Plans to transform the heart of Bideford.

Councillors unanimously backed outline plans that could see the heart of Bideford transformed as part of a £9.7m bid for investment and regeneration. The scheme has been developed as Bideford’s bid for a slice of the £1billion “Future High Streets” Fund set up by the government. Both Bideford and Barnstaple are among the final list of 101 towns nationally who have made it through to the final round of bids. The complex funding arrangements mean that Bideford will be asking for the highest figure available of about £4.3million.

The Future High Street Fund is designed to support the transformation of town centres. With vacancy rates increasing nationally and a general shift towards online shopping, report after report has indicated a need for towns to become more focused on providing for the needs of their local community – with a particular focus on both health and experiences. It can’t be used just for painting buildings, upgrading shop fronts or even pot holes, but has to be about creating genuine community change and making people’s lives better.

The project has already seen communities, businesses, trade organisations, and District and Town councillors come together in a once-in-a-generation chance to unlock the potential of Bideford’s town centre as a unique experience for working, living and entertainment – all with a shared goal of creating a carbon neutral development with aspiration at its core.

The properties and land at the heart of the town’s transformation will run from the Heard Brothers garage complex on Queen Street, through adjoining buildings and open spaces, right into the heart of the retail district in Mill Street. This will create an interlinked complex of vibrant workspaces, a Community Hub working in partnership with One Northern Devon (a branch of the NHS), TTVS and 361 Energy, a cultural anchor, street food and micro-breweries and a range of open spaces – all under the working title of “Isaac’s Yard”. The plans also encompass a number of architecturally important buildings whose features will be preserved, enhanced and celebrated. One of these heritage spaces is a walled garden that will be open for the public to enjoy, right in the hustle and bustle of the town centre – an “oasis of calm” protected on all sides not only from the wind but also from the noises of the world around it. A perfect place for a lunchtime catch-up with friends, all the way through to a town centre festival.

Many Councillors spoke with admiration for the package of proposals being put forward, which many of them, along with the public at a host of engagement events, have helped to shape.

An outline of the scope of the project will shortly be available at where the community can also express an interest to be kept informed of and get involved in future stages of the plans.

The next stage in the funding bid will involve a submission to Government by 31st July, with an announcement of successful bids expected in the autumn.


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Bereavement support during Covid-19.

(Scroll down below poster for links).


Tel. 01271-322362.

Website –

North Devon Hospice.

Tel. 01271-347225.

Email –

Website –

Cruse Bereavement Care.

Tel. 0300 330 5466.

Email –

Website –

Families in Grief.

Tel. 01237-479027.

Email –

Website –

Marie Curie.

Tel. 0800 3047 412.

Email –

Website –


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Help with anxiety & depression – ‘TALKWORKS’.

Don’t suffer in silence’ – help at hand for people in North?Devon feeling anxious about leaving lockdown.

For many people across the country, the past few months have been an incredibly difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic creating a range of pressures and concerns. You might be experiencing job losses and financial worries, be missing loved ones or feeling very isolated. As lockdown eases, many people are also experiencing anxiety about entering the ‘new normal’, and being around more people again.

Many of us have mixed feelings and remain concerned about the impact of the virus on our lives. Perhaps the virus is not your primary concern, maybe you are worried about going back to pre-COVID social situations, such as visiting a restaurant or a pub.

All of these situations are examples of what can lead to an increase in common mental health problems such as anxiety, low mood or depression which can greatly impact on your day-to day-life and leave you feeling exhausted or worried.

We would urge people to seek help from TALKWORKS if they need support.

Part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, TALKWORKS is a free, confidential NHS talking therapy service dedicated to helping people improve their mental wellbeing. They are here to help individuals who may be struggling to cope, feeling low, anxious, stressed or just not quite themselves.

Chris Silman, TALKWORKS Clinical Team Manager for North Devon, says: “There is a real emphasis on taking care of our physical health at this time, but it can mean that people are struggling more with low mood, stress or anxiety. At TALKWORKS, we have adapted our services, meaning we are now offering talking therapies and practical help with your mental wellbeing through online platforms and over the phone.”

Sue Pike, TALKWORKS Service Manager, adds: “Last year we saw almost 19,000 people across Devon. This year we expect to treat even more people. However in common with other NHS services, we have seen fewer people coming forward to get help and treatment since lockdown and social distancing was introduced.

