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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Cut feathers at the Starcross Celebration of Country Life.

Starcross History will be at the Celebration of Country Life event in Starcross this weekend: Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 4th. Please bring items of interest to add to our collection on the day.

 We'll be selling our hard enamel badges (in Great Western Railway colours)  £10 for 1. £15 for 2. £20 for 4.

We will have; a display of some of the old implements which have been used on the land and also a photograph (the only one known to exist) of, and the story of, our inimitable Captain George Peacock, who designed The Swan of the Exe.
Read all about his remarkable Victorian folly HERE

Starcross History is going to replicate this ' wackin' gurt bird ' for this year's Trail Recycled Art in the Landscape  project in Teignmouth.

Our artwork will be based on an old dinghy, which will have a swan at the prow  - just like the original Swan of the Exe, which was launched in 1860. Well, we hope it will look just like a swan... and not a dead seagull...  All help and suggestions are welcome.

100s of feathers for this bird will have to be made, from plastic milk bottles, so please bring your empty plastic milk bottles. We'll be asking everyone's help to cut out some  more feathers. 
Perhaps you might like to put your name on the feathers you make? So that the names won't detract from the overall effect of white plumage, we'll ask you to please use a white marker-pen.

It promises to be a really traditional Bank Holiday weekend
Don't forget neighbouring  Kenton's MayDay Celebrations on the Monday 

The annual Starcross to Exmouth swim

This event has been held every year, and still is, but, sadly, the carnival atmosphere which involved the whole village is no longer. Starcross used to send off the swimmers in woolly bathing suits from Starcross pier. A flotilla of boats from Starcross used to accompany the swimmers.  The Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society  tried  hard to find a way to keep the swim start on Starcross pier,  but today's scary Health and Safety regulations means that the swim now has to start from a boat moored near the pier.


After years of sorting out the necessary permissions, The Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club has just built a new pontoon. 

The Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club is amenable to trying to get the race started from their pontoon, if it's possible. But the same Health and Safety regulations will apply, except perhaps, it may be more feasible because the pontoon is owned and used by club members, rather than the general public. 

So, with a little help from the Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club, Starcross History, and a few other village organisations and businesses, perhaps the carnival atmosphere of this historic event can one day be revived?

Well done the Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society for keeping the tradition going.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Invitations to 2 FREE history days in Exeter on 20th April, and Colyton 13th May.

Starcross History has today received 2 invitations to 2 FREE OF CHARGE EVENTS. The 1st is a belated invitation for its members to attend a day dedicated to Devon in the First World War. This event is THIS MONDAY, 20th April, and the details are published below.
Brian Carpenter, Devon County Council's Community Learning Officer, has apologised for the short notice, but writes that the Devon Heritage Centre 'will be happy to see any of your members here if they wish to attend'.

Brian Carpenter
Community Learning Officer
Devon Archives and Local Studies Service
Devon Heritage Centre
Great Moor House
Bittern Road
01392 380573

Devon Heritage Centre, Monday 20th April 2015 

10.00:  Arrival and Coffee 

10.30Welcome and Introduction: Janet Tall, Head of Archives and Local Studies, South West Heritage Trust 
Heidi Watson-Jones, Project Co-Ordinator, Devon Remembers 

10.45Paula Clarke, Community Engagement Officer, Castle DrogoCastle Drogo Building Work: Inspiring a New Approach to Learning 

11.20:  Peter Mason, The Lustleigh Society, Dartmoor Life in the First World War 
Peter will talk about the research and development of the Dartmoor Life in the First World War exhibition which is running until September at the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown. 
12.00:  Comfort Break 

12.10:  Dr.David Parker Devon and the First World War and Exeter: Remembering 1914-18 
David will talk about the research which led to the development of the arguments in his two books about the impact upon Devon of the war. 

12.50:  James Wallis, First World War Research Co-ordinator for the South West, University of Hertfordshire First World War Engagement Centre The Food and Farming in Wartime Devon Project 

There is a café in Great Moor House and a larger one, the Fresha café, about five minutes’ walk away.  There is also a pub, the Barn Owl, on the other side of the Honiton Road.  However, it may be preferable to bring your own lunch.  

2.00:   Jo Loosemore, BBC Radio Devon: World War One at Home 
Jo will talk about how the First World War affected local people and places, and how the BBC told their stories on radio, TV and online. 

