Bideford Buzz

Welcome to the  on-line edition of the Community Newsletter for Bideford   and adjoining towns, villages, and rural area.

‘Bideford Buzz’ is produced and distributed by a team of volunteers, with financial and practical assistance from  Bideford Bridge Trust, Devon Community Foundation, Bideford Town Council, Torridge Volunteer Resource Centre, Devon Library Services, and many others.   If you are interested in helping produce, develop, or distribute this newsletter we’ll be glad to hear from you.

Please note that for commercial notices there is a charge from £15 per month – cheques payable to ‘Bideford Buzz’.

You can submit your article on disc or by e-mail.    However, ‘snail mail’ is equally acceptable. Material for publication should reach us by the 15th of the month preceding the month of publication.

Editor – Rose Arno (Bideford Buzz),    c/o Torridge Volunteer Resource Centre (‘TVS’),  14, Bridgeland Street, Bideford, EX39 2QE.  (TVS opening hours Mon.-Thurs. 9.30am to 3.oopm).      Telephone 07929-976120, or E-mail:

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RNLI art & craft exhibition, 26th- 29th October.

A reminder of the Appledore RNLI Arts and Craft Exhibition at the North Devon Yacht Club on Friday 24th October until Sunday 26th October.

This is resident artist Ian Hudson’s 30th Exhibition and is a very important event for the RNLI and many local artists.

There will be a Raffle, featuring an Ian Hudson limited edition print as well as a Luxury Hamper and other prizes.

We serve tea, coffee, cakes, also ploughmans lunch and soup. There will be an RNLI Souvenir Stall with Christmas Cards.

Pat Hughes, (Secretary of Appledore RNLI Fund Raising Guild).


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‘Art In The Park’ – 29th October.

I’m currently working with a group of young people based around The Burton.

They are organising an event for half-term (see above). They are also going to add images of any environmental art made by individuals or groups in North Devon (while the Richard Long exhibition is on) to the page here

We’re then going to select some contributors who will receive a signed Richard Long book; a good incentive for people to get involved.

Images can be emailed direct to them at

Julian Vayne

Learning & Outreach Officer

Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon

01271 346747


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Exmoor Pony Centre; October/ November/ December events.

News from the Exmoor Pony Centre, Ashwick, Dulverton, TA22 9QE

Volunteers enjoyed a Social evening and quiz to round off the summer season amidst plenty of merriment. Volunteers are an essential part of the organisation and help in a variety of ways, including assisting at events like the Wiveliscombe Carnival which was attended by Tom the pony.

Please note the dates of the following events at the Centre:

Sunday 7th December Foals Open Day from 12:00 ’til 3:00.

Wednesday 10th December Christmas Carol Concert with The Barle Singers, from 7:00pm with wine and mince pies. Tickets available on 01398 323093 or on the door.

Sundays 14th and 21st December Santa Sundays – advance booking is essential. Please ring 01398 323093 for more details.

Christmas cards, calendars and presents are available from our shop, or you can order by phone or online; don’t leave it too late.

Would you like to hold a fund-raising event to support your local endangered breed? Contact us for any details you need or just go ahead and surprise us with how much you raised!

Please check our opening times over the Christmas period as they will be restricted to allow staff some time off. If you are making a special journey to see us during the winter months, do ring to check that the Centre will be open.


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Hartland Arts & Crafts Society, 25th- 28th October.

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Wicked Week in Bideford.

Half Term – 25th October to 1st November.


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Buzz Word – October.

Send us your Buzzes…. Write to or to the address on front page.

Norland Nannies.

I am wondering if you can help with some information about the wartime premises occupied by the Norland Nursery in Bideford early in the war. I was one of their resident charges at the time but have no memory whatsoever of the place.

They took over a Regency type property, Belvoir House, which I assume was on the Belvoir Road. I’d like to try and locate it, if it’s still standing, to see whether seeing it again will call up any memories.

I wonder if there are any (by now very elderly) folk in Bideford who recall seeing the Norland nannies with their distinctive brown uniforms?

Will be grateful for any info you can turn up.