It’s important that those who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing know that the NHS is still open as usual and that TALKWORKS in North Devon can help you or anybody you know that is struggling. We are able to offer an initial appointment very quickly.”

We all did our bit to protect the NHS by staying at home, but now is the time to look after ourselves, too.

Call TALKWORKS today on 0300 555 3344 or self-refer online at

Take the first step to improving your life and feeling like ‘yourself’ again.


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Help with relationship counselling.

New Local Relationship Counselling Service.

A new Relationship Counselling service opened in Barnstaple earlier this year to help local couples and individuals struggling with their relationships to access support in their local area.

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the service had to be suspended for face to face appointments, but with lockdown restrictions now eased clients can once again have appointments in person.

Following the closure of Relate’s Barnstaple centre in December last year, local people needing help had to travel to Exeter or Taunton to access specialist relationship support. In response to conversations with clients and some local GPs worried about this, Jean Bowerman, a former Barnstaple Relate counsellor until its closure, set up North Devon Relationship Counselling Service in February this year to provide North Devon people with local help. Jean works from The Tarka Clinic in Barnstaple, with strict safety precautions in place, and also offers appointments by telephone or video call, which many clients find really convenient.

Jean said “When people are anxious or stressed by difficulties in their relationships they can feel in real crisis. Being able to talk through their difficulties with an experienced professional can be invaluable. They need to be able to access help easily and quickly and, particularly if they rely on public transport or need evening appointments, do not want to have to travel long distances. The Covid-19 outbreak has brought with it extra pressures such as worries about finances and concerns about future job security. It is really important that local counselling is available for them, particularly if their relationships were already in difficulty before lockdown.”

Appointments can be made, sometimes at fairly short notice, by calling 07887562072 or Tarka Clinic on 01271 373346. For further information see where you can also send an email enquiry.


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Beaford Archive reopens to record Coronavirus.


North Devonians invited to photograph life during lockdown.

April 2020, North Devon.

For the first time in over 30 years, the Beaford Archive – home to the North Devon photographs of James Ravilious and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins – is being reopened.

James had unrivalled access to North Devon lives, but not even he could have recorded life during lockdown,” said Mark Wallace, Beaford’s Director. “The only way we’ll do that is together – so, for the first time ever, we’re asking everyone in North Devon to add their photos to the Beaford Archive.”

The Beaford Archive contains over 100,000 images of northern Devon from 1850-1990. Over 10,000 of these are now available online at, thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Royal Photographic Society has called it “unparalleled in both quantity and quality”. It has never before been opened for general submission, but the trustees of Beaford see it as vital that the Archive records these times for future generations. As a result, this new chapter in the Archive’s history will be written by the people of North Devon.

More details on how to submit photographs and information on James Ravilious’s approach to photo selection can be found at Curated galleries featuring submitted photos will be displayed throughout the lockdown period.


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Abbotsham – an historical note.

If you have been watching the last series of ‘Poldark’ you will know that the final episodes dealt with the threat of invasion in the West Country by the French. This threat was temporarily resolved by the Peace of Amiens in March 1802, but by May of 1803 the war was back on and the threat of invasion with it.

This threat was perceived very seriously in the area around Bideford, as can be seen from two documents in the North Devon Record office that relate to the parish of Abbotsham. These are what in today’s parlance might be called a ‘contingency plan’.

The first document, dated 4th December 1803, is The minutes of the resolutions entered into at a meeting of the inhabitants of Abbotsham’. There were six numbered resolutions setting out where parishioners were to meet and place themselves under the direction of named persons, where they should take their stock, that various carts were appointed for the removal of sick and infirm people and that the overseers of the poor would supply 6 bushels of meal at parish expense to Mrs Stone to make 4 loaves of bread for each of the poor. The Overseers of the Poor were also to supply materials to enable the livestock to be marked and they even specified how and where such markings we to be placed.

The document then sets out who would conduct and drive the stock along one of two specified routes – one to Dartmoor and the other to Somerton, distances of about 40 miles and 80 miles. They weren’t taking any chances!

The second document details the owners of the stock that was to be moved plus the names of the old and decrepit persons and whose cart they should travel on. There followed details of the routes to be used, with some alterations written in pencil, showing slight differences to those of the first document, which must be the later version.

This shows some forward thinking by the leaders of the parish, although one can’t help wondering how much notice of invasion they would need to put this plan into action.

David Snow.


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Heroine of India honoured with statue in Torrington.

