Past News

Down Thomas 1900s

Down Thomas Photoday

Saturday 13th May 2017 Silver Jubilee Hall Down Thomas 10.30 – 16.30

We need your photographs and your memories

Following the success of the photoday held at Wembury last summer a similar event will be held at Down Thomas

Free admission – donations welcome. Light refreshments available

If you have any photos you can share with us or memories/anecdotes you are happy for us to record, please bring them along! We are interested in recording your memories as well as as your photos.

Peter Lugar’s archive of over 900 photographs of Wembury from the 1860s to the present day will be available for you to enjoy.  Each photograph has a description of the scene and, where possible, names of any people shown. His ten volumes of “Wembury Memories” will also be available for study, plus other documents of local interest.

Archives need to expand, so anyone having photographs which they think might be of interest is invited to bring them along – if possible with a written description – so that they can be scanned and returned on the day. The eventual aim is that they will also be lodged with the West Devon Record Office.

We are especially interested in World War II and later – including the very important time in the late 1960s & early 1970s when Wembury and Heybrook Bay were expanding so rapidly.  Photos of this era are in short supply. If what you have is a bit dog-eared, don’t worry – that adds extra atmosphere!

If you wish to copy photographs from the archive for your own research purposes, you will be most welcome to do so. Please bring a “memory stick” to which they can be copied.

Photograph of David Pinder

David Pinder – Chair

WLHS News, April 2016

The most recent news is that the Society now has a Facebook page, thanks to the good offices of Sue Carlyon. An easy way to find it is to go to our website’s home page and click on the Facebook icon just below the first paragraph.

Plans for our photoday on Saturday, May 14th are well advanced. Do come along and enjoy Peter Lugar’s remarkable collection of pictures. AND, if you’re a long-term parish resident with photos from the postwar era, do respond to our appeal to bring them along and have them scanned on the day.

You may well know of other people who would enjoy the pictures, and who might also have photos we could scan for the collection. If so, please encourage them to come along as well. Another attachment is the advert for the day, which you can print for them or send on by email.

You may be interested in several new downloadable documents that we have recently made available on the publications page of the Society’s website. In particular:

Robert Rowland has transcribed all the census returns from 1841 to 1901 – a major task that provides great raw material for exploring local social and economic change during most of the nineteenth century.

Sue Carlyon has produced a similarly important resource by transcribing burial records for St Werburgh’s from 1813 to 2004.  This is part of very detailed research she is undertaking into the family trees of many Wembury families.

I have produced a new document detailing all Wembury’s Listed structures and Ancient Monuments, plus the availability of a new, and very interesting, ‘Pastscape’ website. As this document is quite short and quick to print, it’s also attached to the mail.

The background to this is that there have recently been some significant changes to official listings of buildings, structures and sites considered to be of heritage significance. The news is all good – the number of protected buildings has increased, and we now have two Ancient Monuments instead of one.

We are at present liaising with Doug Packer to provide heritage input for the Neighbourhood Plan project he is steering.  Thinking of the medium and long-term future of the parish, this plan should be of great importance – a hundred years from now, local people may look back and view it as a milestone in Wembury’s history.  Despite this, Doug feels that current interest is lower than is ideal, and he has therefore asked me to encourage members to tune into the progress being made. You can reach the Neighbourhood Plan website via this link:

If you would like email updates, simply register your address via the Neighbourhood Plan website’s ‘contact’ facility. And at the bottom of the home page you will find the Facebook icon, which you can click to become a ‘follower’. Doug stresses that none of this would involve you in any commitment – it’s all about being informed.

That’s probably enough for now!

Best wishes


Visit to Crown Hill Fort

Crown Hill Fort

On 16th June 2016 we visited the fort. It was an extremely interesting time. The fort is well worth a visit…

Photo Day Saturday May 14th 2016

We have many old photographs from the 19th and early 20th century but there are very few post WW2 photos in our archives. To remedy this we are holding a Photo Day in the Village Hall from 10.00 to 16.30. If you have any photographs from any era you could share with us, we will have scanners and cameras  to reproduce them.

There will also be the complete set of Peter Lugar’s Wembury histories with photographs and text. There will also be a continuous slide show of Wembury photographs.

There will be an identical event held in the Silver Jubilee Hall in Down Thomas. The date has  been set for Saturday 13th May 2017 from 10:30 to 16:30.


We now have our own Facebook page. Click here  to access it

Commemorating World War 1 2015

Do you have memorabilia of World War I? If so, we’d very much like to hear from you.

Later this year, possibly in collaboration with St Werburgh’s, we are aiming to mount an exhibition marking the outbreak of the War. We have some materials for this already, but we hope that we will also be able to include items owned by others in Wembury.

Perhaps you have photographs, letters, medals, citations or war service records tucked away in a drawer. Or it could be diaries kept by soldiers, or family members back home. Or you might have stories or anecdotes that you’d like to share with us. We’d be very interested in all these things, and much more.

We understand completely that you would not wish to part with anything, or even put the items themselves on display. What we would like to do, therefore, is scan documents and photograph medals, etc, so that we can use our copies in the displays.

We also understand that most Wembury people’s ancestors had no connection with Wembury. Please don’t let this hold you back – while part of the exhibition will have a local focus, we are hoping to discover memorabilia relating to the war in general.

John Mills is co-ordinating this part of the project, so please contact him if you think you have items of interest. His contact details are 862581 and

Many thanks

David Pinder

2013 The Devon History Society has asked us to advertise the following event.

Saturday, July 13th 2013 Summer meeting at Poltimore House, hosted by Poltimore House Trust and the Poltimore Estate History and Archaeology Group

Contact Julia Neville for more information: