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by Yvonne Hellin-Hobbs | News

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.