A bronze statue of Sister Nivedita (1867-1911) was unveiled by Great Torrington Town and Torridge District Councillors in Great Torrington Cemetery on Saturday 27th August . Sister Nivedita, who was born Margaret Elizabeth Noble, spent much of her life in India where she is revered as an educationalist and campaigner for India’s freedom movement. Her involvement with India came about after a meeting with Swami Vivekananda in London in 1895 after which she travelled to Calcutta. She was given the name Nivedita meaning “dedicated to god” and opened a girls school in 1898. Her intention was to educate girls who were at the time deprived of even the most basic education. She is also noted for nursing the poor during the plague epidemic in Calcutta in 1899 as well as having a close association with the Ramakrishna Mission until later when she made an active contribution in the field of Indian Nationalism.

She died in Darjeeling in 1911 and following her cremation her ashes were returned to Great Torrington where they were interred in the family grave. The statue and plinth were commissioned and paid for by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee to commemorate the 150th anniversary of her birth on July 4th and also in commemoration of her life which she dedicated to India. Torridge District Council provided the plot on which the bronze statue has been sited as a permanent memorial. It is the first statue of Sister Nivedita to be erected outside of India and was unveiled jointly by Deputy Mayor of Torrington Doug Smith and Torridge and Great Torrington Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin who is also lead member for Community, Culture and Leisure at Torridge District Council.

TDC Lead member for Community, Culture and Leisure – Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin said – “I must admit that I was largely unaware of Sister Nivedita’s family connection to the Great Torrington area or of the fascinating and selfless work she devoted herself to in India. Clearly she was a remarkable woman at a time when people (and women in particular) were not given the opportunities that they have today. This makes her achievements even more significant, and I hope that the statue will act as an inspiration to those who see it and bring about a greater recognition of her life which was dedicated to helping those who were less fortunate.”

Mayor of Great Torrington – Councillor Keeley Allin said: “The information in relation to Sister Nivedita’s incredible achievements in India and her connection to Great Torrington have been a revelation to many over these past few months. It is clear that amongst other things, this lady’s life had a major impact in empowering young women in India through the provision of education and learning. It is a privilege to host the statue of remembrance and recognition in our town’s cemetery and hope that many people, young and old, will visit and be inspired by the life and achievements of Sister Nivedita.”

Swami Sarvasthananda said: “We are delighted to be part of unveiling ceremony of Sister Nivedita, also known as Margaret Noble, who gave her all to India at the behest of her spiritual master Swami Vivekananda. She was inspired by his message of Service of God in man and contributed a lot in several fields for the uplift of the Indian masses including that of women’s education. It is a great privilege for the monks and devotees of the Ramakrishna Mission to honour her contribution by installing a bronze statue in Torrington kindly made possible by the help received from the government of West Bengal, India. Our sincere thanks to Torridge District Council for their unconditional help and support.”


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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. These range from tractors and threshing machines to straw trussers and binder twine. Readers are assured that these items are by the best makers and most of them are practically new.

By order of the local Food Committee, milk prices for May have been fixed at 6d per quart delivered, 5d sold at the retailer’s premises. Imported meat will be 2d per pound less than the price stated on the list exhibited in the shop.

Soldiers attached to the Agricultural Corps will not now be moved to join the Army of Occupation until after May 15th, as it was felt that their removal at such a busy time would harm food production.

Mr F A Searle, Honorary Treasurer of Bideford Town Council, has been thanked for his services in connection with the Belgian refugees. Some 200 refugees have been maintained by the town since their arrival in February 1915, the last having now been repatriated.

Germany was to lose 13 percent of its territory and 10 percent of its population. … Pressured by the Allies and thrown into confusion by crisis within the Weimar government at home, the Germans gave in and accepted the terms at 5:40 p.m. on May 23. The Versailles Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919

In other news:

Mr W J Barnes, Clerk to Northam Council, has written to the police calling attention to the excessive speed and dangerous driving of motor cars and motor cycles on the Bideford to Northam Road.

Pebbles are to be raked off the Westward Ho! Coastal path and notices erected prohibiting cycling.

A field at Northam belonging to Mr Penhorwood and occupied by Mr Griffey has been acquired for allotments, as has the field at Westward Ho! opposite Springfield belonging to Mr W S Bourne and occupied by Mr H Braddick.

