Buzz Byte; August.

As you will be aware software can be almost as expensive as the PC or laptop itself! You don’t have to have the top names and pay the top prices – there are many products on the market and some are even open source (free). In this edition of ‘Buzz Byte’ I will look at Google doc vs MS Word vs free software – LibreOffice.

Google Documents is free for basic personal documents but there are more in-depth options through G-Suite by Google cloud. Offers smart editing and styling tools. There are various different styles of spreadsheets and google slides which allows you to create presentations with themes, embedded videos and animations. In addition to all this Google Forms offers the ability to create forms, polls or a quiz, as well as manage email subscription newsletters, making it useful for small businesses and individuals.

LibreOffice is also a free word processing package. You can expect from Libre access to writing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, mathematical formula editing and draw, giving access to vector graphics and flowcharts. Libre is about people, culture, creation, sharing and collaboration. LibreOffice is community-driven and developed software, and is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation.

Microsoft Word offers four levels of packages, currently starting at £60 with one package available on monthly subscription – Office 365. Microsoft offer the same word processing and design packages as the free products with the additional bonus of the webmail service outlook. MS offers tailor made packages for home, business and student use.

Before installing a free package, make sure it is compatible with programs such as Word ; a lot of businesses and large organisations have word packages such as Office 365 for documents at home so that employers or potential employers can open files.

As always the choice is down to customer preference, but if you want for information pop into your local computer store.

Nickie Baglow . Complete Computing.

______________________________________________

Posted in Computers, IT | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

One hundred years ago – August 1918.

(Regular readers will recall that the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway closed on Wednesday 17th March 1917). R Dymond & Son are selling by auction on August 21st the Sheds and General Stores left after the rolling stock had gone. An Engine Shed (wood), 2 Wooden signal boxes, 4 more corrugated iron huts and offices, 7 miles of telephone line from Bideford to Appledore consisting of wire, insulators and posts plus 3 level crossing gates and wheel gear for opening them, 110 Windsor chairs, forms, desks, trestle tables, large street lamps, gate lamps, engine head lamps, signalling lamps and stoves. 7 acetylene generators plus 20 lots of track and train equipment.

Bideford UDC and Bideford RDC urgently require ‘All fruit stones including date stones and hard nut shells for immediate and urgent war purposes’. Collection from jam factories, hotels, restaurants and canteens as well as private houses is needed. With the consent of Education Authorities school children are urged to bring stones for despatch to a munitions department in southern England. Stones will be converted into charcoal to be used in the British respirator, and this type of charcoal has the power to absorb many times more volume than other forms of charcoal.

The possibility of a grouping of local authorities in connection with the work of reconstruction after the war may be said to have come within the range of practical politics. At a gathering of members of Bideford Town Council and Northam Urban District Council at Gammaton Reservoirs the subject was broached and tentative discussion took place.

Walter E Ellis, the proprietor of Ellis & Son builders who are engaged in the repair of Bideford bridge for the Bridge Trust, appeared before the local Tribunal to plead for exemption from the draft. When asked how long the work would go on he said ”Until long after the war is ended” At interview he agreed that he had a 59 year old foreman mason who could oversee the work so he was instructed to be available for service on 1st October

Harvest Help Scheme. Plymouth College OTC went into Farford, Hartland camp arriving by train while 20 students cycled to Hartland and others went by bus. 40 lads will go to Cabbacott at Parkham, these lads come from Devonport High School. Woolsery has lads from the Rossall School, Fleetwood Lancashire.

Property for Sale: Milford Farm, Hartland, 165 acres; 6 bedroom farmhouse and 2 cottages at Elmscott Hartland including a Blacksmith Shop.Wear Gifford Mills and land, 23 acres. Grazing land at Jopes (Chopes?) Bridge, 8 acres. Freehold Dock & Land comprising 0 acres 2 rods 23 perches. Canada Cottage, Barnstaple Street, East the Water, Bideford. Dublin & Wacklow Cottages also at Barnstaple Street. Hill Cliff & Stables, garden at Buckleigh Westward Ho! Also Hill Crest Buckleigh, Hardisworthy Farm, Hartland 43 acres

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford & District Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website

www.bidefordarchive.org.uk.


