The Torridge Sealock.

Torridge Sealock top gates.

Anyone who has been to the harbour at Bude will know the canal basin and sea lock where the Bude Canal meets the sea. Far fewer people are aware that just three miles up the Torridge from Bideford port is the Torridge sea lock, where the canal from Torrington opens into the tidal waters of the estuary. Strictly speaking such a lock should be called a tide lock, but in this case it was built by navvies and engineers who had just completed work on the Bude Sea Lock and so gave it the name of Sealock, which has stuck for nearly 200 years.

When the lock and the canal basin to which it gave access from the tideway were built, the whole area between Annery Kiln and the river was a hive of industrial activity including the lime kiln, pottery kilns, brick works and a major ship building yard. Despite being upstream of Bideford bridge, several sea-going ships were launched at the Sealock shipyard in the parish of Landcross, the largest being the Sedwell Jane, a brigantine of about 200 tons. Ships of this size were built up to gunwale level and then floated downstream of the Long Bridge for fitting of the superstructure.

By the end of the nineteenth century, with the canal being abandoned in favour of the railway and the old industries dying out, the sea lock fell into disrepair and virtually vanished into the landscape being filled with silt washed in by flood waters and overgrown with trees and bushes. It was rediscovered by new owners of the land in the 1970s, who started restoring the site and were instrumental in forming the Rolle Canal and Northern Devon Waterways Society in 2003, since when restoration has proceeded apace with the masonry repaired and a pair of upper lock gates now fully operational.

Chris Hassall.


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Felicity’s fish cookery – October.

October brings chilled Autumn temperatures and makes you think of preserving the bounties of the harvest for the winter. Fish also can be preserved-by smoking, pickling and curing. This often enhances the flavour and makes the fish easier to use as it does not have to be eaten fresh. Round fish such as Mackerel and Herrings are very good preserved.

I have been selling Kippers, Bloaters and Buckling made from Herrings landed in Clovelly last winter. Also winter Mackerel makes the best Smoked Mackerel and will be freshly smoked in October and throughout the winter.

A FREE “Fabulous Thursday Fish” will be run during half term holiday on Thursday 30th October 10.00am-2.00pm at St Mary’s Church Hall Appledore. This will have a local fish demonstration and a children’s workshop, as well as a good range of stalls (including the RNLI stall) for Christmas cards and other gifts. Please come along and support this event and have a simple lunch to eat in or take away.

Our local fish is mostly day caught and is sustainable because it is caught in a way that is gentle on the sea environment, the seabed of the bay and the other marine animals. The boats are small fishing boats because of the limited harbour facilities and the amount of fish caught locally is limited by the duration of fishing; most of the small boats will be laid up during the winter and the fish will flourish.

So which fish is sustainable for you to buy? First – buy local , then try and buy a wider range of fish and eat a different fish regularly so that you have knowledge of a more locally caught fish and shellfish.

( Here is a simple tasty curry to combine autumn vegetables with lovely fresh white fish fillets.)

White Fish Balti with Green beans and tomatoes.

Serves 4 – Low calories-250 per portion.

1 lb/450g white fish-Pollack, Coley, Haddock

or Codling.

1 tbsp sunflower oil.

1 small onion, chopped.

1clove garlic, crushed.

1 jar (approx. 400g) of Balti sauce.

2 tomatoes, quartered.

4oz/125g lightly cooked green beans- french or kidney, sliced.


1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onion and garlic for I minute.

2. Add Balti sauce, Cover and cook gently for 15 mins.

3. Lightly stir in the tomatoes and green beans, simmer for 5 mins.

4. Serve with naan bread and basmati rice.


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October’s Youth page.


This year’s GCSE results appeared at schools up and down the country last month, bringing with them a plethora of feelings. Some people opened them immediately- after weeks of frenzied waiting, wondering and all-round fretful seething, why put it off anymore? Others took theirs home still sealed , either to find out in quiet seclusion, or keep the envelope closed indefinitely. Like Schrödinger’s “will it be poisoned?”- “will it just be very huffy at the end of all this?” relationship with his cat, sometimes not knowing is better- while you’re totally in the dark about the truth, your French results could be both unmarkable and an A*. Until you shed light on the situation, anything’s possible.

