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: editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk

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Bideford Carnival, 12th September.

The theme this year is “Vintage years, 1940-1970”, and entry forms are now available from Radford’s Newsagents on the Quay and also Morrison’s customer service desk.

The theme is only there for guidance in forming an idea, but you don’t have to follow it to enter. For more information please contact Nicole, at nicole.may@btinternet.com

The Carnival procession starts at 6pm, followed by the Massed Pipes & Drums at approximately 7.45pm, and ends with a spectacular firework display at about 9.30pm.

Route – The Pill car park, Bridgeland Street, North Road, Lime Grove, Belvoir Road, Abbotsham Road, High Street, The Quay, finishing at The Pill car park to disperse.

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Bideford Regatta.

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September’s Youth Page.

Working 9 to 5…

They say you learn something new every day, who “they” are is still a bit of a mystery, but they must have a brain between them because it’s true! Even in the holidays, when technically, all learning should be placed on a two month sabbatical ( slightly shorter if you’re up in Scotland, poor kids) you can find out about a new place; as we at the Buzz did with the North Devon Athenaeum in Barnstaple.

The North Devon archives have dedicated themselves to the preservation of the past yet they’re also contributing to our future too by providing work experience for any students who want to learn how to handle parchment almost a millennium old, or get to grips with unique filing systems. The Record Office was relocated from its place at North Devon museum (not too) recently, though your Buzz reporter had no idea of this, merrily pottered about outside until opening time, only to find out that this and the Athenaeum had moved 2 miles down the road in the late 80s; it’s now above the Barnstaple library if you’re interested. Thanks to a very friendly tourist information man, a little black and white map and some nonchalant jogging no one arrived late and luckily the rest of the fortnight placement went off relatively hitch free. In fact, it was a pretty good ice breaker.

The historical side itself was fascinating, and ideal for anyone looking to get into a related course at university or become an archivist, the sheer volume of texts being enough to immerse yourself in for decades- as many people do. Although there was always an air of calm about the research room ( conversations were never loud enough to warrant the angered shushing of a stereotypical library) there was a steady flurry of people- either volunteers to translate parish registers into typed and indexed folders ( clerics seem to have been the doctors of their day, both have illegible handwriting) or customers trying to trace back their family tree. Every person there has honed their craft and knows the reference numbers at the drop of a hat, and while two weeks in nowhere near long enough to soak it all up, anyone headed there for work experience will definitely come away with more of a clue than when they started. Although very few places have exactly the same indexing system, unless they’re in cahoots, once you’ve got to grips with your first one it’s a lot easier to work out the little idiosyncrasies that make the others run too- meaning it’s good practice for any office jobs or file searching that the future might hold. Learning to leap from source to source and not be discouraged when all your leads inexplicably move out of the Devonshire area during the same measly year, a selfish move that leaves you with nothing to research, is all part and parcel of the placement. These skills ultimately go towards a report on the record office’s blog; https://talesfromthearchives.wordpress.com, as the overseer of all things archival Barum Athena uploads the documents.

So if you’re searching round for something new to learn, the Barnstaple Athenaeum will ensure “they” aren’t wrong for another few weeks at least.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.

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One hundred years ago – September 1915.

When the Bideford Workhouse Guardians held their monthly meeting it was reported there was little change in the numbers seeking help and support. On the 8th September there were 84 people housed indoors at Meddon Street, 9 casuals had been accommodated overnight and 318 people, mostly children, were out relieved. (This means they were placed with families across the town and a small subsistence paid). The cost was £38:16:10d this week. These figures vary for a multitude of reasons. For example the following week casuals increased to 12 whereas those out in the town fell a little. The workhouse was also seeking tenders for the supply of materials that could be made into clothing. Items of drapery sought include Saxony Flannel, Real Welsh Flannel, White Barras, Russian Crash and Blue striped print. Ready-made mens’ hand-knit grey stockings and women’s black-knit stockings were required. Footwear included Boys Cued and Nailed boots for 8 -16 year olds.

The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway track is in need of some urgent repair. A letter from Mr Sowden, the manager, is printed in response to a request from the Bideford Town Council. The repairs to the track curve outside the Art School at the far end of the Quay will take place at the earliest possible moment. There has been difficulty with the wood blocks at the corner, which was caused by the constant shrinkage of the made up ground over the Pill. The repairs were also delayed by the difficulty in getting steel rails in consequence of the war.

