Hemyock History Talk December 2015 and January 2016

We were entertained by two very good speakers at the Church Rooms in December and January.  Denis Dodd who was part of the team involved locally in renovating the Grand Western Canal boat lift, presented the history of the Canal during a period of great industrial advances.  The proposed route from Bridgwater to Exeter would have saved cargo ships the hazardous route round Lands End.  The completed section did allow welsh coal unloaded at Bridgwater to fuel the factories in Taunton, Wellington and Tiverton. The added complication of having to lift boats up and over the illustrious tree lined carriageway to the front door of the Sanfords estate at Nynhead did not help the budget.

James Bradnock, an English and Theology teacher gave a fascinating discourse on the creation of one of the greatest books in the English language, the King James Bible.  Created by a team of learned men over a period of 7 years when Shakespeare was the popular entertainment of the day, it has given us many memorable phrases.

The language of the previous Bishop’s Bible translated in 1602 includes the following verses with the King James version for comparison:

God is my shepherd

therefore I can lack nothing.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He will cause me to repose myself in pasture full of grass

and he will lead me unto calm waters.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ; He leadeth me beside the still  waters.

Truly felicitie and mercie shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of God for a long time.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The next two speakers on February 11th and March 10th will be Peter Fisher on a Hemyock man who served in the Great War and Colin Spackman on the visit of the Duke of Wellington to this area in 1919.

History Talk November 2015

The new series of history talks started on November 12th with Dr David Pugsley talking about a duel held between a Judge and a Doctor in 1833, the year after Dr Peter Hennis became a local hero of the Exeter cholera outbreak.  Both participants, Judge Sir John Jeffcott and Dr Peter Hennis went to the same school in Ireland.

The whole world of duels, insults and remedies was explored during the talk with the protocol across different countries discussed.  The recent challenge to a duel issued by a Polish Prince to Nigel Farage was mentioned as was the court case brought by the MP Andrew Mitchell against Westminster police.

Mackham Farm early 1900s

Take a look at this great photo from the early 1900s at Mackam Farm.

Centre of Hemyock in 1900

Take a look at this great photo of the centre of Hemyock in 1900.

Hart Hem centre to East 1900

WW1 Drama Monologues


WW1 Drama Monologues


WW1 Exhibition Hemyock


WW1 Exhibition


An update on the book launch

Tuesday the 19th August saw the launch of ‘The upper Culm Valley before, during and after The Great War’.

Over 75 people were in attendance and enjoyed some short words form Michael Cooper, Phil Norrey, Chief Executive of Devon County Council, and Lt Col Tim Courtenay RM.

During the launch almost 140 copies of the book were sold. Copies still remain and can be purchased by emailing info@blackdownarchives.org.uk.

The activities continue on in to this weekend where we will have three exhibitions taking place.

  • Friday night, 22nd August, there is an exhibition running from 7pm until 9pm in Culmstock Village Hall.
  • Saturday, 23rd August, from 2pm until 5pm there will be dramatic readings of some of the stories from the book which will be filmed
  • Sunday, 24th August, sees the exhibition visiting Clayhidon and will be in St Andrews Church.

We are grateful for the support of the three parish councils, the Heritage Lottery and the AONB SDF for their support.

Book launch 2


Book launch 1