One hundred years ago : July 1915.

At East–the-Water school during a recent health test it was found that 7 out of 10 children need to wear glasses. The School managers cannot supply them and if the parents cannot afford to buy them there is serious concern that either the Guardians (from the Workhouse) or the County Council will have to pay. It is also reported that there is an acute shortage of teachers.

Schools have been told not to allow any time off for harvest. 14 days extra had been suggested but farmers’ sons may stay at home to help if necessary.

A complaint has been made by Mr Cook, Headmaster of Gunstone School, of a woman coming there and making a disturbance because her son had been punished. It has happened several times and she has been warned that if this continues she will be prosecuted.

Properties for sale in Bideford include the following:

1, Bull Hill, formerly known as ‘The Cornish Arms’, comprising of a 60 foot frontage, large garden and considered suitable for a builder or painter;

2, Bull Hill, which has recently been re-drained.

22, Meddon Street, a ground floor shop and bakery complete with ovens and with 4 bedroom accommodation upstairs.

Following the auction, 22 Meddon Street was withdrawn at £300. The reserve had been set at £320 and the property was subsequently sold privately at an enhanced figure. The Cornish Arms was withdrawn at £145 and 2 Bull Hill at £50.

According to the Taw & Torridge Fisheries, substantial catches of salmon have been made during May and June. Some boats had 12 fish at a cast and often 5 or 6 were netted, the largest recorded being 32lbs. Little rod and line fishing was being done.

A severe storm swept across North Devon causing serious damage. Hailstones “as big as champagne corks” were collected and glass in conservatories was smashed. 84 chickens were killed and 3 cottages near Crediton were burned out by lightning. Locally the damage was less severe but crops, potatoes and soft fruit were destroyed.

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

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