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Further Items from Peter Christie's 'Looking Back' Column

In the North Devon Journal (2014)

Provided by Peter Christie

Extracts from past issues (1863, 1913, 1963,1988) of the Journal

1 1 1863 The new Ilfracombe Market is opened but is boycotted by butchers as they dislike the layout.
Free coal is distributed to the poor in the Derby area of Barnstaple but 'religious bigotry' means some non-conformists do not get it.
8 1 1863 The barque Louisa owned by William Yeo of Appledore is stranded on Braunton Sands.
A concert is held in aid of the Chulmleigh Literary Institute.
15 1 1863 The South Molton Soup Kitchen distributes 140 quarts to the poor.
A church service at Bucks Mills near Bideford is disrupted by some of the congregation.
22 1 1863 A cod stranded after floods in the White Hart in Queen Street in Bideford is preserved and put on show.
Machinery in the Well Street glove factory in Torrington belonging to T.Lake is destroyed by fire.
29 1 1863 Thirty people attend the Andrew Dole dinner (which began in the 17th century) in Bideford's Newfoundland Inn.
The Ilfracombe lifeboat is called out for the first time in a decade.
5 2 1863 A show in Barnstaple's Music Hall is said to 'of doubtful propriety.'
A public meeting is held in Bideford to push for the building of some 'Public Rooms'.
12 2 1863 Robert Smith of Emmett's Grange is employed to draw up a new map of Parracombe.
The 100 workers at four Appledore shipbuilding yards go on strike for an extra 10p a week.
19 2 1863 Mary Ann Kidwell, a 'vile creature' is charged with keeping a brothel in Tuly Street, Barnstaple.
Photographs taken of the town in 1860 are displayed in the South Molton Mechanics Institute.
26 2 1863 A vagrant arrested in Barnstaple is found to be carrying 'some printed verses of a revoltingly disgusting nature.'
The Charity Commissioners agree to let Bideford Bridge Trust widen their bridge.
5 3 1863 A disappointed lover in Hartland commits suicide.
A three mouthed lamb is born at Little Torrington, it only lives 3 days.
12 3 1863 A public meeting is held in Braunton to support a railway line to Ilfracombe.
The 'Rolle Canal Artillery' in Torrington fire a salute to celebrate the wedding of the Prince of Wales.
19 3 1863 The Fuke family of Barnstaple are said to live disgustingly – like 'a community of baboons'.
Everyone in North Devon celebrates the marriage of the Prince of Wales.
26 3 1863 The cost of widening Bideford Bridge is put at £4300.
Charles Ford of Barnstaple erects a public clock illuminated by gas.
2 4 1863 Masons building the new South Molton Market strike for an extra 10p a week – on top of the 70p they already earn.
An address 'beautifully minified by photographic process' is presented to Alexander Lauder a Barnstaple teacher.
9 4 1863 Barnstaple policeman P.c.Jones is said to be 'over zealous'.
It is suggested that narrowing the river at Bideford will lead to natural flushing of the channel.
16 4 1863 Lucretia Mills is sentenced to 1 month in gaol for stealing a pair of corsets from the Torrington Workhouse.
Ilfracombe Harbour Company apply to purchase the pier and extend it 900' seawards.
23 4 1863 Proposed designs for a hotel and villas at Northam Burrows are put on show.
John Bowden a South Molton pauper is gaoled for the 50th time for 'refractory conduct'.
30 4 1863 Barnstaple officials clear 'the favourite haunts of the dissolute and vile' from Queen Street.
A Burrington farmer is cheated by some Barnstaple prostitutes.
7 5 1863 The Bampfylde mine at North Molton sells 60 tons of copper ore at £13 per ton.
In Barnstaple 43 houses at Boden's Row have only 11 toilets between them.
14 5 1863 During a service at the Bucks Mill chapel a donkey is pushed into the building.
A letter to the Journal says a murder victim's eyes should be photographed as they will be imprinted with their killer's likeness.
21 5 1863 Richard Pugsley 'living without work and having his dwelling among prostitutes' is charged with assault in Barnstaple.
An Umberleigh man threatens to 'skin' another and 'hang out his skin to dry'.
28 5 1863 Ilfracombe's publicity campaign sees tourism leaflets in 59 railway stations.
Barnstaple town council discuss cleaning up Slimy Lane.
4 6 1863 James Jeffery 'keeper of a brothel in Silver Street' Barnstaple is charged with 'keeping a disorderly house'.
Fire destroys Southgate Farm in Winkleigh – it was insured.
11 6 1863 Mr.Pugsley provides a new omnibus on the Barnstaple-Ilfracombe run.
The promoter of the new Ilfracombe railway is attacked in the Journal.
18 6 1863 James King sets a spiked man trap in his garden in Bear Street, Barnstaple – and is arrested as it is illegal.
The old custom of stealing flowers from Marwood gardens to decorate the May Pole is decried.
25 6 1863 Mr.Heard extends his quay at East-the-Water, Bideford to help navigation in the Torridge.
Ilfracombe sees the opening of its new Town Hall.
2 7 1863 The Northam Burrows, Hotel & Villa Co. raises £2000 in a shares issue.
George Tepper of South Molton dies he being the long time gaolkeeper and 'town sergeant' for the council.
9 7 1863 A 'gentleman' is said to be spraying 'oil of vitriol' from a syringe on women in Barnstaple.
Eastleigh chapel near Bideford is opened.
16 7 1863 The leading Victorian architect G.G.Scott visits Barnstaple church to see if it needs updating.
Mary Yates dies at Peppercombe after putting her hot feet into the sea and instantly becoming paralysed and mute.
23 7 1863 A letter writer claims the sanitary state of Bishopsnympton is disgusting.
Captain Willis inspects the Torrington lock-up and suggests it needs improving.
30 7 1863 A local case at the Devon Assizes concerns a libel between Richard and Mary Burgess and their relation William Burgess.
The Journal prints a letter from a North Molton migrant in Australia.
6 8 1863 Capain John Long advertises a trip to Lundy in the Henry Southon – a band is on board.
An epidemic of diphtheria hits Weare Giffard.
13 8 1863 The annual village revel at Atherington is said to be an 'institution for evil.'
William Latham dies in an accident at Clogg's lime quarry in Combe Martin.
20 8 1863 W.Dalling a Barnstaple hairdresser invents a 'hair waver' – and sells 2 to Queen Victoria's niece.
A ploughing match at Morchard Bishop sees machines used for the first time.
27 8 1863 'Sinister rumours' circulate in Bratton Fleming following the death of Elizabeth Phillips.
The Journal reduces its price from 3d to 2d.
3 9 1863 Weight's Travelling Theatre appears in South Molton Square during the Fair.
Barnstaple sees 100 baths installed following completion of the town Water Works.
10 9 1863 Stone pavements are to be laid on both sides of Meddon Street in Bideford.
William Walter of the Royal Oak pub in Holland Street, Barnstaple is fined £1 for 'harbouring prostitutes'.
17 9 1863 Elizabeth Vickery a Barnstaple prostitute 'better known as the "Molton Image" ' is charged with picking pockets.
A court case follows the building of new coastguard cottages at Clovelly.
24 9 1863 The Journal prints a single sided supplement on a parliamentary election in Barnstaple.
The marsh opposite the Strand in Barnstaple is being drained using barrels rather than pipes.
1 10 1863 Frithelstock stages a Harvest Home Festival.
It is announced that Joseph Harding is to speak in Barnstaple on 'the reclamation of abandoned females'.
8 10 1863 A Miss Scott an actress who 'ran off the stage and refused to finish her part' in Barnstaple Theatre is denied her wages.
A fire in Steppa Lane, South Molton destroys 6 thatched cottages.
15 10 1863 An effigy of a local 'informer' is burnt by an angry crowd at Broadwoodkelly.
Thomas Wray marries Jane Heard 'at the Temporary Church' in Bideford.
22 10 1863 A parliamentary election in Barnstaple is at fever pitch.
Ann Davies (43) dies of consumption after being a servant to the Journal's editor for 15 years.
29 10 1863 Francis Fredric an escaped US slave lectures on slavery in Torrington's Howe Chapel.
Margaret Balsdon charges Mary Bate with throwing apples at her during a church service at Shebbear.
5 11 1863 Captain John Walker dies aged 80 in Bideford - he being a Trafalgar veteran.
The AGM of the Bratton Fleming Death Club sees its female secretary denounced.
12 11 1863 November 5th is celebrated in Bideford with flaming tar barrels in the streets.
The Bishopsnympton Band plays at the North Molton Royal Union Friendly Society AGM.
19 11 1863 Lady Chichester distributes clothes to members of the Mortehoe Clothing Club.
The Ilfracombe Working Men's Club is about to open.
26 11 1863 Two Holsworthy 'Travellers' Lodging Houses' are said to be sleeping 14-15 in a room.
The Rolle Canal Company charge 2 seamen with stealing coal from their ships during unloading at Bideford Quay.
3 12 1863 Bideford shopkeepers agree to close their shops at 7 p.m.
William Tatt of Landcross is ordered to pay 1/6 a week to Lucy Hearn for the upkeep of her illegitimate daughter.
10 12 1863 The Journal issues an Almanack for 1864
Elizabeth M'Andrew is gaoled for 2 weeks for refusing to do work assigned to her in Barnstaple Workhouse.
17 12 1863 George Passmore and Robert Brown are fined 6d for playing marbles on a Sunday in Barnstaple.
A gipsy caravan is removed by police from Barnstaple Cattle Market.
24 12 1863 A letter writer attacks Bideford police and their wage levels.
A lunatic is said to be kept naked in an outhouse 'somewhere' in North Devon.
31 12 1863 An assault case in Barnstaple is described as being 'of the usual Green Laneish kind.'
T.L.Pridham a Bideford doctor treats 70 old people to Xmas dinner at his house in North Road.
2 1 1913 Female 'jiu jitsu' classes are on offer in Barnstaple – a 'Sure defence against hooliganism'
Robert Maye the manager of Lloyd's Bank in Bideford is arrested for embezzlement.
9 1 1913 Suffragettes in Ilfracombe denounce the prospective Liberal Parliamentary candidate as he opposes votes for women.
Sir Ernest Shackleton's polar ship Nimrod attracts many visitors at Appledore.
16 1 1913 A meeting of South Molton town council is characterised as 'a bear garden'.
A new Wesleyan chapel is opened at Shebbear.
23 1 1913 A carnival is staged at Chittlehampton to raise funds to improve the Village Square.
The vicar of Appledore appeals for funds to relieve poverty amongst local sailors confined to port by bad weather.
30 1 1913 Queen Anne's Walk building in Barnstaple is said to be very decayed.
A shelter and clock is erected in Victoria Park, Bideford in memory of G.Peard.
6 2 1913 The Combe Martin Jam Factory is being constructed.
At Georgeham a council official testing local wells is attacked by villagers.
13 2 1913 A rat hunt in Braunton's Great Field sees 100 killed by 20 terriers.
Frank Lerwill of Combe Martin is gazetted a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.
20 2 1913 Lady Little who is 20 years old and only 33" high visits the Barnstaple Picturedrome Cinema.
Philip Gregory (82) dies after taking a 2d. bet that he could run around Bideford's Victoria Park.
27 2 1913 Soldiers training on Braunton Burrows are said to be lowering the moral tone of the area.
A mystery airship is seen passing over Ilfracombe.
6 3 1913 Superintendent Hobbs, a Braunton policeman dies aged 73 – the oldest serving policeman in the UK.
The Reverend P.J.Wodehouse protests at photographers attending a funeral at Bratton Fleming.
13 3 1913 The South Molton Shirt & Collar Manufacturing Co.Ltd. cannot get enough workers.
The loss of Westward Ho's! pebble ridge could see the local golf club move to Saunton.
20 3 1913 A fire breaks out in stables next to 'Instow Golf Links'.
Suffragettes post unstamped leaflets to Ilfracombe residents who have to pay excess postage.
27 3 1913 Bideford School Board suggest 'Laundry Classes' for girls.
Over one weekend 290 cars pass through Barnstaple.
3 4 1913 Ilfracombe Advertising Committee issue publicity 'stamps' with views of the town.
Two Suffragettes address shoppers in Bideford's Pannier Market – they create 'amused interest'.
10 4 1913 A North Devon councillor suggests to laughter that a 'German invasion was expected in a very short time.'
Hunt Farm at Vellator, Braunton is gutted by fire.
17 4 1913 A Putsborough stud stallion is advertised – he is called 'Holcombe Gay Boy'.
The foundation stone of the Granville Memorial Hall in Lower Meddon Street, Bideford is laid.
24 4 1913 Wooden panelling from the demolished Plough Inn in Torrington is reused in the town hall.
Ada Joy of Barnstaple applies for a separation order from her husband an habitual drunkard.
1 5 1913 A jumble sale is held at the Women's Suffrage Shop at 2 Church Street, Ilfracombe.
Building trade workers go on strike in Barnstaple and Bideford.
8 5 1913 Torrington May Fair is held – without the wrestling, bull-baiting and 'cock-cubitting' of the nineteenth century.
Braunton parish council hold a referendum about having a parish rat killer.
15 5 1913 The Barnstaple Picturedrome shows 'Lorna Doone' which was filmed on Exmoor.
Torrington town council are to build a mortuary in the Cemetery at a cost of £100.
22 5 1913 South Molton town council are to build a 9 hole golf course at Great Hele Barton.
The Ilfracombe Peace Society oppose spending on preparations for war.
29 5 1913 George Gould, a Crimean War veteran, dies at Bishopstawton aged 81.
Morthoe parish council charges £1 per annum to people running bathing machines on the beach.
5 6 1913 War Minister J.Seeley speaks in Barnstaple Market and promises there will be no conscription.
50 Marwood farm labourers meet and demand 15/- (75p) per week wages.
12 6 1913 Edward Baker of the Challacombe stud farm is certified a lunatic.
