Heart of the South Hams, Devon

Soar Mill Cove Beach
Meetings Reports 2013


At its October meeting, our History Group welcomed Stephen Pedrick to introduce his recordings of “Six Malborough Ladies”, reminiscences of the village 50-odd (and more) years ago. 

We were regaled with many fascinating stories, featuring, for example, ‘owlers’ (smugglers), the ‘stinger’ (teacher’s ruler – you can guess what it was used for!), how the chimneys were swept with holly branches, and memories of being served in Callender’s Shop in Higher Town, where sugar was bought loose, weighed out into blue bags. 

The voices were accompanied by an on-screen presentation of some fantastic old photographs, most of which were from the collection at the Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum. 

One of the ladies interviewed wondered why they changed the name of “Turnpike” to “Townsend Cross”.  If anyone knows, please let a member of the History Group know.


The History Group’s June meeting was a lovely sunny afternoon on Plymouth Hoe when we toured the Royal Citadel, a dramatic C17 fortress still used by the military today.  While walking round the 70ft high walls, with glorious views over Plymouth Sound, our delightful guide, Graham Light, gave us a very informative and interesting commentary, telling us how it was built to defend the coastline from the Dutch and also keep watch on a recently rebellious town.  We saw various armaments, from enormous cast iron cannon, some pitted with shrapnel, to smaller bronze ones, a field gun from the Crimea and one captured from the French at Waterloo.

A LOCAL BOY -- John Yeoman

John, born and bred in the area, gave us a fascinating evening of his personal memories and shared with us some great stories and photographs.  The audience had plenty to add, too, making for an evening of fond reminiscences.


The February meeting of the Malborough History Group was considered by some to be one of the best yet. Several people had commented before the meeting ‘that’s a bit dry isn’t it’.  They couldn’t have been more wrong and anyone who missed it because they thought that missed a treat.   Danielle is the Devon Finds Liaison Officer for the Devon Portable Antiquities Scheme (i.e. archaeological finds) and she certainly knows her subject. She was interesting, witty, funny and very knowledgeable. She had slides of several things found in Devon which she showed us and discussed. At the end of the talk several people had brought things to ask her about. The high spot without any doubt was Roy Tucker’s treasure. He had a Neolithic polished axe head to show her, which she dated at between 2500 and 3500 B.C. Roy found this when he was hoeing mangold on his farm. Danielle was thrilled! And so were the rest of us.   A really good evening altogether!