Bideford Buzz

Welcome to the  on-line edition of the Community Newsletter for Bideford   and adjoining towns, villages, and rural area.

‘Bideford Buzz’ is produced  by a team of volunteers and relies on our local community for articles.   If you are interested in supporting this newsletter we’ll be glad to hear from you.

You can submit your article on disc or by e-mail.    However, ‘snail mail’ is equally acceptable. Material for publication should reach us during the month preceding the month of publication.

Editor – Rose Arno (Bideford Buzz).        

Telephone 07929-976120, or E-mail: [email protected]

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‘Float to Live’.

With one in three people admitting that they do not know what to if they unexpectedly get into difficulty in the water, Active Torridge is supporting the RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ campaign again this summer.

According to the RNLI, on average 45 people each day are aided by their crews across the UK, and with the local beaches about to get busy over the Bank Holiday weekend, Active Torridge is sharing details of the ‘Float to Live’ campaign.

If you find yourself in difficulty, the best way to float is to tilt your head back with your ears submerged. Try to relax and breathe normally. You can gently move your hands to help you stay afloat if you need to. Spread your arms and legs out to improve stability – and it’s OK if your legs sink, we all float differently. Once your breathing is under control, call for help or swim to safety.

For more information about the campaign go to Float To Live – What To Do In An Emergency – RNLI

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Bideford Water Festival, 16th June.

www.bidefordwaterfestival.co.uk

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‘Music for the Earth’ – Plough Arts Centre, 14th June.

theploughartscentre.org.uk

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Bideford Fair, 8th June.

[email protected]

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Open Day at North Devon Hospice garden, 1st June.

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Shipping notes No. 229 (April).

Bideford Quay.

Oldenburg returned to Bideford 6/4.

Appledore.

Quorn and Atherstone still in shipyard.

The tug Afon Alaw, owners Holyhead Towage co, to tow barge arrived approx 15.45 and sailed for Falmouth with barge at 18.23.

Yelland Quay.

Deo Gloria – (2 trips) !9/4, (2 trips) 20/4, (2 trips) 21/4, (2 trips) 22/4, (2 trips) 23/4, (2 trips) 24/4, (2 trips) 25/4, (2 trips) 26/4, (2 trips) 27/4, (2 trips) 28/4, (1 trip) 29/4. She has now returned to her base at the River Mersey.

Bristol Channel Observations.

1/4 at 05.43 ro-ro vessel Eurocargo Istanbul, 14,413 tons d.w., owners Malta Motorways of the Sea Malta, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 14.43 9th having sailed from Portbury at 06.29).

2/4 at 7.56 container vessel Valetina, 22,263 tons d.w., owners Linda Shipinvest GHBH & Co Germany, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 10.07 heading southbound, still showing destination as Portbury. Captain must have wanted a sight-seeing tour of Lundy. She proceeded as far as Bude before turning round again. She passed South Lundy again at about 17.30, but was not visible due to mist and rain and therefore tracked by AIS). At 18.25 vehicle carrier Odin Highway, 19,222 tons d.w., owners Solt Holding Liberia 35 SA Bermuda, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 07.21 4th outward bound having sailed from Portbury at 03.14).

3/4 at 06.32 cargo vessel Arklow Mill, 15,008 tons d.w., owners Coastal Shipping Inc Eire, inward bound for Newport. At 17.44 vehicle carrier Valiant Ace, 18,143 tons d.w., owners Second Maritime Ltd Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 11.29 5th outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 07.15).

4/4 at 19.35 cargo vessel Mercy, 3,420 tons d.w., owners Mercy Shipping Ltd Turkey, inward bound for Newport. At 19.45 self-discharging bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 38,997 tons d.w., owners Yeoman Bank Ltd UK, inward bound for Portbury.

5/4 at 11.40 cargo vessel Katuxa NM, 6,200 tons d.w., owners Murveta Atlantico Alcuda Spain, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 17.37 cargo vessel Wilson Drammen, 3,671 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth.

6/4 at 05.30 cargo vessel Eems Fivel, 3,800 tons d.w., owners Eems Fivel B.V Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 18.08 5th. At 10.52 vehicle carrier Grande Detroit, 12,420 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 14.26 9th having sailed from Portbury at 18.04 7th).