The Barnstaple Picturedrome shows a film of the Derby with 'the Suffragette incident'.
19 6 1913 Robert Martin the famous 'mounted town crier' of Ilfracombe is declared bankrupt.
A circus visit to Bideford sees 518 children absent from school one afternoon.
26 6 1913 Mrs.Shaddick of Barnstaple is appointed the Police Female Searcher.
At South Molton 8 Broad Street is sold for £780.
3 7 1913 The first full batch of Braunton Ware pottery is produced.
A new Methodist church is opened in Bideford's High Street.
10 7 1913 W.Northcott writes on the life of on Exmoor farmer in the 'Western Weekly News'.
The South Molton Show features 7 ascents by B.Hucks in his Bleriot monoplane.
17 7 1913 A 16 strong troop of Boy Scouts is established at Hartland.
A new cinema is opened in Ilfracombe's High Street.
24 7 1913 An Ilfracombe motor mechanic uses a match to check the petrol level in an oil drum – he survives.
The cobblestones in South Molton Square are to be replaced by a macadamized surface.
31 7 1913 Repairs to Bideford Bridge reveal portions of the original oak foundations.
George & Mary Borwick of Fremington House divorce following his adultery.
7 8 1913 A fire at Hollerday House, Lynton is blamed on Suffragettes.
Barnstaple Holy Trinity Sunday School has a 'dummy shop' to teach girls shopping.
14 8 1913 Four US tourists crash their car into the Glen Lyn gorge at Lynton.
Woolsery Friendly Society officers are charged with over valuing their holdings.
21 8 1913 Postcards of the Torrington Annual Sports Meeting are issued.
A 4 month long strike by local building workers ends.
28 8 1913 The Journal notes of a Barnstaple obscenity case 'Green Lane has always had a bad name.'
Bull Point lighthouse is closed to the public 'in view of the destructive campaign of the militant suffragettes.'
4 9 1913 Combe Martin is to get a 'well equipped electric palace' cinema.
A new Council School is opened at Umberleigh with 40 pupils.
11 9 1913 Mary Ann Thorne of Green Lane, Barnstaple is charged with keeping a brothel.
The Barton, Kentisbury is sold for £6000.
18 9 1913 John Risdon of Black Torrington dies and leaves his books to the village Reading Room.
The Barnstaple Picturedrome shows films of Barnstaple Fair and the opening ceremony.
25 9 1913 A 'stupid "prayer-chain" letter' circulating in Ilfracombe is denounced.
The bottom of Heanton Street, Braunton is widened and new concrete pavements are provided.
2 10 1913 Barnstaple Rugby Club collapses through lack of support.
Eliza Honey who edited the Bideford Gazette in the 1850s and 60s dies aged 82.
9 10 1913 Labour Party candidates are to stand for Barnstaple town council.
A public procession forcibly opens a closed path at Mill Lane, Kentisbury.
16 10 1913 Bideford Amateur Athletics Club purchase Bath House for £750.
A Barnstaple man sues his barber for cutting him during a shave.
23 10 1913 Firemen don 'smoke helmets' to tackle a fire at Brannam's Pottery in Barnstaple.
Robert Martin, Ilfracombe's 'mounted town crier' is charged with being drunk in charge of his horse.
30 10 1913 Torrington's town crier announces the exhaustion of the borough reservoir.
G.Sprague of Barnstaple sells his own printed poems to raise money for a mine disaster in South Wales.
6 11 1913 The Lynton Ladies Hockey Club is allowed to use the Recreation Field.
H.Westcott is elected as the 'mock mayor' of North Molton.
13 11 1913 Captain George Molesworth, a major developer of Westward Ho!, dies aged 88.
Brannam's Pottery in Barnstaple produces caricature jugs of Lloyd George and other politicians.
20 11 1913 The new Mayor of South Molton William Mountjoy resigns after 2 weeks following an argument with councillors.
A Suffragette who interrupts a Liberal Party AGM in Ilfracombe is booed and hissed.
27 11 1913 Nine Beaford youths and fined for stealing petrol to make November 5th celebrations 'exciting'.
The Derby area of Barnstaple is said to be 'the darkest corner of God's world.'
4 12 1913 Wool spinning and weaving is to be revived at Lynton.
A pair of 'clean cross patterers and American mat dancers' appear at the Barnstaple Picturedrome.
11 12 1913 Brannam's pottery in Barnstaple advertises 'Reproductions of Antique Pottery'
A new clock is being erected on St.Peter's church, Barnstaple.
18 12 1913 A field at Bishopstawton is laid out for 40 new houses.
A Canadian writes to South Molton looking for a wife, she must have 'wavy hair' and be 'a good riter'.