A hive of bees swarmed in Abbotsham Road on 19th May, believed to be the first of the summer season. The 17th century proverb supports this “a swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon; but a swarm in July is not worth a fly”

Mr Perkins, The Quay, Bideford, agent for the Combe Martin Jam & Preserve Company, will purchase any quantity of fruits, including strawberries, red currants, gooseberries and plums.

And finally:

Bideford Town Crier’s latest call on Friday was “Lost! Bideford Town Water Cart, last seen in the council yard. Anyone returning same to Mill Street in working order will be rewarded with thanks.” The Gazette reports that the much needed rain came on Saturday

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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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 Horse Lane, Northam] to Mr E Withecombe for £730; 2 fields adjacent Diddywell Rd. to John Steer £500; 3 fields of 9 acres opposite Richmond House, Appledore, to Mr H M Bazeley at an undisclosed price; 2 acre field near Lookout Appledore to George Cork £300. A 6 acre field adjacent to Swiss Cottage was withdrawn at £800 by Messrs Hole Seldon & Ward Solicitors. Messrs R Blackmore have the Castle Inn No. 20 Allhalland Street, Bideford for sale. It is suggested that it can be used as a boarding house. Forrest Hill, the residence plus 10¾ acres is also offered for sale. Offered for sale from Messrs A W Cock is Higher Shute at Littleham in one lot and a field of land which is part of Stanbury Estate, Raleigh, Northam.

Upwards of 40 hands are now employed in the preparation of the new shipyard at Higher Cleave Houses, Bideford.

R Blackmore & Son has received instructions to sell by auction a Ford Touring Car. It has one spare and interchangeable wheel, new cylinders and practically a new hood. The Sale will follow on after the sale of 50 Army horses.

This month sees the Gazette filled with transport related adverts –

Lorries, cars and motorcycles are becoming available to purchase and businesses that were curtailed through staff being conscripted are trying to re-establish themselves.

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery – March.



Finnish Herring Pie – baked herring with tomatoes.


4 /6 herrings.

2 large onions.

oil/ butter.

1-2 ½ lbs of potatoes (6-med/large potatoes).

S &P.

½pt. milk.



Scale and bone the herring and clean by removing the roes and washing inside.

Soak in salted water for several hours before using. Slice up the drained herring fillet.

Fry the onions lightly in the oil until golden.

Grease a fireproof dish with butter.

Put in a layer of sliced potatoes -followed by a layer of sliced onions and sliced tomatoes and slices of herring fillets.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Top with the remaining sliced potatoes and pour over the milk.

Cook in the centre of the oven for 90 mins at Gas Mark 4-180C.

Serve with extra green vegetables or with crusty bread for supper.


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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” and butter probably the last to regain its freedom. The meat situation is already improving thanks to deliveries from Argentina and it is hoped that the sugar supply will improve next month.

Later in January it was stated that there might still be some food rationing after April but that it would be much less restrictive.

Heavy rains have reduced farm land to a sodden condition and almost all work has been at a standstill. The autumn sown wheat, oats and beans look promising, but straw is very scarce at present.

Bideford Chamber of Trade has received a letter from the Paper Controller expressing thanks for the large quantity of waste paper collected by the local community.

Mr T Williams, carrier, of Hartland advertises that he now runs a service to Bideford on Thursdays as well as on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Two lambs were born at Norton Farm on January 8th, believed to be the first of the year.

Bideford Rural Council hopes to obtain a portion of the Government Road Improvement Grant to convert the track of the Bideford to Appledore Railway to a metalled road. With its straight course and easy gradients it is believed that this would be a great service to the public.

W Huxtable of Heale Farm, Littleham appeals for help in finding a lost two year old dark Devon heifer. A black Pekinese bitch has strayed from Firsball, Woodtown and two homing pigeons belonging to Mr Lewis have failed to return to their loft in Bridgeland Street.

Messrs R Blackmore & Sons have sold by auction fifty Army horses. All were sold within one and a half hours, prices ranging from £30 to £73.

A public meeting was held at Northam National School to discuss erecting a public memorial to parishioners who had fallen in the War. The War Office has promised a captured machine gun for the village. Proposals included a new village hall, a cross in the Square and a shelter for the aged on Bone Hill. A small committee has been formed to consider these ideas and consult with the families concerned.

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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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 of Keil has been shot by his own sailors and in Hamburg and Cuxhaven the red Communist flag replaces the naval pennant.