 

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

North Devon coast monographs.

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Environment | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Clothes for a heat wave?

Fashions change constantly – especially for women. In early Victorian England fashionable women were wearing yards of usually black cloth with their bodies crushed inside spring steel and whalebone corsets. This particular combination severely constrained their movement, and clearly without freedom of dress there was little freedom of movement – and possibly even of ideas.

This was all challenged in 1851 when an American woman Mrs.Amelia Bloomer started to publicise her views on a new style of dress that would ‘liberate’ women. Colloquially termed the ‘Bloomer’ costume it was described in a contemporary book (in rather sexist language) – ‘It resembles male attire, being an open fronted jacket and loose trousers, the latter wide like those of the Turk, but gathered in at the ankles, and when a lady super-added to these, wears a broad-leafed hat, she looks quite as masculine as her lord.’

North Devonians, often seen as very conservative not to say old-fashioned, must have been astonished when in December 1851 a Mrs.Franklin staged a public meeting in Bideford where she spoke on the need for a more ‘liberated’ style of dress – whilst wearing one of the new-fangled ‘Bloomer’ costumes!

Apparently the audience wasn’t that large and amongst the ones who did attend there were few women, it being noted at the time that if they had attended they would have been ‘proud of their sister orator who, we venture to assert without hesitation, would have put many of our masculine platformers to the blush. Her style throughout was lucid, eloquent and convincing.’ A nicely patronising touch there – clearly written by a man.

Unfortunately the ‘Bloomer’ costume never took off as it was mercilessly mocked in the newspapers and magazines of the day – though the freer style of dress did make a triumphant return in the 1890s and 1900s when women followed men by taking up cycling and adopted a much looser style of costume.

Chope’s Catalogue.

In these days of internet buying and vast shopping malls smaller shops are finding it ever harder to make a decent living. Here in Bideford many of our older shops have gone in the last 20 years – including Chopes which was once a major presence in the High Street. Today the Chope family still run the bookshop ‘Walter Henry’s’ (named after W.H.Chope) but their large shop is now operated by ‘McKay’s.’

Chopes didn’t just rely on casual passers-by – they also issued catalogues illustrating the latest fashions with an offer to make up the designs for customers. These catalogues are a wonderful source of fashion designs and doubtless the arrival of the latest ‘Chope’s book’ was a red-letter day in many households.

The earliest surviving one I have seen dates from 1901 and shows some ludicrously wasp-waisted women wearing classic sweeping Victorian dresses and carrying stick-thin parasols. Chope’s did also sell corsets so perhaps these waists were achievable but I doubt it.

The firm continued issuing such guides for some decades after that. An undated catalogue which was probably issued in the 1940s strikes a rather contemporary note when it included a letter from the store which notes ‘This brochure gives some suggestions for tailored styles, any of which can be copied in our workrooms. We make a speciality of adapting youthful styles for larger figures.’ What a wonderfully polite way of putting it! I here reproduce two of the fashion plates inside, the one on the left just out of an Agatha Christie novel! It is odd to think that these very fashionable clothes would now fall into the category of ‘retro’ or even ‘vintage’ today – if any have survived!

Peter Christie.

__________________________________________

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Felicity’s summer lunch.

Scallop Cerviche.

Ingredients –

1-2 tbsp ground cumin.

Tbsp. lime juice.

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped.

1tbsp. orange juice.

3 spring onions.

500 – 900g scallops.

1-2 tbsp chopped coriander.

1 hot red chilli, finely chopped.

I small onion, finely chopped.

3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped.

1 lime, sliced for garnish.

Method –

1. Stir the cumin into the lime and orange juices and pour the mixture over the scallops

2. Mix in the chopped chilli pepper and red pepper and red onion, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. Drain the scallops and mix with the chopped tomatoes, sweet peeper scallions and coriander just before serving.

Garnish with the slices of lime.

______________________________________________

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shipping notes No. 159 (June/ July).

