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 £18 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 11th 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 [12.30pm on Thurs.]).      Telephone 07929-976120, or E-mail:

For complaints procedure, see “Impress” category.

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North Devon Sinfonia Orchestra; Two Moors Festival, 21st October.

North Devon Sinfonia joins the Two Moors Festival Chorus under the baton of conductor Colin Howard in the final concert of this year’s Two Moors Festival.

Professional soloists Gemma Summerfield (soprano), John Porter (tenor) and Tim Nelson (baritone) will join the orchestra and choir in a performance of Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” on Saturday 21st October at St Paul’s Church, Tiverton.

The performance marks the climax of this year’s celebrated Two Moors Festival, one of the UK’s most popular annual classical music events.

It will be the orchestra’s first performance since returning from a whirlwind trip to South Korea, where NDS represented the UK in the 4th Seoul International Community Orchestra Festival.

NDS joined musicians from around the world, including the celebrated Recycled Orchestra of Cateura from Paraguay (featured in the acclaimed documentary film, Landfill Harmonic) and no fewer than 49 amateur orchestras from Korea itself.

The orchestra was invited to participate after the Festival organisers heard of its success in last year’s BBC television series “The Great Orchestra Challenge”.

NDS was only able to participate in the festival thanks to the generosity of several corporate sponsors and donations from charities and individuals who contributed more than half of the £35,000 needed to pay for flights.

North Devon Sinfonia and the Two Moors Festival Chorus perform Haydn’s “The Creation” at St Paul’s Church, Tiverton, at 7:30 on Saturday October 21st, 2017. Online booking:


NDS on the steps of the Sejong Grand Theatre, Seoul (Emma Kent, centre left) with Seung Hyun Park, Director of Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, centre. The 4th Seoul International Community Orchestra Festival (SICOF) was held 17th – 24th September at the Sejong Centre for the Performing Arts in Seoul, South Korea.

For more information, please contact David Taylor, NDS Press Officer, on 01271 831228 or visit the website:


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Go out for a fish meal & support the RNLI this October.

In support of our local fishermen and to raise funds for our Lifeboats throughout October, the following venues are putting on Fish Meals.

For every meal purchased they are donating a sum of money to RNLI Appledore to support the Lifeboats and their brave crews.

So, by going out and enjoying a delicious Fish Meal, you will be helping towards their upkeep. The RNLI is a voluntary Emergency Service, supported solely by donations from the Public. So please go out and enjoy yourselves and help us at any of the following venues:-

Royal & Fortescue Hotel – All October

Imperial Hotel – All October

Park Hotel – All October

Barnstaple Hotel – All October

Saunton Hotel – All October

Sands on the Beach – All October

Royal Hotel, Bideford – All October

Village Inn, Westward Ho! – All October

The Seagate, Appledore – 15th to 19th October

Instow Barton, Instow – 16th to 22nd October

Mariners, Bideford – 16th to 22nd October

The Wayfarer, Instow – 17th to 23rd October

Westleigh Inn, Westleigh – 23rd to 27th October

The Riverbank, Bideford – 23rd to 28th October

The Quay, Instow – 23rd to 29th October

Country Cousins, Westward Ho! – 23rd to 29th October

Morans Westward Ho! – 23rd to 29th October

The Beaver, Appledore – 23rd to 29th October

Thatched Inn, Abbotsham – 23rd to 29th October



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RNLI art exhibition, 19th – 22nd October.


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Estuary clean, 23rd October.


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Quiz night, Northam Hall – 20th October, in aid of Parkinson’s UK.


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Interested in joining a music group?

The following groups meet every week for rehearsals. Please contact the secretary on the number shown, if you are interested in joining.

Appledore Band – training band 7pm every Monday at St Mary’s Church Hall, Appledore: followed by senior band. Contact Hugh, Secretary, 473723.

Appledore Singers rehearse 7.15pm every Monday at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

Northam Choral Society rehearse at Northam Methodist Hall Cross St Northam. Every Tuesday (3, 10, 17 and 31 October, not 24 October (Half Term) (01237) 478406

Bideford Band Beginners Group. Every Tuesday.6.30pm at Bideford Band Room. 475653

Two Rivers Wind Ensemble. Rehearsal at Bideford Band Room every Wednesday, 7.30pm. 01271 860061.

Torridge Male Voice Choir. meets 8pm at Woolsery Village Hall every Wednesday. 441061.

Bideford Phoenix Morris . During the autumn and winter we meet at the Baptist Church, Mill Street, Bideford, from 7.30pm every Wednesday, starting the 4th October. We dance Cotswold stick and hanky dances. Bideford Phoenix Morris are a mixed side and welcome all dancers and musicians. If you would like to join us contact Carolyn on 01237 473798 and come along on the 4th to join in the fun.

