Bideford Buzz

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

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

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

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

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

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December’s Youth Page.

State of the art.

As well as their futuristic pot-assembly emulator, tucked away behind antique spoons and pieces of local history salvaged from the jaws of time, The Burton Art Gallery and Museum has an amazing amount of well known artists’ work streaming through their doors on a regular basis. Last year’s selection of Andy Warhol, Dali and Picasso prints set a pretty high precedent , and this year it’s the turn of Turner prize winning installation and land artist, Richard Long, to take the baton.

Running until 10th January (2015) there’s still time to witness his vistas drawn from soil and pebble, and vast orbs of rock arranged on the floor- which on closer inspection aren’t what they seem at all ( the doughnut arrangement in room 2 also responds eerily to photography- like a spectre suddenly appearing in the window of a Premier Inn, it’s lemon tart centre only reveals itself on film. How? Nobody’s quite sure, but it’s well worth a look all the same.) As part of the Artist Rooms tour, these same images have been on show throughout the UK, but dismantled and re-arranged from location to location, it’s more than likely no one gallery has exactly the same view.

A site of pilgrimage for art students, the display is greatly influenced by Long’s surroundings in the South West, drawing inspiration from the moors and the sea and, in many cases, incorporating materials from this into his work. A-level pupils from Bideford College visited earlier this month as part of an ongoing project into sense/perception, and managed to spend two hours sitting on the floor sketching the little vistas. (The gallery was very nice, they didn’t chuck us out, even if we were little Bohemian gnomes..)

It’s long been a mystery how the Burton manages to entice such high profile road shows down to Bideford, but it always seems to pull it off, so if you fancy seeing some unusual pieces of landscape made from that same landscape for free it comes highly recommended!

Are we there yet?

In times past people knew that Christmas was nearly upon them when the decorations and festive fare arrived for sale in shops. Now that the major retailers begin to deck their halls with a great deal more than holly as early as August it’s quite difficult to tell when the season really is approaching.

In our technological age the tried and tested method is to spot Christmas adverts on T.V. We enjoy looking for the new delights; Ant and Dec about to devour a terpsichorean gingerbread man or a snowman’s trek to buy a scarf set for his snowwoman, but those are just teasers.

No, it is the first sighting of THAT train- with its red livery and twinkling lights against a snowy night sky which tells us that the holidays-are-really-coming!

Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year everyone-

see you in February.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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Burton Art Gallery & Museum : December/ January.

Richard Long’s Slate constructions continue to enthral visitors to the Gallery, as well as his ‘natural’ works of art around the walls. This touring exhibition is part of Artist Rooms, which is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England and the Art Fund. International modern and contemporary artists’ work is being shown throughout the U.K. and Artist Rooms is jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. Richard Long won the Turner Prize in 1989, and is fascinated by landscape, often making his own marks to enhance or change it. His relationship with Cornwall, its slate and its moorland, is apparent in this exhibition, which continues until 10th January, 2015.

Please note that the Gallery will close on Christmas Eve at 1.00 p.m. but will re-open on Saturday, 27th December for four days, closing again on New Year’s Eve, 31st and New Year’s Day,

1st January, 2015. The Cafe du Parc will be open for refreshments, but not hot meals.

Please also note that, in order to carry out maintenance, stock-taking, etc., the Gallery will be closed from Saturday, 17th January, until 2nd February, 2015.

As soon as the Gallery re-opens on 2nd February, you will be able to view part of the Permanent Collection in the form of a good selection of paintings from the Ackland-Edwards Collection. Judith Ackland and Mary-Stella Edwards lived in the Cabin at Bucks Mills for many years, painting their surroundings in watercolour. The Burton is privileged to have a stunning variety of their work, and you can also discover the actual tools of their trade in the Museum, – paint-boxes, brushes, even the clip used by Judith, who used a walking-stick as a support for her portable easel! Judith’s ‘Dioramas’ are also in the Museum, – figures she made from cotton wool, and dressed to form characters from famous paintings; there is also one of Mary-Stella, seated, in a landscape.

The Friends of the Burton Art Gallery wish all Buzz Readers a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, 2015.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.

Other Burton News.

