Bideford Races, May 1928.

This advertisement comes from the Bideford Gazette for 1928 currently housed at the Bideford Archive. The archive is run by volunteers, and you will find it is a mine of information on Torridge district; not just births, marriages and deaths, but also a record is being made of everything of interest in the world of local trades and professions, local government, agriculture, religious groups, sports clubs, streets and villages, and much more, including the Census records for family history research. There are photographs from the Bideford Gazette of sporting events, school and church celebrations, postcards of local village life and architecture. Source material comes mainly from the Bideford Gazette, from 1856 onwards, but they are sometimes able to provide information or documents of use to everyone. (Recently Buzz donated all its bound back copies from 2000 onwards).

Bideford Community Archive.

A recent addition to the Archive’s collection of local historical information, comes in the form of three accounts of the Archaeology of Westward Ho!’s prehistoric Kitchen Midden. It is appropriate to mention this just now, as the beach at Westward Ho! has been scoured of sand by the winter storms, and there is much of the original forest, peat and underlying blue clay exposed at low tide. The sand will return, of course, as it always does, but anyone interested in learning what was once down there, eight thousand years ago, might well care to peruse these documents.

One detailed document is the Inkerman Rogers’ examination of the artefacts he found there – flints, hazel nuts, antlers, etc. Another is by an Australian gentleman named Mr. D.M. Churchill, from Monash University, Melbourne, and the third, made by the Department of the Environment with Nick Balaam and 2 colleagues in 1987, is a very thorough analysis of everything that was discovered by taking away a slice of the midden. Every part of it was examined with the latest technology – radio carbon dating, dendochronology (tree rings), and includes analysis of tree and flower pollen, types of tree, and flints and tools left behind by prehistoric man all those years ago.


Donations are welcome, but a small charge is made for for photocopying, and postage is charged at the going rate. You are welcome to visit, free, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9.30 to 12.00. (Closed on Bank Holidays ) Tel : 01237 471714. First floor, Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam, Bideford.


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Shipping news No. 111 (March/ April 2014).

In port – Yelland.

Clavigo - built 1992 ; flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda ; owners German ; from Glensanda to Birdport ; crew German, Hungarian, Polish & Russian ; arrived 15.04, sailed 15.04 ; discharged 3,000 tons chippings.

Welsh Piper 16.3.14, 21.3.14.

In port – Bideford.

No cargo movements since last edition.

The tug Goliath sailed for Southampton on the 16th March, pm, with the barge with Southern Beaver on board.

Oldenburg returned to service 1st April .

Arco Dart at Appledore 16.3.14, 18.3.14, 29.3.14, 30.3.14, 14.4.14.

The Irish patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett being built at Appledore did not sail on the 15/3/14 as per my previous report ; I do apologise for the mistake. She sailed on her first trials on the 29.3.14 (at 04.10) and returned on the 3rd April at 07.30 she; was also seen off Ilfracombe, and quite a bit of time was spent in Bideford Bay. She sailed again on second sea trials on the 14th at 05.40 returning on Thursday 17th prior to leaving for her home base at Cork.

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.

A report in the Gazette that the Kathleen & May is to make a visit to Bideford in August ; further details when known.

Bristol Channel Observations

15/4/14 at 09.40 container ship Endeavour, 9,612 tons d.w., owners J.r. Shipping Netherland, inward bound for Avonmouth, (returned to her normal weekend arrival).

21/3/14 at 08.45 cargo vessel Hertfordshire, 2,489 tons d.w., owners Bibby Line Liverpool, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 1200 cargo vessel RMS Wedau, 1,708 tons d.w., owners Rhein Maas -Und See Schiffahrtskontor GMBH Germany, outward bound from Swansea, having sailed at 06.06.

