October diary.


Friday 21st

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

8pm Ceilidh Club at Northam Hall.

9pm ‘Muddy Boots’ at Fairway Buoy, Westward Ho!

Saturday 22nd

7.30pm ‘Encore’ in concert at Abbotsham Village Hall.

8-11 pm Soul Intention at Pier House Westward Ho! In aid of CHSW. 475246

Monday 24

Start of ‘Wicked Week’.

10am-12pm Appledore Community Art Group at Appledore Community Hall.

6.30pm Yoga & Meditation classes at Pollyfield Centre.

7pm Tai Chi at Bideford High Street Methodist Church Hall. 472532

7pm Appledore Band – training band at St Mary’s Church Hall, Appledore followed by senior band.

7.15pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

Tuesday 25th

10am-1pm Lavington Church coffee and lunches.

10.30am Walking for Health. 421528

11.45am-12.45pm Tai Chi at Northam Community Hall.

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

2.30pm ‘Lift Off for Ladies’ at Baptist Church, Westward Ho! 0792 636030

6.30pm Bideford Band Beginners Group at Band Room. 475653

7.30pm Northam Choral Society meet at Northam Methodist Hall.

7.30pm Lions Club meet at Royal Hotel.

7.30pm Bideford Camera Club meet at Chubb/Churchill hall. 421391

7.30-9pm Samba Baia Rehearsal at Community Arts Network,13 Rope Walk

Palladium Club – Jam Night.

Wednesday 26th

9.30am-2.30pm Free Social Club for ages 19+ at Happy Café, W Ho!

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

10.15am Probus Club at Royal Hotel.

10.30am-12pm ‘Feel Better with a Book’ at Bideford Library.

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

2-3.30pm ‘Bideford Friends’ at Burton Art Gallery. 01805 622666

4-6pm ‘Sew Together’ at Northam Library.

7.30pm Two Rivers Wind Ensemble Rehearsal at Bideford Band Room.

7.30pm Bideford Phoenix Morris practise at Bideford Baptist Church. 473798

8pm Torridge Male Voice Choir meets at Woolsery Village Hall. 441601

Thursday 27th

10.15am Northam Men’s Forum meet at Northam Methodist Hall. 459757

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

10-11 & 11-12 Tai Chi, Marlborough Ct.

2-3pm Seated Exercise for over 60s at W Ho! Baptist Hall. 01805 622666

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

7.30pm N Devon British Bike Club at Robin’s Nest.

7.30pm Scottish Country Dancing at Westleigh Village Hall. 473801

8pm Bideford Folk Club at Joiners Arms.

Friday 28th

10am-1pm Lundy Art Group at Blue Lights Hall, Appledore.

10am-12pm Community Coffee Morning at Kingsley Hall, W Ho! 421274

10.30am-6pm ‘Fish in a Dish’ event at Appledore Baptist Hall.

2.30-4.30pm Torridge Table Tennis Club at Bideford Youth Centre.

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

8pm Ceilidh Club at Northam Hall.

Saturday 29th.

7.30pm Autumn charity dance, Woolsery Village Hall, with Bet & Audrey. £5, to include raffle. Bring & share supper.

Monday 31st

10am-12pm Appledore Community Art Group at Appledore Community Hall.

6.30pm Yoga & Meditation classes at Pollyfield Centre.

7pm Tai Chi at Bideford High Street Methodist Church Hall. 472532

7pm Appledore Band – training band at St Mary’s Church Hall, Appledore, followed by senior band.

7.15pm Appledore Singers rehearse at Appledore Baptist Church. 420652

8.30pm N Devon Jazz Club, The Beaver, Appledore. Josh Kemp Quartet


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Shipping notes No. 139 (August/ September).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Welsh Piper, 3/9.

In port – Bideford Quay.

balmoral-at-bideford-dscf8647Balmoral – built 1949; flag Bristol; owners British; crew British; from Ilfracombe to Ilfracombe; arrived 16/8, sailed 16/8; 224 passengers.


Elke K – built 1993; flag Delfzijl, Netherlands; owners Dutch; crew Russian & Filipino; from Birdport to Castellon; arrived 18/8, sailed 19/8; loaded 2,870 tons ball clay (2 grades).


Aristote – (ex- Turbulence, 2002); built 1983; flag Nassau, Bahamas; owners Ukrainian; from Cowes to Rotterdam; arrived 1/9, sailed 2/9; loaded 1,750 tons ball clay.


At the time of going to press (15/9) the Freshspring should have left the drydock at Sharpness, having passed MCA requirements for the vessel to be towed down the Bristol Channel and berthed at the end of the quay at Victoria Park. There is still a great deal of work to be done to her before she becomes available for the general public to go on board.


One Monday 22nd August the first steel was cut for the fourth patrol vessel for the Irish Navy P64 (at present unnamed), which is due for delivery Summer 2018.

Bristol Channel Observations

14.8 at 17.10 cargo vessel Thopas, 3,290 tons d.w., owners Bluether Shipping Co. Ltd Poland, inward bound for Sharpness. At 1929 cargo vessel Arklow Beacon, 8,660 tons d.w., owners Glenthorne Shipping Ltd Eire, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 12.31.

15.8 at 16.03 cargo vessel Naos, 4,258 tons d.w., owners Rum Shipping Ltd Estonia, inward bound for Sharpness. At 21.00 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 16.36. At 21.14 vehicle carrier Grande Togo 26,650 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

17.8 at 10.55 cargo vessel Wilson Gijon, 3,689 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipping A/S Norway, inward bound for Swansea.

19.8 at 15.02 ro-ro vessel Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Anita 2SNC France, inward bound for Portbury.

