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Steeper Than It Looks

A Memory of Bideford

It was every school summer holiday that my sister and I used to come with our parents to spend a week or so with grandma Annie Penhorwood. If we had any money we would go to the bakery shop near the bottom of the High Street and carry our prizes in their greased brown paper bag back up (usually in some heat) to eat later.
This usually preceeded a trip to Westward Ho! to spend ages making a monumental shelter in the pebble ridge and carefully picking the biggest pebbles to run on, to get into the surf first. I also remember getting buffeted by enormous waves (especially if nearer September) and gamely hanging on to my home-made wooden surfboard, painted white to help it stay a little bit waterproof. Shame that this was scraped off in the shallows on the sand underneath, because it was warmer in the water there and I could at least stand up on it!
Annie lived in many places including Abbotsham Road and East the Water. She told me of 'one up one down' cottages two-thirds of the way up High Street on the left from this view. They had no amenities or inside toilets and were demolished in the early 1960s, I had only one glimpse of them. This is where she had lived for a time with husband Bill who was a gardener.
Bideford's High street and Bridge are the most iconic memories for me and of course knowing where to get the best fish n chip supper!
My most happy summers in Bideford were with my Uncle and Aunt Cyril and June Found who used to live in Elm Grove with Annie's sister Carrie with Winnie and Percy in Myrtle Grove or Gardens, all off Pitt Lane.
Thanks for all the chronic jokes and sense of good fun that of course I had tried out on my own family with varying amounts of success!

A memory shared by Heather Uden , on Feb 10th, 2009.

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