Felicity’s fish cookery – August.

Over the past 6 months I have been running some Petroc “Tipping the Scales” cookery classes and demonstrations for over 100 people at a time, from 5 to 85 years old, in a wide variety of community settings in North Devon.

Petroc will be arranging more fish cookery demonstrations this month in Holsworthy. If your group would like a local fish demonstration this autumn please contact myself (07918 779 060) or Petroc, tel 01271 852431. It would be good to do some more work in Bideford before this FLAG supported project finishes. I have been pleased and surprised how men and boys have been interested in cooking fish. Many have attended the BBQ. sessions.

There are several easy-to-prepare recipes on the www.brilliantfishonline.co.uk website.

This summer, squid is everywhere in Bideford Bay and the local fishing boats are landing it into the Appledore Fish Dock most days –no need to go to Spain for your calamari!! Here is a BBG recipe for Stuffed Squid.

Calamari with Two Tomato Stuffing.

Ingredients – for cooking on the BBQ or in the oven! (Serves 4).

500gms/1 1/4lb baby squid (you can buy these cleaned).

1 clove garlic, crushed.

3 plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped.

8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped.

60gm/4tbsp chopped fresh basil.

60gm/4tbsp fresh breadcrumbs.

45gm/3tbsp olive oil.

15gm/1tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper.

lemon juice, to serve.


1.-Clean the Squid and chop off the tentacles (keep to add to the stuffing).

2 – Soak the cocktail sticks in cold water before use.

3 – Mix together the garlic, chopped plum tomatoes, chopped sundried tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt and pepper and chopped tentacles. Stir in 1 tbsp. of oil and the vinegar.

4 – With a teaspoon, fill the main part of the squid. Secure with the soaked cocktail sticks.

5 – Brush the squid with the remaining oil and cook over a medium -hot BBQ for 4-5 minutes, turning often, or bake in a medium- hot oven-6/7 gas /200/220C for 10 mins.

6 – Sprinkle with lemon juice and extra basil to serve.

Felicity Sylvester- 07918 779 060


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One hundred years ago – August 1914.

Your King and Country needs you”. (Bideford Gazette August 1914)

The Motor Omnibus service from Bideford to Clovelly and Hartland has been inaugurated. Mr Henry Sowden is in charge. The cars are 21 feet in length and coloured green.

The programme of events for the London Bidefordian Society has been published. The subscription is 2s 6d for gentlemen and 1s 6d for ladies. Mr R S Chope, Mayor of Bideford, is President.

On 11 August the Government’s official Declaration of War was published in the Gazette. The 6th Devon Territorials entrained for Barnstaple to join the war effort, as did the members of the Royal North Devon Hussars.

In Bideford Market Square, tradesmen, farmers and owners paraded their horses (above photo). The Re-mount officers who needed horses for their regiments made their selections and a good price was paid for the horses taken.

The Mayor took out an advert reassuring Bideford people that food supplies are sufficient for ordinary demands. He encouraged frugality and requested that townsfolk did not draw more cash from the banks than was normally necessary. Thirty new special constables are being recruited.

On 18 August the front page of the Gazette carried a call to arms headed “Your King and Country needs you”.

(From Bideford and District Archives)


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Shipping news No. 114 (June / July 2014).

In port – Yelland Quay.

Francisca – (ex- Soli deo Gloria, ’05 : Francisca, ’07 : Ela, ’14) : built 1997 ; flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda ; owners Lithuanian ; from Newport to Lubeck ; crew Lithuanian ; arrived 9/7, sailed 10/7 ; loaded 2,300 tons timber.

Nordstern – built 1994 ; flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda ; owners Russian ; from Glensanda (to sea for orders) ; crew Russian ; arrived 14/7, sailed 14/7 ; discharged 3,500 tons chippings.

No cargoes at Bideford.

Arco Dart 17.6.14

Oldenburg continues her sailings from Bideford and Ilfracombe.

Bristol Channel Observations.

19.6.14. at 07.50 cargo vessel Celtic Spirit 4,135 tons d.w, owners Charles W. Willie Cardiff, outward bound from Avonmouth, having sailed at 22.54. At 13.55 cargo vessel Monika Mueller 3,723 tons d.w, owners Otto A Muller Germany, inward bound for Sharpness. At 15.36 bulk carrier Arklow Rock 4,485 tons d.w, owners Arklow Shipmanagement Nederland B.V Holland, inward bound for Cardiff.