26.8 at 18.33 cargo vessel Ambassadeur, 6,000 tons d.w., owners TSS Ambassadeur CV Netherlands, outward bound from Swansea having sailed at 14.31. At 19.40 vehicle carrier Hoegh Xiamen, 12,250 tons d.w., owners OCY Thelon AS Norway (in the colours of Hoegh Autolines Norway), inward bound for Portbury.

27.8 at 10.47 cargo vessel Ditzum, 4,512 tons d.w., owners Briese Schiffahrts GMBH Germany, inward bound for Cardiff.

28.8 At 19.23 the cargo vessel Eduard Cirksena, 3,650 tons d.w., owners Kapitan Siegfried Bojen Schiffahrtsbetrieb Germany, inward bound for Newport.

29.8 at 08.50 bulk carrier Sagar Samrat, 76,404 tons d,w., owners Tata NYK Shipping Pte Singapore, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 04.21. At 12.44 vehicle carrier Glorious Leader, 20,999 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaiska Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.50.

30.8 at 18.00 cargo vessel Baccara, 4,500 tons d.w., owners Kapitan Siegffried Bojen Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

4.9 at 13.48 vehicle carrier CSCC Shanghai, 12,300 tons d.w owners Ray Car Carrier Israel , inward bound for Portbury.

7.9 Understand from Gary Woolaway of the Commodore Hotel at Instow that HMS Bulwark was anchored in the bay participating in exercises with the Royal Marines on Saunton Sands.

10.9 at 09.00 vehicle carrier Grande Spagna, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

11.9 at 08.00 cargo vessel Hekla, 3,592 tons d.w., owners Wagenborg Shipping B.V Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 09.00 cargo vessel Dornum, 2,369 tons d.w., owners Reederei Erwin Strahlmann Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 17.10 cargo vessel Fri Sea, 3,330 tons d.w., owners Kopervik Shipping AS Norway, inward bound for Newport.

12.9 at 18.42 bulk carrier Andermatt, 20,002 tons d.w., owners Massmarinerr SA Switzerland, outward bound from Swansea having sailed at 14.23. At 18.51 cargo vessel Encofrador, 6,528 tons d.w., owners Tuqela Veguin Spain, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 13.03.




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New Council Ward Boundary proposals; have your say.

(Public Consultation until 31st October).

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is conducting an Electoral Review at Torridge. The review will be looking at the number of Councillors the Council has and all of the Ward boundaries which will come into effect at the 2019 District Elections. The review hopes to achieve a situation where each Councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where they live. The first part of the review has determined that the right number of Councillors to take decisions and manage the business of the Council in an effective way, now and in the future, will remain at 36. This was based on the large geographical area of the Torridge district, existing Councillor workloads, and known future housing developments (based on the housing trajectories provided for the Local Plan at the end of March 2016).

The second part of the review concerns the makeup of Wards across the district. Currently 14 of the district’s 23 wards (more than 60%) are severely imbalanced (i.e. have a variance greater than +/- 10% in terms of voter representation) and must be changed to be acceptable to the Boundary Commission. Councillors have voted on their preferred options and the major changes based on theses proposals are as follows:

The number of Members in Bideford is increased from 9 to 11 with a corresponding reduction in the number of Members representing rural Wards (based on adjusted geographical areas to ensure fair representation);

Holsworthy Hamlets is split out from Holsworthy Town, leaving the two Holsworthy Members to represent the electors in the town;

Westward Ho! becomes a two Member Ward; Appledore becomes a one Member Ward.

Eleven ‘new’ rural Wards have been created which require naming.

The three parishes of Littleham, Landcross and Bideford South (outer) be incorporated into Bideford South.

The four parishes of Weare Gifford, Alverdiscott, Huntshaw and Yarnscombe be incorporated into Bideford East.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission has also come up with a plan but the Council feel the ward sizes in their proposals are far too large.

A public consultation run by the Commission and based on their proposals will end on 31 October 2016. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Torridge.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries. Torridge Councils proposals can be found on the Council website with a hard copy of the presentations made to members also available.

Members of the public can make their views known via the commission’s website and comments can be made on either or any part of each proposal The commission are keen ensure that their proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Torridge and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.

The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Torridge. If anyone would like to make a submission to the Commission, they can write or email by 31 October 2016:

The Review Officer (Torridge), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London  SW1P 4QP

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk  Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE

Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/7965

Link to the dedicated web page for the Torridge electoral review:www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/devon/Torridge


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One hundred years ago – September 1916.


On the front page of the 5th September edition is an advertisement for wooden 5-bar field gates, portable buildings, pigeon fanciers’ lofts and motor car houses. All are constructed in timber (creosoting is extra). The supplier is F. W. Barker & Co, Nottingham, and all goods are priced to include carriage paid to any station. This is the first time that “out of area” traders have used the Gazette for advertising.

A. W. Cock, Auctioneer, offers for sale the following Bideford properties: – 25 Victoria Grove, 19 & 20 New Street, 50 Honestone Street and 22 Milton Place. All these properties have tenants in residence.

On the 12th September edition there is a half-page advert “Labour required for building munitions factories”. Navvies and labourers not yet engaged in national work will be accepted. Every man enrolled will be given a certificate showing the service he has rendered to the country.

A public meeting of town traders convened by Bideford Chamber of Trade considered the question of closing shops earlier during the autumn and winter months because of the new public lighting order introduced by the government and to compensate for depleted staffing problems. The Chamber recommended 6pm closing on Monday, Thursday and Friday; 7pm on Tuesday and 8pm on Saturday. (Late night shopping is not a recent concept.)

The Vicar of Northam, Prebendary M D Dimond–Churchward, has announced his resignation due to advancing years. He was well known for his advocacy of Temperance and spoke extensively on the topic.

In Hartland, Mr W. T .Westlake has presented the United Methodist Church with a nice new clock.

At Parkham a slow corn harvest is blamed on the showery weather, rainfall during August having been 4.07 inches.

