“Buzz” website policy.

Buzz” now publishes online only, and we no longer produce a downloadable monthly pdf.  We’ll maintain our archive of past copies and articles of community & local historical interest – a significant proportion of our 420-500 weekly visits are to this type of content.

The website comprises our usual articles (gardening notes, shipping news, cookery, local history, IT advice, etc) and some, not all, matters of community interest. We rely on our local community’s continuing participation in this! There will be no commercial input or advertising, and in fact no regular monthly advertising or schedules for anyone, nor will there be a diary of weekly or daily events. We will give publicity to major community events (Regatta, Christmas Lights, Art Trek, etc). We’ll feature local community organisations and their events from time to time, but not on a regular basis. The aim is to limit the number of monthly posts to 15-20, some of which will subsequently be retained in the archive.

The contact details will be the same – Rose Arno on editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk for all articles for consideration, and the telephone numbers 07929-976120 and 01237-476549.


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Buzz Byte; August.

As you will be aware software can be almost as expensive as the PC or laptop itself! You don’t have to have the top names and pay the top prices – there are many products on the market and some are even open source (free). In this edition of ‘Buzz Byte’ I will look at Google doc vs MS Word vs free software – LibreOffice.

Google Documents is free for basic personal documents but there are more in-depth options through G-Suite by Google cloud. Offers smart editing and styling tools. There are various different styles of spreadsheets and google slides which allows you to create presentations with themes, embedded videos and animations. In addition to all this Google Forms offers the ability to create forms, polls or a quiz, as well as manage email subscription newsletters, making it useful for small businesses and individuals.

LibreOffice is also a free word processing package. You can expect from Libre access to writing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, mathematical formula editing and draw, giving access to vector graphics and flowcharts. Libre is about people, culture, creation, sharing and collaboration. LibreOffice is community-driven and developed software, and is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation.

Microsoft Word offers four levels of packages, currently starting at £60 with one package available on monthly subscription – Office 365. Microsoft offer the same word processing and design packages as the free products with the additional bonus of the webmail service outlook. MS offers tailor made packages for home, business and student use.

Before installing a free package, make sure it is compatible with programs such as Word ; a lot of businesses and large organisations have word packages such as Office 365 for documents at home so that employers or potential employers can open files.

As always the choice is down to customer preference, but if you want for information pop into your local computer store.

Nickie Baglow . Complete Computing.


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One hundred years ago – August 1918.

(Regular readers will recall that the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway closed on Wednesday 17th March 1917). R Dymond & Son are selling by auction on August 21st the Sheds and General Stores left after the rolling stock had gone. An Engine Shed (wood), 2 Wooden signal boxes, 4 more corrugated iron huts and offices, 7 miles of telephone line from Bideford to Appledore consisting of wire, insulators and posts plus 3 level crossing gates and wheel gear for opening them, 110 Windsor chairs, forms, desks, trestle tables, large street lamps, gate lamps, engine head lamps, signalling lamps and stoves. 7 acetylene generators plus 20 lots of track and train equipment.

Bideford UDC and Bideford RDC urgently require ‘All fruit stones including date stones and hard nut shells for immediate and urgent war purposes’. Collection from jam factories, hotels, restaurants and canteens as well as private houses is needed. With the consent of Education Authorities school children are urged to bring stones for despatch to a munitions department in southern England. Stones will be converted into charcoal to be used in the British respirator, and this type of charcoal has the power to absorb many times more volume than other forms of charcoal.

The possibility of a grouping of local authorities in connection with the work of reconstruction after the war may be said to have come within the range of practical politics. At a gathering of members of Bideford Town Council and Northam Urban District Council at Gammaton Reservoirs the subject was broached and tentative discussion took place.

Walter E Ellis, the proprietor of Ellis & Son builders who are engaged in the repair of Bideford bridge for the Bridge Trust, appeared before the local Tribunal to plead for exemption from the draft. When asked how long the work would go on he said ”Until long after the war is ended” At interview he agreed that he had a 59 year old foreman mason who could oversee the work so he was instructed to be available for service on 1st October

Harvest Help Scheme. Plymouth College OTC went into Farford, Hartland camp arriving by train while 20 students cycled to Hartland and others went by bus. 40 lads will go to Cabbacott at Parkham, these lads come from Devonport High School. Woolsery has lads from the Rossall School, Fleetwood Lancashire.

