Moor`s Edge


November Report

In November our speakers were Liz and John Lawson from “Lawsons”, one of the best known independent retailers in the Plymouth area. Through four generations and 115 years after being founded by Tom Lawsons, the business has successfully adapted to changing market conditions and overcome setbacks such as fire and bombing. One of the first commercial ventures was growing tomatoes for Plymouth Market on seven acres at Plymstock and before WW2 Lawsons were ironmongers supplying tools for many different trades from their shop at 13 Frankfort Street. After this shop was bombed, they were temporarily moved and then relocated to 17 New George Street, but in 2003 opened in 13 Cornwall Street. Despite new glasshouses and more acreage at Plymstock in the 60s, the fruit and flower market had changed so this side of the business was closed down. Since then Lawsons have opened new shops at Totnes, Ivybridge and Tavistock and diversified into new areas such as linens, school uniforms and particularly cake making and decorating materials.

During November, members continued to pursue their interests. The photographers shared their various interpretations of the theme “Berry” which included an aerial array at “Berry Head”, red berries against the satellite dish at Goonhilly and blackberries in different settings. “Arty Crafters” have been making Christmas decorations, a baby’s cot quilt in addition to knitting, embroidery and crocheting.

The History Group had four presentations - “How Northwick started the world’s downfall” (the invention and development of plastic), “The History of Type-face Printing (Part two)”, “The Origins of Black Friday” and “Things you didn’t know about Henry V111”. The “Science and Technology Group” met at the Lopes Arms and had six presentations on a variety of topics - Geothermal Energy, the Snellen fraction and the meaning of 6/6 vision, digital cameras and the production of colour photos, the principles of navigation at sea, “Project Loon” (a way of supplying internet connection using helium-filled balloons) and, lastly, solitary bees and their nesting habits.

The Weekenders have recently enjoyed lunches at “Lockyers Quay Cookhouse” and “The Red Lantern” and look forward to their Christmas meal at Leandras. A group of Moor’s Edge members have joined with the Glenholt Community on a weekend trip to see the amazing Christmas lights at Longleat and visit Bath Christmas market. The “Garden Visits” group recently visited Otter Nurseries at Ottery St. Mary and look forward to the Christmas Tree Festival at St. Nicholas and St. Faith Church, Saltash.

Various musical treats have been enjoyed by the “Music Events” group including Vintage Jazz at Two Bridges Hotel with songs ranging from Hoagy Carmichael to Frank Sinatra which was followed by afternoon tea. They were also well entertained at the Athenaeum, Plymouth, to “Sounds of the 60’s” performed by the Zoots.

The “Playreading” group recently made an interesting visit to TR2 and were shown the three pods where productions are rehearsed by theatre groups from all over the country and also the planning involved in making sets and costumes for shows.

Other groups which have met regularly are Bridge for Beginners, Darts, Book Club, Scrabble, Singing for Fun, Wine Tasting and Walking Group.

October Report

Our October speaker was Paul Rendell who recounted myths, legends and stories of ghostly happenings on Dartmoor. The most well-known of these is the Hairy Hands, an evolving story of a malevolent spirit grabbing the steering wheel or handlebars of vehicles travelling on the B3212 particularly near Postbridge and causing accidents. Another story is about the appearance of flowers on (Kitty) Jay’s grave - Kitty was a betrayed housemaid who could not be buried in consecrated ground because she committed suicide. Paul also explained about how Conan Doyle came to set the story of the “Hound of the Baskervilles” on Dartmoor (there is no Baskerville Hall - his coach driver was called Baskerville and he thought the name sounded aristocratic). However, when staying at Princetown he heard the story of an evil squire called Richard Cabell who was buried in a tomb in Buckfastleigh with a huge stone placed on it and a large building over it - this was to lay his soul to rest after stories of him leading a phantom pack of baying hounds over the moor. He also recounted the story of Vixana the witch of Vixen Tor who enjoyed creating thick mists so that travellers would become lost and get sucked into a bog. Mr. Rendell added that some of these stories are common to other parts of Britain and even other countries.

