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Colonel Heath’s Hut

For a period of around two years, from 2016 to 2018, the parish of Throwleigh, via its own local Archive, developed its 'Parishscapes' project with funding and assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported 'Moor Than Meets The Eye' scheme, led by the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

In March 2017 Throwleigh Archive presented the first of two productions about the history and heritage of Throwleigh. Called, The Miss Varwells Throwleigh it was an adaptation of an account of the history of the village published in 1938 by a local resident, Emmie Varwell. A mixture of narrative, live-action, music and song illustrated by photographs from the Archive, it played to packed houses of delighted audiences.

Then in March 2018, the Archive presented their second production. Titled, Colonel Heath's Hut, the presentation concentrated on events in the village during the late 1940s and early 1950s, in particular the struggle to acquire and develop a Village Hall. Unlike Part 1, this performance was not based on the writings of one person. Instead a wide range of accounts, reminiscences and documents held by the Throwleigh Archive were utilised, along with extracts from contemporary local newspapers. Central to the story was the role of local resident, Colonel CPE Heath.

In addition, once again, there were a range of photographs drawn from the Archive’s collection which supported the narrative. Also, this time, the producers utilised a number of film extracts. Because time had moved on, another world war had happened and the Throwleigh of the 1940s and 50s was becoming a different place. Although many of the old families still remained and much of life went on as before, the wider world was beginning to impact on the village. New fashions in clothes, in music and communications could not be ignored and these were represented in this production.  Step by step, the traditional village, so lovingly described by Emmie Varwell, was beginning its transformation into the Throwleigh of today.

Photo produced with the kind permission of Chris Chapman

Once again the production played to packed, enthusiastic houses including members of Colonel Heath’s family. A DVD of this production will shortly be available from the Archive. Also, from summer 2019, a film celebrating the entire ‘Parishscapes’ project will be available on the Dartmoor National Park website.