V.E.Day Preparations

Bishopsteignton Home Guard

Here at BH we are starting our preparations for the V.E.Day celebrations next year. We shall be arranging a programme of events around the theme of ‘Bishopsteignton during WWII’ throughout the year, and especially during the week of 4th to 9th May 2020. We shall be working alongside other groups in the village to participate in some fun events, to include, food, music, exhibitions, film, talks and theatre.

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Molly Coombe Memorial Lecture 2019


Medieval Power and Sacred Spaces: The Legacy of Devon’s Bishops’ Palaces.

The latest Molly Coombe Memorial Lecture is coming up in a few weeks. An enduringly popular subject from a scholarly speaker, it should be fascinating.



“Richard Parker’s lecture will focus on his work on the bishops’ palaces of Devon, especially on Exeter and Chudleigh. He reflects on their archaeological, architectural and ecclesiastical significance and their enduring legacy within Devon’s rich historical landscape. Richard will discuss how these precious remnants can be preserved for posterity and understood by future generations.”

Richard W. Parker BA (Hons)

Richard has worked as an archaeologist since 1989; initially for the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit, but since 2010 as a freelance historic buildings consultant. He has recorded a wide range of buildings, mainly in the south west of England, and also specialises in the production of interpretation and reconstruction drawings. Richard is a committee member of the Devon Buildings Group and has recently submitted a PhD thesis at the University of Exeter, which examined Victorian church furnishings and the impact of the ecclesiological movement in Devon.




BH team at the Tank Museum 2019

Once again we have welcomed more visitors to the Hub this month. This time a lovely elderly gentleman called John Hope and his wife and stepdaughter, who were visiting the area and got in touch. He began talking about his time in the village as a boy during WWII.

His father had a motorcycle accident and so could not join the forces; instead he became an A.R.P. warden in London. So John and his family came to Bishopsteignton. It transpired that he, his mother and brother, his aunt and two of her sons spent time at Cross Gate, opposite the Community Centre. What was more extraordinary was that his aunt turned out to be none other than Phyllis Blogg, whose story we have been researching here at BH. He was able to fill in some gaps in the story, and was delighted to see photographs of his aunt and cousins in our collection. We will remain in touch with John and his family and add to our ever developing story of Evacuees to Bishopsteignton.

Also this month the BH HUB team, Yvonne, James and Imogen, paid a visit to the Tank Museum in Dorset to talk to their Archivist and Marketing Manager about our own project, and get some advice on developing our own online collection database. It was an interesting afternoon in an absolutely wonderful museum, and, of course, we got to see some tanks! The Vice Chairman of Bishopsteignton Heritage, Sir Andrew Ridgeway, is also the Chairman of the Tank Museum, so he arranged our visit, and very worthwhile it was; always good to get advice from experienced operatives in the sector. We hope to be expanding on our connections with the Tank Museum toward our V.E.Day programme of events for May 2020.

We also had a very special visit from the South West Regional Sector Development Manager for The National Archives, Dr. Tim Powell. He was very interested in how we are developing the archive online and, indeed, on the extent of the village archive that we have inherited. He was impressed with the project and seemed to think it was very inspirational and unique in his experience. He was very enthusiastic and will be keeping in touch with our progress and offering advice and opportunities as we  expand and move forward.

On Bank Holiday Monday we had another very special visit from our Australian contributor, Jean Marsden. Jean is related to the Major family who ran the forge in Fore St. in the 19th century, and through that family to our own Molly Coombe. She brought with her members of her family that live locally, the Leach family, whose ancestors were also Majors. They enjoyed a look through some of our archive material and brought with them some records and photographs of their own. The HUB once again came into its own as a space for meeting and research.

If you would like to read Jean’s article about her family do so here https://www.bishopsteigntonheritage.co.uk/people/alice-mary-major/

Plus more about the Blacksmiths of Fore St. here  https://www.bishopsteigntonheritage.co.uk/people/blacksmiths-of-fore-street/

We are still open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am til 2pm for anyone who would like to visit.

Ceremony to recognise the usual coming together of four parish boundaries.

Boundary Stone and Board 2019

A press release to mark the unveiling of the new parish boundary stone, issued by Christopher Grimshaw.

Boundary Stone and Board 2019
Boundary Stone and Board 2019

It is not unusual for two or three parish boundaries to come together at a point, but the occurrence of four parishes having the same boundary point is very rare. In fact, there are probably only two such places in the whole of Devon. Such a place occurs just to the north of Ideford Common and to the west of Ashcombe. Here the four parishes of Bishopsteignton, Ideford, Ashford and Chudleigh meet at just one point.

On Wednesday 3rd July there was an unveiling ceremony of a new parish stone. The ceremony was attended by representatives of Bishopsteignton Parish Council, Bishopsteignton Heritage, Devon County Council and members of the public.

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The story so far – June 2019

Bishopsteignton Heritage festival tent

Bishopsteignton Heritage festival tent

This last month has been very busy for the Heritage bods. Our base in the Wilson Room is now painted and carpeted, some furniture has been installed and we have made a start on equipping our future ‘HUB’. The archive boxes are being sorted and labelled so that we can identify what we have, and some surprising finds are coming to light. The ‘HUB’ is now manned by Yvonne, James and Imogen on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 10 until 2pm and other volunteers are coming in to help and to do research for their own projects toward the website. See more “The story so far – June 2019”