Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery Local Studies Day 2016

Saturday, 7 May 2016
9:00 - 16:30

The Robbins Conference Centre,
Plymouth University,
Gibbon Street,

Come to this popular day of talks and presentations that celebrate the history of Plymouth and the surrounding area.

The programme for this year includes:

  • New Research on Viking Activities in the South-West by Derek Gore, Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter
  • The Tudor Cattewater Wreck: Recent investigations into finds and dating by Martin Read, Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology at Plymouth University
  • Unpacking 'The Spice Box': How performance can help us understand history by Playwright Jon Nash and actors from The Barbican Theatre
  • Popular Revolt and Taxation in Plymouth and Devon, 1550 to 1640 by Todd Gray, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter
  • Dead Interesting: Victors and Victims of War by Dr Ian Hodgins
  • Plymouth Past on Film: ‘Plymouth Beats’ by Stacey Anderson from the South West Film and Television Archive and Colette Hobbs from the South West Image Bank
  • Updates on future projects for Libraries, Museums and the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office

Tickets are £12 per person. Optional lunch tickets are also available priced at £10 per person.
Purchase them online now from eventbrite or by calling the City Museum and Art Gallery on 01752 304774.

The booking deadline is 12:00 on Friday, 29 April 2016.

Dartmoor Tin-working Research Group Exhibition

The Dartmoor Tin-working Research Group have a new exhibition at the High Moorland Visitor Centre, Princetown.

The Brimpts Tin Mines Trail has also had a revamp, it is open all day, every day - and a new trail guide has been published.

Exmouth Historical & Archaeological Society Programme 2016 - 17

(Affiliated member of the British Association for Local History,
the Devon History Society, and  the Friends of Devon's Archives)

PROGRAMME for 2016/17
All meetings start at 7.30 p.m.

Meetings are held at Glenorchy Church Hall, Exeter Road.

March 7     Exeter's Roman legionary fortress and its stone-built bath house
                 Speaker:   John Salvatore

April 4 A story of remembrance
                Speaker:  Mike Thompson

May 9 The history of Exeter cathedral, part 3, 1370-?
               Speaker: John Allan

June 6 Lantern slides from the RAMM
               Speaker: Dr. Richard Crangle

June 15 (Wed) Annual Full Day Outing to Totnes, led by Kate Macve

July  19 (Tue) Evening outing to Withycombe Raleigh church bell-tower – led by Peter Cowper

September 5 A short history of British Jewry
Speaker: Stewart Raine

October 3 Lost Devon
Speaker: Felicity Goodall

November 7 The Devon cloth trade
Speaker: Dr. Mike Patrick

January 9 Exmouth postcards
Speaker: Chris Long

February 6 AGM followed by presentations by members of the Society

Visitors are welcome at all evening meetings, at a cost of £3 per meeting.

Black Dog Folklore - Mark Norman

Mark Norman has just published a new book on Black Dog Folklore.  Running to 248 pages with a gazetteer of over 700 key eyewitness accounts and traditions, this is the first full length study on the subject to be published by a single author. It covers much Devon tradition and draws on the work of Devon folklorist Theo Brown for its original starting point.

Devon & Exeter Institution Talk - Bishop Walter Stapleton

22 April 2016

Devon & Exeter Institution
7 Cathedral Close

Bill Leedham will look at the life of Bishop Walter de Stapleton who was murdered on a London street in 1326. Bill will try to reconcile his two differing reputations: a celebrated building bishop of Exeter Cathedral and a public thief!

All these talks promise to be of great interest, and I hope you will be inspired to come along to one or more of them. May I thank everyone who has made my first 'season' of social evening talks such a pleasure to organise. - Diana Symes

Please note that bookings for the Social Evenings must be made, and paid for, by 1 pm on the preceding Tuesday.

See the web site for full details here.

Or read more:

Honiton Pottery Collectors’ Society Open Meeting - Sunday, 24 April 2016

Hidden history of Honiton Pottery - discover how a pot can be linked to a potter, painter and period of history. We will review the 20th Century pots and identify clues from the clay, shape and design.  Audio visual talks and extensive pottery displays with photographs and documents from our archives.

Morning:     1900s  -  1947

Afternoon:   1948  -  1990s

Our experts and our archives will bring the pottery to life!

Non-members are very welcome

At Offwell Village Hall, Offwell, Devon EX14 9SE

From 11:00 - 16:00.

Members free: Non-members £2. Tea/coffee available. Bring sandwiches for lunch or go out to eat.

For more information visit our website at or email:

Devon Rural Archive 2016 Programme

The Devon Rural Archive 2016 Evening Lecture Programme can be found here as a PDF document.

New Axminster Heritage Centre opens its doors

This Easter weekend the new Axminster Heritage Centre opens to the public for the first time. This first phase tells the story of Axminster incorporating displays from the previous museum collection and featuring ‘’a taster’’ of its historic carpet related artefacts. In the future it will become a modern ‘interactive’ attraction appealing to visitors of all ages with training and research facilities, a shop and a cafĂ©.

It was over ten years ago that local doctor John Church had the idea to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the making of the first Axminster carpet and several events in 2005 known as ‘The Weavers Tales’ were organised by a small volunteer group. From the overwhelming success of these events came the idea of a more permanent facility telling the story of Thomas Whitty and the carpet industry in Axminster. The concept soon expanded to embrace the whole history of the town.

South West Heritage Trust Report. March 2016

The South West Heritage Trust has shared a review of its progress for the last six months with its Advisory Forum, on which Devon History Society is represented. The Trust’s work covers both Devon and Somerset, but the key items with relevance to Devon were progress on plans for a new service in North Devon, the firming up of new staff structures, major work on improving accessioning, cataloguing and improving the environment at Devon Heritage Centre.  The Trust has also been working with the County Council on car parking, and new arrangements should shortly be implemented. A Supporter Scheme is also about to be introduced.

Read the full report here as a PDF document.

Mayday In July - The Last Flight of a Viscount

Thursday, 21 April 2016
Feniton Parish Church

A new book has been published by the Ottery St Mary Heritage Society, ‘Mayday In July’.  The book tells the story of the last flight of a Viscount airliner, G-ARBY, which landed in a farmer's field south of Ottery St Mary in July 1980.  All sixty two people on board walked away and there were no injuries.  It is a remarkable local story and has never been fully told before.

Jim Rider, the author, will be presenting an illustrated talk on the event in Feniton Parish Church at 19:30 on Thursday 21 April 2016.

'Mayday in July' is available from the Curious Otter Bookshop in Ottery St Mary (price £7.95) and on line from Amazon.

Please contact the Feniton History Group for more details.