

Jenny Elizabeth Thoroughgood, a keen costume historian, has given her some costumes to stage some living history Tudor times talks for a display at the 2019 Fun Day, along with some Bunting. Jenny and George went to a talk hosted by Todd Gray with Professor Mark Stoyle about the history of the underground passages and life in Exeter in Medieval times.

David mentioned that his son Charles cleared a house. The solicitor arrived with a Tesco’s bag, and in the bag was hand grenade, this was shut it in safe, and the authorities were called, many Blue lights, along with the bomb squad, TV camera crews all turned up to Southernhay. The bomb expert checked the bag and declared the grenade to be safe as it had be used!!

Thank you all for a meeting full of interest and poignant memories of the war. 
We next meet in the Nog Inn on Thursday 6th December at 8 pm.

RBL Coffee Morning

On behalf of Feniton History Group
I would like thank everyone
for supporting our coffee morning 10th Nov.
We raised £164.20 for the RBL Poppy Appleal

Coffee Morning

Feniton History Group
you to join them for a
Coffee Morning to commemorate
the Remembrance Weekend
in St Andrew’s Church
on Saturday 10th November 2018
10:30 am to 12:30
There will be a display of our
War History relating to
the village.
All funds raised go to
 The Poppy Appeal

Feniton History Group held the 93rd Meeting in the Nog Inn

To mark the 100 years since the end of WW1 we will arrange a coffee morning in aid of the Poppy Appeal on Saturday 10th Nov. 10:30 onwards.  The display boards will go up on Friday 9th with our war research. Will sort out a meeting at the farm to sort the display at the next meeting. We will need cakes etc to offer our guests.

David has been working on transcribing Brenda’s details of the Feniton men’s club. The members used the Parr Rooms. David read us some snippets from the records.
It was open to members in the winter months, the secretary to buy faggot wood and a battery for the light over the snooker table. There was a gift of a cabinet gramophone. In 1945, the Agricultural Unions meeting caused a problem for the  rooms as no political meetings to be held. The Home Guard also used the rooms. Mr Granger of Fenny Bridges garage supplies the battery at 30/-  in 1945.

The costs of the running of the club is detailed, the lighting was paid for by the Aclands
1947 playing with the large balls the small balls being damaged. It was noted that there was not enough water in the river for the power. In 1951 the Selways band played. A  letter of complaint  was received from Mrs Acland saying that the toilets  provided were not being used!!

Geoff told us all the papers of the 6th Earl Fortescue have survived.  He born at Castle Hill in North Devon. During the war General Sir Redvers Buller’s  daughter pestered him for the war effort.

Pike Ward was fishing in Iceland 1903. He was from Teignmouth. He lived a very basic life on Iceland.

Brenda’ s brother now has an interest in the  family history and took her to visit family gravestones. This is the Cayzer family known for the Clan shipping line from Bombay to Glasgow. The graves had slate headstones with very good legible carving.

Alan tells a steam train in Southampton in 1930 was called Clan Line:

George had us talking about spelling through the years.

Alan  mentioned the WW2 incidence when the newspaper train from Waterloo 4:30am going through Feniton  was shot up at Fenny Bridges. The enemy aircraft killed the fireman and disabled the train. The papers were holed by machine guns 1940s.

Jenny is busy sorting out the battle filming and documenting the event.

Bob told us about the badges issued to workers in reserved occupations in dock yards to prevent them being plagued by people giving out white feathers as a sign of cowardice.
You have to be careful when looking to buy medals as they may have the wrong ribbons on.

Thank you all for another interesting evening. We meet in the Nog Inn on Thurs. 1st Nov.

Feniton History Group held the 92nd meeting in the Nog Inn

It was lovely to see so many join us for the evening. Thank you.

It was confirmed that we will put up our WW1 and WW2 display in the church for the commemoration of the 100 years since the end of WW1 over the weekend of 11th Nov. 2018. We would like to follow the service with a coffee morning or on the Saturday, this will depend on what the Church would like us to do.

