On the bar on the left are listed all the talks and visits since 2012 - except for the last year or so which events are listed respectively under "Recent Talks" and "Visits & Walks".

 

Just click on whichever title interests you to read about it.

 

To return to the Home page click on "Home" on the banner at the top of this page.

 

POLISH AIR FIGHTERS IN WORLD WAR II

Michael Parrott

 

Thursday, 8 December 2016 at Jury’s Inn

 

Over 70 years ago Exeter was defended from the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids by a small band

of comrades, the Polish 307 Squadron RAF known as "The Eagle Owls". That night-fighter

squadron has become widely forgotten, not just in Exeter but even in Poland. 

 

When local amateur historian Michael Parrott discovered a wooden plaque in a chapel within the Higher Cemetery, little did he know that it would take him on an amazing journey of discovery about that Squadron. 

 

He toldl us how he has spent the last four years researching and promoting the role of that Polish squadron.  He has met and recorded interviews with veterans, helped family members discover more about relatives who served in the squadron, and, as a member of the 307 Squadron Project, a British-Polish registered charity, held a number of exhibitions both in the UK and Poland.  They have thousands of followers on Facebook.

 

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INVASION, TWO SIEGES AND A CIVIL WAR

Malcolm Foster

 

Thursday, 13 October 2016 at 7pm at Jury’s Inn

 

William the Conqueror, to consolidate his power, besieged Exeter when the Saxons openly defied

him. He won.  Not a hundred years later, civil war raged through England and Exeter is once

again at the centre of things. This time the city was besieged by King Stephen while Exeter Castle

was held in the name of the Empress Maud.

 

Malcolm Foster has always been passionate about Medieval English history.  His book “The Eyes of Exeter” was a stunning historical novel about Exeter’s resistance  to William the Conqueror. He followed this up with a second book,  “The Demon in the Bones” in September 2013

 

He taught the subject at St. John’s, Sidmouth, for many years. He has also written many pieces for piano, as well as a song cycle “On Romney Marsh not far from Rye”, which was recorded in 1986. On top of these accomplishments he has written and produced more than a hundred plays for his pupils at St. John’s as well as producing plays at the Manor Pavilion in Sidmouth and at the lovely theatre in Stonehouse, Plymouth.

 

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100 Things You Should Know About Exeter

 

On Tuesday, 6 September 2016, members enjoyed an exceptional evening when the well-known and entertaining historian (and member), Dr Todd Gray, took us skipping through the city’s history by relating little-known but fascinating events that have occurred in the City over the last 500 years.

 

Todd is well known throughout Exeter for his many books on the city’s history (numbering over 40!) and for his delightful and often very humorous presentations of our past.  We were delighted that Todd  explored some little known events in our history and there certainly were some startling revelations. 

 

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EXETER AND THE GREAT WAR

 

On 14 April 2016, Tony Lethbridge, who is a local historian and who also has a life long interest in military history, gave us a talk on the First World War from the viewpoint of Exeter.  He had visited many historic battlefields and in the last ten years particularly those of the First World War.

 

His talk outlined life in Exeter during the war years along with events in Flanders and other places where Exonians were involved in the conflict.

 

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SIDNEY ENDACOTT, Artist

Talk by Christine Trigger

 

On 11 February, 2016, immediately after our AGM, we were honoured by a talk from our

well-known member, Christine Trigger, about a little-known artist, Sidney Endacott.  His paintings are delightful and show an Exeter long gone. 

 

Christine took us through his life and showed us slides of his superb canvases of the Exeter area. His painting of the meeting room at Tucker’s Hall graces the front cover of Christine’s book (members will remember this room from having our own meeting there on 12 June 2014).   Endacott died in 1918 leaving as his legacy beautiful records of Exeter around the turn of the century.

 
For full details click here: 11.02.16: Sidney Endacott's LOST EXETER

 

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Retailing in Exeter 1880-1940

 

On Thursday, 10 December 2015, Richard Holladay explained that Exeter's city centre in the 60 years before 1940 has changed almost out of all recognition.

 

Through adverts of the period he showed us at the familiar and the unfamilar, and we saw how products were promoted and marketed – a far cry from the restrictions of the Trades Description Act that we have to abide by nowadays.  And of course we observed how the style and format of advertising has changed, not to mention the products.

 

With the help of over 50 images Richard took us back to the inter-war years – and beyond. . . back into Victoria’s reign. . . 

 

For full details double click on:  11.12.15: RETAILING IN EXETER 1880-1940

 
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John with the founder of the firm

On Thursday, 8 October, 2015, Society members were delighted with a talk by David Force of Force & Son, Estate Agents.  Here are a couple of anecdotes from his talk; full details of the talk are available by clicking Force & Son on the left column.

 

"...An ancestor, too crippled by arthritis and therefore unable to mount the horse-drawn trams which he favoured, paid a small boy to carry fo him a mounting stool.  The boy was then expected to run along beside the tram to have the stool ready outside Force & Son to enable his employer to dismount.  The boy then took the stool home and the process was repeated in reverse every evening!"

 

"...Force were also funeral directors but gave up the business after Arthur (David’s father) went to collect a corpse who had died sitting up.  Attempts to straighten the body caused it to fall forward and wrap its arms round poor Arthur.  After that they sold the  business!

