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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Littleham Arts & Music Festival, 4th – 25th June.


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Appledore food & craft market, 30th May.


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Westward Ho! Seaside Festival.


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Book Buzz.


Bideford Library.

We have a new Needle Craft group on Friday afternoons. Whether you are already a nifty needler or a complete needle novice come along and join our new group. Drop in any time between 4pm and 6pm on Friday afternoons and bring your needle craft projects along to share ideas and inspiration over a cup of tea/coffee.

There will be no children’s storytime in half term. Instead there will be a drop in craft session for kids 10am – 12 noon, Tuesday 30th May.


News from Bideford Library Readers’ Group

Belinda Bauer.

On the 15th March the Bideford Library Readers’ Group were delighted to have a visit from Belinda Bauer, author of, amongst many others, ‘Rubbernecker’, a book we recently reviewed. Belinda, who grew up in the area, proved to be a very entertaining guest. She was warm and friendly, happy to talk about her books, and other aspects of the literary world. We learned a lot and laughed a lot – a most enjoyable afternoon.

Some of her books are set in North Devon, with the local interest adding to the discussion. From the visit we learned about the writing process and a bit about the wider world of publishing and how she relates well to other crime writers. Interestingly she reads little fiction herself although it is clear that a lot of research goes into her books. I felt that she almost lived the lives of her characters: she could talk about even the more obscure characters in her books almost as if she was that person. To me, Belinda presented a high level of honesty and integrity: when asked to re-write Rubbernecker in a way to ‘dumb down’ (my words, not hers) for the American market, she refused, thereby missing out on a potentially lucrative market.

Belinda’s visit added much to what goes on in the Readers’ group, giving a new dimension to our monthly discussions. Thanks you for such a pleasant experience.

Mary Corin and other group members.


‘A Most Wanted Man’, by John le Carre : discussed by us in April.

The group were very much divided on this one – a few thoroughly enjoyed it whilst others found it difficult to engage with. I didn’t enjoy reading it at the time but the story stayed with me longer afterwards than many books do: on this count I found it very thought stimulating. One philanthropic character was ‘judged’ as being ‘5% bad’ and therefore judged to have been a terrorist – or not. We all have a darker side somewhere, so what does ‘5%’ bad mean to us as individuals?

The story, like much of le Carre’s work, deals with a bleak world in which ideology, morality and patriotism become blurred and ambiguous. Qualities often seen as positives such as friendship and love become vulnerabilities.

‘A Most Wanted Man’ deals with the confusions around the war on terror and its associated abuses. Is Issa, the wanted man, a militant or a refugee? (I believe the name Issa is commonly associated with Jesus by Muslims).

There is a strong sense that the secret services of different countries rarely seem to work in unison, often pulling in different directions, sometimes making the evidence fit for their own means. The quiet ruthlessness of intelligence agencies is portrayed as the book nears its conclusion.

Why did some of us struggle to engage with the story? Was it because it was difficult to relate to the characters? Was it because of the style of writing? It certainly felt an uneven read, but it may just give an insight into an ambiguous aspect of the world that is too often hidden from sight.

Pete Evans.

Next meeting is at Bideford Library at 2pm on Wednesday May 3rd when we will be discussing Ian Banks’ novel, ‘Quarry.’ Copies available from Bideford Library. Contact the Library on 01237 476075.


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Wanted: stories of First World War rescue at sea.

People on Devon’s south and north coasts are being asked to come forward with tales of lifesaving missions at sea during the First World War.

Researchers at the Devon Remembers Heritage Project, based at Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter, want to find out more about how local people patrolled the coast and tried to rescue those in peril during the 1914–1918 war. They are keen to hear from anyone who remembers stories passed down through families or communities about wartime rescues at sea. Records kept by the RNLI, the Coastguard and Trinity House can shed a great deal of light of the subject, but the team is equally keen to hear local accounts.

