One hundred years ago : February 1915.

2nd February 1915. The Union of London and Smiths Bank, who have an agency here in Bideford, have appointed girl clerks in one of their offices for the first time. This is seen as a radical step, as banking has always been regarded as a male prerogative.

On 9th February 1915 Messrs Stewart & Co., who have a shop at 52 Mill Street, were holding a 1/- (one shilling) sale. On offer amongst other things, were:

2 Large Brown Towels.

2 Large White Towels.

Large Rush Mats, 2½ feet x 5 feet.

4 yards of Check pattern Glass cloth.

Lots of complete sets of Ladies and gents underwear and many more items all at 1/-


Farleigh’s Stores, High Street, are advertising Pancake Flour, which – they say – makes delicious pancakes without the need for eggs or sugar.

At the annual meeting of the Bideford and District Tradesman’s Association, Mr H. Brain reviewed the progress of his earlier proposal that all business should close for lunch between 1pm and 2pm except on Tuesdays. He reported that the majority of local business owners are now in favour.

Bideford section of the Volunteer Training Corps held a training route march from Bideford to Westward Ho! and back. Played out of Bideford by the Wesleyan Brass Band and accompanied throughout by The Bugle Band. It rained all day, but the men were in good spirits and consider it their duty to train this way. All men who cannot join the Regular or Territorial Armies are asked to volunteer and should contact Mr W. E. Jenkinson at the Town Hall.

On the 16th February Bideford Town Council Refugee committee have acquired the lower room in the School rooms at Silver Street. These rooms were recently used as the Scout HQ. There are over 200 refugees from Belgium in and around the town and this will be a social club for them. (A week later the Gazette reports that the club is now open and 126 refugees attend the opening).

The Government are advertising for Shoeing Smiths to look after the horses being used in this country and abroad in the war effort. Pay will be 5/- per day and those who are qualified and under the age of 45 can apply at the local recruiting office. Service could be in England or overseas.

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