Each week the Situations Vacant column saw a constant demand for workers in the town and locality. There were two agencies specialising in domestic and ladies employment – Mrs Shutts Ladies Agency and Miss Birds Select Registry, both to be found in Bridgeland Street. Apprentice carpenters, dispensing chemists, butchers, cabinet makers are some trades that are always advertising. Domestic help, maids, strong boys and gardeners are needed. Trade continues despite the war but replacing the tradesmen is proving difficult.

The Public Rooms are showing, for one night only, the latest musical comedy “The Girl in a Taxi”

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.

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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery – September.

The Appledore Fish Summer School activities have been running during the whole of August. Our last event is a Family Fishy Fun Day in St Mary’s Hall from 11.am on Tuesday 1st September with plenty of sessions with a fishy theme…An inter village Crab Dressing Competition at 2.00pm. A talk by Gus Caslake of SEAFISH about Sustainable Fishing at 11am.Delicious Fish Paella will be available from 12 noon and Crab sandwiches from 3.00pm. Drinks will be available all day. Also, Children’s activities will include making “Fisher Folk” Scarecrows and Guess the weight and name of the Crab. There will be stalls and music and we will be raising money for the local RNLI appeal. These are the local people who keep our fishermen and others safe at sea!

Here is a simple Paella recipe that is great to share with a crowd. Reminds me of happy days in the garden with lots of friends.

Paella made with local fish.

The secret of a good paella is to mix and fry gently the ingredients in the favoured oil before you cook the rice. This ensures plenty of flavour.

Ingredients.

150 ml olive oil.

350g cleaned squid, sliced into rings, and tentacles chopped.

6 scallops, chopped in half.

2 red peppers.

4 chicken thighs or rabbit meat, diced (or125g piece chorizo sausage,diced)

4 garlic cloves,crushed.

1 onion,chopped.

250g paella rice (available from Marshford Organics)or basmati rice.

450 ml Fish Stock -home made or stock cube

1 teaspoon saffron strands.

100g peas.

300gms mussels in shells, cleaned.

salt and pepper.

lemon wedges, to serve.

Method

1.Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and fry the squid and the scallops stirring for 5 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon, Add the peppers and fry for 5mins in the flavoured oil. Remove and add the chicken,rabbit or chorizo cubes, remaining oil, garlic and onion and fry for 5 mins.

2.Sprinkle in the rice and cook for 1 min. stirring so that the grains become well coated in the spicy oil.

3.Stir in the stock and saffron and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid or foil and cook gently for about 20 mins or until the rice is cooked through. Stir in the peas, along with the returned squid, scallops and peppers.

4.Push the mussels into the rice so that they are half submerged. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Discard any that remain closed.

5. Season and add lemon wedges to decorate and to squeeze over the dish. Enjoy!

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Bideford Town Council grants.

BIDEFORD TOWN COUNCIL

Grants for 2016/2017

Those organisations whose work includes benefit to the people of Bideford may apply for a grant from the Bideford Town Council.

Applications forms are obtainable from:

The Town Clerk, Town Hall, Bideford EX39 2HS

E Mail: admin@bideford-tc.gov.uk

website: www.bideford-tc.gov.uk

Telephone: (01237) 428817/8

FORMS MUST BE RETURNED BY

WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2015

Grants will be paid in April 2016

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‘Connections’ – King Aethelstan.

Aethelstan (c895 – 939AD)First Monarch to visit North Devon?

King Aethelstan is one of the forgotten kings of English history. The grandson of Alfred the Great, who had fought off the Danes and consolidated the Saxon territories of south and west Britain, it fell to Aethelstan to rid the northern territories of the Vikings and the Danes, eventually uniting all the different territories to become the first King of All England.

As well as being a good soldier, he was, like his grandfather, very religious and scholarly, and was keen to see his new nation develop into a law-abiding and prosperous country.

To this end, he travelled around the new nation, meeting the local rulers to establish conditions for the growth of towns and cities. He went all over the country, including Exeter and Lifton in south Devon, and , according to the local historian Tristram Risdon he built a royal palace at Umberleigh in north Devon. A church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built next to it.

The palace and its land were held in desmesne, which means that it was built and maintained expressly for the use of the king, his family and household, and was the property of the king himself. However, over a period of time, the palace and then the church fell into a state of ruin, and all that remains is one wall of the church, now part of a building which houses agricultural implements.

Another way of stabilising the nation was by standardising the coinage, and this was done by granting certain towns the right to mint their own high-grade silver coins. Barnstaple was one such town, Exeter another, and this in turn led to increased prosperity in both. Although some Saxon coins have been found in the vicinity of Barnstaple, none bearing Aethelstan’s head have come to light.