In port – Bideford.

Celtic Endeavour – (ex – Athos 2015, Antabe ’01); flag Cardiff, UK; owners British; crew Polish & Russian; from Foynes to Castellon; arrived 11/7, sailed 13/7; loaded 2,750 tons ball clay.

 

AppledoreLE George Bernard Shaw is due to depart on her first trials on the 12th July 05.00.

Bristol Channel Observations.

11/6 at 22.10 vehicle carrier Morning Lena, 20,000 tons d.w, owners Eukor Car Carrier South Korea, outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 17.49.

12/6 at 19.16 container vessel E.R. Hobart, 13,879 tons d.w. owners Reederei Blue Star Holding SA German, inward bound for Portbury. At 22.00 bulk carrier Western Durban, 39,000 tons d.w., owners Ratu Shipping Co SA Japan, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 17.02.

16/6 at 14.08 vehicle carrier Grande Napoli, 14,565 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

18/6 at 08.20 vehicle carrier Grande Congo, 25,682 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. At 10.15 Vehicle carrier Hoegh Xiamen, 12,250 tons d.w,owners Hoegh Autolines Norway inward bound for Portbury. At 10.47 bulk carrier TD. Tokyo, 63,456 tons d.w, owners Tri-Do One Shipping Ltd Germany, inward bound for Portbury.

19/6 at 18.44 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners United European Car Carrier Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

21/6 at 16.47 bulk carrier Elegant SW, 37,163 tons d.w, owners Elegant Pescaderes SA Taiwan , inward bound for Newport. At 19.57 vehicle carrier Grande Bretagne, 18,464 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury. At 22.10 dredger City of Cardiff, 2,730 tons d.w., owners Ltm Western Ltd UK ; originally en route to Marchwood but turned round at 16.50 off Port Isaac and returned to Culver, thence to Avonmouth.

23/6 at 08.45 vehicle carrier Grande Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury, (Seen again at 11.17 24/6 outward bound having sailed from Portbury at 07.41 hrs.) At 10.40 dredger City of Cardiff, 2,730 tons d.w., owners LTM Western Ltd UK outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 04.28 (heading for Marchwood, Southampton). At 11.45 bulk carrier TD Tokyo, 63,456 tons d.w., owners Tro-Do One Shipping Ltd Germany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.41.

24/6 at 21.15 container vessel Annalisa P, 18,464 tons d.w., owners Annalisa |P Schiffaahatris Germany, inward bound for Portbury.

25/6 at 07.43 vehicle carrier Grande Benelux, 12,594 tons d.w. owners Grimaldi Line of Italy outward bound from Portbury, having sailed at 02.49. At 07.43 Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w. owners Grimaldi Line of Italy inward bound for Portbury.

27/6 at 20.21 bulk carrier Victoria, 63,613 tons d.w. owners Ariel Management Inc Pireaus, inward bound for Portbury. At 21.07 vehicle carrier Torino, 22,160 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden inward bound for Portbury.

3/7 at 11.50 hrs vehicle carrier Coral Leader, 12,164 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

5/7 at 07.55 cargo vessel Lentika, 39,202 tons d.w., outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.10.

6/7 at 16.05 bulk carrier Centennial Harmony, 181,338 tons d.w. owners MK Centennial Maritime BV Netherlands outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 13.12. At 17.30 container vessel Aries J, 12,892 tons d.w., owners Aries J CV Germany outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.11.

8/7 at 05.58 container vessel Fesco Askold, 13,806 tons d.w., owners Astro Moon Ship Ltd Russia inward bound for Portbury. At 21.55 vehicle carrier Vega Leader, 16,396 tons d.w., owners Nippon Yusen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

Norman. 01271 861183.

_____________________________________________

Posted in Shipping | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

One hundred years ago – July 1918.

New Ration books commence distribution on the 6th July, ready for use in the National Rationing Scheme on the 15th July. There are seven different categories, all serially numbered and individually addressed. This work has been completed by the Food Office based in Bideford Town Hall.

The Medical Officer has confirmed that an outbreak of measles has spread across North Devon resulting in Northam School being temporarily closed.