3.00:  Close 

Paula Clarke is the Community Engagement Officer for the National Trust at Castle Drogo. Her role is funded by the major restoration work currently underway where she is working to achieve the aim of ‘making Drogo a much loved local place’. Her work involves outreach, project based activities with local groups and exploring learning opportunities. Paula has been at Castle Drogo for nine years in a variety of roles including Volunteer Co-ordinator until taking on her current role in November 2012. 
Peter F. Mason has curated the current exhibition about life on Dartmoor during WW1 for the Dartmoor Trust and the Dartmoor National Park which is on show until September at the Princetown Visitors Centre.  He is Chairman of the Lustleigh Society which manages the Lustleigh Community Archive and a former national committee member of the Community Archives and Heritage Group.  He is the compiler of a series of features for the Dartmoor Magazine on Dartmoor Life in Old Photographs. 
David Parker is a retired Headteacher.  He has written and researched extensively on 20th century British social history, and his books include The People of Devon in the First World War, which was Devon Book of the Year in 2014, and Exeter: Remembering 1914-18. 
James Wallis is currently completing his doctoral research at the University of Exeter as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded collaborative partnership with Imperial War Museums London. This is examining key permanent and temporary First World War exhibitions held within the museum over a fifty year timeframe.  
In November 2014, he was appointed Associate Research Fellow at the University's History Department. Focusing specifically on the South West, this research co-ordinator post feeds into the University of Hertfordshire's AHRC-funded First World War Engagement Centre, 'Everyday Lives in War'. This aims to connect academic and community research on particular themes relating to the conflict, as part of its centenary commemorations. 

Jo Loosemore produces World War One at Home (in partnership with Imperial War Museums) and the Listening Project (in partnership with the British Library and BBC Radio 4) for BBC Radio Devon She previously worked as Education Projects Manager for the Theatre Royal Plymouth and Community History Officer for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. 

If you wish to attend, please let Brian Carpenter ( know by Monday 13th April.  Numbers are limited to 50 people. 

The 2nd invitation is to a regional meeting of the Devon History Forum, which will be in Colyton Town Hall, on Wednesday 13th May. (dunnawurry - there will be time enough for you to get back for our evening meeting in the Starcross pavilion at 7:30pm)

The building on the right is the Heritage Centre containing:
  • Family History Research Room
  • Colyton family records, Colyton photos and archives
  • Literature, gifts and mementoes
  • Exhibitions
The building on the left houses the Merchant's Tea Rooms and Tea Garden. The Merchant's Tea rooms are an independant organisation located next to the Heritage Centre building.
 There will be presentations from 3 local history groups. Who knows what an Ottregian is? Read on... 
In the afternoon, there's a conducted walk around Colyton and its Heritage Centre.

Colyton Town Hall, Wednesday 13th May 2015 

10:00:  Arrival and Coffee 

10:20:  Welcome and Introduction Brian Carpenter, Community Learning Officer, South West Heritage Trust 

10:30Trevor Hitchcock:  Honiton Yesterday and Today 
Trevor Hitchcock is the author of Honiton Inns and Honiton Yesterday and Today (Allhallows Museum Society, Honiton).  He will talk about Honiton, past and present.  

11:15Nigel Sadler, Sands of Time Consultancy and Ottery St.Mary Heritage Society:  Ottregians and the Great War – the Research 
Nigel Sadler is the author of First World War: The Postcard Collection (Amberley Publishing) and was involved in the research for the Ottery St.Mary Heritage Society exhibition Ottregians and the Great War.  He will talk about the research and preparation which went into the exhibition and what was discovered about the contribution of Ottery St.Mary to the Great War.   

12:00:  John Addie, Colyton Parish History Society:  The Colyton Heritage Centre   
John Addie is a long-standing member of the Colyton Parish History Society.  He will talk about the Colyton Heritage Centre project, which culminated in the opening of the centre in April 2014. 

There is a range of places which serve lunch in Colyton, including the Merchant’s Tea Room, which is next door to the Heritage Centre, and the Kingfisher Inn in Dolphin Street. 

2:00Town Walks and Tours of the Heritage Centre 
After lunch there will be the opportunity to go on a guided walk around Colyton and also to visit the Heritage Centre. 

3:30:  CLOSE 
There is a public pay and display car park in Dolphin Street, which is within a few minutes’ walk of both the Town Hall and the Heritage Centre. 

If you wish to attend, please let Brian Carpenter ( know by Friday 8th May.