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

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

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

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

Arco Dart at Appledore 29/1/14

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

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

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

Bristol Channel Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards Norman.


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Not an everyday sight.

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

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

Jan Whittington.

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


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Transfer of Port Memorial to Bideford Town Council.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Port of Bideford Stone.

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

The ship represents the town of Bideford.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Floods – policy versus practicality.

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Hassall.

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


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Buzz Word – February.

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

Specialist/ Therapist Books Offered.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you very much for an excellent local magazine,

Marianne Richards

01237 479721

Lucy’s Diary – the follow up.

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Snowden.

Calling all North Devon Knitters!...

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

Northam and Westward Ho! and district through time .

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

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

Best wishes

Julia Barnes

Yule Logs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Hassall.

Infants School, East the Water.

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

G.D. Ford

From Russia … to Shebbear

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


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One hundred years ago – February 1914.

  • In the Bideford Gazette during February there is a report of the second annual dinner of the Farmers Union which was held in the New Inn Hotel.

  • The town water supply is still causing problems and Bideford Urban District Council are discussing whether to turn off the water between 10 pm and 6 am in an effort to save a depleted supply reservoir.

  • On 17th February Charles Williams announced that he had sold his Cycle and Motor business at 1 Allhalland Street to Mr George Boyle – both the name and premises will still be familiar to many of you.

We are all aware of what is about to happen to Britain in the second half of 1914 but the events that led to World War 1 are far from widely understood. In the forthcoming months we will look at local events, places and people who became casualties of the conflict.

This month’s contribution from the Bideford Archive concludes with a request for some help. We have a considerable amount of 16 mm home movie films and have no idea what they are about and need some way of viewing and cataloguing them. If you are able to help, please contact us on 471714 or come to our offices at Windmill Lane, Northam.


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More about the Bridge Trust.

Having talked about how the Trust came to be set up and its involvement with property in the town I will now discuss the very wide range of things the Trust has funded.

Trustees have always been interested in education, having set up a Commercial School in 1762 and paying the teacher’s salary of £12.50 per year. This taught useful subjects to ready young Bidefordians for a merchant’s life – it continuing until well into the nineteenth century. In 1823 the Church of England set up a ‘National’ School in Old Town on the site now occupied by the Fire Station – with the Trust paying the teacher’s salary of £35 per year.

Some 15 years later local nonconformists established the ‘British’ School in Higher Gunstone (the building is still there) and the Trust, in a wonderful example of non-sectarianism, paid the £35 per annum salary of the school’s teacher. In 1844 an infant school was built at the top of Honestone Street (today’s Angling Club) and the Trust became a generous benefactor to this – as it did when the School of Art on the Quay was built in 1896.

When the new Bideford College first became a solid project I, as chairman of the Trust, was approached by the College head Veronica Matthews wondering whether we would like to ‘buy some computers’ for the new school. Veronica is an ex-tutee of mine (so is Katie Hopkins but the less I say about her the better I think!) and I was glad that the Trust gave £1/2 million (its largest ever grant) to the scheme.

Today any student living within the parish of Bideford is automatically eligible for £400 worth of book grants if they enter higher education. We also offer bursaries of £500 per annum and even ‘hardship grants’ to all students in the area. We also fund youngsters going on school trips where teachers wish us to help students from poorer backgrounds.

The Trust also gives backing to a lot of the local sports clubs including rowing, football and rugby – and in the 1720s we even set up a ‘Bowling Green’ somewhere near the top of High Street – which for me always conjures up a picture of errant bowls rolling down the hill to the river!

One group has always been high up on our list of those we help – the poor. In the eighteenth century we gave £12 annually to help the poor of Bideford, as well as one-off payments such as giving £20 in 1766 to buy food and sell it at subsidised prices to the poor ‘at this time of dearness of Corn’. In 1831 there was very high unemployment in the town and the Trust put aside two acres of land in Northdown Lane (as it then was) for use as allotments – the first established in Bideford. Again in 1797 William Richards ‘a poor Aged Man’ was given 3 guineas (£3.15) ‘to buy him a Horse to carry Coals in lieu of his Horse which lately broke his Thigh.’ Today we still deal with cases passed on to us by Social Services and various other charities.