We are creating our very own ‘Countdown to Christmas’ this year with an exciting Burton Advent Calendar in The Craft Gallery. Each festive numbered box will contain a piece/pieces of work from different Craft Artists which will be revealed every morning – we have some special guests coming along to help us but we will also be looking for members of the public to be involved. Some of the Artists are bringing in work especially for our display so this may be your opportunity to purchase a unique piece. Join us each morning 10am – 10:15am throughout December for the ‘reveal’ and get some ideas for that special, individual Christmas gift.

Businesses of Bideford StoryBook Window Display

We are theming our window on Charles Kingsley’s  book ‘The Water Babies’. Our display will be in the Craft Gallery.

Burton Gift Vouchers

We have a fantastic range of Christmas gifts and cards to choose from this year. We aim to source special items that you wouldn’t find on the High Street. But if you find there is too much choice don’t worry this year we have launched our very own Burton Gift Vouchers which are available in £10 and £15 values.

The Burton Art Trolley

For the Christmas holidays, the Art Trolley will be out and about in The Burton. This year is SNOWFLAKE CREATIONS. Make your very own snowflake to take home or take your creation to the front desk for us to display on our Craft Gallery windows!

Burton Christmas & New Year Opening Hours

Christmas Eve – 10 – 1

Christmas Day & Boxing Day – Closed

Saturday 27th – 10 – 4

Sunday 28th – 11 – 4

Monday 29th & Tuesday 30th – 10 – 4

New Years Eve & New Years Day – Closed

We will however be shutting in January for two weeks :  Saturday 17th January 2015 – Sunday 1st February 2015.

We will re-open 10am Monday 2nd February 2015.


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One hundred years ago – December 1914/ January 1915.

In early December the well-known local song “The Lads that are away” is published by Vernon Boyle and Keal Parkhouse as a tribute to all who have volunteered for the war effort and are now spread as far as India and around the world. Copies were available at 7d from Mr Parkhouse at his home in Lime Grove and the newspaper suggests that it will make a “timely and seasonal gift”.

We had been warned last month to expect shortages of goods that have to be imported and the traditional plum puddings and Christmas cakes might have been in jeopardy. However, Farleigh’s Stores in Old Town are now advertising fresh stocks of: Stoneless Raisins 6½d per pound; Currants from 3½ to 5d per pound; Sultanas from 6d to 7d depending on quality; Candied Peel, orange, lemon and citron from 3d per pound; Barbados sugar at 3d per pound. If you are unable to make your own cake Mr J Madge of 40 High Street Bideford (29 years in business) will make and decorate it for you at his new Hygienic Machine Bakery.

The latest Bideford recruits to have taken the King’s shilling and volunteered for the New Army are Frederick George Colwill, John Baker, Alfred Lewis, Ernest Violet and John Harris. In addition, volunteering for the 6th Devon Territorials are Herbert F. Fulford, Hedley James, Howard Cameron Hart and Jason Giddy.

Messrs. Toller, Oerton & Balsdon have written to the newspaper to refute the rumour circulating that a nursing sister, Miss Constance M Schmidt, is a German. Miss Schmidt’s father was a naturalised Englishman for 30 years before his death. Her mother is Scottish, she herself was born here in Bideford and her brothers are now serving in His Majesty’s Navy.

The first edition in January 1915 has a banner advert on the front page for Bideford Motor Works. The all-British ‘Swift 10′ motor car has all modern accessories and a spare wheel and costs £200 on the road.

Heywood & Heywood, 1-2 Grenville Street will be closed on Friday 8th January to prepare for their Sale the next day prompt at 9.00 am . They promise that no article will be taken from the window display until 9.30am on Saturday.

A.H. Butler Esq will be giving a lecture entitled “The Great War to Date” with lantern slides, including the latest photographs from the seat of war, in the Church Institute. It will be chaired by the Mayor, S. R. Chope. No start time is advertised but tickets for the front row will be 2/-, the 2nd row 1/- and a limited number of 6d tickets will be available on the door. Profits will go to the War Fund.

Several inches of snow fell overnight on Bideford on the 22nd January but, as usual, it had melted quickly during the following morning.

Dairymen and milk sellers in Bideford give notice that on the 1st February the price of milk will increase to 4d per quart.


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The Reindeer Parade.


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The cognisance of Christmas.


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December’s Book News.

