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

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Tai Chi Chuan – 7pm Mondays.

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April’s Youth page.

Lawrence at the library.

This month, the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed some new sights to be seen round the Bideford Library. Alongside banks of books, computer stacks, and the odd secret passage way( we haven’t found any active ones yet, but there’s a suspicious looking ridge by the science fiction) sit sculptures of steel, driftwood and paint.

Hooked to ceiling brackets are a selection of Lawrence Luciano’s newest works. The self proclaimed bricklayer- who dabbles with some lovely artwork and poems on the side- has infiltrated the shelves and put on quite a display. You can easily walk round and browse both the books, and the art works- some of which are gazing out the window like some unhelpfully pretty gargoyles, more likely to entice things in than keep them out. Metallic wooden creatures peer down and meet your gaze as you wait for the computers to log on, while in the other room nonfiction shelves seem to be a duelling ground for a variety of strange beasts, namely a turbine enshrouded praying mantis that’s just dripping in heavy chainmail bling.

This is no happy accident though, as after visiting for a few months on 2009, Lawrence Luciano became captivated by Bideford as “the Heavenliest Devonliest” place he had ever visited, so upped sticks from Neath in Wales and moved here to continue his works- not only in the 3rd dimensions but also in verse, some of which like ’2 dead rats’ are pinned up at the back along with a brief biography.

This “Written off” expedition has no mentioned finished date as of yet, but that also means it could vanish suddenly , so if you’re interested in the woodland world that has sprung up, it’s well worth a visit sometime soon! (Can confidently say it will be here for the whole of April ed )

On the subject of exhibitions, the ‘Story of Bideford Black’ project was initiated way back in 2012- by local artist Peter Ward-and has now finally come to completion. A pigment found only in Bideford and mined until 1969 for use in paint, mascara and camouflage; Bideford Black was of huge importance in a bygone age and is still being recognised for its contribution today. With the intention of uncovering, gathering and presenting a hoard of fresh stories about one of our town’s most legendary natural resources, it’s received funding from the Heritage Lottery fund, an ‘all our stories’ grant and a generous donation by The friends of Burton art gallery. Already, 8 artists have agreed to compile the body of work- Richard Long’s display last year was one of the first followed by Luce Choules’ talk which took place on the 11th March. Hopefully, this brings a new celebration of Bidefordian history, as the Burton’s website sets out to archive it all:

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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‘Connections’ – Thomas Arthur, VC.

Thomas Arthur VC (1835- 1902)

Thomas Arthur was one of only four North Devonians who have been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Born in Abbotsham, near Bideford in 1835, to Thomas and Jane Arthur, he appears to have worked as a farm labourer for a short while for a John Beckalick at Parkham, before joining the Army at the age of 18 at Devonport for service in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He was sent to the Royal Artillery Depot at Woolwich, where he earned the princely sum of one and three pence per day (the equivalent of 6p today) as a gunner. In November 1854, he embarked on HMS ‘Niagara’ from Liverpool, bound for the war in the Crimea.

Conditions in the Crimea were atrocious, and more men were dying from infection, fever, poor sanitation and hunger, than from deaths and injuries sustained in battle, and it was to rectify this situation that Florence Nightingale was famously sent, with 38 nurses to help her. Though she was largely based in Scutari Barracks, she did make two visits to Balaclava, where at one timeThomas was briefly hospitalised.

He was eventually stationed at Sebastopol, where the Russians were dug in at the Quarries.

The 7th Fusiliers attacked the position, and gained it, but Thomas could see that that the infantrymen were running out of ammunition. When night fell he ran, on several occasions under heavy enemy fire, with barrels of ammunition on his head, and at obvious great danger to himself,to keep the infantry supplied. He was said to have thrown the ammunition down at the soldiers’ feet, shouting “Here you are, my lads, fire away!”.

The Quarries were little more than holes in the ground in front of a fort called the Redan, the capture of which was the object of the exercise, and against which the Commander-in Chief, Lord Raglan, threw about a thousand troops, but without success. Only half survived the attack.

It was at this point that Thomas volunteered to form and lead a spiking party, to disable and sabotage the enemy guns, an extremely hazardous operation.

On other occasions, he was seen, lifting up and bringing back wounded officers and men to the trenches.

For all these acts of bravery, he was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

He left the Crimea with his Battery in February 1856, and arrived back in Woolwich in the middle of March.

Uncharacteristically, he took two separate days off without leave soon after his return. He was court-martialled and ended up serving a twenty-eight day sentence in Weedon Military Prison in Northamptonshire.

Fortunately, he was released nine days before he was ordered to march to Hyde Park, where, together with 62 other Crimean War heroes, he was awarded the Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria .

The Victoria Cross was specifically created at this time to commemorate the deeds of those servicemen who had acted with valour under enemy fire, above and beyond the call of duty, and this was the first investiture of its kind. The medals were awarded in strict order of seniority of service and rank. Thomas was the twenty-third, being one of five Royal Artillery members – four officers, and Thomas.

A few days afterwards, on 6 July, he got married to Ann Goddard, from Hornstead in Berkshire.

They had eight children in all, his sixth child, Sophia being born in Bideford in 1876. This was after his retirement from the army in 1874.

He finally settled in Savernake, Wiltshire, where he died, of unknown causes, on 2 March 1902, aged 67. He is buried here in Cadley Churchyard

Proud of Thomas’s exploits and medal, many of his descendants have included the name Arthur in their sons’ name, one relative even calling her daughter Mabel Arthur!

It is well-known that Victoria Crosses are made from the gunmetal of one of two Chinese cannons, used by the Russians and captured by the British at the siege of Sebastopol.

Thomas’s own medal was purchased on 19 July 1902 for £47, purchased again at a later date by the Royal Artillery Institute, and is now displayed at the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich, for all to see.

Chris Trigger


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Buzz Word – April.

Verren Family.

I am a descendant of the Verren families from Bideford, living in Canberra. I am trying to contact Verren family members who may be able to help me with the following information :

Living Verren family members still in Bideford or family members buried in Bideford Cemeteries.

Information on Verren family members who have moved elsewhere

Birth, Death, Marriage information, especially around or prior to  the 1797 birth of Albert and William Verren [twins] born in Bideford.

Also any information on the Verren families, who were Huguenots, and who fled from France to England during the 16th century. Any known derivatives of the Verren family name.

*I am attaching information about the Verren families given to me from a cousin. I attach relevant found Verren family information of birth and death in Bideford.

Ruth Page


*Can forward this extra item to anyone with information as well as other contact details.



Bideford Hospital – last month’s front page.

The photograph shows the opening ceremony of the new Bideford and District Hospital, held on Wednesday 23rd September 1925 – the ceremony being performed by Sir William Reardon Smith, Bart.

The cost of the building was approximately £21,000 and it was built by Messrs Mardon, Ball and Co of Farnham.The foundation stone was laid in 1924 by Lord Glanely.

The persons present: – Sir William Reardon Smith – seated left of the Matron; Lord Glanely seated right of the matron.Also present Hospital staff – nurses and doctors. The Mayor – Edwin Josiah Toye, born London 1871. Having been medical officer for Northam he came to Bideford where his surgery was at Stanhope and where he practised for 40 years. He was elected to Bideford Council in 1923 and was made Mayor in 1925. His daughter, Miss Keene was his mayoress. Dr Toye died suddenly in January 1938 at the age of 66.

Mike Davy.


Bideford Stroke Support Group.

We are a small friendly group who help people whose speech has been affected by stroke.We need a new volunteer / leader to take a pro- active role in our little group. Could you spare a couple of hours on alternate Tuesday mornings.Tea and laughter are the order of the day.Give us a buzz! For more information….07713 629774

Cammie Escott.


Machu Picchu Challenge.

In August I will be going to Peru to complete the trek to Machu Picchu. I am doing this to raise funds for the new chemotherapy unit at Barnstaple hospital. However, this is a massive challenge for me and I am doing it because I have beaten cancer twice and I now want to beat my lifelong fear of heights. The trek climbs to a height of 4,200 M. It really is completely outside of my comfort zone – I used to have to close my eyes when driven over the new bridges in Bideford in Barnstaple. Thankfully I cope with them a lot better now! I have also never slept in a tent, so for the first time in my life I will be sleeping in a tent, up a mountain, with a stranger. Not something I can say I thought I would ever do!

I have to raise a lot of money to complete this challenge, but I want to let people know that I have had to pay for myself to go out there. My main fundraising event is hosting an Elvis/Rock’n’Roll night at Pier House, Westward Ho! This will take place on Friday 17th April at 8pm and tickets cost £7 from me on 07713636905. Phil Brock will be performing his amazing Elvis act which is probably the best in the West Country. If you want a great evening of entertainment I hope you feel you will be able to support me. If you are not able to be there, but would like to support me, please visit my page on

Helen Finn.


Bideford Quilt Group

Bideford Quilters meet monthly on the last Saturday of the month. We are now meeting at Northam Hall again – where we originally started.

We have had exhibitions at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum; the last one was in November/December 2013. For each of our exhibitions we have made a ‘group quilt’ which has been raffled in aid of North Devon Hospice. After a previous exhibition we had a lot of people wanting to join us so we started a second group – ‘Tarka Quilters’ which meets at Fremington Methodist Hall on the second Tuesday of the month. We have now decided to amalgamate the two groups so that members can go to either meetings.