21.6.14 at 08.27 cargo vessel Lady Alexandra 3,700 tons d.w, owners Wijnne and Barends Gargadoors Holland, outward bound from Newport, having sailing at 00.50. At 08.32 container vessel Endeavour 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R Shipping Netherlands inward bound for Avonmouth (now back on her regular early weekend arrival).

22.6.14 at 06.35 vehicle carrier Grand Benelux 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.36 bulk carrier Aasli 6,630 tons d.w, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 17.46 vehicle Carrier Autosun 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward for Portbury. At 19.27 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader 10,819 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury

23.6.14 at 21.55 cargo vessel Flinter Ruby 5,500 tons d.w, owners Flinter Groep Netherlands, outward bound from Avonmouth .

26.6.14 at 06.40 cargo vessel Lady Anna 3,700 tons d.w., owners Wijnne & Barends Cargadoors Netherlands, inward bound for Birdport.

6.7.14 at 09.41 vehicle carrier Autosun 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

8.7.14 at 0842 cargo vessel Widor 3,417 tons d.w, owners Interscan Shipmanagement Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 22.00 chemical tanker Minitank Five 8,084 tons d.w, owners Minitank Five Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury with a cargo of U.A.N.

9.7.14 at 19.17 cargo vessel Stellar Maerstro 13,524 tons d.w., owners unknown, inward bound for Newport.

10.7.14 at 21.53 vehicle carrier Autosun 6,670 tons d.w, owners United European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury. ( At 0845 on 12.7.14 outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 05.34).

11.7.14 at 21.02 vehicle carrier Autopride 4,442 tons d.w, owners European Car Carriers Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

12.7.14 at 0930 hrs bulk carrier Santa Rosalia 75,886 tons d.w., owners SMSK Shipping SA Japan, outward bound from Port Talbot, having sailed at 03.41.

13.7.14 at 08.37 vehicle carrier Viking Drive 10,817 tons d.w., owners Gram Car Carriers AS Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 09.00 bulk carrier Nordic Odyssey 75,603 tons d.w, owners Bulk Nordic Odyssey Ltd Denmark, outward bound from Port Talbot, having sailed at 05.15. At 14.02 whilst at Ifracombe the vehicle carrier Lyra Leader 21,453 4 tons d.w, owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury ; she would have passed Lundy about 90 mins earlier

I would like to thank the children of the reception class of Pynes School for listening to my talk on Bideford shipping on the 24.6.14




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Youth page – July.


Here at Buzz, we’re always on the hunt for fine new talent; like a Richard Branson-shaped Terminator we never give up. Unlike Richard Branson, sadly, we do not posses any hot air balloons, leaning trains or recording studios, and we probably couldn’t match Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle, but hey; we can promote- and promote we shall!

You may remember our feature a few issues back, on the genuinely gifted Yazzy Chamberlain, who reached the finals of nation-wide singing tournament; TeenStar (previous finalists of which include Birdy, Jahmene Douglas and, Luke Friend) doing so with a catalogue of original songs- such as the hauntingly performed: “Butterflies”.

Yazzy didn’t immediately graduate to the eerily strobed O2, however, she had to fight her way up through the Devonshire ranks of Exeter and Fareham, where the Judges offered up both praise and constructive feedback.

She gained so much more confidence by participating in Teenstar.” Remarks Yazzy’s mum, Elaine. “She wants to become a successful singer/songwriter and believes that any chance she has to perform is good experience.”

The story’s not over yet, however; as Yazzy recently declared that she will be entering again this year and has made it to the last leg once more, with the self-penned “Monday morning blues”! If you want to see our homegrown troubadour in action, then the finals are being held in Birmingham NEC on July 19th, the £20 ticket prices supporting all up and coming acts. All at Buzz wish her the best of luck.

Then again, if you know someone who’s been hiding their light beneath the bushel, why not enter them for next year’s tourney? Not only is it but the price of a rather expensive sandwich, they can follow in Yazzy’s footsteps.

Hot July ?