Paulette Pratt

Re a thankyou letter (August Buzz)

Do please add another letter for the so very kind and generous Bridge Trust which gives to those of us who are disabled.

What a delightful town Bideford is!

Jean Williams.

Hunger for Justice.

Northam Methodist Church are supporting Christian Aid’s ‘Hunger for Justice’ weekend on October 18th/19th, 10- 5 on Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday, with an austerity lunch after morning worship.

Various stalls, displays and talks. We are collecting hand tools in any condition as well as sewing and knitting items for re use by charities to teach trades to enable people to work, earn money and have a route out of the poverty trap. We are urging people to make the world a fairer place for all.

Carole Pegg.


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Bideford Town Band news.

They do say that a new broom sweeps cleaner, or in other words that new people create a positive impact. While that hasn’t been the case with some well-known football teams lately, it has certainly been true for Bideford Town Band. When the previous Musical Director left us in the Spring for pastures new, there was concern about how the band would maintain its improvement programme.

Step up Mr. Mark Durham!   Mark moved to Bideford with his family in January of 2013 from his home city of York due to a relocation of his employment. He is a very talented cornet player who has played for some of the top brass bands in the country and who for some reason decided to try his hand at conducting. Lucky for us! Although he has no formal qualifications in this area of music (his job is a Marine Architect, or ship designer to you and me) there is no doubt that he knows not only what a brass band should sound like, but also how to motivate players to play to their best ability and above all to believe in themselves in order to reach the desired sound.

And not only this but Mark’s wife Sharon is also an excellent cornet player (wonder how they met?!) who has joined the band with him and who is of course helping to improve our sound.

So as a result the band is now sounding great (check out our performance at Exmouth Contest on Youtube or our Facebook page) as well as having a great time playing. If you can play or would like to learn, get in touch through our website at or find us on Facebook! Come along and see Mark ‘doing his thing’!

Tim Watts.


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Flying Fish Artists – invitation to Bideford residents.

Flying Fish Artists’ charity registration in June (Reg No 1157556) has opened up new opportunities for our charity, giving us the chance to promote our work to a greater number of people in the North Devon area. In particular we would like to introduce ourselves to the Bideford community.

Through the use of art as therapy our aim is to enhance and promote the mental health of people in the wider Devon area, and particularly support the resilience and recovery of those experiencing mental ill health. We are a small, unique local charity, based in Barnstaple, but supporting people in Bideford and other areas within North Devon. We support and inspire our members to produce artwork which integrates the members with the local community through exhibitions, open days, participation in festivals and accepting commissions.

We provide a warm and welcoming art studio, which doubles as a meeting space, where our members meet regularly to paint and for our monthly members’ meetings. We provide art equipment, art education and general support for all our members, encouraging them to use creative talents which often even they were unaware they had.

We welcome new members and supporters. We are holding a Coffee morning at our studio on 23 October from 10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bideford residents are warmly invited to come along and find out more about us, and have a look at the outstanding artwork that our members have created. Their art is for sale, and we will also have a bric-a-brac table that day – so come along and browse. Please just turn up on the day at Rock Park Lodge, New Road, Barnstaple, EX32 9AE (opposite the Park Hotel) or alternatively please contact me Toni Hasler at or phone 078 17431067 for further information.

Toni Hasler.


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Bideford Film Society – October.

Friday 24 and Saturday 25 October at 7.30pm at Kingsley School: Pride (15). Film ends 9.30pm.

Saturday 25 October at 5.00pm and Sunday 26 October at 6.00pm at Kingsley School: The Boxtrolls (PG). Film ends 6.35/7.35pm.

Thursday 30 October at 7.30pm and Friday 31 October at 5.00pm at Bideford College: Dolphin Tale 2 (U). Film ends 9.15/6.45pm.

Friday 31 October and Saturday 1 November at 7.30pm at Bideford College: Magic in the Moonlight (12A). Film ends 9.15pm.

Doors open 30 minutes before film start time.  Tickets available at box office, or advance ticket sales (credit/debit card) available online –

Tickets: General £5.50, Concessions £5.00, Members £4.00, Family (up to 3 children & 2 adults) £12.00.


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The Torridge Sealock.

Torridge Sealock top gates.