Meetings are from 10-00 – 2.00 pm normally, and from 10.00 – 3.30 pm when we have a workshop. Sometimes we have ‘in-house’ tutors and at other times we use outside tutors to come to us.We have people of all abilities in our groups – from beginners to very experienced.

We are planning to start a ‘block a month’ where a different technique block is made each month leading to producing a sampler quilt – this is very helpful particularly for beginners.

If anyone is interested in joining us they would be very welcome – please ring Kate 01237 470846 or Steph 01237 470570 for details.


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Bideford Gardeners’ Club.

Since its inception back in 1959 the Club has had titles related to its origin and for many years has been known as Bideford & District Cacti & Pot Plant Club – quite a mouthful to get around. It is also a big misnomer as for much of its entire past it has covered all gardening subjects and indeed many general subject as well for its talks and meetings.    With the demise of other local clubs of the more general horticultural nature we felt it time to change and to appeal to a wider cross section.

With this in mind the club members have decided to make a radical change and it will now be known as Bideford Gardeners Club, still based at the Bideford Methodist Church Hall for its meetings and in the Pannier Market for its Annual Flower Show, which this year is on 23rd August 2015 and which includes the spectacular National Begonia Society South West Show.

Our season of talks and events commences in March each year and runs through to December. We also go out on trips and for our May event we will be running one to Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens, with a visit to Charlestown. The rest of the year is also well planned out, so we urge anyone interested in good social events and talks with a gardening bias to get in touch with us and join our club. Information can be obtained through Secretary Mike Avis, email or by phone 01237 475914.

Mike Avis.


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Charity news.

After Caring

After Caring provides support for carers / former carers aged 50+ as the person they care for moves to residential care or passes away. This can be a difficult time of transition and people can feel isolated, anxious, guilty, lonely and stressed.

If you are a good listener, 50+, have been in a caring role yourself and would like to do something valuable and worthwhile, then why not become a Volunteer Mentor? Training will be provided, expenses paid and ongoing support available.

For more information please contact Alison on 01237-420134 or email: Thank you!


Nightwalk for North Devon Hospice

Women only moonlit walk

Join us for Nightwalk 2015, walking with hundreds of other women in aid of North Devon Hospice. Sign up today and get your friends, colleagues and family to join you too. Register soon to take advantage of our early-bird registration fee of just £10 by visiting (or phoning 01271 347232 for an application form).

Now in its 9th year, Nightwalk takes place on Saturday 16th May 2015. There are routes of various lengths available along the Tarka Trail, at Saunton Sands, and at beautiful Tamar Lakes. This year we have two new routes starting at Instow; one making the short yomp to Bideford, with the other taking walkers to Barnstaple. We have live entertainment with Latin rhythms aplenty at every Nightwalk location, providing a wonderful musical backdrop to your walk.  New for 2015, we are also including an amazing ‘light show’ at both Saunton Sands and on the Tarka Trail between Barnstaple and Bideford. The mighty Torrington Cavaliers will also be providing musical entertainment on the Torrington-Bideford leg, so there really is something for everyone.


Northam Lodge’s annual Summer Cruise

The MS Oldenburg will be hosting Northam Lodge’s annual Mid-Summer Cruise on Friday June 5th 2015, sailing from Bideford Quay at 7.15pm for a 2 hour trip around the estuary. The Alan Lewis All Stars Jazz Band will be providing some lively entertainment. Please feel free to bring a picnic and there is a bar onboard to provide refreshments.

Tickets cost £15.00 per person and please contact Annabel Cope on 01237.477238 or email for more information.


Parkinson’s Spring Fayre

Torridge Branch – Parkinson’s UK at Weare Giffard Village Hall, nr Bideford

on Saturday 25th April, from 10:00am to 1:00pm To be opened by Peter Christie (local historian).    FREE ENTRY

For more information please contact Julie Jones 01237 478128.


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Book news – April.

Events in 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.

For Adults:

Nifty Needles

Every Thursday. 2 – 4pm.

For anyone who enjoys embroidery, quilting, knitting, crochet and other handcrafts.

Board Games Afternoon

Every Friday 2 – 5pm

If you enjoy games like chess, scrabble, backgammon or dominoes, come and join in.

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.


Northam Library

World Book Night 2015 Friday 24 April  10 -12 – The Morning after the Night Before…

FREE World Book Night books.  BOOK SALE and COFFEE MORNING with cakes provided by Northam WI.  Everyone who takes out a book during the day will be entered into a draw for a £10 book token.


