The 3rd meeting at Honiton Museum on 8 Feb 2010

Our first look at our major project: the archive amassed by the Late Eric Yates.

We had the most enjoyable morning, I felt like a child given the run of a sweet shop!!
The various files are to be indexed and sorted. Each of us took a file to work on and found so many useful and interesting snippets to read out as we went along. Jenny found the most comprehensive details of the rebuilding of the village after the “Great Storm” in April 1599. Alan’s file had land and property deeds and references. Brenda had newspaper cuttings, I had the Trosse family. Eric must have recorded and referenced every mention of the name he found, not only in Devon but Nationwide. It was worrying to think this collection was so very nearly disposed of after his death!!

Geoff kindly served coffee and flapjack, thank you.

Other matters:

I have had a visit from Mr. Chris Saunders from Ottery St. Mary Heritage Society. He would like us to affiliate our group with his, but the general consensus was that as we are a not a formal group this would be difficult. He would like to come to our next meeting, and I shall send him our meeting reports. He has left a copy of the Heritage magazine with me, this has an article on the RAF station at Fairmile. Also the Telegraph site at Rockbeare was situated where the Quarries are now, on the right going towards West Hill. I will bring this to the next meeting.

Brenda has delved into the meaning of Clapper:
I found out what 'clapper' means but not why Clapper Close is so named. Do you think they found suitable stones there to make a bridge?
This bridge design is believed to be prehistoric in origin, although most of the surviving clapper bridges only date to the medieval period. To make a clapper bridge, construction teams had to haul and cut rocks to make piers, and then find large slabs of rock to lay across the piers. Some clapper bridges were wide enough to accommodate a cart, while others were designed for pedestrians or riders only, with carts proceeding in the ford next to the clapper bridge. Typically, niceties such as rails were lacking, and many clapper bridges were established in very shallow water, so a fall would not have been catastrophic.
The term “clapper” comes from the Anglo-Saxon cleaca, “to bridge stepping stones,” which provides some hints into the origins of the clapper bridge. This design probably evolved from the stepping stones once used by pedestrians to cross rivers, with some smart engineer realizing that the stepping stones could be turned into a bridge with the use of slabs or rock or wood.
This may well link in with Clapperentale at Escot, a clapper bridge over the Tale. Perhaps with the old village, the road there at one time was over a clapper bridge? Or even in the field it’s self?

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