Sadly, such logic is frowned upon in job interviews – apparently they want cold, hard statistics now, so you’ll have to peep into the rabbit hole eventually. Then again, thanks to new government legislation, there are even more compulsory years before any such hurdle can be leapt/ unsportingly clambered over. The news that school is to remain a permanent fixture of life until the age of 18 has been met with a rather mixed response.

While many intended to stay on in higher education anyway- maybe even continue up to University, there are always some who leave school with a skip and a jump at 16 to find work, and no one seems completely sure how this balance will be affected. Will this mean even closer competition for available places ( already entrance requirements for sixth-form have been toughened, ensuring less can make it in and an optimum level is not exceeded) or will there just be bottlenecks and claustrophobic traffic jams outside classrooms as schools take on the same number, but fail to lose a few? Such questions have been adding to the mounting unease, but thankfully there are still alternatives.

Trigonometry and polymers don’t crop up much on the shop floor, and a working knowledge of hydrogenation won’t save your thatched roof from storm conditions. For those looking to learn a trade, who are finding the extra two years a heady millstone around their neck, thankfully training of any kind is also included in “higher education.” This means you can look further into your preferred occupation, stocking up on skills and experience instead of scouting out the job market immediately. If those who intended to leave now continue into apprenticeships and the like, a new, better balance could probably found.

So here at Buzz, we hope everyone got the results they wanted (or are content with the results they may or may not have…) and think about all the different routes open to you, to make the best of your calling-this may be the tester year, but much harder tests are already behind you!

Sixth form itself’s more like that bridge between school and university- before you set foot on it, there’s the odd creeping fear that someone’s about to leap out from behind the shrubbery, and gently break it to you that your results were in fact a miscalculation, and you won’t be allowed to set foot on this course after all. ( in the bridge analogy, this would probably relate to some kind of weight restriction…).

However, after days of terror, fretting over which clothes to wear so you’re never seen in the same outfit twice- school uniform is a horrible cross to bear until it’s actually taken away- the day of reckoning approaches and realisation comes that it’s not that alien after all.

Chances are, there are some people you know already- with whom you can safely clump- and others; clean slates to mingle with and meet. Some classes are readily familiar- a couple of the sciences, maths, English-maybe even a humanity or two, but the options are also open for more unusual topics interspersed with the rest- psychology for example to breathe fresh air onto a stale syllabus- while simultaneously teaching you why toddlers like eye contact…

Conversations with those around you sheds light on the awful attire situation, as you hear most people plan to juggle between the same three pairs of jeans too, and courses- despite being a lot more detailed than their GCSE counterparts, have the same strong foundations to work from- so any worries about the bridge collapsing from beneath you are soon put into hibernation.

All in all then, it’s more of a step forward than a total leap into the abyss- the same rules you’ve always grown up under, but now with added swipe cards, free periods, and unlimited access to the staff toilets. ( Anywhere with it’s own can of fabreeze is a definite step up.) It’s not that long or daunting, perhaps less of a rickety bridge then, more a comforting country lane.

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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Book news – October.

Events at Bideford Library

For Kids -

Story time for under-fives

Every Thursday. 9:30-10:00 am (except school holidays)

With stories, musical instruments and songs.

Spooktastic Storytime

Thursday 30th October 6-7 pm

Join us for spooky stories if you dare! Come along in fancy dress or your pyjamas. Bring your bravest teddy! Free for children of all ages but book places in advance.

For Adults -

Nifty Needles For anyone who enjoys embroidery, quilting, knitting, crochet and other handcrafts. Contact library for full details on 01237 476075.

Board games afternoon

A chance for enthusiasts to have a game of chess, scrabble or game of choice. Contact library for full details.

Feel Better with a Book (please check with library to confirm the group is running each week). Every Wednesday 10:30-12:00 am.  Come and lift your mood through the joy of reading! The aim of the groups is to enable you to enjoy the pleasure and relaxation of listening to great stories and poems – classical and new – and sharing responses with others. No pressure and no reading required. The group is led by an experienced facilitator.