The Trust regularly helps with medical issues having put funds towards hospital minibuses, the ‘Chestnut Appeal’, electric wheelchairs and specialist medical equipment for our local hospital. Back in 1787 (and on two other occasions) we even paid for the town’s poor to be inoculated against smallpox – and paid for one poor individual to be treated for his mental illness at ‘Bedlam’ hospital on London.

Other funding has been directed to fire fighting – in the 1770s we bought the town’s first fire engine – really a large pump, and also its second in 1803 when the town council refused to spend the money. More recently we paid for the new toilets in Victoria Park, the Queen’s Jubilee fountains on the Quay and helped fund the Jubilee Square scheme.

Finally we have had a long tradition of paying for apprenticeship indentures and the tools needed by these young people. Today such traditional apprenticeships have gone and so we now fund ‘Business Start-Ups’ where people on low incomes or who are unemployed and who wish to start in business are given a two part grant of £5000 to help them on their way. This scheme has been running for 16 years now and although not every one has been successful many people are now running their own business and employing others.

You may have been surprised at what the Trust does – certainly, without its benign presence in the town, Bideford and its surrounding area would be by far the poorer. If you wish to know more about the Trust and its history there is a small booklet entitled ‘The Long Bridge of Bideford through the centuries’ available from Walter Henry’s in High Street or the Burton Art Gallery and museum.

Peter Christie


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Shipping news No.107 (November 2013/ January 2014).

In port -Yelland.

Aressa - (Ex Baltiyskiy 105) ; built 1978 ; flag St. Petersburg ; owners Russian ; from Warrenpoint to Lubeck ; crew Russian ; arrived 28.11.13, sailed 30.11.13 ; loaded 2,250 tons timber.

Pride - (ex Wani Pride, 2005 : Accumersiel , 2002) ; built 2002 ; flag Gibraltar ; owners German ; from Glensanda to Briton Ferry ; crew Russian & Ukrainian ; arrived 29.12.2013, sailed 7.1.2014 ; discharged 3,000 tons chippings. (This vessel was originally due before Christmas;she loaded at Glensanda on the 19th then went to anchorage at Loch Linnie due to the bad weather,sailed down the Irish coast as far as Drogheda where again she had to shelter due to adverse weather conditions. Berthed on the 29th awaiting rising tides,completed discharge on evening of 30th, but due to weather could not sail until 7/1/14).

In port – Bideford.

No loadings.

Oldenburg has been to Sharpness 12.11.13 for drydocking, returns to service March/April (apart from a few cargo runs during the winter. Returned to Bideford 3.12.13)

It is with regret that we received news before Christmas of the death of the owner of the Kathleen and May, Steve Clarke OBE ; everybody connected with Buzz send their condolences to his family.

In port – Appledore.

Arco Dart at Appledore 16.11.13, 17.11.13, 1.12.13, 2.12.13.

The Irish patrol vessel, LE Samuel Beckett being built at Appledore is still due to go on trials at the end of January.

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

Bristol Channel Observations

14.11.13 at 13.47 cargo vessel Algarve, 36,120 tons d.w, owners Camargue Schippahrtsgesell Germany, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 08.25.

15.11.13 at 08.35 cargo vessel YongXing, 22,307 tons d.w, owners Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Co China/Poland, outward bound from Newport, having sailed at 03.49

16.11.13 at 15.15 cargo vessel Yangtze Ambition, 32,088 tons d.w., owners Tianjin CMB Sea Passion Shpg Shanghai China, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Seen again outward bound 23.11.13 at 15.00, having sailed at 09.23).

17.11.13 at 09.51 vehicle carrier Mignon, 28,127 tons d.w, owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway & Sweden, inward bound for Portbury. At 13.34 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 10,819 tons d.w owners Nippon Yusen Kiasha of Japan  inward bound for Portbury.

22.11.13 at 11.55 container vessel DS Agility, 13,856 tons d.w, owners DS Activity UND DS Agility Germany, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 09.01. At 12.45 tanker Tarantella, 46,764 tons d.w, owners Whitefin Shipping Co Ltd Houston USA, inward bound for Portbury.

23.11.13 at 15.54 hrs bulk carrier Burgia, 79,403 tons d.w, owners Burgia Schiffahrts Germany outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 10.09.