Convertibles abound the streets, their drivers no longer looking bedraggled and forlorn as the car fills up with water. Tourists can be seen actually eating ice creams, and not just using them as impromptu umbrellas. What with all this unusual-if delightful- weather we’ve been having lately, it makes sense that Bideford College would send it’s year 7’s this week to find out more about it; how weather balloons are sent off, how these bundles of latex collect readings, and what these results actually mean. The trip shed some light on our lavish heat wave.

For one thing, the jet stream has shifted, forcing the band of rain normally reserved for Britain up to Scandinavia and low lying Iceland, who are now having to endure the gale force winds and desolate rain that English summers have become renowned for over the years. This leaves us with the lower “underbelly” of the stream, with it’s high pressures and claggy heat. By the looks of it, this gloriousness should be set to continue!

..Finally; spare a thought for Goths- as the weather heats up so does their black clothing…Not all doom and gloom- seen in Bideford recently were two Goths on a tandem. Does the heart good!

Millie Sutherland O’Gara.


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‘Nightstop Devon’ – volunteers sought.

Local charities tackle North Devon youth homelessness.

Volunteers needed to help young people at risk of homelessness

Can you help prevent homelessness?

Encompass South West, a local poverty and homelessness prevention charity, has joined forces with Community Housing Aid to expand their Nightstop Devon project into North Devon.

Nightstop Devon was established in 2001 and provides emergency accommodation to young people aged 16-25 who have nowhere safe to stay. Volunteer ‘hosts’ offer this emergency accommodation one night at a time to young people who find themselves homeless. Hosts have a spare room for the young person to stay in, and provide an evening meal, breakfast and a listening ear for their guest.

All volunteers receive expenses of £15 per night, full training and vetting and a member of staff is always on call.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering as a host or as a driver please contact Nightstop Devon on 01392 274853, visit www.communityha.org.uk or tweet @Nightstopdevon.

Kaye Corfe, Project Worker, said: “Nightstop is a fantastic project for young people facing homelessness and there is a real need for it in North Devon. A lot of our clients who take to sleeping rough or sofa surfing are vulnerable and may be putting themselves in real danger.

If they have somewhere safe and warm to sleep, even for one night, it can make such a difference. It shows them that society does care and that there are people willing to help them if they ask for it.”



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Buzz Word – July.

Send us your Buzzes…. Write to editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk or to the address on front page.

Abbotsham Racecourse.

Following your recent articles about Abbotsham Racecourse, you might like to know that Abbotsham has recently established its own website, and one section of this is devoted to to the Abbotsham Archives, which hold a wealth of material relating to the village and parish of Abbotsham. Our archivists are gradually putting some of the material held on to the website; currently there are on line indices to most of what is held, plus a selection of images on various topics. We do have a section about the racecourse and a link to the 1923 Pathe news clip. We also have a section on the village smithy and a link to the Pathe news clip about that. New material is being added to the website regularly and there are a number of ongoing research projects, including the parish in the First World War. The website can be found at abbotshamdevon.weebly.com.

Martin Wilson Abbotsham Community Archive

Memories of D-Day.

Vernon Coaker – 3 Commando.

During WW2 we had at least seven commandos billeted with us over a period of a few weeks in 1943. I was reminded on Friday (6th June) that, when I did a CWGC search in 1999, I found that at least one of them was killed on D-Day. Vernon (known to us as Victor) sent Mum a letter in 1943. I knew that I had found the right commando on the CWGC website as the army numbers matched.   Two of the other commandos were killed in the Sicily Landings, in 1943.    I haven’t been able to trace the others, not knowing the full names of two of them. Cynthia (Snowden)


Sgt Coaker No 562023

Dear Mrs Reed,

I expect you will be rather surprised to be getting a letter from me, after such a long delay, but I have been rather busy lately and haven’t had much time to spare, but anyhow I hope that ‘you’, ‘Mr Reed,’ and the two ‘bosses’, are fit and well as you were when I left, much to my disappointment, as the billet I stayed in at Hartland wasn’t up to the Appledore standard, but I couldn’t grumble, although I would much rather have been back with you, I think “Darkie” was very fortunate to stay at Appledore for another week after I left, and he told me that his billet at ‘Clovelly’ was a big decline from Appledore. But to get to earth? I must thank you very much Mrs Reed for all the hospitality and kindness you showed towards me, at my short stay, and when this war is over I hope to be able to come around to Appledore, (as it’s only twenty five miles from my home,) and try and repay you, or at least show my appreciation to you, in helping to make these dark days of war ‘bright’ and I only wish that everywhere we go is as bright and cheerful as 18 Bude St. When I was with you ‘Mrs Reed’ I left behind a ration cover, can you remember, the one we thought was’nt any good, well it seems as though I have to have it here or else go without my ration of meat. Now if you can find it would you please send it on to me, and I shall be very grateful as my landlady here is rather worrying about it.

