158th Annual Conference, Bideford 2020


All DA events up to 30 June have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
See our dedicated page for the latest information.


This postponed Annual Conference will be re-run in Bideford in 2021. The Royal Bideford Hotel has confirmed that they can host the event next year from the 4th to the 6th of June, and they have transferred all accommodation bookings to these rescheduled dates.

We are required by our constitution to hold an AGM each year, so this year’s will be held online by videoconference on Saturday 3 October 2020. See here for details.


John Allan with his
presentation plate

In the unavoidable absence of this year’s conference, our outgoing President, John Allan was given a token of appreciation for the energy, support and enthusiasm he has shown throughout his presidential year.

The plate (click to see a larger version)

The short presentation took place on 4 June outside Exeter Cathedral.

You can read a report here.


The Devonshire Association’s 158th Annual Conference and AGM was due to be held at the Royal Hotel in Bideford from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 June 2020.

Bideford Quay
Photo: Tony Buller

Before the cancellation, our Chair, Dr Sue Andrew wrote:

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 Weare Giffard, SS Freshspring, and RHS Rosemoor.

Writer and bookworm Nick Arnold will give our Public Lecture on the Viking’s 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 Clare Broom promises to challenge our thinking regarding the natural world.

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.