Bideford Film Society – April.

The Lego Movie (U).

Kingsley School – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th April – Doors open 4:30pm, film starts 5.00pm

On Friday 25 and Saturday 26 April at Kingsley School we hope to have The Grand Budapest Hotel (15)

Doors open 7.00pm, film starts 7.30pm. Please check local press for confirmation.

Tickets: General £5.50 Concessions £5.00 Members £4.00 Family (up to 3 children & 2 adults) £12.00. To avoid disappointment please check local press for confirmation of above programme, or visit our web site


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Burton Art Gallery & Museum – April.

April 2014 is rather special for the Burton Gallery. Gillian Ayres is one of the leading British abstract painters of her generation, and has created a ‘bespoke’ exhibition of her new works and woodcuts especially for us. We are her first venue; after 1st June, when it closes, the exhibition will speed on its way to London’s Royal Academy. This is a rare privilege. Looking back on Gillian’s career, she has exhibited in Oxford’s Museum of Modern Art; London’s Serpentine Gallery; the Tate, the Royal Academy in 1997, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She is also a teacher, having spent many years at St. Martin’s School of Art in London, and has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize. She has the initials R.A. And O.B.E. after her name, You will find her work permanently in the V. & A. and the British Museum, so you can imagine that to have such a well respected artist creating an exhibition just for us in Bideford, is something of a coup! Exhibition dates: 5th April to 1st June.

If you would like to be taken on a free ‘Talk and Tour’ of the exhibition, come to the Gallery on 5th April at 2.00 p.m. David Cleaton-Roberts, co-Director of the Alan Cristea Gallery, has worked closely with Gillian, and is a well-informed friend to take us on an informal tour of her work.

Coming down to earth, the Friends of the Burton are holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 12th April, (in gallery 2) and after the routine business is done, Adrian Wills will give a talk on ‘Devon’s Forgotten Canal’ – if you are not sure which one – have a guess. It’s the Rolle Canal, which served between the Sea Lock and Town Mills at Torrington in the 19th century, bringing precious lime to our farmers. To learn more, come to the A.G.M. at the Gallery around 11.45; this is part of our local history, and was very important to its economy at the time. The Museum on the first floor of the Gallery, has a model of a lime kiln, built by Barry Hughes, who has also built a model of the inclined plane. All welcome, but become a Friend while you’re there. Why not? Subs. are £10 (single), £18 (Couple), £90 (Single Life); £170 (couple Life). Pick up a form.

Another special – the Cabin at Bucks Mills, a haven of peace and tranquility for two artists, Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards, will be open for the day on Saturday, 19th April from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. The National Trust rarely open this treasure-house, so don’t miss the opportunity to get inside and see a time-warp.

As usual, there are Craft Workshops during April: Try making ‘Textile Collage’ on the 12th in the Education Room with Chrissy Wallis; ‘The King of Bling’ on the 15th encourages you to make jewellery. Just phone 01237 471455 to book your place.

The Cafe du Parc has a lunch and First Friday Late Night session, with music, on 4th and 13th April, call 01237 429317 to find out all about them and book your table.

Diana Warmington, Friends of the Burton Art Gallery & Museum.


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April Foolery.

On the 1st April Hilary Corless will set off on her 200 mile charity walk around Devon.  Hilary departs  from Bideford and walking in an anticlockwise direction will visit Okehampton, Dartmouth, Lyme Regis, Okehampton, Tiverton, Braunton and many others inbetween before arriving back in Bideford on Good Friday.  The reason for her walk is twofold, to raise money for “School in a Bag” and to raise the profile of the Inner Wheel.

School in a Bag” is a charity that was set up under the Piers Simon Foundation umbrella to provide a backpack full of stationery and resources to poor, orphan, vulnerable and disaster-affected children.  To date the charity has managed to send 45,721 bags to children in 13 countries around the world.  As a retired teacher Hilary was very impressed with how the charity allows children to access education.  Further details can be found on

Hilary is a member of Bideford Inner Wheel Club and is being helped in her efforts by the organisation. Originally set up for the wives of Rotarians the Inner Wheel has three aims – “To promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster International understanding”.  The organisation is now open to all women.  For further information please call the membership secretary on 01237 420830.

If you wish to sponsor Hilary or just follow her progress please go to www.virginmoneygivingcom/aprilfoolery

And a previous success -

The ladies of the Bideford Inner Wheel Club, through a variety of fundraising efforts, including a Curry lunch and a Messiah from Scratch, raised nearly £3,000 towards the purchase of a new mini-bus for Northam Lodge. Monies were also contributed by Bideford Bridge Rotary, the Lions, and the Round Table and the bus carries the logos of all four organisations with the slogan “We did it together”. The bus will be put to very good use transporting disabled adults all over the locality.


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Shipping news No. 110 (Feb.- March 2014).

In Port – Yelland.