Bideford Library

Christmas Opening Hours

The library will close at 6pm on Tuesday 23rd December.

Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th December: Closed

Saturday 27th December: Open.

Sunday 28th December – Thursday 1st January: Closed.

Friday 2nd January; Library reopens at 9:30 am.

Ideas for Christmas presents.

There is a very good selection of books to choose from for Christmas this year.  Hardback fiction comes into its own at this time – and what a treat it is to be given a special novel in hardback.  For those who like thrillers there is a new Lee Child featuring Jack Reacher, Personal (£16.99) and Anthony Horowitz has written another well-crafted, exciting Sherlock Holmes adventure, Moriarty (£18.99).  For the followers of C.J. Sansom’s hunch-backed lawyer-cum-detective, Shardlake, Lamentation (£20.00) is the 6th in the series, set in 1546 with Henry VIII dying and possible treachery involving Queen Catherine.  Another historical novel, this time set in 14th century Devon at the time of the Black Death, is Vixen (£16.99).  And Robert Edric’s latest book, Sanctuary (£17.99), is about the troubled, self-destructive brother of the Bronte sisters, Branwell.  Rachel Joyce has written a kind of parallel book to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which is the story of the woman Harold walks all those miles to see, The Love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (£14.99).

Cookery books are popular presents at Christmas and the much-loved Mary Berry has a recently published book Cook Now, Eat Later (£20.00) with lots of recipes for preparing dishes ahead and making life easier.  How about the impressive starter Twice Baked Tomato & Feta Souffles followed by a main dish of Chicken Olives Provencal and for dessert Toffee Apple Pudding?  For more exotic cooking there’s Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour (£25.OO), delicious looking recipes from the Middle East and beyond.

The centenary of the start of World War 1 has spawned a sea of books on the subject.  A particularly good paperback is The War that Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan (£9.99) and if you want a hardback there is A Broken World, Letters, Diaries and Memories of the Great War, edited by Sebastian Faulks.  For something more local, The First World War Memorial Book of Bideford by Ian Arnold and Richard Morris might fit the bill, or A Devonshire Lad in the Great War, the autobiography of Frank Ellis (8.99)  There’s a little book from the Running Press, Poems of the Great War (£3.99).  Another small hardback on the war is Michael Morpurgo’s The Best Christmas Present in the World (£5.99) about the Christmas truce.

Staying with small books, The Christmas Wren by Gillian Clarke (£4.99) is a delightful paperback which comes with its own envelope to send instead of a card.  She was commissioned by the Dylan Thomas Centre to write a response to A Child’s Christmas in Wales.  (There is still an attractive little hardback of this at only £4.99).

There are so many wonderful books for children, but to mention a few:- among the new picture books, Dragon Loves Penguin by Debbi Gliori, Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousin and Abigail by Catherine Rayner, all at £6.99.  David Walliams has brought out his first picture book, The First Hippo on the Moon ( £12.99.) His book for older children, Awful Auntie (£12.99),  is very funny and will be appreciated both by the children who read it themselves and by the adults who read it to them.  A new Jacqueline Wilson is always welcome and the latest is called Opal Plumstead (£12.99).  The wonderful 40-year old classic, Cars & Trucks & Things That Go by Richard Scarry, has been given a facelift by the British designer, Paul Smith.  It comes with an interactive slipcase and although it costs £25 is well worth the money for a very special present.

These are just a very small sample from the myriads of books which would make wonderful presents.  Call in at your local bookshop – Walter Henry’s, 12 High Street – to see a full range.


Hilary Aikman

‘Cavaliers’ and ‘Corruption’ are two novels by local author Barbara Hilton; they provide good fire-side reading with seasonal elements including modern mystery, traditional atmosphere and even the sighting of a ghost! Set in local North Devon countryside, throughout each book historical and present-day stories are interwoven.They can be obtained from Walter Henry’s in Bideford.


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Bideford Pannier Market.

We are now looking forward to Christmas – all the shops and stalls have put up their decorations and the traders are donning their fancy dress costumes .

In the Pannier Market stalls come and go which is the norm for most pannier markets and last Saturday we had 29 stalls with the addition of a pet food stall and a bric-a-brac stall, but there is always a steady core of around 24 stalls for you to peruse. Come and support these hardy traders ; you will be amazed at the variety of goods on offer and think of the money you could save.