For Devonians, or Dumnonians, as they would have been called then, Aethelstan’s unifying rule came at a price: he favoured Anglo-Saxon settlers, calling the original Celtic inhabitants ‘a filthy race’, some of whom were forced to flee over the border into Cornwall, which itself lost its independence from England during Aethelstan’s reign. The last king of Cornwall, Howel, died at this time.

Apparently Aethelstan was quite impressed by south Devon, but found north Devon ‘wild and barren’.

Much else could be written about Aethelstan: how he later defeated the resurgent Northumbrians in a great battle, how he is said to have cast his brother out to sea in a boat without oars in revenge for an attempt to blind him and render him useless as a king, but that is outside the remit of this article.

He died in 939, after a fourteen- year reign, unmarried, and was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund.

As far as I am aware, and assuming Tristram Risdon was correct, Aethelstan was the only English monarch to visit north Devon for over a thousand years, until Queen Elizabeth II visited Barnstaple in 1956.

Chris Trigger.

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The world of insects – September 23rd.

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A history lesson from the nursery.

On a recent history walk around Torrington it was pointed out how the hillsides of the Commons are now thickly overgrown with trees and bushes, commonly dismissed as scrubland. This is in contrast to old photographs of the area, where the Commons appear as an expanse of open grass or heathland. It was explained that the reason for this transformation of the landscape, which is widely deplored by lovers of wildflowers and butterflies, is that no-one grazes cattle or sheep on Torrington Commons any more. Well-managed grazing by livestock is essential to the maintenance of open grassland as without it the natural succession of blackthorn, willow, birch and eventually oak and ash will take over once their seedlings are not continually eaten off by the animals.

No-one wants to see fences erected around and within the Commons, as would be necessary if cattle were to be grazed there in the modern way, while the ancient traditional way of grazing common land appears no longer to be available to us. The old method is probably beyond the memory of any living farmers, but there is a clue remaining in the traditional nursery rhymes that some mothers may still recite to their young children.

Remember “Little Boy Blue – Come blow on your horn, the sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn”? This tells the tale of how the young lad is given the job of supervising the herd of sheep, keeping them within their allotted rough grazing area out on the common while the cows are allowed the richer grass of the meadows but must be kept out of the cornfields until after the harvest. The lad is issued with a hunting horn on which to blow the alarm and summon help if his sheep wander out of his control or are attacked by wolves (and hereby lies another tale – the boy who cried `wolf`). Back to Little Boy Blue: the rhyme carries on to query where he has got to – and it turns out he is fast asleep under a haycock sheltering from the mid-day sun.

It was not only lads who were entrusted with looking after the livestock in those happy days before school was compulsory. Remember Little Bo Peep who lost her sheep after presumably not paying attention to her job that sunny summer’s afternoon. One might just wonder what actually went on under that haycock after all !

Chris Hassall.

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Massed Pipes & Drums.

We are back in town following Bideford Carnival on Saturday 12th September. The skirl of the pipes and the swing of the kilt will be back again this year. This is a rare chance to see nearly 200 pipers and drummers joining together to march along Bideford Quay playing traditional Scottish music.

The event is hosted by the Bideford Youth Pipe Band along with the Port of Bideford Regatta Committee. There will be bands coming from all over the south of England and Wales, from places like London, Bristol, Newport and Birmingham. The pipe bands will be taking part in the first and last parts of Bideford Carnival, before assembling as a massed band for a spectacular performance on the Quay at about 8pm.

This year the Massed Pipes & Drums will be marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Taking the salute will be the Chieftain of the Gathering, Robert Ferguson B.E.M.  The sound of the pipes can be heard over the whole weekend – Friday night starts off with a concert at the Pollyfield Centre by the Dambuskers, with support from Cornish shanty singers the Bencoolen Wreckers and the Bideford Youth Pipe Band. A fun evening with a Scottish ceilidh feeling. Then there is the Massed Pipes and Drums on Saturday and the weekend ends with “Piping in the Park” on Sunday morning at 11am in Victoria Park. This is an informal get together of the pipe bands for a jam session. A chance to shout out a favourite tune and see if the bands know it.

For more information :- Event Co-ordinator – Mike Harper mike@rockbymail.co.uk 01237 422477 Event Website – www.bidefordmassedbands.co.uk

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Put on your dancing shoes.

Bideford Phoenix Morris

You may have seen us playing and dancing traditional Morris during the summer in and around North Devon. If you want to be active, have fun and certainly do something different why not join us and have a go. As our dancing out season comes to a end we are now looking for musicians and dancers to join us this Autumn.

