Programme of Events

Upcoming Events

AGM followed by ‘Movies of Torbay’

Date: 22 March 2024
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Entrance Fee: £3

An illustrated talk by Kevin Dixon. (to be confirmed)

More information to follow…

(this event was originally planned for 15th March but has been moved to 22nd March 2024)

Past Events

See some of our past events below.

The Fatal Shore – the Transportation of South Devon Convicts to Tasmania

Date: 16 February 2024
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Entrance Fee: £3
Victorian Convicts herded by soldiers

An illustrated talk by Phil Badcott.

This talk is about the transportation of convicts from South Devon all the way to Tasmania

The History of Galmpton Creek

Date: 19 January 2024
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Galmpton Village Institute
Entrance Fee: £3
Galmpton Creek, looking out to the River Dart in 1920

An illustrated talk by John Risdon.

A journey through time.

Galmpton Creek remains a unique and appealing feature of a beautiful estuarine landscape, 400 million years after its foundations were first laid down.

Galmpton Creek and shipyard in 1948
Galmpton Creek and Shipyard in 1948

Taking its name from the village it possibly helped to spawn, it has seen vessels created to sail the seven seas over the centuries. It’s waters, once a Royal domain, provided natural riches of stone, river sand and salmon.

Adding to this, generations of local men and women have learned and given their skills in the construction of a multitude of sea-going craft, taking the name Galmpton to far-away places around the British Isles.

Teas/coffee and biscuits available from 7:00pm. Non-members welcome.

Devon Inshore & Overseas Fisheries, 1500-1650

Date: 17 November 2023
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Galmpton Village Institute
Entrance Fee: £3

An illustrated talk by Dr Todd Gray MBE.

Dr Todd Gray MBE is an honorary research fellow at Exeter University and the author of numerous books (we counted at least 63 available on Waterstones Booksellers!) on the history of Devon.

Todd describes his researches into the local fishing industry at this time, An incredible story of small ships sailing from the River Dart to Newfoundland, returning with dried Cod. His talk contains a wealth of factual detail.

The Life & Times of the South Devon Railway

Date: 13 October 2023
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Galmpton Village Institute
Entrance Fee: £3
South Devon Railway logo

An illustrated talk by Alan Taylor, Trustee and former chairman of the South Devon Railway Trust.

Alan has a long history of involvement with the SDR and presents a most interesting and lively talk describing the its commercially driven origins, its subsequent evolvement, Beeching, rebirth and the challenges the railway faces today.

Alan tells the story of the former GWR branch line and its rebirth as one of the nation’s premier heritage railways including a light-hearted look at some of the notable events and celebrity visits that have occurred during its existence.

Teas/coffee and biscuits available from 7:00pm. Non-members welcome, entry £3.00.

The Cary Archive: A guide to using an Estate Collection

Date: 29 September 2023
Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Paignton Library
Entrance Fee: FREE

This is an external event organised by The South West Heritage Trust

Friday, 29th September 2023, 

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Paignton Library

Price: FREE, but booking is essential. BOOK HERE

Brief Summary of the EventFocusing on the previously unexplored archive of the Cary family of Torre Abbey, join archivists Stuart Tyler and Brian Carpenter for an afternoon learning about how to use these records for your research.

As well as finding out more about the history of the Cary family and Torquay, the session will also introduce the different types of records that can be found in this estate collection.

In addition to developing an insight into how these documents can help with local history, house history or family history, you will also receive an introduction to how to read old styles of handwriting and understand the formats of old deeds.
This event is perfect for new researchers and family historians

Torbay Heritage Cruise

Date: 22 September 2023
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Sailing from Brixham on Dolphin Express
Entrance Fee: £15 pp

To appreciate the beauty and heritage of Torbay there is no better way than to view it from the sea itself.

This cruise will be sailing from Brixham on Dolphin Express.

This cruise, with commentary by our own historian John Risdon, will follow the coastline round from Berry Head to Hope’s Nose allowing us to study aspects of our complex but beautiful geology and how it has influenced and brought about our wildlife and communities of past and present.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks available

How to Book

To book your passage tickets (£15 pp) must be purchased from:

Weferry & Funfish Trips
Unit 5, Brixham Marina Village
Berry Head Road
Tel. 01803 303131
(the location is next door to the Prince William waterfront restaurant)

Guided Tour around Buckfastleigh Caves

Date: 20 August 2023
Time: 10:30 am
Entrance Fee: £6 pp, £3 for children

About the Caves

Buckfastleigh Caves are a series of limestone caves situated in the disused Higher Kiln Quarry. Only the Joint Mitnor Cave is suitable for visits by the general public and is managed by the Pengelly Trust.

The parking for the Caves is readily accessed by heading towards the South Devon Railway from the A38 junction but turning right into Russets Lane well before the railway.

Buckfastleigh Caves - photo by Adrian Platt


Payment is by cash only – please have the correct money available. £6 pp, £3 for children.

Meeting Place

We will be meeting at the caves at 10:30am

The numbers are limited to 24 so booking is essential. Please do this by the 15th August 2023.

To Book, please contact Tony Warner by e-mail at:

It is possible that we could consider meeting-up for lunch or just a drink following the visit – please indicate if you would like to join this group .

An invitation to Galmpton Mill

Date: 8 June 2023
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Galmpton Mill Farm
Entrance Fee: £0

Regretfully, this event is now fully booked and no more places are available.

Ben Morris of Galmpton Mill has kindly invited members of the Galmpton and Churston History Group to visit his home. Members will be able to view his newly reconstructed working water-wheel and associated engineered water provision of historic origin.

Due to limited viewing space and safety precautions the number of ‘guests’ is limited to twenty so booking is essential.

Please book with John Risdon via phone on 07768 418417 or email There is no charge for this event.

Pedestrian access to Galmpton Mill Farm is recommended where able but car parking is available where necessary. Please state your intentions when booking.

Galmpton Mill Farm circa 1930

Walk Around Cockington

Date: 12 May 2023
Time: 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Entrance Fee: £3
Cockington Village

This is a guided tour that explores a thousand years of Cockington Village, associated parkland and Cockington Court, led by our very own historian John Risdon.

The tour starts at 9.30am, outside the Information Centre at the centre of Cockington village.

There will be a refreshment stop.

Fee: £3.00

Please book in advance with John Risdon. John’s contact details are:

Mobile: 07768 418417

Home: 01803 844102

Berry Head Guided Tour

Date: 28 April 2023
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Berry Head Car Park
Entrance Fee: £3

Guided tour and interpretation of 6,000 years of Berry Head’s magnificent heritage, led by John Risdon. On completion, tea at the Guard House for those who wish to partake.

The duration is 1½ to 2 hours.

Please book in advance. (JR)

Fee:- £3.