Sylve – (ex- Vios, 2001 : Morgenstod 2, ’97) : built 1990 : flag Limassol, Cyprus : owners Estonian : from Wicklow to Wismar : crew Russian & Estonian : arrived 2/3/14, sailed 3/3/14 : loaded 2,300 tons timber.

Celtic Pioneer – (ex- Leeswig, ”06 : Claus Jurgens, ’93) : built 1985 : flag Cardiff : owners British : from Glensanda to Plymouth : crew Polish : arrived 6/3/14, sailed 8/3/14 : discharged 3,300 tons chippings.

Welsh Piper – 19/2/14.

In port – Bideford.

Zita – (ex- Claudia Isabel, 2000 : Alserbach, ’13) : built 1997 : flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda : owners German : from Cardiff to Castellon : crew Russian & Philippino : arrived 2/3/14, sailed 4/3/14 : loaded 2,860 tons ball clay. (This is the largest ship, in terms of deadweight , to berth at Bideford).

Oldenburg has been to Sharpness 12.11.13 for drydocking, returns to service 1st April ; she has been on a few cargo runs during the winter.

Arco Dart at Appledore 5.3.14, 6.3.14.

The Irish patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett (being built at Appledore) sailed on the 15th March for her first sea trials – seen crossing the bar at 05.35.

According to the Journal website the cruise ship Prisendam is due off Ilfracombe 26th July for a visit – has been here before. (Visit subject to weather conditions).

A report in the Gazette that the Kathleen & May is to make a visit to Bideford in August ; will give further details when known.

The tug Goliath alongside Bideford quay 31.1.14-15.3.14 to tow the barge Southern Beaver from Yelland oil jetty to Southampton. (This is her second visit to the River since she was built in 1956 as the MSC Simitar at Appledore). She has not been able to sail because the wind has been in excess of Force 4 which is the limit of her operating capabilities.

Bristol Channel Observations.

15/2/14 at 11.03 vehicle carrier Toreador, 22,098 tons d.w., owners Wilhelmsen Line Car Carriers Southampton, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at18.48. (14.2.14 - she passed very slowly due to very heavy weather conditions).

16/2/14 at 10.21 vehicle carrier Centaurus Leader, 21,471 tons d.w, owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

19/2/14 at 09.05 cargo vessel Monica Meuller, 3,723 tons d.w, owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

21/2/14 at 12.45 vehicle carrier Autosun 6670 tons d.w owners UECC Unipessoal Ltd Mareira, inward bound for Portbury.

22/2/14 At 06.30 with all her deck lights on, the cruise ship Discovery, 20,216 gross tons, owners All Leisure Holidays Ltd, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 13.40 cargo vessel Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Anita 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury to discharge cars ;normally carries airbus parts. At 13.14 the cargo vessel Andre W, 5,200 tons d.w., owners Andre W GMBH & Co K.G. Germany, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 11.30.

24/2/14 at 08.15 vehicle carrier Morning Menad, 12,300 tons d.w., owners Eukor Car Carriers Inc South Korea, inward bound for Portbury.

26/2/14 at 09.04 container vessel Endeavour, 9,612 tons d.w, owners J.R Shipping Netherland, inward bound for Avonmouth, (still running late from her normal weekend schedule arrival). At 18.20 cargo vessel Zita, 4,490 tons d.w., owners Abrams Schiffahrts GMBH & Co. Germany, inward bound for Cardiff with 4000 tons cat litter. Her next voyage is loading clay at Bideford for discharge at Castellon.

1/3/14 at 12.05 cargo vessel Pretty Universe, 35,000 tons d.w., owners Pretty Universe Shipping SA Hong Kong, inward bound for Newport.

3/3/14 at 10.20 vehicle carrier Maple Ace 2, 15,361 tons d.w., owners Mitsui OSK Lines Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

4/3/14 at 07.55 cargo vessel Fri Ocean, 3,400 tons d.w., owners Kopervik Shipping AS Norway, inward bound for Sharpness.

6/3/14 at 08.58 cargo vessel Eva Maria Meuller, 3,722 tons d.w., owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

8/3/14 at 15.05 vehicle carrier Grande Mediterrraneo, 18,427 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

10/3/14 at 07.17 vehicle carrier Euro Spirit, 15,483 tons d.w., owners Nissan Motor Car Carriers Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.02 bulk carrier Goya, 75,759 tons d.w., owners A.S. J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi Norway, inward bound for Portbury.




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April diary.

Wednesday 23rd

10am-12pm Bideford Healing Group at Sea Cadets Bldg in Victoria Park.

10.30am Walking for Health in Victoria Park. Meet at Cafe du Parc. 421528

7.30pm Bideford Folk Dance Club meets at Northam Hall. 423554

7.30pmThe Two Rivers Wind Ensemble Rehearsal at Bideford Band Room

01271 860061

8pm Bideford Phoenix Morris rehearse at Baptist Church, Mill St. 473798

Palladium Club – Return to the Sun (+ support) – indie rock – £3.

