Hello there! My name is Matt Grace and I’m a geography masters student at Exeter University. Basically, this is a blog about a university project I’m doing on smuggling around the South Hams (Devon, England). The intention here is to put online some of the stuff that I’ve found out, assuming that it might be of interest to some people (you never know!) and also to see what people think of the idea that I’m going on for my masters dissertation: How does the history of smuggling play a part in what we feel about our local place today?
So I’ve been looking at smuggling in the South Hams for a little while now, and there is loads of interesting stuff around! Apart from all the stuff that has been written, there is of course all the stuff that hasn’t been (yet).
I think that oral history is one of the major ways in which tales are told and retold, and make place meaningful. Smuggling is one of the ways in which stories are spread around localities. So what do you know, are they any tales that you know of the South Hams that I don’t? Or have I miss-told some stories? In either case, just add on below this blog. Just so that you are aware, I will be using (parts of) this blog for my dissertation, due in September – I’ll set up a separate page to discuss the implications of this, and some thoughts on writing as a group!
I’ve added some initial pages (see above) concerning two local smugglers, `John Evens’ of Mothecombe and Tom Crocker of Burgh Island. In addition, there is some information on the Coast Guard, and a Literature Review I put together as part of the project. Explore these and any links which might appear, let me know what you think/what you know!
Just been down the beech for the Smuggling Day! Thanks to everyone who came, pictures and video (thanks Bob!) to come!
Just wanted to draw attention to the film produced by the ‘Parish of Thurlestone Society’, ‘The Land of the Five Beaches’, which was created purely from the efforts of locals and some heritage grants in 1999 in time for the Millenium – theres some great stuff on there generally, but also about smuggling in particular! Theres a story, told by a 90 year old man in 1900 (which apparently in written down in church records) recalling the storing of smuggled goods above the porch of the Church, while the Vicar inside preached damnation to the smugglers! It’s relatively unusual to find this kind of story written down 110 years ago, so very interesting! Anyone from Thurlestone out there, please add anything I’ve missed/can be added, all much appreciated!