Stop press. Bideford’s very own ‘young adult’ author Tanya Landman is shortlisted for the Carnegie Prize for her book, ‘Buffalo Soldier.’


‘Paradise Postponed ‘, by John Mortimer.

Discussed by Bideford Library Readers’ Group

This proved to be a popular book with all of us. Some of us had read Mortimer’s Rumpole series, always very entertaining – and this book written in 1999, but not ‘dated’ in any way did not disappoint. Its varied cast of characters include a Marxist vicar, an unorthodox country doctor, and a ruthless Conservative MP, who comes from humble backgrounds and who frequently quotes his mother and father in his speeches to show the importance of ‘ ordinary hardworking people’ – does that sound familiar?

Lesley Titmuss MP is a local grammar school boy who has risen through the ranks. Son of a doting mother and a father who unfailingly finishes his meal with the comment ‘ very tasty’.

There was some discussion on the title’ what is paradise postponed.’ – was it the fact that the dying vicar was still unsure about the afterlife ? Or was it something more banal like the fact that a local couple found the cottage of their dreams being sold from under their noses to a couple from the ‘BBC’.

Book 2 in the series, ‘Titmuss Regained, ‘ continues the adventures of the main characters, Fred the vicar’s son and local doctor, his brother Henry, Agnes, Henry’s wife and Fred’s lover and of course Leslie Titmuss MP.


Next Meeting Wednesday April 1st 2.00 pm, Bideford Library.

Discussing Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (Copies available from the Library)


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One hundred years ago : April 1915.

Peugeot cars have now arrived in Bideford. The French manufacturer has appointed Heard Bros. as their only dealer across the entire Devon and Cornwall area. Prices range from £125 for a baby 2 seater up to £875 for a 40/50 hp car fitted with a “Suffolk” 5 seater touring body complete with all accessories. For further details telephone Bideford 70.

An exciting new crop on the gardening page in the 6th April edition: ‘Readers are encouraged to consider planting “a garden variety of Indian corn or maize” known as sugar or sweet corn. It is quite extensively grown and eaten as a vegetable in Canada and the United States. Several local seedsmen are selling seeds of improved acclimatisation and now is the time to sow’.

Sale of Lloyds Bank premises Bideford: Messrs R Dymond & Sons are offering for sale by auction on the 8th April the freehold property situated on the corner of High Street and Allhalland Street, formerly the Devon & Cornwall Bank. The Auction took place at Tantons Hotel and in the following week’s edition of the Gazette the following report was printed. “Bidding was started by G. Boyle at £1000 and W. H. Chope bettered this by £50, and then by £50 bids each bidder bettered their offer up to a figure of £1700. Then Mr W. H. Chope offered £1725, at which point the property was withdrawn and made open to Private Treaty sale by Messrs Hole, Seldon & Ward solicitors for the vendors”.

Local residents are beginning to respond to the opening of Commons Auxiliary Hospital to receive wounded soldiers with gifts and donations including vegetables, shirts, pillows, eggs, cigarettes, cream, carpet slippers, boots, jig saw puzzles, looking glasses, jam and hymn books. Rev Dimond gave sweets.

Bideford farmers and gardeners have been asked to contribute to a national egg collection scheme to aid wounded soldiers. Across the country 130,000 eggs have been collected weekly but the organisers hope to increase this to 200,000 and Bideford is expected to play its part. Collection points have been set up at the Butchers Market at the top of Grenville Street and at the NFU offices in the High Street.

In letters to the Editor in the 13th April edition a letter from Mr. J. M. Metherell, chairman of the Bideford branch of the Devon Farmers Union, “earnestly request the farmers of Bideford District to make a generous response to the appeal.” Eggs will go to the base hospital in France for men who are returning from the Front Line.


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Burton Art Gallery & Museum – April.

The Schools’ Exhibition has given such pleasure over the past four weeks, it is a pity to see it go, but thanks go to all the teachers and their talented pupils for such a colourful and inventive show.

The paintings of Vernon C. Boyle take over from the fascinating collection of works and artefacts from the life of Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards. Vernon Boyle was a Bidefordian, who sketched and painted in watercolour throughout his life, wherever he happened to be. North Devon Maritime Museum at Appledore also has a good selection of his work, depicting his love of the sea and ships, the Torridge and all its moods. He was a keen member of the Bideford Amateur Athletic Club, and rowed for their team. The Burton Gallery is privileged to put on show a comprehensive selection of the art and interests of this talented man. He had many talents, and was also known as a lyricist, putting words to music by local musicians. The exhibition is generously supported by the Estate of Vernon C. Boyle, and continues until 27th April.

