Please click the photo to donate to St Paul's Church Bells

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Peacocks' Tails Trail : a trail around some historically interesting places in Starcross.

  •   St George's Day Saturday April 23rd

    starting and finishing at St Paul's Church

    TRAIL OPENS AT 1200noon

    St Paul's will open from 1:30pm until 3:00pm


      Teas, Coffees and fantastic cakes

        • BRING AND BUY

                                  Please bring something to sell if you can. Profits from
                                   the Bring and Buy will  go to St Paul's Church. 
                                  The TEDDY ToMBoLA will be run by the Starcross Westbank Charity shop

Peacocks' tails remind us of the Starcross adventurer and inventor, Captain George Peacock. 

First of all, buy your copy of the Peacocks' Tails Trail for 50p. This is a list of all the clues to where you will find the peacocks' tails, with spaces for you to stamp the special Peacocks' Tails Trail stamps.

We aim to have the tails and the stamps in place by 12:noon on  St George's Day.

Follow the first clue to Captain Peacock's grave, which is in St Paul's churchyard. Hidden nearby you will find Captain Peacock's letterbox stamp, which has been especially made by Melissa Muldoon. Use the stamp pad (or you could bring one of your own) to stamp your copy of the Peacocks' Tails Trail, or you could have your own book you might like to stamp.
Then answer the question about Captain George Peacock
and on to the next clue...

The last clue is St Paul's Church. When you have answered all the questions, and collected as many stamps as you can, VOTE FOR THE BEST TAIL

then you can claim your Peacock Tails' Trail Certificate.

The first few back will also get to choose a little peacocky prize - we have some peacock feathers, and we've been collecting a few other peacocky bits and pieces.

The Peacock Tails' Trail Certificates each feature one of Melissa Muldoon's beautifully drawn peacocks - which you can colour in

Captain George Peacock 1805 - 1883
 The tails are fantastic creations. Melissa Muldoon's Peacock Club at Starcross Primary School made nine tails. Messy Church, Starcross pre-School and local residents are busy making more - from mainly plastic junk.

Here's the trophy which will be awarded for the Best Peacock Tail after the votes have been counted.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

History made today at Starcross Primary School

At today's assembly, the school celebrated the launch of an innovative book which features photographs of the children who created it on the front cover. The artwork was designed and the rhyming story written in one of artist Melissa Muldoon's after-school clubs, with help from children's author Susan Quayle. The book is about The Riviera Line, which goes through Starcross - from Exeter, to Newton Abbot, and then to Torquay and Paignton.
The Seaside Train is on sale at the school for £4.50, and on Amazon for £5.99 plus postage and packing. All proceeds from the book will go to the Starcross Primary School's  Parent Teacher Association, and the monies will be spent on the children.
Also on the front cover is the headmaster, Iannis Ireland, and Celia Minoughan who is the Projects Officer at Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. The children presented Celia with some flowers, and a chocolate rabbit. 

The book is available from The Westbank Charity Shop in Starcross and from Starcross Primary School

Book launch from ACoRP

Book Launch Herald Express

Book launch Express and Echo

[   The Starcross History Peacocks' Tails that Starcross Primary school children had made were all on show at today's assembly as well. The children made the tales in Melissa Muldoon's after-school Peacock Club. (for our St George's Day Peacocks Tails' History Trail around the village) ]

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Would you like your address to be included on the Peacocks' Tails History Trail?

The tails in the picture were made at Starcross Primary School, in Melissa Muldoon's Peacock Club.
More tails are in progress elsewhere in Starcross, including  Messy Church and Starcross Pre-school. The tails will be placed on the St George's Day  (Saturday, April 23rd) Peacocks' Tails History Trail. It will start from Captain Peacock's grave, and follow the peacocks' tails around Starcross. There will be a Dartmoor-letterbox style stamp hidden near to each tail, and details about the place where it is. Trail clue-cards with quiz-sheets will be on sale for 50p. As you arrive at each tail, stamp your card and answer the question. Completed cards win a prize of something-to-do-with-peacocks.
  • btw have you anything peacock-related you could donate for a prize? A feather; a toy; an ornament, clothing or some jewellery?