I will say Cheerio! now, and give my kind regards to all in No 18, and thank you again.

Your Sincere Friend , Victor.

RNLI Station-to-Station Sponsored Walk, Saturday 13th September 2014.

Following the huge success of the previous RNLI Sponsored Walks between Clovelly and Appledore Lifeboat Stations, the event is being repeated this year.

The walk is approximately 16.5 miles along the coastal footpath and if you enjoy walking and spectacular scenery then this is the event for you.

Registration takes place from Clovelly Lifeboat Station at 8 am on the 13th September and walkers have until 9 am to set off. It is not a race and you can take all day to enjoy the views if you wish. Manned checkpoints with first aiders and water will be in place along the route.

Waiting for you at Appledore Lifeboat Station will be a well-deserved cold beer and a barbeque.The registration fee payable is £5 . Walkers must be over 14 years old and if under 16 years, accompanied by an adult. Energetic and well behaved dogs welcome.

if you are interested in taking part please email Rachel Hannam at rachel@qs financial services.co.uk or phone her on 07989747163 to request a walk pack.

AIM Fair.

This is a new series of community events designed to help raise funds for various local libraries under threat of closure, as well as the Appledore-Instow ferry, locally-based literacy charity BookRelief UK and the Joy Club. After holding a “taster” version at St Mary’s Hall in Appledore over the weekend of 14-15 June, AIM Fair is now gearing up to hold a monthly fair usually over the second weekend of each month starting with the weekends of 12-13 July, 9-10 August, 13-14 September, 25-26 October and 13-14 December featuring stalls with Vintage & Retro, Antiques & Collectables, Crafts & Workshops, Pre-loved books & CDs, plus a table share for those who want to leave few items to be sold on their behalf against a 20% commission to AIM Fair and its beneficiaries. It will also feature Complementary Health Taster Sessions (Health and Harmony events ride again!), Storytelling & Music, Children’s Workshops and a Guinea-pig Zone with various animals to cuddle and feed!

The fairs will be spread over several venues in both Appledore and Instow and visitors will be encouraged to use the ferry between these villages (when it is running, which depends on tides) as well as the frequent local bus services between them.

For more information about display tables and table top shares, email aimfairddevon@gmail.com or call Helen on 07861 900156. We would also like to hear from you if you can volunteer some time, donate a raffle prize, or come and play some music.   Or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


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One hundred years ago – July 1914.

(Bideford Community Archive at the Council offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714)

This was one of the first photographs ever to be published in the Bideford Gazette – “Elderly Bideford Resident died at 95 years of age” –

Mrs Elizabeth Colwill, for many years resident in East-the –Water and daughter of William Lake retained all her faculties after a strenuous life. Last year she accomplished unaccompanied the railway journey from Bideford to Plymouth to visit her daughter”.

Bideford is a healthy place to live. Miss Wakeley of 4 Clarence Terrace Meddon Street offers a furnished apartment in a “high healthy situation” and Mrs J C Clarke of Fernwood Clovelly Road has for rent a private apartment with H&C baths, a bracing air and magnificent views.

At a recent schools inspection absenteeism features in the report. Bideford East-the Water school had 104 present out of 114, Geneva Girls 256 present out of 290 on the register. Old Town School 301 from 340 and Gunstone 80 from 95.

Bideford Armada guns, which had been on display outside the Technical School, have been moved and remounted in the park around the new bandstand so that they can be seen to better advantage.

Bideford Hospital Committee acknowledge the following gifts- Gooseberries,onions, a dressing gown Sweet peas, lettuce and rhubarb.

It is interesting to note that in the 14th July 1914 edition is the FIRST mention of anything to do with the forthcoming war -  an entire page was given over to all the events taking place in Europe.


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Bideford Home Guard, 1943.