Bideford Library Readers’ Group.

The Readers’ group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. in Bideford Library. Books for the month are supplied by the Library and can be picked up at the meeting or from the Library desk. Discussions are very much centred on the book of the month and meetings usually finish around 3.15. If further information is required anyone interested can contact Peter Evans on 01237 47917.

Next month – Discussing ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, by Sue Monk Kidd.


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One hundred years ago – October 1914.

War News.

One hundred and twenty recruits from Bideford have joined the 6th Devon Territorials since the outbreak of war. Those leaving recently include H Woodyatt, E Taylor, R Stoneman, E W Kelway, E Bray, H J Harding, E Symons and J and W Woodland.

Steps have been taken to furnish Bath House,* Bideford, for the reception of twenty five Belgian refugees. Weekly fund raising concerts are being held, at which patriotic songs are to be sung. One such concert given by the West Buckland School Nursery Boarders raised 10s 6d.

Other news.

Councillor S R Chope has been nominated for a further term as Mayor.

A cart belonging to Mr Baglow of Old Town was upset due to the horse shying. The accident happened near The Downes, Alverdiscott Road, the home of Rev. C H G Vivian JP. Fortunately Mr Vivian’s daughters have received practical Red Cross training. After first aid had been administered, Mr Vivian took the injured to Bideford Hospital in his motor car. All are expected to make a good recovery.

(From Bideford Archives, Windmill Lane, Northam)

*Bath House.

Can anyone confirm the location of Bath House, Bideford?

We know there were hot and cold seawater baths somewhere in the library/Tantons location but can’t pin it down exactly. If you can help please let Buzz know. Thanks.

Bideford Archives.


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‘A Little Port’.

As promised in last month’s Buzz here is the poem about Appledore written by George Douglas Warden (father of Audrey Jones of Bideford) , who was wounded and lost his sight in World War One.

(Contributed by Audrey’s daughter-in-law, Eleanor Jones).

‘A little port’.

In Appledore, the cobbled floor

of many a steep and narrow way

seems ready to leap across the quay

over the bar and out to sea,

dancing away with a thousand years

of Devon lore from Appledore.

Like a wandering child by love beguiled

a coaster hugs the maternal quay

her lullaby the sound afar of the lone low beat

of the harbour bar.

So old, this place that time it seems

is kept in store at Appledore.

Within a maze of weathered stays

of stocks and struts and stilted beams

a toy ship waits in a toy dry dock

for her overhaul and painted frock

they’re ‘broidering “Laura” on her breast

say the crew ashore in Appledore.

Old men tell tales of winter gales

clattering boots on cobbled ways

of daunting wave and doleful bell

when they launched the lifeboat into hell

of widows mourning measured by

the weeds they wore in Appledore.

But lazy days in summer haze

and idling on the quiet quay

put thought’s winter far behind

like migrant swallows outward bound.

So on this splendid tragedy, I’ll swell no more

in Appledore.


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Shipping news No. 116 (August/ September 2014).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Helas – built 2001 (ex- Oostersingel, 2005) : flag Limassol, Cyprus : owners German : from Glensanda to Birdport : crew Russian & Ukrainian : arrived 14/9, sailed 15/9 : loaded 3,100 tons chippings.


No cargoes at Bideford since last edition.

Welsh Piper, 28.8.14.

Arco Dart at Appledore – 25.8.14, 9.9.14, 12.9.14, 13.9.14.

Oldenburg continues her sailings to Lundy until the end of October when she will be drydocked.

Saturday 23rd August at approx 16.45, the return to Bideford of the sailing vessel Kathleen and May. Large crowds were at Victoria Park, on the Quay and East of the Water to greet her back to the port she graced for so long. She had been at Gloucester undertaking film work ; upon departure she was returning to her new port of Canning Dock Liverpool. She looks in excellent condition and is being looked after in her new port. She finally sailed on Saturday 30.8.14 .

Information received from Capt. Hoad, Bideford Harbour master, that the second vessel for the Irish Navy the LE James Joyce is due to leave the building shed on the 23rd November. (High water is at 18.15).

