For several years the problem of storing the Society's property and items
donated for resale has become increasingly difficult and has resulted
in spare rooms and garages being overrun by the volume of the material.
During late 2003 the Trustees decided that something must be done about
this matter as it was no longer feasible for committee members to store
the bulk of the property. After exploring the
possibilities of using commercial storage facilities, it was concluded
that that was an expensive and ongoing cost to the Society. The solution
will be the purchase of a 12' x 8' shed which will be erected on a plot
of land at Ebbingford Manor kindly offered by Bryan Stamp and his son,
Jonathon. Hopefully, by the time you read this article the shed will be
in situ and in use. (It is! Ed.) To aid the storage and transportation,
plastic storage boxes are being purchased. Only items donated and some
bulk items, such as the gazebo, will be kept in interior storage facilities
as will the slide projector and slides, library of reference books and
records. This option is one of expense and will be a useful and valuable
asset of the Society.
The summer programme of opening the barge workshop for three hours on
Sundays has begun with your committee members taking turns to man it.
I took the first of the once a month walks from the sea lock to the Barge
Workshop in June with just one member of the public and Max, my dog. Chris
Jewell will lead the other three.
This year's Gift
Aid claim is for £403.32. This excellent amount is due to generous
donations and four life memberships during 2003/04 tax year. It also relates
to the subscriptions and donations of other members who have completed
a Gift Aid declaration. For every £1 of tax paid 28.2p is refunded
by the Inland Revenue.
Normally the amount claimed is paid in total into the Project Fund for
use in relation to the conservation of the tub boat in due course. However,
this time it was decided that to aid the scheme to provide storage the
£403.32p would be split, £200 to be put towards the shed and
other materials cost and the balance of £203.32 would go to the
Project Account. This is a one off and in 2005 the whole amount of the
Gift Aid claim will go to the Project Fund.
The abundance of May blossom on the hawthorn this year gave a fantastic
snow-like covering of the trees. This suggests a very plentiful supply
of berries and fruit for the birds. It may also be an indication of a
severe winter to come – or is that just an old wives tale? I have
also noticed that the sloes on the blackthorn are the size of marbles
already, which should please the winemakers. With a very dry May the aqueduct
was gradually drying up until a water leak developed in the pipe close
to our stop tap, which is close to the canal. The water cascaded into
the canal for three days and raised the level of the water, much to the
delight of the ducks.
I find it interesting talking to walkers along the canal. One man seemed
to be an expert on Damsel flies telling me the difference between Enallagma
cyathigerum and Lestes dryas, but all I know is that one is blue and the
other green! - These are not to be confused with Hawkers and Darners.
As everyone knows these are Dragonflies! On top of that I was instructed
on solitary bees!
A member of the Bideford Bee Society asked if he could place a mini hive
in the wharf area as part of a survey being carried out by Oxford University.
The box, like a mini hive with several tubes, has been placed on the side
of the wharf building to attract the Red Mason bees (Osmia rula). These
are docile and harmless bees which are excellent pollinators of fruit
trees and soft fruits.They don’t sting and are not to be confused
with masonry bees.
With mower and manpower problems much of the towpath has not been cut
lately and with the excessive growth the walking is getting a little difficult
– particularly with the nettles for people wearing shorts! But don’t
be put off; the walk is still a fascinating wonderland.
On a final note, we have increased our menagerie by one with the birth
of a miniature Shetland filly foal. She is to be officially named ‘Virworthy
Dawnmist’ but we call her ‘Misty’. She was a mere twenty
inches high at birth and has grown two inches in five weeks.
to Hartland Quay Museum
Saturday 17th April was a cold and blustery day when we gathered at Hartland
Quay for a visit to Mark Myers’ museum. After the very interesting
talk that Mark had given at our AGM in February, we were keen to see his
collection at the museum, and to find out more about the shipping connections
between Bude and Hartland during the time in the 19th century when virtually
everything came in by sea.
We made our first stop at the hotel for some lunch, after a wind-assisted
passage from the car park. Lunch was good, and we felt fortified to venture
out again and meet up with Mark, who took us down to where the old quay
used to be, and explained where the structure had been before it was finally
allowed to collapse into the sea when repairs became uneconomic in 1887.
It had stood in one form or another for about 300 years.
A wedding party was in progress while we were there, and we watched as
bride and groom made their vows on a rock at the end of the slipway, looking
very precarious, and a great deal colder than we were (which was very,
by that time).
Inside the museum it was a lot warmer. A large and impressive collection
of pictures and artefacts and models has been assembled in one of the
oldest buildings, converted attractively to display its character as well
as its contents. Details of the numerous wrecks that have accumulated
on such a very dangerous shore were plentiful, and there was an interesting
model of the local coastline showing where many of them had gone down.
There was one unique exhibit that was of more recent origins - a battered
tin of peanuts.
This was washed up in August 1944, following the wreck of the Ezra Wilson
off Pentire Point. She was an American “Liberty Ship” which
had been torpedoed by a U-boat on her way to supply the troops after D-Day.
