Recreation of Concert Lecture Tour of 1889


as explored by Dr Todd Gray MBE


Spirited, Surprising & Enlightening: hear in words and song the full story of Devon’s anthem


130 years ago `Widdicombe Fair’ was brought out of the public house and into concert halls and drawing rooms.  It became the county’s favourite song.


The celebrated Concert Lecture Tour of 1889 is now to be reinterpreted in eight villages, towns and cities across Devon. For the first time the fascinating history of this ancient song will be told and audiences will be reintroduced to more than 50 variants, most of them long forgotten and some after hundreds of years.


Uncle Tom Cobley & All, a book by Todd Gray, will be launched in Widecombe on 2 September 2019.  


The tour will visit eight venues across Devon and Exeter’s event will be at the Exeter Guildhall with the Exeter City Community Fund, tickets £5 at the door or in advance via the Guildhall 01392 265500


The tour schedule is as follows:



Widecombe-in-the-Moor, 7.30pm on  2 Sept

Crediton, 7.30pm on 4 Sept

Plymouth, 2.00pm on 5 Sept

Feniton, 7.30pm on 12 Sept

Tavistock, 7.00pm on 13 Sept

Exeter, 7.30pm on 19 Sept

Totnes, 7.30pm on 20 Sept

Appledore, 11.30am on 24 Sept


Full tour details are as follows:


Widecombe-in-the-Moor, 7.30pm on 2 September 2019.

St Pancras Church, with Widecombe Local History Society, featuring the Widecombe Singers &

Alan Rosevear, tickets £2.50 at the door. Contact:


Crediton, 7.30pm on 4 September 2019.

Holy Cross Church, with the church, featuring Mellow D, tickets £5 at the door or through

A. E. Lee, 17 High Street. 01363 773669


Plymouth, 2.00pm on 5 September 2019.

Portland Square, Plymouth University, with the History Department, featuring Wren Music,

tickets £4 through The Arts Institute; Web:;

Tel: 01752 585050 (open Mon-Fri 1300-1700); Email:


Feniton, 7.30pm on 12 September 2019.

St Andrew’s Church, Feniton, with Feniton History Society, featuring

Alan Rosevear and the Feniton Singers, tickets £5 at the door


Tavistock, 7.00pm on 13 September 2019.

In the parish rooms, with the Devonshire Association (Tavistock Branch & Music Section)

& Tavistock Subscription Library, featuring Marilyn Tucker & Paul Wilson, tickets £5 at the door


Exeter, 7.30pm on 19 September 2019.

Exeter Guildhall, with Exeter City Community Fund, tickets £5 at the door

or in person in advance via The Guildhall 01392 265500


Totnes, 7.30pm on 20 September 2019.

St John’s Church, Bridgetown,  Totnes, with the church, tickets £5 at the door


Appledore, 11.30am on 24 September 2019.

Appledore Book Festival in St Mary’s Hall, featuring Wren Music, tickets £8



All talks are now on the second Thursday 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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