One hundred years ago – April 1916.

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Mr A.W. Cock has auctioned three freehold properties in the town. These were 7 Elm Grove, 13 Vinegar Hill and a dwelling house and stables at 1 Bull Hill, the latter premises formerly known as ‘The Cornish Arms’.

Bideford Borough Council holds tribunals every week, sitting in the Town Hall, to hear and determine applications for exemption from military service. Herniman Prust Woodyard, 32 years old and a proprietor of a grocery and provisions merchant’s business, was granted exemption as long as he remains in his present occupation. He has been left single-handed, as both his assistants have joined up and his 5 brothers are already serving in the Army.

Albert Henry Prance, a Fish and chip shop proprietor, claimed that his wife could not carry on the business which would have to be closed if he went to war. It was obvious that such a business was a great advantage to the people living in the neighbourhood. He was granted a one month exemption.

Any ladies who are interested in Motor Cycling should inspect the latest model, the “Royal Ruby” 2-stroke motorcycle, perfect in every detail, now on show at Messrs .George Boyle, 1, Allhalland Street.

At a meeting of Bideford Urban District Council it was decided that the names of those who had volunteered for the war should be displayed on boards fixed on to the Market walls.

The Taw & Torridge Fishery Conservators heard a status report from the Superintendent Water Bailiff. Large numbers of salmon have passed through the town and on to the upper waters of both rivers. Salmon fishing was very good and a good number of fish have been taken. The weather has been too cold for trout fishing.

Henry Hopkins of Bideford was summoned for using headlights on his motorcycle at 10.10pm on 29th March. He pleaded guilty through ignorance. Superintendent Hulland said that under current wartime regulations, no headlights were to be carried within six miles of the sea or estuary. Mr Hopkins was fined 2/6d.

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.

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