Project officer Katherine Findlay said: “We’re interested in who was operating Devon’s lifeboats, coastguard stations and the lighthouses during the First World War after the younger men were conscripted into the Navy, and what sort of missions they were launching. But we also want to hear about any ‘unofficial’ rescues carried out by local people with boats. There is a wealth of knowledge in our coastal communities about how life went on 100 years ago and we’re keen to hear from anyone with a story to tell.”

Anyone with information to share should email Katherine at or call 01392 381975, or Len Collum at 01237 472883.

The project, which is managed by the South West Heritage Trust, is running a programme of research, talks, events and exhibitions across Devon to give local people an opportunity to explore the county’s First World War experience.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project has received a grant of £267,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional support from the South West Heritage Trust, Devon County Council, Torbay Council and the University of Exeter.


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One hundred years ago – May 1917.


The main theme this month is the state of the food supply. In his regular column for allotment holders, “Spadeworker” encourages the growing of carrots as the most important root crop; varieties such as Red Elephant, James Intermediate and Long Surrey are recommended.

Kohl Rabi is also a good vegetable as it is not affected by drought. Also mentioned are leeks, vegetable marrows, peas and Jerusalem artichokes. Lime and soot mixed together makes an effective insecticide.

Early potatoes grown under glass at Stevenstone, near Torrington, have been lifted and have given good results.

Cockcrow” in his column reminds poultry keepers that meat is an essential part of their birds’ diet. Left-over meat scraps and offal should be cooked and mixed with meal. A good supply of fresh water is also important.

Later in the month another appeal from Mr Osborn and Mr Labbett is printed, this time asking for people to become Food Controllers. These people will take the lead in using substitutes for wheat in bread-making. Suggested alternatives include rice, oatmeal, barley, maize flour, dried peas and beans. The “Win the war cookery book” contains 100 useful recipes and is available from stationers and bookshops for 2d. (Does anyone have a copy of this book?)

Bakers across the area are appealing for their staff to be exempt from military service. Their argument is that people who bake bread at home eat it in larger quantities than if it is bought from a baker, thus depleting the wheat stocks.

Lord Fortescue, writing to the paper from his estate at Castle Hill, exhorts readers to avoid waste of every kind and to keep within the recommended rations. (At this time, there was no compulsory rationing imposed by the Government.)

In contrast to all the talk of shortages, Farleigh’s Stores appear to have a plentiful supply of bacon, advertising in the paper every week.

Once again there are several farms up for sale. Additionally, Blackmore’s Stable Yard is selling off 10 different carriages and carts, together with the harnesses, saddles and all other accoutrements.

On the back page of the paper for 22 May, the Gazette prints a column showing the Local Tide Tables for a ten-day period. (Is this the first time that this has appeared in the paper?)

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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The local music scene.

Being of pensionable age I’m probably too old to be writing this!

Recently I’ve been listening to BBC Devon’s Saturday evening radio programme on introducing new music from around the county. Last week they interviewed the singer from a band called ‘One man Boycott’ from Barnstaple in which he talked positively about music in North Devon. We have lots of bands living and playing locally including the Rivals, the Skata Tones, Falling Apart and the Oscar Young Band. Music from some of these local bands can be found on iTunes and Bandcamp.

Pete Bruntnell, who lives in Braunton, has had albums voted in the ‘Best 20 Americana albums of the year’ in national music magazines and Small Town Jones, also from Braunton has released albums to much acclaim.

One venue in Bideford where you can see local and national bands is the Palladium Club, just off Mill Street at the bottom of Lower Gunstone. Wilco Johnson, formerly of Dr Feelgood, has played there in recent years along with members of Ian Dury’s band, the Blockheads. Some local pubs – the Joiners and the Kingsley in Northam among others, also have local band evenings.

Slightly further afield, the Chill Bar in Ilfracombe has a friendly ambience: TV Smith, who fronted the Adverts, a group that had hits during the days of Punk, played there in early April. Petroc’s Factory venue in Barnstaple will be playing host to George Ezra and ‘From the Jam’ in the near future and the Plough in Torrington regularly presents a wide range of music.

Some of the larger towns and cities have lots of opportunities to listen to live music, but it’s good to know that there are local opportunities too!

Pete E.