Bristol Channel Observations

18.8.14 at 16.28 cargo vessel Telamon, 3,664 tons d.w, owners Gerhard Wessel Germany, inward bound for Cardiff.

19.8.14 at 16.30 vehicle carrier Valiant Ace, 59,622 tons d.w, owners Mitsui OSL Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

20.8.14 at 08.30 cargo vessel Kaja, 4,210 tons d.w, owners Kaja OU Estonia, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 01.46 . At 18.25 container vessel Marajama, 18,323 tons d.w, owners unknown, inward bound for Portbury . At 18.25 cargo vessel Aasheim, 5,826 tons d.w, owners Hans Martin Torkelsen Norway,outward bound from Port Talbot, having sailed at 14.12.

22.8.14 at 2000 vehicle carrier Grand Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 14.58. At 20.33 bulk carrier Anna Marie, 81,404 tons d.w., owners Aegean Bulk of Greece, inward bound for Port Talbot.

26.8.14 at 09.05 cargo vessel Eva Maria Muller, 3,723 tons d.w, owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

28.8.14 at 12.30 bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 38,997 tons d.w, owners Aggregate Industries U.K. Ltd United Kingdom, inward bound for Portbury. (Also seen 31.8.14 at 15.07 outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 07.59). At 14.30 project cargo vessel Abis Bremen 3948 tons d.w, owners Abis Shipping Co BV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

30.8.14 at 08.50 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w, owners United European Car Carriers Norway, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 01.49. At 15.07 container ship Endeavour 9168 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

31.8.14 at 07.37 bulk carrier Prabhu Sumat, 81,137 tons d.w, owners Tulani Shipping Co Ltd India inward bound for Portbury. At 14.57 vehicle carrier Viking Chance 10,834 tons d.w owners Gram Car Carriers AS Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

1.9.14 at 16.43 container vessel MSC Eyra, 21,370 tons d.w, owners Eyra Naviera S.A Hong Kong China, (on Charter to Mediterranean Shipping Co Switzerland, ) inward bound for Portbury.

5.9.14 at 19.58 cargo vessel Eva Maria Muller, 3,723 tons d.w., owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

7.9.14 at 11.40 cargo vessel Helen Anna, 3,650 tons d.w, owners Helen Ann Schiffahrts GMBH Germany and cargo vessel Fri Stream 3270 tons d.w, owners Rederij C Kornet & Zonen B.V. Netherlands ; both vessels inward bound for Newport. At 17.17 cargo vessel Rider, 4,634 tons d.w., owners Emsrider Scheepvaart CV Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth.

8.9.14 at 11.49 cargo vessel Fehn Cartagena, 1,550 tons dw, owners Fehn Bereederubgs GMBH & Co Germany, inward bound for Cardiff. In the late afternoon and evening the channel was very busy with warships outward bound from Cardiff after the NATO meeting which was held at Newport. Unable to identify them (warships do not have an AIS transmitter on board.) With the help of Clydemaritime website the destroyer which passed Lundy at approx 18.50 hrs was the French vessel La Motte Piquet.

10.9.14 at 07.55 vehicle carrier Grande Portogallo, 12,594 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At the same time the Fisheries research vessel Cefas Endeavour 650 tons d.w, owners unknown, was also in Bideford Bay.

11.9.14 at 11.46 chemical tanker Stolt Petrel, 4,761tons d.w, owners Stolt Tankers BV Netherlands Rotterdam, outward bound from Barry, having sailed at 07.36.

13.9.14 at 16.16 container ship Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth. slightly later than her usual Saturday schedule, passing Lundy. Also anchored in Bideford Bay late in the afternoon the Buoy Tender vessel Patricia 990 tons d.w, owners Trinity House, Harwich; still there 14th.

14.9.14 at 11.00 cargo vessel Chopin, 5,697 tons d.w, owners Strahlmann E Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth.



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October diary.

Thursday 30th

10.15am Northam Men’s Forum, Northam Methodist Church Hall. Andrew Butler (NFU) – ‘Food Security’.

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

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

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

Friday 31st

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

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

8pm Ceilidh Club, Northam Hall. 476632


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Future health services : public meetings.

