As part of a our monthly talks programme we very lucky to host the local historian Bill Hardiman from Moretonhampstead History Society. The event was extremely well attended and the following is a tiny snapshot of the history of Fingle Woods revealed by Bill……it was absolutely fascinating hopefully we can persuade Bill to come back next year.
Charcoal at Fingle
Charcoal burning had been traditional in the woods with a 25 year rotation of oak coppice cut very low. By the C20th the market had declined with the demise of the local tin and wool industries, the influx of wattle bark from South Africa and the greater availability of coal and coke. However, in WWII Dr Siegfried Marian, an Austrian refugee, set up a charcoal-burning enterprise and Dartington Woodland contracted to supply 5,000 tons of cordwood landed to level space near the River Teign at Fingle Bridge. It was used for high quality metal work on aircraft parts and for cordite. The charcoal dust was mixed paraffin and sold locally for firelighters.
Back left Ken Underhill Back right Rosie Pellowe
Centre left Harry Treen Centre Eileen Dayment Centre right Lillian Pellowe
Front left Bill Dayment Front centre Bert Stevens
Bill Dayment was the lorry driver & Eileen was his sister – they came from Chagford.
Jack Cleave of Moretonhampstead on the right. Jack was a stonemason who had worked on the building of Castle Drogo.