Report and Transactions 2017 – an overview


Volume 149 (2017) of the Devonshire Association’s annual Report and Transactions has been published, before the end of the year – the first time for many years that this target has been achieved. Thanks are due to its editor, Professor Malcolm Hart, for expediting this: he assures us that this is the plan for future years too.

For those unfamiliar with our major annual publication, here’s an overview of this year’s volume.

After preliminary material that includes the reports of the Executive Committee, the Association’s finances, and this year’s annual conference held at Buckfast Abbey, the first 232 pages of this volume are devoted to eleven papers covering a wide range of topics. These are headed by the Presidential Address given by David Fursdon, Lord Lieutenant of Devon. All the papers are related to Devon and an abstract for each is available here. Appropriate to the year in which we held a major celebration of nearly 500 years of contact and interaction between Devon and Newfoundland, three of the papers are related to that Canadian Province.

The next 155 pages feature the annual Section reports from our eight Sections: Botany, Buildings, Entomology, Geology, History, Industrial Archaeology, Literature & Art, and Music.

These reports relate to the previous year (2016) and are a mixture of narratives about the talks, lectures, field trips, and excursions that were enjoyed by the Section members, and reports on the research they have undertaken. The Botany and Entomology Sections continue their long series of annual recorders’ reports (109th report on Botany, and 69th on Entomology). As a collection, these form an invaluable record of changes in species found in the county, year-by-year.

Also included is the 7th report on Dialect and Folklore, which combines the 114th report on Dialect and the 108th on Folklore. Topics discussed include dialect words for the ignis fatuus, such as ‘Jackie twad’, ‘Joan the wad’ and ‘hinkypunk’.

Leaflet advertising A New Flora of Devon, our own publication

As usual, the volume ends with book reviews. This year we have reviews of eight recently-published books related to Devon:

  • Roger Smith, Bob Hodgson and Jeremy Ison (2016) A New Flora of Devon
  • Rebecca Tope (2017) Sabine Baring-Gould: The Man who told a Thousand Stories
  • Darren Marsh (2017) Exeter’s Royal Clarence Hotel
  • Simon Butler (2016) Land Girl Suffragette – The Extraordinary Story of Olive Hockin – Author, Artist, Arsonist
  • Peter Christie (2016) A History of Photography in North Devon 1842–1914
  • Peter Christie (2013) Sir – Letters to the North Devon Journal, 1824–1874
  • Richard Selley (2016) Sir Harry Selley: A Brick-layer from Topsham, Devon
  • Gary Holpin (2016) Honiton Through Time

Finally, tucked away on page 412 below the details of the various subscriptions we offer is the news that copies of the current Report and Transactions can be purchased by non-members for £30. Contact the Registrar if you would like to buy a copy. We also have a small stock of back copies for the last twenty years that are available for purchase.