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The Old Dartmothians tidy up the St Clements church perimeter walls.

A working party of Old Dartmothian members set about tidyng up the perimeter walls of the St Clements church, Townstal, the fine weather enabled the members to set about one of their regular tidy up sessions for 2021. Big thanks to all the members who gave up their time.
Photos by Jane Knight - thank you Jane.


This year marks the 400 year anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to America, and Dartmouth, being one of the focal points of the pilgrim fathers journey, intends to play a part in the celebrations towards the end of this year. Circumstances have conspired to seriously affect planned events in the region and future ones are still to be decided upon.

The Old Dartmothians Association members were very keen to make a contribution to the local celebrations, by totally refurbishing and re-planting the wonderful galleon floral container, formally housed in the Royal Avenue Gardens. This wonderful piece of floral art was last seen in the gardens around about five years ago. It was originally commissioned in 2013 by the South Hams Council at a cost of £7,000, to form part of the floral commemorations, in the Royal Avenue Gardens, of the Royal Navy having a presence in the town for 150 years. Then in 2014 the galleon was a part of the entries that were awarded a record number of trophies in the Britain In Bloom contest, which in turn lead to an invitation for the town to enter the prestigeous Tatton Park 2015 Royal Horticultural Show, where it was influential in advertising our town to the wider world.

The GalleonPhoto courtesy of By The Dart

It is unclear when the galleon was removed from the gardens, but it has been kept in storage, awaiting a return in 2020 for the Mayflower 400, regrettably due to the covid-19 pandemic the association members are unable to restore the galleon due to social distancing and isolation. I'm sure that it will remain on the project to do list for the association at some future date, let's hope that this is not too far away.


In adverse weather, the association performed a handing back ceremony for the Middleton Arch at the entrance to the Royal Avenue Gardens.
Some intial photos supplied by Barry Morris and Martin Thomas of DARTMOUTH PHOTOS.  

Video link to the event from Martin Thomas, apologies for the sound quality due to traffic. VIDEO LINK

Some information for you all on this major project undertaken by The Old Dartmothians’ Association for the refurbishment of the Middleton Arch, at the entrance to the Royal Avenue Gardens.

This has without doubt been a major project undertaken by our association from start to finish. Of course with a huge project like this we have required outside help with certain aspects of the work required.

The Old Dartmothians are extremely proud of the fantastic results we have achieved, and as you can see “The Middleton Arch” is back to its former glory just as it was in 1992, when Alan Middleton designed and built this marvellous structure, which is very much a focal point for the town of Dartmouth. Alan has helped considerably with advice throughout the project, and has been on hand constantly to supervise. What better than the creator, designer, and builder to be at our side, so a big thank you to Alan, we are extremely grateful.



Images of the original design have been scanned in from Alan Middleton's scrapbook.
With the return of the refurbished arch due back into Dartmouth on Thursday the 24th October, we thought you may like to see some of the original images, including some from Alan Middleton's scrapbook design records, they were scanned, and sent in by Barry Morris.
Photographs 'A' and 'B' have been donated by Martin Thomas of Dartmouth Photos

 Arch bwa1911
original Arch

 Blacksmith3 Blacksmith4 Blacksmith5


Well it was fine sunny weather for five or six days after the initial deconstruction of the archway, and some of the items that needed to be taken off site for professional shotblasting, were removed on Wednesday 18th. The good weather meant that the members could crack on with doing the cleaning and undercoating of the remaining parts on site in the avenue gardens.

The workers pose for a group photo


Monday the 16th September 2019, sees the commencement of the refurbishment of the Middleton Arch at the entrance to the Royal Avenue Gardens.
Numerous members of the The Old Dartmothians' Association, along with the creator and manufacturer of the arch, Mr Alan Middleton (centre), gathered to go about the dismantling process.

Once the dismantling has been completed, (under the watchful eye of Alan Middleton, left), the parts will be taken away for shotblasting and priming on Wednesday the 18th September.

arch8 arch5 arch6
Photos - Barry Morris


The recent spell of bad weather relented in time for Members of the Old Dartmothians Association to gather on the jetty at Coronation Park on Sunday morning, 18th August, to witness and participate in the launching of the newly refurbished regatta whalers.
A few weeks ago a cry for help was received from the Regatta committee, who were concerned that the whalers were not in a useable condition for this year's forthcoming events. The whalers are now thirty years old, and were in a sorry state. So, with the material costs covered by the Regatta Committee. Our members volunteered their time, and skills, to bring the boats up to a fitting standard, spending many hundred of hours on the project, as can be seen in our earlier article Whaler Refurbishment.
Our President, Mr Ron Lambden, thanked everyone involved in the project, and in particular Paul Hodge for his huge commitment and logistical support by allowing the use of his premises at Bugford Nurseries. Ron went on to say that he was particularly pleased that members were keeping up with the fine traditions and ethos of our Association, which was founded on the Friday of Regatta in 1923 following a day of especially good rowing.
Ed Botterill, the Regatta Chairman, graciously accepted the handing back of the pristine and fully serviceable whalers, "Britannia" "Friends of Bayards" "Clifton" "Hardness" "Townstal" "Wayhard Castle" and thanked everyone involved, saying he was mightily impressed, with the huge commitment and quality of work, which clearly demonstrated members affection for the town and Regatta. Ed concluded by saying “In truth you have saved the Regatta's bacon

Photos submitted by member Barry Morris

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