Salcombe History Society has been entrusted to care for a little piece of Salcombe's history in the shape of a small lead ball. It was handed to Chairman Ken Prowse at the Society's AGM by its finder, Bob Dunne. Found at Salcombe Castle (Fort Charles), the lead musket ball, approximately 1cm in diameter, probably dates from the Civil War. Sir Edmund Fortescue received orders from King Charles I to hold the fort against the Parliamentarians when Plymouth rose against the king and it became the last place to hold out for the royal cause. The castle was besieged from 15 January until 7 May 1646 when it became clear that all the other royalist strongholds had fallen. After the Civil War, Parliament ordered the castle to be ruined as it was too dangerous to allow it to remain.
The Society held its Annual General Meeting on the 15th March 2017 at the Salcombe Rugby Club. The Chairman, Ken Prowse, reported on another successful year, having attended the CrabFest, Steam Rally and Kingsbridge Show displaying old photographs and ephemera that the Society has acquired during the past twelve months. In addition, the production of our second Calendar.
The membership continues to rise as interest grows. There are now about 200 paid-up members worldwide, mainly as a result of the Salcombe History Society’s website.
As we don’t have local facilities to display the continuing flow of ephemera and photographs, the website is our “Virtual Museum”. In the past twelve months the website has attracted over 55,000 ‘visitors’ resulting in over 300,000 searches on the site, in a bid to trace family trees, view where their ancestors lived and what they did for a living. New computer software has been purchased to facilitate the growing number of users, enabling faster access to the Society’s website. The Chairman explained that through the website people can access a Gallery with over 4,000 pictures and information, a Genealogy page to trace family trees, an on-line Shop, along with how to join the Society.
Membership is just £6 per year and the Website address is: www.salcombehistorysociety.co.uk .
The Chairman thanked the Committee, the helpers and all who have supported the Society over the last twelve months, and we look forward to another busy and eventful year.
Salcombe History Society was represented by Chairman Ken Prowse at an exhibition to commemorate the destruction of the majority of the village of Hallsands in a storm on 26th January 1917.
Various events took place to mark the occasion including the unveiling of a plaque by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, a walk from the remains of the old village to Beesands re-enacting the escape made by the villagers, and a service held at St. Michael's Church, Stokenham.
The exhibition, housed in St. Andrew's Church, Beesands, included newspaper clippings, many interesting photographs and even family trees.
Kingsbridge and Salcombe Gazette's report of the commemorative events may be viewed here.
On Thursday 19th January 2017, Chairman Ken Prowse visited the South Milton branch of the Women's Institute to give a talk on 'Women in the Front Line'. The illustrated talk, researched by Charlie Lott, charted the contributions made by women through both World Wars, from working in munitions factories through to ambulance driving and even flying aircraft, although of course not in combat at that time, and finishing with modern day warfare in which women are now actively involved.