Category Archives: History

Local history, pictures, stories.

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

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History, Local People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History, Local People | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , | 1 Comment

One hundred years ago – March 1918.

It is reported in the 5th March edition that HMHS ‘Glenart Castle’, a hospital ship, was torpedoed some miles offshore between Hartland Point and Lundy on 26th February. The ship sank in several minutes and only a few of the … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bideford’s Iron Bridge(s).

(“Bideford Gazette”, 17th June 1825).   Mention the ‘Iron Bridge’ and every Bidefordian will know where you mean – but there were once two such bridges. The first and earliest was at Landcross on the Bideford-Torrington road and was a … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

One hundred years ago: February 1918.

During an air raid on London a Gotha bomber was brought down by Captain Hackwell of the Royal Flying Corps. He is the second son of Mr W H Hackwell of Sudden Farm Langtree Torrington and he worked in a … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thomas Burton; 1875- 1959.

Everyone in Bideford knows where the Burton Art Gallery is, nicely situated in Victoria Park, adjacent to parking and Hockings’ Ice Cream van. But how many people know why it’s called the Burton Gallery? Was there someone called Burton? Well, … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Freezing.

In this age of man-made global warming it is unlikely that we will see a repetition of what occurred in Bideford in 1894-5 and 1963. Simply put, this was the freezing over of the River Torridge around the Bridge. Both … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

One hundred years ago; December 1917/ January 1918.

Christmas is coming and in spite of the War, Bideford plans to celebrate the season. The Christmas Market will take place on Friday 21st December. Coles and Lee, trading from the Gazette Office, suggest that handbags make excellent presents, as … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment