2019-2020 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 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.


Tuesday 2nd April

Annual General Meeting.

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.

‘Newton Abbot Union Workhouse’ by John Ellis.

Workhouses were where poor people who had no job or home lived. The Newton Abbot workhouse was built in East Street in 1837 for 350 inmates. It was enlarged in 1875 to include an infirmary, and later the buildings became part of Newton Abbot Hospital. John is a local historian and the author of ‘Newton Abbot's Great War: Forgotten Times, Forgotten Men’


Tuesday May 7th

Outing to Tiverton Castle and Church. Cancelled sorry.


Tuesday June 4th

‘History of the Bishops’ Palace at Bishopsteignton’ by Ken Dawe.

The remains of the palace built by Walter de Bronescombe were in use from the second half of the 13th century until 1550. Ken is the owner of the nearby Old Walls Vineyard, the name inspired from the palace. The Dawe family have farmed in the village for over 90 years.


Tuesday July 2nd

Visiting Ugbrooke House and Chudleigh.

A guided tour of the house, which has ancient origins, and was remodelled by Robert Adam in the 1760s. The property has been owned by the Clifford family for over 400 years and the guide will delve into the history of the family and the house. Light refreshments will be available. A short guided walk around Chudleigh town centre will follow. Car sharing and meet up arrangements to be advised.


Tuesday August 6th

‘Life on Dartmoor in World War I’ by Peter Mason.

This talk is based on two years painstaking research undertaken with local history societies and individuals on the impact WW1 had on residents of Dartmoor’s towns and villages. More recently Peter co-curated the ‘Dartmoor: a Wild and Wondrous Region’ exhibition at RAMM in 2018.


Tuesday September 3rd

Visits to be arranged see below.


September 13th-22nd
Date/s to be confirmed

Heritage Open Days: Visit/s to Historic Places

Historic places not normally open to the public. Visit/s to be arranged when opening information becomes available. (Suggestions welcome). Car sharing and meet up arrangements to be advised.


Tuesday October 1st

‘History of Devon’s Orchards’ by Michael Gee.

Although we often think of Devon as a county of orchards and cider making this historical exploration contends that this was not always the case. Author of a recent book on the subject, Michael has been involved in saving the county’s orchards since 1990.


Tuesday November 5th

‘The Victorian Garden’ by Suzanne Jones.

Exploring the effect of the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire on the gardens and gardeners of Devon in the 19th century, and their lasting legacy. Last year Suzanne presented a popular talk on the Ferris Brewery and Dawlish pubs, and returns with a subject very close to her heart.


Tuesday December 3rd

‘Christmas Quiz’ by Dave Strawbridge.

A third outing of Dave’s popular quiz format. Featuring questions focussing on Group activities and others with a general historical bent. Seasonal food and drink provided.



Tuesday February 4th

‘3000 years history from under the sea’ by Ronald Howell.

Exploring the finding of four historically important shipwrecks off the South Devon coast, dating from the bronze age to the 17th century. Ronald has dived for over 40 years and is currently Hon. Sec. of the South West Maritime Archaeological Group.


Tuesday March 3rd

‘Dowsing – it’s not all about water’ by Charlie Palmer.

Charlie will offer an explanation of why dowsing can be used for archaeological searches, and looks at the importance of ley lines. There will be an opportunity to try practical dowsing for the curious. Charlie was born in Bridestowe and has been dowsing for nearly 20 years.