Feniton History Group 44th Meeting

This was a planning meeting to discuss changing the monthly meeting at the request of prospective new members, as they could not make the 3rd Thursday.  We agreed on the 1st Thursday.

The very successful evening with Jenny's  Uprising PowerPoint has received a very good response. Following on from this Jenny hopes to arrange a 2nd showing with a walk to and from the battlefield with the Civil War Society next year which we will host.

I will run some more Genealogy afternoons at the farm and perhaps another similar afternoon in the church next year.

A possible idea for the future is to build up a sequence of maps across the years. I have spoken to JM Kennaway and he will be pleased to show us the estate maps. which would cover the area  around Sidmouth  Junction.

Bill showed us some beautiful carvings he is replicating.

Geoff spoke of the wonderful oral project undertaken by the Blackdown Hill AONB in regard to the Wartime Memories of airman and locals around Dunkeswell Airfield.  I will show their DVD at our next meeting. the Website  is   http://www.dunkeswellwarstories.com/

Brenda told us about the first council houses in the village in the Sidmouth Junction area. They were built in the 1920s as "Homes for Heroes". Honiton Rural District Council asked the parish council to choose the applicants to live there. Tom Copp was the first occupier.  

Sad to hear from Geoff of the cuts to the Devon Record Office cuts, but the parish registers are due to be published in line through Find My Part.

2014 is designated to commemorate WW1, we will to hear what the County plans are before we decide what action to take on this.

The above was interspersed with the Planning Inquiry for new houses in the village!!!!  A very hot topic in the village at the moment.
If you wish to find out more about this use the parish council website: http://fenitonparishcouncil.wordpress.com/

This just leaves me to thank you all for your support and wish you A very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Next Meeting will be in The Nog Inn on Thurs. 6th Feb 2014 at 8 pm.


"The Western Rising" PowerPoint by Jenny Wilson

Feniton History Group  Thurs 14th Nov 2013 in Feniton Church
Jenny's presentation was very well received.  It gave the reasons for the uprising, the lost of the Celtic status of Cornwall and being forced to abandon the old ways and accept the Protestant Book of Common Prayer in 1549. Cornwall saw itself as a separate nation.
Beautifully illustrated with slides of Cornwall along with  the sounds of bloody battle and men on the march.
It is heart wrenching to think of the barbarity of these events, the battles of Fenny Bridges, Alfington, Aylesbeare, Clyst St. Mary and the siege of Exeter.
These important events seem lost to time and not really mentioned in today's Histories. Jenny's research fills that gap.
The evening raised £130 which was split between the Philippines Disaster and ME research.

I would like to thank  Jenny, the church  and the Group members for all their help on the night to make this a very successful evening.   

The Acland Film Showing

 The Cine Star Archive film evening on 8th Oct. 2013 was a joy, it went so well, Paul Dibbens and his family were so warm and friendly and helpful, they loved the setting in the church and to be showing the film in the village where a lot of it was filmed was perfect.  There must have been well over a 100 guests, the catering worked out well, enough left over so as we did not look stingy! We raised £200 for the church.

The old film was very nearly lost, after a clear out, only to be found by the late Eric Yates who had heard about Paul Dibbens and passed the film to him. Paul's wife Elaine spent many years searching for the location and family. Their efforts and dedication came to fruition with the showing in the village.

It showed life here in the 1930s, haymaking, out and about in the village itself and the Acland family at home and abroad in the Sudan, training the troops on Exmoor and the young sons training their ponies in the fields around Feniton. Playing Tennis and cricket. John Bishop, a local retired farmer, remembers playing in the  cricket team with Sir Anthony, there was Mr Hapgood the head garden wearing his bowler hat, and Jo Chown also glimpsed members of her family in the lane to Curscombe. It is thought one of the ladies making jam was Gertrude Gibbins, my husband's grandmother, in her flowered overall!

It was amazing, Sir Anthony Acland , son of the old Brig, came, he had not seen the film since the 1940s and he told us the background to the film scenes, just wonderful.

The Cine Star Archive  is going to edit the film picking out the bits filmed in the village and he will make the available on his website and for free download.