A heart-warming story comes in the District news from Alwington and we quote it here. “A good deal is heard about the young men slackers in North Devon. Many of them do not seem to have the same enthusiasm to serve their country as even the children, girls and women in their midst. Throughout the school holidays many of the children as well as their mothers, gave valuable help to the farmers during the corn harvest. One girl of 11 years led the horses for her father, while others assisted in binding. A farmer’s wife drove the horses whilst riding on the machine while another pitched the corn. Others helped by driving the loads from the fields. On one farm a Superintendent of Police, on holiday from the East Coast, rendered yeoman service in the field while his daughters milked the cows and also helped in the cornfields”.

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. You can also follow us on our Facebook page, Bideford & District Community Archive.


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‘Fish and chip club’.


On the 15th September 2016, a new group run by the “Ageing Well” project will be starting. A “Fish and Chip Club” for over 60s will be held at the Royal Plaice in Appledore on the third Thursday of the month from 12:30 – 2pm.

It will cost £5 per person for fish, chips and a hot drink and transport can be provided. If you would like to come along, please ring Doreen on 01237 471394 to book a place or to arrange transport. Alternatively ring the Ageing Well team on 01805 622666 if you would like more information.


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Shipping notes No. 138 (July/ August).


In port – Yelland Quay.


Sirena – (ex- Bosga, 2003; Ramsol, ’06; Rana, ’08); built 1999; flag Valletta; owners Swiss; crew Lithuanian & Ukrainian; from Glensanda to Bilbao; arrived 3/7, sailed 4/7; discharged 3,500 tons chippings.



Arco Dart – 21/7, 5/8, 6.8.

On Tuesday 19th July at 17.50 the Irish Patrol Vessel Le William Butler Yeats sailed from Babcock and Wilcox fitting out berth at Appledore for her final acceptance trials in the Channel, prior be being handed over to the Irish Navy. She was seen crossing the bar at 18.25, the occasion reported by the BBC presenters Matt Woodley and Pippa Quelch. She sailed for her base in Cork on the 22.7 about 2000, when she left Ilfracombe.

LE William Butler Yates

Bristol Channel Observations.

16.7 at 16.57 cruise vessel Prinsendam, 38,848 gross tons, owners Holland America Line Netherlands, outward bound from Ilfracombe having sailed at 15.30.

17.7 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.41.

18.7 at 19.40 cargo vessel Scot Ranger , 3,418 tons d.w., owners Scot Line U.K., inward bound for Newport.

27.7 at 1445 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, out bound from Portbury having sailed at 09.23. At 20.03 vehicle carrier Arabian Breeze, 12,577 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 14.39.

29.7 at 16.32 bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 38,997 tons d.w., owners Aggregate Industries UK Ltd, inward bound for Portbury.

30.7 at 19.55 chemical tanker Stolt Puffin, 5,758 tons d.w., owners Stolt Nielsen Rotterdam, outward bound from Barry having sailed at 14.23.

31.7 at 13.24 vehicle carrier Viking Odessa, 4,693 tons tons d.w., owners Gram Car Carriers A/A Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

4.8 at 18.53 buoy maintenance vessel Patrica, 997 tons d.w., owners Trinity House London, outward bound from Swansea.

5.8 at 13.25 vehicle carrier Electra, 22,588 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 07.38.

6.8 at 13.30 sand dredger City of Cardiff, 2,730 tons d.w., owners Ltm Western Ltd Solihull, outward bound from Milford Haven having sailed at 22.16, 5.8 bound for Marchwood near Southampton. At 13.50 vehicle carrier Michigan Highway, 17,673 tons d.w., owners Kawasaki Kisen KK Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 08.15.

7.8 at 14.15 vehicle carrier Victory Leader, 13,363 tons d.w., owners Ray Car Carriers Israel, inward bound for Portbury.

9.8 at 15.48 vehicle carrier Crystal Ace, 18,381 tons d.w., owners Mitsui OSK Line Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

11.8 at 13.35 buoy maintenance vessel Patricia, 997 tons d.w., owners Trinity House London, working in the bay and sailed at 13.55 to St.Ives. At 17.10 vehicle carrier Hoegh Detroit, 27,100 tons d.w., owners Hoegh Autolines Shipping A/S Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

12.8 at 19.30 cargo vessel Tasman, 4,535 hrs owners Flinter Group Netherlands, outward bound from Cardiff having sailed at 13.53.

14.8 at 09.16 cargo vessel Ammon, 3,800 tons d.w., outward bound from Birdport having sailed at 02.31. At 11.03 hrs vehicle carrier Michigan Highway, 17,673 tons d.w owners Kawasaki Kisen KK Japan, inward bound for Portbury.




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‘Wild Shorts’ competition (closes 30th November).


Wild Shorts Screengrab

As part of the BBC’s ‘Get Creative’ campaign, community film makers North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) want you to get out into the wild and create a short film about the landscape and nature of the North Devon Coast AONB.

Supporting GetCreative Green

NDMI are BBC Get Creative Champions – encouraging people in the UK to get involved with the arts, culture and creativity. Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of NDMI, says “We are thrilled to be a part of this campaign and we know that there are lots of talented film makers and photographers of all ages in North Devon who can help us build a collection of short films about our very special environment.”

“We are great fans of the outdoors and value the outstanding natural beauty of our coast and countryside. The Wild Shorts competition has entry categories for film makers of all ages and any level of experience. We want to inspire nature lovers and environmentalists to pick up their camcorder, digital camera, mobile phone or tablet and share their perspective of the AONB with the world.”

All the information you will need about the Wild Shorts competition can be found on the NDMI website www.northdevonmovingimage.org.uk or by telephoning Amanda on 01271 860610: the website also provides film making tips, and for inspiration NDMI will be blogging with inspirational ideas throughout the competition.

