Questions about whetstones to be answered at talk in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 March 2020

The lecture is being held in memory of Bob Symes.

The lecture is being held in memory of Bob Symes.


The Sid Vale Association and the National Trust Sidmouth Centre will be joining forces in March to present a lecture in memory of Bob Symes.

Bob was chairman of both organisations as well as being Curator of Sidmouth Museum.

Since his death in 2016, the two groups have presented an annual memorial lecture at the Manor Pavilion.

This year's talk will be given by John Mather, who in his professional career, worked for the British Geological Survey and the University of London.

Since moving to Devon in 2002, he has taken a keen interest in local history and has researched the whetstone industry of the Blackdown Hills.

What are whetstones and why do the rocks of the Blackdown Hills yield suitable raw material? When did mining begin and why did it come to an end in the 1920s?

How were the stones worked and what were conditions like in the mines?

How and where were the whetstones sold? What traces of the mines and the families that worked them remain today?

John will address these questions in his talk.

The talk will be held at the Manor Pavilion Theatre on Wednesday, March 11, starting at 2.30pm.

Admission costs £3. Everyone welcome.

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