Welcome to our first monthly Report of this New Year, and may we somewhat belatedly wish all readers of this website a happy and healthy New Year.

Our last Open Meeting of 2017 was our Christmas Social Evening on Friday 8th December, and could not be reported in my December/January report.   Although the memory of the evening is fading fast, it was very successful and our Committee were very pleased at the attendance of more than 60 Members and non-members.  Our Guest entertainer was Maggie Duffy and her mixture of humour and song was enjoyed by all, as always.

Our Committee are also pleased that our Membership numbers seem to have stabilised between our AGM in September and Christmas, and although we have attracted some new, younger Members, it is sad that several of our longstanding Members have not renewed.    Never mind, perhaps they will be tempted to renew their subscriptions when they see our programme of Guest Speakers for this year.

At our AGM in September, it was mentioned in the Chairman’s Report that we had been able to assist a Dr. Kent from Canterbury University with information about, and a copy of, Marldon’s Parish Map for a forthcoming book about Mapping and Cartography.   The book has now been published and we have received copies of the pages (including a copy of our Map) from the book, which we will have on display (the pages, not the book!) at our next Open Meeting in March.

As you will know, the Group receives many enquiries and much information from visitors to our website, both from this country and abroad, with all sorts of questions and queries.   Recently we have received enquiries with regard to the Bridgman and Low families, both old established names in Marldon’s history, and an unusual request from a gentleman who is asking about a lady who lived in Burrow Orchard (near Occombe Farm) in the 1950’s, and who was the then owner of a vintage 1933 model Austin 7 car which he has owned for about 20 years !    The lady was a Miss Ruth Gwendoline Richardson.   I have informed him that it is likely that Miss Richardson is no longer with us, but I wonder if anyone reading this remembers the name ?

Since the Group was able to move it’s Archive material into our new separate storage space in the Village Hall, we have had many donations of material which we can now accommodate much more easily.    Part of the material donated to us recently are complete sets of Parish Magazines from 1913 – 1915 and 1925 – 1927, to add to our already large collection of old Parish Mags.   The Magazines for the year 1915 are especially interesting , as three of the monthly issues contain lists of all the men from Marldon who enlisted for the Great War (mostly in the Army), together  with their Regiments.    There are more than 60 names listed, many of them still familiar to residents of the village.  Coincidentally, the Group has been contacted recently by two Members of the Totnes and District Society, who are doing research into local war memorials, and were looking for details of Marldon’s memorials.    They have now been to see the memorials in our Church, with which they were very impressed.    This year is of course the Centenary of the end of the First World War  (1914-1918), and our Group has been anxious for some time to see another, more complete, memorial (in some form) in the Parish.   Watch this space, or let us know what you think !

Finally, as mentioned earlier, our programme of Guest Speakers has been arranged for our Open Meetings for this year, and the details are as follows:-

Dr. Todd Gray, from Exeter University, is one of our most requested Speakers, and his talks are always interesting, informative and well researched.  This is a new talk and is titled “Marldon & Elizabethan Insults in Devon” and promises to be amusing as well !

Warhorse” is the latest talk by Dartmoor expert Paul Rendell.  This talk, illustrated by many photographs, is the story of the making of the recent successful Steven Spielberg film (based on the book by Michael Murpurgo and the award winning stage play), and filmed on locations on Dartmoor.

Policing the Peninsula” is an illustrated talk by Simon Dell, and is a history of policing in the West Country, with some amusing anecdotes.   Simon is new to our Group, partly due to his being a much in demand Speaker, and we are looking forward to hearing about his somewhat unusual subject.

May we remind our readers that our Quarterly Open Meetings are open to all – Members and non-members.   Admission is free to Members, and £2 for non-members (the coffee and biscuits alone are worth the admission!).

Finally, may we remind former Members that your subscription can be renewed at any time,  and non-members that new Members are always welcome – the subscription is only £5 per year.  Please contact either our Secretary Derek (529859) or our Chairman Tony (521419) to renew your subscription, or to join.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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