(See Millie’s report on WHAAM below…..)

More next month on the Palladium Club.


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May’s Youth Page.

Young guns blazing.

In the 1960s, Batman hit people so hard they bled words. “BIFF!”, “KAPOW!” and “ZLOCK!” rained from his fists as enemies sprawled on their backs, beaten into submission by groovy onomatopoeia, never to zlock again. Batman showed us the power of words. So when the Westward Ho! and Appledore Music Showcase shortened its name to WHAAM!- the noise of explosions, high speed car chases, of the late great George Michael in chinos- we knew we were in for a treat. On March 24th, this punchy title did not disappoint.

Organiser John Barton built on the success of last year and introduced WHAAM Jr, to take place before its senior counterpart. There was talent to spare- the young performers spilled out over their three and a half hour time slot to nearly 11pm. Throughout the night, the audience got a very good spread for their £5 entry fee with continuous entertainment from the Habibi belly dancers all the way through to headliner Yazzy Chamberlain. Times like these bring home how lucky we are to sleep on a hot bed of artistic talent, and how now more than ever we need platforms to show it off. You may remember our ode to the closed Queen’s Theatre a few months ago, but you don’t have to, because Sara Devonshire and friends summed it up much better with their chilling lament ” A place that saved me.” It honoured the old theatre in a way that can’t be beaten; with the same soulful jazz bands that once filled its stage.

Despite some serious messages on offer, Jr WHAAM had a relaxed tone. The Pier House kept their seats in ‘cosy table-formation’ instead of straight lines, so it felt more like a jazz bar than a concert. People didn’t arrive, dutifully clap at a relative and then escape again; they stayed to make a night of it.

As things grew blacker outside, the stars in our strobe-lit cubby hole shone. The Westward Ho! youth Theatre kicked it off with their excerpt of Fiddler on the Roof (coming to Kingsley Hall 2nd, 9th, 15th and 16th July this year) then action ricocheted from pop to country to Broadway and back again. Some acts clearly have a future in musical theatre, some had already started to write their own songs and some have been heard on local radio; all are hugely inspiring if you want to get into the industry too. If all this strikes a chord, and you’d rather be on stage than in front of it, you may find yourself in the line up next year. The organiser can be emailed at; “just include your name, email address, Facebook page and

mobile telephone number,” said a post-show Mr. Barton, ” a description of what you like to sing, whether solo or in a band, and perhaps a videoed performance would also help us a lot. Although there’s already been acres of interest, I’m more than happy to make the next one even bigger if there is demand or it!” Information on future shows can be found at

Anyone who performs at the Pier House is automatically competing against the food. It happens; the scent of chips wafts through to the function room, and before you know it, you’ve lost half your audience to the restaurant area. This didn’t happen. During real highlights – and there were many – conversation stopped, hands grazed absent-mindedly at chip dishes, and eyes were trained fully on the performers. There is no greater testament to an artist’s stage presence.

Aside from peaks and troughs for toilet breaks and snack runs, the audience stayed put. Its organisers even had enough chutzpah to hold the raffle early, safe in the knowledge that music alone would keep people rooted to the spot, without the added incentive of a prize draw at the end. Most do’s would have kept the Breville polished kettle back as a piece de resistance, but the WHAAM didn’t need all that. All it needed was the talent. And all the talent needed was an outlet. If we don’t get another showcase in 12 months time, we are all well and truly zlocked.

Mille Sutherland O’Gara.


An important word from our sponsors:

Citizens of Bideford – the time has come. We need a new Youth Pager. Previously, the selection process was simple: a fight to the death with a weapon of your choosing, though the sword is actually mightier than the pen when it comes down to it, and this led to a lot of skilful warriors, but less skilled grammarians winning the role. We’ve shelved that idea now.

A battle of the wits instead! Do you have a thirst for truth? An eye for grammar? A yearning for free gig tickets? ( All part of the role.)

Bideford Buzz needs you! If you’re interested, please email or with a few choice details about yourself – name, age, interests and hobbies, to set up an informal chat. We’d love to hear from you, and you may be just the person we need! New recruits to start in September.

