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 £25 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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Marine matters for the North Devon Marine Pioneer.

On the 6th February the North Devon Marine Pioneer held its second stakeholder workshop at Alverdiscott Community Hall in North Devon. A wide range of people from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset braved the snow to participate in this event.

With over 40 attendees, it was a lively day with input from a range of different marine sectors, including the fishing industry, local government, tourism and recreation, maritime industry and conservation.

The beginning of the day was led by the Marine Pioneer partners; they presented some demonstration projects commencing as part of the North Devon Marine Pioneer. Later, participants were asked for their advice and expertise – focussing on four subjects: marine governance and management; the local fishing industry; the Taw Torridge estuary; and how we can sustainably fund the management of North Devon’s Marine Protected Areas.

This workshop showed just how engaged North Devon people and our neighbours are with their sea, estuaries and rivers. This was a successful day and the information from the day will be used to guide our next steps, in the Pioneer”, says Chrissie Ingle, the Marine Pioneer Coordinator.

What is the Marine Pioneer?

The Government has committed to ensure that the natural environment that provides our prosperity and health is protected and improved for us and future generations. The 25 Year Environment Plan was launched on 11th January by Theresa May and sets out how this would be achieved.

To help accomplish this there are four ‘Pioneer’ areas – where new approaches from the plan will be trialled. The four pioneers are: the landscape of North Devon; the marine environment in North Devon and Suffolk; a river catchment in Cumbria and the urban area of Greater Manchester.

What has happened so far?

There have already been two North Devon Marine Pioneer workshops. One, in March 2017, produced long term aims and ambitions for North Devon’s Marine area, with agreed goals such as ‘improved local fisheries management’, ‘robust protection of biodiversity’ and ‘increased local decision-making’. The second, in November 2017, was a focussed workshop with licensors and planners to consider how our natural marine environment can be better incorporated into local decision making – both reports from these workshops can be found online at

From this second workshop local information and experiences can define how we proceed with the Pioneer. There will be a report from the day, which will be made available on the North Devon Biosphere’s Marine Pioneer webpage


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Barn Dance – Northam, 10th March.


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Appledore Post Office relocation.


Convenient, quick service, new modern layout.

Open Monday to Sunday: 8am – 6pm.

Banking services for personal customers and small businesses.

Postage, home shopping returns, Local Collect.

Appledore Post Office is to move next door to its existing premises, to Johns of Appledore, 4 The Quay, Appledore, Bideford, EX39 1QS, with the same postmaster.

The Postmaster is moving the Post Office from its current location inside his café/deli business into his convenience store next door which is currently being refurbished.

The new opening hours will be Monday to Sunday 8am – 6pm.

Sarah Cottrell, Post Office Area Manager, said: “Our Postmasters operate Post Office branches alongside their private retail business, and it is important that they make the very best use of their resources to ensure future sustainability of the service. In this case, our partner has identified an opportunity to move this branch into a more modern premises that is located next door and which will be refurbished to provide customers a better standard of service.”

The current branch closed on Tuesday 13 February, with the new post office branch opening on Thursday 1 March at 1pm.

During the transfer alternative branches include:

Northam Post Office, Costcutter, The Square, Northam, Bideford, EX39 1AR

Westward Ho! Post Office, 23-25 Nelson Road, Westward Ho, Bideford, EX39 1LQ

The Post Office is now inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the move in a public consultation. During the public consultation, Post Office Ltd welcomes feedback on any issues customers would like considered before a final decision is taken on this proposal. The consultation will close on 21 March 2018. Submissions can be made during the consultation by Freepost YOUR COMMENTS to Post Office Ltd, via email to, via the Customer Helpline on 03457 22 33 44 or Textphone 03457 22 33 55.

Customers can also share their views online through the quick and easy questionnaire at with the branch code 497519.


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Exmoor Pony Centre news.

