Notices (updated 14 Jan 2018)

This is the place for notices and short news items that will be of interest to members of the DA. You may also wish to look at the Events news page where new events and changes to existing ones are reported.

This page will be updated as news comes in – the latest items will always appear at the top. Some of the items are re-posts of content that was originally published in DA News.

If you have any Association-related news that you think would be of interest to the membership, please send it to the Registrar: you can use the message form on the Contact page, if you wish. Subject to approval, we will publish it here.

Book reviews

14 Jan 2018

Just added new reviews written by our Chairman, Peter Beacham OBE, of two recent books on James Ravilious. One book contains high quality reproductions of 75 of his photographs, the other is an insightful biography by his widow. Read the reviews here.

EH request for volunteers at Dartmouth Castle

Click to enlarge

Volunteer for English Heritage

Dec 2017

English Heritage has vacancies for volunteers at Dartmouth Castle. Click on the image to see the full details.

For more information:

Cover of Buckfast Abbey book, published 2017. Edited by Peter Beacham, DA ChairmanBuckfast Abbey book

Buckfast Abbey celebrates its millennium in 2018 and our chairman, Peter Beacham OBE, is the editor of a new book, ‘Buckfast Abbey, History, Art and Architecture’. A conference to launch the new book was held on 7 October 2017 at which contributors to the publication spoke on their particular subject area. The book is now available in bookshops, price £60.

On Twitter

13 Dec 2017

From today the @devonassoc Twitter account will be used in conjunction with this website to provide updates on what the DA is doing.


Dr Chris Cornford, President of the Devonshire Association in 2014-15, died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday 4th November at his home in North Devon. Over the past two years he had fought cancer with courage and dignity, remaining positive until the end.

Following some years working as a petroleum geochemist, in 1983, he set up Integrated Geochemical Interpretation Ltd and a Field Centre at Hallsannery, near Bideford. His company, which provided services to the oil and gas industry with an emphasis on integrating geochemistry, geology and basin modelling, was internationally recognised as a leader in its field. He was a strong supporter of the Devonshire Association and, together with his wife Sally, was active in many other societies and organisations in Bideford, Devon and South-West England.

A service of celebration will be held at 1.40 pm on Monday 20th November at Barnstaple Crematorium and afterwards at Hallsannery.

A full obituary of Chris will be published in next year’s Transactions.

DA Conference 2018

The 156th DA Conference will be held over three days, commencing Friday 1 June 2018, at The Royal Castle Hotel in Dartmouth. The lectures and AGM will be held at the nearby Flavel Centre. Further details will be published as soon as they are available.

Branch Reports

29 Oct 2017

Two Branch reports of this year’s events have recently been added: East Devon’s includes talks on rood screens and life in medieval Exeter, and a visit to Forde Abbey in Dorset; while Exeter’s covers talks on General Mercer and Harry Hems, and visits to a Freemason’s Hall, the estate of Hall, and Northernhay Gardens.

Feedback from the consultation on the format of Transactions

Comments were requested in the Spring issue of DA News about the future format of the Report and Transactions. Following an analysis of the 55 responses received from the membership, it has been agreed that, from Volume 150 (2018), the Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association will continue in almost the present format (though with redesigned cover).

There was a clear view that we concentrate on original papers/articles and retain the reports (though with revised guidance provided for those compiling the contents). Issues where members’ guidance was mixed, and which require decisions to be taken by the Executive Committee, are the presence of financial data, book reviews and obituaries. There are quite compelling reasons for both leaving in, or taking out, and we still have to assess the merits of some things appearing on the website or in DA News.

Malcolm Hart
Honorary Editor Transactions

Award for President

Our President, David Fursdon, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to him on the eve of the Devon County Show, in recognition of his major contribution to the agricultural industry.

