On the afternoon of Saturday 15th February, 55 attendees struggled through some very difficult weather conditions created by storm “Dennis” to Manaton Parish Hall to hear Chris Chapman’s excellent talk on “Higher Shilstone”, which was a film screening on the potential selling of this architecturally important Medieval Farmstead.
With the film itself, Chris does a superb job of engaging the audience from the very start, where in 1974 its newly found owner Rita Webber, who had been living in Throwleigh, suddenly finds herself the owner of Shilstone Farm after her parents have died.
Chris, who was living locally himself at the time, recalls seeing Rita moving all her belongings on a day in August using a tractor and trailer from her Council house in the village up to the Farm.
Due to her financial situation, Rita is forced to sell the Farm, and the story develops from there. This is a truly fascinating film and Chris handles the story with great sensitivity.
After the film, we all tucked into delicious light refreshments provided by the Executive Committee and then Chris presented some of his extensive Throwleigh archive of old photographs and gave us an illustrated talk showing many images of rare and landmark situations, and occasions, and of the local people who lived in the Throwleigh area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Despite the travel conditions everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful afternoon where we all felt that we had been totally transported back in time and had been given a rare insight into traditional Dartmoor life.