Progress is being made with replacement of the boundary stone. I have submitted the quote from A. Real to Feniton PC, we await news of the DCC funding application. It is not permitted to replace the stone on the actual boundary line. It will be put by the FPC Oak Tree and plaque between Tool Gate Corner and Campfield Gate. I will investigate obtaining a QR code to be put on the stone, this will enable folk with smart phones to scan the code, this will take them to a website where the history of the boundary can be set out and read. I will also ask if the history file can be put up on the FPC website.

Something that slipped my mind at the meeting, the plans to hold a “Heritage Weekend” following the publishing of the idea on Facebook and in the parish magazine, sadly, not one response has been received, very disappointing. We may get some interest at the next meeting, I hope.

Brenda related about the Payhembury mole catcher, he was called “Gas Lamp”, this came about as  he had a carbide lamp on his bike!!Someone remembers putting carbide in the inkwells on the school desk!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbide_lamp.

The village have taken part in the filming of the 1549 battle for a production company, the producer Stefano  has been working the villagers, led by Jenny. Jenny brought along the still photos from the filming day, our villagers seem to all enjoy a good fight, hanging and drawing and quartering!!  There were murders behind the trees, the banner was magnificent, cutting of throats and a charge to the rout.  Filming took place in Ottery church in the lady chapel.

Terry told us about WW1 bomb factory explosion at Attenborough. This link gives more detail:  http://www.attenboroughchurch.org.uk/explosion.html

Sam  is working on  the archaeology of Fingle Bridge Mill. The  dig  has found the working floor. The mill  was burnt down. The mill stones are of a rough ugly stone  from France.

Geoff is working on a model of the farm mentioned in Flora Thompson’s book, “Larkrise to Candleford”. He is looking to find a set of steam ploughing engines at work. The next ploughing match I know of where steam ploughing will take place is the National Ploughing Match

Peter then rounded the evening of with his memories of life during the Second World War.

His full name is Ernest Wilhelm Peters, but his Mother called him Peter. He  was born in Stettin in East Germany, now Szczecin in Poland. He arrived in the UK as a prisoner of war in 1946 from Belgium.

Peter tells us he had a good childhood with street fights, he enjoyed  the parades and marched after the band. When Hitter came to power the school teachers disappeared, they were Jewish.

 His father was a red,  Peter  brought up to be a socialist, Germany was wonderful with the new changes. He was 12 years old when the Kristallnacht and the Progrom against the Jews, the Synagogue was burnt. Children were part of the Hitler Youth with indoctrination of laws and crafts, tree identification, military skills etc. aged 14 Peter moved on to youth branch of the air sea signals motor branch, he was riding  a BMW motorbike.
When in 1939 war was declared the children were sent  home to hear Hitler talk on radio for a 2 hour program on the  invasion of Poland. Peter was placed in the Engineering School for sea submarine be a teacher. He wore a uniform.
He was with the Battery of air craft guns, the teachers had to assemble the guns. He  taught how to use search light on the battery.
Volunteer for the forces were called up to labour service. Peter was told to report t to the infantry gunner, he arrived late and was sent up to the sergeant major. The training was hard, he  also had to help control riots and shootings in his own town.
He was with the army at the River Elbe. Soviet and American troops met here, near Torgau in Germany. In a prank Peter stole some chocolate, but it turned out to be shaving soap!!

There were four zones in Germany, Peter made  it back to Cologne and became a switch board operator. He was then posted as a medical  orderly. Fuel was very scarce. He was then sent  back to POW camp for discharge on to a Belgium war camp, no work, no food, then sent to Scotland. The camp had no wire good time playing football. Peter went to  see “White Horse Inn “ the men  chased after the “girl” actors, only to find them to be men!! Following this he was sent out to work on local farms.

Thank you all for a very interesting evening, I hope my notes are a good copy!!