DA News editor needed

from DA News Autumn 2017

The Spring 2018 issue of DA News will be the last one under the current editor and a new editor is now being sought. Anyone interested should contact the chairman, Peter Beacham. The current editor, Brendan Hurley, will be happy to provide details of what the role involves to any prospective applicants.

Todd Gray’s update on his President’s walk

from DA News, Autumn 2017

Todd Gray has written a short reflection on his cross-county “Walk and Talk” undertaken in May.

Email addresses

from DA News Autumn 2017

In the foreseeable future the Association will be making greater use of email to communicate with our members. We encourage those who have not yet provided Bridget Gillard, our Registrar with an email address to do so.

Also if you have changed your email address or any other contact details, please let Bridget know.

South Devon Branch report

14 August 2017

South Devon Branch has posted its latest Branch report, including details of talks on church houses, the Royal Clarence Hotel fire, Devon place-names, and walks around Ashburton and Dawlish.

Twitter accounts

12 July 2017

Our Registrar has recently set up a new Twitter account @DA_Registrar which she will use to notify details of selected upcoming events. She is also re-tweeting items of Devon interest. We recommend that all Twitter users should subscribe as another way of staying up-to-date with events in the DA. An icon that links to this feed appears in the green footer at the bottom of every page.

We have a few other Twitter feeds too: @DABotany, @DABuildings and @DaGeology which are mainly for members of those Sections (though anyone can subscribe, of course), and @devonassoc to which Dr. Robin Wootton added occasional snippets of information [now repurposed: see update 13 Dec 2017].

Presidents’ Biographies

3 June 2017

Following the installation of David Fursdon as President at the 2017 Conference, his biography has been updated, and a biography of Dame Suzi Leather, our coming President for 2018-19, has been added. Todd Gray, on reaching the end of his term, has been moved to the Recent Presidents page.


11 May 2017

The Association is very sorry to hear of the death of Jeanne Edyvean, our Registrar from 1971 to 1989 and sends condolences to her family.

Branch and Section membership figures 31/12/2016

from DA News Spring 2017


Axe Valley: 49
Bideford: 86
East Devon: 197
Exeter: 330
Plymouth: 77
South Devon: 180
Tavistock & W. Devon: 75
No Branch: 269
Total: 1263 (a small number of members are affiliated to more than one Branch)


Botany: 174
Buildings: 479
Entomology: 99
Geology: 244
History: 622
Industrial Archaeology: 133
Literature & Art: 212
Music: 63

Portable Sound System

from DA News Autumn 2016

Having had difficulty with acoustics in some village hall venues, the Industrial Archaeology Section has recently purchased a small portable sound system. The unit is powered by a rechargeable battery and is provided with a lapel microphone and a headset microphone. Both of these operate wirelessly so there are no trailing wires.

The Section has agreed to make the unit available to others in the DA. It will be kept at the DA office and bookings should be made via the Registrar.

Recent bequests

from DA News Autumn 2016

The Association has recently received two bequests, one for £5,000, the second for £1,000. The Association is most grateful for these generous donations which will be used to further improve our services to members.

Andrew Festing Face Value

from DA News Spring 2016

Art historian and DA Executive member Jenny Pery is the author of a recent book dealing with the portrait painter Andrew Festing. The book, Andrew Festing Face Value is published by Millennium Publishing.

A New Devon Bird Atlas

from DA News Spring 2016

Stella Beavan, the Entomology Section’s Secretary, has done it again. She last appeared in DA News in 2014 as author with Robert Heckford and others of the nationally important Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles. Now, less than two years later, she has co-authored with Mike Lock the 500 page Devon Bird Atlas 2007–2013 showing the distribution of breeding birds, and for the first time also of overwintering birds in Devon, based on six years of field work. With fully coloured distribution maps and photographs of 220 species and accounts of many more this book looks splendid, and is likely to be widely appreciated and used by the many bird enthusiasts in the county. There are sections on geology and habitat distribution, and a foreword by Prince Charles. All this for £40 plus £6.99 p&p, available from

Robin Wootton