From 28th March until 1st May, the ‘Green Thoughts’ of Howard Hodgkin take precedence. This is his second visit to the Burton, and the ‘Green Thoughts’ with their powerful marks and vibrant colours, suggest his encounters with nature; he was inspired by ‘The Garden’, written by 17th century poet Andrew Marvell. Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932, and attended Camberwell School of Art and the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. He worn the Turner Prize in 1985, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, and was knighted for his services to the arts in 1992. There are nineteen new limited edition prints on show, and a 20ft. etching ‘As Time Goes By’.

In the Craft Gallery, Charlotte Duckworth’s ‘Silver Duck’ collection is on show until 30th May; she combines silver and holly wood, to make cutlery and tableware, functional and beautifully designed, each piece is hallmarked in the London Assay Office.

Colin Allbrook is tutoring a painting workshop, ‘en plein air’ on the 18th April, from 10am to 4pm, and Isabella Whitworth will be ‘Silk Painting and Dyeing’ on the 25th April, from 10am to 4pm.      Each day course costs £35 ; phone 01237 471455 to book a place.

The Friends are holding their Annual General Meeting in the Gallery, on Saturday, 11th April, from 10.30 a.m. Speaker: The Hon. John Rous, High Sheriff of Devon. Lunch for ticket holders in the Cafe du Parc. All welcome, but Lunch booking essential.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


The Paintings of Vernon C. Boyle – A Forgotten Era.

21st March – 27th April 2015

Established in 1893, Buckleigh Laundry is the largest independent laundry servicing the South West region. A family concern, the current owner is 4th generation. But what’s the connection between the laundry and the Burton? Simple – the grandfather of the current owners, Vernon C. Boyle, a prolific and extraordinary artist, features in the Burton’s Exhibition programme.

A Bidefordian by birth, Vernon sketched and painted, mainly watercolours, throughout his life and where ever he was in the world. His love of shipping, the River Torridge and North Devon inspired much of his work and his estate consists of literally 1000’s of drawings and paintings.

The exhibition, The Paintings of Vernon C. Boyle, includes 41 works, many of which have never been exhibited before. Curated by the Exhibition and Collections Officer, Warren Collum, the display includes works that portrays the loss of a significant local industry, salmon fishing. The exhibition also includes paintings which recorded the breaking of boats, the estuary erosion, shipping and boats of all types, local fisherman and even Regatta Day in 1926. Three paintings depict London and hint at Vernon leaving North Devon to go to World War One.

An extraordinary draftsman, Vernon C. Boyle was documenting and charting our social history. He returned to Bideford during the war after the death of his brother to run the family business, Buckleigh Laundry. But he never stopped painting and drawing, loving nothing more than to be out in the landscape capturing his surroundings.

Vernon’s son, Vernon Jack Boyle, spent a great deal of time at the turn of this Century cataloguing and archiving his fathers work, and said, ‘He (My father) had to keep painting even if only on wrapping paper, packaging or scraps of cardboard.

Vernon C. Boyle is represented within the Burton’s Permanent Collection by his work, ‘Appledore for Greysands’. A newly produced book, ‘Portrait of The Great War – A Devonshire Sergeant in Mesopotamia’ includes exerts from Vernon C. Boyles diaries whilst away fighting in World War One, alongside drawings and paintings again, capturing his surroundings as the life of a Solider as well as historical images of his life and family in Bideford.

Warren Collum, Exhibitions and Collections Officer, said, “I feel very privileged to have been allowed access to such a vast collection of works. The last few months I have been able to explore the portfolios of Vernon’s work and slowly some key themes have emerged. I hope this exhibition will draw new audiences to the Burton, not only for Vernon’s exquisite skills in drawing but also to identify and reminisce about times and scene gone by in Bideford’s history.’

The exhibition is generously supported by the Estate of Vernon C. Boyle.

Portrait of The Great War – A Devonshire Sergeant in Mesopotamia’, published by Edward Gaskell is available to purchase from the Burton.

Contact Details:
THE BURTON ART GALLERY & MUSEUM, Kingsley Road, Bideford EX39 2QQ
(e) (t) 01237 471455 (w)

Opening Hours:

Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

Sunday 10.30am – 4pm.


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery : April.

Seafood Savoury Pancakes.

Here is a lovely recipe from the Marshford Cookbook using local ingredients. I have used locally caught white fish; Pollack, Whiting or Ling fillets are all available this Easter.(with thanks to Marshford for allowing use of this recipe.)

To make pancakes-

Ingredients- 110g plain flour and a pinch of salt,1 large egg,

100ml milk and100 ml cold water.