Amanda adds “We are grateful to our funders for helping us run this initiative – a first for North Devon – and want to thank the North Devon Coast AONB, Fullabrook CIC and Tarka Country Trust for their funding. We have also been delighted with the response from local businesses and organisations in offering prizes with donations from GoldCoast Oceanfest, Down End Croyde Car Park, The National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, Combe Martin Dinosaur and Wildlife Park and Ilfracombe Aquarium.”


‘Wild Shorts’ is open for entries throughout the summer and autumn with a closing date of 30 November 2016. There are some great prizes to tempt all ages and the winning films will be shown at a red carpet award ceremony in January and be exhibited on the AONB website.

wild shorts north devon aonb designation map


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One hundred years ago – August 1916.


Hay and Straw Harvest continues – 27 acres of corn in the ground to be sold from Stone Farm, Buckland Brewer, for owner Mr Grigg; 44 acres of corn and rape for Mr Dennis at Adjavin Farm on the outskirts of Bideford, and lastly Thomas Squance of Wood Town Alwington has 13 acres of corn and clover buds for sale.

4, Marine Parade, Appledore is offered for sale by auction by Messrs R Blackmore. The property has 6 bedrooms, box and linen rooms, a cellar for wine, one WC inside and another outside at the rear. It also boasts an artist’s studio in the attic roof. A Buckland Brewer farm known as Addipit consisting of 58 acres about a mile from the village is for sale. Also 16 acres of land adjoining the farm known as Big Merry Field are also for sale by Smyth Richards, Stapleton & Fox, Bideford Land Agents.

The problem of shortage of farm labour has been addressed by the Government. On Monday 7th August 1916 at 2.00pm from the balcony of the New Inn, Market Square a talk will be given about the new government scheme for the registration of women to work on the land. Government certificates and armlets will be issued to those eligible. Mrs Daw of Yeolden will keep a register. There will be another repeat meeting at 8.30 pm for those unable to attend during the day. (The following week the newspaper records that over 30 women were recruited.)

On the 8th August the Board of Trade announce that the Army Council has decided to release 27,000 soldiers to assist with the harvest. Applications for help must be made through the local labour exchange before 12 noon on 4 days hence, on the12th August.

Members of Bideford Bridge Trust have visited Old Town Council School Gardens. 12 boys in the higher classes have been instructed by Mr Baxter & Mr White on how to till and grow vegetables. Each boy has been given a square pole of land (just over 5 square metres) for which they are entirely responsible and the whole group are tending a further 4 square poles. The boys were congratulated by the Mayor on their results after 5 months of work. Kent White and Middleton Wadey, both members of the school gardening club, proposed a Vote of Thanks to the Bridge Trust for providing the means to learn and receive instruction on such a useful subject. Both boys have won scholarships to Bideford Grammar School.

Excitement at Westward Ho! Life Guard assistance, 1916 style. On Thursday evening Miss Violet Lewis got into difficulties while out swimming and called for help. Mr W. T. Braddick of Bideford who was on the Pebble Ridge was one of the first to see her in need of assistance, he swam out to her partly dressed and gave her support and directed her movements. Lt. W.A. Puddicombe, also of Bideford, who is home on leave injured, Mr T. Hobling, Mr A. Baglow and a gentleman from Weare Gifford were among those who went out to render assistance, and the young lady was got safely in, none the worse for her experience.

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. You can also follow us on our Facebook page, Bideford & District Community Archive.



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HMS ‘Alliance’ visits Lundy.

During the month of April 1967, the submarine HMS ‘Alliance’ was operating in home waters in the South of England and for a day or two anchored off Lundy. One submariner, whose name is unknown, came ashore and probably spent some time in the Tavern. On his return to the ship something happened to him and search parties both from the ship and from the island turned out to search for him. He was found hiding in the bushes somewhere on the side of the cliffs. The seaman was returned to his ship where he no doubt received the ‘due attention of his officers.’

Robert “Dave” Davey, the engineer on the island at the time had apparently been instrumental in the rescue of this seaman. Dave Davey had arrived on the island in 1964; he retired in 1981 and died sometime in the early 1990s. Soon after this incident, he received a handwritten letter from the commander of the submarine thanking him for turning out for the search and apologising for the problems that the man had given to everyone. A transcript of that letter is given here.

“H. M. S. Alliance at Sea,

22nd April 1967.

Dear Mr. Davey,

May I thank you and your friends (I regret I don’t know all their names), for so willingly turning out to search for this very stupid man. He was hiding in the bushes slightly up the cliff. At present he has no idea what all the fuss is about and we are in the process of informing him. It was such a dangerous manoeuvre that not only did it risk his life but the lives of us and particularly of yourselves. Again may I thank you and I hope you haven’t too bad an impression of us.

Yours sincerely,

T. E. Woods (Illegible), Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy.”

I made enquiries regarding H.M.S. Alliance and was very pleased to learn that she has been preserved and now forms part of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport. She is the only surviving example of the A Class ‘Amphion’ class submarines. She was built by Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness and commissioned in 1947, serving in the Far East and in home waters. She had a crew complement of 5 officers and 56 ratings, was 87 feet in length with a beam of 22 feet and had a surface displacement of 1,620 tons. Her armament Allianceconsisted of ten torpedo tubes and two external 4 inch guns. She was decommissioned in 1973 and served as a training ship in Southampton until 1979, when she was preserved as a memorial to those British submariners who had died in service and is now part of the Submarine Museum at Gosport. She has been completely restored through an £11.00 million Heritage Lottery grant and is now available for visitors.

I contacted the Submarine Museum in Gosport, asking for any information they may have on the event and for the name of the commander of the submarine, as his signature on the letter is illegible.