22/3/14 at 13.23 cargo vessel Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w, owners Anita 2 SNC France ; usual cargoes are aircraft parts for Airbus Ltd, – this occasion carrying motor vehicles. At 11.13 vehicle carrier Viking Chance, 33,863 tons d.w, owners Gram Car Carriers A.S. Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 17.20 container vessel Njord, 8,001 tons d.w., owners Njord Shipping B.V Netherlands, inward bound for Newport. At 17.24 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carriers Norway, outward bound from Portbury. At 08.39 cargo vessel Shuya, 3,148 tons d.w., owners Orion Shipping Co Russia, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 01.06, (later went to shelter off Clovelly). At 16.54 vehicle carrier Sapphire Ace ,15,204 tons d.w., owners Mitsui OSK Lines Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 18.06 vehicle carrier Grande Scandinavia ,18,440 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

31/3/14 at 18.27 cargo vessel Frisum, 2,355 tons d.w., owners Boomsma Shipping B.V Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

7/4/14 at 16.00 cargo vessel Muammer Vagci, 2,481 tons d.w., owners Yagci Denizcilik Istanbul, inward bound for Cardiff.

11/4/14 at 08.50 container vessel Andrea, 11,285 tons, owners Bergen Box Carriers AS Norway rs, outward bound from Portbury (having sailed at 03.43).

Regards Norman


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Felicity’s fish cookery – April.

Fish with root vegetable Tagine -a Moroccan dish to make in a tagine, casserole dish or a large pan. (To serve 4).

White fish – Pollack, Coley, Cod or Haddock- (frozen local fish portions can be used).

1tbsp vegetable oil.

I onion, sliced.

I small chilli, finely sliced.

1 tsp. ground cumin, turmeric, paprika.

I potato, and I carrot peeled and cut into 2cm chunks(or any root vegetable available).

Chicken or vegetable stock cube.

Lemon juice.

1 x 400gm can chopped tomatoes.

1 205gm can of Mandarin oranges in fruit juice.

I handful of parsley and mint leaves (chopped).


Heat the oil in a large pan or heatproof casserole dish, add the onion, chilli and spices, cooking for 2- 3 minutes until softened slightly.

Add the cubed potatoes and carrot, crumbled stock cube, stirring to combine.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, mandarins in their juices and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for about 15minutes, top up with water if required.

Add the large cubes of fish and simmer for 5 minutes. Check vegetables and fish are cooked.

Take off the heat and stir through the chopped herbs, breaking up the fish slightly.

Serve with couscous and steamed broccoli .


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Buzz Word – April.

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

Dressing the Churchyard.

Easter Saturday, April 19th 2014

If you have family or friends with a grave or memorial in St Margaret’s Churchyard, please visit on Easter Saturday – maybe bring a bunch of flowers to dress the grave. If you sometimes visit the Churchyard on your way through Northam, perhaps to sit and rest awhile, you are also very welcome to come.   You may like to bring flowers to dress graves which are more ancient.

Tea, coffee and cake will be served in the Church from 11am – 3pm.

We look forward to welcoming you.


The women-only moonlit walk in aid of North Devon Hospice 17th May: Tarka Trail (walks of 6, 7, 11, 17 or 18 miles between Braunton, Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington).

Your participation and support has never been more valuable. Whether you are taking part in fancy dress, walking in memory of a loved one, or just coming to enjoy the amazing atmosphere, we hope you will join us for an unforgettable evening. North Devon Hospice are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014, but it is only with your support that we can provide our specialist care to local people affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Rally your friends and family. You can sign up today by visiting Or please call 01271 347224 for a paper registration form.

Big Breakfast events will take place this month throughout North Devon and Cornwall borders, in many locations. All you need to do is come along to your local Big Breakfast event and enjoy a delicious meal, all profits from which will be donated to North Devon Hospice. It couldn’t be simpler! Please come along and support your local Big Breakfast at:Beach Café, Westbourne Terrace, Westward Ho! Saturday 12th April 9.30am-2.00pm Come along and enjoy a lovely Big Breakfast from £4.25p

New Season at Hartland Farmers’ Market

Hartland Farmers’ Market starts again on April 6th. Stalls will be selling the best local meat, game and fish, bread, organic fruit and vegetables, cheeses, honey, pies and pasties, pates and preserves, cakes and cookies . . . you name it! The Renowned Farmers’ Café will again be open for business, selling its best full English sourced from market traders. There will be vegetarian options, and lighter bites for smaller appetites.