Mix the salt and flour in a large bowl, beat the egg lightly and add half the milk/water. Beat until well mixed and add the rest of the milk /water. Stir to mix.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and add half the liquid. Beat lightly and then pour the rest of the liquid in, slowly beating as you go until the mixture is well incorporated. Set aside in a cold place for 2 hours.

To cook pancakes-

Use a 7in pan. Measure 2 Tablespoons of batter into a cup and when the pan is hot, pour the batter into the middle ,swirl round to coat the pan thinly.

Turn down the heat to medium and cook the pancake ; it should only take a minute, and then turn over or toss and cook on the other side.

Have 2 plates ready and place the cooked pancakes on the plate. Keep warm with a second inverted plate on top.

These are now ready for the fish filling.

Ingredients for filling-

150ml milk.

160g of Pollack, Whiting or Ling fillets.

80gms of prawns or sliced scallops or mussel meat.

3 black peppercorns,1bay leaf and a few parsley sprigs.

15g butter and 15g flour.

Salt and pepper to taste.

To finish-

15gm melted butter and a little grated cheese-Cornish yarg or mild Parkham cheddar

To make the filling-

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the flour, stirring and cooking to form a roux. Add the liquid a little at a time, stirring continuously over a low heat until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened.

Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and carefully fold in the cubed filleted fish and sliced scallops /mussels.

Heat the grill.

Divide the mixture between the pancakes and roll up. Place in a greased heatproof dish and brush each pancake with the melted butter, sprinkle the grated cheese over, and heat under the grill until golden. Garnish the reserved parsley leaves.

And serve.


Please let me know which fish and /or cheese you find most tasty for this dish.

For more information and Easter recipes visit or for more Organic food recipes visit , or visit the shop at Churchill Way, Northam. EX39 1NS. Marshford Organic Foods now has a range of local-caught fish.


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Bideford Film Society – April.

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

Tickets available at box office, or advance ticket sales (credit/ debit card) online.


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Shipping news No 121 (February/ March 2015).

No shipping at Bideford or Yelland since last issue, contrary to my comments last month.

Vessel Marley due Bideford 17th March to load for Castellon.

The Irish Patrol Vessel Le James Joyce sailed from Appledore on the am tide of the 5th and returned on the 10th ; due to sail for her home port in Eire on the 18th. (During the weekend 7/8th March she was seen crossing the bay on various occasions).

Barge and escorting tug still due at shipyard on the 24th March to collect components for the second Aircraft Carrier at Rosyth ; due to sail 3rd April.

Arco Dart at Appledore 18.2.15; 5.3.15 ; 8.3.15.

Bristol Channel Observations.

14.2 at 15.13 cargo vessel Newa, 6,050 tons d.w, owners Roland Ship Administration Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth.

17.2 at 07.29 cargo vessel Zeeland, 3,020 tons d.w, owners Wagenborg Shipping BV Netherlands, inward bound for Newport. At 07.48 chemical tanker Stolt Guillemot, 4,698 tons d.w,owners Stolt Tankers BV Netherland, inward bound for Barry. At 11.15 Stolt Gillemot outward bound from Barry, having sailed at 07.24.

18.2 at 12.40 vehicle carrier Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

21.2 at 13.57 vehicle carrier Glovis Solomon, 27,500 tons d.w, owners GL SHVI Shipping Inc South Korea, inward bound for Portbury.

23.2 at 14.20 bulk carrier Wu Zhu Hai, 76,428 tons d.w Cosco Bulk China, outward bound from Port Talbot, having sailed at 10.07 .

24.2 at 18.02 vehicle carrier Grand Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 11.06. At 18.08 bulk carrier UBC Oristano, 11,8467 tons d.w., owners UBC Oristano Netherlands, inward bound for Port Talbot.

26.2 at 14.50 vehicle carrier City of Paris, 2,793 tons d.w, owners Manx Car Carriers Ltd Japan, outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 09.36.

27.2 at 09.24 cargo vessel Noorderlicht, 3,770 tons d.w., owners Souwerbren JA Netherlands, outward bound from Sharpness, having sailed at 00.26 . At 11.25 chemical tanker Likya C, 5,573 tons d.w., owners Likya Maritime Investments Istanbul, inward bound for Cardiff. (Seen again 1.3.15 at 08.35 outward bound from Cardiff, having sailed 01.47).

2.3 at 08.20 cargo vessel Patron, 4,106 tons d.w, owners CFL Patron Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 11.07 cargo vessel Chopin, 5,697 tons d.w, owners Strahlmann E Reederei EK Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 16.00 cargo vessel Reggedijk, 4,890 tons d.w, owners Navigia Shipmanagement BV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

3.3 at 17.35 cargo vessel Marc, 4,135 tons d.w, owners Marc Hermann Lohmann Germany, inward bound for Portbury. At 17.45 cargo vessel Sormonskiy, 3,853 tons d.w, owners North Western Shipping Joint Stock Co Russia, outward bound from Sharpness, having sailed at 05.56.