8/4 at 08.52 cargo vessel Schillig, 3,194 tons d.w., owners Schillig Briese Schiffharts Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 15.24 vehicle carrier Clover Ace, 17,250 tons d.w., owners Golden Helm Shipping SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 13.10 9th having sailed from Portbury at 09.08).

10/4 at 11.20 vehicle carrier Porgy,18,009 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Norway and Sweden, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.13. At 14.26 vehicle carrier Heroic Leader, 20,434 tons d.w.,owners Heroic Ray Ltd Isle of Man, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 11.38 12th outward bound having sailed at 07.42). At 14.50 vehicle carrier Autostar, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, inward bound for Portbury.

12/4 at 06.40 cargo vessel Vitality, 4,181 tons d.w., owners Casper Chartering Ltd U.K., outward bound from Newport having sailed at 00.08. At 08.30 bulk carrier Federal Hunter, 36,563 tons d.w., owners Federal Oceans Ltd Canada, inward bound for Cardiff. (Seen again at 07.45 outward bound from Cardiff having sailed at 03.31). At 14.10 cargo vessel Nelli, 4,907 tons d.w., owners Nelli Hermann Lohmann Germany, inward bound for Cardiff. At 14.38 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,850 tons d.w., owners Dynamis Shipping Co Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

13/4 at 06.18 cargo vessel Solentbank, 4,950 tons d.w., owners Buxthede GMBH Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 00.13. At 14.38 chemical tanker Philipp Essberger, 5,758 tons d.w., owners Weissmeer-Rederei Germany, inward bound for Barry.

14/4 at 05.56 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,580 tons d.w., owners Aegli Shipping Co Ltd Mai Greece, inward bound for Portbury. At 06.25 cargo vessel Jekerborg, 2,953 tons d.w., owners Wagenborg Shipowners BV Netherlands, outward bound from Sharpness having sailed at 22.19 13th. At 06.54 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, inward bound for Portbury. At 15.59 cargo vessel Celtic Raider, 4,537 tons d.w., owners Charles W Willie & Co Cardiff, inward bound for Cardiff. At 16.39 cargo vessel Calamar, 4,130 tons d.w., owners Atobac Shipping AB Sweden, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 11.42.

15/4 at 15.37 cargo vessel Arklow Gem, 5,150 tons d.w., owners Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth.

16/4 at 07.07 cargo vessel Arklow Archer, 8,563 tons d.w., owners Abbey Shipping Ltd Eire, outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 23.31 15th. At 07.11 bunkering tanker Whitchallenger, 4,516 tons d.w., owners Whitaker Tankers ltd Hull UK, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 21.39 15th. At 10.31 chemical tanker Sloman Hestia, owners Sloman Hestia Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 17.16 hrs cargo vessel Ohioborg, 3,650 tons d.w., owners Wagenborg Netherlands, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Seen again at 07.50 having sailed from Avonmouth at 01.50). At 17.25 vehicle carrier Wisdom Ace, 19,227 tons d.w., owners Cypress Maritime/Koyo Shosen Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

17/4 at 05.45 cruise ship Seabourne Venture, 23,615 gross tons owners Carnival Holdings Bermuda, inward bound for Lundy Island – first cruise ship for 2024. She sailed from Lundy at 15.20 and seen again at 15.30 en-route to Dublin. At 09.15 vehicle carrier Grande Aversa, 12,420 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.20 cargo vessel Kate C, 6,794 tons d.w., owners Carisbrooke Shipping B.V Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 03.27.

18/4 at 05.55 cargo vessel Mia Sophie B, 2,300 tons d.w., owners Sophie B Schiffahrts GMBH Germany, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 01.56.

19/4 at 12.14 bulk carrier Kmarin Oslo, 63,099 tons d.w., owners Hi Gold Ocean Kmarin No 15b SA South Korea, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 12.00 24/4 outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 09.13).

20/4 at 08.53 cargo vessel Christina, 6,950 tons d.w., owners Margaretta HS Schiffarhts Germany, outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 02.56. At 09.06 bulk carrier Mobile, 34,428 tons d.w. owners Mobile Shipping Ltd Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 13.20 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,580 tons d.w., owners Aegli Shipping Co ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 12.35 21st outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 8.01). At 16.45 buoy tender vessel THV Patricia, 600 tons d.w., owners Trinity House Harwich, inward bound for Swansea Bay.