Samba Baia.

New beginners’ classes Mondays 7-8.30pm.

Samba Baia Rehearsal at Community Arts Network,13 Rope Walk tel 01237 471972. 7.30-9pm Tuesdays. 01237 471972.


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Things to try this Autumn.

Torridge Walk and Talk.

Thank you all for your continued support. With the help of grants received, support from the local media, the tireless work and time givenTorridge Walk & Talk.

For our current programme of walks search the internet for Torridge Walk and Talk, or phone Steve on 01237 421528.


Learn Devon – Autumn classes. Phone 01237 472462 / / or visit in person Bideford Arts Centre, The Quay, Bideford.


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Buzz Byte – October.

Have you ever noticed that the F and J keys have a raised ridge? This is to allow users to position their hands correctly so that they can type without having to look at the keyboard. This is a skill particularly perfected by secretaries and writers (though I am typing this looking at the keyboard!!) The middle row of letters, which contain these keys, is called the ‘home row’. With the introduction of touch screen and mobile devices the art of touch typing is declining as many just use their thumb to type. Shortcuts on the computer can save you time.

One of the most common short cuts is CTRL-ALT-DEL, this is great if a programme has ‘crashed’ and you can no longer operate it as it will take you to a screen where you can choose to access the task manager (and force the programme to shut down). It also gives the options to lock the screen or switch users efficiently. ALT-F4 can be used to shut down a programme or the PC/tablet. Have you noticed that the FN key is a different colour to the other keys? And along the top line of keys there is an F & number below each icon? The FN key is used to work the various functions – sound, brightness etc. Beware when using the F5 key to refresh your web browser, it will deactivate your mouse (you need to press F5 again to get it back!) but CTRL-R will refresh the page.

Two shortcuts I use a lot are designed to copy areas of text or an image and then paste them into another document or design programme. To do this you select/highlight the text or image then press CTRL-C, go to the location you want it, click the area you want to insert it then press CTRL-V. CTRL-F is a really handy shortcut, it brings up a search bar in a document or web page, allowing you to search a vast amount of data for a single entry. The CTRL-Tab command allows you to jump between open tabs when using the internet, CTRL-T opens a new tab! Sometimes you may want to zoom in or out of a web page, this can be achieved by CTRL-+ to zoom in or CTRL- – to zoom out. (This function will not work in all design or word processing programmes.) CTRL-P is the shortcut to the print option. CTRL-D opens the bookmark window and CTRL-H displays your internet history. There are a myriad of other shortcuts available but be careful as three of the big search engines – Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer – don’t use all the same commands.

Nickie Baglow. Complete Computing.


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Buzz Word: October.

Thank you.  This is a thank you to some wonderful people of Bideford. In July my husband and I were on holiday in Instow and on the first day we visited Bideford. On getting out of our car my husband dropped his keys. We returned to the car at about 6pm and realised the keys were missing.

This is when kindness took over, firstly a gentleman told us a lady had found our keys and handed them to Radfords tobacconist opposite the car park. The gentleman there told us that at 5pm when the shop shut they took them to McColls, where we retrieved them.

We just want to say a big thank you to the mystery woman, the gentleman and the two shops without whom our holiday would have been ruined.  Thank you,

Roger & Jo Tyldesley (Berkhamsted Hertfordshire.)


Bridge Pool.

I was privileged to have the rights to catch salmon and sea trout. My net had to be 600 feet long and 24 feet deep to fish the salmon pool. Over the years I have walked under the Bridge hundreds of times. I included some treasures from the Bridge Pool in the resin blocks on the Quay. (‘Secrets of Bideford’ by Lesley Kerman (available at Bideford Library) describes the burying of art works in the fabric of the Quay when the flood defence scheme was completed. ) There is a story (true – who knows? ) that there is a love letter etched into the arches,’Ode to Eli,’ parts of which can be read at low tide.

Derek Barnes.


Families for Children Trust.

We place vulnerable children from all over the UK with new adoptive families in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly.  We have a growing number of older children, sibling groups and children with disabilities waiting to be adopted and we are looking for more adopters to come forward quite quickly.

The next meetings in North Devon are:

October –

National Adoption Week, 16th-22nd October.

Thursday 19th October Time: 6.30-8.30pm; Venue: Voice FM Meeting Room, Belle Meadow Court, Albert Lane, Barnstaple, North Devon EX32 8RJ

Friday 20th October. Time: 10.00am – 12noon. Venue: DROP-IN APPOINTMENT, Families for Children, The Garden Flat, Castle Hill Estate, Studd Dr, Filleigh, Barnstaple EX32 0RH.


Soul Intention is an 11 piece soul band with a 5 piece horn section and decades of experience between them. This popular Big Sound Soul Band perform a vast repertoire of soul classics from the 60’s and 70’s with a mixture of the very best Motown and Stax songs including “Chain of Fools”, “Mustang Sally” and “In the Midnight Hour” made popular more recently in the “Commitments” and “Blues Brothers” films.

The band likes to support local charities and is offering to play at 4 free gigs to help local charities wanting to raise funds in 2018. However, you would need to have a venue that accommodate this big band and with a dance floor large enough for you and your guests, as Soul Intention will keep you dancing all night long. If you would like to know more, please contact Penny on 01271 860379 or Trev on 01237 470268.


Wicked Week.

This year’s theme for Wicked Week is ‘Horrible Histories’. The event will run from Saturday 21/10 to Sat 28/10. We will also be promoting the Fire Station’s haunted house event on 31/10.

We will have activities in town every day between 11-4pm – with events in the evening on Fri 27/10 and Sat 28/10. Activities will include: Window Display Competition Craft activities, Pumpkin carving, Story time History talk – uncovering Bideford’s Horrible History – Facepainting and glitter tattoos, Medieval disco Childrens entertainment. Look out for the full programme of events which will be published shortly.


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One hundred years ago – October 1917.

The Borough of Bideford announces, under the powers conferred by the Retail Prices Order 1917, the Sale of coal prices for the forthcoming winter months:

Best Lydney House Coal £2.0.0d per ton. £2.2.6d delivered to the customers’ house.

Lancashire House Coal £2.5.0d per ton. £2.7.6d delivered.

Lydney Nuts £1.18.4d per ton or £2.0.10d delivered.

27 Bridgeland Street Bideford, formerly occupied by Mrs Field is now for Sale by Auction. The Bridge Trust own a lease signed on 26th November 1890 for the next 99 years. The Ground Rent has been set at £10 per annum.

Also for Sale 17 Winterbourne Terrace Lime Grove Bideford. Freehold. A W Cock, Auctioneers, 7 Grenville Street acting as agents for both sales.

In the village of Monkleigh two freehold thatched cottages are offered for sale by R Blackmore & Sons. The auction will take place next month.

North Devon Sugar prosecutions. Before the County Petty Sessions in Bideford is the owner of Rowena Boarding house in Westward Ho! for unlawfully obtaining 88 lbs of sugar for the purpose of preserving home grown crops. Upon investigation no jams, conserves or preserves had been found and on interview the owner admitted that she has failed to realise the significance of her actions. The Court felt that a warning needed to be given regarding the unlawful acquisition of goods in acute shortage and she was fined four guineas.

The Arbroath registered schooner ‘Surprise’ with Captain and four hands ran aground and was wrecked off Northam Burrows. She was bound for Rouen from Port Talbot and the Captain, who was unfamiliar with the estuary, was blown onshore by a westerly gale and flood tide. The Appledore lifeboat attended but could not get near to her. One crewman, a Dane, was washed ashore in the Taw estuary 1½ miles from Braunton and another came ashore at Chivenor. The Captain’s body was washed ashore at Woolacombe.

Bideford School Inspectors reporting to the Town Council point out that 33% of the Infants in Geneva school are underweight and across the town’s schools 75% of all girls are undernourished. The War is having an effect upon all levels of the population.

Each month the newspaper records the gifts that are donated to the two local VAD Hospitals at Enderly, Torrington and Commons, Northam. Eggs, milk, vegetables and fruit are commonly given. This month rabbits come from Lord Clinton and pheasants from Lady Gertrude Rolle. Other gifts include playing cards, cake, cigarettes, slippers and the ubiquitous socks.

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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October’s youth page.

The Otterman Empire.

Ere that annual tradition, all Hallow’s eve, is nearly upon us – the night Bideford dons an eerie glow, the moon sheds wispy shrouds of cloud and squats there in the sky, an obese orb, illuminating the newly awoken spirits that frolic far below. Only, this year, the moon won’t quite be full by October 31st; it will have just left its third quarter, so we’re left with a not-so-haunting semi-circle in the sky. Take what you can get. Full moon actually lands on a much more important date this time around.

Friday 6th October will see the long awaited ‘Bideford- an Otter’s Tale’ land on our shelves. For months, the folks at Business of Bideford have been working tirelessly to create the book; one part companion piece to the Tarka statue, two parts love letter to the town. Anyone who has happened by the raffle, DVD stall or tombola outside Co-op recently will have helped cover printing costs. Likewise, every little shop mentioned inside the book has put forward a donation of their own. It was a pricy venture, sleek and shiny- like Tarka himself – and is printed on glossy pages, with colour illustrations throughout. There were so many top class pictures put forward for the cover design, that all of them are included inside, although it was Sophie Lawrence’s striking illustration that won out overall.

“Well I really wanted a design that was quite fun and friendly so people of all ages could enjoy it,” says Sophie,” nothing too serious and detailed, just a simple happy otter underneath the Bideford bridge with all its different sized arches; something that is probably the most recognisable feature of our town!” Judges agreed that it was both striking and infectious, and it will be on every copy.

As it’s the 90th anniversary of Henry Williamson’s tome, his son and daughter in law- Richard and Anne- will be on hand to sign the books. This unveiling takes place at the Bideford Library, between 1 and 7pm; for £15 you can stroll out under the bulbous moon, leafing through your investment, savouring that new book smell. It has been a long time in the pipeline, but now that hard work will finally come to fruition.

Time to move on.

For some of our readers, this year marks their last one in Bideford as they take a new, brave step off to the world of work, or university. Often, this can be scarier than any number of ghouls and ghosties found cavorting round on Halloween. It means a lifestyle change.

To all those who flew the nest, or at least the education system, this September, we wish you the best of luck. It’s a rough transition, but there are still things you can do to make it easier. For example, there are great offers to be had by ordering an NUS card. A yearly subscription to the service is just over a tenner, and you can get 10% off hundreds of fashion brands, computer packages and, most importantly, fast food. Hunger pangs need not replace home sickness at the top of your woes. In fact, any money woes at all can be slightly diluted with a student account. Almost every bank offers some variation, with interest free overdrafts up to a £1000 with three years to pay it off. This alleviates some of the stress while you’re studying.

It’s a big wide world out there; the trick is finding the treats in amongst the pitfalls. For many of us next year, it’s a shambolic step into adult life, but the Buzz remains constant, calling us home.

This period is particularly apt for the youth page, as I am moving on to university, having had the privilege of being your Youth correspondent for the last three years. I will miss everyone connected with the Buzz and want to thank each member of staff for your unending patience and support. Finally, I want to thank everyone who’s read this column over the years; hope you have enjoyed it half as much as I have! Fear not, the Youth Page will continue, as that fine Biddefudlian, Lucy Braund, will be taking over the reins next month.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara

Thank you Millie for your excellent articles over the past three years, always sent to the editor well before deadline! We will miss you, but wish you well in this next stage of your career and look forward to working with Lucy. (And don’t forget – Buzz has its own page in the new Otter Book.)


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery – October.

Here is a wonderfully flexible and tasty recipe for a pasta cod dish. The original is a recipe from a restaurant in Rome -so an authentic Italian / Mediterranean dish. The best fish to use is salt cod. I used some fish from Newfoundland given to me by a cod fisherman from Petty Harbour near St Johns, when I visited in July. I also use fresh spinach for the vegetarian dish -both versions are delicious. You can use fresh cod or even local caught pollack as well.

Tagliatelle with Cod and pecorino cheese. (vegetarian version with fresh spinach leaves).


For the Stock-2 sticks of celery and chopped onion, fennel trimmings or seeds, parsley stalks and block pepper or peppercorns. 350g cod fillet (or salt cod fillet, if available).

50-100g of fresh washed spinach leaves – for a vegetarian dish.

1 small onion (could be red onion, for added colour).

6 tbsp. olive oil.

450g tagliatelle or spaghetti.

100g pecorino cheese, or ready grated Italian cheese.


Simmer the stock ingredients together for about 15 min Poach the fresh cod in the stock for under 5mins, or soaked salt cod for 10 mins. Lift out with a slotted spoon, blot with kitchen towel and pull away from skin, and using a fork flake the fish and set aside in a bowl. If using spinach leaves wash the leaves and set to dry in a colander.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente. Chop the onion into chunky pieces. In a large frying pan fry the onion in the olive oil until soft and lift the pasta with any residual water clinging to it.

Pull the pan from the heat, add the cheese and mix vigorously until creamy – adding extra pasta cooking water, if necessary. Add the torn basil and fish flakes (or spinach leaves) toss again, and serve.Add more grated cheese and garnish with basil sprigs.

This tastes absolutely delicious whether with fish or spinach leaves.

September was a busy Fish Festival month with Festivals in Newquay and Brixham. Wouldn’t it be good if we could have a fish festival in Appledore Fish Dock next year to celebrate both River and Sea fishing? Let me know if you would like to contribute to this idea? Next month is Herring Month with recipes for fresh and smoked Herring.

