Category Archives: History

Local history, pictures, stories.

A Nineteenth-Century Bideford Doctor.

William Henry Ackland was born in Bideford in 1825 and was the son of a doctor. His father, also William Ackland, had been apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary in Bideford, but William Henry trained at University College Hospital in … Continue reading

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The Torridge Sealock.

Anyone who has been to the harbour at Bude will know the canal basin and sea lock where the Bude Canal meets the sea. Far fewer people are aware that just three miles up the Torridge from Bideford port is … Continue reading

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Bideford Home Guard, 1943.

Rear row – Ptes S Laird, P Cloke, WE Voden, CMS Gosling, Sgt. R Featherstone, Pte. TD Frayne, Cpl. GR Hill, Ptes FJ Clements, G Waldron, J Lock, Cpl. F Stacey, Pte R Raymont, Cpl. EJ Moyes. Third row – … Continue reading

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Holiday snaps !

As the holiday season approaches many will consider buying a new camera. However, with the advent of the all encompassing mobile telephone is one necessary? A similarly priced camera readily captures snow scenes, beach scenes, portraits, the family cat or … Continue reading

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Bideford Races, May 1928.

This advertisement comes from the Bideford Gazette for 1928 currently housed at the Bideford Archive. The archive is run by volunteers, and you will find it is a mine of information on Torridge district; not just births, marriages and deaths, … Continue reading

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Memories of a Plymouth evacuee.

With time on my hands, I have been trying to trace people who were part of my youth – over 70 years ago! Knowing only her maiden name, and not having seen or heard of her since the end of … Continue reading

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More about the Bridge Trust.

Having talked about how the Trust came to be set up and its involvement with property in the town I will now discuss the very wide range of things the Trust has funded. Trustees have always been interested in education, … Continue reading

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About the Bridge Trust.

As promised, and following on from my introduction to the Bridge Trust, I will discuss some of the history of the body. No-one knows when the Trust was set up but it must have been soon after the Bridge was … Continue reading

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Coronation Day, 1953.

Photos from Owen Vaggers. In the paper edition of November’s “Buzz”, we published this – Two photographs of the Coronation Day, 1953, which took place at the bottom of Pitt Hill, Appledore . I cannot remember all the the names … Continue reading

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An 1844 view of Bideford.

“BIDEFORD (ST. MARY), a sea-port, incorporated market-town, and parish, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of SHEBBEAR, Great Torrington and N. divisions of DEVON, 39 miles (N. W. by W.) from Exeter, and … Continue reading

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History of “The Westward Ho! Hotel”.

In February 1864, Captain George Mill Frederick Molesworth’s company began building the hotel which was originally to be called ‘The Royal Hotel.’   As well as building hotels, houses and villas, George Molesworth set up two colleges – the United Services … Continue reading

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More memories of Bideford Hospital.

There were three wards: male, female and children’s. Off the corridor leading to the female ward were three rooms for private patients. The staff, as far as I can remember, included the Matron, Miss Daymond. There was one Welsh SRN … Continue reading

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More memories of St. Peter’s Church, East the Water.

Following on from Mike Davy’s article (July Buzz), here are some memories. My first is of 1974 when I brought my elder daughter Caroline to the Sunday school run by Rosemary Butler. Living in Torridge Mount, it was only a … Continue reading

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My role as Bideford’s Beadle & Macebearer.

In 2009 I had the great honour of becoming Bideford’s first lady Beadle, and later in 2010 of being appointed as the first lady Macebearer. Ever since I was a child I have been interested in the ceremonial and regalia … Continue reading

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The font in St. Mary’s parish church, Bideford.

There is little doubt that the Font in St Mary’s Church is the oldest artefact in Bideford. It has been expertly confirmed that it dates from about the year 1080, and it has been described as an exceptionally fine and … Continue reading

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