Underwater treasure talk at Sidmouth

Divers to talk of sea-bed finds at first of three talks at Sidmouth’s Kennaway House

A WEEKEND television programme has highlighted the first of a series of talks to be given at Kennaway House in November.

It was during BBC TV’s Ancient Britain, that Ffiona Eaves, organiser of the series, realised the connection during a trailer for Update on History: South and East Devon, the title for this season’s three talks.

She said: “Watching shots of divers picking up 3,000 year old copper ingots and a bronze sword from the sea-bed, I realised that these are the very people who’ll be giving the first talk.

“Devon divers, operating off the south coast, have made discoveries so important that they featured prominently in Neil Oliver’s programme as evidence of international trade routes as far back as 1,000 B.C.”

Two members of the diving team will talk about these finds, and later sea-bed discoveries such as a 17th century galleon stacked with Islamic coins and jewellery, on Friday, November 4, at 7.30 p.m. at Kennaway House.

Ron Howell and Andy Elliott of the The South West Maritime Archaeological Group (SWMAG) will talk about 3,000 years of History from the Sea and team members will be present from 7pm to meet the public with display boards showing their work.

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Ron, from Strete, South Devon, trained as a diver 50 years ago in the Royal Navy and is a founder member of SWMAG. He will be assisted by Andy, who is another founder member and also from South Devon.

Cross-Channel links also form the theme of the second talk, on Friday November 11.

John Allan, former curator of Exeter Museum, looks at the beautiful mediaeval and Tudor carving in Devon churches and houses and detects the hand of Breton craftsmen.

In the last talk of the series, on Wednesday, November 23, Valerie Belsey returns to Sidmouth after her popular talk last year, to explore a different kind of route – Devon’s Green Lanes – and their history.

Tickets for each talk cost �5 and are available from Kennaway House (01395) 515551 or on the door.