The Exmoor Pony Centre, Ashwick, Dulverton TA22 9QE

It is February and we are looking forward to welcoming you all to the Pony Centre for a new season of events.

We have taken in eight new foals so far at the Centre and have assisted with a further eight in their new homes. We have also been bringing on some of the ridden ponies, such as Jensen, and they will eventually become part of our trekking team. Meanwhile, Periwinkle, Robbie, Fudge and Fleeter have been on hard exercise through the winter in an effort to keep their weight down. Too many mince pies and carrots, perhaps?!

In November, we welcomed a new member of our team. Clare joined us as administrator and has been doing a great job keeping the office and shop in order and manning the phone.

We are also rather excited by the thought of shopping for the replacement truck being funded by the Elise Pilkington Trust. We hope to find one fairly soon and it will be a relief to be able to undertake the often long journeys delivering and collecting ponies in a reliable vehicle that is not always threatening to break down.

Finally, a reminder about the Fun Quiz and carvery in aid of The Exmoor Pony Centre at the Sportsmans Inn, Sandyway on Friday 16th March at 7.30pm. If you would like to participate, please contact the Exmoor Pony Centre on 01398323093 or Sheila 01598 740281 to book your team.

OPENING TIMES MID-FEBRUARY TO END OCTOBER Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri – closed Tues & Sat. 10am – 4pm (LAST ENTRY 3.45pm).

Our Office Hours are:

Mon, Thurs, Fri 9.15am – 2.15pm and Wed 9.15am – 4.15pm.

At all other times volunteers and pony staff are onsite and may be able to answer your query. But please do leave a message if there is no answer.


Facebook: Email: Tel: 01398 323093.


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Berry Castle.

Many who live in the Bideford and Torrington area are probably not aware of the ancient treasure which lies above them in Huntshaw Wood. Berry Castle is a small Iron Age hilltop enclosure (formerly known as a hillfort) which is believed to be about 2600 years old. There are around 150 examples recorded in Britain many occurring in North Devon and North Cornwall. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth – fifth centuries BC). They are of national importance, as they give clues about the history of the area and people who lived there. The hilltop enclosures are protected in law, and is known as a ‘Scheduled Monument’.

Berry Castle had been covered with woodland for hundreds of years until cleared in July 2015. The earliest references to the site are on old maps with the first record on an ordnance survey map from 1809. The Victoria County History for Devonshire (1906) describes the site as a univallate defensive fort situated on a promontory between two streams. The feature was strongly defended on the north side but less so on the south where topological features afforded natural protection.

In modern times, Berry Castle’s isolated location within woodland helped preserve the ramparts and ditches from disturbance. During July 2015, due to concern that tree roots were damaging the archaeology, Clinton Devon Estates, Historic England and the Friends of Berry Castle collaborated in a project that resulted in the removal of the trees. The tree clearance allowed research to take place and geophysical surveys have added to our knowledge of its construction.

Friends of Berry Castle have continued their voluntary work, focusing on different projects each year. This month, we launched our website ( with information about the site, and events and visits to local historical locations. For more information on becoming a volunteer with us see our website, Facebook page, Twitter account, or email us at

Simon Carroll.


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February’s Youth Page.

I know very few people who favour this time of year. After the hype of the lead up to Christmas many people say they feel empty and lost in the early months of the new year. As the excitement of new year’s party wears off and Easter is still over a month away it often feels like there is little to look forward to, especially in rural areas such as North Devon where the town and villages often close up when tourist season is over. As I slowly give up on my new year’s resolutions one by one (I actually stopped making them years ago after realising they never made it past May) I find other ways to make this bleak time of year more bearable.

However, there are also advantages to living in North Devon at this time of year. The way that the sun shines through the trees is something that is almost impossible to find in other areas, the smell of the dew on the grass and the way that the water almost glows ; these are things that those who live in the city do not get to experience. A downside to this however is the lack of snow, the most aesthetically pleasing inconvenience I have ever seen. It’s hard to hate something that can turn even the most responsible adult into a giggling child.

