One hundred years ago – August 1916.

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Hay and Straw Harvest continues – 27 acres of corn in the ground to be sold from Stone Farm, Buckland Brewer, for owner Mr Grigg; 44 acres of corn and rape for Mr Dennis at Adjavin Farm on the outskirts of Bideford, and lastly Thomas Squance of Wood Town Alwington has 13 acres of corn and clover buds for sale.

4, Marine Parade, Appledore is offered for sale by auction by Messrs R Blackmore. The property has 6 bedrooms, box and linen rooms, a cellar for wine, one WC inside and another outside at the rear. It also boasts an artist’s studio in the attic roof. A Buckland Brewer farm known as Addipit consisting of 58 acres about a mile from the village is for sale. Also 16 acres of land adjoining the farm known as Big Merry Field are also for sale by Smyth Richards, Stapleton & Fox, Bideford Land Agents.

The problem of shortage of farm labour has been addressed by the Government. On Monday 7th August 1916 at 2.00pm from the balcony of the New Inn, Market Square a talk will be given about the new government scheme for the registration of women to work on the land. Government certificates and armlets will be issued to those eligible. Mrs Daw of Yeolden will keep a register. There will be another repeat meeting at 8.30 pm for those unable to attend during the day. (The following week the newspaper records that over 30 women were recruited.)

On the 8th August the Board of Trade announce that the Army Council has decided to release 27,000 soldiers to assist with the harvest. Applications for help must be made through the local labour exchange before 12 noon on 4 days hence, on the12th August.

Members of Bideford Bridge Trust have visited Old Town Council School Gardens. 12 boys in the higher classes have been instructed by Mr Baxter & Mr White on how to till and grow vegetables. Each boy has been given a square pole of land (just over 5 square metres) for which they are entirely responsible and the whole group are tending a further 4 square poles. The boys were congratulated by the Mayor on their results after 5 months of work. Kent White and Middleton Wadey, both members of the school gardening club, proposed a Vote of Thanks to the Bridge Trust for providing the means to learn and receive instruction on such a useful subject. Both boys have won scholarships to Bideford Grammar School.

Excitement at Westward Ho! Life Guard assistance, 1916 style. On Thursday evening Miss Violet Lewis got into difficulties while out swimming and called for help. Mr W. T. Braddick of Bideford who was on the Pebble Ridge was one of the first to see her in need of assistance, he swam out to her partly dressed and gave her support and directed her movements. Lt. W.A. Puddicombe, also of Bideford, who is home on leave injured, Mr T. Hobling, Mr A. Baglow and a gentleman from Weare Gifford were among those who went out to render assistance, and the young lady was got safely in, none the worse for her experience.

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. You can also follow us on our Facebook page, Bideford & District Community Archive.

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