Category Archives: History

Local history, pictures, stories.

John Strange (1590 – 1646), shipowner & local hero.

In Bideford Town Hall you will find a portrait of John Strange, four times Mayor of Bideford, and an unusual man. (There is also a copy in the Burton Art Gallery). In the background of the portrait are certain objects … 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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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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One hundred years ago – February 1917.

February 1917 saw several radical changes in the Bideford Gazette newspaper. The Great War headlines were still most depressing. There was a least one page in each issue devoted to news from the action across the world – one of … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – December 1916/ January 2017.

The first three issues of the Gazette in December 1916 are full of seasonal cheer of all varieties. W.J. Ridge, Wine merchant of 70 High Street has two adverts – one for Old Scotch Whiskies including “Dew off the Highlands”, … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – November 1916.

Several farms are advertised this month under the “To be let by Tender” columns. Lot 1, South Hill Farm, Little Torrington comprising 157 acres and all the usual farmhouse buildings and two workers’ cottages; Lot 2, Higher Cross Lawn, 11½ … Continue reading

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One hundred years ago – October 1916.

This month the newspaper is overwhelmed with news from the war. Several pages are given over to “reports from the Front”. All the villages without exception are announcing casualties, injuries and, sadly, deaths to their men who had been called … Continue reading

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