4.3 at 08.10 cargo vessel Pommern, 3,006 tons d.w, owners Gerhard Wessels Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth.

8.3 at 14.57 the cargo ship Hertfordshire, 2,489 tons d.w, owners Bibby Line ltd Liverpool outward bound from Newport, having sailed at 09.25. At 15.53 tug MTS Viscount, 318 tons d.w., owners Multratug BV Netherlands, outward bound from Barry, having sailed at 08.04.

10.3 at 11.41 vehicle carrier Grande Detroit, 12,420 tons d.w., owners ACL Management AB Sweden (part of the Grimaldi Group Italy), outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 06.43. At 14.05 container ship Flintercape, 9,587 tons d.w, owners Flinter Group Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

13.3 at 07.46 container ship Shasta, 22,420 tons d.w, owners Almond Shipping Investments Greece, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.11. At 09.30 cargo vessel Komet, 111 tons d.w, owners unknown, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 11.15 cargo vessel Taranto, 3,009 tons d.w., owners Kaptain Siegfried Bojen Schiffahrtsbetrieb EK Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 11.55 cargo vessel Widor, 3,417 tons d.w, owners Widor Interscan Shipmangement Germany, outward bound from Swansea . At 18.34 vehicle carrier City of Barcelona, 2,402tons d.w, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 13.38 . At 18.40 cargo vessel Wilson Dundee, 3,666 tons d.w, owners Argonnauten Holdings GMBH Germany, outward bound from Sharpness having sailed at 10.50.

14.3 at 16.00 vehicle carrier/ Parts for Airbus carrier City of Hamburg, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Anita SNC France, inward bound for Portbury.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the children of the reception class of Hollywell Primary School Tawstock for listening to me and coming up with interesting questions on the 27th February. At the time of going to press the Marley is due Bideford 17th. You may have seen the ship by the time your teacher reads this.

Regards, Norman.


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April diary.

Friday 24th

10am-12pm World Book Night 2015 – The Morning after the Night Before at Northam Library. Book Sale & Coffee Morning. Cakes made by Northam WI.

10am-1pm Lundy Art Group at St Mary’s Church Hall, Appledore. 472158

7.45pm Modern Sequence Dancing, Kingsley Hall, W Ho! 01769 540309

8pm Ceilidh Club, Northam Hall. 476632

Saturday 25th

9am-2pm Bideford Farmers’ Market on the Quay.

10am Torridge Ramblers day walk. 01805 625485

10am – 1pm Parkinson’s UK Torridge Branch ‘Spring Fayre’, Weare Giffard Village Hall.

7.30pm Concert Performance of Roger Jones musical ‘Apostle’ at Westward Ho! Baptist Church. 421551

Sunday 26th

11am-4pm Bluebell Day at Hartland Abbey. 441496

Monday 27th

10am-12pm Appledore Community Art Group at Appledore Community Hall.

6.45pm Breakaway Social Club for adults with learning/physical disabilities.

7pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

8.30pm N Devon Jazz Club at the Beaver, Appledore – Jim Mullen/Neil Burns Quartet. 421065

Tuesday 28th

10am-1pm Lavington Church coffee and lunches.

10.30am Walking for Health. 421528

2-3.30pm Salvation Army ‘Fun & Fellowship’ Club meets at Baptist Church Upper Hall.

6.30pm Bideford Band Beginner’s Group at Band Room. 475653

7.30pm Northam Choral Society rehearses at Northam Methodist Hall.

7.30pm Bideford Camera Club at The Stables, Kingsley School. 479462

7.30pm Lions Club meet at Royal Hotel.

8pm Torridge Male Voice Choir meets at Woolsery Village Halll. 470913

Palladium Club – Jam Night.

Wednesday 29th

9.30am-2.30pm Free Social Club for ages 19+ at Happy Café, W Ho!

10am-12pm Bideford Healing Group at Sea Cadets Bldg in Victoria Park.

10.30am Walking for Health in Victoria Park. Meet at Cafe du Parc. 421528

11am-1pm Creative (Memory) Café at Quay Meeting Rm, 5 Danver Court, Clovelly Rd Ind Estate. 07817976053

1-2.30pm SHoW (See Hear on Wheels) at Tesco, East-the-Water.

7.30pm Bideford Folk Dance Club at Northam Hall. 423554

7.30pm Two Rivers Wind Ensemble Rehearsal at Bideford Band Room.