24.11.13 at 09.20 vehicle carrier Euro Spirit ,15,483 tons d.w., owners Nissan Motorcar Carriers Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.52 vehicle carrier Grande Italia, 12,594 tons d.w owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 07.27 .

27.11.13 at 09.06 vehicle carrier Grande Mediteranno, 18,427 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. At 11.10 vehicle carrier Grande Colonia, 12,292 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Group of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

6.12.13 at 14.09 vehicle carrier Grande Spagne, 12,594 tons d.w., owners GrimaldiLine of Italy inward bound for Portbury.

17.12.13 at 14.00 vehicle carrier Global Spirit, 16,493 tons d.w., owners NissanMotor Car Carriers Japan inward bound for Portbury.

Various ships anchored at Clovelly on the 23/24.12.13 Scot Ranger (outward bound from Swansea) sailed on the 24th ; the other vessel was the Stadum, which sailed off to Newport.

26.12.13 at 13.02 the bulk carrier Cape Stefanic, 172,566 tons d.w, outward bound from Port Talbot. At 14.15 cargo vessel Birch 1, 24,306 tons d.w., owners Birch Shipping Ltd Hong Kong, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Also seen again outward bound on 31.12.13 at 14.30, having sailed from Avonmouth at 07.37).

Again between the 29.12.13 /1.1.14 various ships anchored off Clovelly as follows : the Vanguard (outward from Sharpness), the Burgtor (outward from Ireland), and the Selene Prahm (outward from Cardiff) – all sheltering from the adverse weather.

2.1.14 at 10.55 vehicle carrier Glovis Cougar, 22,532 tons d.w., owners GL Cougar Shipping Inc Marshall Islands, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 08.38

10.1.14 at 09.11 vehicle carrier Grande Ellade, 18,440 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.30 bulk carrier AP.Jadran, 79,336 tons d.w., owners Atlan Ice Panamax Corp Dubrovnik Croatia, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 05.27 . At 13.48 bulk carrier Panamax Sterling, 78,932 tons d.w., owners PX Sterling Marine SA Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

13.1.14 at 08.40 cargo vessel Chipolbrok Galaxy, 30,330 tons d.w., owners Chinese Polish Joint Stock Shipping Co China and Poland, inward bound for Newport.

14.1.14 at 10.48 bulk carrier Boronia K, 33,677 tons d.w, owners Tri Bulkships S.A Japan, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 05.32



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‘Families for Children’ information mornings.

Families for Children is a voluntary Adoption agency and charity based in Buckfast.   We place vulnerable children from all over the UK who have suffered extreme trauma through neglect and abuse within their birth families specifically with adoptive families in Devon. We don’t only find the families but we then support them for life if they need us.

We are now running regular information mornings to encourage those who have an interest in adopting to come and meet with us and other Adoptive families very informally once a month. We are finding it increasingly difficult to find families in North Devon.

Katey McDonald

Families for Children

Southgate Court



TQ11 0EE

01364 645480

Families for Children Adoption Information Mornings.

Have you ever considered Adoption?    Want to find out more about how you could give a vulnerable child a loving and secure family?    We hold information mornings one Saturday of every month where you can talk with our specialist adoption social workers and experienced adoptive parents about all aspects of adoption.

Our next open morning is May 10th from 10am to 12 noon.

You can book a slot by calling 01364 645480, email, or turn up on the day. Visit for further details and directions.

Information Mornings for 2014 -

May 10th
June 7th
July 5th
Aug 2nd
Sept 6th
Oct 4th
Nov 8th
Dec 6th


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“The Yuletide Logs”.

There’s an old Chinese saying, “He who loses his temper burns all the logs he took the summer to chop”. And I was reminded of it when I delivered some fire logs once to a needy customer on Christmas Eve some years back.

I must have been in my mid thirties; I was working as a fireman and living in a little village bounding the edge of a river that ran through the flat fenland countryside of Cambridgeshire.    In the village there lived and worked a family that built sheds and almost anything else wooden, they also owned a piece of low lying riverside land at the far end of which stood the remains of a couple of old Elm trees.    These ancient Elms had succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease but had the potential to be turned into logs and then money.

It was a simple agreement; the owner would supply a chainsaw and axe, and I would supply the labour and my old gardening trailer; we would then share any proceeds.    Mostly I could drive my old car and trailer along a track to be close to the trees but after heavy rain you’d need a tractor or tracked vehicle to journey the quarter mile or so from road to tree.