Rear row - Ptes S Laird, P Cloke, WE Voden, CMS Gosling, Sgt. R Featherstone, Pte. TD Frayne, Cpl. GR Hill, Ptes FJ Clements, G Waldron, J Lock, Cpl. F Stacey, Pte R Raymont, Cpl. EJ Moyes.

Third row L/Cpls. FD Miles, F Clarke, Cpl.RC Halbert, Cpl. R Day, Ptes C Kelly, W Weedon, J Oliver, Cpl H Mounce, Ptes SJ Short, AC Waldon, E Symonds, L Braund, A Tuplin, Cpl.A Huxtable,Cpl.F Rockey, Mr.E Brown.

Second row Sgt. S Hawkins, Pte .R Cade, Sgt.R Northcote, Sgt.TR Harding, Major Cudmore, 2/ltd WH Pascoe, Lt. C Brough, Capt. JR Ellis, 2/Lt. H Sherbourne, Sgt. F Clarke,Sgt.JH Hillman, Sgt. L Short.

Front rowPtes. R Webb, C Tryon, R Raymont, L/Cpl. ER Youngs, Ptes H Lee, WW Horn, M Vanstone, CW King, Cpl. SC Smalldon.


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Felicity’s fish cookery – July.

Fresh Fish Ceviche – Deliciously cool!


500gms/1lb fillets Mackerel, Plaice or Sea Bass

500ml/12floz/2cups of Lime and/or lemon juice (or lime and orange juice for mackerel pickle).

1 red onion, finely sliced; 2 red chillies -jalapenos or fresh serrano chillies, rinsed and chopped; 1 large tomato; 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander; salt and freshly ground pepper; green salad and crusty bread.


Skin Sea Bass fillets and black sides of Plaice, cut into 1-2inch/2.5-5cms strips.

Place in a glass dish and season with salt and pepper.

Pour over the juice, making sure that the fish is completely covered.

Add sliced onions, sliced chillies and chopped coriander and stir well.

Chill for 2-6 hrs. or overnight –but no longer.

Add the tomato chopped in cubes.

Leave to stand for 15mins and serve at room temperature.

Garnish with coriander sprig or chopped and Lime or Lemon wedges.

Eat with Crusty bread and Green Salad.

This year’s Appledore Summer Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever!

And it will run over 3 very full days, from Friday 25th July to Sunday 27th July inclusive – so please put it in in your diary now!


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Shipping news No. 113 (May / June 2014).

In port – Yelland.

Crownbreeze - flag Rotterdam, Netherlands : owners Dutch : from Avonmouth to Wismar : crew Ukrainian & Philippino : arrived 1/6, sailed 2/6 : loaded 2,500 tons timber.

In port – Bideford.

Celtic Pioneer - (ex- Leeswig, ’06 : Claus Jurgens, ’93) built 1985 : flag Cardiff : owners British : from Avonmouth to Castellon : crew Polish : arrived 11/6, sailed 12/6 : loaded 2,800 Tons clay.

Welsh Piper 12/6/14.

Oldenburg returned to service from Bideford and Ilfracombe.

Arco Dart at Appledore 17.5, 31.5.

According to the Journal website the cruise ship Prisendam is due off Ilfracombe 26th July for a visit . (Visit subject to weather conditions).

An announcement was made in the Irish Parliament confirming a 3rd vessel would be built by Babcocks at Appledore for delivery in 2016. The second vessel, Le James Joyce, is due to be floated out in November 2014.

Bristol Channel Observations.

16.5.14 at 08.50 cargo vessel Lady Amalia, 3,700 tons d.w, owners Be Beheermaatschappij Lady Ana Netherlands, inward bound for Newport.

22.5.14 at 12.00 cargo vessel Janet, 4,570 tons d.w., owners Reederei Held Germany, outward bound from Sharpness, having sailed at 05.34.

26.5.14 at 06.40 cargo vessel Kotsikas, 27,359 tons d.w. Owners Kotsikas Shipping SA Greece, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 09. 50 cargo vessel Crownbreeze, 3,400 tons d.w owners Crown Breeze 11 CV Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth (her next voyage is loading at Yelland, details above). At 13.18 vehicle carrier Grande Spagne, 12,594 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 10.18. At the same time the bulk carrier Aasheim 5826 tons d.w owners Hans Martin Torkelson Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth.