The market offers a free stall to local charities at each market. The April charity stall has been donated to ‘See Hear’, a charity for people with sight or hearing loss. They have a mobile unit that comes to Hartland once a month.

The markets will run on the first Sunday of the month (April – September), 10am – 1pm, in the Parish Hall, and the Christmas Market taking place on December 21.For more details, or to book a stall, contact Rod Landman on 441 786.


Entertainment group “Bradazzle” comprises 15 players from North Devon, who provide a fun evening of song and laughter with their musical and comedy revue. Their aim is to raise funds for local community projects and village halls, and various charities, by providing a free entertainment show. The group includes some members of The Torridge Male Voice Choir, Mishmash and Peculiar Folk, all popular singing groups in the area. Any community wanting a show (at no cost) should contact Andy on 01237 440055 and “Bradazzle” will see what they can do.

The Black Death (March Buzz).

Reference Buzz September 2012 page 2 :-

“In late May 1646 three young sons of a local surgeon called Revening played on a shipload of merino wool from Spain. A few days later they sickened and died, becoming Bideford’s first victimsof the plague which lasted from June 8th 1646 until the 18th of June 1647.    ‘In a few weeks the houses were full of horror and the streets became covered in grass’.”

Roger Sugar.


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Memories of a Plymouth evacuee.

With time on my hands, I have been trying to trace people who were part of my youth – over 70 years ago!

Knowing only her maiden name, and not having seen or heard of her since the end of WW2, I spent several hours on the Internet before coming up with a possible match. I then wrote to a ‘Mrs June Sims’ who, as a child, could have been evacuated to Appledore with her parents, and billeted with us, having lost their home during the Plymouth Blitz.

About a week later I received a letter from June – yes, I had found her! Below is what she had to say about her time in North Devon, which my sister Enid and I found fascinating.

Yours sincerely,

Cynthia Snowden – Northam.


Dear Mrs Snowden (Cynthia)

What a surprise your letter was – received the day after my 85th birthday. Yes I am the June Randle that was (now Sims). I remember Appledore well and your Mum, Dad and Enid with the blonde bob and you and your pigtails. Also remember the lovely smell of bread baking where your Dad worked, and Dulcie who lived in the big house opposite – we both caught the bus to Stella Maris Convent and often she brought me a lovely apple from her garden. Such Happy Memories and best school-days of my life (only 18 in class!!!), Greek dancing on the lawn. I was rather overwhelmed at first, having wanted to go to Edgehill College and being a Protestant – but the sisters were so kind and welcoming and, knowing we had been bombed out and lost our home in the Plymouth Blitz (being bombed every day and night – how did we stay alive?), they reduced my school fees!!! Also remember catching crabs on the quay with bacon rinds.

After 12 months my parents returned to Plymouth and I then lived with my dancing teacher and her parents Mr & Mrs Jordan who kept the New Inn at Instow.

Although worried about Mum and Dad going back to Plymouth, was well looked after and very happy, walking on the beach each day after school with Joan and the dog, gathering driftwood for the range – Mrs Jordan made the best chocolate sponge ever – I think the farmers visiting the pub helped her out with eggs etc. Also having stew with spaghetti and tomatoes to make it stretch I suppose, the things we remember. Mum also used to make pasties on a Tuesday and come and meet me and we used to go to the park and eat them. (Always hid my velour hat as we were not allowed to eat out of doors!!!)

(Followed by personal news.)

Sincerely, June.


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Young Buzz – April.

Nothing to do in Bideford? How wrong can you be!

