2009 Programme


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Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month in the Community Club, Court Street, Moretonhampstead, at 7.30 pm, unless otherwise notified. Refreshments are available before the meeting. Annual subscriptions: single £10; joint or family £15. Visitors: £2 per meeting

21st January
President's Address
Professor Ian Mercer
A Lifetime with Landscapes

18th February
Haldon Belvedere
and the Palks of Haldon House
Christopher Pidsley was the Vicar of Chudleigh for many years, and is an enthusiastic local historian.
He has recently published a book on Haldon Belvedere - The Tower on the Hill - through Orchard Publications.

18th March
Joseph Conrad:
Exile, Sea Farer and Novelist
Peter Villiers is the son of the distinguished sailor, author and photographer Alan Villiers. His book – Joseph Conrad: Master Mariner - completes a work begun by his father which examines Conrad's career as a merchant seaman at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Conrad later became one of the most celebrated novelists in the English language, with books such as The Secret Agent, Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness amongst many titles. This talk will explore how Conrad's early maritime career informed his later writing.

15th April
From Pot Water to Hydro-power: an Appreciation of Dartmoor Leats
Jane Marchand is a member of the Dartmoor National Park's Archaeology team, and an experienced speaker on local archaeology.

20th May
The Romans in Devon
Derek Gore is a Teaching Fellow in the Archaeology Department of Exeter University, and has published short works on the Romans and the Vikings in Devon.

17th June
Evening Site Visit: Poltimore House
We plan to arrange an early evening tour of the restorations at Poltimore House, north of Exeter, followed by a barbecue in the grounds.
Poltimore Manor was first mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, and the house has been successively rebuilt and refurbished through generations of the Bampfylde family. The building is now partially derelict and the Poltimore House Trust is working to restore it. We are grateful to Alan Payne and The Friends of Poltimore for facilitating this visit. Further details nearer the time.

15th July
Site Visit: We plan to arrange two sailing parties on the Vigilance, a 1920s Sailing Trawler berthed at Brixham. Vigilance is one of Brixham's Heritage Fleet and is now restored, owned by a trust and used for charter. We are grateful to Edward Hobson and The Friends of the Vigilance for facilitating this visit. Arrangements for the trip will depend upon tides and weather. Further details nearer the time.

No Meeting

16th September
Devon Inns and their Signs
Robert Hesketh is a local historian and has published a number of books on pub walks in Devon, as well as other topics of local interest.

21st October
Annual General Meeting
followed by a Social Evening

18th November
Dolly Mops and Lady Girls: Victorian Prostitutes in Devon
Dr Todd Gray - who last year debunked the myths surrounding Devon's 'popular' heritage - is back, this time with a talk that throws new light on Devon's social history.

16th December
Christmas Dinner. Further details nearer the time.

Last updated: 27 January 2009