This month our various groups have continued to meet. Last month our walkers followed the route of the Tavistock Canal and this month they walked from Cothele to Calstock and back and had lunch at Tamar Nursery at Saltash. The Garden Visits group paid a return visit to Lukesland nr. Ivybridge to view the glorious autumn colours of plants such a Monkshood, Japanese Maple and a Strawberry Tree and afterwards they enjoyed hot drinks and cake in the Old Billiard Room.

The Book Club have been reading books by Hilary Mantel and the playreaders have completed reading “Invisible Friend” by Alan Ayckbourn. At the History meeting the topics discussed were the history of Plymouth Sound from the Ice Age to the defensive forts surrounding it, the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549 and ensuing atrocities, Oakham Shire Hall and its horseshoe collection and the occasions in the past when Parliament was prorogued.

Our newly formed Quiz Group have participated in quizzes at Yelverton Golf Club, Clearbrook, Tavistock, the Woolwell Centre and Saltash {where they achieved second place}. The Photography for Fun group have had a monthly challenge of either “Footwear” or “September Song Lyrics” and have engaged in a mini workshop on using only manual settings on their cameras. Unfortunately, the Science and Technology group were prevented by weather and traffic from completing their field trip to the hydro turbine house at Castle Drogo. The Wine Tasting group sampled four wines this month - a Rosso de la Cruz from Spain, Isla Negra Merlot from Chile, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia and Tempranillo-Cabernet

August/September Report

After a break in August, our September meeting was a celebration of our fifth birthday (with birthday cake) and a video of our singing group’s concert in Roborough Methodist Church. A group of us visited Widdecombe Fair where one of our members was performing in the Dartmoor Border Morris so we were pleased that she, (Judi) was able to talk about her hobby. There are different types of Morris Dancing but two main ones are Cotswold and Border. The Cotswold groups dress in white and wave handkerchiefs and the Border Morris wear tattered coats with pieces of blue material at the shoulders (sky), then green (vegetation) and brown at the hem (earth). Border Morris have short and long sticks to hit the ground and other dancers’ sticks. Morris Dancing was first recorded in 1448, was banned by the Puritans, reinstated at the Restoration but by the 19th century was dying out. Its restoration started on Boxing Day near Oxford and during the 20th century it flourished. The Border Morris meet at Meavy Parish Hall each week, practising in the winter months for summer performances in pubs, at wassails and mummers’ plays and fairs. The group leader is the squire, the foreman is responsible for choreography and the bagman looks after the money. The group is accompanied by instruments such as drums, violins, accordions and guitars and there are dances with names such a “Hay-on-Wye”, “Twiglet” and “Pudsey” performed to raise money for charity.

During August groups continued to meet. The Playreaders completed Alan Ayckbourn’s “Norman Conquests” trilogy and started to read his “Invisible Friend” play. Photography for Fun have shared their “Rainbow” pictures and embarked upon their new challenge “Emotion”. The History Group heard talks from members on Devonport Prison, Pennycomequick and silly wars such as “War of Jenkin’s Ear”, “The War of the Golden Stool”, and a war started over guano (bird poo). Other topics were Victoria Falls; Victoria Line, Poverty in Britain and Johannes Glensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg and the Gutenberg Bible.

The Garden Visits Group visited Bicton Gardens and took the Woodland Railway to view the landscapes and other attractions such as Palm House, water features and Countryside Museum. They have also been to Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary. The next visit will be to Rosemoor Garden with the Tavistock Lady Gardeners.

Weekenders have made trips to the Barbican for lunches first to “Le Monde” stopping off to listen to open air jazz. The next visit was to the “Boathouse” followed by a walk to the Hoe for ice cream. to cool down on a very hot day. There was also a trip to Boringdon Golf Club for an “indoor” barbecue and to watch the fireworks.

Recently the Music Events group have enjoyed several outings. They enjoyed terrific guitar playing at The Wharf, Tavistock at a Neil Diamond Tribute performance by Bob Drury. They also attended the Beach Boyz Tribute Band playing some old favourites at the Atheneum. The next outing was to the Legion at Crownhill for Jazz Club (the Sopranos). Several members visited Dartington for a varied music event provided by college students, listening to them playing brass band music in the sun. A session of improvised music to silent films followed which was interesting and enjoyable and then “New Chamber Music” with quite an alternative sound!

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