Dec 2011 You write ………

Bideford Black

I have just read in the April edition of Bideford Buzz the article by John Martin about the mining of Bideford Black. This document
implies that it was marketed as ‘Biddiblack’ which is presumably how Biddiblack Way in East-The-Water got its name. I’d be interested to know where the nearby Fillablack Road got its name from.

Ed replies According to  the book,  ‘Bideford Black,  The history of a unique local industry,’ published by Sound Archives North Devon, three grades of paint were produced:-  ‘Fillablack , the material received from the mine,dried and crushed (the old Bideford Black), Biddiblack sold as a pigment for the manufacture of paints , and Bettablack used as a rubber re-inforcing agent.’

A copy of this book is available from Bideford Library. (Street names are agreed as part of the planning process.) see also a full article on the subject by Chris Hassall on page 18 this month

Parkinson’s Uk – Torridge branch

We need a new Chairperson.  Please do not switch off, it could be you who could help with this, whether personally or perhaps you might know of someone who would like to undertake this challenge. The Branch acts as a support group for over 70 Parkinsonian’s living within Torridge. We have a strong committee, with all officers very active, and who run a very comprehensive programme – from physiotherapy classes to outings; from coffee mornings to welfare support.

Our current Chair needs to stand down for personal reasons, so we are looking for the right person to fill these shoes and who would have both the empathy and the management skills to do this.He/she would have the full support of the committee, along with an induction process, so lots of assistance to settle in.

In the first instance please reply to the Sec. Julie Jones 01 237 478128 for further information, without obligation. We have now changed our monthly venue for our coffee mornings and are  now using the Ethelwynne Brown Housing Trust Common Room, based at Ethelwynne Brown Close, Barnstaple Street, East the Water.

Keith Hughes. Committee Member ( on behalf of Sec. who is away).

Nature Watch

On the morning of Thursday 19th October I saw an otter at 5.45am. It was running down the mud flats at low water  – this was a massive male otter with a great big tail. The shelduck have arrived in great numbers , twelve on the same morning, and the redshank are making a come-back. The oyster catchers are there too opening  the cockles to eat them; plenty of curlews too and the egrets  and the heron are increasing as they breed in the River Torridge. –  lovely to see them all

DL Barnes

Toll Houses

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading the Bideford Buzz. So full of interesting things.

It is with this in mind that I would like to ask if you would be able and good enough to put a request in your next edition.

I have recently moved to the Bideford area and live in a beautiful toll gate house in Clovelly Rd. Passers by have stopped and told me it was once a shop and tobacconists.

As I would love to research its history could I ask your readers for copies of pictures in various stages of its history. If there is anyone with more information I would love to hear from them.

I would like to get a file together of historical information on the building which would be on display in the hall of the bungalow for anyone wishing to see it.;also any information about who lived there and how much the inside has changed. I already have a copy of ‘Tollhouses of North Devon’ which mentions it, but does not include any pictures.

Julia Sheppard (address and phone number supplied)

Bideford Library and the North Devon Record Office are good places to start – also Bideford Archives at Windmill Lane.  If you would like to get in touch with Julia please contact Buzz.(Ed)

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