Plans for new Burrows Centre take shape.

At the recent Community and Resources committee meeting on Monday 14th October Members were updated on the latest developments in plans to deliver the exciting new Visitor Centre for Northam Burrows. The new facility will be the focal point of the Country Park which covers 258 hectares lying within a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Unesco Biosphere Reserve and designated SSSI (site of special scientific interest).

The project, which has already received £1.2M of Coastal Communities funding towards its delivery, is being designed to create a new interpretation centre and activity hub for nature based tourism – tourism based on viewing and experiencing the natural environment. Amongst the many improved facilities the building will accommodate permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, a café, flexible community spaces, and business support for local firms and new tourism start-ups.

The update included the announcement that WSP have been appointed for the centre’s structural, mechanical and engineering elements. Their input has resulted in new methodologies being considered for the building including Nudura building sections, which when slotted together are filled with concrete. This makes the build process quicker but also improves energy efficiency. Changes have also been made to the floor space to accommodate a small aquarium area with further enhancements to the exhibition areas.

Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin (Lead Member for Community, Culture and Leisure) said: “This is a really exciting project which will create a centre of excellence for environmental education within one of our most important environments. I especially like the ambition of making more of our environment and developing tourism in the area in a sustainable way. The additional facilities and café will also be a real asset to the area and a great improvement on what is currently available.”

The current building is due to be demolished early next year with plans to inaugurate the new building in 2021. The project has also received widespread support from businesses and business organisations, as well as educational establishments. Research suggests over 180 businesses will be supported by the centre, and will create around 90 new jobs including 12 within the centre itself.


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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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One hundred years ago – September 1918.

There are several Court cases this month that are worthy of mention.

Brought before Bideford Borough Magistrates was Frank Rendall, 21, a clerk of 15 Victoria Grove Meddon Street. He pleaded Not Guilty to a charge of “riding a cycle furiously” down Bideford High Street at 8.30pm on Saturday August 17th. According to the police report he was doing a least 20 mph and barely avoiding the groups of public walking in the street. He rode around the Bank corner, reappeared from Mill Street and was apprehended. Being found Guilty he was given the option of 14 days imprisonment or a fine and after reflection decided to accept a fine of One Guinea.

The Bench at Bideford County Sessions, made up of Messrs A G Duncan, the mayor Mr A Adams, Rev C H Vivian, F W Bennett, J Henriz-Smith, S Fulford, J Cock and W T Charlewood, hears of 2 youths summoned for using petrol for driving a vehicle under hire that was not properly licenced.

Wm Jenkins of Bay View Northam was fined for failing to obscure a light that could be seen for miles. Fined 6/- as a warning. The owner of 12 Kingsley Terrace Westward Ho! fined one guinea for not keeping a register of lodgers.

A 12 year old boy who pleaded guilty to stealing a pocket watch from a waistcoat in a harvest field and who was recently convicted of cruelty to a horse was ordered to receive 6 strokes of the birch. (In the United Kingdom, birching as a judicial penalty, in both its juvenile and adult versions, was abolished in 1948, but it was retained until 1962 as a punishment for violent breaches of prison discipline.)

Farmers are requested to note that Prisoners of War are available for threshing at the rate of 5d per hour and can be obtained from the POW camps at South Molton, Charles, Knowstone, Worlington and Shebbear. The men will have to be fetched and returned.

Mid-September sees the following report about Parkham weather “It is now much against any progress being made with the corn harvest. The corn which is not cut is being driven down by boisterous weather and will be very slow and troublesome to cut and will cause a lot of wastage by the ripe corn falling out. The outlook at present is rather serious with much corn waiting to be stacked”.

At Hartland the cottages and blacksmith shop mentioned last month sold to Mr John Goaman for £105.

A W Cock auctioneers have an auction at the Friendship Hotel where Nos 1-4 Clarence Terrace Meddon Street were to be sold. Number 1 sold to Mr George Brend for £245 and Number 2 to Mr Robert Ellis for £260. Numbers 2 & 4 were withdrawn at £240 & £255 but were subsequently sold after the auction for higher prices.

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, 9.30am – 1pm.


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Buzz Word.

Handy Cross POW Camp.

I am from Oberhausen, Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia.  I am currently working on a concept for a book about the World War 11 from the point of view of a German prisoner who spent his captivity at POW Camp in Bideford, Handy Cross. Specifically, it is about my father, who unfortunately died in 2007. I would like to use his memories, letters and narratives as the basis for this book.  I need information or clues that I could use in the book. I have already found some on Wikipedia. Is there perhaps further information?  For example, number of guards, how many people were housed there, did the prisoners work and where?  I have included some pictures and postcards from that time (1946-47) – below – and think he was friendly with the Watsons as shown in these photos with my father (on the left). Many thanks and best regards from Germany. 

Uwe Gross.  (Email supplied).


Amy Pascoe.

I always read the ‘Buzz’ and commend you and your other volunteers for the fine little magazine. The July ’18 edition took my notice with the “Ladies’ Golf Celebrates 150 years”.

I have been compiling a history of my wife’s family ; Amy Pascoe mentioned in the article was her great great aunt. Amy was a keen sportswoman, particularly golf, and is understood to have been an acquaintance of the composer Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) and the Empress Eugenie (1826-1920) of France at Farnborough Hill. She was Lady Champion, 1896, at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.

Ian Harrison.


Stella Temple.

The booklet on 150 years of Ladies Golf featured in your July edition (a thoroughly enjoyable read) makes mention of the sporting prowess of Miss Stella Temple. Her golf alone was of a very high standard: she accompanied the English Ladies Golf Champion to America in 1909 to compete in the U S Ladies Championship, and Miss Temple herself was runner up in the English Ladies Championship in 1912. From a family with a military background, in June 1916 she joined the Red Cross as a ‘chauffeuse’ – she drove vehicles in ambulance convoys to and from the big military hospitals in Northern France, latterly ranked as ‘Commandant’. This work earned her the MBE in January 1919 – she died from pneumonia, following influenza on the 22nd March of that year. She is remembered on the memorial in St Margarets, Northam and on the Northam War Memorial.

I am hoping to mark the 100th anniversary of her death next year with the laying of a wreath. My researches have yet to reveal exactly where she is now buried – if any ‘Buzz’ reader can help me there, I would very much appreciate it.

Michael Sampson.

Name and address supplied.


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“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.  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 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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