The 1921 Census and North Devon

The 1920’s were known as the “Roaring Twenties” with the “Bright Young Things” of the wealthy classes life had never been better with their hedonistic wild behaviour shocking society. A legacy from the First World War was that women were much more independent. For young women, known as “Flappers,” gone were the tight corseted, floor …

When the Bath and West Came to Town

This weekend sees the return of the Bath and West of England Society’s show at Shepton Mallet in Somerset. The Society was originally called the Bath Society and was established in 1777 ‘for the encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in the Counties of Somerset, Wilts, Gloucester and Dorset’. By 1779 Devon and Cornwall …

Discover VJ Day and the War in the Far East…On Our Shelves!

While the celebrations marking the end of the War in Europe swept across the country, there were many who were still waiting to hear news from the men fighting in the east. “Although the European War was over, it didn’t really affect me. All the jollifications. My husband was still fighting, I was still upset. …

Discover the Effects of Beeching’s Axe…On Our Shelves!

Our Assistant Librarian, Sandi, takes a look at the effects of Dr Beeching's closure of the Railways in North Devon... This year sees the fiftieth anniversary of the closure of the Devon and Somerset Railway, the rural line that connected Barnstaple and Ilfracombe to Bristol and the rail network to the rest of the country. …

Welcome to 2016

The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on some of the things we have discovered over the last year and look forward to some of the things we may find during 2016. In 2015 we showcased some of the items we have in our general library collection through our new series of Discover...On …

The Jewell in Barnstaple’s Crown – Twelve Months of War & the Splendid Work of Barnstaple’s Mayoress

As part of our series of newspaper articles from the First World War comes this piece about the work done by Harriette Ellen Jewell during the first year of the war...Barum Athena The war into which, as an Empire, we were so suddenly plunged twelve months since found us quite unprepared in the country, whatever …