Sadly Millie is leaving us in September for pastures new at Cardiff University.


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Burton Art Gallery – May.

The year is moving on apace, and change abounds; not just the seasons, the flora and the fauna, but also what’s going on in the Burton. This year some of the Gallery’s usual events and their curators have had to accept a change, and the most significant is the annual exhibition by the Westward Ho! & Bideford Art Society. We are used to seeing works by our regional artists in July and August, but this year they have been moved to May, albeit towards the end, that is, starting on the 27th May. No matter- we always look forward to this very special collection of works in all media, representing art by some of the finest painters, ceramicists, sculptors, print-makers, textile artists and wood carvers in the South West. Most of the work is for sale, and once again we are privileged to have an opportunity to purchase original works of art. There must be many homes all over the country where such artwork is on permanent display, always admired, and possibly handed down to the next generation. How fortunate we are. This exhibition continues throughout June, and ends on 2nd July.

Craft is always a stunner in the Burton. Such a variety of craftsmanship is on show: from ceramic buttons and brooches, figurines and vases, to sea creatures and fire tongs in metal, scarves in silk and chiffon, lampshades and tea towels, to jewellery in silver and recycled materials.

The Friends invite you to join them on a coach outing to Coleton Fishacre, a National Trust property, on Saturday, 10th June, leaving Bideford Riverbank car park at 8.30 a.m. Return approx. 7.00 p.m. Cost of coach: £10. Phone the Gallery on 01237 471455 to book your seat.

There is much more to see and do in the Burton Gallery – the Museum of Bideford upstairs (lift if needed), the Shop and the excellent Cafe du Parc. Situated in Victoria Park, the Gallery looks out onto a peaceful green space, and there are plenty of activity facilities to keep children occupied, too.

Gallery opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Sunday: 11am to 4pm. Admission free.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


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North Devon Ramblers.

Happy 40th Anniversary !

1977 was a memorable year; It was our Queen’s Silver Jubilee; the first Star Wars film was released; Virginia Wade won Wimbledon; petrol was 79p a gallon; Elvis Presley died; the first Apple computer went on sale; Red Rum won The Grand National; the average house price was £ 13,650 and our North Devon Ramblers group was formed, so we thought that it would be good to celebrate. Many things have changed. We now have computers to help with our paperwork and a website so that anyone with internet access can find our walks. Our programme is more stylish and we have two walks most weeks rather than one a fortnight.

Our reputation as a friendly, welcoming group continues and although, over the years members come and go there remains a nucleus of those early members. Some may not walk with us now but they enjoy or social events and continue to support Ramblers with their membership subscriptions each year. We rely on volunteers to run the group and we are always on the lookout for more. Over the past forty years 43 individuals have served on our committee so don’t be shy, give it a go.

Angela and her leaders have ‘pulled out all the stops’ to make this programme a special one with our ‘Extravaganza’ in May. To celebrate our 40th Anniversary we are running 10 walks in 9 days between the 20th and 28th May. East to west moors to coast, 3.5 to 12 miles, by car and by bus. Excellent company. Three lunch/tea options. Two opportunities for a pint. What more could you want? It’s our anniversary but we want to share our celebrations with everyone out there so please spread the word, invite your friends, family and work colleagues to celebrate with us.

For more information please contact:-

Joan on 01271 376 274




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Walking the Coast Path; Mouthmill.

This is a beach of contrasts. A stream idly trickles through football-sized boulders down to the sea, while soothing sweeps of light-brown sand provide a backdrop to jutting rock formations that point arrow-like towards the Atlantic. It’s a place for exploring rather than lounging, though flat grassy areas above the sea wall are ideal for reclining on while you listen to the babble of water below. (from ‘Secret beaches of the South West’).

There’s a beautiful bluebell wood between Mouthmill and the car park at Brownsham – ‘a patchwork of vibrant blues, carpeting the lush green valley.’ Winbury Hill, an Iron age fort, looks down on Mouthmill and Blackchurch Rock – an ideal vantage point.  Was this remote spot ideal for smugglers to haul ashore their contraband without fear of discovery?  Blackchurch rock is awe inspiring – a natural arch with two windows carved out by the ravages of nature. (from ‘Mouthmill – Beautiful North Devon’).