Perhaps the most difficult thing for many is the inexplicable urge to entirely redesign my house like some sort of hibernating fluffy creature. As uninterested in interior design as I am the rest of the year, as soon as January comes around I suddenly believe that interior decorating is my true calling and spend an unwarranted amount of money and time in moving things in my room around and adding more rose gold. Although this habit usually fades around April when I become distracted or simply cannot move the same bookshelf around anymore it seems to come back every year, like some kind of overly energetic boomerang that you actually are just trying to get rid of.

At this time of year one thing that helps me keep any kind of routine are hobbies. Despite the dread of coming home only to have to go out again is worsened in the winter. The cold and wet are not ideal weather in which to do anything recreational though I do find that once the days grow darker and the weather closes in that it becomes more and more difficult, even with a job, to determine time, hours seem to blend together and a regular hobby is the only way I can often keep my grasp on time. As much as this time of year is a nightmare for what little remains of my body clock I do enjoy the shorter days. If the cold can be braved, the dark evenings and afternoons are great time for walks, being incredibly atmospheric as well as clearing the head. The evening walks become almost addictive and a part of my weekly routine, they also provide a great chance to see the sunset for those who, like myself, are reluctant to leave the house once they have put on pyjamas.

Lucy Braund.

‘the way that the water almost glows ; these are things that those who live in the city do not get to experience.’


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February’s gardening tips.

Welcome to the first in this series. I have been asked to offer some tips for you gardeners (or indeed ‘would-be’ gardeners). Well, there are loads you can be doing this month.

Plants will be starting to show signs of recovery from the Winter months, (well we hope so anyway.) You may be tempted to pick up the secateurs and start pruning back everything in sight. Just a word of caution with that! Make sure it’s a nice dry and frost free morning and by all means start on some of the roses, climbing plants and shrubs. You can tidy up and remove the remaining dead leaves and stems on the herbaceous plants. If it is frosty however it is better to hold back until March. The effect of hard frost on a freshly cut stem will be far worse than leaving the stems to protect the main plant.

If the weather is kind then start pruning your roses. For hybrid teas and floribundas aim to reduce the stems by around two thirds by removing dead and crossing stems. The experts will say ‘prune to an outward facing eye,’ which is good practice, but some types are more prostrate in habit and not suitable. For climbers do much the same as bush, but if it’s a rambler or shrub rose it is best left until after flowering and then cut back half of the stems really hard.

For clematis and most other climbers it’s also a good time to shape them up. Large flowered types need pruning to 18 inches after the first year of planting, then to around 3 feet second year, and after that just trimming back after flowering. Montana types cut back and tidy up after flowering.

Fuchsias : For your hardy type be ruthless and cut them down to the ground. Sounds harsh but they will reward you for the effort with much stronger growth.

If you need more information and advice why not come along to Bideford Gardeners’ Club. Our next meeting is on 13th February at Bideford Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm. entrance off Honestone Street car park with Peter Christie as this month’s speaker, or check out our website for our programme.

Good Growing! ( Mike Avis, secretary of Bideford Gardeners’ Club )


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One hundred years ago: February 1918.

During an air raid on London a Gotha bomber was brought down by Captain Hackwell of the Royal Flying Corps. He is the second son of Mr W H Hackwell of Sudden Farm Langtree Torrington and he worked in a Bideford bank before the war. He enlisted in the Royal North Devon Hussars before transferring to the RFC. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry.

British Summertime, introduced in 1915, was discussed in the House of Commons and it was agreed that it should continue again this year so that local farmers could make use of the extra daylight hours. However no decision was made regarding its continued use thereafter or its duration this year.