22/4 at 05.57 cargo vessel Fluvius Tavy, 4,200 tons d.w., owners Fluvius Tavy Ltd Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 06.40 vehicle carrier Neptune Dynamis, 6,850 tons d.w., owners Dynamis Shipping Co Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury. At 11.51 vehicle carrier Cerulean Ace, 19,889 tons d.w., owners Susan Navigation SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 13.25 24th outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 06.32.This is her maiden voyage, and she is powered by LPG). At 12.23 chemical tanker Charlotte Essberger, 6,228 tons d.w., owners Charlotte Essberger Germany, inward bound for Barry .

23/4 at 06.06 tanker Al Salam 11, 69,790 tons d.w., owners Kuwait Oil Tanker Co Kuwait, inward bound for Portbury.

24/4 at 09.03 cargo vessel Wilson Humber, 4,167 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, inward bound for Newport.

25/4 at 07.50 cargo vessel Tucana, 3,783 tons d.w., owners Wagenborg Shipowners 21 Bv Netherlands, inward bound for Newport.

26/4 at 07.40 cargo vessel Wilson Saimaa, 3,634 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning, inward bound for Newport. At 07.53 cargo vessel Paulin -B, 2,335 tons d.w., owners Llily B Schiffahtrs GMBH Germany, inward inward bound for Cardiff. At 09.58 cargo vessel Emstal, 3,700 tons d.w., owners Emstal Schiffarthts GMBH Germany, inward bound for Newport. At 14.24 bulk carrier Aasfjord, 6,649 tons d.w., owners Aasnes Bulk Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth.

28/4 at 08.27 cargo vessel Wilson Lahn, 3,500 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, inward bound for Sharpness. At 13.10 cargo vessel Maintal, 3,806 tons d.w., owners Maintal Schiffahrts Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Seen again at 15.13 30th outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 09.08). At 14.55 vehicle carrier Graceful Leader, 20,926 tons d.w., owners Graceful Maritime Isle of Man Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 17.28 29th outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 11.21).

29/4 at 05.44 bulk carrier Aasvik, 7,566 tons d.w., owners Aasnes Bulk Norway, inward bound for Port Talbot. At 11.16 vehicle carrier Horizon Leader, 20,586 tons d.w., owners Florence Navigation SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

30/4 at 05.25 vehicle carrier Hawaiian Highway, 20,606 tons d.w., owners Ambitious Asset Management Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 05.43 vehicle carrier Auto Advance, 12,457 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.49.

Regards,

Norman.

Photo from my collection – Arklow Brook, built at Appledore.

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May events at RHS Rosemoor.

Summer Half Term – Family Gardening Festival, Saturday 25 May – 2 June.

Plant the seeds of a lifelong adventure with plants with creative family activities and outdoor fun.

www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor

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Dog restrictions at Westward Ho! until 30th September.

From the 1st of May to the 30th of September Torridge District Council will once again be introducing a restriction for dogs on sections of Westward Ho! beach and the promenade.

The restriction helps create zoned usage areas on the beach to ensure that everyone can safely access and enjoy the popular award winning resort. It also helps the authority to meet the criteria for the annually assessed Blue Flag Award, which is highly prized and important to bathers and the local tourist industry.

The restricted area will be the same as in previous years and dogs will be allowed at the north end of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the Taw/Torridge estuary. Dogs will be prohibited to the south of Sandymere Bridge and will need to be kept on a lead on the promenade. The order allows for fixed penalties of £100 to be issued in cases where owners fail to comply with the restriction, which will be clearly laid out in signage.

Northam Burrows Lead Ranger Mike Day said; “The dog restriction at Westward Ho! helps us to provide both dog-free and dog-friendly areas on the beach. Not only is this an important part of the Blue Flag criteria, it also means that dog lovers and those not so keen on man’s best friend can all enjoy this wonderful place at the same time. We recognise what an incredible place Westward Ho! is, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it. Please help us during this busy period by observing the signs and restrictions”.