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May diary.

Monday 29th – Bank Holiday.

Tuesday 30th

10am-1pm Lavington Church coffee and lunches.

10.30am Walking for Health. 421528

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

2.30pm Songs of Praise at Westward Ho! Baptist Church. 425471

6.30pm Bideford Band Beginners Group at Band Room. 475653

7.30pm Bideford Camera Club meet at Chubb/Churchill hall. 421391

7.30-9pm Samba Baia Rehearsal at Community Arts Network,13 Rope Walk

Palladium Club – Jam Night.

Wednesday 31st

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-12pm ‘Feel Better with a Book’ at Bideford Library.

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

2-3.30pm ‘Bideford Friends’ at Burton Art Gallery. 01805 622666

4-6pm Sew Together at Northam Library.

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

7.45pm Bideford Phoenix Morris at Coach & Horses, Buckland Brewer.

8pm Torridge Male Voice Choir meets at Woolsery Village Hall. 441601


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Shipping notes No. 145 (March/ April).

Bideford Quay.

No shipping movements since last issue. Capt Hoad, the Harbour Master and Pilot, retired as Harbour Master on the 31st March but will be staying on as pilot to help to train his replacement. I would like to thank Capt. Hoad for all his help supplying information which has assisted the preparation of the shipping page.

Shipping at Appledore.

No shipping at Appledore. The next vessel for the Irish Navy the Le George Bernard Shaw is due to be launched at the end of 2017 with delivery in early 2018.

Shipping at Yelland.

None since last issue ; however there is a vessel due with chippings from Glensanda on or about the 22nd April.

Bristol Channel Observations.

20.3 at 15.13 vehicle carrier Gentle Leader, 21,122 tons d.w., owners Ray Car Carriers Israel in the colours of Nippon Yusen Kaisha of Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.15 vehicle carrier Grande Colonia, 12,284 tons d.w. ,owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again on the 22.3.17 at 08.113 having sailed at 03.56. ) At 18.30 vehicle carrier Ciudad de Cadiz 3500 tons d.w.,owners Anita 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury.

22.3 at 08.55 container vessel BF Cartegena, 5,218 tons d.w., owners Paula Bijan Foroohari Schiffahrts K.G Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 12.27, vehicle carrier Athens Highway, 18,809 tons d.w., owners Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Japan, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 12.47.

23.3 at 09.20 cargo ship Frisian River, 2,620 tons d.w., owners Frisian River BU Netherlands, inward bound for Newport. At 09.23 cargo vessel Geervliet, 3,799 tons d.w, owners Geervliet Shipping Co CV Netherlands, inward bound for Birdport.

25.3 at 11.15 vehicle carrier Cape Town Highway 21676 tons d.w., owners Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Japan , inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again on the 26.3 at 08.43, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 02.55.)

26.3 at 08.35 cargo vessel Pilsum, 2,372 tons d.w, owners Roland Coastal Marine GMH Germany, inward bound for Cardiff. At 09.15 cargo vessel Lady Anne-Lynn, 3,688 tons d.w, owners Lady Anne-Lynn Netherlands, inward bound for Birdport. At 10.37 cargo vessel Azburg, 9,085 tons d.w., owners Azburg Shipping Co Turkey, inward bound for Swansea. At 10.50 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w, owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

1.4 at 11.30 the vintage passenger ship Stockholm, 361 gross tons, owners Ishavet AB Sweden, inward bound for Bristol ; she went to anchor close to the Oldenburg’s berth at Lundy, left on the Sunday morning and anchored close to Clovelly, and sailed on the Sunday lunch time for Bristol. (She returned to Lundy 6.4.17 before finally sailing off to Caldey Island). At 15.25 cargo vessel Arklow Valley, 5,169 tons d.w, owners Acoca Shipping Eire, outward bound from Birdport, having sailed at 10.31. At 16.15 vehicle carrier Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury ; (seen again on 2.4.17 at 14.35, having sailed at 10.20.)