Bideford Borough Food Control Committee desire to purchase on behalf of the Ministry of Food sound potatoes in lots of not less than ½ ton. Bags will be supplied from Bideford Railway station. Also in a Notice to the Public. There is a grave shortage of meat especially in the great centres of population. The Government is considering commandeering cattle and sheep. Farmers are urged to send suitable animals to market.

Property for Sale. A W Cock Auctioneers of Grenville Street has to offer the following :-   The Hoops Inn. Fully licensed for 6 days per week, comprising of a parlour, bar, breakfast room, kitchen and large cellar, wash house with copper furnace, 3 bedrooms and WC. All recently rebuilt. Also included is Stabling and outhouses, gardens, an orchard, in all about ¼ acre. Also for sale the adjacent property known as Coombe Cottage.

At Bideford Borough Sessions on Monday last George Arthur, a youth, was fined 6 shillings for riding a bicycle on the footpath in Mignonette Walk. PC Tuplin stated the facts.

Buyers from a large area attended the Sale of antique furniture at ‘Hazelhurst’, Belvoir Road, Bideford. The following were some of the prices achieved –   An antique oak drawer chest £40, oak wardrobe £30. Jacobean chest £13. Antique oak dresser £15. William & Mary settee £11, Grandfather clock £13, oak corner cabinet £6.7.6d

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714.

Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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Felicity’s traditional fish cookery.

Salmon Netting in North Devon, 1988. (Photo courtesy of North Devon Museum Trust).

Tradition and heritage of our local rivers, Bideford Bay, and beyond will be the subjects of my articles in 2018. I will include a traditional, local recipe each month.

We have a thousand years of salmon fishing on the River Torridge and over five hundred years of courageous fishermen leaving Bideford East wharves for the cod-rich Grand Banks off Newfoundland. Henry Williamson made North Devon fish and fishing famous in his stories of Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon, and his accounts of those living and fishing in North Devon. Many local authors have carried on this tradition. If you have any interesting tales of fish and fishing, please contact me at

One of the first fish dishes I demonstrated in the 1980s was this recipe for A Celebration Salmon Pie, which I later called Admiral Sir Donald Gibson’s Salmon Pie. Now it uses farmed salmon, which is fine as it has many rich favours added, and the salmon with more fat is good for cooking encroute (in a pastry crust). Enjoy and celebrate.

Admiral Sir Donald Gibson’s Fish Pie.


One whole (or tail piece of) salmon, or 2 tail fillets. 1lb-3lbs/500gms +


2/3oz -200gms butter.

2/3oz-200gms of fresh ginger (grated).

1 lemon, zest and juice.

2/3oz -200gms sultanas.?1lb puff pastry – ready rolled pastry.

Beaten egg for glaze.

Mushroom and Champagne Sauce –

4 oz/250g button mushrooms.

1 oz/50g butter.

Cream or creme fraiche.

Champagne or sparkling wine – 2 large glasses.


Melt butter, mix all stuffing ingredients.

Roll out pastry in rectangle oval shape

Put 1 fillet in centre of pastry.

Spread 3/4 of stuffing on top and cover with second fillet.

Cut pastry into 1″ (25mm) strips, starting from marking out the tail on thin end of fillets and working up to thick end.

Fold over and secure with beaten egg, from tail end in sequence.

Cook at 220 C for 20 minutes in centre of oven, then 200 C for 10-20 minutes depending on salmon weight.


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Book Buzz – February.

Louise Grainger.

At the beginning of December Library staff were shocked and immensely saddened by the sudden death of their friend and colleague Louise Grainger. Louise took over as supervisor at Bideford in 2011 at a time when reductions in working hours and changes in working practices were being made. It was largely due to her skill, her patience and expertise and the true warmth of her personality that the changes were managed successfully. Louise was unfailingly kind and cheerful, generous with her time and always ready with attention and well-founded advice when it was needed. Since her retirement 18 months ago Louise has been a regular and very welcome visitor, supporting events and continuing to support staff through further changes.

Her bright presence is painfully missed.