Anyone who has been to the harbour at Bude will know the canal basin and sea lock where the Bude Canal meets the sea. Far fewer people are aware that just three miles up the Torridge from Bideford port is the Torridge sea lock, where the canal from Torrington opens into the tidal waters of the estuary. Strictly speaking such a lock should be called a tide lock, but in this case it was built by navvies and engineers who had just completed work on the Bude Sea Lock and so gave it the name of Sealock, which has stuck for nearly 200 years.

When the lock and the canal basin to which it gave access from the tideway were built, the whole area between Annery Kiln and the river was a hive of industrial activity including the lime kiln, pottery kilns, brick works and a major ship building yard. Despite being upstream of Bideford bridge, several sea-going ships were launched at the Sealock shipyard in the parish of Landcross, the largest being the Sedwell Jane, a brigantine of about 200 tons. Ships of this size were built up to gunwale level and then floated downstream of the Long Bridge for fitting of the superstructure.

By the end of the nineteenth century, with the canal being abandoned in favour of the railway and the old industries dying out, the sea lock fell into disrepair and virtually vanished into the landscape being filled with silt washed in by flood waters and overgrown with trees and bushes. It was rediscovered by new owners of the land in the 1970s, who started restoring the site and were instrumental in forming the Rolle Canal and Northern Devon Waterways Society in 2003, since when restoration has proceeded apace with the masonry repaired and a pair of upper lock gates now fully operational.

Chris Hassall.


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Felicity’s fish cookery – October.

October brings chilled Autumn temperatures and makes you think of preserving the bounties of the harvest for the winter. Fish also can be preserved-by smoking, pickling and curing. This often enhances the flavour and makes the fish easier to use as it does not have to be eaten fresh. Round fish such as Mackerel and Herrings are very good preserved.

I have been selling Kippers, Bloaters and Buckling made from Herrings landed in Clovelly last winter. Also winter Mackerel makes the best Smoked Mackerel and will be freshly smoked in October and throughout the winter.

A FREE “Fabulous Thursday Fish” will be run during half term holiday on Thursday 30th October 10.00am-2.00pm at St Mary’s Church Hall Appledore. This will have a local fish demonstration and a children’s workshop, as well as a good range of stalls (including the RNLI stall) for Christmas cards and other gifts. Please come along and support this event and have a simple lunch to eat in or take away.

Our local fish is mostly day caught and is sustainable because it is caught in a way that is gentle on the sea environment, the seabed of the bay and the other marine animals. The boats are small fishing boats because of the limited harbour facilities and the amount of fish caught locally is limited by the duration of fishing; most of the small boats will be laid up during the winter and the fish will flourish.

So which fish is sustainable for you to buy? First – buy local , then try and buy a wider range of fish and eat a different fish regularly so that you have knowledge of a more locally caught fish and shellfish.

( Here is a simple tasty curry to combine autumn vegetables with lovely fresh white fish fillets.)

White Fish Balti with Green beans and tomatoes.

Serves 4 – Low calories-250 per portion.

1 lb/450g white fish-Pollack, Coley, Haddock

or Codling.

1 tbsp sunflower oil.

1 small onion, chopped.

1clove garlic, crushed.

1 jar (approx. 400g) of Balti sauce.

2 tomatoes, quartered.

4oz/125g lightly cooked green beans- french or kidney, sliced.


1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onion and garlic for I minute.

2. Add Balti sauce, Cover and cook gently for 15 mins.

3. Lightly stir in the tomatoes and green beans, simmer for 5 mins.

4. Serve with naan bread and basmati rice.


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October at the Pannier Market & Butchers’ Row.

As reported last month we have extended the opening hours for the Pannier Market – Tuesdays and Saturdays 8.00am – 4.00pm and on Fridays we are open 9.00am – 3.00pm. The initial reaction has been favourable; we firmly believe the new hours are more in keeping with the modern world. What do you think, why not contact us on our Bideford Pannier Market Face Book Page; what stalls would you like to see ? Would you like to see the market open on other days ?