In May it was announced that men aged 43 and above would need to be conscripted to replace casualties from the war. The shortage of skilled tradesmen, artisans and general labour shortages is having a considerable effect on business and especially in farming. A scheme called ‘School Boys to Help with the Harvest’ has been set up and overnight accommodation in barns at Farford Farm for Hartland, Cabbacott for Parkham and Buckland Brewer district and the Parish Rooms at Woolsery have all been organised.

The newspaper has reports every week of Tribunal meetings where local tradesmen plead to be allowed to continue with their business. A local village baker who provides for the entire village of over 1,000 people has been called up and, despite a petition of over 500 names, he was ordered to be available by 15th July. He had to arrange for another village’s baker to cycle over three days each week to keep the supply of bread going. The Northam Tribunal reports on their only conscientious objector, a local school teacher who refused to undertake any work that could been considered helping the war effort His appeal was dismissed and he had to be available from 15th August. The Edgehill School gardener, who provides vegetables for the school from 2 acres as well as milking 16 cows and looking after a local power station providing electricity for the school, had to be available for military service by mid-July.

The labour problem is causing several farms and estates to be put up for sale. This month sees the following: West Fatacott, Hartland, 133 acres: Volehouse Farm, West Putford, 177 acres: Saxworthy Farm, East Putford, 62 acres: Venton Farm Westward Ho! 24 acres. Also Kernstone Farm, Hartland, is selling all livestock and 30 acres of standing crops. Forcewell, Hartland, have 23 acres of standing corn to sell.

The effects of the War has caused the Barnstaple Anchor Brewery to dispose of many local Inns including The Plough at Fremington, The Coach & Horses and The Rising Sun both at Appledore and The New Inn at Abbotsham.

(In last month’s edition the item about rabbit culling at Melbury used the word poaching – it should have read “ No paunching is to be done on the reservoir site” …. in an effort to keep the water unpolluted!!)

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford & District Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website www.bidefordarchive.org.uk.

_________________________________________________

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Felicity’s seaweed recipe.

The Seaweed Festival in Clovelly was attended by many enthusiastic people and the demonstrations on Foraging, Identification and Seaweed for health were all excellent.

I ran a tasting stall with Nori (same seaweed as laver) crisps, Seaweed Plan, Pickled Samphire and Seaweed croquettes made from parsnips and carrots instead of potatoes.

Here is the simple Seaweed Flan recipe; mushrooms and/or tomatoes can also be added.

Ideal for a picnic.

Seaweed Flan.

Ingredients.

I pack of shortcrust ready-made pastry.

1 egg, beaten.

4floz -100ml milk.

2tsp cornflour.

2oz/100g grated cheese.

2oz/100gseaweed, shredded – or soak dried kelp, dulse or mixed seaweed flakes. Salt and pepper to season.

6 cherry tomatoes – halved, and /or 2oz/100sliced mushrooms (optional).

Method.

Line a 6-8inch flan tin or a deep tin plate. Bake it blind in a medium oven-Gas mark 6 or 200C.for 10 mins and allow to cool.

Mix cornflour with the egg in a bowl and then add milk, seaweed and grated cheese. Season to taste. You can use seaweed salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and sliced mushrooms.

Pour into the Flan and sprinkle with some grated cheese.

Bake for 20 mins.at gas mark6/200C until set and golden brown.

Serve hot or cold. Cut into 4 quarters for main course, or 6 slices for a picnic treat.

___________________________________________________

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged | Leave a comment

Recently seen at Westward Ho!

Ctenophores, known commonly as sea gooseberries or comb jellies. They are carnivorous predators in the Plankton. They eat zooplankton, fish eggs and fish larvae. They catch their prey with their sticky tentacles which they can retract when not feeding. Their name “ctenophore” comes from the Greek words ctena (comb) and phora (bearer). They have eight rows of fused cilia on their surface which they beat in rythym to propel themselves through the water. It is these “combs” that have the irridescent look.

(All images courtesy of N. Billingham).