The rest of her cargo mysteriously disappeared, after the local population
spent a busy few days on the beaches!
Hartland Museum is well worth a visit, and we had a very enjoyable day.
9.05 am on a rainy and very misty Saturday 26th June, found 21 people
leaving Bude by coach determined to enjoy themselves. When they arrived
at the Barbican, Plymouth one and a half hours later to board a motor
vessel for Calstock the rain was still doing its best to put a dampener
on the day.
Photographers in the group braved the open deck as we cast off to record
many views including the dockyard with various warships in for repair
plus yachts being built for millionaires, and Brunel's bridge and the
modern 3 in 1 next to it.
The bar on board being
open, some passengers lifted their spirits with just that in their coffees!
During the hour-long voyage made interesting by commentary from the captain,
plans were made to walk round Calstock. The rain had stopped by the time
of our arrival and although this village is very hilly an enjoyable hour
was passed and eventually refreshment sought at a hostelry by the landing
stage. Back on the boat some of us looked forward to an hour or more walking,
shopping, and sightseeing in Plymouth when the coach dropped us off at
the bus station within a short walk of shops, etc.
4.20pm saw us all back there, loaded with our shopping and ready for the
raffle with a large basket of fresh fruit as first prize. As we drove
out of Plymouth the rain was falling once more and as we crossed the Tamar
Bridge, the river was almost hidden in thick mist.
Thanks to Betty and all who helped to get us "on board" for
New Society Clothing
The Society now has available to members fleece jackets in bottle green
with the BCHS logo in white on the upper left breast. The fleeces are
zip-fronted with two zip pockets and are anti pil.
They are available in S, M, L, & XL sizes and are £23 each +
p & p £1.50, total £24.50
Orders with cash to the Hon Treasurer, 4a The Crescent, Bude,, EX23 8LE.
Allow 21 days for delivery. Cheques payable to BCHS.
Trip of a Lifetime - 'The Going Home Voyage'
Derek Aunger, a Bude boy who now lives in Looe, has had a long-time ambition
to take his own boat through the sea lock at Bude and into the canal.
He has recently restored a Fairey Fisherman, a sixties classic motor sailer.
The 'Portunas', as she is called has an overall length of 9.5 metres and
is a mere 4 tons. She is sloop-rigged and has a Lombordini 38 hp diesel
which replaced the original Perkins engine.
Derek will sail 'Portunas' with his son, Robert, from Saltash down the
Tamar and along the English Channel, calling at Falmouth and Penzance
for overnight stays, continuing around Land's End to St Ives, Padstow
and arriving at Bude on the afternoon of Saturday, 31st July where the
'Portunas' will lock into the canal and an ambition will have been realised.
The whole venture has a website: www.portunas.co.uk Derek will have a
webcam on board so that website buffs can log on and see what he is seeing
as he sails to Bude.
there will be an opportunity to make donations to our Society which encourages,
where possible, yachts and boats to visit Bude and lock into the Bude
Canal and make use of the sea lock refurbished by NCDC nearly four years
ago; in fact in July 2000 the project was half completed.
It is because of this commitment by NCDC and the other funders that Mr
Aunger, visiting, and local boatmen can still use the sea lock to seek
safe haven in the Bude Canal. Long may it continue and increase.
A third path has now been added to the rights of way across Whalesborough
To find this go up to the farm along the main approach road from Helebridge.
On reaching the main farm buildings, turn sharp left and proceed out to
the sea cliffs along farm roads. The path comes out on the main Widemouth
- Bude road just below the brow of the hill going down into Widemouth
from Bude. There are two other paths in existence on the farm. One starts
from between Rodds Bridge and Whalesborough locks on the canal towpath
and goes up to the main Widemouth Road coming out near the next bungalows
beyond the Chough Hotel. The other is a footpath which runs from just
before the entrance to the Woodlands Tea Gardens at Helebridge and goes
across the fields to just before the Bay View Inn at Widemouth.
Bryan Dudley Stamp
- check it out ..
We welcome the following new members who have joined since March:
Mr & Mrs Ellis, Killerton Road, Bude.
Mr D Tucker, Stratton Road, Bude.
Correction to Tub Boat No 27
Treasurer's Report AGM 2004; page 2, 4 lines down from balances, should
read: ".......all transactions are free, but no interest is paid......"
set of 4 CDs of E Temple Thurston's classic book "The Flower of Gloster"
first published in 1911 is now available complete and unabridged for £24.99
(inc p&p) from record dealers, or by post from A Tuddenham, POPPY
Records, 88 Mount Road, Southdown, Bath, BA2 1LH, or click www.poppyrecords.co.uk
The story, read by Diana Humphrey, who lives a mere stone's throw from
the Stroudwater Canal in Glos, is a fascinating historic document of a
canal system on the brink of closure. Audrey has read it and says it is
a good read. (Advert).