8pm Bideford Phoenix Morris rehearses at Baptist Church Hall. 473798

Thursday 30th

10am-12pm Coffee Morning & Table Top Sale at RND Yacht Club, Instow, in aid of North Devon Hospice. 422215

10.15am Northam Men’s Forum, Northam Methodist Church Hall. 479917

10.30am Walking for Health along Tarka Trail. Clarence Wharf Car Park. 421528

7pm Hartland Aikido Club for over 18s at Bucks Cross Village Hall.

7.30-9pm Samba Baia Rehearsal at Community Arts Network, 13 Rope Walk. New members welcome.


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Exmoor Pony Center – April.

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

Our Pancakes & Ponies Open Day in February was a great success with plenty of enthusiastic visitors.

Much has been made in the Czech Republic about the herd of ponies that arrived there in January. In April they will be joined by a stallion to complete and increase their numbers. We look forward to seeing the offspring next year. You may have seen some film of their arrival as it featured on the news on both BBC and ITV, when they also did a report from the Centre.

Seven two-year-old ponies are doing a great job of grazing at Arlington Court and seven year old Jazz will be working with the ranger there during the season. Twelve foals born last year are currently at the Centre learning to be sociable, though some of them are still available for purchase from their breeders.

Kate and Percy, two of our resident ponies have been having special treatment this winter with extra feeds and being stabled overnight which inevitably has resulted in more work and higher bills but we are pleased to say that they are both looking much better for it.

Please look at our website for any further details about future events and more about the work we do to preserve and promote these wonderful ponies and please support us in any way that you can.


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March’s Youth Page.

A new chapter

There are a fair few stories in the news this week with one very similar thread, not the usual empty promises of snow- close to the seaside we’ve become accustomed to disappointment in that department- something else has found the limelight this time. Books.

After recent reports that most kids can’t hold a pencil, tablets are the way forward, and the pen/ paper combination has gone the way of other notable duos – such as Starsky & Hutch, and that short-lived cheese-pomegranate fad – you’d be forgiven for thinking that paper is on a shaky footing. Certainly, with the rise of e-readers, capable of holding their charge for around 28 hours and casting their own iridescent glow over both the rapt reader and the poor souls attempting sleep, the book’s found a new competitor. It may have eliminated the age old question of “which lamp should I sit underneath at night?” but this query is soon replaced by the far more worrying – “where’s the nearest plug socket to perch beside? I thought either Heathcliff or Cathy were about to die, but it turns out the kindle’s joined in too. “

Even with these electronic gizmos on the horizon, their leafy companions have found new outlets this year, with the rise of ‘book blogging’; many people now proudly show an internet audience the pile of paper backs they’ve just waded through, explaining some favourites or challenging others to take on their list. There are also a lot of literature based courses at the moment – from English A-levels to history, where a bit of wider reading can come in immensely helpful. It’s here that other people’s recommendations – of something that explains the background factors memorably, or fits in with the strand of coursework you’re tirelessly attempting to pad out – can make the job a lot easier. Novels, easily swapped between classmates like a curiously legal black market, prove to be far less faff than each person downloading the same thing to their e-reader once they’ve bought one in the first place.

We’re a good few weeks into it now, and so far, 2015 looks like the time of the tome; with the library willing to import anything not found in the Bideford outlet from the whole of the British Isles, and book clubs making their resurgence.


You may remember that a few issues ago now we mentioned Yazzy Chamberlain, who got through to the Finals of the UK Open Mike Contest. She has now gone on to win it.

With a performance of her own song “Silly boys breaking hearts”, she not only gained first prize, but also landed the Exposure award for publicity, gaining her recording studio time too! Well done Yazzy.

Maths Challenge

A grand well-done is also in order for Amy Walker ,Kieran Spittles, Max Heard and James Gould- who got Bideford College to the National finals of the maths challenge competition for the first time in its history. Although they didn’t win, they represented the town admirably in a field of over 70 regional winners in London.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.

If you have something you’d like to tell us , please send your contributions fao Millie, Bideford Buzz c/o TTVS 14 Bridgeland St Bideford Ex39 2QE OR email editor@


Torridge CATS – 2015 CATS Awards Evening!

This inspirational event will take place on Thursday 4th June 2015 at The Pier House in Westward Ho! It will be an exciting evening designed to promote, recognise and reward young people from the Torridge area for their positive community action.If you know of a young person in the Torridge area, aged 5 – 25, who deserves to be recognised and rewarded , then please be sure to nominate them using this link to the CATS nomination form. Torridge CATS 2015 Nomination Form

Please complete and submit all nomination forms by 27.04.15. If you would prefer a hardcopy nomination form, please email or telephone 01288 488086.


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