Every house has its history. Even recently built houses have history; that of the land they stand on. 

If you'd like your address to be included on the trail, please get in touch by 1st April.

Nine peacocks' tails bask in the sunshine.

The latest tail

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Brunel's Atmospheric Railway book

The coffee-table sized book Brunel's Atmospheric Railway featuring the contemporary watercolours of William Dawson is out of print. If you want to buy a copy, there are only a few around - some are available at the Newton Abbot Town and Great Western Railway Museum for only £20

Wartime evacuees Norman and Douglas Sharp

remains of CGI Radar Station on Exminster Marshes
 Many thanks to the  website of The Exe Estaury Management Partnership
for the link to this photo

Can you help Ann Clear to discover anything more about 2 young brothers: Norman and Douglas Sharp, who were evacuated to Starcross during the war?

...During the Second World War my Dad and his brother were evacuated to Starcross, from Stanley Technical College in South Norwood, near Croydon, London.  I am led to believe the majority of children who attended their college (or maybe class) went to Devon with them.  My Dad stayed at Southbrook House (the very big Victorian villa near to Cockwood) and his brother stayed somewhere else in the village and they attended the village school.  I do not know how long they were there for, or the specific year (although I would think it likely to be sometime between 1939/40, but it may be later).

At some point they were moved on to a house together (address unknown) in Torquay, where they attended an unknown college that allowed them to continue there studies, which I believe was skilled tool making/draftsmanship and the like.


Here's correspondence from the Devon History Society's weblog which mentions that  South Devon Technical college in World War 2 hosted Gravesend Technical School and another London college


Jun 22, 2012. Kenneth Watkins writes:
 In 1941 and 1942 I was in Torquay, a pupil at the South Devon Technical College. The college was the host for the Gravesend Junior Technical School and a London school (I forget its name), both having been 'evacuated' from the London area endangered by enemy air raids.
Our family returned to Gravesend at the end of 1942, because of Torquay having been attacked in broad daylight that summer by four ME109s and one Fw190. We (my mother, sister and brother) were all enjoying the Tor Abbey sands that day, along with many other jolly crowds, as if there were no war! This and earlier single-aircraft raids had made my mother nervous.
(Ironically, raids resumed in the Gravesend-London area in January 1943!)
My question is - what was the date of this daylight raid, in which one bomb was dropped on the town by each of the German fighters and they machine-gunned the town during low-level flights along the water's edge right above my head?
Also, are there any newspaper or other reports available describing the several attacks on Torquay?
Kenneth Watkins, (born 17 July 1928),
2 rue de Songeons,
60220 Campeaux, France. 

I appreciate that this doesn't match your chronology, but this sounds very like an account of the notorious air raid on the afternoon of Sunday 30th May 1943 (see Casualties of the bombing of St Marychurch). During this, the beach was also machine-gunned, killing the town's Director of Education, Frank Kesteven.
 - RG

and here's a couple of links from this weblog about Southbrook House 

Monday, 7 March 2016

World War 1 project for Holcombe, Dawlish and Cofton

The Dawlish World War 1 project
is a programme to commemorate those named on the war memorials at Holcombe, Dawlish and Cofton.

The project co-ordinators are keen to liaise with Starcross, so if you have a connection with any of these World War 1 heros, please get in touch

The Dawlish Gazette has published supportive articles which include:

Here's the list of the seven Starcross heros, in month order of the day they died. Perhaps we should celebrate their lives in a similar fashion? or perhaps we already do so?

Many thanks to
for the information

  • Reginald Homeyard. 12th April 1916
  • Ernest William Sizer. 24th April 1918
  • Richard Venvil Bowerman. 29th April 1918
  • George James Baker. 20th August 1916
  • Arthur James Grant. 2nd September 1918
  • Ernest Walter Goss. 7th November 1918
  • Walter Harry Boult. 19th November 1917

Starcross War Memorial
The Starcross War Memorial photographed from the railway station footbridge.
Thankyou JohnC for this image