Great News!

Great news here at BH! We have had a successful result in our Heritage Lottery Fund bid for our VE Day programme. We can now plough ahead with our proposed year of events, talks, displays, workshops etc. Hopefully we can produce a programme by the end of February to publicise what we are hoping to achieve in the village this coming year.

Many volunteers have come forward with amazing suggestions for research and events like meals, music, films, gardening, dance, dressmaking, knitting and much more, all on a wartime theme. We are still looking for ideas and projects and, to that end, are holding another meeting on Friday Feb 7th, from 10 until 2pm at the HUB, for anyone who would like to join in. Come along and meet other people with great ideas. If you can’t make it please contact us and come and meet us on another day. This is going to be a very busy and exciting year for us, and for the Village of Bishopsteignton. So its full steam ahead for VE 2020!


Quantick Family

HOORAH! We have reached our 100th published post, after just a year of being live. Thank you so much to all our researchers and authors and all the input you have had.
Our latest publications include one on Edith Quantick, in her own words.…/mrs-e-quantick…/

Another of the relatives of the Quantick family…/quantick-famil…/

Also two new servicemen from our village war memorial
Raymond Sidney Evans…/raymond-sidney…/

and John William Beer…/john-william-b…/

Plus one on the fascinating history of Delamore House…/his…/delamore-2/

So that should give you lots to keep you interested over the Xmas holiday. Merry Xmas and see you on the other side!

Merry Xmas !

Xmas Social BH 2019

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers and researchers who came to our Xmas social yesterday, and thank you to Michael J Smith and the team at the Old Commercial Inn for making us so welcome. It was great to catch up with you all and to introduce new people to our trustees and to each other. It certainly got the Heritage chatter going full speed.
We are in the process of publishing the start of our WWII Commemoration year. There are lots of really interesting articles about our Bishopsteignton servicemen on the website, to give you something to get you thinking over the Festive season. Here’s a taste;

Lewis Back

We have also published Maggie Sullivan’s film of the Millennium Celebrations and the book that accompanied it here;

The Millennium Celebrations


We are available at the HUB until Fri 20th Dec, and then again from Tues Jan 7th, so please come in and see us. Happy Xmas!

Maggie Sullivan

Maggie Sullivan from Millennium Video

It is with great regret that we mourn the passing of Maggie Sullivan, who died peacefully on Nov 30th. Maggie was a well-loved personality in the village and was very involved with the Bishopsteignton Museum in earlier years. She was responsible for building the model of Bishopsteignton that was on display at the Village Festival this year, she and her husband John were involved in the original twinning of the village and in the years leading up to the Millennium celebrations she filmed, directed and edited a wonderful film on the 2000 year history of the village, featuring many village characters.

Maggie very kindly gave permission for BH to publish this film on the website, and we shall be doing so in the very near future. We also have an audio memory of John Sullivan on the website, which Maggie was unaware of before we published it, and was very moved to hear. We hope this will represent a fitting memorial to Maggie, a creative and inspiring woman who will be much remembered and sorely missed.

The Story So Far November 2019

On October 9th we hosted the Molly Coombe Memorial Lecture at St. Johns. It was well attended and there was an enthusiastic response from the audience. We had a few sound problems, which we shall have to address before the next talk, but on the whole it was well received. Most of the month has been taken up with preparations for our Open Day on 26th October. We have been gathering information from the Archive and putting together a programme of proposed events for 2020. Our great team of volunteers and trustees did a fantastic job with the displays and the teas! The response was fantastic considering the awful weather, and some great suggestions for next year came out of it. Also some new volunteers came forward and are now joining our team. We would love to encourage more people to get involved in our proposed events and displays for next year. There will be things happening, WWII related, throughout the year with a focus on the May V E Day celebration week, so do please let us know if you would like to get involved, or if your group has any plans of its own than can link into our programme.

We have been busy refurnishing the Wilson Room with shelving and desks so we now have lots more workstations and tables to make searching for archive material easier for anyone who wants to get involved with our research. Come visit us on a Tuesday or Friday, 10am til 2pm. Bring your laptop or tablet and see how you too can be involved.

During the month James, Imogen and Yvonne attended the Archives and Records Association South West Meeting at Kresen Kernow, which is the new Cornwall Record Office at Redruth. The new facility is housed in the re-furbished Redruth Brewery Building. It is a huge site and very impressively designed and equipped. We had a tour of the site and picked up some interesting ideas and a wish list!

The Conference hosted some interesting presentations on the subject of partnerships and, while most of the other institutions represented are undergoing funding problems, their focus seemed to be very much on digitisation. That said, it did seem to us all, I think, that we are quite significantly abreast of the sector in many ways, mostly in our approach and our commitment to developing our own systems and working methods. James and Imogen also attended a Seminar at the Devon Records Office entitled ‘Digitising Your Archives’, giving us more ideas and information about our own digitising task.

So from January our focus will be on WWII and armed with the 1939 census we shall be trying to map the village during wartime, who lived where, how the village changed and many other aspects of village life during that war. If you or any of your family have memories, photographs or letters, especially relating to evacuees who were here, please do get in touch and get involved.



The Story so Far October2019

Attendance at our Molly Coombe Memorial Lecture on October 9th was very good, thanks to all who came and we hope you were entertained and enlightened.

We are now gearing up for our Open Day here at BH, on October 26th at the Community Centre, from 2pm until 4pm. We would like as many people as possible to get involved in our VE Day 75 programme of events next year.

If you are a member of a group that have plans for an event or a piece of celebratory work, please come along and tell us about it. If you have any WWII memorabilia or photographs, or would like to research more about the occupants of your house during the war, please join us. We are concentrating on evacuees to the village and where they were billeted, so if you have any knowledge of that please do come along. Or if you would just like to look at some artefacts, listen to some music and have a cuppa and some cake, we would love to see you. It’s going to be a terrific celebration in May 2020, involving lots of different participant groups in the village, so come along and be part of the plans. All ideas very welcome. See you there!


VE Day programme 1995

In order to start preparing for our village VE Day Celebrations next year BH would like to invite you to an Open Day at the Community Centre on Saturday October 26th, from 2pm to 4pm. Join us for a cup of tea, look at our new HUB and chat about what we are doing there. Also, if you have any WWII related documents, photos or memorabilia, we would love to see it and talk to you about it.  We want to include any information that we can find on Bishopsteignton during the war years, so look at your house deeds, see who lived in your house then and bring along your stories.

V.E.Day Preparations

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.

See more “V.E.Day Preparations”

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

Plus more about the Blacksmiths of Fore St. here

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