Annie Brierley and staff at Bideford Library.


‘Exposure’, by Helen Dunmore. (Discussed by Bideford Library Readers’ Group.)

Set in the late fifties, early sixties, the story covers Cambridge spies, illegal homosexuality and the Cold War, but is more about family relationships than just another spy story. When Giles, a spy, has an accident he asks his friend, Simon, to return a file to his office. When he is seen Simon is falsely accused of spying himself. This may sound as if it’s a spy thriller, but it’s more about the impact on peoples’ lives and relationships, particularly on Simon and his loyal wife Lily. Lily’s childhood experiences give her cause to distrust government security – ‘she lived in fear before she knew she was afraid.’ She was able to contain these fears and remain strong and loving.

The group discussion was interesting. We usually go around the group for each person in turn to give their views. The first eight people were all enthralled with the story line with comments such as ‘the book showed humans to be more important than politics’, ‘it was an exquisite story, layered, truthful and sincere.’ It gave a sense of the time, including the seedy elements of the era, and was difficult to put down. There was a tension and air of menace to the story despite there not being a lot of action. Several said they’d like to read more books by this author.However, when we came to the last two to speak the first was less enthusiastic about the tale whilst the other had disliked the style (the author often wrote in short sentences) and felt that not enough work was left to the reader. These suggestions opened up further discussions. In one such discussion parallels were drawn with ‘The Railway Children’, so much so that this may well have been intentional on the part of the author. Both tales are about a mother and her children coping whilst their father is in prison. The train theme runs throughout both books.

Our discussions are often much more interesting when we don’t all agree: it makes us look more deeply into things.

Peter Evans.

Additional note: The author,(photo above) Helen Dunmore died aged 64 in Bristol in 2017, and posthumously won the Costa award for her book of poems ‘Inside the Wave’, written weeks before she died .


Bideford Library, 1941 – cuttings from the “Bideford Gazette.


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Thomas Burton; 1875- 1959.

Everyone in Bideford knows where the Burton Art Gallery is, nicely situated in Victoria Park, adjacent to parking and Hockings’ Ice Cream van. But how many people know why it’s called the Burton Gallery? Was there someone called Burton? Well, there certainly was, and that man was a grocer. Thomas Burton was born in Surrey in 1875, and came to the West Country as an apprentice to Tanner’s grocers, of South Molton. We don’t know the bit in between, but the rest is recorded. Before long he appears as Manager of the International Tea Company in Yeovil, aged 23. He heard there were jobs in Bideford, and arrived in 1898 – ‘with a good stock of clothes, a good character and nothing more.’ He soon became Manager of Tattersill’s, the Bideford grocer. He fell in love, and in 1903 married a Bideford girl, Bertha Bishop, daughter of an Antique Dealer in Market Place. Their daughter, Mary, was born in 1906, but by that time, Thomas had his own grocery shops, one at the bottom of Grenville Street, and another in Mill Street. He was very successful and decided to go to London and seek his fortune. He was both grocer and fishmonger there, and again, made a success. In 1919, at the age of 44, he returned to Bideford, having sold his shops – the London enterprises to Lord Leverhulme, and the West Country shops to Macfisheries.

He was now a wealthy man, and could have sat back and enjoyed early retirement. But Thomas was not like that. He virtually threw himself into Bideford life. Already a Methodist lay-preacher, he became Circuit Steward and Sunday School Superintendent, and was Treasurer to the Bideford Trust, and Secretary to the Methodist Union. He became a Bideford Councillor in 1923, and served on the Finance Committee. He was much respected, and his Directorships were many, such as those of the Area Guardians (the Workhouse), Fire Brigade, Joint Hospital Committee, Gas Company and North Devon Permanent & Terminal Building Society. He was President and Chairman of the Liberal & Radical Club. He enjoyed music and sport, especially rowing, and was Vice-Chairman of the Regatta Committee. Bideford Council elected him Mayor in 1931, and his year of office was filled with engagements. That winter, he sponsored a Soup Kitchen in the Market for over 1000 children, the unemployed, the hungry. He co-founded Sudbury’s Glove Factory, giving employment to hundreds of women. He encouraged young people to take part in activities, both political and communal, and took 100 children from Bideford schools to Devonport, when he was invited, as Mayor, to see H.M.S. Bideford leave for the Persian Gulf.