The Bideford Bridge Trust has awarded a grant to two Primary schools in Bideford for the Brilliant Fish Education group to run “History of Fishing in Newfoundland and Salt cod recipe demonstration/tasting sessions this Autumn.


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Burton Art Gallery – October.

The Burton is well known now for its magnificent and comprehensive collection of Studio pottery. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grants, the Gallery owns the R.J. Lloyd Collection of North Devon Slipware, which beautifully blended with the slipware the Gallery already owned from generous donations over the years.

One of two exceptional exhibitions this autumn is the Ann Carr Ceramic Collection from Aberystwyth University. Wenford Bridge Pottery was founded in 1939 by Michael Cardew, a well-known name in the world of ceramics. Ann was an admirer and friend of Michael, and her collection was donated to the University in 2014 by her son, Julian, in her memory. Included in this collection are works by Svend Bayer, whose work is often on sale in the Burton’s Craft Gallery. Michael O’Brien and Seth Cardew are also represented in these 330 pieces of studio pottery.

Starting on 14th October, and continuing until 27th November, is a stunning collection of paintings by Paul Lewin. Many of us remember Paul as the first artist to use Bideford Black in his work when he lived at Greencliff. The Friends purchased one of his studies of the rugged cliffs along our coast, and it is part of the Permanent Collection. This Exhibition, entitled ‘Coast’ depicts mainly Morte Point and its dramatic depths of sea and rocky shoreline. Paul works ‘en plein air’ – in the open air, rather than in the studio, and you can feel the weather and hear the surging sea in his poignant works of art.

Paul’s Mixed Media Masterclass takes place on 21st and 22nd October from 10am to 4pm, working outdoors (weather dependent) and the aim is to take your place on the North Devon cliffs on one of the two days. Cost: £100 + £10 for materials. Book on 01237 471455

Karen Adams is creative with silver, and her jewellery is on sale in the Craft Gallery at very reasonable prices. Karen is holding a Jewellery Making Workshop on October 14 from 10am to 4pm, when you can learn to solder, anneal and polish your own work in sterling silver. Cost is £40 + £10 for materials.

Book on 01237 471455,

James D Mortain writes crime fiction, helped by his famous sleuth, Detective Deans. The Friends have invited James to tell us how police work has inspired his writings and how he goes about getting it all down on paper. Join us in the Gallery on Thursday, 12th October, at 7.30 p.m. to hear all about it. Just £5 at the door.

Artists are reminded that the Open Annual Christmas Exhibition handing-in days are November 11th and 12th and the Exhibition begins on the 18th. Conditions and entry forms are available from the Gallery.

Gallery opening hours are: Monday to Saturday, 10-4; Sunday, 11-4. Admission Free.

The Cafe du Parc, Museum, Craft Gallery and Shop are all part of the Burton’s proud gift to Bideford.

Diana Warmington, Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


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Book Buzz – October.

At Bideford Library.

We will be having a jigsaw on display for the whole of the month, with all welcome to complete it by October 31st.


At Northam Library.

Monday 23rd October 1.30-3pm and 3.30-5pm FabLab – make a key-ring using a 3D printer (£5.) For more information 01237 475111.

Monday 30th October 2.30-3.30 Free Poetry and Art Workshop with leading poet Chris Tutton. A friendly and interactive workshop examining an art movement and writing a poem about it. To book 01237 475111.


‘Leaving Time’, by Jodi Picoult.

Discussed by Bideford Library Readers’ Group in September.

The picture on the cover of the paperback edition could lead the reader to anticipate just another missing person mystery but, from the start, s/he is in a tale of magical realism. With elephants!

Jenna Metcalf, age 13, embarks on a search for her mother who disappeared when Jemma was 3. She is on her own: her father is in a psychiatric hospital, her one grandparent is not interested. Her missing mother was an academic doing research on elephants; and we are given lots of detail concerning the emotions, maternal behaviour and expressions of grief shown by the many individually named animals.

An overriding theme in this book is memory. Yes in elephants!

But also in humans – both Jenna and her mother, Alice, having much to say on this subject.

Other themes soon become apparent – spiritualism and the paranormal – and, before long, the reader is being led through a labyrinth towards a surprising revelation.

There was much discussion of the details and puzzles of the story and the group as a whole found it interesting. Only one member anticipated the surprise.

John Martin.



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Bideford Cinema – October.

Friday 20 and Saturday 21 October at 7.30pm at Kingsley School; Kingsman: The Golden Circle, (15).

The above programme is PROVISIONAL. Please check weekly advert in North Devon Gazette and our web site for up-to-date information on films and times to avoid disappointment.


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