Newsletter November 2021

Updates from work in the Heritage Hub, recent events, achievements and new projects!

Bishopsteignton School Reunion

20th November 2021

Our School Reunion Tea last week was extremely well attended and a great success in every way! With former pupils who went to school in Bishopsteignton from the 1940s to the 1970s we were so privileged to hear stories from a range of eras.

Tea and lovely cakes were homemade and served by our amazing Trustees, helping to keep us going from 2pm til 4pm telling stories, sharing memories and picking out old friends from class photos.

One of the goals for this event was to get in touch with some of the people who perhaps have moved away from Bishopsteignton but still retain memories and stories from their time at school in the village.

So a big thank you must go to those who travelled to Bishopsteignton from further afield to gather at the former school-turned-Community Centre, your involvement is so important for telling the story of the village!

Bishopsteignton Primary School class of 1954
Class of 1954.
Bishopsteignton Primary School class of 1956
Class of 1956

Another of our aims for the reunion was to build on our growing ‘remote’ archive collection and add some more material relating to the school. Our archival record is the vital foundation for preserving and telling the story of Bishopsteignton and wow, you made an amazing contribution!

Thank you to all those who brought and left their school photos with us on temporary loan for cataloguing and digitisation, they will be available to search and view online in the next few weeks so keep an eye on the Archive Collection search page!

Bishopsteignton Heritage Chairman gave a short welcome announcement concluding in a toast to the memory of local lady, Sheila Robbins who sadly passed away shortly prior to the reunion. Sheila is remembered by many former pupils as the ‘best dinner lady at the primary school ever’ and by villagers as ‘the welcoming, smiling face of Bishopsteignton.

You can listen to an Oral History interview with Sheila about the Bishopsteignton Players here: Sheila Robbins on the Early Days of the Bishopsteignton Players.

If you yourself are a former pupil of Bishopsteignton School (pre or post 1973!) and have stories, memories, photos or other material you would like to share with the community, please get in touch!

Photograph of Sheila Robbins in costume
Sheila Robbins as principal boy for a local pantomime c.1965.
From the BH remote archive collection.

Lindy Hop Tea Dance

16th October 2021

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for our Lindy Hop Tea Dance at the Community Centre on 16th October. We watched a demonstration and took instruction then all took to the floor to try out our new moves!

The dance was organised in lieu of celebrations for which we could not gather during 2020, the 75th anniversary year of VE Day. Hence the wartime theme! Our instructors for the day, The South West Lindy Hoppers, have said

   “Thanks very much we enjoyed ourselves too and it was great how quickly you picked up all the Lindy Hop and Charleston moves.”

This event was such a great opportunity for us to make a comeback in the community, catch up and just have some fun! We hope those who were able to nip into the Heritage Hub during the dance will be able to visit again soon.

Many thanks also to all the wonderful volunteers who brought and served the lovely refreshments, we couldn’t have had a tea dance without the tea!

The SW Lindy Hoppers have regular classes in Exeter and Totnes so if you would like to join, email them at: [email protected]

Since we all enjoyed ourselves so well, there may be more Lindy Hop events to come in Bishopsteignton so watch this space!

Join the Team!

We are going to relaunch the Heritage Hub in Spring 2022 & we are actively looking for volunteers to help us do it!

There are a variety of activities and opportunities in all parts of the charity so even if you have just a few hours a month free, get in touch!

Hub Updates

Another month of cataloguing and digitisation means our online collections are bigger than ever! There are over 200 individual digitised items in our online catalogue relating to the Players with more being added every week. You can search for them and nearly 2000 other records in our archive here:

Upcoming Events

We don’t have any events coming up at the moment.

Keep an eye on our social media for updates! Follow our Facebook page and Twitter for all the latest.

You can sign up to receive this newsletter and other updates via email on our Contact page.

Access Policy (DRAFT)

The structure and content of this policy is intended to reflect the focus of the Collections Development Policy (CDP): the digitisation of original analogue archive material and the facilitation of its accessibility through the BH website.

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Grace Coombe née Loud

Born 14th April 1898, Grace Winiefred Coombe née Loud was wife to Philip Coombe and mother to Molly Coombe. Grace married Philip in 1925 and lived at ‘Locarno’ for many years, probably until her death in 1983.

Photograph of Philip Coombe and Grace Coombe née Loud, 1969, inscribed in ink on reverse.
Photograph of Philip Coombe and Grace Coombe née Loud, 1969, inscribed in ink on reverse.

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Digitisation Project

Digitisation at the Hub

The Bishopsteignton Heritage Team have begun the exciting digitisation phase of the ongoing database project. While the Heritage Hub has been closed, our Archivist has been preparing our newly acquired specialist equipment to be ready for use. We will be creating quality digital versions of archive material held at the Hub and as supplied by the Bishopsteignton community that can be put to many good uses such as enhancing the incredible stories being revealed and recorded on our website. Over the winter, we will be creating some ‘How To’ digitisation guides as well as instruction videos to help train our volunteers to be a part of this worthwhile and fascinating activity.

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Philip Coombe

Born 25th September 1891 in Bishopsteignton, Philip Coombe is remembered for his brave service during the First World War as well as his local accomplishments as a builder. Though some thought him a ‘hard man’, the Coombe family archives shows Philip to have been a lover of poetry, animals and his family.

Photograph of Philip Coombe and Grace Coombe née Loud, 1969, inscribed in ink on reverse.
Photograph of Philip Coombe and Grace Coombe née Loud, June 1969.

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The Coombe Family

Molly Coombe (1929-2007) was the only child of Philip (1891-1970) and Grace Coombe née Loud (1898-1983). The Coombe family have left an incredible mark on the village of Bishopsteignton. From memories of Molly as a home-owner and landlady to streets of houses built by Philip, the Coombes remain a part of many households in the village.

Here, the compilation and presentation of information about this family is dedicated to the memory of Molly Coombe who’s legacy has been put to fine use in developing the Bishopsteignton Heritage Project for the benefit of the whole community. In these articles I hope that the long-silent voices of Molly, her parents and relations, can again be heard telling stories of life in Bishopsteignton and sharing the humble and steadfast love for this village which emanates from every record in the family archive.

A wedding favour note from the marriage of Philip and Grace Coombe on March 10th, 1925.
A wedding favour note from the marriage of Philip and Grace Coombe on March 10th, 1925.

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Day Seventy-Two

Bishopsteignton Lockdown Diary

At the start of week eleven: last night’s Government announcement and other news. The thoughts and feelings of the village as it faces the seventy-second day of lockdown. Logged in visitors can post their comments below.

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