His daughter Mary attended Westbank School (later Grenville College) while her parents lived in London. At 16, she graduated to Bideford Art School, and became proficient in drawing. Later, she married Jack Meredith, who managed the Hardware Shop in High Street, which Thomas bought in 1938. Mary carried on her love of art, collecting antiques and china. Elected to the Westward Ho! Art Society committee in 1932, she took an active part in its function. But this all ended in the 1940s, when Mary developed cancer, and sadly died on 4th May, 1949, aged 43. Thomas and Bertha were devastated at losing their only child, and wished her artistic talents to be remembered. Thomas anonymously offered £5,000 to Bideford Council for an art gallery, but then admitted that it was his gift to the town. On October 31st, 1951, the Mary Englefield Meredith Art Gallery was opened, and Thomas and Bertha signed the visitors’ book. Thomas died in 1959, and in his memory the name was changed to the Burton Art Gallery. It soon became Bideford’s best asset, filled with paintings and antiques donated from many quarters. Many important exhibitions from galleries all over the U.K. have been shown there.

The Museum was added later when the Gallery was extended in 1994. In 2016 a Trust took over management from Torridge District Council, and the Gallery is now known as ‘The Burton at Bideford’. There have been many changes over the years, but its founder will never be forgotten.

Diana Warmington.


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Burton Art Gallery – February.

Just when we need cheering up in chilly February, the Burton brings forth inspiration and colour in the form of Carry Akroyd’s brilliant images from the natural world. Her love of nature fascinates her, not only with the wild life and agricultural use of our landscapes, but a combination of her art with the words of John Clare, the 19th century poet. ‘Found in the Fields’ began on the 13th January, and continues until 26th February. Carry is well known nationally, and her art has been shown in ‘The Oldie’ magazine for several years. Carry will be talking about her work on the 16th February, at 7.00 p.m. All welcome. Carry also hosts a Workshop on the 17th February. To book, phone 01237 471455.

If you have not already been bowled over by the Annual Schools Exhibition, you still have plenty of time to be bedazzled by it. The Exhibition began on 27th January, and continues until 5th March. Once again, you will be transfixed by the display of talent and imagination from our local youth of all ages, from Nursery to A-Level. The Burton really gets into the heart of the community with this show, bringing in families to show-off their children’s artwork. It is also an accolade for the teachers who work behind the scenes, inspiring their pupils to create, yet setting them free to be imaginative and individual. This is an exhibition our schools can really be proud of.

Warren Collum is the Gallery’s Exhibitions and Collections Manager. But he is also a wildlife artist, and on 24th February will help you to explore techniques and materials to use when drawing and painting outdoors. For more information, visit for details.

On Wednesday, 21st February, at 7.30 p.m. the Friends of the Burton invite you to enjoy an evening with The Maritime World of Thomas Rowlandson by Roger Plumtree. Rowlandson was an English artist and caricaturist, noted for his political satire and social observation. He was born in London in 1756, and died in 1827. He chronicled life in late Georgian England, and amongst his many interests was the maritime world in the age of sail, afloat and ashore. He was a superb draughtsman and satirist, and his work is to be found in many collections, here and in the U.S. All welcome. £5 at the door.

As always, the Gallery invites you to enjoy the Craft Gallery, the Bideford Museum and Ceramic Collections, the Shop and the excellent Cafe du Parc. Admission is Free.

Open every day from 10am to 4pm, except Sunday – open from 11am to 4pm.

Diana Warmington,

Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


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February diary.

