April 2020 Newsletter

Talk at Village Hall

We were delighted to welcome the Reverend Nicholas Pearkes to Ipplepen at the end of February. In front of a good audience the Reverend Pearkes entertained and informed us with his customary good humour. Unusually we were granted two talks for the price of one. His first theme was the largely forgotten cottage boot making industries that thrived in both Ipplepen and Broadhempston in the mid to late nineteenth century. These leather making skills had been passed down through generations in agricultural areas such as our own but as Nicholas pointed out the industry received a boost when it became apparent that there was a great demand in Newfoundland for boots suitable for fishermen working in the thriving cod fisheries off the coast of Canada. So many young men from South Devon had emigrated to make their living there that families were keen to do whatever they could to support loved ones who they may never see again.

The second part of the talk saw Nicholas reminiscing about his earlier life as a member of the Royal Observer Corps during the 1960s and 70s. One of the most important roles of the Corps was maintaining the nuclear bunkers that are scattered around the country (to this day) and besides his personal story the Reverend Pearkes gave us a condensed history of the Cold War period which seemed both very close to home and at the same time a very different era altogether.


Caroline Lodge is seeking to repeat last year’s Local History Group project working with the primary school. This year’s focus is childhood and we need a group to go up to the school and talk to Year 5 pupils about your childhoods. Your childhood need not have been in Ipplepen, but you should be over 60. The project starts on Wednesday pm 29th April and entails a further two Wednesdays after that. If you are interested or want to discuss this further please contact Caroline on 01803 812458 or e-mail lodgecm@gmail.com.

VE day

As part of the Village VE day celebrations on Friday May 8th the Local History Group have been asked to put on a photographic display in the Village Hall commemorating Ipplepen in World War Two. We do have pictures, but we would like some more so if you think you might have some pictures from the period please let us know and we can scan them for you.

From the Archive….

As promised a month or so back here’s a photo that celebrates all our bowlers – men and women.

The picture was taken in 2001 celebrating 25 years of the Bowling Club.