There is room for additional traders so if you want to explore the opportunities then call in for a chat or contact Richard Coombes at the Bideford Town Council on 01237 428817. (Stalls available from £3.00 per day if you pay monthly, or £5.00 per day if you just want to do the odd day).

The shops in Butchers’ Row, Market Place and Grenville Street are open for business six days a week with a wide range of shops and services all ready for you to explore and enjoy. Be different, buy the unusual.    Explore these shops and studios – you are sure to find that perfect present even if it’s just for yourself ( you are allowed to treat yourself at anytime not just Christmas! Well I think so!)

Trev Hill – Minxy’s Sweets

Breaking News! This unusual character has been spotted in the area, no-one knows his name or what his story is :- keep watching.

These are also the free parking Saturdays from 10am in designated car parks.


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Shipping news No. 118 (October/ November 2014).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Welsh Piper - arrived 4/11, sailed 5/11.

Vessel could not discharge due to cargo being very wet from sea conditions on passage ; she sailed from Yelland, having only discharged approx. one third of her cargo due to problems with the discharge conveyor. She sailed for Avonmouth for repairs.

In port – Bideford Quay.

Fehn Courage - built 2009 ; flag Madeira, Portugal ; owners German ; crew Russian & Ukrainian ; from Avonmouth to Castellon ; arrived 6/11, sailed 7/11 ; loaded 2,375 tons ball clay.

Arco Dart 24/10, 27/10, 5.11.

On Saturday 31.10.14 the Jersey Coast Guard Tug Duke of Normandy, 200 tons d.w, was at the RNLI Buoy Appledore to undertake welding work; she sailed on Sunday 2.11.14 for her home port of St Hellier.

By the time of publication the second Irish patrol vessel LE James Joyce should have been launched from the shipyard at Appledore with delivery to the Irish Navy March/April 2015; further details in next issue.

Bristol Channel Observations.

17/10 at 13.00 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 10,819 d.w., owners in the colours of Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed 00.56, 16th.

20/10 at 09.08 cargo vessel Vectis Progess, 10,260 tons d.w, owners Carisbrooke Shipping Cowes IOW, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 03.26.

22/10 at 07.27 cargo vessel Fluvius Taw, 5,050 tons d.w, owners Quay Marine Services BV Netherlands, outward bound from Swansea, having sailed at 02.24. At 09.27 cargo vessel Fri Wave, 3,280 tons d.w., owners Fri Wave Shipping Co Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 09.31 chemical tanker Stolt Sanderling, 4,453 tons d.w, owners Outward Bound Brovig Stainless AS Netherlands, departed from Barry, having sailed at 03.19.

25/10 at 13.09 container ship Endeavour, 9,167 tons, owner J.R Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth. At same time cargo vessel Hathor, 3,850 tons d.w, owners Hathor Beheer BV Netherlands, outward bound from Newport, having sailed at 07.22.

27/10 at 15.55 vehicle carrier Grande Europe, 18,461 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

1/11 at 08.02 cargo vessel Aquarius, 1,500 tons d.w, owners Baltnautic Shipping Ltd Lithuania, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 22.47 31.10.

3/11 at 11.16 cargo vessel Eems Dollard, 3,850 tons d.w, owners Amasus Shipping BV Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 03.12.

4/11 at 10.50 container vessel Endeavour, 9,167 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 05.50. (It is unusual to see this vessel outward bound for Spain; it appears the owners have changed her rotation. She went to Liverpool first, then to Avonmouth. The following week she maintained the new rotation) .

6/11 at 09.45 cargo vessel Ingunn, 5,004 tons d.w, owners Vaagebulk 111 KS Norway, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 03.20.

9/11 at 08.23 vehicle carrier Grande Ellade, 18,440 n tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.25 Grande Detroit 12,353 tons d.w, owners ACL Shipmanagement AB Sweden (which is part of the Grimaldi Line of Italy), outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 10.59.

11/11 at 10.07 cargo vessel Pernille, 3,450 tons d.w, owners Pernille Interscan GMBH Germany, inward bound for Newport.

14/11 at 13.34 cargo vessel Bekau, 3,701 tons d.w, owners Roland Ship Administration Germany, outward bound from Newport (sailing unknown.) At 15.30 cargo vessel Antwerp, 3,600 tons d.w, owners Sibet Attena Germany, outward bound from Briton Ferry, having sailed at 10.59.