We’re here weekly –


10am-12noon Appledore Community Art Group at Appledore Community Hall. 01237 425541.

7pm Tai Chi at Bideford Methodist Church Hall. 01237 472532


10am-1pm Lavington Church coffee and lunches.

10.30am Walking for Health. 421528

11.45-12.45 Tai Chi at Northam Community Hall : TorrAGE Ageing Well 01805 622666

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

2.30pm ‘Lift Off for Ladies’ at W. Ho! Baptist Church; speakers and cuppa. 01237 425471

7.30pm Camera Club at Chubb/Churchill Hall. 01237 421391.


10.30am-12noon ‘Feel better with a book’ at Bideford Library. 01237 476075

10.30am Walking for health in Victoria Park. Meet at Café du Parc. 01237 421528

10.30-11.30am Tai Chi SW; free classes for over 50s, G4 Gym, Dadden Court Ind Est. 01237 478802

2.15-3.30pm ‘Fit as a Fiddle.’ Buckland Brewer Church school room : TorrAGE Ageing Well, 01805 622666

7-9pm Bideford ‘Sew Sociable’ at Lavington Church Rooms, Willett St.

7.30pm Bideford Folk Dance Club at Northam Hall. 01237 423554

7.30pm Bideford Phoenix Morris at Bideford Baptist Church. 01237 473798

8pm Torridge Male Voice choir at Woolsery Village Hall. 441601


2.15pm Thursday Fellowship at Northam Methodist Hall. 01237 421956

6.45pm Westward Ho! Bridge Club at Trinity Church Hall. 01237 470990

8pm Bideford Folk Club at Joiners Arms.


2.30-4.30pm Torridge Table Tennis Club at Bideford Youth Centre. 01237 477932

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

8pm Ceilidh Club Northam Hall. 01237 476632


7.45pm ND Cancer Care Quiz at Lacey’s Ale and Cider House, Mill St Bideford. £3 per person, teams up to 6. All welcome, contact Neil 01237 473798


And we’re not –


Monday 26th

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

7pm Tai Chi at Bideford High St Methodist Church Hall. 01237 472532

8.30pm Live Jazz, ND Jazz Club at the Beaver, Appledore; David Ferris Septet.

Wednesday 28th

10.15am Probus Club at the Royal Hotel. 01271 831480.

6.30pm Author James Mortain at Northam Library. Tickets £2, incl refreshments. Bookings 01237 475111



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Bideford’s Iron Bridge.

Mention the ‘Iron Bridge’ and every Bidefordian will know where you mean – but there were once two such bridges.

The first and earliest was at Landcross on the Bideford-Torrington road and was a prefabricated structure, probably made in South Wales. It was brought to North Devon by boat in 1825 when the present riverside road to Torrington was being constructed. It was rebuilt using steel in 1926.

The second ‘Iron Bridge’ (above) is the more familiar one over the Torridge that used to carry the railway to Meeth and is now part of the Tarka Trail. This was built when the railway was extended to Torrington in the early 1870s – but its construction was not without controversy.

Read the full article by Peter Christie in March’s Buzz.


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Shipping notes No. 153 (November – January).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Deo Gloria1/12/17 (2 Trips), 2/12 (2 Trips), 3/12 (2 Trips), 4/12 (2 Trips), 5/12 (2 Trips), 6/12. She sailed from Yelland at 0955 on the 9/12 for her base at Garston, near Liverpool.

Celtic Venture – (ex- Arklow Rose, ‘’16);built 2002; flag, Cardiff; owners, British; crew, Polish & Russian; from Glensanda to Teignmouth; arrived 28/12, sailed 30/12; discharged 3,300 tons chippings.

The new pilot for the Taw and Torridge is Capt P. Brown, an ex- Dover Harbour pilot.

Bristol Channel Observations.