Paul and Elaine's son Ricky has made stills from the film and these are shown on the website and available to purchase.

I want to thank everyone who came on the night making it such a success Also. Many thanks go to the Group members for all their help and support, in front of house and in the kitchen. 

I also need to offer thanks the East Devon AONB for donating the 50th Anniversary Books, showing how Brigadier Acland worked to get the AONB recognition in the 1950s.

Chris Gibbins.

Feniton History Group 43rd meeting

We were very pleased to welcome Graeme back to update us on his hobby of field walking and metal detecting. He has made more interesting finds regarding trading sites and Roman coins in the local area. He set us a fascinating quiz, to identify and date the twenty objects laid on the table., some very obvious, some very tricky, a ox shoe, a very old lock, a bronze age gouge, a cow horn protector, love tokens, a large needle pushers used by a saddler, a roman dress pin and some coins, some were burnt and possible for the site of the house fire at Escot in December 1808.
We had a lively discussion about the dates of the items and the sites where they were found. 
We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and  our thanks go to Graeme for all the effort he put into  making it so interesting. The winner of the framed artefacts was won by Cliff with the most correct answers. 

Ox shoes

On Mon the 16th  Sep we arranged a field walk following the talk, the weather was rather unsettled, but Cliff and myself had a pleasant hour or so wondering Campfield, sadly nothing outstanding came to hand.
The next meeting will be the showing of the Acland Films in the church 8th Oct.

Our condolences and thoughts are with Jenny at this difficult time due the passing of her mother.
Business meeting notes:
This is the email I promised last night to confirm the business part of the meeting and upcoming dates.

Weather permitting: A field walk in Campfield, where the ploughing match took place, bring your wellies
and a walking stick, plus a bag to put finds in. 10:30 am in the field on Monday 16th Sept.

An afternoon with Find My Past and Ancestry at Colesworthy 2:30 pm Friday 20th September. Please
bring your own laptop if possible, I am short of a machine , the lid having fallen off my spare one!

The Acland Films in the Church, meeting about 6: 00 pm, to set up on Tuesday 8th October
Raffle prizes please, help on the night to sell raffles with Geoff.
Refreshments, Tea/Coffee, fruit juices, cheese, biscuits, cheese straws etc, I will get the cheese, and beverages so please can members help out with the savouries and biscuits. Thank you.
Admission is free, so will ask for donations for the food.  Paul Dibbens would like a donation towards
his fuel costs, so suggest £30 for him, the rest going to St. Andrew's for the venue hire.

Jenny's PowerPoint on the Western Uprising has be postponed due to bereavement, this will now take place in the Church 8:00 pm on Thursday 14th November, setting up the equipment from about 7:00 pm.
Tea Coffee as usual, admission £3:00 and a raffle. Jenny has asked us to support her fund raising.
http://www.investinme.org/index.htm. We will do this on a 50/50 basis with the church.

We must also thank Graeme and his partner for such a wonderful and interesting evening. You must have put
a lot of time into setting it up. It was fascinating. Much appreciated.

Feniton History Group 42nd meeting at The Nog Inn

Jo came in with a leather case full of early parish magazines, all eagerly thumbed through, thank you Jo, a real treasure trove. I can see some snippets from these appearing in the magazine for a second time over the coming months. Jo also brought along some old trophies, Val claimed one for the Flower Show the others, perhaps could be put in the Sports club.
George is still working on the Greek document for David.
Val gave us an insight into printing, before the modern digital era, it was a skill to set up a page using each individual letter. I can feel another talk coming on Val  !!
Brenda is still pottering through the online newspapers and found a sad snippet regarding an inquest relating to a cycle accident near the tennis courts in 1934, Elizabeth Harris wife of the local Coachbuilder died after being hit by a cyclist.
David and Jo attended a talk on Exeter Cathedral, the speaker was very interesting, and it was decided that David would arrange a repeat in the Church in aid of Hospice Care.
We have asked if Jenny and George could put on the Fenny Bridges Battle for the October Meeting. Details nearer the time.

It was a fascinating evening, thank you all.

Feniton History Group 41st meeting at The Nog Inn

We finalised the details of the Cream Tea afternoon, many thanks to all for their offers of help on the day.