I received a reply from the Portsmouth archives officer at the Museum. He confirms that the submarine was operating in home waters at the time and could well have anchored off Lundy, as she had made a Port visit to Falmouth around that period. He also confirmed the name of the captain, Lt. Commander T.E. Woods RN, in command of the ship from1966 to 1967. He has compared Commander Wood’s signature on the letter with his signature in the ship’s log book and confirmed that they agree. Apparently the records of the ship shed no further light on the incident.

There are many unanswered questions in this matter. Why did Lt. Commander Woods say that the seaman was ‘hiding up the cliff’? He does not say that he had fallen over the cliff side. He also states that the man ‘has no idea what all the fuss is about’, as if the seaman was either too drunk or otherwise incapacitated to remember the incident. In his letter Commander Woods states ominously that they are “in the process of informing him”. One feels that there should be an exclamation mark inserted after this comment.

This whole incident brings back memories of similar situations when drunken lighthouse keepers staggering back to the South Light from the tavern, fell over the cliffs and had to be rescued.

Roger Allen.


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery; August.


This month I thought a recipe from Brazil was appropriate – Olympics on their way!

Brazil is famous for their BBQ restaurants – Churrascarias – where huge portions of meat are served. This recipe is good for any ”meaty” fish such as rock salmon . (This is also an inexpensive choice if you can find it).

We will be demonstrating recipes for this fish at the Cook’s Tale Cookery Demonstration in Appledore on Friday 18th August.

Brazillian BBQ Rock Salmon – (4 portions).


30g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped.

I tsp dried oregano.

150ml. light olive oil.

1or 2 tsp. dried chilli flakes.

35ml. red wine vinegar.

1tsp. sea salt/ 1tsp.freshly ground black pepper.

12 x 2inch chunks of Rock Salmon/Huss.


For the Chimichurri Marinade – blanch the parsley for a minute in boiling water before plunging into ice water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Finely chop the parsley and place in a bowl with the rest of the marinade ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate in a sealed container and use within 3-4 days.

For the Fish : cut the Rock Salmon/Huss strips into 12 pieces , put them in a bowl and toss with the marinade until evenly coated. Cover bowl with cling film and chill for at least 4 hours.

Thread the Fish chunks on 4 metal skewers ; vegetable chunks such as peppers or onion can also be added.Lightly salt and pepper, and grill or BBQ for 2 – 3 minutes on both sides.

The fish should be opaque and feel just firm when lightly pressed.Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy what I hope will be a long hot August!

Mail Attachment

Come and see us in Appledore from 18th-21st August and listen and learn from our ‘Sharks Tales’: more details on appledoresustainablefish facebook.



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Two Bideford-built schooners of the Nineteenth Century.

Buzz” was contacted in June by Roger Banfield of Scilly seeking information on the schooner “Vivid”, built in Bideford in 1851 (see Shipping Notes 136, July edition). Mr. Banfield undertakes maritime history research for his own interest, and also in support of the Isles of Scilly Museum.

He has now concluded his research on “Vivid”, and has sent us full details. In addition, he has provided details of another schooner, “Waterlily”, also built in Bideford, in 1841. “Buzz” is very grateful, particularly for his kind permission to publish his work in full.

These two monographs contain a wealth of detail on the ships, their histories, owners, voyages, crew, and also the history and background of their builders. They provide a fascinating snapshot of Bideford’s maritime past in the mid-nineteenth century.

Incidentally, Mr. Banfield has offered to help anyone researching the history of Scilly-built vessels. Any such enquiries (or comments on the article) can be sent via editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk and will be forwarded to him, or else leave a comment on this post.

Vivid” – Schooner

Details of Ship:-

Built: 1851

Type: Schooner.

Dimensions: Length: 81.0 ft. Beam: 20.1 ft. Depth of Hold: 13.1 ft.

Tonnage: 131 tons (12years A1) (tonnage varied between 117 tons to 131 tons)

Builder: Thomas Waters, Cross Park, Bideford, Devon (In business from 1845 – 1873, see details below)

Owners: 1852 – 1860, Lebrey & Co. (Possibly Ann Banfield)

1861 – 1869, Possibly W. Nicholson

1867, William Burnyeat of Whitehaven

1880 – 1881, J. Graham, registered at Whitehaven.

Captains: 1851 – 1853, Lakey (possibly Edmund Lakey b. 1821) (Interestingly, there was a vessel called the “Vivid” built in Scilly in 1843, which was abandoned on 1st April 1851, and lost. The same captain then took over the “Vivid” that was built in Bideford).

1852 – 1860, E. Lebrey.

1861 – 1869, Possibly N. Beck

1863, Britton

1864 – 1865, Capt. Clegg

1880, Capt. J. Mayes.

Trade: Coastal & Foreign: Bideford, Mediterranean, Scilly, New York, Palermo, Bristol, Cardiff, Falmouth, Hamburg, Antwerp, Marseilles, Smyrna, Jamaica, London, Holyhead, Whitehaven, Dublin, Pomaron, Gloucester, Belfast, Liverpool, Messina, Pomaron.

Cargo: 1852, Coffee

1863, Oil.

1864, 1879, Iron ore.

1870, Bricks.

Port of Registry: 1852 – 1860, Scilly

1861 – 1869, Whitehaven

1880, Whitehaven.

Port of Survey: 1852 – 1860, Bideford

1861 – 1869, Whitehaven.

Signal: K.G.S.B.

Official No.: 9301

Demise: Wreck reported in the Times newspaper, Saturday, 5th March, 1881, page 12: ‘A small schooner was wrecked yesterday morning on Longness, Isle of Man, all hands drowned. A piece of a vessel marked “Vivid”, schooner, of Whitehaven, 117 tons register, has been picked up’.