     

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ladies’ Golf celebrates 150 years.

The Westward Ho! and North Devon Ladies were very early pioneers in the history of Ladies Golf. The Reverend Isaac Gosset, Vicar of the Parish of Northam and a founder of the Royal North Devon Golf Club has to take most of the credit for the formation of the Ladies Club. On May 28th 1868 the Reverend Gosset extended an invitation, by way of a letter, to ladies living in the locality suggesting the formation of a Ladies Golf Club.

The first meeting took place at Northam Vicarage on the 8th June 1868 when it was formally resolved to form a Ladies Golf Club. At a further meeting just one week later, a committee were elected and a number of letters of intent were read from prospective members. There were forty seven original Lady Members and twenty three Male Associate Members most of these Lady members were the wives and daughters of existing members of the men’s Club”. (The opening lines from a booklet published last month to celebrate 150 years of their existence.) More extracts below.

The ‘ladies meeting’ (see above) has some artistic licence and is seemingly more like a fashion show where dress is more important than a good golf swing (although with a putter it is unlikely that a lady would need to make a full swing.) The tent was purchased for £6 in May 1871 and in that year a Mr. Hearn was paid 1/6d (7.5 pence) every time it was erected – usually once a week from May to September.

Ladies’ Course.

The original course was of eighteen holes, but could only be played with a wooden putter and the early scores reflect a certain prowess amongst the ladies, with scores of about fifty four (level threes) required to win any sort of prize. During this early time the Men’s Club Professional, Johnny Allan, is named as the custodian of the links and responsible for maintaining the course.

The ‘new’ Ladies course was formally opened at 2.30 pm on January 2nd 1894 and the men could use it!

Interestingly in August 1895 it is reported that the Ladies’ course has ‘Molesworth’s Permanent Tee Boards made of three inch planks, six foot square, bolted with cross pieces and then covered with matting and sprinkled with sand to give a firm grip’; this area of ground on which the Ladies’ course was located is still notoriously wet today – especially in winter.

Although this course originally measured just 1,500 yards there were major improvements mostly extending the length, due to the new Haskell golf ball. In the Ladies Golf Union Year Book of 1904 the course then measured 2,242 yards.

Want to read more? Copies of the booklet are obtainable from the North Devon Club House via the manager Mark Evans. Celebrations took place in June.

________________________________________________

Posted in Local People | Tagged , | Leave a comment

One hundred years ago: June 1918.

There is a surplus of British-made butter available. The weekly ration has been increased from 4 to 5 oz per person.

Northam Urban District Council seek tenders for the clearing of rabbits on lands at Melbury Reservoir, Parkham. One extra provision has been stipulated, “That no rabbits be paunched on the Council’s lands”.

At the same meeting the council report that 95 allotments are now occupied in the area, compared to 29 before the war.

A handsome chair made from Bideford Long Bridge oak was presented to the Bridge Trust and accepted and acknowledged by George Willy Vincent and Alexander Greig Duncan. Restoration of the Bridge commenced in 1915 and from time to time old oak beams come to light. (It is very uncomfortable, still in use today, and keeps meetings short!!)

A little lad aged 11 years was run over by one of the Canadian Motor Transport cars and lost 2 toes. The previous day one of the same cars drove into a bullock.

Property and Land for Sale. Tomouth Estates, East Appledore: 12½acres and 3 cottages.

To Let: Small farm “Kas Venton”, Westward Ho! 23 acres & dwelling house and farm buildings. Also 6 acre field known as ‘Football Field’ adjoining the main road from Westward Ho! to Bideford.

It was stated in the Devon County Council meeting on June 20th that the Hartland to Bideford road had absorbed £28,263, so that the steam roller must have rolled in over 28,000 golden sovereigns on that previous piece of highway.” (The current comparison would be £1.1 million).

These and many more items of local interest are available to read at the Bideford & District Community Archive at the Council Offices, Windmill Lane, Northam. Tel: 01237 471714. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or visit our website www.bidefordarchive.org.uk

___________________________________________________

Posted in History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Felicity’s Fish Cookery – June.