 

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PRE-WW2 PHOTOGRAPHS

 On 13th August, 2015, David Cornforth showed us photographs from every walk of life - children "sledging" on the frozen river, the Tower Bridge look-alike over the river, a wingless plane being pushed along the road having landed in a cornfield and been unable to take off again from the long corn! Also the railway, canal and river, the site of what became Middlemoor, the Deaf School, Colleton Crescent, the Gas Works, the Cattle Market, the greyhound track and Speedway, and many many more.

 
For full details click here: 13.8.15: Pre-WW2 Photographs

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TEIGN VALLEY RAILWAY: 11.06.2015

A fascinating talk exploring the railway which carried goods and people to and from Exeter, the former for export around England and indeed the world, the latter to enjoy themselves and get the last train home (when the pubs closed). There are photographs taken fifty years ago of stations, bridges and engines which have since been destroyed (some by nature, some by man).

 

For full details click here:

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WITCHCRAFT IN THE WEST COUNTRY: 9.04.2015

Steve Patterson is a woodcarver and a folklorist whose main interests are the magical traditions of the West Country. Steve will be sharing some local accounts of witchcraft and magical practices and will also be looking at the development of our ideas of magic and witchcraft …and indeed the very ideas of folklore and history themselves.

 

WYNARDS ALMSHOUSES These old and very beautiful buildings have a long history.  Now privately owned, for many centuries they provided shelter for the Christian poor (who were fined if they missed Church!) though their managers/owners were often in trouble for not following the terms of the endowment.

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Retailing in Exeter 1880-1940

 

On Thursday, 10 December 2015, Richard Holladay explained that Exeter's city centre in the 60 years before 1940 has changed almost out of all recognition.   With the help of over 50 images Richard took us back to the inter-war years – and beyond. . . back into Victoria’s reign. . . 

 

For full details click on "15.12.11: RETAILING IN EXETER 1880-1940" on the green banner to the left of this page.

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Force & Son Over 225 Years

 

On Thursday, 8 October, 2015, Society members were delighted with a talk by David Force of Force & Son, Estate Agents.  Here are a couple of his anecdotes:

 

"...An ancestor, crippled by arthritis, paid a small boy to carry fo him a mounting stool and then had to run along beside the tram with the stool to enable his employer to dismount outside Force & Son!"

 

"...Arthur (David’s father) went to collect a corpse who had died sitting up.  Attempts to straighten the body caused it to fall forward and wrap its arms round poor Arthur. After that, Force & Son gave up as funeral directors"  

 

Full details of the talk are available by clicking "2015.10.15 Force & Son" on the green banner on the left of this page.

 

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PRE-WW2 PHOTOGRAPHS

 

 On 13th August 2015, David Cornforth showed us photographs from every walk of life - children "sledging" on the frozen river, the Tower Bridge look-alike over the river, a wingless plane being pushed along the road having landed in a cornfield and been unable to take off again from the long corn! Also the railway, canal and river, the site of what became Middlemoor, the Deaf School, Colleton Crescent, the Gas Works, the Cattle Market, the greyhound track and Speedway, and many many more. 

 

For full details click: 15.08.13: Pre-WW2 Photographs in the green banner on the left

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TEIGN VALLEY RAILWAY: 11.06.2015

 

A fascinating talk exploring the railway which carried goods and people to and from Exeter, the former for export around England and indeed the world, the latter to enjoy themselves and get the last train home (when the pubs closed). There are photographs taken fifty years ago of stations, bridges and engines which have since been destroyed (some by nature, some by man).

 

For full details click "2015.06.15 Teign Valley Railway" on the green banner on the left of this page.

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WITCHCRAFT IN THE WEST COUNTRY: 16.04.2015

 

Steve Patterson is a woodcarver and a folklorist whose main interests are the magical traditions of the West Country. Steve will be sharing some local accounts of witchcraft and magical practices and will also be looking at the development of our ideas of magic and witchcraft …and indeed the very ideas of folklore and history themselves.

 

For full details click "2015.04.16 Exeter Witches" on the green banner on the left of this page.

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WYNARDS ALMSHOUSES : 12 February 2015

 

These old and very beautiful buildings have a long history.  Now privately owned, for many centuries they provided shelter for the Christian poor (who were fined if they missed Church!) though their managers/owners were often in trouble for not following the terms of the endowment.

 

For full details click on "2015.02.12 Wynards Almshouses" on the green banner on the left of this page.

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2015.01.23  VISIT TO COUNTY HALL

 

On a bitterly cold day our members started their visit with a look at the external architecture and its changes in style as building work progressed.The building is today considered to be a remarkably artistic monument to the designer’s work.

 

County Hall is one of only 11 post-war buildings to be added to a list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest by the Dept. of Culture, Media and Sport.   

 

To read more click on "2015.01.23 County Hall Visit" on the green banner on the left of this page.

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All talks are on the second Wednesday of alternate months (February, April, June, August, October & December).                                          All meetings start at 7 pm and are held at JURYS INN, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB.                                                                  Free parking is available from 6pm in the Triangle Car Park at the rear of Jurys.                                                                                Walks/visits are usually on the second Wednesday of alternate months (January, March, May, July, September November). 

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