As this is the last edition of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers of the Shipping News a Happy Christmas and Great New Year and many thanks for all the wonderful comments.

Regards Norman


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Shipping review of the year 2014.

Activity at Bideford has been very sparse this year with only a few ships loading ball clay for Castellon; the Baltic trade has disappeared completely, which is a great pity as visitors on holiday who never see a ship from one day to the next, enjoyed watching the ships berthing loading and sailing.

The ‘Oldenburg’ has maintained her service to Lundy from Bideford and Ilfracombe, which is a credit to her crew when weather conditions have not been at their best.

The shipyard at Appledore completed the first patrol vessel LE ‘Samuel Beckett’ : the second vessel the LE ‘James Joyce’ was floated out in late November with delivery to the Irish Navy March/April 2015 – and the good news, the yard are to build a third vessel (still to be named) for delivery in 2016.

Yelland jetty has been reasonably busy with vessels discharging chippings from Glensanda in Scotland for the plant operated by Notts Construction ; the discharge is quite rapid (taking about 8 hours to discharge 3,000 tons plus), with the same company cranes which used to load the timber at Bideford. This operation has saved many hundreds of road miles as lorries do not have to go down the A39 to the quarries in Cornwall to collect material. The ‘Welsh Piper’ has made a few trips with dredged material from the Bristol Channel ; it’s always good to see her coming back to the area where she was built in 1987. There have only been a few timber ships loading for Wismar and Lubeck.

In the Bristol Channel the size of vessels passing inward and outward seems to be growing each year ; ships of 200,000 tons can be seen heading for Port Talbot , Portbury has seen larger vehicle carriers carrying as many as 8,000 vehicles, not all for Portbury, but still very big. The usual vistors; Grimaldi Line, the Grande ships, and NipponYusen Kaisha NYK painted on the side, Wallenius Wilhelmsen ships, and the container vessel ‘Endeavour‘ on her weekly run to Bilbao in Spain.

Best wishes for 2015.


Photos © Norman Hardaker


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Bideford Film Society – December 2014/ January 2015.

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 December at 7.30pm at Kingsley School: The Imitation Game (12A)

Friday 2 at 7.30pm and Saturday 3 January at 4.00pm at Kingsley School: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Saturday 3 January at 7.30pm and Sunday 4 January at 6.00pm at Kingsley School: Mr. Turner (12A)

Friday 9 and Saturday 10 January at 7.30pm at Kingsley School: The Pyramid (15)

Doors open 30 min. before film start time.

Tickets available at Box Office : adult £5.50, concession/ child £5, member £4, family ticket (admits up to 2 adults & up to 3 children under 16) £12.


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December diary.

Sunday 21st

3pm Candlelight Concert with Appledore Band at Holy Trinity Church, W. Ho!

Monday 22nd

6.45pm Breakaway Social Club for adults with learning/physical disabilities. 475051

7.15pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

Tuesday 23rd

Bideford Band at Morrisons.

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 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 24th

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.

10.15am Probus Club at Royal Hotel.

10.30am Bideford Band in Mill Street.

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

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

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

Thursday 25th - CHRISTMAS DAY

Friday 26th - BOXING DAY

12.30-3pm Boxing Day Barbecue at Clovelly Harbour. 431237

Saturday 27th

Farmers Market in Jubilee Square.

10am-2pm Free craft activities for children at Happy Café, W. Ho!

11am Coast & Country Walkers. Westward Ho 5m. 421883

Monday 29th

6.45pm Breakaway Social Club for adults with learning/physical disabilities. 475051

7.15pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

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 Church Upper Hall.

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

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.


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Appledore Kidz Club.


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‘Fishing for The Long Haul ?’

Sun is out, sea is calm and skipper Paul Stone smiles as he and his crew aboard “Sparkling Star” land a net full of squid in ‘Fishing for the Long Haul?’ the latest short film in the Boat Stories series.  The film was shot back in the summer before a ban on fishing for ray off the UK Coast effectively closed the Bristol Channel to North Devon trawlers, putting many fishermen out of work.

