Plympton and District Civic Society’s Chairman's Report.

Chairman Report AGM 2014

Good evening Mr President, Stannator, Ladies & Gentlemen

It is good to see so many of you here this evening, I think it shows how passionate we all are in keeping Plympton in the manner to which it is accustomed.

Your Society, I think, has had a good year. We started the year of course with our AGM and our Speaker Barbie Thompson, unfortunately she had to curtail her talk as the AGM rather went on a bit! The talk, however, was very well received.

We then had a speaker in February at Plympton Library, Helen Wilson on the Pinwell Sisters, excellent. March was busy, first the Spring Fair at Harewood, Litter Pick and a tour of the Athenaeum followed by a tour of St Andrews Church on the same day.

In April John organised a visit to Shilston House. Modbury and Devon Rural Archive very interesting, the Rural Archive is a must for budding historians.

On 11th May we had the fair at Harewood, perhaps we should not have picked an outside stall, rain and wind the order of the day, but we all had a good day. 3 days later we travelled by coach to Sidmouth, unfortunately the rain followed us, torrential rain, it rather ruined our look around Sidmouth. We all headed for the nearest watering hole and then went onto the tour of Sand House. The rain ruined our chances of a look at the gardens, such a shame, but Plympton people are made of sterner stuff and we all agreed it was a good day. That day the infamous Plympton Pens made their appearance, we had ordered these with a view to giving as prizes at the History week, but they proved such a success that we had to order more and there are some on sale after the meeting.

Yes, the History Week, well I think all of us who aided and abetted with this, finished the week with our heads held high. 8am on Monday at The Guildhall it seemed as we had taken on too much, how wrong we were by 10am the room was looking great, exhibits and one or two strange women in Georgian and Victorian costume were to be seen tooing and froing. Lots of old and new friends appeared and the venue was really atmospheric. We then took everything to the Library on Thursday, this also proved a good venue, people coming and going all the time. Well done team you all worked hard to make it such a success. We have had some very positive feedback.

I think rain has proved to be our nemesis, lots of us went to the Dockyard Museum again torrential rain, but we all enjoyed the very informative and interesting visit. No rain at the Lamb Feast, thank goodness this year, again the small band of helpers lead by Madeleine had a fruitful day. More pens sold!

The service of Compline was well attended, and this was followed on 5th July with our visit to Sherford Farm. Well, personally I thought a visit to a milking parlour, not my scene, how wrong I was proved. After a walk around the fabulous garden, unusual for a farm, we then went to the state of the Art Milking Parlour, what an interesting experience, John had to repeat the visit for those who could not make it in July, such a shame that the Sherford development will result in the lost of this Farm.

Towards the end of July we went to, what is proving to be our annual Lunch at the Boringdon Golf Club, great meal, lovely venue.

Then came August and the Croquet Match, well than was the plan, but someone’s birthday clashed with the date, or it was rather engineered to fall on that day and John was surprised and delighted to share his Birthday with lots of friends at his favourite place. No presents were the order of the day, but a collection towards what is now escalating into the Mower Fund, we really need a sit on mower to cut that large expanse of grass, so we are fund raising for this.

August saw Pauline Kadoche’s talk on Life of a Dancer, I am told on good authority that this was very good talk. September, a guided tour of Walkhampton and a visit to the Church House proved to be a very popular event, some intrepid members also made the short walk to Welltown. October John took a group to The Valiant Soldier at Buckfastleigh, very popular visit and then he organised a litter pick at Chaddlewood, not all on the same day, I must add.

In October we held our Annual Quiz, which very nearly didn’t happen, as we had to find a quizmaster and question setter at the last moment. The day was saved admirably by Pauline Kadoche making an excellent quizmaster, and Anne ChamIngs and husband Keith setting the questions. Sally Luscombe keeping all the scores in order, and one or two others keeping an eye on things. Good evening great fun, some questions easy, some hard, that’s how it should be and local charities benefitted from the proceeds.

As we had had to cut short Barbie Thompson’s talk at last year’s AGM it was suggested we ask her to make a return visit and in November she gave us a very interesting talk on the War of 1812, many attended and enjoyed it.

We had our Christmas Lunch, perhaps I should not dwell on this too long as I have had many negative remarks.

December 7th , we had a stall at the Community Council Christmas Fair, a very successful day, made a good profit, much more than last year, I expect Madeleines’s Christmas Hamper Draw had something to do with it.

I expect by now you are all feeling exhausted, I certainly am, what a busy year. It isn’t until you go back through that you realise what we have packed in. I nearly forgot one more event, several members helped Plympton Rotary with their evening Christmas Carol Round, again I think the dreaded rain played a part.

The Committee not only organise these events for you all but we oversee planning applications, and decide how they affect our Town. We attend the Community Council Meetings which often bring local issues for us to sort out. This is as great way to meet other organisations in the area. We also attend St Maurice committee meetings where possible and they reciprocate, keeping us working together. I hope you do not mind my emails, reminding you of forthcoming events and any issues we feel you may wish to act on. This has proved a quick and easy way to make connection.

I nearly forgot to mention the highlight of our year, the return of the Priory window. In January last year John and I had a meeting with the owner of the Hele Arms, who assured us he would give us the window when the pub was demolished, it turned out to be not quite so straightforward. Pub was demolished, window sat on a pallet inside the site, we went to make arrangements to collect but were told it was going to a stone mason to be cleaned up. Many phone calls and texts later no sign, and then one afternoon a call, out of the blue to say it was ready for delivery, a quick call to John and all was arranged. That dreaded rain again, rather spoilt the joyous occasion, but we got good press coverage and the window will be displayed soon. We were also given a book by the contractors, Commercial Concepts, Plympton Priory, by Allison Fizzard, the book is now at Plympton Library, reference section.

Just a quick note on this year’s events, I would like you to make special note that we are again holding a Plympton History week starting in Plympton Guildhall on 12th May, and any input you can let us have on local Characters, Businesses, Families, particularly bearing in mind this is the anniversary of the start of WW1 and stories of its impact on the local area and in particular families would be welcome. Give me or anyone on the committee a call and we will be pleased to talk to you. There is a rough guide to some of the events at the back of the room.

Finally I must express my thanks to all those who have helped organise me and the Society’s events throughout the year. Every Society is only as good as its Committee and we have a good one, shows doesn’t it!

Our Members also play a substantial role without you all there would not be a Plympton & District Civic Society, many thanks one and all for your continued support.

“Caring for Plympton's Past, Present and Future”

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