Step back in time

With the help of a Parishscapes grant the community of Throwleigh are celebrating Miss Varwells Throwleigh with the production of a play based on her book.

In 1909 two unmarried sisters, Emmie and Michael Varwell, arrived to set up home in Throwleigh where they were to spend the rest of their lives.

In 1938 one of them, Emmie, wrote a book,Throwleigh, The Story of a Dartmoor Village. In it she describes her love for both the landscape and the history of the area, but especially for the village people that she had known and the stories that they had told her, both of the recent past and of long-ago. We meet key characters, such as the influential;Rector and the jack of all trades blacksmith; the last of the Devon wrestlers and an old lady whose familys memories stretch back as far as the English Civil War. Along with Emmie Varwell, we enjoy the village celebrations, the stories that are told, the songs that are sung and we share her sadness as an older generation departs.

In March 2017, Emmie and Michael Varwell will return to Throwleigh. For just three evenings they will tell us their stories of Throwleigh; the old songs will be sung once more and, via pictures from the Throwleigh Archive, we will see the village that Emmie Varwell knew, meet the characters that filled her world and re-create the place that she so loved.

Frequently moving, often hilarious and always fascinating, The Miss Varwells Throwleigh will be a unique village event not to be missed.

The production will take place on 23, 24, 25 March 2017 at 7.30pm in Throwleigh Village Hall. Tickets are £10 including wine and refreshments (£5 under 18)

Tel: 01647 231051 for more details or visit the website www.throwleigh.org

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On 23rd March, members of Throwleigh parish (and some from across the border!) performed the Parishscapes-funded ‘Miss Varwell’s Throwleigh’ written and directed by Throwleigh resident Jon Bell. The performance told the story of two unmarried sisters, Emmie and Michael Varwell, who arrived in 1909 to set up home in Throwleigh. In 1938 one of the sisters, Emmie, wrote a book, ‘Throwleigh, The Story of a Dartmoor Village’. In it Emmie describes her love of the landscape and the history of the area, and for the people that she had known (as well as her belief that pixies lived amongst the moss-covered stones lining the parish lanes). It is this book which formed the inspiration behind the project.The performance brought to life key characters from Throwleigh’s past such as the influential Rector, the blacksmith, the last of the Devon wrestlers and an old lady whose family’s memories stretch back as far as the English Civil War. Dispersed with traditional folk songs and music, the performance included projected images from the parish archive. Spontaneous applause, and a few tears broke out when a photo of Mr and Mrs Endacott (seated in the audience) appeared, showing them on their wedding day, 68 years ago.The evening was hugely enjoyable; entertaining and poignant in equal measures. Emma Stockley, Parishscapes project lead elaborated “the community have worked together and have given an incredible 700 hours of their time to create a truly unforgettable performance – well done to all those involved. I’m really looking forward to seeing next year’s performance, ‘Colonel Heath’s Hut’”.

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Last update: 11 Jan 2017 10:01am