1851, Seamen’s Crewlists for Cornwall:-

Browne Edward

Current Ship: VIVID of Scilly,  Trade: Foreign

Age: 21

Born: Kingstown           Ticket No: 241218


Date Joined: 11 Aug 1851         Place Joined: Bideford

Ellis James

Current Ship: VIVID of Scilly,  Trade: Foreign


Ticket No: 194996


Date Joined: 11 Aug 1851        Place Joined: Indentured at Bideford

Lakey Charles

Current Ship: VIVID of Scilly Trade: Foreign

Age: 22

Born: Scilly Ticket No: 157377


Date Joined: 11 Aug 1851      Place Joined: Bideford

Penrose William P

Current Ship: VIVID of Scilly Trade: Foreign

Age: 20

Ticket No: 490017


Date Joined: 10 Sep 1851        Place Joined: Cardiff


Source: “Ship Building in North Devon” by Grahame Farr. Maritime monographs and reports No. 22 – 1976.

The next building site, as we follow the river Torridge bank, is Cross Park, the downstream part of East-the-Water facing the town of Bideford. Several builders are described as of Cross Park and dates indicate the presence of at least two yards. Before dealing with the yards in the Port of Bideford, however, it must be explained that with a number of builders the precise location of their yards is unknown. They could have been anywhere in the Port. Others are known to have been at Appledore but the information necessary to pinpoint their yards has not been discovered.

CROSS PARK. Known builders at Cross Park begin with William Heard, who built the 15-ton sloop “Ville de Paris”, in 1793. This is an unexpected name when one considers the French declared war on Britain on 1 February in that year, beginning the First French Revolutionary War.

William Taylor was a prolific builder between 1802-30 and at least 37 vessels of his can be named.

William Brook built at another East-the-Water yard from about 1824 to 1843. An old map in Bideford Museum, dated 1842, shows it to have been the northernmost property save one below Bideford Bridge. The property beyond was Lake’s Limekiln, which can still be seen. The earliest vessel traced to Brook is the brigantine “Apollo”, 179 tons, of 1824, a Mediterranean trader. A total of seventeen can be listed and his last was the largest – the barque “Alice Maud”, 464 tons. In 1839 Brook had a contretemps with Thomas Corey, a Bristol shipowner, who alleged the barque “Milford”, 325 tons, was six months late on delivery. In fact Corey brought a tug from Bristol to fetch the vessel, but later denied he had taken her by force. The press reports are interesting in that they quote the contract price for the vessel – £2,752 7s. Such figures are difficult to ascertain in the absence of surviving company books.

William Brook fell ill in 1843 and died three years later, aged 51. In 1844 his yard was taken over by Thomas Waters – probably the same who was building ships at Clovelly from about 1827 to 1840. His first vessel at Cross Park was the sloop “Ebenezer”, 22 tons, in 1845. Other small craft followed, but in 1854 he built on speculation a barque which bore the temporary name of “Chieftain”, apparently his only venture above the 200 tons category. Soon after her launch she was bought by Thomas Evans, a local shipowner (probably in fact the former shipbuilder at Cleave House) who registered her as “Ellen Sophia”, but sold her on the very next day to Edward Fernandez, of Instow.

During 1857-9 William Waters signed three builder’s certificates, for the “Fairy”, Leader” and “St. Germans”, which probably indicates he was the son of Thomas. William seems to have branched out on his own in 1860 and built two schooners at the Sea Locks yard ‘above bridge.’ Thomas continued at Cross Park until 1873 and died two years later. Twenty-four vessels can be identified with his yard.

CLOVELLY. The only place in North Devon, west of the Torridge, where shipbuilding has been practiced on a commercial scale is Clovelly. There are several builders listed from 1801 to 1818.

We next find Richard Mill and Thomas Waters building the fishing smack “Ranger”, 30 tons. Vernon Boyle quoted the Exeter Gazette, October 1827, reporting the launch:-

Nearly the whole of the population ws on the beach and quay and all the fishing boats were tastefully decorated, not with colours flying, but with herrings and other fish suspended from poles and waving gracefully in the air, which was rent with the shouts of the multitudes when the “Ranger” glided gracefully into briny deep.’

Thomas Waters later built several sloops and smacks at Clovelly, and in 1840 the schooner “Providence” was attributed to John Waters, but this might be a mistake. The “Providence”, almost 60 ft long and of 76 tons register must have been difficult to launch down this exposed beach. By 1845 Thomas Waters was building ships at Cross Park, Bideford, as we have already seen.


Waterlily ” – Schooner

Details of Ship:-

Built: 1841.

Type: Schooner.

Tonnage: 84 tons (Lloyd’s Register of 1850)

Builder: Robert Johnson, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon.

12 yrs. A1.

(see below for full details on Robert Johnson)

Measurement: Length: 59.4 ft. Beam: 16.2 ft.

Owners: 1842 – 1849, Williams.

1850 – 1852, Bastian & Co., Scilly. Harry Weymouth & S. Davies.

Captains: 1842 – 1843, C. Burtt.

1843 – 1849, T. Major.

1850, Francis Bastion

1851 – 1852, J. Bastion

Trade: Foreign. 1842, Bideford, Swansea, London.

1843, London to Bideford.

1850 – 1852, Liverpool to Mediterranean.

St. John’s, Newfoundland, Oporto, Boston, Falmouth, Scilly.

Registered: 1843 – 1849, Bideford.

1850 – 1852, Scilly.


Official No.:

Demise: 17.4.1852, Source: Daily News.:-


CASUALTIES. “Waterlily”, Bastian, sailed from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Dec. 17, for Zante, and has not since been heard of.