Graeme Smith is joining us for the September meeting, Thurs. 12th,  in the Nog to update us on his  metal detecting and archaeology finds in the area.  

I have contact with Paul Dibbins regarding the Acland films, and waiting to hear from him as to fixing up a showing in the village. There is to be a private run through at Feniton Court with the BBC in attendance, but it will not be open to the public. I will make contact with him and fix up for October?

Oxford Archaeology have been working on the proposed building land behind the Youth Centre. I will attach their report to this email.

David has found an intriguing document written in Greek, Geoff is having a bash at translating it.

Brenda has been finding out more about the brother, Francis A. Murray, of the ladies who ran the school in Thorn Cottage, the newspaper archive on Find My Past is helping in this research. The articles seem rather over exaggerated at times, nothing new there!!! He died in 1846 an is buried in the churchyard.

Also the Newspapers have given Brenda and David a wonderful collection of articles and letters in the case of the Rev Head of Feniton, he was in dispute over his method of preaching and not teaching the catechism to the children. Rev Head was suspended for three years, and was given a triumphant welcome  on his return to the parish.  1829 to his death in 1860.

We also had a natter about the BBC program on the Tyndale bible, written in English, but banned by the Pope and the higher church, they did not want the population to read the bible, in about 1552.

Thank you all for such an interest evening.

Next meeting  Thurs 11th July 8:00 pm in the Nog.

Feniton History Group 40th Meeting

The meeting was held to organise our event in the Church on 29th Jun 2013 2:00 to 4:30 entitled:
"Pursue your Past with a Devon Cream tea".

This was followed by our usual natter about things related to the past.

Brenda mentioned just how much was lost to the redevelopment of Exeter after the War, old houses on the car park at the end of Magdalene Road, Bedford Circus and even the 1960s  Princesshay, one of the earliest pedestrian shopping centres in the country. Today many of the buildings would have been listed and preserved.

Brenda has put a very interesting article in the May issue of the Parish Magazine regarding the planning for the building of council houses in Feniton in 1927, somewhat similar to the current planning with low lying land and possible flooding!! 

My husband Colin, and I had met with owners of Westlades, a large house built in 1929 after four farmers invested in public houses in the Chatham Docks area of London, this invest turned out very profitable, so Mr Bishop built Westlades and Mr "Porky " Frank Pyle  bought Jubilee House. This was built in 1897 at the time Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. With Colin, Brenda and Alan's memories the following occupants of the house were, Mr Pyle, Mr Symonds he there in the 1901 census, and his widow in 1911. Miss Robinson, to whom Alan's father was groom and then gardener c. 1920, then Mr and Mrs Ould, he being a retired policeman. Mrs Ould re started the village flower show. 

East Devon Farmhouses 39th Meeting

Instead of our normal monthly meeting we met in the Church for a Slideshow and Talk with Mr. Tom Coleman.

Thank everyone for all their help on the night, with the raffle prizes, dealing with the door  and in the kitchen,
making last night such a fascinating evening.

Also thank you to David for making the church ready.

I must also pass on our many thanks to Bill for his donation of the speaker's fee.

Total raised £100.22.

Tom took us on  a pictorial journey from dwelling in caves through to the Victorian age. Describing building techniques and how the open hearth in the middle of the Hall moved to the side of the room under a chimney.
The livestock living in the lower side of the cross passage while the family lived in the higher side, then the cattle moved out into farm buildings and the empty room became the dairy and store, floors were put in with staircases to reach the upper rooms.
Huge chimney stacks were added to show status, along with porches and out shuts at the back for general storage. Wings were added for the servants and other family members.

I know I will look with a keener eye at old houses in our villages and when out and about. Thank you Tom.

Feniton History Group 38th meeting

We enjoyed a lively chat, planning the summer events and our next meeting.
We  discussed David's research into St Anne's Chapel. The location seems to be unknown at Fenny Bridges and its use as a Poor House.  Also the history of the bridges there.

We have decided that rather than put our research on to the internet we will set to and publish a book.

