Chairman’s Interim Report 2016

Andrew Turnbull
July 2016

Following the formal removal of our charity status in January 2016, a new Constitution was adopted at the AGM in March thereby starting a new era for the Chudleigh and District Amenity Society.

The introduction of an admission charge for each talk coupled with the provision of free refreshments has not had a detrimental effect on attendance. Indeed, despite having to pay increased speaker fees this year, the improved attendance means our finances remain healthy.

This has enabled the Society to continue work on some other projects within Chudleigh to demonstrate our ‘Pride in Chudleigh’.

Thanks to funding from our District Councillor’s Fund, we have been able to plant over 5,000 snowdrops in front of the Parish Church and have money available to purchase a small quantity of daffodils to plant in the Autumn.

Snowdrop bulb planting
Planting snowdrops in the church grounds
Chudleigh Town Sign

We have commissioned Devon Highways Signs to refurbish the Chudleigh Town signs at the entrances to the town and have planted flowering shrubs to further enhance their appearance.

The trees that were planted in Lawn Drive last year are generally thriving but continue to need watering in dry periods. One of the existing trees has died, as has one of the bare root trees planted last autumn. It is intended to replace these with different species next winter. Unfortunately, the beautiful red hawthorn planted in the Churchyard to mark the Queen’s Jubilee had to be felled as it was dying. CADAS offered to replace it but it is understood that it will be replaced by TDC in due season. Accordingly, CADAS have planted a Magnolia sidbury in front of the Church to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday. This tree was blessed by one of CADAS’s Founder members, the Rev. Christopher Pidsley on the occasion of his 80th Birthday celebration.

Tree planting Chudleigh Parish Church
Tree planting Chudleigh Parish Church

In 2000, the Amenity Society obtained a grant to undertake an Oral History Project. A number of prominent people in the Town were interviewed about the Chudleigh of their younger days. At the same time old photographs were collected to form an archive for the future. Many of the photographs have been displayed in the Library and Town Hall, but others are unique. This work was co-ordinated by the late Roger Brandon and it gives us great pleasure to be able to publicise the result so that anyone can gain access to it.

S Cornish, Butcher, Chudleigh

Thanks to the sterling efforts of one of our Management Committee members – Oliver Stone, this CADAS website has been created and both the oral history records and the photographs are available for all to access. The website also contains important information about CADAS, its programme of events, current projects and other items of interest.

This year, CADAS has organised visits to Agatha Christie’s home at Greenway and Topsham. Both visits benefited from good weather and the visit in March to Greenway coincided with the blossoming of all the spring flowers and shrubs – a magnificent sight.

Greenway Visit, Agatha Christie
Topsham Visit

Helen Turnbull led a historical walk around Topsham where she was able to point out what is left of its prominent activities as a major port. The port dates from the 14th century, when it was heavily involved in the wool trade and many of the houses were built in the Dutch style using the bricks that were used as ballast on the return trip. The tour finished in the Strand where many houses were built by merchants and ship builders, one of which now houses the Topsham Museum.

Two of the objectives of CADAS are to:

Promote high standards of planning and architecture

Secure the protection, conservation and improvement of features of historic and public interest

During the last few months the Management Committee have been actively involved in fighting the appeal against the planning refusal on the Square, the redevelopment of the White Hart, the changes to 12/14 Fore St, and closure of Oldway.

In relation to the closure of Oldway, we have now received a clear statement from Devon County Council that no Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is in place. The closure would need a TRO and before this can be made, there has to be a public consultation.

The Appeal regarding the Square still rests with the Planning Inspector in Bristol, as does the resolution of the changes to 12/14 Fore Street.

Your Management Committee have been very concerned about planning issues within the Conservation area and Chudleigh Town Council Planning Committee have agreed to ensure that in future there is a Heritage Statement with every such planning application.

We would like to collect detailed information on all properties within the Conservation Area together with a photographic record but this a considerable task and we do not have the manpower at present to carry it out. In addition, we have met with Maureen Pearce, the Conservation Officer for Teignbridge District Council (TDC) and have agreed, at her request, to assist where we can in providing local information about listed and other properties at risk within the Town. TDC are now aware of the considerable photographic archive that we now hold and which can be used for reference purposes.

Chudleigh Town Centre

Many of you will have noticed the absence of the Mosaic this year. Unfortunately, rainwater penetrated the corners of the frame and the back. It has now been restored and mounted, away from the wall. There is a precise maintenance schedule to follow to keep it in pristine condition. We are very grateful to Richard Caunter who remounted the mosaic for us at no cost.

Thanks to the generosity of the local Rotary Club, we have been given funds to work with the Primary School to produce small mosaics to mark other notable historic buildings around Chudleigh.

We are always looking for help with any of the above projects and if you can assist in any way then please contact me at

Chudleigh Mosaic