Such a day it had been just before one Christmas Eve, and the ‘guvner’ informed me that we had an order for a trailer load from a man in the next village for ‘Yuletide logs’ to warm his cosy family Christmas.   Nothing daunted, always willing to help, I set off with car and trailer, leaving them on hard standing by the field gate near the road, and I carried the chainsaw and fuel along that soaked, puddle filled, slippery mudded track.    Look, the word track is too generous, it was simply a poor field edge too awkward to cultivate that had been deeply rutted by the odd tractor.    I set to, that cold wet winter’s day, and cut large lumps of wood and branches to a size that I could only just about carry on my shoulders.     I carried those heavy timbers one by one, back and forth, and back and forth along that ‘track’, slipping, straining, and giving it all for this man’s Christmas logs.   Eventually the trailer was full.    Mud and all, I set off for the village yard where the owner had his business.   Once there I lifted the timbers from the trailer and cut them into fire log size pieces before splitting with the axe to reveal the beautiful dark swirls of knotted Elm.   Not easy work this knotted wood as by now all the easy bits had been sold off … but a family man in the next village is looking forward to this treasured bounty to brighten his family’s Christmas Day.     Logs lifted yet once more and reloaded, I set off to find the address, after a short search I found the house and approached the door.     ‘Bing, Bong’ the bell went, ‘your logs are here’, I said, by now it being mid afternoon of the ‘Eve’.     “Good, I’ve been waiting, you can put them in the garage,” the unsmiling man said pointing to the garage door at the top of the drive.

I reversed the trailer closer to the garage and began unloading those precious spiritual Christmas Yuletide logs, the centuries old fruits of mother earth and human toil.     ‘Thud, thud, clonk, clonk’ they went as I hurriedly transferred them from trailer to garage floor …. For, I too, had some hopes of a tolerable, if not happy, Christmas Eve.

‘Clonk, clonk, clonk’ went the logs into plastic bags as the nearly new owner frenziedly tried to keep up with me.    For the life of me I could not understand what he was doing, had he asked I would have gladly put them in the bags for him, but no, he was totally engrossed feverishly clonk, clonk, clonking the logs into his big plastic bags.    Most odd, he was seemingly devoid of the Christmas cheer that those hard won logs were supposed to have brought him.    Isn’t that why he wanted them?

Then the penny dropped; there was a small clue in what he said next; “Not many here for a trailer load is there? I expected more than this.”    He’d been counting the logs all along.    “Not sure they’re worth fifteen quid”. Was he after a discount?    He wasn’t going to get one from me I can tell you; I would gladly have laboured a little longer and taken them all back to the yard for a more deserving customer.     I think he must have sensed my disappointment at his displeasure that cold, wet Christmas Eve.     “Humph, oh well, it’s too inconvenient to get them elsewhere at this late hour, here’s your money, but I won’t have any more from you” so saying handing over £15 exactly, of which for my efforts half was to be mine.    So with nearly a day’s seriously hard labour behind me and with my body’s life no doubt shortened by about a week, I took his money.

Thank you” said I, “and a Merry Christmas”.

As I drove away I thought, “not much Christmas spirit there old boy, not much at all, not even a smile … he’d have smiled all right if he’d carried those logs for miles through the mud.”     Poor old logs, I wonder how he put them on the fire, did he pick them up with gratitude in his heart for the tree’s great sacrifice, was there a silent prayer of reciprocal warmth as he placed them on the burning embers?     It is one Christmas Eve I’ll not forget; not so much for the labour, the day or the fetching of the logs but the handing them over to endure abject slavery and an arboreal purgatory to boot. That day the man from the next village had forever burned more than simply firewood.

Can you guess the author of this story? To win a free copy of his collection of short stories of which this is one, send us the name of the author to the address on front page, email, text or post. We have five copies to give away by 15th Jan 2014. Clue – Tai Chi


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Buzz Word – December.

More memories of St Peter’s Church.

I have just caught up with the October issue of the Buzz and was most interested in Margaret Copp’s article on St. Peter’s Church. A Shamwickshire boy, I was born at the bungalow which stands by the bottom gate of Pollyfield. I was a choirboy at St. Peter’s for several years, and was often required to pump the organ when power failed. Mrs. Trigger was the organist at that time, also providing piano lessons at her home in Old Barnstaple Road; unfortunately I was not a successful pupil!