The village war memorials research will be put on the web by "Devon Heritage" an useful website for Devon History, http://www.devonheritage.org/index.htm

Brenda and I mentioned the well that has opened up on the Allotments, something to investigate further, was there a cottage there at one time?

I had taken on the task of the Venn research, a difficult family to place, the donation from the enquirer was much appreciated and passed to the Church.

Brenda shared her memories of being a film extra when Feniton Court was used as a location alone with the village hall. They had to stage a war time child's birthday party, complete with blancmange.

Something we have not sorted out is our visits to Honiton Museum, Margaret has suggested Tue, Thu or Fri mornings.

We also talked about Fairmile, its name and the possibility of it being a site of a medieval trading fair. The commemorative clock on the Old Post Office and a house called "Cromwell" this was converted from the redevelopment of the Fairmile Inn, so therefore a modern name?

Feniton History Group 37th Meeting

It was good to see everyone, after missing last month, but, being laid up with flu did enable me to cheer myself up by using the internet and finding some interesting snippets!! I hope I did not bore you all with it!!

I have  a list of early names relating to the village for taxation:

                FYNTON Lay Subsidy of 1332
                John atte Wode  12d
                Richard de Coklyscomb 12d
                Henry de Caulesworthi  18d
                William Wallyng  8d
                John le Cok   9d
                John atte Brok`   12d
                Geoffrey Malherbe  3s
                John Metyeve  12d
                Alice de Silly  12d
                John de Bercomb  12d
                Jordan de Coklescomb  10d
                Henry atte Brok`   2s
                John Lambard 12d .

Thank you Elizabeth Howard for this. Thrilled to read of Henry de Caulesworthi. It also gives a date to mark for Geoffrey Malherbe.

Graeme Smith shared with me his thoughts on the find of trading weights and coins at Fairmile, causing much thought as to the name and also the re alignment of the road and drive to Escot House. Alan had good knowledge of the roads. This would be worth researching further, with Ottery Heritage.

Geoff mentioned the Time Team program regarding the de Ferrers family of Oakham in Rutland, the coat of arms there also contain horse shoes, they have six, while the Feniton family had three!!

David raised a very interesting point as to the carvings on the pew ends, one seems to have the shield upside down, and we pondered as to the reason for this. The alter table is also made up from pew ends taken, perhaps from the Melanesian Chapel.

David told us that the pierced hole in the shield is called a bouche , this being where the Knight's lance or spear would fit. The heraldic description is " party per pale" .

Please bring along all your questions and findings to the next meeting on Thurs. 14th March in the Nog at 8pm,  we will need to  plan the proposed Family History coffee morning or even the day, plans for the April Meeting in the church with Tom Coleman, book a visit to Whimple Heritage and Fursdon House.

Below are the photos  of the pew ends in the church, spot the differences!!! 

Feniton History Group 36th Meeting

Sadly I could not attend and Brenda kindly took over the reins: Here is her report, edited in part by me.

 We missed you last night! (Had a problem keeping the chat on history subjects!) 

We hope to book a talk by Tom Coleman for the March meeting. 

Field walking would be popular. Leave it to Graham and you to find a field and appropriate time of year.

A visit to Fursdon could be any time in the summer, not much planning needed. Same for Whimple Heritage centre.

Re-museum - could not be discussed without Geoff but George is keen to continue.

I have been collating a Excel file to show a "Time Line" for events that would have effected village, I have shared a copy with Brenda:  Re your amazing time-line - (others had not seen it yet) I was puzzled by when Houses of Hanover and Windsor ended and began. My book of Kings and Queens does not have Saxe-Coburg Gotha as a 'house',(Edward VII Hanover & then George V Windsor) but on web sites I found it as you have put it. We had some discussion about this.

From my research the name changed from Saxe-Coburg Gotha in 1917

We also talked about how the Romans did surveying land,  Feniton in snowy winters, and in war-time. Did Eisenhower really spend a night in his train in a siding at Sidmouth   Junction?

We had a package/letter addressed to our Group delivered to the Nog Inn, concerning the Venn family, and asking for help.

We arranged the next meeting in the Nog for Feb 14th.

Thank you Brenda for taking the meeting.