15/11 at 08.15 vehicle carrier Grande Napoli, 14,565 tons d.w., owners Gimalidi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

16/11 at 08.07 cargo vessel Wilson Dvina, 3,269 tons d.w., owners Wilson ASA Norway, outward bound from Ireland. At 08.45 Frisian River, 2,620 tons d.w., owners Frisian River BV Netherlands, outward bound from Neath (having sailed at 04.47). At 11.00 container vessel Encounter, 9,335 tons d.w., owners JR Shipping BV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

18/11 at 11.30 cargo vessel Lady Ariette, 3,702 tons d.w., owners Lady Ariette BV Netherlands, outward bound from Avonmouth (having sailed at 04.06). At 11.40 cargo vessel Eems Trader, 2,850 tons d.w., owners unknown, outward bound from Birdport (having sailed at 06.27).

19/11 at 17.25 vehicle carrier Hercules Leader, 21,385 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha, inward bound for Portbury.

23/11 at 07.50 vehicle carrier Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,620 tons d.w., owners Anja 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury.

24/11 at 10.08 bulk carrier DL Lavender, 35,194 tons d.w. owners Lavender Shipping SA SouthKorea, inward bound for Newport. At 15.41 cargo vessel Olza, inward bound for Newport.

25/11 at 12.25 bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 38,997 tons d.w., owners Aggregate Industries UK Ltd UK, inward bound for Portbury. At 14.08 vehicle carrier Grande Spagne, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury (having sailed at 09.19). At 15.50 bulk carrier Cielo di Valparisio, 39,236 tons d.w., owners D’Amico Dry Ltd Ireland, outward bound from Newport (having sailed at 10.20).

28/11 at 08.43 vehicle carrier Horizon Leader, 20,434 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha of Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

29/11 at 18.05 bulk carrier Diana Bolten, 38,723 tons d.w., owners Diana Bolten Schiffahrts Germany, outward bound from Newport (having sailed at 12.44).

30/11 at 07.55 tanker Stolt Greenshank, 4,350 tons d.w., owners Stolt Tankers BV Netherlands, outward bound from Cardiff .

1/12 at 08.30 vehicle carrier Tombarra, 19,628 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, inward bound for Portbury. At 08.55 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 16.50 hrs vehicle carrier Grande Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

2/12 at 08.50 cargo vessel Arklow Resolve, 4,868 tons d.w., owners Arklow Shipping Netherlands BV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

3/12 at 08.00 vehicle carrier Grande Mediterrano, 18,427 tons.d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.00 cargo vessel Kati, 4,953 tons d.w., owners HS Kati OU Estonia, inward bound for Portbury.

4/12 at 11.30 tanker Patrona 1, 16,716 tons d.w., owners Patrona Denmark, inward bound for Cardiff.

9/12 at 16.17 cargo vessel Calypso, 3,754 tons d.w., owners Alectra Chartering and Trading BV Netherlands, inward bound for Newport.

13/12 at 08.10 vehicle carrier Don Carlos, 28,142 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, inward bound for Portbury.

16/12 at 09.07 vehicle carrier Neptun Aegli, 6,580 tons d.w., owners Aegli Shipping Co Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

17/12 at 08.20 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

25/12 at 08.37 bulk carrier Lord Nelson, 28,653 tons d.w., owners British Transport Ltd Mta Greece, inward bound for Newport. At 09.27 vehicle carrier Opal Leader, 12,200 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha of Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

28/12 at 07.38 cargo vessel Wilson Avonmouth, 3,594 tons d.w., owners Wilson ASA Norway, outward bound from Birdport (having sailed at 01.14). At 11.10 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 10,819 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha of Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

30/12 at 07.25 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

6/1 at 09.17 vehicle carrier Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,620 tons d.w., owners Anja 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury.

10/1 at 15.15 vehicle carrier Hoegh Xiamen, 12,250 tons d.w., owners Horgh Autoliners Shipping AS Norway, inward bound for Portbury.




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