The initiation ceremony when I became a chorister in about 1945 was to be thrown by two older boys down the steep grassy bank near where the air raid shelter was later built. As far as I know everyone survived and became successful choirboys. I remember the annual outings which consisted either of a train ride to Ilfracombe for a short trip up the coast aboard a Campbell’s paddle steamer, or a rail trip to Torrington Common for a picnic where so much fizzy pop was supplied that most of us returned to Bideford with very unpleasant stomach ache!

I attach a photograph of Mrs. Trigger and the choir which was taken in about 1947. Strange for someone who now has an awful memory I still remember all the names, which I would be pleased to supply if anyone expresses interest.

From 1939 to 1945 I attended East the Water School in Torrington Street, and remember teachers Miss Bow, Miss Braddick, Miss Huxtable, Miss Smale and Miss Moase. Mrs. Anderton was the head teacher. Only once did I experience the pain of her ebony stick across my hand – and that was for something I hadn’t even done!

I hope these notes will bring back a few happy memories of childhood in Bideford to some of my pals of those far away days.

Many years on my daughter Wendy married Cris Mackie at St. Peter’s, their children Louise and Ian being christened there a few years later. Oh happy days!

Anthony Sanders.

Light Up A Life.

A chance this Christmas to remember family and friends who have passed away. I know that many local people have also taken great comfort from Light Up A Life over the years and I often think about my patients and their families at this special time.

Honour the memory of your loved ones by coming to one of our Light Up A life services. Alternatively, should you prefer to share the name of your loved one, you can do so online ( or by calling Gerard on 01271 347224 or Azey on 01271 347231 with your loved ones’ names and a credit card donation. In return, my colleagues will send you your own special dedication card with the name of your loved ones, which will also be included in all special Light Up A Life books of remembrance displayed at our services throughout December.All our care is provided to the local people of North Devon entirely free of charge, however it costs £4 million each year to provide this care in our community.

If you can, please make a donation to support your local hospice, because every pound you are able to donate makes a difference to the lives of so many local people whom we serve

Jude Ward (Community Nurse Specialist, North Devon Hospice).

Food Bank.

The Northern Devon Foodbank would like to thank its supporters whose big-heartedness has enabled us to provide the equivalent of almost 22,000 meals to local adults and children in crisis.As you enjoy good food and drink with family and friends, and exchange gifts and tidings of peace and goodwill throughout this festive period, please spare a thought for those people, not too far away, who are less fortunate and may not be experiencing the same simple pleasures. Charles Schulz said, “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone”, and later this month the Foodbank will be giving additional Christmassy items to those that need our support. The volunteers at the Northern Devon Foodbank wish you all a peaceful Christmas.

Ginette Berry.

On the shelf for five years.

In October 2013, I received an email from my cousin Linda, who lives in Canada, saying, ’I’ve just brought back a book from the boat and it occurred to me that you would find it an interesting read. It’s about a young girl who travels with her parents from Illinois in 1870 to visit family in the Westcountry and in particular your “neck of the woods”. I found it very interesting ……’

After much research on the Internet, I eventually located a copy – thanks to the fact that my cousin had given me the ISBN number – and found it fascinating reading, particularly as (a) my sister Enid and I were born and bred in Appledore, (b) Enid lived in Buckland Brewer for many years, and (c) my friend Jen was born and bred, and now lives, in Buckland Brewer.

When Lucy and her parents disembarked in Liverpool in 1870, their first destination in England was Instow, which is 278 miles from Liverpool by AA Route today, leave alone by train via Exeter in 1870! I was hooked! During their three months stay in England, Lucy and her parents, without prior warning, visited family and friends in places (and farms) in the West Country – Appledore, Bideford, Northam, Westward Ho! Barnstaple, Buckland Brewer, Alwington, Holsworthy, Halwill, Pyworthy, Plymouth, Launceston, Tredinnick, Fowey, Polperro and others, and finally Halifax in West Yorkshire before embarking from Liverpool on their homeward voyage.

I knew that Enid and Jen would also be interested and, not wanting to part with my own copy, I ordered two used copies from Amazon – the only place I could find Lucy’s Diary.

