2018-2019 Programme

For a printable version of the Programme you can click on the PDF version  to view or print


Meetings are held at 2:30pm in the Manor House, Dawlish.



Tuesday 3rd April

Annual General Meeting followed by a talk 'Dawlish Memories' by Jimmy Hill.

The group is looking for additional committee members so if you would like to join the committee please let us know. We are looking for a person to look after publicity for the Dawlish Local History Group.

Following the AGM there will be a presentation by Jimmy Hill. Jimmy will present slides of Dawlish which have personal memories for him, which he will share with us. Jimmy is the proprietor of Swiftprint, which now produces most of our publications.


Tuesday May 1st

Visit to Christow Station, the Nobody Inn and Doddiscombsleigh Church. 2.00pm.

The former goods yard at Christow station is the home of the Exeter and Teign Valley Railway reclamation project. After exploring what’s there we’ll proceed to the historic Nobody Inn at Doddiscombsleigh for refreshments and then to the 15th century church, which has wonderful medieval stained glass windows. A varied afternoon out. Car sharing will be organised.


Tuesday June 5th

‘West Country Building Stone’ by Peter Dare.

An illustrated talk on the most popular types of stone used in construction in the south west. Peter is very well qualified on this subject – he was master mason at Exeter Cathedral 1969-85, held a similar role at Brisbane Cathedral, and has undertaken conservation work throughout this area.


Tuesday July 3rd

Visit to Honiton: Museum and Town Walk. 2.00pm.

Meet at 2pm at the Museum. We will start with a talk on the history of the town, followed by a tour of the museum, which has a large collection of Honiton lace, Honiton pottery, a Victorian doll’s house, war memorabilia and children’s toys. Sorry the guided walk is not available but it will be possible to look around the town and take tea somewhere. Travel by train is recommended.


Tuesday August 7th

‘The Stover Canal’ by Roger Harding.

The canal opened in 1790 and was built to transport clay mined in the Bovey Basin and granite from quarries on Dartmoor to the head of the Teign estuary, for onward travel to Teignmouth docks. The Stover Canal Society was formed in 1999 to promote its preservation and restoration. This has now merged with the Stover Canal Trust, of which Roger is a director.


Tuesday September 4th

Visit to the William Pengelly Centre and Buckfastleigh Caves.

Starting with a short introduction to the Centre we will visit the museum to see how the caves developed and understand the geology of the area. Then we’ll visit a small selection of the caves including the Joint Mitnor which has an extensive deposit of bones from hyena, bison, elephants, etc that lived here about 125,000 years ago. This outing is for a maximum of 20 people. Car sharing will be organised


Tuesday October 2nd

‘Devon Country Houses’ by Hugh Meller.

Traditionally a country house might be defined as an impressive building supported by its own estate and owned by one family over several generations. This talk will examine how they fare in the 21st century. Among approximately 400 survivors in Devon half remain in private hands, and a few are still owned by the families who built them, although with reduced estates. Hugh spent 26 years working for the National Trust in Devon with responsibility for its historic buildings, and 15 years researching his 2015 book ‘The Country Houses of Devon’.


Tuesday November 6th

‘The Ferris Brewery and its Public Houses’ by Suzanne Jones.

A look at the history and development of the Ferris Brewery in High Street, Dawlish, which for some time was the largest employer in the town. The talk will include a picture tour of the public houses, where they were and what they are being used for now. Suzanne is one of our members and has recently come to live in part of the old brewery buildings.


Tuesday December 4th

‘A Quiz for Christmas’ by Dave Strawbridge.

Following the success of his 2017 quiz Dave will present another set of brain teasers with some seasonal elements. A keen quizzer and bridge player, Dave is a member of the History Group committee.



Tuesday February 5th

‘South Devon Newspapers’ by Alan Brunton.

This talk will focus on the South Devon Weekly Express, which was published in Chudleigh between 1854 and 1954. Alan will show several old newspapers with some interesting and amusing articles. He is currently chairman of the Chudleigh History Group and is an author of books on local subjects.


Tuesday March 5th

‘West Country Milk Bottles 1880-1980’ by Peter Hayward

Peter has created a milk bottle museum in his garage featuring glassware from 1,000 different dairies. A former dairy worker, he began collecting 20 years ago and aims to collect a bottle from every dairy business in the south west, which would take his tally to 2,500. His talk will include references to Dawlish dairies.