29.5.14 at 06.40 cruise ship Serenissima, 2,598 tons gross, owners unknown, inward bound for Lundy; she left at 12.15 for Dartmouth.

5.6.14 at 16.07 vehicle carrier Mignon, 28,127 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhemlson Logistics Norway and Sweden, inward bound for Portbury.

6.6.14 at 08.53 dredger UKD Orca, 3,775 tons d.w., owners Associated British Ports London, outward bound from Cardiff en route to the River Humber. At 16.30 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 10.29 . At 18.00 cargo vessel Marina R, 37,785 tons d.w., owners Sea Satin Oceanway SA Greece, inward bound for Newport. At 18.05 hrs chemical tanker Stolt Kite, 4,735 tons d.w., owners Stolt Tankers B/V Netherlands, outward bound from Barry having sailed at 14.10 hrs . At 20.31 vehicle carrier Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound fromPortbury having sailed at 15.58 hrs.

7.6.14 at 17.15 fruit juice tanker Orange Blossom, 15,108 tons d.w., owners Atlanship S.A Switzerland, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 19.18 container vessel Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w, owners J.R. Shipping Netherland, inward bound for Avonmouth, now back on her Saturday arrival schedule.

8.6.14 at 09.26 cargo vessel Velserdijk, 4,450 tons d.w., owners Naviga Ship management B.V. Netherland, southward bound from Newport, having sailed at 03.08. At 13.00 vehicle carrier Grande Colonia, 12,292 tons d.w, owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.36 bulk carrier Jia Foison, 75,535 tons d.w, owners Jia Foison Shipping Co Ltd Shanghai China, inward bound for Portbury.

9.6.14 at 08.05 cargo vessel Andermatt, 20,002 tons d.w, owners Massmariner SA Switzerland, inward bound for Newport.

14.6.14 at 12.10 bulk carrier Hispanic G, 9,3237 tons d.w, owners Gestioni Armatoriali SPA Ravenna Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.46 container vessel Endeavour, 9,168 tons d.w., owners J.R Shipping Netherland, inward bound for Avonmouth (nearly back on her weekend Saturday arrival schedule).

Regards Norman.


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Heritage Day in Victoria Park.

Devon Medieval Combat Alliance.

Jousting, by Combat Through the Ages.

Kenwith Company of Archers.


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Ernie Dowding : A Shammy man and a Bideford personality.

When Ernie Dowding’s body was carried out of St Mary’s Parish Church, Bideford, on 22 April to the great Elvis Presley ballad, Shep, there was hardly a dry eye in the place. ‘ERNIE’ made from copper piping, as befitted his trade as a plumber, and a wreath of red roses accompanied his coffin.

Anyone who lives, works or drinks in Bideford will have seen Ernie around town. Short and strong with a great mop of blond-white hair and long moustache, he could be seen disembarking from the Oldenberg, or walking his dog Sheba across the old bridge towards the Tarka trail, or enjoying a drink in the King’s Arms, the Blacksmith’s Arms or the White Hart. As one mourner said, ‘Bideford must be closed down today,’ so many people attended his funeral. The King’s Arms shut its doors for the funeral and hosted a drink for his friends afterwards.

Ernie spent much of his working life in recent years on Lundy where he maintained the Landmark Trust holiday properties. His knowledge of North Devon, but particularly Bideford, was second to none – not just its history, its architecture and its pubs but its artistic inheritance, literature and cultural and social life. He had been a Bideford Grammar School boy, and went on to work with the Leach pottery and with Harry Juniper. He was a talented artist and drew the illustrations on the ceramic ware. He also had fine handwriting.

Born in Hart Street, his family moved to East the Water and Ernie, as a great lover of sport, helped found the Shamwickshire football team and devoted a great deal of time to encouraging and organising Shammy activities over the years.

The great love of his life was Sheba, his black and white dog; the two were inseparable and Sheba was always fussed over in the various watering holes which man and dog frequented. He grew copious vegetables and flowers on his allotment; he was modest (as he was about his talents and his intellect), but he had a natural understanding and love of the earth and nature. I got to know Ernie on his allotment, and picked his brains for advice. He was very patient and, if he was sceptical about my efforts, certainly hid it, as he tried to give me a few elementary tips on horticulture. He loved animals, and was a good illustrator of bird life (Ernie also kept pigeons) and at his funeral a sizeable collection was taken for the RSPB. He died on 8 April aged 70. Bideford has lost one of its most interesting personalities.

