CPHS members Shirley Campbell Brown, Colin Pady, John Forrester Addie and John Cochrane holding long service awards presented to them by Brian Carpenter during the celebrations on 19 June 2014 - marking Colyton's 25 successful years as a Devon History Service Point.  The  Open Day was held in the new Heritage Centre with CPHS Chairman Marion Sydenham  (on the right) welcoming everyone to the event

CPHS members Shirley Campbell Brown, Colin Pady, John Forrester Addie and John Cochrane holding long service awards presented to them by Brian Carpenter during the celebrations on 19 June 2014 – marking Colyton’s 25 successful years as a Devon History Service Point. The Open Day was held in the new Heritage Centre with CPHS Chairman Marian Sydenham (on the right) welcoming everyone to the event

The Devon History Service Point in Colyton is 25 years old today. To celebrate this important milestone, the CPHS held an open day at the Service Point’s new permanent home in Colyton Heritage Centre.

Brian Carpenter, Community and Education Development Officer for Devon Heritage Centre, opened proceedings. He said: “The Service Point scheme was originally conceived in the 1980s as a way of taking history to the people by making copies of records available in their own localities. In June 1989 Colyton was the second Service Point to open, and the scheme now has expanded to the point where there are 22 such facilites throughout the county, from Ilfracombe in the north to Kingsbridge in the south and from Holsworthy in the west to Colyton in the east. The recent opening of the Colyton Heritage Centre and its forthcoming lottery bid are great examples of the way in which Service Points are embracing contemporary developments in digital history and looking to the future.”

Feoffee and Parish Councillor, Colin Pady, spoke next about the history of the Chamber of Feoffees since it was first established by Royal Charter from King Henry VIII in 1546 and the significant contribution the Chamber had made to the development of Colyton over the centuries.

John Cochrane, chief archivist of the History Society, then spoke about the nationally important collection of Feoffees’ records and why the CPHS was applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to digitise and transcribe these records, in order to make them more accessible to the public for academic and family research.

Finally, local historian John Forrester Addie, explained how the History Service Point was delighted to help local people understand how they could use their records to research their family history and investigate the history of their homes. He said the Service Point also regularly received queries from all over the world: “A gentleman from South Africa visited the Heritage Centre on Tuesday morning seeking information about his ancestor who was a doctor and apothecary in Colyton in the mid C19th.  We were delighted to be able to show him some of the information we have available.”

For more information contact Sarah Charman on 01297 553148 or sarah.charman@yahoo.co.uk

For related newspaper articles see below
-    Pullman’s View from Colyton, 24 June 2014: Tribute paid to long standing volunteers of history society “Four members of Colyton Parish History Society were presented with certificates last week, celebrating their long-standing commitment to the organisation….”http://www.colyton-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=21172&searchword=colyton

-    Pullman’s View from Colyton, 17 June 2014: Colyton History Society holds open day to mark 25 years of service point “Colyton Parish History Society will be celebrating 25 successful years of providing a Devon History Service Point  this week……”http://www.colyton-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=20184&searchword=colyton