‘Fishing for the Long Haul?’ sails with Stone and his crew, Tom Leather and Logan Suddick, out of Ilfracombe to trawl for squid in the Bristol Channel.  The film opens a window on life at sea; we find out what it is that keeps these men out there, missing their families and risking their lives and what their Plan B might be if they can’t fish any more.

Boat Stories producer Jo Stewart-Smith talks about working with the North Devon fishermen “Despite the ups and downs of the fishing year, Paul was always funny; quick to follow bad news for their livelihoods with a joke or a quip. We tried to keep some of the humour and character in our short story – difficult when you’re taking more than twenty four hours on a boat down to five minutes!”

Before the current fishing ban, Paul talked about how the North Devon Ray Box helps with conserving local fish stocks. The Ray Box is a voluntary ‘no take zone’ set up by members of the local fishing industry to protect their livelihoods. Situated six miles north of Lundy the box is an area closed to fishing for a few months of the year to let the ray rest and breed.   Paul says “It’s part of the overall plan … it’s one of several things we’ve done to make a sustainable fishery in the area.  At the end of the day if you want a future in the job you’ve got to look after it.”

Stephen Pitcher, Chair of Northern Devon FLAG (major funders of the film making) commented on the value of the Boat Stories series “These films show us things many of us were barely aware of, before we became involved in supporting the fisheries and fishing communities of North Devon. We often, in the work of the Fisheries Local Action Group, hold community events and can talk ourselves blue in the face on the subject, but the films show in a few minutes what can take hours to describe. They show the power of the moving image to convey the reality, the hard graft, the challenging environment, the skills, commitment and, yes, passion of fishermen for their trade. They enable us to inform people of the lives of the fishers and their environment and the consequences of decisions taken by or affecting them.”

Jo Stewart Smith is grateful to those in the North Devon fishing industry who spoke to her during the research for this film. “Despite being frantically busy they were all extremely welcoming and helpful. I particularly want to thank Paul and the crew for allowing Boat Stories on board to share their busy lives and for looking after our cameraman Mark Brindle so well.”

You can watch the film on the Boat Stories website and read Jo’s film making blog and articles on the Ray Box and ray fishing ban.


Boat Stories is a series of ten short films, Produced by Jo Stewart-Smith, about life on and around the water in North Devon.  Funded by Northern Devon FLAG, Bideford Bridge Trust, Tarka Trust and North Devon + and managed by North Devon Moving Image.  Contact for further  information: Jo Stewart-Smith, Producer, 07816 815761

North Devon Moving Image CIC is a community film making organisation creating, collecting and sharing short documentary films about contemporary life in North Devon.  Contact: Amanda McCormack, Creative Director, 01271 860610

Northern Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG): The Northern Devon FLAG is a partnership of stakeholders that has come together to support all aspects of the Northern Devon fisheries, including the marine environment, fishing culture and local seafood. It has been successful in securing funding from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to “support the sustainable development of fisheries areas” in the North Devon and Torridge districts.

‘Fishing for the Long Haul’ was filmed and edited by Mark Brindle from Maniac Films in Croyde, with music written and performed by Rowan Lincoln Gordon from Burrington.

The Ray Ban: Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Reforming and managing marine fisheries for a prosperous fishing industry and a healthy marine environment “The MMO closed this fishery on 12 October as landings information indicated that, (after allowance is made for landings already made but not yet entered onto the MMO database) the UK quota for this stock has been exhausted.”


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November’s Youth Page.

Don’t take those old records off the shelf!

As you may have heard from the numerous flyers, posters and disintegrated cardboard billboards roped to posts throughout Bideford last month, Friday the 19th October was the day of the record fair down at the Pill. While for many the spiral discs of tar have been gradually phased out by their sci-fi silver counterparts- you can’t watch them idly revolve on the turn table any more, instead they’re sucked into the machine, like the disc equivalent of Greta Garbo, only to be coaxed out of retirement with steady prodding of the ‘stop’ button when they’re finished- it seems the day of the LP is not over yet.