They duly arrived and were in excellent condition. One was inscribed with a message which read ‘Present to Auntie Marg on her visit to ——, 2008. Thanks for everything. My love always, Brenda’. I gave the clean copy to Enid, and the inscribed copy to Jen. When she saw the inscription Jen froze. She recognised the handwriting as being that of Brenda, the wife of her 2nd cousin, who also lives in Buckland Brewer.

To cut a long story short, after reading the book, Jen phoned ‘Auntie Marg’ (a distant relative) to tell her about the inscription and was surprised to learn that she knew nothing about the book – had never seen it or read it. After further thought Auntie Margaret remembered that, during her stay, Brenda had several books earmarked for charity and concluded that Lucy’s Diary must have been stacked with them and accidentally given away.

And now the questions:

Why did my cousin in Canada suddenly recommend Lucy’s Diary after having owned her copy since 2008? Why was I sent a used copy (which had mysteriously vanished for five years) which I then gave to Jen who just happened to know the original owner, Brenda? I could understand it if I had bought it in a local charity shop – but from AMAZON? I have since contacted the suppliers of the two books but they cannot enlighten me in any way.

Cis Snowden (now aged 84).


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One hundred years ago – December 1913/ January 1914.

As Christmas approached the Gazette newspaper was full of adverts by local shops and traders extolling their finest merchandise. On Tuesday 9th December a Prime Christmas Fat Stock show was held when 30 famous fat steers and heifers were sold, together with 50 sheep. By early December butchers had already bought, killed and hung their Christmas meat. Messrs S Dennis trading at 51 Mill Street advertised ox & heifer beef, Exmoor Down Wether Mutton and dairy fed pork.

Farleigh’s Stores in the High Street were offering choice Canadian Hams from 7d to 10d per pound. (You might remember this store in the picture as Curry’s Electrical, which is now New Look).

To help wash down the traditional Christmas dinner William C Talbot, trading from 1 High Street, advertised bottles of London Gin at 2 shillings a pint bottle, 10 year old Scotch Whisky at 3s 3d pint and Martell Brandy at 4s 4d per pint bottle.

At 74 High Street Mr Arthur Clements had just transferred the business to his brother Wilfred and to celebrate had clothing bargains for all of the family. On offer were men’s overcoats at 13s 11d, men’s suits at 15s 11d, tweed trousers at 3s 6d and tweed dress skirts for ladies at 1s 11d.

If you were looking for Christmas presents, J T White who traded further up at 78 High Street, offered gramophones from £3 10 shillings and the records to play on them at 1s 1d. George Boyle, one of the town’s longest established traders, had bought 12 bicycles from Birmingham at the once-in-a-lifetime price of £3 19s 6d each.

Internationally, London-born 19 year old Charlie Chaplin, who was touring the USA began his film career with Max Senate Keystone Film Company at the astronomical salary of $150 per week. Also in America Henry Ford opened his first continuous production line building cars every 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Production workers saw their pay rise from $2.40 per hour to $5 in one jump!!

Great Britain secured a contract with China to build an 800-mile railway line across central and southern China using English workers. This was a most welcome contract because at home there were several strikes and riots from a restless workforce. Employment was difficult and soup kitchens were opening to feed the out of work. Those unfortunate enough to find themselves unable to feed and house their families ended up in the dreaded workhouse. In the Meddon Street establishment Mr A G Duncan J.P., Chairman of the Bideford Poor Law Guardians, gave 100 inmates a dinner consisting of boiled rounds of beef and vegetables, plum pudding and coffee. Male inmates were given a pack of tobacco or money, ladies tea and sugar and their children sweets and oranges.

The weather during this Christmas period had been dry and reasonably free from frost or gales. In fact farmers were noting how dry their land had been.

All the volunteers at the Bideford Community Archive, Windmill Lane, Northam, wish you a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. Tel: 471714.


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About the Bridge Trust.

As promised, and following on from my introduction to the Bridge Trust, I will discuss some of the history of the body. No-one knows when the Trust was set up but it must have been soon after the Bridge was built – so possibly at the end of the thirteenth century. Over the years rich Bidefordians have left property ‘to the Bridge’ (the last occasion was only two years ago!) to honour their native town and the Trust itself has been an active purchaser of property making it the largest local landlord (apart from Tarka Housing).