This month the summer fish arrives in all its delicate splendour, and I thought it would be good to look at some Georgian fish recipes (the cookery at the beginning of the nineteenth Century, just before the Victorian Era).  The fish cookery was fairly basic with limited ingredients but some interesting influences (especially for the upper classes, who ate plentifully).

The shellfish season has started and the crabs and lobster are moving around, they get attracted to the pots more often, so catches are improving and the prices are at their most reasonable – hoping that there is fine summer weather this month!

The first is Buttered Crab or lobster – basically an interesting pate to spread on toast.

Warm Buttered Crabs (or lobster) to serve with toast.

Ingredients.

450g(1lb) Fresh or frozen mixed crabmeat, or lobster cleaned and chopped finely.

3 tbsp red wine.

1 tbsp vinegar.

½ tsp ground or fresh grated nutmeg, ½ tsp salt.

1 tsp anchovy essence (or 2 anchovy fillets).

1 egg yolk.

115g (4oz) butter.

Toast or French bread

Lemon thinly sliced and parsley sprigs to garnish.

Method.

Beat all the ingredients (crabmeat, red wine, vinegar, nutmeg anchovy, egg yolk and softened butter together well, or blend in a food processor.

Heat them gently in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Pile the mixture into a suitable container (cleaned crab or scallop shells or small dish) and serve with triangles or thin strips of toast.

Garnish with thin slices of lemon and parsley sprigs.

To carry on the historical cooking theme we have started a ‘Cooking Get Together’ session in Appledore.

The first was held at Appledore Library, and the May group met in the North Devon Maritime Museum and visited their Victorian Kitchen. We hope to have a session in June, somewhere in Appledore -maybe with a fish lunch available – please contact me for more details at brilliantfishsw@gmail.com or 07918 779 060.

_________________________________________

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Buzz Byte – June.

What is a cloud? In computing terms it’s not a fluffy white object in the sky, but a physical server used for storing and sharing data. Your information is stored on a remote database which is serviced and controlled, provided by cloud computing companies operating from data centres, the most well-known being the Apple iCloud. Clouds allow un-networked computers to communicate and share files without using the storage on your own hard drive. Clouds are accessed via the internet. A cloud works the same as you, storing your data on an internal or external hard drive or USB stick ; you can retrieve, amend and update it, but by using a cloud you are not filling your own hard drive space, allowing your PC to run more quickly.

Although cloud storage has only been promoted relativity recently it has been around for a while, in formats that you will have been using and not realise. The way these companies operate they are providing a form of cloud storage – YouTube, Facebook, email providers and Google Docs.

Consumers are moving to cloud storage as it is convenient and flexible. One of the pros of using a cloud is that you can access your data from any device, in any location, that can access the internet. The cons to look into are the reliability and security of the company who is storing your data, and what measures they take to ensure that is protected against hackers and loss.

There are lots of products available, so you need to consider what information you need to store, how much data there will be, and who needs access to it before making your purchase.

Nickie Baglow (Complete Computing).

___________________________________________

Posted in Computers, IT | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bideford’s Nat West Bank.

An iconic building in Bideford, Nat West Bank (formerly National Provincial) closed on 29th May 2018. Peter Christie looks back on its history, and Gerald Waldron remembers his time as a bank employee.

End of an era.

The closure of Bideford’s Natwest bank seems a suitable time to look at its history. The story begins around 1790 when four men established a bank in town. They were James Ley a prominent merchant, Stephen Willcock a wine merchant, John Glubb a lawyer, and Charles Cutcliffe a Barnstaple banker. Their new venture seems to have been set up in Ley’s house on the N.E. corner of High Street.

A map from 1842 (above) shows the building split into two, whilst the main photograph (taken around 1870) clearly shows which section was being used as the bank. The fact that the business became known as ‘Bideford Old Bank’ suggests it was the first such establishment in the town.

In 1843 under its ‘official’ name of J.Ley & Co it was taken over by the National Provincial Bank which had been founded in London a decade earlier. At some time the building next door was incorporated into the bank as shown on this 1888 map (below).

