This is a poignant time of year to be asking you for help.
The History Society has embarked upon a project to commemorate the centenary of the start of The Great War. We hope to open the Heritage Centre in 2014 with an exhibition of stories and pictures which illustrate the social history of Whimple when news of the war broke out. We also want to be able to tell the stories of the many Whimple people who not only went to fight in the war but also stayed behind. To do this we need help. Some people have already kindly made themselves known but we need more volunteers to help us piece it together. Can you spare some time? A few hours, one day or more - any amount.

Below are a few extracts from David Parker’s book ‘The People of Devon in the First World War’.
I hope it will encourage you to contact us.

The high summer of 1914 was like many summers before, with final preparations being made for a host of popular events on and around the Bank Holiday, Monday August 3rd. Advertisements were appearing all over the county for horse and pony shows, regattas, horticultural shows, flower shows and in Whimple the villagers were preparing to host a sports day.

On the evening of Sunday August 2nd 1914 news of the imminent prospect of war reached the village of Broadclyst. During evensong the daughter of the verger appeared in the doorway of the church with a piece of paper in her hand. The verger was a Naval Reservist, and a telegram had arrived. He got up noisily, hung his cassock on it’s peg in the tower vestry and left. By the time the congregation came out of the church he was on his way to the depot in Exeter. Throughout Devon thousands of others with military and Naval training received similar calls.

On Bank Holiday Monday, August 3rd Germany declared war on France and its armies immediately invaded Belgium and Luxemburg. On August 4th The British Government sent and ultimatum to Germany to evacuate those countries: by eleven o’clock in the evening there had been no reply and by midnight Britain was at war.

On August 7th Lord Kitchener called for a 100,000 more men to create a ‘New Army’. Despite the high numbers in Devon’s Territorial’s, local mayors were asked to stimulate more recruiting and to identify reliable recruiting contacts in all the parishes.

We have the names of over 100 Whimple men who joined The Great War and we are looking for volunteers to help research the part they played. If you would like to help please contact Sue Ayres email sue@reubenayres.com or info@whimple.org
or call Sue 823082. You can also approach anyone from the History Society or pop a note in our post box which can be found outside the Heritage Centre.


Wednesday 17th January 2018 –Wassailing
This year’s wassail was well supported by well over 100 people who turned up to enjoy the festivities, despite the somewhat inclement weather. Mr. Ed Hitchcock started the evening with all his usual flamboyant style, humour and gusto and led the wassailing ceremonies as master of ceremonies with equal vigour. Unfortunately, The Wassail Queen failed to materialise, but The Wassail Princess, Miss Rosie Davis, together with some of her friends performed the tasks with great confidence. The music was provided by Jim Causley and his friends, special thanks are also due to Jim who has always led the singing with great enthusiasm. Wassail Ceremonies were conducted at the Whimple Wonder tree at the Heritage Centre, Lower Woodhayes Orchard, courtesy of Mrs. M. Burrough, and Knowle Cross Orchard courtesy of Mr. J. and Miss M. Chard as well as at the tethering stone in the Village Square where past Chairman, Mr. R. J. Shepherd, was remembered for his contribution to The Whimple History Society. We were also grateful to Mrs. M. Burrough who kindly donated the cider and prepared the wassail cup that was used at all the sites, as well as the people who heated the wassail cup. Mr. Ray Horn yet again illuminated the wassail sites with his flaming torches and fires. We were also indebted to the members of the gun party under the leadership of Mr. Alan Smith for their help in awakening the trees.
The festivities continued at the Whimple Cricket Club with the traditional Wassail Supper kindly provided by Mrs. S Ayres and her willing band of helpers. The Committee would like to express their thanks to her and her helpers for all their efforts. The Committee would also like to thank all members who provided apple cakes and soup for the feast, as well as all the people who entered into the spirit of the occasion. The supper was followed by the now traditional ‘impromptu’ folk session led by Jim Causley and a whole host of his friends. An excellent evening was had by all who attended both the procession and the supper. Thanks are also due to the Cricket Club for coping with this annual influx of wassailers

Annual Subscription
Members are reminded that the yearly subscription will become due on the 1st January 2018. It remains at £17.00 per couple and the single at £10.00.


The Society can currently reclaim tax of 25p for each Pound paid by each Member on Annual Subscriptions and Donations, provided that the amount of that reclaim is at least equal to the amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax paid by that Member, and the amount of the subscriptions and/or donation is put on their Personal Annual Tax Return

Provisional 2018 Programme
Friday 23 March
Annual General Meeting followed by ‘Whimple Unearthed’ Video, courtesy of Richard Davies in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Wednesday 28th March
Volunteers Thank You Evening at the Heritage Centre stating at 7.30 p.m.

Wednesday 4th April
Opening Day of the Heritage Centre for the new season.
Wednesday 27th April
A talk by Todd Gray on ‘The Cathedral Yard Fire
and Exeter’s Ancient Buildings’ in the Victory Hall at 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday 3rd July
Walking Village Treasure Hunt starting at the Heritage Centre at 5.30 p.m.
Wednesday 4th July
Afternoon tea and cakes at the Heritage Centre at 2.00 p.m.
Saturday 7th July
Village day BBQ all assistance would be welcome.
Friday 27th July and Friday 3rd August
Conducted village walks, starting at the
Heritage Centre at 6.15 p.m. anyone interested should book with the Secretary (tel: 01404 822244).
Friday 14th September
A talk by Annie Bassett in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Friday 19th October
Auction of Pledges and Promises in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
sunday 28th October
Apple Pressing at The Heritage Centre from 11.00 a.m to 2.30 p.m.
Friday ? November
A talk to be announced at the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Saturday 8th December
Christmas Lunch at the Whimple Cricket Club starting at
12 noon.

New Year Raffle
Over the years members have been very generous in providing prizes for the raffles held at the Society’s events throughout the year. Once more the Committee is making an appeal for prizes especially for our New Year Raffle. If you have an item suitable as a prize please give it to a member of the Committee.
The Society has been well provided with prizes in the past and has never had to buy any. Thank you to all who have given in the past, it is much appreciated.

The Society would like to encourage members to have their newsletter
e-mailed to them for two reasons (i) to reduce the cost of postage and stationery and (ii) to allow members to be contacted with regard to events that are taking place at other Societies and Museums etc. If you are happy to do this could you please contact the Secretary at roger325smith@btinternet.com.

*Please note that admission to the talks is £2.00 for non-members of the Society

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Saturdays 10.30 – 16.00
Wednesdays 13.00 – 15.00
1st APR.17  -  30th sept. 17


01404 822499