Sections

The Sections organise annual programmes of events, similar to those of the Branches, but they are focused on particular subjects (e.g. geology, history, industrial archaeology; for a full list see below). They may also undertake projects which give amateur members the opportunity to work alongside professional colleagues, should they wish to do so.

Project results are published in the Transactions, while larger reports may be deposited in official county archives. No specialist knowledge is required to join a Section — just a keen interest in the subject.
Click the home page What’s on for programme details.
Click the images below for larger versions

Images courtesy of:
Botany: Chris Proctor & Antony T Buller
Buildings: Antony T Buller & Helen Wilson
Entomology: Robin Wootton
Geology: Antony T Buller & Jenny Bennett
History: Nerina Frampton & Antony T Buller
Industrial Archaeology: Antony T Buller
Literature and Art: Robin Wootton
Music: Chris Chapman

Botany

The Botany Section runs an annual programme of 13 to 14 field meetings, held in a wide range of Devon locations. There are also occasional meetings organized by the ‘lower plants’ group; i.e. those specialising in bryophytes (mosses) and lichens. The only indoor meeting is the AGM in January. As well as vascular plants, the Section examines and records lichens, bryophytes and fungi; the records are published in the DA Transactions. The Section is the major source of botanical expertise in Devon and members are preparing a new book on the Flora of Devon.

Botany
Botany

Buildings

The Buildings Section began by recording barns threatened with conversion into dwellings. Latterly the Recorders have also documented bathing houses and plunge pools of 18th and 19th century origin. Summaries are published in the DA Transactions and copies of the detailed reports have been deposited with the County Sites and Monuments Department at County Hall and in the West Country Studies Library. The Section has also organised visits to more than 100 buildings, most not open to the public. Members have also participated in town walks with local history societies, been given guided tours of churches, and listened to lectures on subjects ranging from cob buildings to monasteries.

Buildings
Buildings

Entomology

The Entomology Section aims to promote interest in, and understanding of, all subjects relating to insects, and to encourage the study of the distribution and biology of insects in Devon. Besides indoor meetings, there are several field meetings each year. Recently these have included walks to see the heath fritillary butterfly, dragonflies or day-flying moths. A major activity of the Section is the collection and collation of records of insects in Devon, the most interesting of which are published annually in the Transactions. The ‘Devon Collections of Insects’, which consists mainly of butterflies and moths, is now in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

Entomology
Entomology

Geology

The Geology Section arranges an annual programme of lectures and field trips. Day trips are primarily in Devon and adjacent counties, but the group also ventures further afield to study and understand how the rocks of Devon fit within the wider geological framework of the UK. Furthermore, annual week long trips in the autumn have visited geological sites both in the UK and abroad. Close links are maintained with other geological societies in the south west including some joint events.

Geology
Geology

History

The History Section holds four afternoon lectures a year (January, March, July & November) and a social evening every September — all in central Exeter. The subject matter is primarily on Devon themes and can cover a wide historical range; for example, in 2013 we are to have lectures on such diverse themes as the Plymouth Blitz and the Exeter cholera epidemic. Most summers we also arrange a visit to a historic site in Devon. A bi-annual History Conference is also held, often at the University of Exeter, the most recent topic being ‘Devon in the 1860s- Landscapes and People’. We have developed strong links with the University History Department from which we frequently draw speakers. Whilst some of our lectures are fairly academic, many provide a general background on Devon historical topics.

History
History

Industrial Archaeology

The long-term aim of the Industrial Archaeology Section is to encourage the study, research and documentation of Devon’s industrial past. This will be done by arranging talks, visits, and exhibitions, and assisting members and others in fieldwork and research. News and research results will be disseminated and published in an appropriate fashion to the benefit of members, specialists and the general public.

Industrial Archaeology
Industrial Archaeology

Literature and Art

The long-running Literature Section was re-founded in 1988 and developed the Art aspect in 2011, extending its interest in book illustration to include Devon painting. Members enjoy visits to galleries and libraries, and our programme includes talks by and about Devon writers and painters, books set in Devon, and aspects of the production of books. Our special 150th Anniversary open event at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in March 2013 will include all of these aspects and more and will, we hope, stimulate new members’ interest in the section.

Literature and Art
Literature and Art

Music

The Music Section promotes and recognizes music that is indigenous to or inspired by the County of Devon, through performance and study of music and musicians that demonstrate a connection with the county and its particular qualities. It aims to organize musical events that both entertain and inform, drawing on all types of music created in Devon from traditional and contemporary to classical, folk, jazz and rock. Musicians and non-musicians should find much to widen their appreciation. Several concerts have been given and more are in the offing.

Music
Music

Recorder of Dialect & Folklore

Dr John Smith, Uplands Cottage, North Road, Bath, BA2 6HD (Tel. 01225 462506)

Recorder of Mammals

Rodney Hale 2 Hele Cottage, West Sandford, Crediton EX17 4PE (Tel. 07800 584885) (Email: brownharepreservation@btopenworld.com)