23 12 1913 Long serving Braunton station master Thomas Rudge dies aged 82.
Attendees at a dinner for Barnstaple Territorials hear a speech on 'Compulsory Military Training'.
23 12 1913 Lewis & Sons, house furnishers of Silver Street, Barnstaple, go bankrupt.
An Inspector reports on Filleigh School, 'The discipline and tone of this school are all that can be desired.'
3 1 1963 Snow falls on North Devon and forms drifts up to 20' deep.
M.W.Blackmore & Sons , boat builders of Bideford, go into liquidation.
10 1 1963 Torrington town crier Bert Waldron is featured on a pop record by Craig Douglas.
Brendon is cut off for 5 days by huge snow drifts.
17 1 1963 Three crocodiles at Ilfracombe Zoo freeze to death in Arctic-like conditions.
38 North Devon schools are closed due to snow.
24 1 1963 A secondhand furniture shop in Torrington's Well Street is gutted by fire.
The R.Torridge freezes over at Taddiport and locals play hockey on the ice.
31 1 1963 Filleigh is in danger of 'dying' unless new houses are built warns a councillor.
The Tornadoes (of Telstar fame) play at Queen's Hall in Barnstaple.
7 2 1963 A massive blizzard brings North Devon to a standstill.
A new 'twist & jive' club is formed in Barnstaple.
14 2 1963 Barnstaple Bridge is being widened.
J.H.Taylor of Northam, who won the British Open Golf Championship 5 times, dies aged 91.
21 2 1963 Unemployment rates in North Devon are at the highest since the war.
Coxswain Sidney Cann of Appledore lifeboat is awarded the RNLI silver medal for rescuing the crew of the Green Ranger.
28 2 1963 Eric Nott a local farmer wins West Down's annual pancake race.
Local teachers ban an anti-smoking leaflet written in 'teenage jargon'.
7 3 1963 P.K.Harris & Sons Ltd, shipbuilders of Appledore, lay off 350 workers with one hour's notice.
Shapland & Petter of Barnstaple announce plans to triple their workforce to 700.
14 3 1963 Two Hunter jets collide over Hartland but the pilots survive.
A 'Rock, Twist'n'Jive' show at Queen's Hall in Barnstaple stars David Macbeth.
21 3 1963 Berrynarbor's new public shelter by the church is to cost £200.
Ponies offering rides at Westward Ho! beach are to be kept despite being called a nuisance.
28 3 1963 Dr.Beeching announces the closure of rail stations at Bideford, Ilfracombe, South Molton, Torrington, Hatherleigh and Holsworthy.
A London firm looks to redevelop Barnstaple's Queen's Hall as a supermarket with a theatre above it.
4 4 1963 100 North Devon farmers travel to London to protest at low produce prices.
Ilfracombe Chamber of Commerce condemns plans to close the town's railway station.
11 4 1963 The new hospital in Barnstaple is not to be called 'Raleigh' – just the NDDH.
Clovelly's cobbled main street is impassable due to 'greasy mud'.
18 4 1963 Easter postcards showing a crucified stag are posted to local huntsmen.
Men from RAF Chivenor exercise their 'Freedom of the Borough' and march through Barnstaple.
25 4 1963 Queen's House in Barnstaple's Queen Street is nearing completion.
Syd Cox retires after serving for 43 years as Merton's postman.
2 5 1963 Wykeham & Co of London take over the Bideford shipbuilding yard of M.Blackmore & Sons.
The BBC film a new version of Lorna Doone at Lynton and Exmoor.
9 5 1963 Abbeyfield School in Barnstaple is opened.
'Britain's Beatiest Twosome – The Brook Brothers' play at the Queen's Hall in Barnstaple.
16 5 1963 Public apathy could see the collapse of Ilfracombe Carnival.
Ilfracombe council vote to add fluoride to the water supply.
23 5 1963 Croyde Motors offer a free 'ball point pen' to the first 300 customers at their new petrol station.
Lyn Motor Club's Gymkhana attracts over 500 spectators.
30 5 1963 The North Devon Arts Centre in Barnstaple High Street is to be sold.
The head of Swimbridge school Mervyn Holmes is thrown into the school's new swimming pool to open it.
6 6 1963 Lynton council ban stilettos from town hall dances.
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps play at the Queen's Hall, Barnstaple.
13 6 1963 Smoking is banned in North Devon hospitals
South Molton's 'Trust the Motorist' parking ticket machines are only used by 50% of car owners.
20 6 1963 Bideford Trade Exhibition features a 'shopper's arcade' in a giant marquee.
South Molton council 'beats the bounds' of the parish.
27 6 1963 South Molton comes to a halt when DJ Keith Fordyce opens a hardware shop in South Street.