Thursday 24th

10.30am-12pm Northam Men’s Forum, Northam Methodist Hall. Paul Breslin ‘Unwanted Fishing Friends’ 478123

10.30am Walking for Health along Tarka Trail. Meet Clarence Wharf Car Park. 421528

2.15pm Thursday Fellowship, Northam Methodist Hall. Chris Braund ‘Braunds of Bucks’. 421956

7pm Hartland Aikido Club for over 18s at Bucks Cross Village Hall.

7.45pm Bideford Band rehearses at Band Room nr Victoria Park. 475653

Friday 25th

10am-1pm Lundy Art Group at St Mary’s Church Hall, Appledore. 472158

7.45pm Modern Sequence Dancing, Kingsley Hall, Westward Ho! 01769 540309

8pm Ceilidh Club, Northam Hall. 476632

Palladium Club – Spaced Invaders – 80s covers – £3.

Saturday 26th

7.30pm Northam Choral Society Concert at Bideford Methodist Church.

8pm Ceilidh at Langtree Village Hall with Polkaworks. Bring & share supper.

9pm Union Inn, Stibb Cross EX38 8LH : Live Music with Rockfella

Palladium Club – Morning Glory – 90s covers – £3.

Sunday 27th

11am-5pm Hartland Abbey Bluebell Sunday. 441234

Monday 28th

1.30pm Headlands Art Group,Westward Ho! Baptist Church Hall. 478223

7.15pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Primary School. 420652

7.30pm Appledore Library. Nick Arnold ‘The Horrible History of Appledore’. £2


7.45pm Bideford Band rehearses at Band Room nr Victoria Park. 475653

8.30pm North Devon Jazz Club at the Beaver, Appledore. Jim Mullen Quartet. 421065

Tuesday 29th

10am-1pm Lavington Church coffee and lunches.

10.30am Walking for Health – rotation of 5 walks in Northam, Torrington & Westward Ho!. 421528

2-3.30pm Salvation Army ‘Fun & Fellowship’ Club meets at Baptist Church Upper Hall.

6.30pm Bideford Band Beginner’s Group at Band Room. 475653

7.30pm Bideford Camera Club at Youth Centre on the Pill. 479462

7.30-9pm Samba Baia Rehearsal at Community Arts Network, 13 Rope Walk. New members welcome.

Palladium Club – Jam Night.

Wednesday 30th

10am-12pm Bideford Healing Group at Sea Cadets Bldg in Victoria Park.

10.30am Walking for Health in Victoria Park. Meet at Cafe du Parc. 421528

7.30pm Bideford Folk Dance Club meets at Northam Hall. 423554

7.30pmThe Two Rivers Wind Ensemble Rehearsal at Bideford Band Room

01271 860061

8pm Bideford Phoenix Morris rehearse at Baptist Church, Mill St. 473798


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The Appledore – Instow ferry.


A ferry has existed between Appledore and Instow for over 250 years – that is until 2006, when the service ceased. The ferry has been part of the heritage of both sides of the river and the Torridge itself.

Between 2009 and 2011 there were public meetings to see whether there was an interest in the ferry being reinstated. As always funding was a problem, but one of the members of the group offered to rent their boat for a twelve-month period. On 25 June 2011 the ferry service was launched with the help of qualified skippers and volunteers. A not for profit company was set up – Appledore Instow Ferry Limited.

During the first, relatively short, season 8,400 passengers were transported between the two villages. It was clear that the ferry service was popular with visitors and locals and the next season started in April 2012. During this season the ferry carried 15,000 passengers which included babes in arms, bikes and dogs.

The members of the company managed to attract funding of £20,000 through various means – sponsorship from local businesses and individuals, fundraising events. These funds were used to purchase the rented boat, convert it for ferry use, buy a new engine, new lifejackets and safety equipment. The company applied to Village SOS, which is part of the big lottery fund, and were awarded £30,000. This sum was used to purchase a second boat to meet the demands during bank holidays and school holidays. The new boat had to be adapted for ferry use and was put into service at the start of the 2013 season.

The ferry fleet comprises Misty Blue and Lizzie M. Each boat can take up to twelve passengers, plus skipper and a crew member and are equipped with all the necessary safety equipment.

With two ferries operating during busy times and good weather over the summer school holidays, 2013 was a bumper year, with over 19,000 passengers carried. In addition to normal cross-river operations, the ferry is able to offer a taxi service to boat owners who have their boats moored in the estuary.

This community project which was set up by volunteers continues to be managed and operated by volunteers.

The service runs between Appledore Slip and Instow Quay from the beginning of April to the end of October. Operating times are limited to approximately two hours either side of high tide when that falls between 0930 and sunset. Details of the ferry operation and timetables can be found at

A management team consisting of a Board of Directors and an Executive Group, all active volunteers, work behind the scenes addressing the many and varied aspects of running a public service in a constantly changing environment.

The ferry service has proved to be beneficial to the communities in Appledore and Instow and the volunteers also act as tourist guides, giving out maps of the two villages and general information about the area.

A new website has been developed and full details of the timetable, the prices, etc are available on


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Young Buzz – March.

