The fire that started in a bakery
Feb20

The fire that started in a bakery

I imagine when you read the title of this week’s Histories and Mysteries, you instantly thought of the Great Fire of London. Well, actually, a very similar event occurred in Chudleigh almost 150 years later. At around noon on 22nd May, 1807, a small fire broke out in pile of gorse stacked near the ovens at a bakery in Culver Street (now New Exeter Street). After the fire, only the church and seven houses were left standing. When...

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The Dartmoor fire – an accident waiting to happen
Feb19

The Dartmoor fire – an accident waiting to happen

Adrian Colston I’m sitting in Exeter. I’m nowhere near Dartmoor. I’m not really sure where the fire actually is, I don’t how it started, but am I surprised? Ok, yes, I’m surprised it was last night, because I thought Dartmoor was covered in snow, but apparently it is not. However, this was an event which has been waiting to happen for many years. There are those who will tell you that Dartmoor is overgrazed and as a result there is...

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A short walk to a better day
Feb19

A short walk to a better day

By Rich Green The clouds are moving quickly this morning, revealing pools of bright, blue sky as they roll across the Meldon Hill. I’m out early, determined to at least start my walk before the rain arrives. Not that I mind walking in the rain; not any more, I should say. The restrictions placed on travel, since the start of the coronavirus disease outbreak, have meant that many people, myself included, have been forced to...

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The Big Interview with Clive Richards – “I couldn’t wait to try my hand at blowing things up and scaling cliffs”
Feb09

The Big Interview with Clive Richards – “I couldn’t wait to try my hand at blowing things up and scaling cliffs”

Clive Richards, artist, fromer Royal Marine and publicity manager for SSAFA – pictures copyright of Chris Saville I have said previously in some of my previous Big Interview pieces, the people with best stories to tell are not necessarily the TV personalities, sportspeople or authors, but actually those who might be classed as ‘ordinary’ – whatever the heck that means! As someone who has studied History at postgraduate level, I...

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Histories and Mysteries: Arsenic and Old Eggs – Some    unusual Devon crimes – Part 2
Feb08

Histories and Mysteries: Arsenic and Old Eggs – Some unusual Devon crimes – Part 2

A county stereotyped for its quiet rural life, Devon finds its notoriety occasionally. We continue our look at some of the seedier and more unusual crimes from Devon’s past. Appearing before Plymouth magistrates on 11th December, 1947, photographer William Baker was accused of selling obscene photographs. He entered a plea of guilty and said in his defence that he ‘liked the artistic side of photography’. Mr C Brown, in the chair and...

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West Devon COVID-19    Heroes – we thank you
Feb07

West Devon COVID-19 Heroes – we thank you

WDBC Local Covid Heroes. Okehampton and District Community Transport Drivers. L-r Lindsey Harrison, Brian and Ann Wood, Sue Wonnacott, Graham Harding. Copyright Chris Saville The Moorlander thanks everyone for their help in making people’s lockdown a little happier and something they can perhaps cope with better. Thank you to all for staying safe and for keeping this horrible disease from getting out of control. Last year, West Devon...

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