Proposals for the future of community health services in North Devon and Torridge

People from North Devon and Torridge are being invited to hear proposals for the future of community health services.

North Devon’s doctors and healthcare managers will be on hand to talk about what they heard during a series of engagement events over the past 12 months with local people and organisations.

The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) published its commissioning intentions for community services in Devon on 17 September.

These include the proposals for community hospitals, health and social care hubs, urgent care services in the community, stroke services, physiotherapy, community nursing, chiropody, leg ulcer clubs and more.

The CCG plans to involve and engage with local people and organisations from this date.

In North Devon and Torridge three different types of public meetings are being held:

Three meetings to share the ideas around care closer to home for the public and gain their feedback.

Seven meetings to ensure a two-way dialogue between the CCG and the public to analyse the options in the commissioning intentions document. These meetings will be held in seven towns across North Devon and Torridge.

Three meetings to share extensive feedback with the public.

The health and wellbeing scrutiny committees in Devon and Plymouth will also be kept up to date throughout to ensure the process for involving local people in these important proposals is fully scrutinised. This includes opportunities for each of the committees to examine the proposals.

At the events people will also have an opportunity to discuss and comment on the proposals.

More details are available on the NEW Devon CCG website’s community services page:


North Devon and Torridge events

Dialogue and options with the public

Friday 7 November 2014, 6pm – 9pm, Ilfracombe Academy, Worth Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 9JB.

Thursday 13 November 2014, 1pm – 4pm, Assembly Rooms, East Street, South Molton, EX36 3BU.

Wednesday 26 November 2014, 6pm – 9pm, The Plough Arts Centre, 9-11 Fore Street, Torrington, EX38 8HQ.

Gathering feedback

Thursday 27 November 2014, 6pm – 9pm, Holsworthy Memorial Hall, EX22 6DJ.

Thursday 4 December 2014, 6pm – 9pm, Ilfracombe Academy, Worth Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 9JB.

Wednesday 10 December 2014, 6pm – 9pm, Barnstaple Hotel, Braunton Road, Barnstaple, EX31 1LE.

For more information or to register for one of the above events, contact Makylla Isaac on or 01769 575 143.


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Buzz Word – September.

Send us your Buzzes…. Write to or to the address on front page.

Wartime Fire Service.

Firemen from North Devon, who crewed the Watermouth Bay “PLUTO” (Pipeline Under the Ocean) receiving terminal. This was part of the training for ‘D-day’; the pipeline ran across the Bristol Channel from Cardiff. (Provisionally dated early 1943).

This photo was supplied by Mr. Coates, and was in response to last month’s front page article from Appledore Maritime Museum about their current exhibit – ‘Top Secret experimental work’.

A fireboat in Bideford Harbour in WW2. (From the North Devon Museum Trust Archives) Loaned by Appledore Maritime Museum.


By popular demand, the theatrical singing group, Encore! will be returning to Holy Trinity Church, Westward Ho! on Saturday 13th September 2014

at 7pm. Hot foot from a successful concert in London and performing before an audience of 1,000 people in the Pannier Market in South Molton, Encore! will be singing a new programme of songs for the audience at Holy Trinity Church. Their combination of four part singing, duets and solos of well loved songs from shows old and new is becoming well known throughout the area for its high quality and entertaining appeal.

Chudleigh Fort.

On a recent visit to Chudleigh Fort I was happy to see that the cannons have been re-instated. As far as I know they were last fired in August 1855, as the new ship the Sarah Newman made her way down the river Torridge. The spectators were numbered in their thousands. She was 1,220 tons in weight, length 236 ft, breadth 35ft depth 21ft and could carry 1,800 tons of cargo.The ship was built by Geo. Cox.

Derek Barnes

Singing for Parkinson’s.

You may have read in recent times of how singing can be of great benefit to Parkinsonians in overcoming some of the problems we have.

These might include problems with your speech- perhaps your voice has become quieter, have difficulty in holding conversations, getting fed up with people saying “Pardon”, shortness of breath, leaving other people to answer the phone, feeling a bit left out socially because of communications problems?

Poor speech can also lead to loss of confidence, and lack of self-esteem.

