Society Showcase Way of the Wharves Bideford 17 June 2023

Way of the Wharves showcase event in conjunction with Devon History Society

Venue: Royal Hotel Bideford

Date: 17th June 2023, 10:45-15:30

Title: Society Showcase: Way of the Wharves

Join Devon History Society for a day of discovery exploring Bideford’s maritime heritage with Way of the Wharves.

We’re delighted to showcase the work of DHS members Way of the Wharves as they share what has been achieved over the last few years during their journey from community volunteer project to maritime education charity. Come along to this Society Showcase to discover the historical and cultural impact East-the-Water's estuary wharves, ships, businesses, people and events had on Bideford. Find out the background to Way of the Wharves, what the team uncovered and how they are engaging different audiences. Take a guided walk to some of the sites around East the Water and enjoy Bideford and the river. This event is for anyone interested in local history or anyone who’d love to see a successful local heritage project in action.


Way of the Wharves

Shipbuilding wasn't the only economic activity thriving along the Torridge estuary. The history of the riverside communities involves timber & emigration, tobacco & pottery, coal mining & gravel extraction, fisheries & agriculture, energy & enterprise. Opposite Bideford town, connected by the medieval long bridge, is East-the-Water. With the deep-water channel and then later the railway the eastern shore developed into the industrial and logistics hub for Bideford and the estuary. The history of the Torridge estuary has been shaped by its geography as well as by local, national & international politics and events. The wharves site along Barnstaple Street is undergoing a transformation. In 2020 the council approved plans for redevelopment, which had lain virtually unused for many years. The last remaining buildings have been demolished, archaeology has been completed and building works are expected to start in Spring 2023. Since 2016 the Way of the Wharves charity has been researching and promoting the history of East-the-Water and its importance to the Torridge estuary and North Devon. This is an opportunity to see the latest work from the project and take part in discussions about how to present history to the widest public possible. 


1045-1115 Coffee and chat

1115-1200 Maritime Heritage along the Torridge

1200-1245 Storytelling - Engaging with different audiences

1245-1400 Lunch (picnic or choice of cafes)

1400-1530 Guided walk around East the Water starting from by Tarka the Otter Statue west side of bridge (time 1.5 hours and max distance 3 miles)

NB: There may be slight changes to the programme


DHS Members £9.50, Non-Members £12.50

Ticket cost includes free talks, guided walk and tea/coffee upon arrival. Lunch not included (picnic or choice of cafes).

Adult education and learning