Tag Archives: BBHG events

Fever – a topical virtual meeting for BBHG


Last night we held our second virtual meeting. Liz Shakespeare told us the fascinating story of the research that she did when writing her book Fever, which is set at the time of the 1871 Scarlet Fever outbreak in nearby Littleham. Interestingly, we did not seem to have a spike in Burials in Buckland Brewer at that time. Liz’s book can be purchased from her website.

We shall be continuing our virtual meetings for the time being. Visitors are most welcome. Please keep an eye on our programme for details.

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Buckland Brewer History Group visits Poundstock Gildhouse

Members and friends set off from Buckland last night, through drizzle and mist, to visit Poundstock Gildhouse. We were fascinated by the story of this Tudor church house, its origins, use and loving restoration. When it’s use as a venue for ‘church-ales’ and feast was no longer required, the gild house became a poor house and school room. It is now put to community use and is an educational facility, tourist attraction and wedding venue. This Grade 1 listed building has won a European award for its most recent, sensitive restoration and this was well deserved. There will be an article in our November newsletter which explains more about these fascinating buildings.

DSCF3138We were royally entertained and the cream ‘tea’ was delicious. If you were not able to accompany us on this trip, you missed a treat. Look out for the chance to make your own visit when the gild house is open to the public, or is staging an event.

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Join us at Poundstock Gildhouse

image0006 - CopyThere is still time to book for our summer outing to Poundstock Gildhouse. This is a truly wonderful building and well worth the journey. Advance bookings are needed by 5th August please. The cost of entrance, a talk from one of their staff and a cream ‘tea’ will be £4 for members and £6 for non-members. All are welcome and we would really like non-members to join in. Please hand your money to any committee member or email us for details of how to book, you won’t be disappointed. Leave from Buckland Brewer Village Green at 6.30pm (we shall be car sharing) or meet us there at 7.15pm.

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The Men on Buckland Brewer’s War Memorial

What a great meeting last night. Thank you to all those members and guests who attended. Dave’s 27 years of research into Buckland servicemen of both world wars is a true labour of love. I am sure we will be learning more about these men during the next year. Dave also had lists of Buckland Men awarded the Silver War Badge, which was given to those who had been invalided out of the services. This class of records can be searched on Ancestry

Then there was all the excited conversation afterwards – no one was in a hurry to go home. I was very interested to see two electoral rolls – for 1951 and 1967 – these somehow found their way under my photocopier and then back on to the display table. If you think these are recent then just do the maths!

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Help Wanted, Our First Australian Members and November’s Meeting

This blog may have been a little quiet lately but the Buckland Brewer research goes on. We have conducted our first ‘Your Memories, Our History’ interview and more will follow shortly. We have arranged to digitise some school registers and some of the WI archive. The latter includes a fascinating portrait of life in Buckland Brewer in 1965. We were planning to create a similar snapshot in time next year but have decided to delay this until 2015, so that it falls 50 years after the scrapbook put together by the WI.

Our membership is growing steadily and we would like to welcome our first Australian members. We are already putting people who share research interests in touch.

As I write this on Remembrance Sunday, it appropriate to announce that we will, in company with many other local history groups, be focussing on the First World War next year. A great deal of research on the Buckland fallen, of both world wars, has been done by Dave Watson and we are looking forward to hearing about his research at our November meeting next week. Note the change of day and venue – we will be at Buckland Brewer Village Hall, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19th November.

In January, we will have a members’ ‘show and tell’ session. It is not too soon to think about this now. We are looking for 5 or 6 people to offer to talk for 5 or 10 minutes on a history/local history related topic of their choice – maybe something you have discovered about the history of Buckland Brewer or its residents. We also want people to bring photographs, memorabilia or artefacts with a Buckland Brewer relevance, together with a short explanatory caption. This means our far flung members are not let off the hook. Copies of photographs, or pictures of artefacts, short extracts from family histories and so on, can be emailed to us for printing, ready for display at the January meeting.

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Visit to the Record Office

Yesterday 15 BBHG members visited the North Devon Record Office, which also houses the Local Studies Library and the Athenaeum. The first excitement was when two of our members, who were joining the party from South Devon, found that they knew another member through a Hertfordshire connection! The staff took us behind the scenes to show us their various domains and then let us loose on various documents relating to Buckland Brewer. We saw the oldest document on the premises, a charter dating from 1189. Sadly, about 25% of the holdings are un-catalogued and are likely to remain so for some time, due to staffing cuts.


Members pored over maps, excited to identify their homes. There was much discussion over a map of 1888, whilst we tried to make sense of the centre of the village, where several extra buildings seem to have materialised.

There will be a full report of our visit in our next newsletter and I am sure many of the group will be returning to the Record Office to conduct their own research.


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Visit to North Devon Record Office – date arranged

BBHG will be visiting North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple for a behind the scenes visit and to look at documents relating to Buckland Brewer, on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 at 2.00pm. We hope to arrange lifts from Buckland Brewer. For those who have not visited the Record Office before, their documents and procedures will be explained but there will be plenty to interest regular Record Office goers as well. Please get in touch using the contact box, or direct email, if you would like to join us.

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New Page for our Website – New Addition to our Programme

We have now started a Members’ Interests page for the website. This will be added to frequently so please keep checking back. If you wish to get in touch with a researcher please leave a message in our contact box on the home page and we will pass your message and your email address on to the member concerned.

We are busy filling up our speakers’ programme, though we want to leave some gaps for members’ requests. Pleased to say we have just secured Bette Baldwin of ‘The Hoar Oak Cottage Project’ to come and speak to us, in May, about their research into the history of this Exmoor cottage.

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