From October onwards our musicians and dancers meet to practise our dances for 2016 at the Baptist Church Hall, Mill Street, Bideford. Why not join us?

To find out more Contact Neil and Carolyn Bennion 01237 473798 info@bidefordphoenix.co.uk


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Scottish Country Dancing

New classes at Westleigh Village Hall every Thursday 7.30pm, starting 10th Sept.

No partner needed. Beginners very welcome. Have fun, meet people and keep fit.

Contact 01237 473801 for further information

Tony Barnes.

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English Folk Dancing

Now that shorter, darker evenings are almost upon us, many of you will be looking for fresh activities to brighten up the Autumn and Winter. Why not have a go at English Folk Dancing? Also known as Ceilidh (pronounced “Kay-lee”), or Barn Dancing, it is a sociable and enjoyable activity, and lots of fun.

Bideford Ceilidh Club will be meeting on Friday evenings, at 8pm, at Northam Hall, from 18th September. People of all ages are welcome, singles or couples, and dancers of all abilities are welcome. Having two left feet is no problem. Although we are a “Club”, nobody has to “join”, and there is no obligation to attend every week: just come when you can.

The sessions are led by local dance caller John Blackburn, and we dance to recorded music, although about six times a year we put on public dances with some of the very best bands in the country. Come along and give it a try! If you need more information, contact John Blackburn on 01237 476632.

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Choirs & Concerts.

The Barnstaple Ladies Choir

Formed in 1984 it has a present membership of 34. We are very fortunate to have Mary Chant as Musical Director. Mary is well known for her work in the local amateur theatre, having played leading roles in various musical productions. She also teaches singing.

Peggy Spiers is a great asset ; she has been a professional pianist and accompanist for many years. She and her husband retired to North Devon hoping for a quiet life, but it did not take long for her to become known, and she has been kept very busy ever since. Her piano solos are a feature of the Choir’s concerts. Nigel Brooks, a composer and arranger, is their president.

We have a long-standing friendship with the Barbel Grosse Chor in Uelzen, Germany ( Barnstaple’s twin town.)The Choir also have exchange visits with the City of Stoke- on -Trent Male Voice Choir and the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir. Of course they also sing many times with their friends in the Barnstaple MVC and the Torridge MVC. We have now recorded three CDs, on sale at concerts. Apart from concerts we also enjoy singing at weddings and being a small part of a very special occasion.If you would be interested in having us entertain your group, please contact our Secretary Lynne Beer on 01271 376432. barnstapleladieschoir.btck.co.uk

We are looking for an assistant accompanist who would be happy to share the load of attending practices [which are on Tuesday nights in Fremington] and accompany the Choir at their concerts. We help raise money for local charities & churches. If you can help please phone our Musical Director Mary Chant on 01271 860500.

Lynne Beer.

Encore! Concert in Westward Ho!

The theatrical singing group, ENCORE!, is returning to perform at Holy TrinityChurch, Westward Ho! again this year. The emphasis is on quality singing and entertainment, creating a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable evening out for all the family. The concert is on Saturday 5th September, starting at 7pm. Light refreshments will be available and there will be a retiring collection. Due to a couple of members leaving the North Devon area, the group will be holding open auditions for new singers on Wednesday 16th September in Lavington United Reform Church, Bridgeland Street, Bideford at 7.30pm. Potential auditionees will be required to perform a solo taken from musical theatre, as well as being given the opportunity to sing in harmony with the rest of the group. If you are interested or would like further information, please contact Caroline Hunt on 01237 429798, or email davecal87@hotmail.com

Appledore Singers – a new season

It’s the beginning of autumn and the Appledore Singers are starting their new season, so here’s an invitation to all ladies who enjoy singing: why not come along to one of our Monday night rehearsals (7.15-9pm at Appledore Baptist Church) and experience singing with us? We always welcome new members and have a variety of musical arrangements on offer, from gospel and show-stoppers to Top Ten hits. You’re sure to enjoy yourself!

For more information contact our Musical Director, Pam Beechey on 01237 420652 or see our website: theappledoresingers.co.uk

Visit of Swansea Excelsior Ladies Choir

In October last year the Torridge Male Voice choir was invited to sing in Swansea with the Excelsior Ladies Choir. This choir, formed in 1941, has sung internationally and been part of many musical festivals. In the past 15 years the choir has raised over £40,000 for various charities.

The concert in Swansea was a great success. The Torridge Choir always gets a good reception in South Wales. The ladies arranged, in turn, to visit the Little White Town. They had hoped to come in May but both choirs had busy schedules and so they had to put it off until this month.