We have the Trust’s accounts from the end of the seventeenth century and the minutes from 1764. At this date there were some fifteen trustees, most of them being merchants or gentry, though some clergymen also served. I have transcribed, typed and indexed the minutes and copies are available in the North Devon Record Office. They detail the two main aspects of the Trust’s work – management of property and charitable spending.

The former was, of course, centred on the Bridge itself and the minutes reveal many occasions when quite large sums of money were laid out in repairs, whilst on other occasions warnings about possible damage were issued. In 1791, for example, the trustees wrote to a local merchant complaining about his cart that was so highly laden ‘as they think will injure the said Bridge’. Weight limits are nothing new.

In 1802 there is a note that ‘Some malicious persons have repeatedly thrown down the Coping Stones of the Bridge’ and so the trustees hired two men to act as ‘watchmen’. They even spent some money on a ‘Centry Box’ to house them. In 1808 the Trust carried out work on nine arches at a cost of £50 per arch, whilst a year later they discussed installing a drawbridge at the East end of the Bridge. This never occurred : in 1826 they erected oil lamps on the Bridge, but these were soon vandalised and in 1835 were replaced with gas lamps after the trustees allowed the new Bideford Gas Company to install gas pipes across the Bridge. The largest spending came when the old medieval structure was widened in 1864 and again in 1925 – to such an extent that it is difficult to picture what the old Bridge looked like.

In addition to this spending on the Bridge the trustees developed Bridgeland Street from the 1690s and extended the Quay up to their new development. They also built the original Bridge Buildings in 1758 which housed the town hall and the Grammar School. In 1761 they even purchased the Fox & Goose pub on the Quay (where Grenville House now stands) and gave it to the town as the Mayor’s ‘Mansion House’ – even if they later took it back!

In the 1880s they provided the town’s first custom-built post office in the High Street (now Ladbroke’s) and in 1882 spent £4,500 on building the new Bridge Buildings. Over the years 1890-1920 the Trust constructed the houses in Victoria Gardens, Marland Terrace and the top of Honestone Street.

In the twentieth century the two world wars interrupted this work, but in the 1990s the Trust refurbished the old Post Office, the Bakehouse in Queen Street, Friendship House opposite the Market as well as shops in High Street, Mill Street and Bridgeland Street. A proud record and one which shows how much the built environment in the town has depended on the Trust and its deep pockets.

In the next article I will look at what the Trust has funded in Bideford.

Peter Christie.


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Shipping News No. 107 (October/ November 2013).

IN PORT – Yelland Quay.

Ulrike G - built 2002 : flag St. Johns, Antigua & Barbuda : owners German : from Glensanda to Montoir : crew Russian, Ukranian, & Somali : arrived 3.11, sailed 3.11 : discharged 4,000 tons chippings. (Note ; at 100 metres LOA this is the largest vessel ever to discharge or load at Yelland).

I understand from various sources that Southern Beaver at Yelland is now submerged at high water.

IN PORT – Bideford.

Exe Otter – built 1989 (ex- Aspen 2012, Amy ’06) : flag St. Johns, Antigua : owners British : from Warrenpoint to Ceuta : crew Russian & Cape Verde islanders : arrived 5.10, sailed 18.10 : no cargo. This vessel was at Bideford for change of ownership & flag. She kept her original name, but is now registered at Kingstown, St. Vincent & Grenadines : her new crew is Ukrainian, and her new owners are based in Haifa, Israel.

Casablanca - built 1994 : flag St. Johns, Antigua : owners German : from Dublin to Castellon : crew Russian & Ukrainian : arrived 14.10, sailed 17.10 : loaded 3,000 tons ball clay.

Oldenburg left for Sharpness for drydocking 12.11 : she will return to undertake a few cargo runs over winter, then back to regular service March/ April 2014.

Arco Dart at Appledore 18.10 & 19.10.

On Sunday 3.11.13 at 16.50 the Irish Naval Vessel Le Samuel Beckett was floated out from the building shed at Babcock’s yard at Appledore and moored at the fitting-out quay. She will undertake sea trials at the end of January 2014. She was about 92 percent completed when she was moved. (Work on the second vessel, Le James Joyce, was commenced on the Monday morning).