We have 24 different stalls ranging from fruit and veg, toys, knitting supplies and knitted goods . greeting cards , jewellery, fashion scarves, organic foods, magazines , books, antiques and collectables, beauty products , sweets and much more. Well worth a visit if you are looking for something a bit different and all at reasonable prices.We are always looking for additional traders, so if there are any budding entrepreneurs out there why not call in for a chat or contact Richard Coombes at the Bideford Town Council on 01237-428817.

Butchers’ Row is of course open six days a week – Monday to Saturday – come up and watch some of the artisans at work. We have experts in pottery , wood-carvers, sculptors, stained glass, designer jewellery – many of these are internationally famous and some offer tuition. Did you realize that all this talent is on your doorstep !!!

Of course all the rest of the shops are there for you to peruse. Don’t forget there are more shops in Market Place and Grenville Street so come up and visit this forgotten old town quarter. Support your local traders. Christmas ( only 86 days away ) is rushing headlong towards us, so come on up to the Pannier Market and Butchers Row and seek out that unusual present. Many gifts can be made to order or reserved for a small deposit – make your gifts more personal and don’t leave it all to the last minute.

We are also joining with B.O.B in the ‘Wicked Week Celebrations’ at the end of the month.

Trev Hill ( Minxy’s Sweets).


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October’s Youth page.


This year’s GCSE results appeared at schools up and down the country last month, bringing with them a plethora of feelings. Some people opened them immediately- after weeks of frenzied waiting, wondering and all-round fretful seething, why put it off anymore? Others took theirs home still sealed , either to find out in quiet seclusion, or keep the envelope closed indefinitely. Like Schrödinger’s “will it be poisoned?”- “will it just be very huffy at the end of all this?” relationship with his cat, sometimes not knowing is better- while you’re totally in the dark about the truth, your French results could be both unmarkable and an A*. Until you shed light on the situation, anything’s possible.

Sadly, such logic is frowned upon in job interviews – apparently they want cold, hard statistics now, so you’ll have to peep into the rabbit hole eventually. Then again, thanks to new government legislation, there are even more compulsory years before any such hurdle can be leapt/ unsportingly clambered over. The news that school is to remain a permanent fixture of life until the age of 18 has been met with a rather mixed response.

While many intended to stay on in higher education anyway- maybe even continue up to University, there are always some who leave school with a skip and a jump at 16 to find work, and no one seems completely sure how this balance will be affected. Will this mean even closer competition for available places ( already entrance requirements for sixth-form have been toughened, ensuring less can make it in and an optimum level is not exceeded) or will there just be bottlenecks and claustrophobic traffic jams outside classrooms as schools take on the same number, but fail to lose a few? Such questions have been adding to the mounting unease, but thankfully there are still alternatives.

Trigonometry and polymers don’t crop up much on the shop floor, and a working knowledge of hydrogenation won’t save your thatched roof from storm conditions. For those looking to learn a trade, who are finding the extra two years a heady millstone around their neck, thankfully training of any kind is also included in “higher education.” This means you can look further into your preferred occupation, stocking up on skills and experience instead of scouting out the job market immediately. If those who intended to leave now continue into apprenticeships and the like, a new, better balance could probably found.

So here at Buzz, we hope everyone got the results they wanted (or are content with the results they may or may not have…) and think about all the different routes open to you, to make the best of your calling-this may be the tester year, but much harder tests are already behind you!

Sixth form itself’s more like that bridge between school and university- before you set foot on it, there’s the odd creeping fear that someone’s about to leap out from behind the shrubbery, and gently break it to you that your results were in fact a miscalculation, and you won’t be allowed to set foot on this course after all. ( in the bridge analogy, this would probably relate to some kind of weight restriction…).

However, after days of terror, fretting over which clothes to wear so you’re never seen in the same outfit twice- school uniform is a horrible cross to bear until it’s actually taken away- the day of reckoning approaches and realisation comes that it’s not that alien after all.