Parkinson’s Singing groups are now being set up nationwide.

Recently a few of us have been meeting regularly to sing shanties and other unaccompanied songs. The result has been marvellous. You might have seen us singing at a couple of our events and you can see how much we enjoy it.

Not only do we have enormous fun, and enjoy our singing but the benefits are clear – clearer stronger voices, and a real lift.

Research has suggested the benefits of singing in a group and our experience has confirmed it!

We would now like to open it up to everyone, both Parkinsonians and spouses, carers, etc. in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

You won’t be asked to sing solos, nor perform in public, just join in and enjoy yourself.

There will be no charge but you might want to make a small donation towards refreshments.

What’s that – you can’t sing? We’ll soon prove you wrong!

It would be handy to know how many people are coming so we have enough sheets, but there’s nothing to stop you from just popping in. We start on 4th September. Church hall, Appledore.every Thursday afternoon1.30 to 3.30 pm except for the fourth Thursday of the month. The Church hall overlooks the main “pay and display” car park in Appledore. level access available.

Further details from Ian on Bideford 475449 or Jackie on 471216


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Felicity’s fish cookery – September.

September brings the chill of autumn and plenty of apples. It also means the end of the summer mackerel –we have not seen many mackerel this summer. The north coast summer mackerel is often smaller than the Cornish Mackerel caught in the winter.

The August demonstration at “Fabulous Thursday Fish” held in Appledore showed over 30 people how to prepare a cooked crab. A FREE“ Fabulous Wednesday Fish” session will be held at the St Mary’s Church hall, Appledore on Wednesday 24nd September from 2.00pm. We will demonstrate preserving fish, especially soused mackerel, and other recipes with fish, apples and other autumn fruits. (This is being held on Weds. in September due to the hall being pre- booked on the Thursday) . We hope to continue this interesting combination of Fish Demonstration, Childrens’ Workshops and Lunches with fish themed local arts and crafts with changing guest exhibitors on each month until Christmas. So please come along.

Here is one of my favourite dishes for Mackerel and Apples.

Baked Mackerel with Caramelised Apple and Cider Sauce

Ingredients for 2. (603 cals. with potatoes, under 500cals without).

2x Mackerel fillets 170gms (6oz), 30gms(10oz) butter, 150gms dry cider, 1 dessert apple thinly sliced, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1x15ml(1tbsp Crème fraiche), Mangetout to serve.

Pre heat Oven 180 C/Gas Mark 4

1.Place the Fillets into a shallow casserole dish.

2.Combine the melted butter 2/3 cider and the sliced apples and pour over the fish

3.Arrange 1/3 apple slices on the top and sprinkle with thyme.

4.Bake for 20-25 mins. until the apples caramelise.

5.Heat the remaining cider in a small pan, simmer for 2-3mins.until syrupy and whisk in the crème fraiche. Add a little to the dish

6.Serve remaining sauce with the fish, mangetout and potatoes.

Felicity Sylvester- 07918 779 060


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September’s Youth page.

I do like to be beside the seaside; I really do…

Once the school holidays descended for everyone – after ages of hurried clock-watching by discombobulated students and teachers alike – around about six weeks of relaxation could finally ensue.

Think of all the box sets, trips to the park and sandcastles you might’ve ploughed through in the first few days of freedom ; in fact, with the pleasant weather we’ve been enjoying of late ( optimistically speaking; by the time this issue of Buzz comes to press, we may have had two weeks of snow, but right now with the scalding pavements and blazing sun, it seems unlikely that would settle) the box set may even have been sidelined in favour of another trip to the beach.

However, come week four or five, when Westward Ho! has been pillaged for the ninth consecutive day, you know the ins and outs of the go-kart track and can recognise each individual pebble on the ridge by sight alone; a lot of people begin to pine for the unexplored coastlines of California, Malibu, or just jolly old Skegness – after all, it’s a change of scenery.

It’s incredibly easy, though, when growing up in a place as traditionally idyllic as Bideford, with the rolls of hill, marauding seagulls and surrounding sea-side, to forget just how sought after your space is. It has to be said, the majority of Britain is settled inland, a vast swathe of which is concrete city, with neither a sniff of grass nor sea to be smelt for miles around.