Going down to the fair (now a semi regular occurrence) there was not only a vast array of vinyl on show, both old and new, but a bustling throng of people to match, browsing through the helpful categories of 50′s, 70′s, rock, pop, folk and modern- each on the search for a prize band, or just an eye catching cover. ( Proggy ambience records hardly ever let down on that front.)And well as the presence of rare classics, ranging from about £20+, there were oodles for the tune collector on a budget too- here at Buzz, we were quite proud to snaffle up a copy of Roxy Music’s Manifesto for under £4. ( After hiding it in a pile at the back with the Osmonds, rushing out to get change, then reappearing quite relieved to find no one had ventured into our corner yet to retrieve the purchase. There were countess others, but we didn’t have time to peruse every box.)

To suit this eclectic clump of prices there was an eclectic clump of ages too- those who could remember long players in their heyday, with radio stations and TV shows dedicated to the cause, a rather large percentage of teenagers immersed in the music and new vinyl smell, all the way to toddlers, dancing to the songs blasting out over the athletics club’s booming PA. It seems CD was always destined to be superseded by download, but no way could any strange sound from the ether sound half as good as some physical grooves in plastic. Oddly, it wasn’t that long ago you couldn’t find replacement stylus’ anywhere short of a bargain bin, now not only are diamond strength back on the market, but so are the record players themselves- meaning a whole swathe of the past previously siphoned off from all those without an original turn table, or a knitting needle and a can-do attitude- is now opened up to kids of every generation to enjoy once more. Modern artists are again releasing their new material on vinyl.

With most charity shops covering the bases, and shops like Retro Retro ( on Grenville street) offering an entire room filled to the brim by such gems, record collecting hasn’t felt this fun and easy for an eternity…

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.

PiXL (‘Partners in excellence’) awards.

On Wednesday 24th September, 4 students and 2 members of staff travelled all the way to London, as part of Bideford College’s PiXL membership. They took a mini bus, train, the underground and a brisk march across Westminster bridge to make it to the ceremony, with others doing the same from miles around, encompassing the whole of England. The Partners in Excellence committee organised a day to celebrate this summer’s GCSE results- with those who earned high grades, and those who soared in at above their target, commemorated with a certificate and WHSmith vouchers each. The ceremony took place at the monolithic Westminster Central Hall- which was a prestige in itself to visit- and one the nominees, teachers and accompanying parents could all enjoy. As well as this, there were Special Awards presented, for students that achieved great final results despite circumstances which would have defeated most people.

All this was interspersed with musical interludes from rising talent within the PiXL sphere, such as The Capella’s, Stomp, Boaz Dopemu, Rianne Reyes, Ruby Topping, the poetry collective and the PiXL choir, while this year’s guest speakers Hannah Cockroft and Baroness Sue Campbell gave rousing speeches to round the whole event off.

It was a great honour for everyone concerned and a chance to represent all the GCSE students at their various schools. A tiring day, but one that’ll be remembered for a very long time to come.

P.S. (Millie who wrote the piece was one of the high achievers but is too modest to mention here. – Ed)

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Felicity’s fish cookery – November.

November is the best month for Clovelly Herrings and they are full of roe as the winter draws in.

On the 30th November, St Andrew Day the village keeps the catch for their own food, so no one is hungry through the winter! Let’s hope the weather is benign as they still catch the fish in an open boat with sails, called a Picharooner. This is about 18 foot long and is worked by one or two fishermen who shake each fish out of the net. Sometimes several hundred (or a Mease) or more are caught in a nights’ fishing. This method of fishing has been carried out for centuries. Please contact me if you would like some fresh herring delivered.

Here is our favourite Clovelly Herring Dish to feed the family or a group of friends, very economically.

This recipe is from Ann Burnham and uses seasonal vegetables and fruit. We have cooked it already with several groups. It is quick and simple to make and tastes lovely!

Clovelly Herring and Apple Bake

Ingredients (serves 4/6)

set oven 180C /Gas 5.

4/6 Herrings-filleted, trimmed and sliced.

3 onions, sliced.

1 Cox’s apple, cored and sliced.

6 potatoes, peeled and sliced.

250ml /10 fl oz Milk and 100ml /5 fl oz cream mixed together.


Saute Onions in butter, season.

Grease a large ovenproof pie dish.

Put a layer of potatoes in the dish and continue with layers of onion, herring, apple and potatoes. Season each layer.

Finish with a top layer of potatoes.

Pour over milk and cream combined

Bake for 1-1 1/2hrs, depending on depth of dish.

Felicity Sylvester 07918 779 060


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