Bristol Channel Observations

19/10 at 07.20 vehicle carrier Grande Mediterraneo, 18,427 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Group Italy, inward bound for Portbury; at 10.34 tanker Bro Designer, 14,846 tons d.w., owners Moller Maersk A/S Denmark, outward bound from Cardiff, having sailed at 05.56 . At 13.00 container vessel Endeavour, 9,162 tons d.w., owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth and the tanker Eships Quest, 8,501 tons d.w, owners Athos Shipping Inc Singapore, outward bound from Barry having sailed at 09.02 . At 15.20 cargo vessel Sky Vita, 4,195 tons d.w, owners Alpha Shipping Co Sia Latvia, outward bound from Sharpness, having sailed at 0715.

26/10 at 09.10 container vessel Endeavour, 9,612 tons, d.w., owners J.R. Shipping Netherlands inward bound for Avonmouth. At 16.25 cargo vessel Flinterrachel, 5,622 tons d.w, owners Flinter Group Netherlands, inward bound for Newport.

29/10 at 10.50 vessel for carrying aircraft wings Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w, owners Anita 2 SNC France, inward bound for Avomouth. At 15.51 vehicle carrier Planet Ace, 15,327 tons d.w., owners Mitsui Osk Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 16.40 bulk carrier Red Iris, 75,730 tons d.w., owners Clarence Shipping Inc, Monte Carlo, Monaco, inward bound for Portbury. Also at the same time the vehicle carrier Grande Roma, 14,950 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Group of Italy outward bound from Portbury.

30/10 at 08.50 cargo vessel Wilson Flushing, 4,321 tons d.w, owners Wilson Shipping ASA Norway, outward bound from Newport, having sailed at 02.43 . At 13.07 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w, owners United European Car Carriers Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.49 . At 14.18 cargo vessel Aasli, 4,319 tons d.w., owners Hans Martin Torkelsen Norway, inward bound for Port Talbot.

8/11 at 16.25 vehicle carrier Antares Leader, 18,406 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

9/11 at 13.17 cargo vessel Sirocco, 6,033tons d.w., owners Wagenborg Shipping BV, Netherlands, inward bound for Cardiff.

11/11 at 13.50 vehicle carrier Grande Detriot, 12,430 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 14.35 cargo vessel Yong Xing, 22307 tons d.w., owners Chinese Polish Joint Stock Shipping Co, China & Poland, inward bound for Newport.

12/11 at 16.02 vehicle carrier Global Spirit, 16,493 tons d.w., owners Nissan Motor Car carriers Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

13/11/13 at 0843 cargo vessel Blue Bay, 3,800 tons d.w., owners Tristar Shipping B.V. Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 02.45.

As this is the final shipping report for 2013 I would like to thank all readers who have contacted me and their kind remarks, and to the various organisations who have listened to my talks on shipping.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Norman.


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See Hear on Wheels.

New hope for people with sensory loss.

2013 has been an exciting year for North Devon’s See Hear Centre (SHC). As well as celebrating its 10th anniversary earlier this year, it was also recently awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) – through their Reaching Communities Programme – for See Hear on Wheels (SHoW), a mobile unit which takes its services out into rural communities.

The fully accessible bus, SHoW, staffed by trained advisors supported by volunteers, has a range of up-to-date sensory equipment on board for people to try. They offer advice about the equipment most suitable for a person’s needs, which can then be borrowed allowing the person to try the equipment out in their own home before they buy it. The service is free but they do ask for donations for loans to enable them to keep up-to-date with equipment.

SHoW visits Bideford on the first Thursday of every month, from 2pm to 4pm and can be found at the Pill car park. It also visits the pavilion by the playing fields in Hartland on the same day from 10am – 12 noon.

The SHC has, for the last 10 years, provided a service from its base in Barnstaple to counteract the effects of sensory loss, bringing people back into contact with the outside world by giving access to equipment, advice and information. SHC also has a wide range of demonstration equipment available to help people with both sight and hearing loss and also has second-hand equipment for sale and provides computer and mobile phone training.

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

The See Hear Centre is always open on Tuesdays from 9.00am to 5.00pm for people to drop in to its premises at 19a Alexandra Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8BA. Appointments can be made for visits on other days. For more information about the See Hear Centre, SHoW or volunteering contact the See Hear Centre on:

Phone: 01271 373236

Text: 0783 151 5809

Email: Visit:


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