Many people save up all year round ,then, to visit places like Bideford and Devon for their summer breaks – eager to see the sea and river-side delights. An overheard conversation voicing the need to ensure it really was the ocean they looked at, and not just a large, sandy lake. Although this conspiracy would require pretty much every local to be in on it, it’s not surprising such worries abound, when the seaside is a place as craved and anticipated as it is . In the end when you think about it, there’s an awful lot to look forward to; arcades, promenades, Hockings ice cream, not to mention the sheer joy of the ocean itself. Meanwhile, closer to home, there’s a whole world to find off the beaten track, be it a very well hidden boutique ( the extra effort required to find it, helps ward off mere browsers…) a quiet coffee shop, or the serene, leaf-laced woods up yonder.

In fact, there’s a startling amount to find and do when you’re not frequenting all your usual haunts, and it’s with a fresh pair of eyes that people visit from far afield, no particular bias where they go, so long as it looks interesting. Perhaps there is something to be said for another trip to the beach then, before we all get rounded back up for school….

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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North Devon Archaeological Society.

Ever watched the Time Team and felt inspired? Interested in local history but want to delve into a past where documents are of little help? Keen to keep your brain and body active?

For more than fifty years North Devon Archaeological Society (NDAS) has been providing opportunities for its members to get involved and to learn more about the rich heritage of this area.

Members of NDAS are well placed to be involved in cutting-edge archaeological exploration, alongside both research and rescue organisations.  Under the supervision of professional archaeologist Chris Preece the Society is also running its own seasonal dig at a clay pipe kiln site in Torridge which has produced large quantities of finds. Members have taken part in all aspects of practical archaeology including geophysical surveys, excavation, field walking, pot washing etc.

We are also working with Exmoor National Park, Leicester University and Parracombe History and Archaeological Society on the Longstone Landscapes project, a two year programme of recording the Bronze Age Landscape around Chapman Barrows where training opportunities have included flint identification and field survey techniques. Members are now equipped to survey and complete field drawings of the burial mounds and carry out systematic searches for evidence of flint knapping. They have also recorded much of the deserted farm at Radworthy near Challacombe.

If your interest is more of an armchair archaeologist then our Winter Lecture programme is interesting and varied, attracting prestigious speakers on subjects as diverse as Bronze Age pottery and North Devon’s preparations for D-Day.

NDAS welcomes all new members, regardless of whether they have any previous knowledge of archaeology. Find out more on our website

Linda Blanchard , Chairman.


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One hundred years ago – September 1914.

from Bideford Community Archives, Windmill Lane Northam, tel 01237-471714

The first local casualty of the War . Captain T.S. Wickham, DSO, of the 2nd Manchester Regiment, who was the youngest son of T. T. Wickham JP and former mayor of Bideford, is one of the first deaths of the First World War to be reported in the 1st September 1914 edition of the Bideford Gazette. The circumstances and the whereabouts of his death were unknown at that time.

There were public Meetings across North Devon to raise money for the Devon Patriotic Fund and to encourage men to volunteer for military service. The first was held at Clovelly Court at the end of August and a considerable sum of money was pledged. Bideford held its mass meeting in the Market Hall which was “packed with every class and section of the community”.

The Devonshire Patriotic Fund was swelled by £715:2:3d. this week from collections across the area and, as a result of a benefit night sponsored by Hancock’s Steam Circus, £3:4:10d was added to the fund.

Owners of homing pigeons have been advised by Bideford Police to keep their birds in as they run a great risk of being shot by military authorities. Several have already been killed, but the newspaper gives no indication why.

Pte Jones and Pte Kelly and other recruits who have joined Kitchener’s Army from Bideford & North Devon districts have written interesting letters home about their experiences in Exeter and Aldershot. They claim to be “well cared for and are having a good time”.

The Board of Trade confirm an Order made by the Light Railway Commissioners for North Devon & Cornwall Junction Light Railway, Order No. 191, authorising the construction of a light railway from Torrington to Halwill, including the reconstruction of part of the mineral line known as the Torrington & Marland Railway.