A woman applies to be Bideford's new town crier but is turned down.
4 7 1963 A German sea mine is found in the River Torridge next to Bideford's railway goods yard.
A ban on Sunday tennis playing in Hatherleigh is overturned.
11 7 1963 The roof of a 300 year old thatched barn at Town Tenement, Bishopstawton is destroyed by fire.
Mortehoe is in danger of becoming 'a vast holiday settlement' warns a local council officer.
18 7 1963 Kenwith Castle in Abbotsham is sold – it is to become a country club.
Young workers at Petersmarland clay quarries strike for more money.
25 7 1963 The first widened section of Barnstaple Bridge is completed.
A hovercraft shuttle service between Ilfracombe and South Wales is announced.
1 8 1963 A hay bale fire at Heddon Mill Farm, Braunton lasts 5 days.
Most potwallopers seen at Westward Ho! pebble ridge this week are tourists.
8 8 1963 West Buckland village hall is gutted by fire.
Weekly sales of the Journal reach 24,000 – a record.
15 8 1963 An East Down farmer calls on experts over what he believes are oil deposits on his land.
Fremington's plans to charge £6.10.0 for burials are opposed by the Ministry of Local Government.
22 8 1963 A new boating pool is opened in Ilfracombe's Bicclescombe Park.
Bert Waldron, the Torrington town crier, wins his 6th national championship at Hastings.
29 8 1963 The Methodist chapel in Boutport Street, Barnstaple closes.
19 MPs campaign for a new deep water harbour at Clovelly.
5 9 1963 The Derby lace factory in Barnstaple switches to 'nylonware knitting'.
HMS Upton a navy minesweeper visits Ilfracombe.
12 9 1963 Ilfracombe's new fire station in Marlborough Road is opened.
An 8.5 acre smallholding and bungalow near Chulmleigh is for sale at £3500.
19 9 1963 A shop with offices above is being built in High Street, Barnstaple for the Pearl Assurance Co.
John Leyton appears at the Queen's Hall in Barnstaple singing 'Johnny Remember Me'.
26 9 1963 The 1961 Census results reveal North Devon's population has shrunk by 3%.
Ilfracombe's Gaiety Theatre on the Promenade is to close.
3 10 1963 Local seamen draw up a petition protesting at navigation lights on the Taw and Torridge.
Arthur May of Instow grows the first ever crop of maize in North Devon.
10 10 1963 A 3 bedroom modern bungalow at Yelland is for sale at £3500.
A locally made film 'Barnstaple by night' is shown by the North Devon Cine Club in Queen's Hall, Barnstaple.
17 10 1963 The waiting list for operations at local hospitals tops 1200.
The Reverend P.Challen holds his Harvest Festival service in the Globe Inn at Beaford.
24 10 1963 Barnstaple traders are to spend £2000 on illuminations to make the town 'Go Gay at Christmas'.
Roosting pigeons in Combe Martin church tower make the clock go 'haywire'.
31 10 1963 Thomas Slee uses a hacksaw to open a gate obstructing Burrows Road on Braunton Burrows.
Plans to replace Boutport Street Methodist church with a petrol station are rejected.
7 11 1963 A sand barge, the Julie Pile, sinks off Crow Point in the River Taw.
50 members of the Aetherius Society climb Holdstone Down, Combe Martin 'to save the world from a killer disease.'
14 11 1963 Appledore Shipyard is taken over by a London syndicate of businessmen.
A lorry crashes into a Landkey cottage and demolishes the frontage.
21 11 1963 Parking fees on Northam Burrows raise £3000 in one year.
Alderman F.Loosemore is made a Freeman of the Borough of South Molton after serving 32 years on the council.
28 11 1963 Bingo on Sundays is given the go-ahead in Barnstaple.
A plan to build a ten-pin bowling alley in Silver Street, Barnstaple is announced.
5 12 1963 A fire in storerooms of Meredith's hardware shop in Bideford High Street destroys £10,000 worth of stock.
Torrington County Secondary School is over-run with rats.
12 12 1963 The 'Red Phantoms' pop group play at a carol service in Bideford's Lavington Church.
'Sandy and the Beachboys' play at Braunton Youth Club.
19 12 1963 Two Barnstaple girls publish 'The Beatle Maniac's Manual'.
Drivers are not visiting Holsworthy due to the high parking fee of 1/- (5p) a day.
24 12 1963 Reg Chugg history teacher at Barnstaple Boys Secondary School retires after 42 years.
Spectators 'invade' the pitch when South Molton play Fremington at football.
24 12 1963 A new Morris Minor 4 door De Luxe car costs £573 at the Barnstaple Motor Co.
The Western Counties Building Society move into their new £35,000 HQ on Bideford Quay.