Should we dress to impress ?

First impressions count, don’t they? In fact, what you wear makes all the difference and can actually determine the outcome of future prospects and as a result, eventual success. For many, University interviews are dawning, and we wrack our brains endlessly over the question of ‘what to wear’ as we count down the days to that all important date.

The attire we wear on the day communicates our personality and eligibility, putting pressure on us to get it right first time. Smart, however, is one’s secret weapon to guaranteed success. As I trawl the internet, I come to realise that blazers, blouses and buttoned shirts appear to win in the eye of the interviewer and that anything resembling ‘too casual’ is a complete write off. The real challenge though? Knowing how far to go with it.

Attention to detail is important. As we all know, our local schools over emphasise neatness and ensure that we obey by the ‘dress code’ ; this in hindsight is beneficial to us all. Establishing the border between smart and comfortable is essential for any interview, particularly a university one. Maintaining eye contact, a smile, as well as a little self-confidence will allow you to go a long way. If you are looking and feeling great, this will naturally reflect in your posture and demeanour.

Ultimately, what you wear will not make or break you in terms of university offers and placements. The thing to remember is to be yourself at all times and enjoy the experience which will be worth immense value that may only come once. Opt for ties, not tank tops; loafers, not leotards; shirts, not sandals and dresses, not dungarees. Be polished and make sure you don’t go over board and morph into a corporate clone; otherwise you may run the risk of looking like you have perhaps tried too hard.

In the words of Dizzee Rascal, you need to “fix up, look sharp”; not saunter in sporting a sweatshirt and matching sweatpants to tally.

Kelly Gumbley.

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One hundred years ago – March 1914.

On Sunday 15th March 1914 a heavy gale passed over the region. Vessels in both Appledore and Bideford, although double moored, were swamped and one barge had a mast carried away. The Burrows were under water and the river Torridge was a mass of waves and seething foam. The slipway at the Royal George in Appledore was washed away, as well as a large portion of the roadway.

The Blacksmith’s Arms at East-the-Water was sold for £800 at an auction to Messrs S W Arnold & Sons. Ivydean in Abbotsham Road was for sale and also Roborough House (formerly 1 Westcroft Terrace) – both from Bazeley Barnes and Bazeley.

On the front page of the Gazette were adverts for J Sanguine & Sons in Grenville Street who were holding their annual sale of boots and shoes – strictly cash only. William C Talbot in the High Street recommended Oatmeal stout for invalids and persons of a weak digestion – price 2/6d for twelve one pint bottles. Walter H Chope proudly advertised Warner’s Rust proof corsets!

Nothing much seems to have changed in other areas as well – the reservoirs were overflowing due to increased rainfall and Bideford Council had received several complaints about the state of Alverdiscott Road due to lorries hauling timber away from Webbery. A manhole collapsed outside Queens Anne’s Buildings in the High Street, precipitating a young lady into the coal cellar below. Fortunately she was unhurt.

Bideford Hospital (privately run – no NHS) held its Annual General Meeting where it was reported that 639 cases were treated during the year, of these 269 were operations requiring overnight admission. The daily cost of food to these patients was 6.44d per head – about 2½p in today’s values.

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.


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Buzz Word – March.

Please send us your Buzzes!! Write to or to the address on front page.

Logs to Burn

Hi Chris (Hassall) I enjoyed your article. Having been for some years in the firewood trade,I can give you this reference to how logs burn. ‘Elm burns like smouldering flax,no flame to be seen.’

( from poem ‘Logs to burn’.)

We enjoyed two of your canal walks last year and look forward to starting again on May 11th

Peter Blackab.

Thanks also to Margaret Young who has sent in the following quote relating to the merits of wood. “Elm must be cut when felled and kept dry for at least two years to burn well. It is cheery enough then, though inclined to smoke if damp. It requires a good fire base and if rotten is of no use at all”. (From The Countryman , 1934)

The Wood Poem by Celia Congreve

Beech-wood fires are bright and clear

If the logs are kept a year,

Chestnut’s only good, they say,

If the logs ‘tis laid away

Make a fire of elder tree,

Death within your house will be,

But ash new or ash old

Is fit for a Queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast,

Blaze up bright and do not last.

It is by the Irish said,

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.”

Elm-wood burns like church-yard mould:

E’en the very flames are cold,

But ash green or ash brown

Is fit for a Queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,

Fills your eyes, and makes you choke.

Apple-wood will scent your room,

Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom.

Oaken logs, if dry and old

Keep away the winter’s cold,

But ash wet or ash dry

A King shall warm his slippers by.

(sent in by Jenny Jones)

Lucy’s diary.

The copy I bought from Amazon is now available in Bideford Library, as I donated it. I hope other people read it.

David Glahom

It was great to see the follow-up of Lucy’s Diary. I had already filed my research as completed.

Cynthia Snowden.

Citizen’s Award

Do you know someone whose activities help to enrich the lives of the residents of Bideford?

Bideford Town Council presents an award annually to a person or organisation either living in or outside Bideford who make a significant contribution to the community and a real difference to the lives of Bideford residents.

If the person nominated performs the tasks as part of their paid employment then in order to qualify their contribution must be well above and beyond that normally expected as part of their employment. Nomination forms are available from the Town Clerk’s Office or can be downloaded from the Town Council website. Submissions must be received by 17 March 2014.

Bideford keyboard and Organ club.

We have a multi-keyboard player from Exeter, Chris Magrath, playing in concert on 18th March at the Methodist Church Hall commencing at 7.30 pm. This is also a long-established club approaching 45 years of operation and bringing top class entertainers to the town, with very modest admission charges of £5.00 and a membership fee of just £14.00, which then gives a reduction to £3.00 for admissions and a Club night on the 1st Tuesday of each month. For the April Concert on 15th April we are combining with the Bideford Methodist Church to put on a superb concert of light entertainment on organ and piano music with a real master Dr Kevin Morgan from Lytham St Annes. Similar admission charges and times.

Bideford Cacti and pot plant club.

Our next meeting which starts the new season is on 11th March when we have Roger Chapple from Hartland with an illustrated talk on Lundy Island. The Club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm. It is now in its 55th year but many people don’t realise we even exist. It may be that the name is a bit off-putting and gives the impression we only talk about Cacti and Pot Plants. Nothing is further from the truth with a wide range of subjects covered and trips to gardens and interesting places. Members are being invited to give suggestions for a new name. We also host the last Flower Show in the Town but this is now nationally known as a superb show for Begonias, with the many classes being the National Begonia Society South West Show, which this year will be on Sunday 17th August at The Pannier Market. It brings exhibitors and visitors from all over the South West and Wales putting Bideford on the map and bringing hotel bookings and trade to the town.

Mike Avis (Contact number for both groups, 01237 475914) or email


St Helen’s Primary School in Abbotsham has a vacancy for a replacement Clerk to Governors.

No previous experience is necessary as training will be supplied. We are looking for an organised and methodical individual who can type, use e-mail and generally keep the governors in order.The role is paid at 3 hours per week, term time only. Most of the role can be done from home to fit around other commitments although attendance at approx 15 meetings per year is required.

Meetings are held during the daytime usually on either Tuesdays 15.45pm, Thursdays 8.00am or Thursdays 13.45pm and last approx 2 hours.

To apply please contact : Mrs Lucy Meardon including CV and contact telephone number via the e-mail address

Staff wanted.

The Conservative Club requires a Steward/Stewardess with partner to assist. Accommodation Provided.

Please contact the Secretary on 01237470913

or E.Mail for more details.


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Flood of evidence for climate change.

The signs of climate change happening have been clear to some for many years now, others still seem to be able to avoid seeing the obvious. Even though all the statistical models built by the world’s most prestigious academic centres fail to predict current trends in the climate without including human influence, there are many who still refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence.

The winter storms and flooding are far more typical of an altered climate than they are of one unaffected by mankind. The warming influence of Greenhouse gasses, the most common being Carbon Dioxide (CO2), result in much higher levels of evaporation at the equator and so the air just carries more water to drop upon us. Higher levels of precipitation are not the only cause of flooding, but manmade climate change makes heavier, longer periods of rain much more frequent.

Some climate sceptics have argued that the global surface temperatures have stabilised in recent years, and therefore manmade climate change does not exist. This would be a reasonable argument, but for 3 key important facts that they fail to mention – that is even if they know what they are.

1.)  We are currently near the solar minima i.e. the energy from the sun is near the bottom of its short cycle of 11 years and almost certain to be near to the long cycle minimum that occurs approximately every 100 years give or take 10. These impacts have been massive in the past causing the mini ice age of the middle ages, we haven’t seen an ice age because greenhouse gases have more than offset the cooling impact of less sunlight.

2.)  Deep Sea temperatures have risen sharply, even while the temperature of the shallow waters has remained more or less stable over the last decade. There is increasing evidence that more heat than expected is being sub-ducted into the deep oceans making sea level rise higher than initially thought, not so good for those living next to Northam Burrows.

3.)  Higher wind speeds near the equator have cooled the region by increasing the rate of evaporation from tropical seas. The greater power of weather systems starting in the tropics results in tropical storms, the seeds of winter storms in Britain, starting stronger. So while tropical waters are cooled by 0.1?-0.2?C, and the global mean temperatures are held back, the winter storms we have to prepare for are much stronger than in the past.

Climate change caused by manmade factors is rightly very frightening. The last time the climate changed at anywhere near this rate was 55 million years ago, when the temperature rose 6?C over 20,000 years and resulted in over 90% of species in that period becoming extinct. Based on the best science there is available the human race is due to cause 4-6?C increase in temperatures in less than 100 years.   The rate of extinction could easily exceed 99% as only bacteria and viruses can adapt to changes in their environment so quickly.

James Craigie.


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Shipping news No. 109 (January/ February 2014).

20/1/14 – ‘Welsh Piper’ discharged at Yelland.

No other ships Loaded /Discharged at Yelland or at Bideford in last month.

Oldenburg has been to Sharpness 12/11/13 for drydocking, returns to service March/April ; she has only a few cargo runs during the winter. Returned to Bideford 3/12/13

Arco Dart at Appledore 29/1/14

The Irish patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett being built at Appledore is still due to go on trials mid-February.

According to the Journal website the cruise ship Prisendam is due off Ilfracombe 26th July for a visit; has been here before. Visit subject to weather conditions

The tug Goliath alongside Bideford Quay 31/1/14 – 14/2/14 to tow the barge Southern Beaver from Yelland oil jetty to Southampton. (This is the second visit to the river since she was built in 1956 as the MSC Scimitar at Appledore). At the time of going to press she was still alongside the Quay.

Bristol Channel Observations

16/1/14 at 08.24 vehicle carrier Electra 28127 tons d.w, owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway & Sweden, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.45 container ship D.S Agility 13,856 tons d.w, owners DS Activity UND DS Agility Germany, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.55 cargo vessel Hunteborg 6100 tons d.w, owners Wagenborg Shipping BV Netherlands, inward bound for Swansea.

18/1/14 At 11.58 container ship Endeavour 9618 tons d.w owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands inward bound for Avonmouth.

19/1/14 at 09.25 bulk carrier N.S Energy, 74,518 tons d.w., owners SCF Novoship J/S Co (Novorossiysk Shipping Co) Russia, outward bound from Port Talbot (having sailed 17/1. at 04.50 hrs ). She had been anchored off Lundy for two days possibly for engine repairs. Spotted by one of our ardent readers, ship spotter Josh Hulse, passing Ilfracombe about 11.15 and passed Lundy at 12.35 the bulk carrier Redhead, 37,192 tons d.w, owners Pretty Rainbow Shipping SA Hong Kong, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 07.21. At 16.40 cargo vessel Inge, 4,140 tons d.w., owners Dankern Hermann Lohmann Germany, inward bound for Portbury. At 16.50 vehicle carrier Sapphire Ace, owners Mitsui OSK Lines Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 14.28 20/1/14 outward bound, having sailed from Portbury at 11.49).

21/1/14 at 15.25 cargo vessel Vronedijk 4450 tons d.w, owners Navigia Shipmanagement BV Netherland. At 16.32 vehicle carrier Grande Portogallo, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 13.46 ; .at 12.46 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha of Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

2/2/14 At 14.50 container ship Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands inward bound for Avonmouth 24 hrs late -usually arrives on a Saturday; could have been delayed by bad weather.

4/2/14 at 10.50 cargo vessel Arklow Rambler, 4,400 tons d.w, owners Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V Holland inward bound for Sharpness.

7/2/14 at 16.40 vehicle carrier Grande Europe 18461 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury.

8/2/14 anchored off Clovelly sheltering from the weather conditions the cargo vessel Pascal outward bound, and the Klaipeda ; this vessel returned further up the Bristol Channel to shelter off Minehead.

10.2.14 at 08.09 cargo vessel Bounder, 3,202 tons d.w, owners Reederei Erwin Strahlmann Germany, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 0015.. At 08.33 cargo vessel Kliftrans, 3,132 tons d.w, owners Wagenborg Shipping BV Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 03.44. At 10.32 container vessel Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth – 2 days late on her original schedule. At 13.03 vehicle carrier Opal Leader, 12,200 tons d.w, owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

Regards Norman.


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Not an everyday sight.

These were taken on 24th September 2013 at 09.15, just below the Old Bridge.   I was very surprised!    I haven’t seen a steam boat for many years.

Don’t know who the skipper was, maybe he will see the pictures in Buzz and come forward with the history of the boat!

Jan Whittington.

Buzz” would indeed be very interested in carrying an article on this handsome craft. So, over to you, Skipper ! – Ed.


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Transfer of Port Memorial to Bideford Town Council.

Members on Torridge District Council’s Community and Resources Committee have approved a request to transfer the land at the Port Memorial in Bideford to the Town Council.

Under the Community Transfer Policy, Bideford Town Council requested the transfer from Torridge as part of a wider joint project to improve the area, bringing it in line with other landscaped parts of Bideford Quay.

In a project estimated at costing around £111k, Bideford Town Council plan to contribute £20k (with a £10k contingency fund), Bideford Bridge Trust £18k, there will be section 106 money from Torridge of around £15k and £48k from FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group).

The Land is currently owned by Torridge District Council and any transfer will be subject to standard terms and covenanted to use as public open space only.

Leader of Torridge and Chair of Community and Resources Committee Philip Collins said, ‘Bideford Town Council proposed as part of the improvement scheme that this land is transferred to them under the Community Transfer Protocol, so that they would own and maintain it in the future.  It is one of the few remaining areas along Bideford Quay yet to be landscaped in new materials and represents a good example of joint working with the Town Council, and other partners,  to deliver a town centre landscaping scheme and use of assets for the local community. It’s fully funded and acceptable to all the partners and I’m delighted that the Committee approved the scheme and transfer.’

The Mayor of Bideford Cllr Simon Inch added, ‘I am delighted to see the project moving to the next stage as this area forms one of the entrances into the town and is therefore a prime location.  The Town Council will be providing a pleasant and interesting area for people to sit and watch the Quayside and to learn about the maritime heritage of the area via a series of terracotta information plaques.  This will help to raise awareness of the importance of the Port and Quayside to Bideford and share part of its cultural and heritage story both within the community and with our visitors.’


Port of Bideford Stone.

Situated at the end of the Pill on the corner opposite the Kingsley Statue is a stone which commemorates the restoration of the status of the title ‘Port’ to the town in 1928. The following is an explanation of the symbolic meaning of the stone in relation to the ship’s prow on it and will doubtless be of interest ( From Bideford Gazette June 11th 1929 – sent to us by Mike Davy) -

The ship represents the town of Bideford.

The ship is one of the old ‘Wooden Walls of England,’ thus paying tribute to the ancient shipbuilding industry of Bideford and the gallant men who sailed in those ships and spread Bideford’s fame throughout the world .

The ship being partly developed shows that Bideford has not yet reached her full development. It is wrought in concrete to denote that just as concrete is composed of various fragments cemented together into a solid whole, so Bideford takes her citizens, rich or poor, great or simple and cements them with such a love of their mother town that they present a solid and united front to the whole world.

The plain background from which the ship emerges typifies the mists of antiquity in which Bideford had its birth.

The ship is sailing right into the unknown Sea of Destiny – not drifting aimlessly or ‘out of control.’

The anchors have been stowed away. The ship is on a voyage to Greater Prosperity, not looking for some backwater in which to drop anchor and lie up and rot.

Though the gunports are open, the guns are drawn in signifying that while we desire peace we can and will protect the fair fame of our town and country.

There is no watch in the bows, which denotes that the ship’s company have every reliance in the pilot on duty at the helm – His Worship the Mayor.


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Floods – policy versus practicality.

With flooding very much in the news last month this may be a good time to review the policy of the authorities on flood protection and the effect it is having on the vulnerable Northam Burrows. There are two major factors contributing to flood damage from the sea ; these are wave action caused by Atlantic storms and high tides augmented by low pressure weather systems.

Last year until December was a quiet one for tide and wave erosion as there were no exceptionally high tides and generally the storms we had did not happen to coincide with the highest of them, so damage to the pebble ridge and sand dunes was comparatively minor. Even so, there were press reports of erosion of the dunes fronting Northam Burrows and some exposure of buried waste materials in the vicinity of the closed municipal rubbish dump. Temporary repairs carried out on the tip the previous winter had consisted of spreading a geotextile membrane over the eroded edge and covering it with sand and stones to stabilise it. The first photograph was taken in February 2013 showing a strip of the repaired bank, and this survived through the year until the December storm, when parts of the covering material were washed away. The second photo was taken on January 4th 2014 just after the biggest storm, which combined with a 6.8 metre tide to carry breakers over the rock armour and wash away most of the temporary works, leaving swathes of black geotextile membrane blowing in the wind.

National policy is to leave the fate of most of the Burrows to natural forces, allowing sand dunes to wash away and reform in altered locations as they have for many centuries. Unfortunately that does not make allowance for the man-made developments we have allowed to take place on this basically unstable strip of sand, and so policy has had to be adjusted to provide artificial protection for our vulnerable assets; the degree of protection depending on current estimates of the importance, or financial value, of those assets. The three chief areas of concern are the activity and entertainment centres at the south end of the pebble ridge, the hazardous waste tip at the northern end of the Burrows, and the Golf Course in between – and at once we find problems in determining who bears the responsibility for protecting these assets from the sea, let alone how to achieve that protection.

A study was carried out last year on how to protect the waste tip, at least for a few years, and a proposal is to bring in a lot of rock armour, similar to that already deployed for many years part way around, and back it up with scientifically graded pebbles like the pebble ridge itself. That just needs the approval of the appropriate authorities for the expenditure. There is always the possibility that the sea may break through permanently across the far end of the golf course and leave the tip as an island, but that is further into the future and will have to be tackled if or when it becomes imminent. The dunes that once separated the 8th Tee from the sea have already gone, (third photograph) but a considerable expanse of large pebbles has accumulated there, suggesting a (faint?) possibility that it may naturally develop into a further extension of the true pebble ridge, although that may be just for optimists !

There is a lot of work to be done on Northam Burrows in the coming year, and a lot of decision making for whoever is prepared to take responsibility. Meanwhile, there are a couple of spring tides forecast for the first week of March that will equal the highest of this winter, so let’s hope they don’t coincide with Atlantic storms this time. After that there’s a break until 10th September when, at 7:40pm., 6.9 metres is forecast which is higher than any since 2010 – could be a nice evening for a walk on the Burrows.