2.4 at 14.02 chemical tanker Stolt Kittewake, 4,170 tons d.w, owners Stolt Nielsen BV Netherlands ,outward bound from Barry, having sailed at 10.11. At 15.30 cargo vessel Jade, 3,250 tons d.w.,owners Wagenborg Shipping BV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

5.4 at 18.25 tanker Acacia Noir, 5,895 tons d.w. ,owners White Flag Ventures LL Sweden , outward bound from Cardiff having sailed at 13.56.

7.4 at 09.12 bulk carrier Berge Ishizuchi, 181,458 tons d.w, owners Bergesen Worldwide ASA Norway, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 06.10.

8.4 at 18.20 cargo vessel Lady Jasmin, 11,307 tons d.w., owners Jasmin Shipping Corp Turkey, inward bound for Newport. At 19.10 vehicle carrier Bishu Highway, 17,649 tons d.w.,owners Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

10.4 at 11.55 vehicle carrier Diamond Highway, 19,086 tons d.w, owners Diamond Car Carriers SA Japan Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

I would like to thank the Friends of the Burton Art Gallery for listening to my talk on Bideford and Appledore shipping, and their donation to ‘Buzz’ funds.

Regards, Norman.


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Plough Theatre – May events.


9 – 11 Fore Street

Great Torrington

EX38 8HQ

Listings – May 2017

Box Office: 01805 624624


Monday 29.


A Quiet Passion (12A)


Tuesday 30.


Smurfs: The Lost Village (U)


Tuesday 30.


Power Rangers (12A)


Tuesday 30.


Beauty & The Beast (PG)


Tuesday 30.


Ghost in the Shell (12A)


Wednesday 31.


Smurfs: The Lost Village (U)


Wednesday 31.


Power Rangers (12A)


Wednesday 31.


Beauty & The Beast (PG)



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One hundred years ago – April 1917.

On behalf of Miss Penhale, auctioneers Smyth-Richards, Stapleton and Fox are selling two lots of property:

Thornbury and Higher Thorne’,a farm of 140 acres with stone and slate buildings and a thatched cottage.  Two arable fields at Horestone Cross, comprising 19 acres.

Miss Penhale is also selling all her livestock and machinery, including 35 good quality growing bullocks, 160 sheep and lambs, a handsome cart mare (5 years old) and 4 fat pigs. (Ed – Is Miss Penhale having to give up due to the shortage of labour and horses?).

The case of a widow with 4 sons at the front, who has land and seed potatoes, but no-one to plant them, has prompted Northam UDC to release employees to help with food production, at the discretion of the surveyor.

New prices for ‘eating’ potatoes have been announced by the Food Controller- retailers can now charge 1¾d per pound. Some farmers and market traders have been heavily fined for selling seed potatoes at “prices beyond the maximum” which police consider a very serious offence. The Master of the Torrington Board of Guardians says the present stock of ‘eating potatoes’ will not last more than 5 weeks.

After the cold spring, the Board of Agriculture advises bee-keepers to use a feeding syrup made up of special coloured candy, unfit for human consumption but fit for bees. The spring mixture should be 1 lb of candy to ¾ pint of hot water, with a less concentrated mixture to be used in the autumn if needed.

Despite the cold spring, salmon fishing by rod and line has opened well, with several fish over 20 lbs being caught. The water of the Torridge is in good condition and fish are plentiful.

Poultry keeping is becoming popular, with several adverts for birds and eggs. The well-known breeds like Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns are joined by less familiar names – LaBresse, Langshans, Wyandottes, Plymouth Rock, Silver Campines and Sicilian Buttercups.

Heard Brothers arranged two successful tractor ploughing demonstrations, one in Percy Squires’ 5 acre field at Bowood and a second in Mr Pennington’s field at Ashridge. Over 100 people attended in spite of the short notice. Following the demonstrations, Norman Heard writes that he has instructions from the Board of Agriculture to engage additional men to operate their equipment in a large area to the west of Bideford; usual rates of pay will apply.

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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