7 1 1988 Numerous oil covered seabirds are washed up along the North Devon coast.
A fire breaks out in Chittlehampton School and the head, who lives next door, sleeps through it.
14 1 1988 Devon County Council are to reconsider a Braunton by-pass that goes through part of the Great Field.
Bideford Rotary Club provide a bird-watching 'hide' at the Kenwith Valley Nature Reserve.
21 1 1988 South West Water are to spend £16 million on cleaning up beaches at Ilfracombe, Lynmouth and Combe Martin.
A nude off-duty Pilton policeman chases and catches a burglar who breaks into his house.
28 1 1988 Magician Paul Daniels uses Combe Martin 'Pack o'Cards' pub as a location for his TV show.
North Devon Meat are given 6 weeks to 'kill the stench' from their Torrington works.
4 2 1988 A house roof in Eastbourne Terrace, Westward Ho! is blown off in a storm.
Torridge council announce plans to build shops on Torrington's South Street car park.
11 2 1988 Nigel Brierley of South Molton announces plans to capture the Beast of Exmoor alive.
A 3 bedroom detached bungalow at Kingsnympton is for sale at £85,000.
18 2 1988 A former Ilfracombe Mayor is charged with stealing £6000 from insurance companies.
Torrington milk factory is fined £1000 for discharging caustic soda into the River Torridge.
25 2 1988 Bideford Football Club's commercial manager is given a 6 month suspended prison sentence for fraud.
Group Captain Leonard Cheshire cuts the first turf to extend the Cheshire Home at Braunton.
3 3 1988 Plans for a new £6 million hotel in Westward Ho! are announced.
The 80' tall Blue Circle cement silo near Barnstaple railway station is demolished.
10 3 1988 Residents living near Anchor Wood in Barnstaple condemn rubble dumping on the site.
Professor Youings of Exeter University says that the North Devon vessels that went to fight the Armada came from Bideford.
17 3 1988 South West Water are to spend £20 million on a full sewage treatment plant for Bideford.
The M.S.Oldenburg is to provide a twice weekly link between Ilfracombe and Swansea.
24 3 1988 Lynmouth is earmarked as a 'world jet ski-ing centre'.
North Devon District Council votes in favour of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
31 3 1988 Rosamond Christie of Tapeley Park, Instow dies following a bite from her pet bird.
Local MP Tony Speller campaigns for a wind farm to be constructed at Ilfracombe.
7 4 1988 A plane crashes at Eaglescott airfield, Burrington but the 3 people in it survive.
A woman driver dies after her car plunges over Bideford Quay
14 4 1988 A dozen people chase 2 jewel thieves through Holsworthy but they escape.
Woodford Bridge Hotel near Holsworthy is sold to a Middlesex based firm.
21 4 1988 The Bideford fishing boat Quo Vadis catches a 500 lb wartime bomb off Hartland.
A memorial cairn is erected at Hartland in memory of a wartime Wellington bomber that crashed in 1942.
28 4 1988 5 of 7 new units at Mullacott Industrial Estate, Ilfracombe are sold before they are even built.
Five acres of Northam Burrows is flooded due to a blocked drainage pipe.
5 5 1988 Gravestones in the South Molton area are surveyed and indexed.
The Odyssey Night Club opens in Ilfracombe behind the Berkeley Hotel.
12 5 1988 A councillor breaks open the gates of Old Town Cemetery in Bideford to stop boys scaling the walls to get in.
Roy Harper appears at the Queen's Hall, Barnstaple, tickets are £4.
19 5 1988 Barnstaple council is attacked for agreeing to close Green Lane to make way for a new shopping centre.
A new recycling centre is being developed at Maclins Quarry, South Molton.
26 5 1988 Northam Methodists undertake a Walk of Witness to mark the 250th anniversary of the Wesley's conversion.
200 readers a day are joining the new Barnstaple Library.
2 6 1988 The new Appledore lifeboat is named George Gibson after its donor.
Northam Square is filled with attractions for the town's May Fair.
9 6 1988 Torridge councillors and police force their way in to the Rivora Hotel in Bideford to check on the accommodation.
A modern 5 bedroom detached house at Braunton is for sale at £92,500.
16 6 1988 The final one of 50 'prefabs' in Barnstaple is ordered to be demolished.
Trago Mills announce plans to build a huge shop in the Bideford area.
23 6 1988 J+S Marine of Barnstaple cut their work force from 264 to 124.
Ian Dinmore of Barnstaple railway station receives more letters of praise than any other BR worker in the Western Region.
30 6 1988 Brannam's Pottery of Barnstaple announce plans to move to the Roundswell Industrial estate.
Ruda Holiday Park at Croyde open a £1.3 million 'aquatic fun park.'