On 12th November the Gazette proclaims “The Doom of Autocracy”. The Kaiser abdicates and there is revolution inside Germany. The Armistice has been signed and Hostilities ceased yesterday.

At the end of the month the German Fleet surrenders and 9 battleships, 5 battle cruisers, 7 light cruisers, 50 destroyers and numerous submarines are escorted across the North Sea to the mouth of the Firth of Forth where they will be taken to Scarpa Flow. The newspaper also reports that the local Regiment, 2nd Devons, are to take part in the triumphal march to the Rhine.

Nationally, a General Election has been called for 14th December. The Prime Minister Lloyd George and Mr Bonar Law publish a joint manifesto and election meetings are advertised in the Market Hall in Bideford on November 29th at 8pm, when Mr C S Parker will address the meeting. (Charles Sandbach Parker, Conservative, failed to be elected in the Barnstaple Constituency, losing by 602 votes). Women electors are holding a meeting in the Town Hall at Bideford at 3pm, moving to Northam at 7.30pm and Appledore at 8.30pm. These meetings will be chaired by Mrs C S Parker and the speaker will be Miss Taylor from Exeter.

(With the hindsight that 100 years affords, we know that the War has ended but on the Home Front little has changed; locally more mundane matters make the headlines in the paper).

Bideford Fuel & Lighting Committee state that under the terms of the 1918 Fuel Wood Order licences will be needed to sell a maximum of 2 tons per year to domestic homes. Industry is not subject to this restriction. These licences can be obtained from Mr E J Labbett, Local Fuel Overseer.

Readers are urged to register their ration of jam, marmalade and sugar at Tattersall’s and Farleigh’s Stores.

The Western Express and Torrington Gazette report that the yield of potatoes is far larger than anticipated and in many districts the yield is “extraordinary”.

Alfred Perrin of Barnstaple Auctions offered the Barley Mow Inn for sale. “The property has for some time since reported for compensation and was recently dealt with by the Compensation Committee at Exeter”. Mr John Curtis who owns the adjoining property was the purchaser at £430. (We have tried to research what this Committee did. Can any of our readers help?)

The influenza epidemic is diminishing; 9 deaths were reported this week in Bideford, which is less than half the previous week.

Bideford Fire Brigade, captained by Mr S Lee, was called to a business premises in Mill Street. The fire originated in a gas cooker in the kitchen at Mrs Wilson’s house but the fire was contained and the reported damage amounted to £200.

Thanksgiving Week services are held across North Devon. An open air meeting was held at Bone Hill, led by Rev. G Payne-Cook and W Charlewood, Leader of Northam UDC.


These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford & District Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website


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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 successor Charles 1 has “renounced participation in State affairs”. Towards the end of October we begin to hear hints that Germany is making moves towards peace.

However on the home front, tribunals continue to take place as men are still needed. In fact a Government directive has been issued to all Chairmen of Tribunals warning them to show no favour or deviation from the required replacement soldiers. Mr W C Friendship, baker, has been exempted until March 1919 with many other men given 3 or 6 month exemptions.

The many friends of Capt. J Whitefield RNR of Westcroft, Bideford will be pleased to learn of the further honour that he has won in the discharge of his duty in seeking the destruction of enemy submarines. He has previously been awarded the Italian Bronze Medal for military valour. He has now had the Distinguished Service Cross conferred.

Alderman J M Metherell, J P and R S Chope, J P, ex -Mayor of Bideford will be among those visiting the Western Front this weekend at the invitation of the War Office.

The local food committee notices state that the maximum price allowed to be charged for milk is 7d per quart, with butter capped at 2/4d per pound.

Jam, marmalade, syrup, treacle and honey will be rationed from November 3rd. Children from 6-18 years will receive an extra ration of jam. Perkins & Son, Fruit Merchants of The Quay, Bideford, have been appointed receivers and packers of fruit for licensed jam factories. They will pay 3d per pound for blackberries and £12 per ton for small apples.

A £1 reward has been offered for information regarding the theft of birds’ eggs from the museum.

The Barley Mow Inn in Mill Street, Bideford, is offered for sale.

The North Devon Permanent and Terminable Benefit Building Society based at Bridge Buildings in Bideford (established 1853) offers a rate of 3.5% on deposits. Mortgages are granted on Easy Terms.

Harvest festivals and thanksgivings are being held around the area, including at Instow, Littleham, Little Torrington and Lavington in Bideford.

