One hundred years ago – September 1916.

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On the front page of the 5th September edition is an advertisement for wooden 5-bar field gates, portable buildings, pigeon fanciers’ lofts and motor car houses. All are constructed in timber (creosoting is extra). The supplier is F. W. Barker & Co, Nottingham, and all goods are priced to include carriage paid to any station. This is the first time that “out of area” traders have used the Gazette for advertising.

A. W. Cock, Auctioneer, offers for sale the following Bideford properties: – 25 Victoria Grove, 19 & 20 New Street, 50 Honestone Street and 22 Milton Place. All these properties have tenants in residence.

On the 12th September edition there is a half-page advert “Labour required for building munitions factories”. Navvies and labourers not yet engaged in national work will be accepted. Every man enrolled will be given a certificate showing the service he has rendered to the country.

A public meeting of town traders convened by Bideford Chamber of Trade considered the question of closing shops earlier during the autumn and winter months because of the new public lighting order introduced by the government and to compensate for depleted staffing problems. The Chamber recommended 6pm closing on Monday, Thursday and Friday; 7pm on Tuesday and 8pm on Saturday. (Late night shopping is not a recent concept.)

The Vicar of Northam, Prebendary M D Dimond–Churchward, has announced his resignation due to advancing years. He was well known for his advocacy of Temperance and spoke extensively on the topic.

In Hartland, Mr W. T .Westlake has presented the United Methodist Church with a nice new clock.

At Parkham a slow corn harvest is blamed on the showery weather, rainfall during August having been 4.07 inches.

A heart-warming story comes in the District news from Alwington and we quote it here. “A good deal is heard about the young men slackers in North Devon. Many of them do not seem to have the same enthusiasm to serve their country as even the children, girls and women in their midst. Throughout the school holidays many of the children as well as their mothers, gave valuable help to the farmers during the corn harvest. One girl of 11 years led the horses for her father, while others assisted in binding. A farmer’s wife drove the horses whilst riding on the machine while another pitched the corn. Others helped by driving the loads from the fields. On one farm a Superintendent of Police, on holiday from the East Coast, rendered yeoman service in the field while his daughters milked the cows and also helped in the cornfields”.

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford & District 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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