One hundred years ago – May 1919.

Echoes of the war are still evident in some areas of life.

R Blackmore & Sons Auctioneers, of New Road, Bideford, have been instructed to sell agricultural items which are surplus to the requirements of the North Devon Agricultural Committee. These range from tractors and threshing machines to straw trussers and binder twine. Readers are assured that these items are by the best makers and most of them are practically new.

By order of the local Food Committee, milk prices for May have been fixed at 6d per quart delivered, 5d sold at the retailer’s premises. Imported meat will be 2d per pound less than the price stated on the list exhibited in the shop.

Soldiers attached to the Agricultural Corps will not now be moved to join the Army of Occupation until after May 15th, as it was felt that their removal at such a busy time would harm food production.

Mr F A Searle, Honorary Treasurer of Bideford Town Council, has been thanked for his services in connection with the Belgian refugees. Some 200 refugees have been maintained by the town since their arrival in February 1915, the last having now been repatriated.

Germany was to lose 13 percent of its territory and 10 percent of its population. … Pressured by the Allies and thrown into confusion by crisis within the Weimar government at home, the Germans gave in and accepted the terms at 5:40 p.m. on May 23. The Versailles Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919

In other news:

Mr W J Barnes, Clerk to Northam Council, has written to the police calling attention to the excessive speed and dangerous driving of motor cars and motor cycles on the Bideford to Northam Road.

Pebbles are to be raked off the Westward Ho! Coastal path and notices erected prohibiting cycling.

A field at Northam belonging to Mr Penhorwood and occupied by Mr Griffey has been acquired for allotments, as has the field at Westward Ho! opposite Springfield belonging to Mr W S Bourne and occupied by Mr H Braddick.

A hive of bees swarmed in Abbotsham Road on 19th May, believed to be the first of the summer season. The 17th century proverb supports this “a swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon; but a swarm in July is not worth a fly”

Mr Perkins, The Quay, Bideford, agent for the Combe Martin Jam & Preserve Company, will purchase any quantity of fruits, including strawberries, red currants, gooseberries and plums.

And finally:

Bideford Town Crier’s latest call on Friday was “Lost! Bideford Town Water Cart, last seen in the council yard. Anyone returning same to Mill Street in working order will be rewarded with thanks.” The Gazette reports that the much needed rain came on Saturday

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 or visit our website www.bidefordarchive.org.uk.

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