Chris Hassall.

(For an article on “Floods & Saltmarshes” from last year’s Buzz, link here).


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Buzz Word – February.

Please send us your Buzzes!! Write to or to the address on front page.

Specialist/ Therapist Books Offered.

It’s me again, the lady with the oak tree! Unfortunately the site in Northam was not to be, but the local National Trust gentlemen have come to the rescue and my lovely young oak is going to National Trust parkland in Devon. It is not easy for me to get to but it is a perfect site for the tree which can be left to grow to its full potential.

Could you now help me find a home for some very good text books?

I have been spring cleaning early, (or late?!) and although most of my books went to the Hospice shop there are some specialist/therapist text books, in very good condition which I would like to offer to anyone who would perhaps make a small donation to the ND Hospice for them.

They are for Cranio-Sacral Therapy and E.F.T Techniques, plus anatomy texts.

It would be a shame to bury these amongst others as they are of little interest except to people studying or practising these techniques.

Thank you very much for an excellent local magazine,

Marianne Richards

01237 479721

Lucy’s Diary – the follow up.

In December/ January Buzz Cynthia Snowden told us about this local book she received a copy of.She writes…

I have since been in touch with the UK publishers ( whose Managing Editor, Jeremy Johns, is related to the Johns’ branch of Lucy’s American family. Jeremy tells me that cousins of his, in Illinois, transcribed the original diary and sent a copy of the transcription to him. The book is available on his website.

My Canadian ‘sailing/knitting’ cousin Linda, who started this ball rolling, can be found on:

And, finally, Jen has now made contact with Brenda to learn that she tucked a copy of Lucy’s Diary into Auntie Marg’s suitcase as a surprise when she returned home to Wales in 2008.Incidentally, Lucy’s family visited a Barnstaple store whilst staying at Instow and spent £22 on clothes and presents – £2,217 in today’s money, according to the Bank of England Inflation Calculator!

Cynthia Snowden.

Calling all North Devon Knitters!...

Get together with friends or family to take part in the 17th annual North Devon Knit & Natter! On or around 19th February, you could hold a two-hour knit in the location of your choice, and raise sponsorship in aid of North Devon Hospice.Nearly 80 groups from across the area took part last year, and raised an amazing £15,000. This time we would like to do even better! Could you help us reach our fundraising target?This fun, sociable event is open to anyone, whether experienced knitters or complete beginners. So why not get involved, have some fun and support your local hospice.For more information, please call Rebecca on 01271 347204 or email Download your entry form at

Northam and Westward Ho! and district through time .

Thank you very much, Rose, for reviewing our Northam and Westward Ho! book in this month’s Buzz – it was really kind of you to do it.

Buzz is always full of interesting articles and a great credit to you.

Best wishes

Julia Barnes

Yule Logs

I was delighted to read the article about the yule logs in the December edition.

I can’t make any guess as to who wrote it, but I must offer an explanation for the apparently ungrateful attitude of the recipient of the logs.

It may be that this customer was more knowledgeable about the burning qualities of different timbers than the writer imagined, because as soon as he mentioned that he was cutting up a dead elm tree for yule logs I thought “Oh dear, someone’s in for a disappointment.”)

I wonder whether any reader is familiar with the old rhyme about firewood logs and could write in with the full version. All I can remember is three couplets, one of which could explain the surly manner of the writer’s customer.

Ash new or ash old, is fit for a king with a crown of gold.

Elmwood burns like the churchyard mould, even the very flames are cold

Ash wet or ash dry, a queen may warm her slippers by.

The poem goes on to list the burning qualities of all the common timbers but I can’t remember any more, and with wood burning back in fashion it would be a really useful source of information.

Chris Hassall.

Infants School, East the Water.

I read the Buzz every month by month,and find it very interesting. I would like to mention a couple of things regarding the Infant school at East the Water. I started in the school in 1943, Firstly they had a underground boiler room, run by (Sid Shortridge), also in front of where the dining room would eventually be placed,( as we had to walk over to Gunstone then for our meals) were two underground air raid shelters with steps leading up and down for safety reasons. The top of the shelters were covered by Nissan style roofs. The teachers that were there then were, namely Miss Anderton (Headmistress) , followed by Mr H Lucas, Miss Hilary Braddick, Miss Ida Bow, Miss Moase, Miss Smale.

G.D. Ford

From Russia … to Shebbear

Old Shebbearian and journalist Kieron Bryan visited Shebbear School on Tuesday 7th January to catch up with friends. Kieron has recently been the subject of world-wide media attention after being detained in Russia for the last few months on charges of piracy and hooliganism for filming a Greenpeace protest at a Russian oil rig. Following months of campaigning by family, friends and members of the UK Government, Kieron was granted amnesty and returned to the UK on December 27th, much to the relief of his parents Ann and Andy, who work at Shebbear College. Kieron said ‘it’s like a story that happened to someone else, it feels like a dream’. He added ‘I’m so thankful to everyone in Shebbear for the support they gave my parents’.


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