The concert in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance will be in Bideford Methodist Church, High Street, at 7pm on Saturday 26th September.

Tickets are £5 and will be available at the door.

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Torridge Table Tennis Club.

We will be re-starting our Friday afternoon sessions on Friday 18th September and would welcome new members to join our group ; we meet at Bideford Youth Centre on Friday afternoons from 2.30 – 4.30. We are a friendly group of mature active people who enjoy table tennis, both singles and doubles, for keeping us fit and being sociable at the same time.

Further information – Dennis Rowe 01237 477932 or Gina Snowden 01271 861797.

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Book news ; September.

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.

On Thurs Sept 10th Hayley and Dan, two of Bideford Community Support Officers will be joining in with the singing!!

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 other enthusiasts for a game.

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.

Reminiscence Session – Take a trip down memory lane

Wednesday September 9th 2:00-3:30 pm

Remember back… and look forward to sharing your memories with others -

chatting, looking at old items, perhaps creating a book of memories together.

For anyone aged 60+

Refreshments provided.

Creative Writing Group

Saturday September 12th 2pm – 4pm

Creative writing with local author and publisher Nikki Brownson. This is a new group meeting every second Saturday for all aspiring writers seeking inspiration and guidance.

Meditation and Relaxation Group

Thursday September 3rd 7:30-8:30 am

Wednesday September 16th 2:15- 3:00 pm

Guided meditation and relaxation group for adults, with Nicola MacDonald.

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‘Mrs Dalloway ‘, by Virginia Woolf – discussed by Bideford Library Readers’ Group in August.

This is a sensational novel, beautifully written with enthusiasm and spirit.

It is a story told through the author’s stream of consciousness. Some of the group felt this to be hard going as it meant sometimes having to go back and re-read pages as Woolf explored the present, past and future with the thoughts and feelings of Clarissa and many other characters.

Woolf is both perceptive and intense and captures the mood and atmosphere of all that is happening in London during one fine June day.

The rich language, use of metaphor, simile , powerful imagery and personification as Woolf describes the build up to Clarissa’s party, compelled some of us to finish the novel. We discussed the sad end to Septimus Warren Smith’s life after coping with shell shock and mental illness , past love affairs, observations of class, religion and sexuality. Clarissa’s rather dull marriage to Richard after her relationship with Walsh, Elizabeth’s preference to spend time with her father rather than Clarissa were also discussed. Overall we agreed, although not an easy novel to read, Mrs Dalloway provided us with an insight into post world war England and a very different narration style.

Margie Summers

Bideford Library Readers’ Group. Wednesday September 2nd 2.00 pm.

Discussing ‘Catcher in the Rye’, by JD Salinger.

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Appledore Book Festival runs from the 25th September until 4th October.Tickets can be purchased online at www.appledorebook festival.co.uk, from the Festival Box Office on 01237 424929, by post using the form in the Festival brochure, or in person at Docton Court Gallery, Appledore.

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Burton Art Gallery & Museum – September.

The current exhibition by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers continues until the 21st of September, and once again demonstrates the vast variety of ways that prints can be made. Etching, wood-engraving, collographs, lino-cuts, and now digital prints using up-to-date techniques, are all on show. The Society has been in existence since 1880, and artists such as Walter Sicket, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Graham Sutherland and Micheal Rothenstein were printers or etchers as well as painters.

Bonham’s Antiques visit the Gallery on the second Wednesday in every month fro 10am, to value antiquities that you may have squirrelled away in the attic. There is no fee involved, and if necessary, the expert will take any item for a more definite valuation, or to sell the item on your behalf at one of their Auctions.

You may have read in the latest Gallery brochure that the Burton will eventually be managed by a Trust. Progress is being made and a Board of Trustees will be in place sometime in the New Year. The Friends are contributing some of the funding required towards the setting up of the Trust.

The Friends’ next event will be held on Wednesday, 23rd September, at 7.30 p.m., when Richard Bass will give a short illustrated talk on the United States Assault Training Centre, which covered Braunton Burrows, Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe in 1943 and 1944, in preparation for the D-Day Landings. This will be followed by a CD, entitled ‘Spirits of the Sand, the fight for the first 1000 yards.’ This CD was made in collaboration with students at Braunton School, and makes a very moving story. All are welcome. Admission is £5 at the door, although payment in advance would be welcomed: apply at Reception Desk, or telephone 01237 471455.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.

(If you wish to join the Friends and support the Gallery, please ask for a leaflet at Reception.

Annual Subscription: £10 single, £18 couple; or Life single £90, couple £170)

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