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Northam Burrows Rangers seek volunteers for Summer projects.

Volunteer recruitment is underway once again in Torridge for an exciting new programme of conservation projects.

As well as helping to care for some of the region’s amazing country parks and nature reserves the volunteer days are also a great way to learn new skills, acquire new insights into nature and meet like-minded people – all in the great outdoors!

The events run right through to the beginning of July, and as usual, will be heavily reliant on a willing volunteer workforce to partner with the rangers in their tasks.

 The last two volunteering days will be on Thursday 27 June and Thursday 11 July, when volunteers will be asked to help to conduct plant surveys at the council’s wildflower meadows and verges and then Northam Burrows respectively.

In addition, the rangers will also be running a  beach clean at Westward Ho! On Sunday 23 June between 10am and 12pm. Please meet rangers at the slipway.

All volunteer events are free to attend. Please feel free to drop in at any beach clean, but pre-booking is essential for all other events as spaces are limited. No experience is necessary, and all equipment will be provided. More information can be found by emailing [email protected] or calling 01237 479708.

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Join Appledore Singers!

Appledore Singers is a friendly and welcoming ladies’ choir, which performs all over North Devon and beyond. Our repertoire is wide and varied and includes music to suit all tastes.

We rehearse every Monday evening, 7.30 – 9pm at Appledore Baptist Church and we are always looking for new members to join us. All are most welcome – lower voices in particular, so why not give us a try?

Contact our Musical Director Pam Beechey on 01237 420652 for further details.

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Shipping notes No. 228 (March).

Bideford Quay.

No shipping at Bideford this month. Oldenburg still at Sharpness.

Appledore.

Quorn and Atherstone still in Shipyard.

Yelland Quay.

No shipping this month.

Bristol Channel Observations.

1/3 at 18.02 cargo vessel Wilson Main, 2,541 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 18.59 26th (She had been anchored in Blue Anchor Bay awaiting orders).

2/3 at 06.56 cargo vessel Kalli G, 3,738 tons d.w., owners Kalli G Derdes Schifahtrs Germany, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 20.13 1st.

3/3 at 14.10 vehicle carrier Grande Francia, 26,169 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 09.17. At 15.47 cargo vessel Fokko Ukena, 3,627 tons d.w., owners Fokko Ukena Vertom Bojen Germany, inward bound for Newport.

4/3 at 17.44 vehicle carrier Neptune Aegli, 6,580 tons d.w., owners Aegli Shipping Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

5/3 at 05.15 vehicle carrier Sunlight Ace, 18,855 tons d.w., owners Polar Bear SA Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 0045. At 05.59 vehicle carrier Auto Advance, 12,457 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, inward bound for Portbury. At 17.52 cargo vessel Rix Union, 4,247 tons d.w., owners Coalmar Shipping Ltd Latvia, inward bound for Cardiff. At 16.52 cargo vessel Faromar, 5,234 tons d.w., owners Maxime Vertom Bojen Germany, outward bound from Swansea having sailed at 13.00. At 17.48 vehicle carrier Grand Duke, 18,315 tons d.w., owners Expellion Maritime Inc Hong Kong, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.00.

6/3 at 09.06 vehicle carrier Autosky, 6,504 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 08.20 6th outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 03.30) .     At 15.47 bulk carrier Amber Lagoon, 39,202 tons d.w., owners Fjord Schiffahrtsgellschaft Germany, outward bound fron Port Talbot having sailed at 11.45 .

7/3 at 12.58 container vessel Endurance, 9,146 tons d.w., owners Endurance Bewaarder BV Netherlands, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 07.58.

8/4 at 09.55 vehicle carrier Azul Ace, 17,941 tons d.w., owners Primavera Montana SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 10.16 10th having sailed from Portbury at 06.21).

9/3 at 10.43 bulk carrier Lilac Harmony, 38,581 tons d.w., owners Tateshima Bulk Ltd Japan, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 05.36. At 14.20 vehicle carrier Coral Leader, 10,859 tons d.w., owners Kujyukuri Maritima Sa Norway, inward bound for Portbury.

10/3 at 10.45 cargo vessel Celtic Venture, 5,005 tons d.w., owners Charles W. Willie & Co Cardiff, inward bound for Cardiff.

