Category Archives: History

Local history, pictures, stories.

D – Day commemoration events, Northam Burrows.

Discover Wartime Westward Ho! at a special exhibition and events on Northam Burrows. Northam Burrows Country Park will be holding a series of special events in May and June to mark commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D Day. The … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – March 1919.

Property for sale: At an auction held at the New Inn, Messrs Dymond & Son sold Swiss Cottage, Northam, which was knocked down to Mr A Chamberlain for £925; 3 pasture fields [2 adjacent Bloody Corner and 1 at White … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – January 1919.

At the beginning of January it was announced by the Food Controller, Mr Clynes, that no more ration books will be printed. The current issue will expire on April 19th. Margarine will be the first rationed food to be “de-rationed” … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – November 1918.

In the Gazette of 9th November we learn that President Wilson has transmitted to Germany the Terms of Surrender required by the Allies as reached at the Versailles meeting. There are reports of a German Naval mutiny; the Naval Commandant … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – October 1918.

On October 1st the Gazette proclaims that it has been “The Greatest Week of the War” with the Western Front ablaze and Bulgaria surrendering; the following week we are told that “pincers are closing on the Western Front”; Franz Ferdinand’s … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – September 1918.

There are several Court cases this month that are worthy of mention. Brought before Bideford Borough Magistrates was Frank Rendall, 21, a clerk of 15 Victoria Grove Meddon Street. He pleaded Not Guilty to a charge of “riding a cycle … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – August 1918.

(Regular readers will recall that the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway closed on Wednesday 17th March 1917). R Dymond & Son are selling by auction on August 21st the Sheds and General Stores left after the rolling stock had … Continue reading

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Clothes for a heat wave?

Fashions change constantly – especially for women. In early Victorian England fashionable women were wearing yards of usually black cloth with their bodies crushed inside spring steel and whalebone corsets. This particular combination severely constrained their movement, and clearly without … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – July 1918.

New Ration books commence distribution on the 6th July, ready for use in the National Rationing Scheme on the 15th July. There are seven different categories, all serially numbered and individually addressed. This work has been completed by the Food … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago: June 1918.

There is a surplus of British-made butter available. The weekly ration has been increased from 4 to 5 oz per person. Northam Urban District Council seek tenders for the clearing of rabbits on lands at Melbury Reservoir, Parkham. One extra … Continue reading

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Bideford’s Nat West Bank.

An iconic building in Bideford, Nat West Bank (formerly National Provincial) closed on 29th May 2018. Peter Christie looks back on its history, and Gerald Waldron remembers his time as a bank employee. End of an era. The closure of … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – May 1918.

The Ministry of Food announces that it can release considerable additional supplies of frozen meat. Therefore from Sunday last until further notice 8 pence worth of uncooked meat may be purchased in respect of each 2 coupons in the ration … Continue reading

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Bideford Art School: a brief history.

Bideford Art School (now Bideford Arts Centre), a listed building on the Pill, has an interesting history. It started life in 1896 as a technical college, a result of ‘self help’ Victorian values. Our photo above shows the plaque on … Continue reading

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Protheroe Smith (1809-89).

Protheroe Smith was born in 1809 in Bridgeland Street, Bideford, the son of a doctor, William Smith, and one of twenty children. He was educated at Bideford Grammar School and was destined for a military career, but injured his hip … Continue reading

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