It is interesting to note that the Swastika was an international symbol signifying good luck until a German Nationalist leader adopted it in 1920, and it is now reviled world-wide.


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Buzz Byte; Alan Turing.

Do you know who Alan Turing was? Until I watched the 2014 film ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch, I did not know who he was and what he had contributed.

Mr Turing was a highly intelligent mathematician and logician. During World War II he worked for the government to crack the enemy’s codes that they received on a recovered Enigma machine. Mr Turing deviated from his original purpose and devised a machine that was eventually used to decrypt the coded messages. Along with his fellow code-breakers, working at Bletchley Park, an electro-mechanical device, named the ‘Bombe’ was created to speed up the detection of the key to that day’s encoded enigma messages. It is said the Churchill declared Mr Turing’s efforts had shortened the war by two years, saving millions of lives across the globe. This work earned him the title of ‘The Father of Modern Computing.’

It was Alan Turing who developed the idea of the modern computer and data science. Back in 1936 he wrote a paper about humans’ ability to perform a specified task ; he created a ‘universal machine’ which could decode and perform any set of instructions. It would be another 10 years before his concept was turned into a practical machine. The telephone decryption, codenamed Delilah, which he worked on during his time at Bletchley Park gave him practical experience with electronics. In 1946 Mr Turing designed the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), which stored programmes in its memory. The key principles of theoretical and applied mathematics along with engineering and computer skills allowed him to be pioneering in these developments towards technology.

I thought that artificial intelligence (AI) was a relatively new concept, but Mr Turing had already devised the notion by claiming that a computer could rival independent human thought. He compared human and machine outputs; the Turing test. In these he predicted the advancement of AI. In his initial tests an interrogator asked the same questions of a human and a computer, not knowing which was which,(the computer responses were textual.) He debated whether computers should be seen as intelligent from the response. The idea was to determine if a computer could imitate a human, and from Facebook’s recent endeavour into AI, they can.

This is only a brief look into a very interesting and influential life. Alan Turing died in 1954, just short of his 42nd birthday, a victim of his sexuality.

Nickie Baglow.


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Felicity’s September fish recipe.

They have been catching salmon on the River Torridge for a thousand years and this year at the Appledore and Instow Regatta there was an advert for the Open Salmon Boat races, which said that back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s there were 36 licensed salmon boats on the rivers Taw and Torridge.

Now there are none remaining! We need to celebrate the local salmon fishing skills and traditions.

So Keep Appledore Fishing.

Please join us on the Sustainable Fish Education group if you would like to help the Celebration we are planning next year ; like us on Appledoresustainabelfish face book, or contact

With this lovely outdoor summer weather, we have all been able to plan BBQs. Here is an interesting easy recipe from Jamie Oliver, with a cucumber yoghurt and/or a chilli salsa which can be prepared and eaten with most BBQ food.

Crispy BBQ Salmon.

1 x1.5kg side of salmon, scaled and pin boned, or a fillet of salmon with skin on, as large as required!


1. Place the salmon skin-down on a plastic board, and using a sharp knife slash it evenly all over on the fleshy side, making the incisions about 1cm deep.

2. Scatter lemon zest and most of some chopped fennel tops or basil over the salmon and then push them into the incisions.

3. Rub the fish lightly all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, with extra on the skin.

4. Lay the salmon skin down on the hot BBG bars for approx. mins. Carefully turn the salmon side or fillets over and cook for 2/3 mins – while it is cooking gently lift off the skin away from the skin and cook separately until crispy.

5. Do not overcook; lift it off and place on a nice plate or board and allow to cool, then break into pieces for serving alongside the crispy skin.

Cucumber Yoghurt.

1 cucumber, peeled lengthwise in strips.

300ml natural yoghurt.

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped.

A bunch of mint or oregano leaves, chopped.

Extra virgin olive oil.

Cut the cucumber in half, remove and discard the seeds, chop it up and mix it in a bowl with the yoghurt. Balance the flavours with the lemon juice, half the chopped chilli and half the chopped herbs. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil. Season carefully with salt and pepper.

Chilli Salsa.

1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped.

Extra virgin oil.

2-3 med. ripe tomatoes.

½ cucumber, peeled and finely diced.

Juice of 1 lime.

2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced.

Small handful of fresh chopped coriander leaves.

1 avocado, peeled and chopped.

Mix all these ingredients together and sprinkle with whole coriander when served.


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