1851, Crew List:-

Ashford James

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly Trade: Foreign

Age: 30

Born: St Martins Scilly Ticket No: 68417


Date Joined: 06 May 1851         Place Joined: Liverpool

Previous Ship: EXPRESS of Scilly

BT 98/: 2703

Bastian Francis

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly         Trade: Foreign

Age: 33

Ticket No: 50704


Date Joined: 06 May 1851         Place Joined: Liverpool

Previous Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly

BT 98/: 2703

Clarke James

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly Trade: Foreign

Age: 17

 Ticket No: 500495

Cook & Seaman

Date Joined: 06 May 1851         Place Joined: Liverpool

Date Left: 22 Jul 1851        Place Left: London

Previous Ship: SLANEY of Belfast

BT 98/: 2703

Ellis Edwin C

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly

Age: 23

Born: Scilly        Ticket No: 71603


Date Joined: 05 Sep 1851        Place Joined: Scilly

Previous Ship: MINERVA of Scilly

Comments: MT 70089

BT 98/: 2703

Ellis Samuel

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly

Age: 27

Born: Scilly        Ticket No: 247188


Date Joined: 12 May 1851         Place Joined: Scilly

Date Left: 22 Jul 1851       Place Left: London        Why Left: Discharged

Previous Ship: VESPER of Scilly

Comments: MT 58817

BT 98/: 2703

Hocking William

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly, Trade: Foreign

Age: 27

Born: Falmouth            Ticket No: 296319


Date Joined: 06 May 1851          Place Joined: Liverpool

Date Left: 22 Jul 1851           Place Left: London Discharged

Previous Ship: CORK PACKET of Fowey

BT 98/: 2703

Parrott Thomas

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly,  Trade: Foreign

Age: 20

Born: Llanelly           Ticket No: 480108


Date Joined: 05 Sep 1851           Place Joined: Scilly

Previous Ship: ANN of Southampton


BT 98/: 2703

Watts William James

Current Ship: WATERLILY of Scilly ,Trade: Foreign

Age: 15

Born: Scilly           Ticket No: 419567


Date Joined: 05 Sep 1851           Place Joined: Scilly

Previous Ship: First vessel

BT 98/: 2703

1851, Previous Crew Member:-

Leopold Charles

Current Ship: TELL TALE of Penzance,  Trade: Foreign

Age: 28

Ticket No: 483460


Date Joined: 20 May 1850           Place Joined: Liverpool

Date Left: 28 Aug 1850         Place Left: Labrador         Why Left: Deserted

Previous Ship: WATERLILY

Comments: aka Lepold

BT 98/: 2676


Source: “Ship Building in North Devon” by Grahame Farr. Maritime monographs and reports No. 22 – 1976.

EAST-THE-WATER. Close to the bridge, on the river Torridge, was the Johnson yard. It was old established, but who was there before Robert Johnson took over – about 1839 – is uncertain. Through two generations the output there was prolific, at least 78 vessels being attributable, the last in 1877. Robert Johnson died in 1855, aged 61, and his wife Ann took an active part for the following four years or so, even signing builder’s certificates. The son, John, carried on from 1858, at first using the title Robert Johnson and Son.

The Johnsons produced all manner of craft from smacks to barques. Their first was the schooner “Isabel”, 109 tons, of which the principal owner was Captain John Swinsdale, of Appledore. Other owners were of Liverpool, and in a short life of two years she shuttled between Liverpool and Egypt, bringing cotton on the homeward passage. One of Johnson’s smallest, the smack “Surprise”, 49 tons, built for Captain James Braund of Bucksh, was sailed out to New Zealand. The yard also built a number of vessels for Brixham and Dartmouth owners in the Newfoundland trade, for Plymouth and Bideford owners in the Mediterranean trade, and for Salcombe owners in the soft fruit trade. A few were run by the family themselves before being sold, and frequently they retained an eighth share. Their first vessel over 200 tons was the brigantine “Georgiana”, 231 tons, in 1853, for the local shipowner George Braginton, and in the next year the same owner had the brigantine “Clara Louisa”, 181 tons. Johnson’s first barque was the “Hugo”, 369 tons, in 1862 for London owners, and the largest they built in this rig was the “Florence Danver”, 498 tons, of 1865, which, with the “Beatrice”, 455 tons, in the same year, went to Swansea owners for the ore trade. On the other end of the scale John Johnson built the only two vessels of the short-lived Bideford Deep Sea Fishing Company, the “Dolphin”, 40 tons, in 1860, and the “Morning Star”, 49 tons, in 1867. An unusual job was the rebuilding of the Austrian bark “Pace”.

John Johnson built his last vessel in 1877, the schooner “Mary Walter”, which it so happens was wrecked on the Newfoundland coast in the following year.

Details of Voyages:-

12.7.1844, Source: Royal Cornwall Gazette.:-




THURSDAY – Sailed, the “Waterlily”, Major, for Liverpool.

11.4.1851, Source: Liverpool Mercury.:-



Waterlily”, Bastian, 72, Oporto – Cotesworth, Wynne, and Co.

23.5.1851, Source: Cornish Telegraph, Arrived at Scilly:-

Arrived: May 12. “Waterlily”, Boston, from Liverpool.

Sailed: May 13. “Waterlily”, Boston for Oporto

17.4.1852, Source: Daily News.:-



Waterlily”, Bastian, sailed from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Dec. 17, for Zante, and has not since been heard of.


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery – July.


Here is my simple version of Seafood Tagliatelli.


Ingredients. (Serves 4, takes 20 mins).

350g/12oz Tagliatelli / Spaghetti.

2tbsb olive oil.

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.

400g can of chopped tomatoes.

200g jar of cockles in vinegar, drained and washed.

150g skinless fillet of Pollock, fresh or smoked.

Pinch of dried chilli flakes.

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or tarragon.

100g Mussel meat – optional.



Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water for 10-12 mins, until al dente. Test by tasting or cutting easily.

1. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan then fry the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

2. Dice the skinned Pollock fillet and add and cook for 5 mins, while draining and washing the cockles and chilli flakes, season and stir through. Leave to rest in the frying pan.