Under its new name it continued to provide banking services to Bideford, and in 1930 plans were submitted to modernise the building. These saw a new doorway at the eastern end with the old entrance being closed up along with a reinforced strong room. The work was carried out by John Cock, a Bideford builder and one-time Mayor of the town.

Since then various changes have been put in place to meet modern requirements (e.g. an ATM and bullet proof glass screens). Sadly the gradual movement to on-line banking has seen the Natwest directors decide to close this branch – Bideford will be the poorer.

Peter Christie.

*******

Reminiscences of an old-fashioned banker at National Provincial Bank in North Devon in the 1950s.

I applied to join the National Provincial Bank in 1950 and had to go to London for interview with the Chairman & General Manager. It so happened that his wife had presented prizes at Bideford Grammar School’ s Prize-Giving not long before, and I was one of the recipients, so I was offered a job without a formal interview. My first appointment was at Torrington for 6 months, I then did my National Service and returned to the Torrington branch for a further 6 months before being transferred to Bideford.

My first taste of banking was at Torrington where the Manager opened the post which arrived at 8 o’clock. He unlocked the door for staff at 9 o’clock before having breakfast upstairs in his flat and then going fishing during the season. He returned later in the afternoon to lock up then spent the evenings doing business with customers in the local pubs.

From what I remember there were 20/30 members of staff at Bideford but they had to cover the branch office at Northam, a daily agency at Appledore, and a monthly morning visit to Clovelly. One member of staff plus a guard went by taxi to Clovelly, but no business was carried out there apart from selling postcards of the premises at 6d a time. Two members of staff ran the Northam branch but were not allowed to leave the bank so coffee and doughnuts were delivered by Patts, who ran a café across the road.

Male members of staff had to wear suits, collars and ties at all times. All entries were entered manually in ledgers. The bank was open from 10 am to 3 pm but staff had to remain until they balanced the books – sometimes quite late in the evening. Once £500 couldn’t be accounted for and, after searching everywhere, staff had to give up. However, 6 months later a junior was cleaning dust from under the safe and found the missing bundle of notes. Any dirty notes at the bank had to be taken out of circulation, parcelled up with the bank seal and returned to the Bank of England. Two members of staff carried the packages up High Street to the Post Office!

At the beginning of 1955 I was transferred to London at a week’s notice. Shortly after I arrived at the Bank’s hostel two others were transferred from Bideford. I myself was contacted within the first week at my new branch about playing rugby for the Bank. I was told I was posted to London because I played rugby, and I thought it was because of my mental ability! How times have changed since those days, with Northam and Torrington closed, and now Bideford.

Gerald Waldron.

________________________________________________

Posted in History, Local People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Buzz” privacy policy & GDPR compliance.

Who we are.

Our website address is: http://bidefordbuzz.org.uk

Our editor’s contact email is editor@bidefordbuzz.org.uk

We are a non-profit, completely volunteer, online-only free community newsletter  covering Bideford, Northam, Appledore, Westward Ho!, Instow, and villages west as far as Hartland.

 

What personal data we collect and why we collect it.

Comments.

When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. The IP address is not publicly visible on an approved and published comment (but can be read by the website administrator).

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/

Media.

If you upload images to the website or provide images for publication by us you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. (Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website).

Contact forms (includes hard copy material, and digitised versions of such).

We retain only the minimum amount of personal data required in order to provide a specific service (e.g. contributor’s details, publication of articles), and only for the length of time necessary for us to provide that service.

Cookies.

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

 

Embedded content from other websites.

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in exactly the same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

 

Who we share your data with.

We do not share any data with third parties. We do not track any user. Should any third party wish to contact the author of any published content we will first contact such author with details of the request, and it would be their decision as whether or not to reply.

Buzz” never has, and never will, rent, share, or sell your data to third parties.

 

How long we retain your data.

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

 

What rights you have over your data.

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. (This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes).

 

Where we send your data.

Visitor comments are checked through an automated spam detection service (Akismet).

_________________________________________________

Posted in 'GDPR' and privacy policy. | Tagged , | Leave a comment