Truthfully, I have to admit that in the past I have been guilty of dismissing Bideford as “boring” and “uninspiring” but I never knew how wrong I could be! Bideford or the ‘Little White Town’ as we know it has so much to offer in terms of events, opportunities and exciting new projects. This ranges from the annual carnival right through to the recent Bideford half marathon. As I open my eyes to all things local, I begin to realise that Bideford is in actual fact a thriving town with a great sense of community spirit , delivering us a daily dose of home-grown activities that aim to please all ages.

I recently attended a ‘Businesses of Bideford’ meeting whereby a discussion took place regarding the forthcoming events and local amenities that are happening on our very own doorstep, with the promise of a few seasonal surprises in store! One of these is a ‘ghost walk’ which will take place in and around the town, with the walks varying depending on the age category for which you fall into. This “fright night” experience is a feature for Halloween, with a host of creepy costumes hoping to fill the town in its hours of darkness. The ghoulish behaviour is set to continue with a party proceeding right into the night, with businesses staying open and assisting with the frightful festivities. The aim of the game is to get both businesses and residents involved; ensuring that it is a Halloween we are keen to remember!

Another date for our diaries is Bideford Heritage Day on Saturday 28th June. A medieval theme has been decided on, with the chance to dress up in outfits that tie in with this particular period. Expect to see corsets by the crowd and girdles galore as the town travels back in time, mirroring the medieval attire. The predominant focus on our town’s history makes for an interesting, educating and exciting family day out including tours around Bideford as one of the many activities that will run throughout the course of the day. Talks of a medieval banquet are sure to bring the ‘Middle Ages’ themed evening to a grand and unforgettable finish. There is an overwhelming desire to re-enact Bideford’s history; exploring its past and culture and Bideford Heritage Day is a dedication to this.

On a more sporting note , the Bideford Blues under 10’s football team recently received a very generous donation from Complete Computing who sponsored over 30 match day jackets. They have a fantastic facility and some great individuals who dedicate a large portion of their time to keep the club running and engaging the lives of so many young locals.

We are fortunate to live in a town that prides itself on a close knit community and rich historic background; there truly is so much to see and do! Bideford’s picturesque landscape and situation attracts tourism around the clock. There is a café culture revival, with the town becoming an ideal place to socialise due to its number of ‘niche’ cafes and coffee spots. Not to mention the beautiful walks and surfing opportunities quite literally right on our very doorsteps.

Question is, what’s in store for the ‘Little White Town’ next? Well one thing is clear; anything is possible when Bideford continues to blossom year after year.

Kelly Gumbley. (photo shows Heritage Day 2013 © Graham Hobbs)

Got something to share? Send it to Kelly via Bideford Buzz, TTVS, 14 Bridgeland St ,Bideford ,EX 39 2QE or email editor@

Outward Bound Courses.

The Sir Francis Chichester Trust offers FREE places on three week ‘Classic Adventure’ Outward Bound courses to young people who live in Devon and who are aged 16-19 (at the time of the course, which will be over the summer holidays). The courses are primarily personal development , based around outdoor activities and with a particular emphasis on teamwork. The closing date for applications this summer is 7th April with interviews for those shortlisted being held 1st and 2nd May. An application form can be downloaded from the website if you have any queries or would like any additional information contact Anthea Parkyn on 01392 250976 or email

Appledore Kidz Club.

This is based in the Appledore Community Hall on Newquay Street. The club is for ages 5 – 11 and runs from 3.30 until 5.30 on Tuesdays (which is Drama Club), Wednesdays (which is cooking, crafts and games) and Thursdays (which is sports and games). We charge 50 pence an hour including a drink and snack . It is a not-for-profit organisation run solely by volunteers. Currently there are eight of us in the team, but there is certainly room for lots more! We are all CRB checked (or DBS, as it has recently become known) and would like any new volunteers to be too, or to be prepared to become so through TTVS (Torridge Voluntary Service); we would also require 2 character references. We are currently one of the nominated charities for the Asda Foundation, so please drop your token in our box! We can be contacted either via email or on our Facebook page.

Verity Jarvis.


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One hundred years ago – April 1914.

