Pidgeons's ProjectsA Selection of News Articles Related to Pidgeon's Projects

  • 1 Seafield House or "The Spooky House"

    Built around 1885

  • 2 1918-2018

    Eliza Honey 'before her time'

  • 3 Bilbie Bells


  • 4 World War 1


  • 5 Since 1898

  • Seafield House or "The Spooky House"

    Built around 1885

    Seafield House - Westward Ho!

    seafield house

    The house on the cliff edge known locally as ‘Spooky House’ or even ‘Haunted House’ was built about 1885. The road was especially built to enable access to the house and was initially known as Seafield Road; later it became Merley Road.

    The house was built as a summer residence by Brinsley de Courcey Nixon
    (5 May 1825-18 April 1903) whose occupation on the 1881 Census was a ‘banker’ from London. Of Irish and Scottish descent he was born in Edinburgh and died in 1903 whilst on holiday at Seafield. There were 4 children from his

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  • 1918-2018

    Eliza Honey 'before her time'

    Why did women need the vote? Fight for emancipation

    1856 – Eliza Honey, a widow aged 25 and with a 5-month old baby, took on the running of ‘The Bideford Weekly Gazette and Devon and Cornwall Advertiser’.

    1859 – 1st female doctor is registered

    When parliamentary reform was being debated in 1867, John Stuart Mill proposed an amendment that would have given the vote to women on the same terms as men but it was rejected by 194 votes to 73.

    1869 – women who pay property tax can vote in some elections
    1878 – London University allows women to graduate
    1881/82 – Married women

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  • Bilbie Bells


    Early days

    We believe that Northam Church had bells as early as the first half of the 16th century.

    In 1549 most of the bells in Devon and Cornwall were dismantled as a punishment after the Prayer Book Rebellion. However the bells were not taken away as a 1553 inventory lists four bells in the tower, probably without their clappers. West Country bells were allowed to ring again from 1553 when Mary became Queen.

    In 1562 an account was rendered “for the casting of our two bells”. It would seem that no attempt was made to rehang the original four bells

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  • World War 1


    World War 1:

    The Bideford & District Community Archive Centenary display will be at the following locations:

    St Margaret’s Church, Northam : Friday 26th October – Wednesday 7th November

    Church, Westward Ho! : Wednesday 7th November – Sunday 11th November

    If you are unable to see the exhibition at either of these locations you are welcome to visit the Archive offices in Windmill Lane. Our opening times are: Monday – Wednesday; 9.30 am – 1.00pm


    When thinking about, and planning for, the centenary exhibition I felt it needed to be approaching events by starting from the stories in our local paper, the

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  • Since 1898

    Fifty years of Fashion - 1898 – 1948

    Years of Change 1948 – 1973



    This booklet records in brief the story of Chopes of Bideford, from the establishment of the firm in 1898 to its 75th Birthday in 1973. The first 50 years until 1948 are covered in the first sixteen pages under the title “Fifty Years of Fashion”, and this is an unaltered reprint of the booklet of that title, produced by A. K. Chope and N. H. Chope in 1948. The remaining pages entitled “Years of Change” bring the story up to date. Chopes has always been a “family business”,

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