Category Archives: History

Local history, pictures, stories.

Bideford’s ‘prefabs’.

During the Second World War huge numbers of houses were destroyed by enemy action, and as early as 1944 Winston Churchill announced an EFM (Emergency Factory Made) housing programme. In 1945 the new prime minister Clement Atlee began implementing the … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – November 1917.

Children from Bideford schools have collected approximately two tons of horse chestnuts, which will save a ton of cereals in munitions work. North Devon Appeals Courts: Many columns in every edition are given to reporting the proceedings of employers appealing … Continue reading

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Rope Walk – “The Battle of the Posts”.

Rope Walk today is a narrow but well used roadway running parallel to the Pill. Its name obviously records the presence of the ropemaking industry which was once so important to the ship-owning merchants of Bideford – but how many … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – October 1917.

The Borough of Bideford announces, under the powers conferred by the Retail Prices Order 1917, the Sale of coal prices for the forthcoming winter months: Best Lydney House Coal £2.0.0d per ton. £2.2.6d delivered to the customers’ house. Lancashire House … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – September 1917.

Mr Gerrish, chemist, of 9 The Quay, continues his advertising campaign by encouraging readers to take his Tonic Liver Mixture. He states that “your liver, if neglected, will bring utter ruin and an early decay”. His mixture, costing 1/3d per … Continue reading

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All the fun of the Fair!

Fairs have been visiting Bideford for one hundred and fifty years at least and even though today they face huge competition from computer games and local attractions the travelling show people still come. The history of the fair in Bideford … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – August 1917.

Meetings are held around the district to mark the 3rd Anniversary of the start of the war. Mr W T Charlwood presided over an evening gathering on Bone Hill. The salute was given by the Scout Bugle Band and prayers … Continue reading

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A brief history of the Custom House.

Bideford’s buildings are constantly being reinvented – and anyone walking along to the Post Office will have noticed the old Custom House has become a new coffee shop – with some of the best views over the river from its … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago; July 1917.

Of immediate interest this month is a Notice of Sale of the entire Appledore Gas Works. Established in 1874 on land in a field called Barn Close, which is part of Watertown in the Parish of Northam. The site, leasehold … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – June 1917.

Many of the items of interest in this month’s editions are centred around agriculture and the implications the War is having on local businesses and farms. Heard Bros are advertising Avery Farm Tractors for sale with additional tractors on their … Continue reading

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A brief history of the Palladium Club.

The Club began life in 1919 as the stables for the Heavitree Inn. In 1926 it was the Palladium Cinema and the ticket office was situated where Patts’ Fruit and Vegetable shop now is in Mill St. Later it became … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – May 1917.

  The main theme this month is the state of the food supply. In his regular column for allotment holders, “Spadeworker” encourages the growing of carrots as the most important root crop; varieties such as Red Elephant, James Intermediate and … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – April 1917.

On behalf of Miss Penhale, auctioneers Smyth-Richards, Stapleton and Fox are selling two lots of property: ‘Thornbury and Higher Thorne’,a farm of 140 acres with stone and slate buildings and a thatched cottage.  Two arable fields at Horestone Cross, comprising … Continue reading

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Bideford’s Newfoundland links & the Chope Collection.

Devon has strong historic links with the Canadian Province of Newfoundland dating back to the 16th Century, when boats from local ports sailed to the waters of Newfoundland to fish for cod. Initially men left Devon in April and returned … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – March 2017.

There has been no break in the wintry conditions across the region. The seasonal rise in temperature usually seen during this month was only very slight. Frost and fog have been persistent and snow has fallen on several days – … Continue reading

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