This month we are looking at the changes that are coming to transportation.

An April edition of the newspaper contained a report from the Magistrates Court of a man who was charged with “using a broken down horse” and subjecting it to cruelty. In his defence the man said that the owner of the horse was at home ill and in need of an income.   To help out, the defendant had taken the horse and wagon out to do some work not realising how out of condition the animal had become.   The magistrate fined him a modest amount and was assured the horse had been restored to better health again.

In the classifieds section a local farmer advertised his pony and trap for sale as he had recently acquired a new motor car as his personal transport.

There are a number of advertisements for various forms of personal transport.

Ford are advertising a ‘universal car’ from £125. Triumph Motors are not only manufacturing motor cycles but also bicycles under the slogan ‘a quiet spin’. Raleigh bicycles can be purchased from £5 19s 6d from G Boyle, High Street, Bideford.

The state of North Devon roads were considered “a deplorable state of affairs” according to the Mayor, Mr S R Chope.   A lorry had broken its back axle on the road between Bideford and Hartland and Bideford Urban District Council passed a resolution “That this Council desires the attention of the Devon County Council to the dangerous condition of the road between Bideford and Hartland and is strongly of the opinion that an inspection of the road should be made by a committee of the County Council.    It is of the opinion that the consequences to the trade of the town of Bideford and North Devon generally will be disastrous if drastic and prompt measures are not taken to made the road passable”.


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Shipping news No. 110 (Feb.- March 2014).

In Port – Yelland.

Sylve – (ex- Vios, 2001 : Morgenstod 2, ’97) : built 1990 : flag Limassol, Cyprus : owners Estonian : from Wicklow to Wismar : crew Russian & Estonian : arrived 2/3/14, sailed 3/3/14 : loaded 2,300 tons timber.

Celtic Pioneer – (ex- Leeswig, ”06 : Claus Jurgens, ’93) : built 1985 : flag Cardiff : owners British : from Glensanda to Plymouth : crew Polish : arrived 6/3/14, sailed 8/3/14 : discharged 3,300 tons chippings.

Welsh Piper – 19/2/14.

In port – Bideford.

Zita – (ex- Claudia Isabel, 2000 : Alserbach, ’13) : built 1997 : flag St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda : owners German : from Cardiff to Castellon : crew Russian & Philippino : arrived 2/3/14, sailed 4/3/14 : loaded 2,860 tons ball clay. (This is the largest ship, in terms of deadweight , to berth at Bideford).

Oldenburg has been to Sharpness 12.11.13 for drydocking, returns to service 1st April ; she has been on a few cargo runs during the winter.

Arco Dart at Appledore 5.3.14, 6.3.14.

The Irish patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett (being built at Appledore) sailed on the 15th March for her first sea trials – seen crossing the bar at 05.35.

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).

A report in the Gazette that the Kathleen & May is to make a visit to Bideford in August ; will give further details when known.

The tug Goliath alongside Bideford quay 31.1.14-15.3.14 to tow the barge Southern Beaver from Yelland oil jetty to Southampton. (This is her second visit to the River since she was built in 1956 as the MSC Simitar at Appledore). She has not been able to sail because the wind has been in excess of Force 4 which is the limit of her operating capabilities.

Bristol Channel Observations.

15/2/14 at 11.03 vehicle carrier Toreador, 22,098 tons d.w., owners Wilhelmsen Line Car Carriers Southampton, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at18.48. (14.2.14 - she passed very slowly due to very heavy weather conditions).

16/2/14 at 10.21 vehicle carrier Centaurus Leader, 21,471 tons d.w, owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

19/2/14 at 09.05 cargo vessel Monica Meuller, 3,723 tons d.w, owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

21/2/14 at 12.45 vehicle carrier Autosun 6670 tons d.w owners UECC Unipessoal Ltd Mareira, inward bound for Portbury.

