Dart Valley

Monthly Meetings

2nd THURSDAY of the month, except August, 10 for 10.30 am. Currently Zoom only.
For the full programme of talks for 2021 please download the leaflet '2021 Programme' on the right.

Next Talk
Our next talk via Zoom will be on on Thursday July 8th and is entitled 'Cybercrime snapshot'. Laura Cowie, Cyber Protect Officer of the Devon and Cornwall Police will be providing an insight into cybercrime in Devon and Cornwall, with the latest local and national threats and advice and guidance on how to protect ourselves whilst online.

Report of our last meeting
On Thursday 10 th June, 54 members of the Dart Valley u3a were treated to a talk via Zoom on the subject of ‘50 Gems of South Devon.’ The talk, using a Powerpoint presentation was given by Gary Holpin, who has been a resident of Devon for nearly 20 years, has twice walked the South West Coast Path and written three books about the county. It was a personal selection of wonderful walks and places he has visited, both well-known and off the beaten track.
His first slides were entitled Ancient Devon and included the Blackbury Camp hill fort between Sidmouth and Seaton which was built to ward off invaders. It is definitely worth a visit to see the masses of bluebells growing there in May. He then moved on in history showing us slides of the impressive Roman walls in Exeter’s town centre, the large Roman bathhouse in Ipplepen and the Scorhill stone circle also known as the Gidleigh circle. Devon has fourteen stone circles in total.
The second section featured areas of natural beauty starting with Black-a Tor copse near Meldon Reservoir on Dartmoor, which comprises of stunted English oaks, mossy rocks and rare species of lichen. This is a very remote area which involves an hour’s hike from the nearest road and a pair of stout walking boots!
Another remote beauty spot is the Venford Falls, again on Dartmoor, which is a beautiful place to relax and be at one with nature. The last slide in this section depicted the ancient 1000 year old tree, the Stoke Gabriel Yew which is one of the oldest living trees in Britain in the grounds of the church of St Mary and St Gabriel.
Gary then moved on to our industrial past with Foggintor Quarry, which is now a still lake near Tavistock, the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton, which transported coal by horse-drawn barges in the nineteenth century and lastly, Coldharbour Mill in Offcombe which is one of the best-preserved woollen mills in the country.
His last photographs were of some of the events and activities in Devon like the annual National Firework Championships in August in Plymouth which started in 1997. Then followed beautiful sunrise and sunset photographs of Start Bay, Salcombe, Beer, Sidmouth, Totnes and Widecombe.
Gary promised that he would take more photographs of Dartmouth soon!
If you would like more information on Gary and his books, go to www.garyholpin.co.uk where you can order a signed copy of his book for £14.99.
Wendy Rayment Cullen
Dart Valley u3a Committee member

Dates for your Diary
Thu Sep 9th The Human Face of Dartmoor Prison
Glossing over the origins of the oldest working prison in the UK, its initial purpose and its first occupants we take a closer look at some of the events, staff and “characters of the last 150 years. Although there is a darker side to Prison Life, I will be including some anecdotes and stories which will present a lighter side to the subject
Thu Oct 14th New Orleans to New York.” A Musical Journey from Jazz to Musical Theatre.
Pianist Roger Browne, will be creating live jazz interpretations of the music, written for the stage, by greats such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Jimmy Van Heusen, whilst relating hilarious stories of the people, places and events that have coloured this remarkable life making music in Europe and the USA.
Thu Nov 11th Being a Yeoman Warder
Our Speaker John Keohane was Chief Yeoman Warder, the most senior member of the Sovereign’s Bodyguard based at the Tower of London, and often referred to by visitors as “Beefeaters”. One ceremonial role of the Chief Yeoman Warder involves the nightly closing down ceremony of the Tower known as the Ceremony of the Keys.
Thu Dec 9th The Clown Prince of Denmark
Jim Redman will give a brief biography of the famous Danish musician/comedian Victor Borge with video excerpts from his performances on Television and on stage.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.