Annual Conference, Bideford 2022

After two years during which we were forced by COVID to hold our meetings online, we are pleased to announce that our 2022 Annual Conference and AGM will be held at the Royal Hotel in Bideford from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th of September.

Bideford Quay
Photo: Tony Buller

In the Conference leaflet printed for the event, Dr Sue Andrew, Chair of the Executive Committee, writes:

Our Annual Conference and AGM will take us to the ‘little white town’, whose port in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was so important in sending ships to the fisheries of Newfoundland. Foreign trade, especially in tobacco, ensured the town remained wealthy for another hundred years or so.

We have a busy and varied programme of stimulating and enjoyable events, including a special tour of the Burton Art Gallery with its fine collection of ceramics, and visits to the iconic Bridge and Trust Rooms, Rolle Canal with its sea lock and lime kilns, SS Freshspring and the Historic Wharves, and the glorious gardens at RHS Rosemoor.

Writer and bookworm Nick Arnold will give our Public Lecture on the Vikings’ Dragon Ships, and well-known local historian and thrice Mayor of Bideford, the ever-entertaining Peter Christie, will lead the town walk. Our incoming President Professor John Mather promises to challenge our thinking regarding the mapping of Devon’s fascinating geology.

With the prospect of good company, and plenty of time to share ideas, our three-day conference is always a highlight of the DA year. Do join us for all or part of it.

Programme of events

Royal Hotel, Bideford
Photo: Tony Buller

Friday 2 September

15:00 Assemble at The Royal Hotel for a Town Walk led by Peter Christie
17:30 President’s Reception hosted by Dr Robin Wootton
18:30 Public Lecture by Nick Arnold: Devon and the Dragon Ships
20:00 Hot buffet supper with a cash bar at The Royal Hotel. Pre-booking essential.

Saturday 3 September

09:00 Registration
09:15 Presentation of papers chaired by Professor Malcolm Hart
10:45 Coffee and biscuits
11:15 Presentation of papers (continued)
12:30 Lunch break – finger buffet with a cash bar at The Royal Hotel. Pre-booking essential.
13:30 Registration
13:45 AGM
15:00 Tea and biscuits
15:30 Installation of the new President, Professor John Mather followed by his President’s address: Granite, greywacke and the making of the geological map of Devon
19:00 Informal gathering in the bar at The Royal Hotel
19:30 Dinner at The Royal Hotel hosted by the DA Chair, with a cash bar. Pre-booking essential – attendees will be contacted with food choices prior to the event.

Sunday 4th September (Choice of visits)

10:00 Visit to Steam Ship Freshspring, Landivisiau Walk, Bideford followed by a walk and talk at the Historic Wharves, RFA Freshspring was a Fresh-class water tank vessel of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The ship has steep ladders and uneven floors with trip hazards. The main deck is wheelchair accessible. The optional walk to the Historic Wharves will be approximately 2 km. Limited to 25 attendees.

10:30 Visit to Bideford Bridge Trust with Peter Christie. The bridge between Bideford and East-the-Water has been rebuilt several times over the last 700 years and the Trust has maintained it for most of that time. Hear about the fascinating history of the bridge and the amazing work of the Trust. Limited to 16 attendees.

11:00 Talk and tour of the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Victoria Park, Bideford.

14:00 A guided visit to Annery kilns and the sea lock on the Rolle Canal, courtesy of Adrian Wills (Rolle Canal and North Devon Waterways Society). Refreshments will be served.

14:30 Guided tour of the gardens at RHS Rosemoor. If you are an RHS member, please bring your membership card, otherwise a £7.50 entrance fee will be charged on arrival. Guided tour is limited to 15 attendees.

Bideford and the Long Bridge. Photo: Tony Buller

How to book

  • You can book for the Conference online via WebCollect. See this page for details, or if you’re familiar with WebCollect booking you can go straight to the event page on WebCollect. Our preferred payment method is by Online Direct Debit, but payments by Bank Transfer and Cheque are also accepted.
  • You can also book by printing a copy of the booking form [coming here soon] and posting it with a cheque to the Registrar.
  • The Spring 2022 issue of DA News magazine, sent to all members of the DA, includes a printed conference programme with a tear-off booking form that can be posted with a cheque to the Registrar.

The Association is greatly indebted to Mrs Sadie Green for invaluable help and advice in connection with the arrangements for this year’s Annual Conference.