Ruth Winstone.


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Felicity’s fish cookery – June.

As May weather warms to hot June evenings an abundance of shellfish will start to be landed in our small fishing villages such as Appledore or Clovelly.

There are so many ways to make a small crab into a delicious summer lunch or supper.

Brown Crabs are available now.

Many people are duped by the misnamed Crab sticks that are really dyed reconstituted fish –rather like very cheap teabags! They are made of all the white fish that cannot be used and always made on the other side of the world! Why bother, when you can use local cooked crabs and their white and brown meat for recipes.

A simple but tasty Crab Cake Recipe

Serves 4


150g potatoes peeled. 250g crab meat.  3 spring onions, sliced.   ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.   1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard.   ½ red pepper de-seeded and finely chopped. Grated zest and juice of ½ lime.  1 tablespoon chopped coriander.  Oil.  Salt & pepper


Boil the potatoes, drain and leave to cool.

Place remaining ingredients except oil in a bowl.

Grate potatoes when cool into bowl, mix well and shape into 8 crab cakes.

Place cakes on plate or tray and chill for 20 minutes.

Cook cake in oiled non-stick frying pan for 3-4 minutes.

Serve immediately.


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Bideford’s first Heritage Restaurant.

When local restaurateur John Emms was thinking about a makeover for his Lathwells restaurant he was also thinking about ways to encourage his customers to spend more time in the town. During a late evening conversation with John (probably well into the second bottle!) we came up with a novel solution – why not base the refurbishment on Bideford’s heritage and give the customers an insight into the town’s fascinating past. This led to the restaurant being completely refurbished and rebranded.

The Restaurant and Bar is now Mariners, a name that links it back to a time when it was a Master Mariners house, with reclaimed timber banquettes made from Old Cotton Mill Oak (oak from an old cotton mill in Louisiana), oak topped tables, storm lanterns, walls decorated with heritage “snippets” and a genuine rope timeline.

The rope for the timeline and the fittings come from a ship’s chandler, linking back to Bideford’s rich maritime past. The snippets are short quotes from the “Bideford Heritage Trail Guide”, a booklet that I wrote for Bideford 500, and are arranged chronologically around the room. Customers are encouraged to “read around the room“ and it’s worth it.

It’s surprising how many local people have “read” the room and at some point said “I didn’t know that!”.

The Mariners’ timeline has had a direct effect on this year’s B500 Heritage Day, 28 June. A number of restaurants have joined together to have their own timeline for the day, “Food Through the Ages”. ‘It will include a Medieval Banquet, Georgian lunches, World War Tea Parties and, at Mariners, a 1953 Coronation Celebration.

David Howell.

Visit marinersbideford.com for more information.


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Buzz Word – June.

Send us your Buzzes…. Write to editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk or to the address on front page.

U tube and Pathe News.

I don’t know about you but I very rarely use UTube. Until now. (It must be an age thing? ) The younger generation(s) use this all the time. However if you are connected to the internet why not have a go.  Type in Pathe News North Devon or Bideford Heritage and you’ll be amazed by the number of film/video/ footage on Bideford and surrounding areas.  Pathe News has recently transferred its Archive onto UTube.  Under this heading within the Bideford area you have film of a Torpedo Boat forced by a storm onto the Pebble Beach, Westward Ho! in 1921 with the silent film caption ‘High and Dry’.  Further afield and there are a number of films of Clovelly look out for the 1937 film showing the donkeys – they certainly carried heavy loads.  But I am only touching the surface here.

For train enthusiasts there is a wealth of films showing Bideford and Barnstaple, Torrington, Meeth – the lines before Beeching .  Sad in so many ways but great films nevertheless.

Make sure you have a look at the footage of the Bideford Races (Abbotsham) 1923 (featured in last month’s Buzz) and we see the first women jockey.  There is a wonderful film re-creating the route of the railway from Bideford to Westward Ho! before the Great War.

‘Flood Damages Bridge’. 1968 when the arches of the old Bideford Bridge were damaged by flood water is captured by news footage at the time.  Again a real treasure…..it must have taken a long time from Bideford to East the Water and vice versa.

