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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