22/2/14 At 06.30 with all her deck lights on, the cruise ship Discovery, 20,216 gross tons, owners All Leisure Holidays Ltd, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 13.40 cargo vessel Ciudad de Cadiz, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Anita 2 SNC France, inward bound for Portbury to discharge cars ;normally carries airbus parts. At 13.14 the cargo vessel Andre W, 5,200 tons d.w., owners Andre W GMBH & Co K.G. Germany, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 11.30.

24/2/14 at 08.15 vehicle carrier Morning Menad, 12,300 tons d.w., owners Eukor Car Carriers Inc South Korea, inward bound for Portbury.

26/2/14 at 09.04 container vessel Endeavour, 9,612 tons d.w, owners J.R Shipping Netherland, inward bound for Avonmouth, (still running late from her normal weekend schedule arrival). At 18.20 cargo vessel Zita, 4,490 tons d.w., owners Abrams Schiffahrts GMBH & Co. Germany, inward bound for Cardiff with 4000 tons cat litter. Her next voyage is loading clay at Bideford for discharge at Castellon.

1/3/14 at 12.05 cargo vessel Pretty Universe, 35,000 tons d.w., owners Pretty Universe Shipping SA Hong Kong, inward bound for Newport.

3/3/14 at 10.20 vehicle carrier Maple Ace 2, 15,361 tons d.w., owners Mitsui OSK Lines Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

4/3/14 at 07.55 cargo vessel Fri Ocean, 3,400 tons d.w., owners Kopervik Shipping AS Norway, inward bound for Sharpness.

6/3/14 at 08.58 cargo vessel Eva Maria Meuller, 3,722 tons d.w., owners Otto A Muller Schiffahrt GMBH Germany, inward bound for Sharpness.

8/3/14 at 15.05 vehicle carrier Grande Mediterrraneo, 18,427 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

10/3/14 at 07.17 vehicle carrier Euro Spirit, 15,483 tons d.w., owners Nissan Motor Car Carriers Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.02 bulk carrier Goya, 75,759 tons d.w., owners A.S. J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi Norway, inward bound for Portbury.




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The Appledore – Instow ferry.


A ferry has existed between Appledore and Instow for over 250 years – that is until 2006, when the service ceased. The ferry has been part of the heritage of both sides of the river and the Torridge itself.

Between 2009 and 2011 there were public meetings to see whether there was an interest in the ferry being reinstated. As always funding was a problem, but one of the members of the group offered to rent their boat for a twelve-month period. On 25 June 2011 the ferry service was launched with the help of qualified skippers and volunteers. A not for profit company was set up – Appledore Instow Ferry Limited.

During the first, relatively short, season 8,400 passengers were transported between the two villages. It was clear that the ferry service was popular with visitors and locals and the next season started in April 2012. During this season the ferry carried 15,000 passengers which included babes in arms, bikes and dogs.

The members of the company managed to attract funding of £20,000 through various means – sponsorship from local businesses and individuals, fundraising events. These funds were used to purchase the rented boat, convert it for ferry use, buy a new engine, new lifejackets and safety equipment. The company applied to Village SOS, which is part of the big lottery fund, and were awarded £30,000. This sum was used to purchase a second boat to meet the demands during bank holidays and school holidays. The new boat had to be adapted for ferry use and was put into service at the start of the 2013 season.

The ferry fleet comprises Misty Blue and Lizzie M. Each boat can take up to twelve passengers, plus skipper and a crew member and are equipped with all the necessary safety equipment.

With two ferries operating during busy times and good weather over the summer school holidays, 2013 was a bumper year, with over 19,000 passengers carried. In addition to normal cross-river operations, the ferry is able to offer a taxi service to boat owners who have their boats moored in the estuary.

This community project which was set up by volunteers continues to be managed and operated by volunteers.

The service runs between Appledore Slip and Instow Quay from the beginning of April to the end of October. Operating times are limited to approximately two hours either side of high tide when that falls between 0930 and sunset. Details of the ferry operation and timetables can be found at

A management team consisting of a Board of Directors and an Executive Group, all active volunteers, work behind the scenes addressing the many and varied aspects of running a public service in a constantly changing environment.