  1. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Stir in the pasta sauce and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley or torn tarragon.


Next month, I will be looking for a skate dish to sample.

From Thursday 18th to Monday 22nd August we will be running events for Appledore Sharks Tales Events. On Friday 19th Aug. there will be a Skate, Ray and Huss cookery demonstration and lunch – and we will be shucking scallops too! Everyone welcome. See appledoresustainablfish facebook page.


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One hundred years ago – July 1916.


Hay and Straw Harvest.                           The 1916 crop is to be held for Army purposes. Under Defence of the Realm Regulations all hay, oat and wheat straw on the 1916 crop of England and Wales now standing in the field in bulk or as and when it is harvested will be bought by the Government. At this stage there are no instructions to farmers as to how they may secure their own supplies.

In the Bideford Borough Tribunal the Recruiting Sergeant has complained that Sidney Smith, aged 39, a motor driver in the employment of H. Hopkins, was to be allowed exemption to undertake driving duties for Mr Metherell who is required to go and buy hay and straw for the Government up to October this autumn.

The August Bank Holiday this year will be suspended. The Government, said Prime Minister Mr Asquith, has decided that it is essential in the national interest that there shall be no holidays, general or local and a Proclamation would be made to this effect.

Schoolboys both in Old Town Boys School and in the Grammar School have volunteered to help with the harvest. No extension to the set dates will be allowed despite several pleas from Councillors.

Bideford Town Council was anxious to secure a larger supply of water for the growing urban area. Late last year they had visited a possible site between Upcott and West Ashridge farms where a new reservoir might be built by throwing a dam across the Jennetts stream. In February this year an engineer had visited the site and measured water flows, and calculated that a reservoir of 27 million gallons could be built. It was envisaged the Gammaton Reservoir would continue to supply the summer requirements and the new lake will help with the winter demand.

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.


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Felicity’s sustainable fish cookery : June.

fish ad

This dish, developed in New Orleans in 1899, was named after the richest man in America – John D. Rockefeller – as it has a very rich taste!

Oysters Rockefeller.

Ingredients-for 24 Oysters to share

I garlic clove.

Half a bag of fresh spinach.

I bunch of watercress, stems trimmed and bunch of chopped spring onions.

Unsalted butter.

Half a cup of breadcrumbs.

1 tablespoon Pernod.

Half a tsp Tabasco.

24 fresh Oysters, shucked, reserved in their shells.

Parmesan cheese ,grated.


  1. Heat the oven to a high setting.
  2. Chop garlic in small food processor adding spinach, watercress and spring onions.
  3. Process until mixture is finely chopped.
  4. Place in a bowl then combine butter, breadcrumbs, Pernod, fennel and tabasco sauce in processor. Process until well blended
  5. Return spinach mixture to processor. Process briefly until mixtures are blended. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. At this point sprinkle rock-salt over a large baking sheet -half an inch deep and arrange oysters in rounded half shells on top. This keeps the shells upright and ensures they retain their juices.
  7. Top each oyster with 1Tbsp. of green vegetable mix. Sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake until cheese browns on top -about 8mins.

Serve hot with a refreshing drink.

Oyster Dressings-

Mother’s Ruin – Gin, lime red chilli.

Retro – Pernod, shallots, white wine vinegar.

The Wurzels – Apple, ginger, cider vinegar.

Turning Japanese – Wasabi, pickled ginger, rice wine vinegar.

Buck the Trend – Sea buckthorn, cider vinegar, Vodka, sugar.

The Frenchay – Shallots, red wine vinegar.

– or just Plain with a squeeze of lemon.


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One hundred years ago – June 1916.


War-time appeals continue.

The Royal Navy appeal to the Bideford men with sea experience to join up for the Yacht Patrol Division in the Royal Navy. Seamen and firemen can be guaranteed £1-10s per week with 10 shillings food allowance when not victualled. Assistant cooks and stewards will be paid £1-5s per week and 3rd Engineers £2-8-0d. They are also seeking carpenters who will be paid £1-15s per week.

The waste paper collection system set up and described in last month’s edition is now fully operational. The depot at the Fish Market is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 -1 o’clock. The patriotism encouraged by saving paper is further reinforced at the foot of the advertisement with the exultation “God Save the King”.

Appeals against call up are heard in all the local towns and in Bideford 27 were heard during the second week of June 1916. Albert Henry Prance, 28 of Mill Street, a fish and chip shop proprietor, applied for a second time for an additional period of exemption. His appeal was refused as it was felt that this work could be done by a woman. W C Friendship, a baker of Market Place, applied for exemption on behalf of Alexander Penhorwood, 28 and married. Another of his employees named Darch had been granted exemption on the ground that the bakery would not be able to function without them. Both were exempted until 1st October and Friendship was required to seek replacement staff as soon as possible. Miss Turner of Abbotsham appealed for extra time for Sidney Slee, 29, saying that Slee and a 14 year old boy were all that she had to look after the farm which included 73 bullocks and 87 sheep. This appeal was denied.

R.Blackmore and Sons, auctioneers, have been instructed to sell the following vehicles:

A 4-wheel dog cart.

Two-wheel Battlesden car. (Our research has found that this was a light 4 seater trap which is pulled by a pony)

A La Buire 5 seater Touring car 18 HP and leather upholstery

A Siddeley Wolseley 5 seat 12 HP tourer.

All these vehicles have been in private ownership and have been well looked after.”

R. D. Blackmore are advertising for auction at their Bideford Quay premises a considerable part of the estate of the late H.G.Heaven, Vicar of Lundy. Included are cut glass Bohemian vases, large Oriental jars, Dresden, Spode and Wedgwood china and many silver items weighing in total 750 ounces. The extensive sale catalogue concludes with a roasting jack!

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.


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