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Shipping news No. 115 (July/ August 2014).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Anna Dorte - built 2011 ; flag Rotterdam, Netherlands ; owners Dutch ; from Wicklow to Lubeck ; crew Russian, Ukrainian, & Philippino ; arrived 7/8, sailed 8/8 ; loaded 2,000 tons timber.

In port – Bideford.

Countess Anna - (ex- Wiebeke K, 2005) ; built 1994 ; flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda ; owners German ; from Swansea to Castellon ; crew Russian ; arrived 10/8, sailed 12/8 ; loaded 2,500 tons ball clay.

Arco Dart has been away from the Bristol Channel working on the South Coast ; no sightings at Appledore.

Oldenburg continues sailing from Bideford and Ilfracombe.

Bristol Channel Observations.

21.7.14 at 11.25 cargo vessel Kaili, 4,512 tons d.w, owners Klip Marine Ship Management Ltd Estonia, inward bound for Sharpness. At 16.38 cargo vessel Scot Ranger, 3,419 tons d.w, owners Scotline Ltd UK, inward bound for Newport.

22.7.14 at 19.20 Cargo vessel Hendrik S., 3,200 tons d.w, owners unknown, inward bound for Newport.

26.7.14 at 18.08 bulk carrier Koutalianos, 92,710 tons d.w., owners Ediola Shipping Ltd, Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

27.7.14 at 12.30 container vessel Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth . At 17.30 cargo vessel Jolyn, 3,568 tons d.w, owners Wagenborg Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness

28.7.14 at 11.16 vehicle carrier Grande Napoli 14565 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

29.7.14 at 08.55 two cargo vessels seen ; the first one was the Eva Maria Muller, 3,722 tons d.w., owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness : and the cargo vessel Valentin Pikul, 2,917 tons d.w., owners North Western Shipping Joint Stock Co Russia , inward bound for Cardiff.

30.7.14 at 17.10 chemical tanker Endelo Swan, 4,972 tons d.w., owners Endelo Swan APS Denmark, inward bound for Avonmouth with a cargo of UAN.

31.7.14 at 08.07 cargo vessel Lady Anna, 3,700 tons d.w., owners Wijnne & Barends Cargodoors Netherlands, inward bound for Birdport.

3.8.14 at 14.16 cargo vessel Smaragd, 3,195 tons d.w., owners De Bock Maritiem BV Netherlands, inward bound for Newport . At 15.47 vehicle carrier Autopride, 4,492 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

7.8.14 at 07.58 cargo vessel Ocean Sachel, 5,443 tons d.w, owners unknown, outward bound from Sharpness, having sailed at 15.16 6.8.14

8.8.14 at 13.00 bulk carrier Navios Sagittarus, 75,756 tons d.w, owners unknown, inward bound for Port Talbot. At 19.46 cable ship Resolute, 10,277 tons d.w, owners Tyco Resolute Inc Spain, inward bound for Avonmouth.

9.8.14 at 11.33 container ship Endeavour, 9,168 tons dw., owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

12.8.14 at 16.33 vehicle carrier Grande Colonia, 12,292 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 11.37. At 18.15 bulk carrier Guo Tou, 93,738 tons d.w., owners unknown, inward bound for Portbury.

13.8.14 at 09.34 cargo vessel Sea Kestrel, 2,252 tons d.w, owners Torbulk Ltd England, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 23. 00 12.8.14



Ernest Shackleton lecture, 23rd September.

I am giving an illustrated lecture on Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition  at the Plough Arts Centre in Great Torrington on 23rd September.

The lecture is about one of the great stories of the sea and I am sure would be of interest to some of your subscribers. On an expedition to Antarctica in 1914, Shackleton’s ship the “Endurance” was trapped and crushed in the pack ice. After surviving for five months on the ice, Shackleton’s men rowed to Elephant Island- from there Shackleton sailed for help in an open lifeboat to south Georgia almost 800 miles away – over 3 months later he returned to rescue the crew marooned on Elephant Island. The expedition photographer, Frank Hurley, captured the story with his camera. It is a remarkable story with equally remarkable pictures.

Mark Cottle.


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