The speaker at Bideford Rotary Club's luncheon on Sept 16 was Mr Harold Blackmore,
of the firm of Messrs M W Blackmore and Sons Ltd, who chose as his subject 'My job'.
Mr Blackmore recalled when he used to go to the Brass Foundry at Appledore out of school hours and collect fittings for the racing dinghies built by his father. Scale models of these dinghies were used for experiments at Sandy Mere, a large pond behind the pebbleridge at Westward Ho!
When he commenced his apprenticeship, at a wage of 2s 6d per week, continued Mr Blackmore, timber was collected by boat from Braunton.
In 1913 the firm received its first Admiralty contract. This was for several long-range towing targets. Twenty-seven feet whalers were built during the first World War, and pleasure craft, fishing and racing boats and passenger launches betweeen the wars.
The firm moved from Appledore in 1930 and purchased part of the present premises at New Road, Bideford, in 1933. In addition to harbour launches and MFVs, twenty-eight 72 feet heavy duty motor launches were built during the recent war.
After the war no craft could be built except under Admiralty licence, so the firm commenced to manufacture utility furniture and later turned to luxury coaches and road service vehicles.
Gazette article dated 28 September 1948