Chris Walpole, local historian and custodian of the Belstone Community Archive, has contributed to a new book, West Devon History Tales,to be published on 8 December. Chris says, ‘well-known Okehampton historian Mike Wreford asked me if I’d like to write a few chapters about Belstone to go in the book, which North Tawton’s Alan Parkinson has co-ordinated and edited. I’ve written about the giant Skaigh waterwheel (the largest such structure ever built on mainland Britain); the only day in history when a train was chartered to bring folk from Exeter to a ‘Fancy Fair’ in the village; a history of Skaigh House; a few past skirmishes between Belstone Commoners and the authorities; and the village during the First World War as seen through the eyes of Rev Milner, the rector at the time. There are 29 stories in all, in turn humorous, tragic and unusual. Following the launch (to which all are invited) I shall have 25 copies to sell, just the thing for a Christmas present! Please get in touch ( or 01837 840498) to secure your copy or pop into The Old School Tearoom which should have the book available.’