Society History

Charmouth by Daniel Dunster c.1850 showing the newly carved Devil’s Bellows (top right) through which the new road to Lyme Regis passed.

Reginald Pavey, born and bred in Charmouth, graduated from Oxford university and then taught at Clifton College, Bristol, until his retirement in the 1950s when he returned here and devoted himself to chronicling the life of our village and researching the history of many of its houses. He was the first person ever to describe the events that shaped the lives of the village folk and to record the stories recounted by the local characters of that day. On his passing in 1973 Mr Pavey left a substantial amount of research material, diaries, notes, photographs and the like which were preserved for posterity at the Dorset History Centre.

After Mr Pavey died there was a pause until Peter Press, another historian, stepped up to take this work on and established in 1999 what was first known as The Pavey Group (in honour of Reginald Pavey) and was later to be re-named the Charmouth Local History Society.

The original aims of the Society remain unchanged – see the home page. Over the past 17 years we have published a great deal of research in our journal the Village Echo, organised many talks and events and helped countless individuals in their quests to find out more about Charmouth and its inhabitants. Our methods have changed, with much more reliance on the web and storing information digitally, but our aims remain those of Reginald Pavey: to chronicle the local history of the village and to preserve this information for future generations.