11/3 at 12.16 vehicle carrier Carnation Ace, 16,416 tons d.w., owners White Bear Maritima Ltd Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 07.32. At 14.06 vehicle carrier Nordic Ray, 7,375 tons d.w., owners Nordic Highway Ltd I.o.M, inward bound for Portbury.

13/3 at 07.58 cargo vessel Rix Lake, 3,400 tons d.w., owners Rix lake Shipping Ltd Latvia, outward bound from Sharpness.

14/3 at 05.43 tanker Navel Rigel, 74,633 tons d.w., owners Tinos Shipping Corp Mai Greece, inward bound for Portbury. At 05.57 vehicle carrier Grande Spagne, 12,594 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 10.19 cargo vessel Fri Sea, 3,330 tons d.w., owners Kopervik Ship Invest AS Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth.

15/3 at 17.11 cargo vessel RDJ Johanna, 3,149 tons d.w., owners RDJ Johanna Shipping B.V Netherlands, inward bound for Newport.

16/3 at 07.25 cargo vessel Celtic Commander, 5,699 tons d.w., owners Charles W Willie & Co Cardiff, inward bound for Cardiff.

17/3 at 13.19 cargo vessel Scot Isles, 4,782 tons d.w., owners Scot Line UK, inward bound for Newport. At 14.17 vehicle carrier Vega Leader, 16,396 tons d.w., owners Latte Maritima SA Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

19/3 at 07.25 vehicle carrier Neptune Dynamis, owners Dynamis Shipping Ltd Greece, inward bound for Portbury.

20/3 at 05.56 vehicle carrier Silver Glory, 13,364 tons d.w., owners Sallaum Lines DMCC U.A.E, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 00.21. At 17.57 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.06.

22/3 at 16.17 cargo vessel Wilson Hawk, 4,284 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, inward bound for Sharpness.

23/3 at 04.53 bulk carrier Capricorn Trader, 81,922 tons d.w., owners Meiji Shipping BV Netherlands, inward bound for Port Talbot.

24/3 at 00.53 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 10,821 tons d.w., owners Frances Maritima SA Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.30 cargo vessel Celtic Pioneer, 5,498 tons d.w., owners Charles W Willie Cardiff, inward bound for Cardiff.

25/3 at 06.25 cargo vessel Wilson Baerl, 2,895 d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth . At 07.30 container vessel MSC Tamishka F, 16,959 tons d.w., owners Embea Oceanway Ltd Cyprus, heading south – in fact, heading for Portbury; turned round off Hartland.

28/3 at 10.07 cargo vessel Arklow Abbey, 8,543 tons d.w., owners Abbey Shipping Ltd Eire, outward bound from Swansea having sailed at 07.20. At 13.37 vehicle carrier Victoria Highway, 21,114 tons d.w., owners Olive Investment Corp Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 19.55 27th.

29/3 At 08.04 vehicle carrier Lake Annecy, 18,969 tons d.w., owners Picer Marine S.A Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 22.02 28th. At 14.02 cargo vessel Soniland, 4,085 tons d.w., owners Soniland Shipping Co Ltd Estonia, outward bound from Swansea having sailed at 08.49. At 15.48 cargo vessel Wilson Hawk, 4284 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning Norway, outward bound from Sharpness having sailed at 08.29. At 15.54 vehicle carrier Grande Italia,12,591 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

30/3 at 15.58 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Uniperssoal Madeira, inward bound for Portbury. At 18.35 cargo vessel Eems Fivel, 3,800 tons d.w., owners Eems Fivel B.V. Netherlands, inward bound for Cardiff.

31/3 at 06.21 vehicle carrier Cygnus Leader, 20,180 tons d.w., owners Kiyomi Maritima SA Malayasia, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 23.52 30th. At 10.57 vehicle carrier Grande Detroit, 12,420 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

Regards,

Norman.

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An update on BSG’s woodland project.

A couple of weeks ago we were able to do some clearing work on the woodland site next to the skate park, with help from Rose Roberts, the ranger from the Burrows. The help Rose had arranged was amazing!