Property for Sale: Milford Farm, Hartland, 165 acres; 6 bedroom farmhouse and 2 cottages at Elmscott Hartland including a Blacksmith Shop.Wear Gifford Mills and land, 23 acres. Grazing land at Jopes (Chopes?) Bridge, 8 acres. Freehold Dock & Land comprising 0 acres 2 rods 23 perches. Canada Cottage, Barnstaple Street, East the Water, Bideford. Dublin & Wacklow Cottages also at Barnstaple Street. Hill Cliff & Stables, garden at Buckleigh Westward Ho! Also Hill Crest Buckleigh, Hardisworthy Farm, Hartland 43 acres

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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North Devon coast monographs.




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Clothes for a heat wave?

Fashions change constantly – especially for women. In early Victorian England fashionable women were wearing yards of usually black cloth with their bodies crushed inside spring steel and whalebone corsets. This particular combination severely constrained their movement, and clearly without freedom of dress there was little freedom of movement – and possibly even of ideas.

This was all challenged in 1851 when an American woman Mrs.Amelia Bloomer started to publicise her views on a new style of dress that would ‘liberate’ women. Colloquially termed the ‘Bloomer’ costume it was described in a contemporary book (in rather sexist language) – ‘It resembles male attire, being an open fronted jacket and loose trousers, the latter wide like those of the Turk, but gathered in at the ankles, and when a lady super-added to these, wears a broad-leafed hat, she looks quite as masculine as her lord.’

North Devonians, often seen as very conservative not to say old-fashioned, must have been astonished when in December 1851 a Mrs.Franklin staged a public meeting in Bideford where she spoke on the need for a more ‘liberated’ style of dress – whilst wearing one of the new-fangled ‘Bloomer’ costumes!

Apparently the audience wasn’t that large and amongst the ones who did attend there were few women, it being noted at the time that if they had attended they would have been ‘proud of their sister orator who, we venture to assert without hesitation, would have put many of our masculine platformers to the blush. Her style throughout was lucid, eloquent and convincing.’ A nicely patronising touch there – clearly written by a man.

Unfortunately the ‘Bloomer’ costume never took off as it was mercilessly mocked in the newspapers and magazines of the day – though the freer style of dress did make a triumphant return in the 1890s and 1900s when women followed men by taking up cycling and adopted a much looser style of costume.

Chope’s Catalogue.

In these days of internet buying and vast shopping malls smaller shops are finding it ever harder to make a decent living. Here in Bideford many of our older shops have gone in the last 20 years – including Chopes which was once a major presence in the High Street. Today the Chope family still run the bookshop ‘Walter Henry’s’ (named after W.H.Chope) but their large shop is now operated by ‘McKay’s.’

Chopes didn’t just rely on casual passers-by – they also issued catalogues illustrating the latest fashions with an offer to make up the designs for customers. These catalogues are a wonderful source of fashion designs and doubtless the arrival of the latest ‘Chope’s book’ was a red-letter day in many households.

The earliest surviving one I have seen dates from 1901 and shows some ludicrously wasp-waisted women wearing classic sweeping Victorian dresses and carrying stick-thin parasols. Chope’s did also sell corsets so perhaps these waists were achievable but I doubt it.

The firm continued issuing such guides for some decades after that. An undated catalogue which was probably issued in the 1940s strikes a rather contemporary note when it included a letter from the store which notes ‘This brochure gives some suggestions for tailored styles, any of which can be copied in our workrooms. We make a speciality of adapting youthful styles for larger figures.’ What a wonderfully polite way of putting it! I here reproduce two of the fashion plates inside, the one on the left just out of an Agatha Christie novel! It is odd to think that these very fashionable clothes would now fall into the category of ‘retro’ or even ‘vintage’ today – if any have survived!

Peter Christie.


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Felicity’s summer lunch.

Scallop Cerviche.

Ingredients –

1-2 tbsp ground cumin.

Tbsp. lime juice.

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped.

1tbsp. orange juice.

3 spring onions.

500 – 900g scallops.

1-2 tbsp chopped coriander.

1 hot red chilli, finely chopped.

I small onion, finely chopped.

3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped.

1 lime, sliced for garnish.

Method –

1. Stir the cumin into the lime and orange juices and pour the mixture over the scallops

2. Mix in the chopped chilli pepper and red pepper and red onion, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. Drain the scallops and mix with the chopped tomatoes, sweet peeper scallions and coriander just before serving.

Garnish with the slices of lime.


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Shipping notes No. 159 (June/ July).

In port – Bideford.

Celtic Endeavour – (ex – Athos 2015, Antabe ’01); flag Cardiff, UK; owners British; crew Polish & Russian; from Foynes to Castellon; arrived 11/7, sailed 13/7; loaded 2,750 tons ball clay.


AppledoreLE George Bernard Shaw is due to depart on her first trials on the 12th July 05.00.

Bristol Channel Observations.

11/6 at 22.10 vehicle carrier Morning Lena, 20,000 tons d.w, owners Eukor Car Carrier South Korea, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 17.49.

12/6 at 19.16 container vessel E.R. Hobart, 13,879 tons d.w. owners Reederei Blue Star Holding SA German, inward bound for Portbury. At 22.00 bulk carrier Western Durban, 39,000 tons d.w., owners Ratu Shipping Co SA Japan, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 17.02.

16/6 at 14.08 vehicle carrier Grande Napoli, 14,565 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

18/6 at 08.20 vehicle carrier Grande Congo, 25,682 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. At 10.15 Vehicle carrier Hoegh Xiamen, 12,250 tons d.w,owners Hoegh Autolines Norway inward bound for Portbury. At 10.47 bulk carrier TD. Tokyo, 63,456 tons d.w, owners Tri-Do One Shipping Ltd Germany, inward bound for Portbury.

19/6 at 18.44 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

21/6 at 16.47 bulk carrier Elegant SW, 37,163 tons d.w, owners Elegant Pescaderes SA Taiwan , inward bound for Newport. At 19.57 vehicle carrier Grande Bretagne, 18,464 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. At 22.10 dredger City of Cardiff, 2,730 tons d.w., owners Ltm Western Ltd UK ; originally en route to Marchwood but turned round at 16.50 off Port Isaac and returned to Culver, thence to Avonmouth.

23/6 at 08.45 vehicle carrier Grande Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury, (Seen again at 11.17 24/6 outward bound having sailed from Portbury at 07.41 hrs.) At 10.40 dredger City of Cardiff, 2,730 tons d.w., owners LTM Western Ltd UK outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 04.28 (heading for Marchwood, Southampton). At 11.45 bulk carrier TD Tokyo, 63,456 tons d.w., owners Tro-Do One Shipping Ltd Germany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.41.

24/6 at 21.15 container vessel Annalisa P, 18,464 tons d.w., owners Annalisa |P Schiffaahatris Germany, inward bound for Portbury.

25/6 at 07.43 vehicle carrier Grande Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w. owners Grimaldi Line of Italy outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 02.49. At 07.43 Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w. owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury.

27/6 at 20.21 bulk carrier Victoria, 63,613 tons d.w. owners Ariel Management Inc Pireaus, inward bound for Portbury. At 21.07 vehicle carrier Torino, 22,160 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden inward bound for Portbury.

3/7 at 11.50 hrs vehicle carrier Coral Leader, 12,164 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

5/7 at 07.55 cargo vessel Lentika, 39,202 tons d.w., outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.10.

6/7 at 16.05 bulk carrier Centennial Harmony, 181,338 tons d.w. owners MK Centennial Maritime BV Netherlands outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 13.12. At 17.30 container vessel Aries J, 12,892 tons d.w., owners Aries J CV Germany outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.11.

8/7 at 05.58 container vessel Fesco Askold, 13,806 tons d.w., owners Astro Moon Ship Ltd Russia inward bound for Portbury. At 21.55 vehicle carrier Vega Leader, 16,396 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

Norman. 01271 861183.


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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 Office based in Bideford Town Hall.

The Medical Officer has confirmed that an outbreak of measles has spread across North Devon resulting in Northam School being temporarily closed.

In May it was announced that men aged 43 and above would need to be conscripted to replace casualties from the war. The shortage of skilled tradesmen, artisans and general labour shortages is having a considerable effect on business and especially in farming. A scheme called ‘School Boys to Help with the Harvest’ has been set up and overnight accommodation in barns at Farford Farm for Hartland, Cabbacott for Parkham and Buckland Brewer district and the Parish Rooms at Woolsery have all been organised.

The newspaper has reports every week of Tribunal meetings where local tradesmen plead to be allowed to continue with their business. A local village baker who provides for the entire village of over 1,000 people has been called up and, despite a petition of over 500 names, he was ordered to be available by 15th July. He had to arrange for another village’s baker to cycle over three days each week to keep the supply of bread going. The Northam Tribunal reports on their only conscientious objector, a local school teacher who refused to undertake any work that could been considered helping the war effort His appeal was dismissed and he had to be available from 15th August. The Edgehill School gardener, who provides vegetables for the school from 2 acres as well as milking 16 cows and looking after a local power station providing electricity for the school, had to be available for military service by mid-July.

The labour problem is causing several farms and estates to be put up for sale. This month sees the following: West Fatacott, Hartland, 133 acres: Volehouse Farm, West Putford, 177 acres: Saxworthy Farm, East Putford, 62 acres: Venton Farm Westward Ho! 24 acres. Also Kernstone Farm, Hartland, is selling all livestock and 30 acres of standing crops. Forcewell, Hartland, have 23 acres of standing corn to sell.

The effects of the War has caused the Barnstaple Anchor Brewery to dispose of many local Inns including The Plough at Fremington, The Coach & Horses and The Rising Sun both at Appledore and The New Inn at Abbotsham.

(In last month’s edition the item about rabbit culling at Melbury used the word poaching – it should have read “ No paunching is to be done on the reservoir site” …. in an effort to keep the water unpolluted!!)

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 www.bidefordarchive.org.uk.


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Felicity’s seaweed recipe.

The Seaweed Festival in Clovelly was attended by many enthusiastic people and the demonstrations on Foraging, Identification and Seaweed for health were all excellent.

I ran a tasting stall with Nori (same seaweed as laver) crisps, Seaweed Plan, Pickled Samphire and Seaweed croquettes made from parsnips and carrots instead of potatoes.

Here is the simple Seaweed Flan recipe; mushrooms and/or tomatoes can also be added.

Ideal for a picnic.

Seaweed Flan.


I pack of shortcrust ready-made pastry.

1 egg, beaten.

4floz -100ml milk.

2tsp cornflour.

2oz/100g grated cheese.

2oz/100gseaweed, shredded – or soak dried kelp, dulse or mixed seaweed flakes. Salt and pepper to season.

6 cherry tomatoes – halved, and /or 2oz/100sliced mushrooms (optional).


Line a 6-8inch flan tin or a deep tin plate. Bake it blind in a medium oven-Gas mark 6 or 200C.for 10 mins and allow to cool.

Mix cornflour with the egg in a bowl and then add milk, seaweed and grated cheese. Season to taste. You can use seaweed salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and sliced mushrooms.

Pour into the Flan and sprinkle with some grated cheese.

Bake for 20 mins.at gas mark6/200C until set and golden brown.

Serve hot or cold. Cut into 4 quarters for main course, or 6 slices for a picnic treat.


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Recently seen at Westward Ho!

Ctenophores, known commonly as sea gooseberries or comb jellies. They are carnivorous predators in the Plankton. They eat zooplankton, fish eggs and fish larvae. They catch their prey with their sticky tentacles which they can retract when not feeding. Their name “ctenophore” comes from the Greek words ctena (comb) and phora (bearer). They have eight rows of fused cilia on their surface which they beat in rythym to propel themselves through the water. It is these “combs” that have the irridescent look.

(All images courtesy of N. Billingham).


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Ladies’ Golf celebrates 150 years.

The Westward Ho! and North Devon Ladies were very early pioneers in the history of Ladies Golf. The Reverend Isaac Gosset, Vicar of the Parish of Northam and a founder of the Royal North Devon Golf Club has to take most of the credit for the formation of the Ladies Club. On May 28th 1868 the Reverend Gosset extended an invitation, by way of a letter, to ladies living in the locality suggesting the formation of a Ladies Golf Club.

The first meeting took place at Northam Vicarage on the 8th June 1868 when it was formally resolved to form a Ladies Golf Club. At a further meeting just one week later, a committee were elected and a number of letters of intent were read from prospective members. There were forty seven original Lady Members and twenty three Male Associate Members most of these Lady members were the wives and daughters of existing members of the men’s Club”. (The opening lines from a booklet published last month to celebrate 150 years of their existence.) More extracts below.

The ‘ladies meeting’ (see above) has some artistic licence and is seemingly more like a fashion show where dress is more important than a good golf swing (although with a putter it is unlikely that a lady would need to make a full swing.) The tent was purchased for £6 in May 1871 and in that year a Mr. Hearn was paid 1/6d (7.5 pence) every time it was erected – usually once a week from May to September.

Ladies’ Course.

The original course was of eighteen holes, but could only be played with a wooden putter and the early scores reflect a certain prowess amongst the ladies, with scores of about fifty four (level threes) required to win any sort of prize. During this early time the Men’s Club Professional, Johnny Allan, is named as the custodian of the links and responsible for maintaining the course.

The ‘new’ Ladies course was formally opened at 2.30 pm on January 2nd 1894 and the men could use it!

Interestingly in August 1895 it is reported that the Ladies’ course has ‘Molesworth’s Permanent Tee Boards made of three inch planks, six foot square, bolted with cross pieces and then covered with matting and sprinkled with sand to give a firm grip’; this area of ground on which the Ladies’ course was located is still notoriously wet today – especially in winter.

Although this course originally measured just 1,500 yards there were major improvements mostly extending the length, due to the new Haskell golf ball. In the Ladies Golf Union Year Book of 1904 the course then measured 2,242 yards.

Want to read more? Copies of the booklet are obtainable from the North Devon Club House via the manager Mark Evans. Celebrations took place in June.


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Shipping notes No. 158 (May/June).

Bideford Quay.

Vessel due to load for Castellon early July.


Deo Gloria 26.5. (2 Trips), 27.5 (2 trips ), 28.5 (2 Trips), 29.5 (2 Trips), 30.5 (2 trips), 31.5 (2 Trips), 1.6. (2 Trips), 2.6. (2 trips), 3.6 ( 2 trips), 4.6.( 2 trips), 5.6 (2 trips), 6.6. (2 trips; after this trip vessel proceeded to Avonmouth). 7.6 This trip was with dredged sand from Culver off Bridgewater), 8/6 (Sand from Culver), 9.6 (last trip; the vessel then proceeded to her base at Garston via Milford Haven).


LE George Bernard Shaw still fitting out: first trials in July.


Bristol Channel observations.

11.5 at 09.05 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,580 tons d.w., owners Aegi Shipping Co Greece, inward bound for Portbury. At 1853 vehicle carrier Glovis Prestige, 11,196 tons d.w., owners Ray Car Carriers Israel, outward bound from Portbury having sailed 14.02.

12.5 at 10.55 vehicle carrier Grande Colonia, 12,292 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. (Also seen again at 13.45 13.5 having sailed from Portbury at 09.03). At 19.17 vehicle carrier Cape Town Highway, 21,996 tons d.w., owners Kawasaki Kisen KK, Japan inward bound for Portbury.

13.5 at approx 1800 hrs people may have spotted a large cruise ship to the west of Lundy; this was the Queen Victoria, 90,049 tons gross, owners Cunard Line; vessel was enroute to Cobh in Ireland. At 21.20 vehicle carrier Boheme, 28,360 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 16.41 hrs.

18.5 at 12.32 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,580 tons d..w., owners Aegli Shipping Co Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

20.5 at 0743 vehicle carrier Grande Napoli ,14,565 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.20 container vessel Fesco Askold, 13,806 tons d.w., owners Astro Moon Shipping Co Russia, inward bound for Portbury. At 13.07 self discharging bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 38,997 tons d.w., owners Aggregate Industries Ltd UK, inward bound for Portbury.

22.5 at 14.58 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 12,300 tons d.w., owners Ray Car Carrier Israel, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 10.27.

24.5 at 07.37 vehicle carrier Grande Benin, 26,097 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 03.14.

27.5 at 15.15 container ship E R Hobart, 13,897 tons d.w., owners unknown, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 09.41.

28.5 at 15.35 vehicle carrier Rcc Prestige, 11,196 tons d.w owners Prestige Ray Ltd Isle of Man inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 15.05 29.5 outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 10.26).

31.5 at 14.55 vehicle carrier Euphrates Highway, 18,887 tons d.w., owners Kawaski Kisen KK Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

3.6 at 07.13 bulk carrier Danship Bulker, 28,876 tons d.w., owners Bidsra & Co A/S Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 15.15 vehicle carrier Altair Leader, 18,688 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisa Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.35 cargo vessel Arklow Brave, 8,886 tons d.w., owners Glenthorne Shipping Ltd Ireland, inward bound for Avonmouth.

4.6 at 07.14 bulk carrier Saga Falcon, 55,596 tons d.w., owners Saga Welco A/A Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.28. At 15.05 cargo vessel Marten, 3,801 tons d.w., owners Marten Herman Lohmann Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 16.00 vehicle carrier Polaris Highway, 20,494 tons d.w., owners Manatee Navigation SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 20.06 vehicle carrier Grande Mediterraneo, 18,427 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

5.6 at 06.45 vehicle carrier Vega Leader, 12,553 tons d.w., owners Aries Delmar Compania Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 16.29 vehicle carrier Grande Sicilia, 12,353 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

10.6 at 11.03 ro-ro vessel Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Anja 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury. At 21.40 vehicle carrier Morning Leda, 27297 tons d.w., owners Eukor car carriers S. Korea, inward bound for Portbury.




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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 provision has been stipulated, “That no rabbits be paunched on the Council’s lands”.

At the same meeting the council report that 95 allotments are now occupied in the area, compared to 29 before the war.

A handsome chair made from Bideford Long Bridge oak was presented to the Bridge Trust and accepted and acknowledged by George Willy Vincent and Alexander Greig Duncan. Restoration of the Bridge commenced in 1915 and from time to time old oak beams come to light. (It is very uncomfortable, still in use today, and keeps meetings short!!)

A little lad aged 11 years was run over by one of the Canadian Motor Transport cars and lost 2 toes. The previous day one of the same cars drove into a bullock.

Property and Land for Sale. Tomouth Estates, East Appledore: 12½acres and 3 cottages.

To Let: Small farm “Kas Venton”, Westward Ho! 23 acres & dwelling house and farm buildings. Also 6 acre field known as ‘Football Field’ adjoining the main road from Westward Ho! to Bideford.

It was stated in the Devon County Council meeting on June 20th that the Hartland to Bideford road had absorbed £28,263, so that the steam roller must have rolled in over 28,000 golden sovereigns on that previous piece of highway.” (The current comparison would be £1.1 million).

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 www.bidefordarchive.org.uk


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Felicity’s Fish Cookery – June.

This month the summer fish arrives in all its delicate splendour, and I thought it would be good to look at some Georgian fish recipes (the cookery at the beginning of the nineteenth Century, just before the Victorian Era).  The fish cookery was fairly basic with limited ingredients but some interesting influences (especially for the upper classes, who ate plentifully).

The shellfish season has started and the crabs and lobster are moving around, they get attracted to the pots more often, so catches are improving and the prices are at their most reasonable – hoping that there is fine summer weather this month!

The first is Buttered Crab or lobster – basically an interesting pate to spread on toast.

Warm Buttered Crabs (or lobster) to serve with toast.


450g(1lb) Fresh or frozen mixed crabmeat, or lobster cleaned and chopped finely.

3 tbsp red wine.

1 tbsp vinegar.

½ tsp ground or fresh grated nutmeg, ½ tsp salt.

1 tsp anchovy essence (or 2 anchovy fillets).

1 egg yolk.

115g (4oz) butter.

Toast or French bread

Lemon thinly sliced and parsley sprigs to garnish.


Beat all the ingredients (crabmeat, red wine, vinegar, nutmeg anchovy, egg yolk and softened butter together well, or blend in a food processor.

Heat them gently in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Pile the mixture into a suitable container (cleaned crab or scallop shells or small dish) and serve with triangles or thin strips of toast.

Garnish with thin slices of lemon and parsley sprigs.

To carry on the historical cooking theme we have started a ‘Cooking Get Together’ session in Appledore.

The first was held at Appledore Library, and the May group met in the North Devon Maritime Museum and visited their Victorian Kitchen. We hope to have a session in June, somewhere in Appledore -maybe with a fish lunch available – please contact me for more details at brilliantfishsw@gmail.com or 07918 779 060.


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Buzz Byte – June.

What is a cloud? In computing terms it’s not a fluffy white object in the sky, but a physical server used for storing and sharing data. Your information is stored on a remote database which is serviced and controlled, provided by cloud computing companies operating from data centres, the most well-known being the Apple iCloud. Clouds allow un-networked computers to communicate and share files without using the storage on your own hard drive. Clouds are accessed via the internet. A cloud works the same as you, storing your data on an internal or external hard drive or USB stick ; you can retrieve, amend and update it, but by using a cloud you are not filling your own hard drive space, allowing your PC to run more quickly.

Although cloud storage has only been promoted relativity recently it has been around for a while, in formats that you will have been using and not realise. The way these companies operate they are providing a form of cloud storage – YouTube, Facebook, email providers and Google Docs.

Consumers are moving to cloud storage as it is convenient and flexible. One of the pros of using a cloud is that you can access your data from any device, in any location, that can access the internet. The cons to look into are the reliability and security of the company who is storing your data, and what measures they take to ensure that is protected against hackers and loss.

There are lots of products available, so you need to consider what information you need to store, how much data there will be, and who needs access to it before making your purchase.

Nickie Baglow (Complete Computing).


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