7 7 1988 Boughton's in Dolton win a £26 million contract to build Army vehicles.
Conservationists oppose the proposed demolition of Brannam's Pottery in Barnstaple.
14 7 1988 Devon county council are to buy Bideford's old railway station for use as an information centre.
During 'Hatherleigh Week' Steve Arthur drinks a yard of ale (2.5 pints) in 18 seconds.
21 7 1988 Pot Black UK Ltd of Bideford are to double their work force to 160 to cope with orders.
Bass Bewery ban 12 youths from 3 of their Barnstaple pubs.
28 7 1988 The 'Rose of Torridge' in Bideford becomes a fish and chip restaurant.
June Mitchell retires after 30 years as head of Holywell School, Tawstock.
4 8 1988 The Clovelly lifeboat and a sinking boat it is towing are refused entry to Ilfracombe harbour.
Texas Homecare open their new superstore in Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple.
11 8 1988 A young woman becomes the first suicide from the new Torridge Bridge at Bideford.
Barnstaple traders express fears that a second out-of-town supermarket will damage the town.
18 8 1988 Clovelly loses its RNLI lifeboat after 118 years.
Devon county council bans the dumping of hospital clinical waste at the Northam tip.
25 8 1988 Norman Wisdom appears at the Queen's Hall in Barnstaple.
TV's Leslie Crowther opens the Filleigh fete.
1 9 1988 A wild wallaby is discovered dead at Lee.
The chairman of Witheridge parish council resigns over plans to build 5 bungalows in the village.
8 9 1988 Postmen in North Devon go on strike.
An 1860s railway viaduct at Filleigh is used to carry the new North Devon Link Road
15 9 1988 Bideford Business Park in Clovelly Road is launched.
North Devon Meat at Torrington are fined £3600 for polluting the River Torridge.
22 9 1988 People living in Calf Street, Torrington petition to have lorries banned from their narrow road.
The 1st International Gnome Day is held at West Putford.
29 9 1988 Police warn North Devonians 'be on your guard against bogus antique dealers, cycle thieves and potential fire raisers'.
An anonymous donor gives £25,000 to Mortehoe parish church tower appeal.
6 10 1988 The Devon 'New World Tapestry' is being stitched in the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford.
The possibility of Lundy being used as a nuclear waste dump is ruled out.
13 10 1988 Weare Giffard residents call for 'immediate action' after their homes are flooded again.
Torridge district council move into their new offices at Riverbank House in Bideford.
20 10 1988 Motorists crossing Barnstaple Bridge are urged to honk their horns in protest at the cancellation of a new downstream bridge.
Lundy bans landings from the Waverly and Balmoral steamers following an 'incident'.
27 10 1988 Langham Industries take over Appledore Shipyard and announce plans to reduce the workforce from 520 to 400.
Plans to demolish the Baptist chapel in Torrington's New Street are abandoned.
3 11 1988 Peter Bottomly, the Government Roads Minister, opens the North Devon Link Road.
Jim Butcher 'doyen of North Devon journalists' and a well-known broadcaster dies.
10 11 1988 Protesters lobby Braunton council over plans for 46 flats for the elderly in the centre of the village.
Regulars rally round to help get the Bull & Dragon pub at Meeth open soon after a fire.
17 11 1988 5 telephone boxes in Barnstaple become listed buildings in their own right.
Hoax 'bombs' disrupt Remembrance Day services in Barnstaple and Braunton.
24 11 1988 Trevor Stanbury announces plans for a 250 house 'holiday village' at Higher Clovelly.
A new 4 bedroom detached house at Yarnscombe is for sale at £150,000.
1 12 1988 The Runnacleave Hotel in Ilfracombe catches fire and is badly damaged.
Hartland Coastguard Station is closed.
8 12 1988 SWEB are denounced as insensitive for siting a 9' high transformer in Dolton village.
Hatherleigh residents reckon their town is being 'shaken to pieces' by lorries.
15 12 1988 North Devon egg producers see sales fall by 70% following a mass salmonella scare.
Moves are made to re-open the Caffyns Golf Course at Lynton closed since 1939.
22 12 1988 Appledore Shipyard announces it has orders up to 1995.
NDDC reject suggestions to call the Barnstaple-Exeter rail line The Tarka Line calling it 'stupid'.
30 12 1988 The Royal Horticultural Society are to spend £1/2 million on renovating Rosemoor Gardens in Torrington.
A survey reveals only 40 puffins on Lundy Island.
30 12 1988 South Molton town council fear a dead town centre if a proposed cattle market is not sited nearer to the town.
Barnstaple beat Bideford 4-1 in the annual Boxing Day football match.a

Last updated 4 Feb 2014 - Brian Randell.

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