Many thanks to Rose and the students from Petroc, who are studying environmental issues, who came and worked so hard. We filled 6 dumpy bags with grass, nettles, weeds and brambles. It’s been a challenge to get volunteers to help so far, covid and the weather haven’t helped. We have only lost one tree out of the 22 we planted, which is good news. They are all native trees.

If you would like to visit the site or offer some help, please get in touch.

Above are some pictures of the students working hard for the community.

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Sign up for ‘RUN Barnstaple’, 29th September.

www.chsw.org.uk/runbarnstaple

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A tribute to Peter Christie.

Peter Christie.

We were very sorry to hear the news of the death of Peter Christie, Torridge councillor, author and historian, and loyal contributor to “Buzz”. He wrote a host of articles over the years, all of which have been saved for posterity in the Buzz Archives, and many which can be found on this website. He was a loyal supporter of the newsletter from its earliest days in 2005, helping us with funding via his role on the Bridge Trust, Bideford Town Council and Torridge District Council. He answered numerous questions posed by our readers on historical matters and was the ‘go to’ source for many local history queries.

He was also a personal friend and an adviser in my other role as Bideford Librarian.

All of us at “Buzz” send his friends and family our condolences at this sad time. We will miss him.

Rose Arno. Editor, “Bideford Buzz”.

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The Home Library Service.

Home Library Service.

Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs the libraries in Devon, are seeking to grow our Home Library Service offer – could you possibly help?

What is the Home Library Service?

It is a service delivered by volunteers and organised by your local libraries to enable people in the community who cannot physically get to a library to access reading materials and/or audio books for free. As one customer (Hilda) told us,Reading takes me to “another place” and I would miss it terribly’.

What does it involve?

People apply to their local library to request the service and complete a form which gives a few details about what they would like to borrow from the library. Dedicated volunteers choose and deliver books to your home, including large print and audiobooks, free of charge and return them once used.

Who can apply to receive the service?

The service is open to anyone of any age who may not be able to get to a library for example because of health (this could be a short-term health issue), mobility difficulties or caring responsibilities.

Why become a Home Library Service Volunteer?

Current Home Library Service Volunteers describe feeling that what they do has purpose and ‘gives back’ to the community. Janie, a current volunteer, says ‘Many of my customers are fairly isolated and look forward to a short chat with me as I collect the books. At present I have 5 customers and it takes me around three hours once every 4-6 weeks to arrange a visit to collect the books; choose up to six for each reader and deliver them. A small amount of time overall, which brings much pleasure to the people using the service’.

Social connection is so important for our mental and physical health, and people of any age or stage in their lives can find themselves isolated or feeling lonely due to a change in circumstances. Many volunteers stay for a chat and a cuppa but only if this is welcomed and they feel comfortable to do so. One customer, Estelle, said, ‘I look forward to the visit and was delighted when the volunteer and the librarian were able to identify a book and author that I had enjoyed and wanted to read more of her work. Books keep you in touch with the outside world.Another customer, Chris, told us, ‘We are losing the mobile library, so this service is invaluable, as we are so cut off in rural Devon’.

Are you able to make someone’s day special and get that ‘feel good factor’?

How can you help?

We need volunteers to help with deliveries. This special role does suit people who are confident in choosing books and who understand the need for respecting confidentiality. Any travel expenses will be reimbursed, and the wonderful library staff and volunteer coordinators are always on hand to help with any queries and offer guidance. Due to the nature of the role, referencing and a DBS check will be required; we will work with you to try and make this process as quick and easy as possible. We aim to support anyone who is interested and will always look to try and resolve any barriers to participation. This is a flexible role which allows you to offer your time and energy around your other commitments and does not necessarily require access to a vehicle.

Who to contact?

If you are interested in either using the service or becoming a volunteer to support the service, please contact your local library so you can arrange to discuss the role. If you are not sure where your local library is, then please contact [email protected] and we can put you in touch.

There are also other volunteering opportunities available within libraries so please check out the individual libraries’ Facebook pages or contact the libraries directly if you would like to get involved.

As volunteer coordinator I am also interested in any other project ideas you may have. What does the community need? What are you passionate about? Please feel free to contact me Sarah Robinson Tel:07976584722 email: [email protected] with your suggestions.

Sarah Robinson.

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