The ferry service has proved to be beneficial to the communities in Appledore and Instow and the volunteers also act as tourist guides, giving out maps of the two villages and general information about the area.

A new website has been developed and full details of the timetable, the prices, etc are available on


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Young Buzz – March.

Should we dress to impress ?

First impressions count, don’t they? In fact, what you wear makes all the difference and can actually determine the outcome of future prospects and as a result, eventual success. For many, University interviews are dawning, and we wrack our brains endlessly over the question of ‘what to wear’ as we count down the days to that all important date.

The attire we wear on the day communicates our personality and eligibility, putting pressure on us to get it right first time. Smart, however, is one’s secret weapon to guaranteed success. As I trawl the internet, I come to realise that blazers, blouses and buttoned shirts appear to win in the eye of the interviewer and that anything resembling ‘too casual’ is a complete write off. The real challenge though? Knowing how far to go with it.

Attention to detail is important. As we all know, our local schools over emphasise neatness and ensure that we obey by the ‘dress code’ ; this in hindsight is beneficial to us all. Establishing the border between smart and comfortable is essential for any interview, particularly a university one. Maintaining eye contact, a smile, as well as a little self-confidence will allow you to go a long way. If you are looking and feeling great, this will naturally reflect in your posture and demeanour.

Ultimately, what you wear will not make or break you in terms of university offers and placements. The thing to remember is to be yourself at all times and enjoy the experience which will be worth immense value that may only come once. Opt for ties, not tank tops; loafers, not leotards; shirts, not sandals and dresses, not dungarees. Be polished and make sure you don’t go over board and morph into a corporate clone; otherwise you may run the risk of looking like you have perhaps tried too hard.

In the words of Dizzee Rascal, you need to “fix up, look sharp”; not saunter in sporting a sweatshirt and matching sweatpants to tally.

Kelly Gumbley.

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One hundred years ago – March 1914.

On Sunday 15th March 1914 a heavy gale passed over the region. Vessels in both Appledore and Bideford, although double moored, were swamped and one barge had a mast carried away. The Burrows were under water and the river Torridge was a mass of waves and seething foam. The slipway at the Royal George in Appledore was washed away, as well as a large portion of the roadway.

The Blacksmith’s Arms at East-the-Water was sold for £800 at an auction to Messrs S W Arnold & Sons. Ivydean in Abbotsham Road was for sale and also Roborough House (formerly 1 Westcroft Terrace) – both from Bazeley Barnes and Bazeley.

On the front page of the Gazette were adverts for J Sanguine & Sons in Grenville Street who were holding their annual sale of boots and shoes – strictly cash only. William C Talbot in the High Street recommended Oatmeal stout for invalids and persons of a weak digestion – price 2/6d for twelve one pint bottles. Walter H Chope proudly advertised Warner’s Rust proof corsets!

Nothing much seems to have changed in other areas as well – the reservoirs were overflowing due to increased rainfall and Bideford Council had received several complaints about the state of Alverdiscott Road due to lorries hauling timber away from Webbery. A manhole collapsed outside Queens Anne’s Buildings in the High Street, precipitating a young lady into the coal cellar below. Fortunately she was unhurt.

Bideford Hospital (privately run – no NHS) held its Annual General Meeting where it was reported that 639 cases were treated during the year, of these 269 were operations requiring overnight admission. The daily cost of food to these patients was 6.44d per head – about 2½p in today’s values.

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford Community Archive at the Council offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714.


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Buzz Word – March.

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

Logs to Burn

Hi Chris (Hassall) I enjoyed your article. Having been for some years in the firewood trade,I can give you this reference to how logs burn. ‘Elm burns like smouldering flax,no flame to be seen.’

( from poem ‘Logs to burn’.)

We enjoyed two of your canal walks last year and look forward to starting again on May 11th

Peter Blackab.

