Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Saturday, 18 May 2013


If we don't learn from history we are doomed to make the same mistakes. History is important. It is also fascinating. We are privileged to live in an area where there is plenty of history to go around.

Which brings me to the point: Historical Plympton Week begins on 20th May with an exhibition in Plympton St. Maurice Guildhall, until 22nd May and thereafter at the slightly more modern Plympton library. It is well worth a visit. There will be many photographs and paintings of ancient buildings and streets that are still remarkably recognisable, as well as information about the characters of each generation and detail about the way our ancestors used to live. There will also be organised walks, a slide show from the revered John Boulden, a treasure hunt and even a play on the Friday night. More information can be obtained from

Community organisations like the Plympton civic society are very important in creating cohesion. The band of keen volunteers who run this group have invested so much over many years in making Plympton such a successful and close knit community. They deserve our support!

Plympton is steeped in history as is clear from the quote used at the Stannator's evening every year: Plympton was a thriving town when Plymouth was a fuzzy down (or words to that effect). Stannary is an old term for a tin mining town and the Stannator is effectively Plympton's Lord Mayor.

I am fortunate to live in part of a very old house which was once owned by a predecessor Member of Parliament for the area. Richard Strode, the MP for Newnham, was a well known member in the early sixteenth century and it was his arrest by local tin-miners for promoting an act of parliament preventing them from mining the Plym that prompted Parliament to introduce the Act of Privileges.
This enables us to speak on your behalf at Westminster without fear of being arrested.

Strode's  grandson, also an MP for the area, was a close lieutenant of Oliver Cromwell and doubtless saw action and intrigue during the build up to the civil war.  Jan and I often wonder what secrets those old walls contain. He had the slight advantage of representing only 85 voters in those days, compared to my 70,000!

Our history and our traditions are part of our democratic stability. We should treasure them. Next week gives us a chance to do just that. 

posted by Gary @ 08:00