If you enter Bideford Heritage you will come across recent events.   All local events, magical moments, of the last few years.  Two Wonders are sightings of the otter in the River Torridge February 2014 and the flight of hundreds of starlings over Bideford Bridge.

But there is so much more.  I am only touching the surface.  You may have seen some that you would like to share with Buzz readers.  Utube has a great wealth of film/video on our area.

Neil Bennion.

More about the racecourse.

Stan Andrews from the Westward Ho! History Society has very kindly hunted out some more information on the Abbotsham race course. Much of the information is to be found in Rosemary Lauder’s excellent book,’ Vanished landmarks of North Devon’ published by North Devon Books. If out of print there are certainly copies which can be borrowed from Devon libraries. The book quotes an article from Bideford Gazette (27th September 1922) ‘It is admirably situated with a magnificent view of the Bay from Croyde to Hartland Point….. the actual course runs along the valley of Abbotsham Court and Cornborough.’

(Below is Stan Andrews’ photo of how the race course looks now).

And two photos of how it looked ‘then’ -

Mary Cliff.

Further to various contributions over the last few years I was most interested to see a letter in the June issue by Mary Cliff which mentions both me and my cousin John Skinner.  Unfortunately ladies have a confusing habit of changing their surname on marriage and I am most curious who Mary Cliff was in our East-the-Water days!  I wonder if you would ask her to let me know her previous name; my cousin, who does not use a computer, will be extremely interested in this name from the past. He moved from Bideford in the 1940s and is still interested in the old days.

We would both, I am sure, be most grateful for a successful outcome.

Tony Sanders (Email address: ajs777@tiscali.co.uk)

Bideford Folk Club.

On Thursday 5th June Bideford Folk Club are fortunate to be playing host to Pete Coe, one of the most enduring, talented and popular figures on the English Folk circuit.

Multi -talented and multi- instrumental, Pete is not only a fine interpreter of traditional songs and ballads, but is also a first rate songwriter. He has been at the forefront of the English Folk scene for over 40 years, and has been rightly described as “A One Man Folk Industry”

The concert starts at 8pm.He is also an accomplished dance caller, and on the following evening, Friday 6th June, he will be calling at a Ceilidh (Barn Dance) with local favourites Bloatertown Band, at Tawstock Village Hall. The dance starts at 8pm and there will be an optional Bring and Share supper.

John Blackburn.

Bideford Lions.

Lions Club of Bideford meet at the Royal Hotel, Bideford, at 7.30p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Visiting Lions very welcome.

Mike Green.

Tarka Valley Railway Group.

The Chairman of the Tarka Valley Railway Group, Phil Simkin has recently and reluctantly decided to sell the Puffing Billy at Torrington Station for personal and family reasons.  Phil and his family have owned the pub for some years now and it was from Phil’s initial vision and enthusiasm that the Tarka Valley Railway Group was born. The Group is pleased to advise that the new owner of the Puffing Billy is to be the Great Torrington Town Lands and Poors Charity as Phil had hoped.  This is a local charity which has been very supportive of the Group over the past few years.

News from Northam Lodge.

On Sunday 22nd June, Northam Lodge, in partnership with Skern Lodge, will be running powerboat rides on the Bideford Estuary leaving from Appledore Quay. These ½ hour exhilarating rides can be booked in advance by calling Fiona at Northam Lodge on 01237 477238 or emailing fionawhite@northamlodge.co.uk. Boat bookings are available from 12pm, with the last boat going out at 5.30pm.The cost will be £15 per adult, £10 for children aged 7-16, or why not reserve a whole boat for you and your friends. Life jackets will be provided, but be prepared to get wet! Our summer fete will be held on Saturday 26th July from 2pm to 5pm in the grounds at Rose Hill, Heywood Road, Bideford.A variety of stalls will be available for you to peruse including a sweet cart, beauty products, and arts & crafts a plenty from driftwood to bunting to cushions. There is also the opportunity to paint your own pottery, make your own button art, and have shellac nails done.Our usual cake stall and will take pride of place alongside Seasonal Samosas. Our raffle and tombola will be groaning will great gifts to win and we also cater for your little ones with a bouncy castle, hook a duck and face painting. Entertainment will be provided by the Bideford Phoenix Morris Dancers, Dance Fit Belly Dancing and Energia Samba Band.

Come along for a fun afternoon and support your local charity.


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