Thanks also to Margaret Young who has sent in the following quote relating to the merits of wood. “Elm must be cut when felled and kept dry for at least two years to burn well. It is cheery enough then, though inclined to smoke if damp. It requires a good fire base and if rotten is of no use at all”. (From The Countryman , 1934)

The Wood Poem by Celia Congreve

Beech-wood fires are bright and clear

If the logs are kept a year,

Chestnut’s only good, they say,

If the logs ‘tis laid away

Make a fire of elder tree,

Death within your house will be,

But ash new or ash old

Is fit for a Queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast,

Blaze up bright and do not last.

It is by the Irish said,

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.”

Elm-wood burns like church-yard mould:

E’en the very flames are cold,

But ash green or ash brown

Is fit for a Queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,

Fills your eyes, and makes you choke.

Apple-wood will scent your room,

Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom.

Oaken logs, if dry and old

Keep away the winter’s cold,

But ash wet or ash dry

A King shall warm his slippers by.

(sent in by Jenny Jones)

Lucy’s diary.

The copy I bought from Amazon is now available in Bideford Library, as I donated it. I hope other people read it.

David Glahom

It was great to see the follow-up of Lucy’s Diary. I had already filed my research as completed.

Cynthia Snowden.

Citizen’s Award

Do you know someone whose activities help to enrich the lives of the residents of Bideford?

Bideford Town Council presents an award annually to a person or organisation either living in or outside Bideford who make a significant contribution to the community and a real difference to the lives of Bideford residents.

If the person nominated performs the tasks as part of their paid employment then in order to qualify their contribution must be well above and beyond that normally expected as part of their employment. Nomination forms are available from the Town Clerk’s Office or can be downloaded from the Town Council website. Submissions must be received by 17 March 2014.

Bideford keyboard and Organ club.

We have a multi-keyboard player from Exeter, Chris Magrath, playing in concert on 18th March at the Methodist Church Hall commencing at 7.30 pm. This is also a long-established club approaching 45 years of operation and bringing top class entertainers to the town, with very modest admission charges of £5.00 and a membership fee of just £14.00, which then gives a reduction to £3.00 for admissions and a Club night on the 1st Tuesday of each month. For the April Concert on 15th April we are combining with the Bideford Methodist Church to put on a superb concert of light entertainment on organ and piano music with a real master Dr Kevin Morgan from Lytham St Annes. Similar admission charges and times.

Bideford Cacti and pot plant club.

Our next meeting which starts the new season is on 11th March when we have Roger Chapple from Hartland with an illustrated talk on Lundy Island. The Club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm. It is now in its 55th year but many people don’t realise we even exist. It may be that the name is a bit off-putting and gives the impression we only talk about Cacti and Pot Plants. Nothing is further from the truth with a wide range of subjects covered and trips to gardens and interesting places. Members are being invited to give suggestions for a new name. We also host the last Flower Show in the Town but this is now nationally known as a superb show for Begonias, with the many classes being the National Begonia Society South West Show, which this year will be on Sunday 17th August at The Pannier Market. It brings exhibitors and visitors from all over the South West and Wales putting Bideford on the map and bringing hotel bookings and trade to the town.

Mike Avis (Contact number for both groups, 01237 475914) or email


St Helen’s Primary School in Abbotsham has a vacancy for a replacement Clerk to Governors.

No previous experience is necessary as training will be supplied. We are looking for an organised and methodical individual who can type, use e-mail and generally keep the governors in order.The role is paid at 3 hours per week, term time only. Most of the role can be done from home to fit around other commitments although attendance at approx 15 meetings per year is required.

Meetings are held during the daytime usually on either Tuesdays 15.45pm, Thursdays 8.00am or Thursdays 13.45pm and last approx 2 hours.

To apply please contact : Mrs Lucy Meardon including CV and contact telephone number via the e-mail address

Staff wanted.

The Conservative Club requires a Steward/Stewardess with partner to assist. Accommodation Provided.

Please contact the Secretary on 01237470913

or E.Mail for more details.


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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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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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