Chances are, there are some people you know already- with whom you can safely clump- and others; clean slates to mingle with and meet. Some classes are readily familiar- a couple of the sciences, maths, English-maybe even a humanity or two, but the options are also open for more unusual topics interspersed with the rest- psychology for example to breathe fresh air onto a stale syllabus- while simultaneously teaching you why toddlers like eye contact…

Conversations with those around you sheds light on the awful attire situation, as you hear most people plan to juggle between the same three pairs of jeans too, and courses- despite being a lot more detailed than their GCSE counterparts, have the same strong foundations to work from- so any worries about the bridge collapsing from beneath you are soon put into hibernation.

All in all then, it’s more of a step forward than a total leap into the abyss- the same rules you’ve always grown up under, but now with added swipe cards, free periods, and unlimited access to the staff toilets. ( Anywhere with it’s own can of fabreeze is a definite step up.) It’s not that long or daunting, perhaps less of a rickety bridge then, more a comforting country lane.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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Burton Art Gallery & Museum – October.

The Burton has joined forces with the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland to bring to Bideford the art of Richard Long. He won the Turner Prize in 1989, and is taking part in the ‘ARTIST ROOMS’ Collection. The work he brings to the Burton will surprise us, as there are huge three-dimensional exhibits in Cornish slate: one oval, the other spiky and round, filling both exhibition spaces. There are also many other examples of Richard’s work, showing how he interacts with the landscape, particularly the South West. The exhibition begins on 4th October, and continues until 10th January, 2015. A free Talk and Tour of the exhibits takes place on 4th October at 2.00 p.m.

There is a Workshop on Friday, 31st October, from 10am to 4pm (£15) when you can use Richard Long’s exhibition to inspire you to create a collage of textures and patterns, frame it, take it home and hang it on the wall!

Pete Ward invites you to ‘Explore the Environment through Art’ on Saturday, 18th October, from 10am to 4pm (£35) in a one-day workshop, using natural, local earth pigments, to produce a piece of work of your own. For more details, and to book, phone 01237 471455.

The Craft Gallery is always a source of individual works of art, and from 25th October, through until Christmas, Helen Foot will display her Contemporary Handwoven Textiles. She draws inspiration from traditional handcrafts, such as patchwork and cross-stitch, with geometric patterns and bold colour combinations.

If it’s Jazz you are waiting to hear, come to Sunday Lunch in the Cafe du Parc, when ‘Body and Soul’ will entertain you as you dine. 1 – 3 p.m. Booking essential. 01237429317

You will be pleased to know that the Gallery will be open between 27th and 30th December this year. This is in answer to requests from the public and the local Tourist Board, as many families have visitors over Christmas, and wish for the Burton to be open. However, the Cafe du Parc will not be serving meals, just coffee and tea during that week.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


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Book news – October.

Events at Bideford Library

For Kids -

Story time for under-fives

Every Thursday. 9:30-10:00 am (except school holidays)

With stories, musical instruments and songs.

Creepy Crafts

Tuesday October 28th 10 am -12 noon

Come and join the half-term fun with a free drop-in Creepy Craft session at Bideford Library.

Spooktastic Storytime

Thursday 30th October 6-7 pm

Join us for spooky stories if you dare! Come along in fancy dress or your pyjamas. Bring your bravest teddy! Free for children of all ages but book places in advance.

For Adults -

Meet author Ben Blake

Saturday October 25th. 10:30am-12:30pm

Drop in and meet historical fantasy author Ben Blake.

Nifty Needles For anyone who enjoys embroidery, quilting, knitting, crochet and other handcrafts. Contact library for full details on 01237 476075.

Board games afternoon

A chance for enthusiasts to have a game of chess, scrabble or game of choice. Contact library for full details.

Feel Better with a Book (please check with library to confirm the group is running each week). Every Wednesday 10:30-12:00 am.  Come and lift your mood through the joy of reading! The aim of the groups is to enable you to enjoy the pleasure and relaxation of listening to great stories and poems – classical and new – and sharing responses with others. No pressure and no reading required. The group is led by an experienced facilitator.

Bideford Library Readers’ Group.

The Readers’ group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. in Bideford Library. Books for the month are supplied by the Library and can be picked up at the meeting or from the Library desk. Discussions are very much centred on the book of the month and meetings usually finish around 3.15. If further information is required anyone interested can contact Peter Evans on 01237 47917.

Next month – Discussing ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, by Sue Monk Kidd.


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