Five facts you might not know about Appledore
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Remember when the Jacksons came to Appledore? Know where you can spot a ghost? Do you know why the Blue Lights Hall has its name? Find out here...
It’s known for its bobbing boats and quaint Quayside, but the North Devon village of Appledore has a number of secrets you may not know.
With plenty of interesting tales to tell, we found five facts you may not know about Appledore…
The story of the Blue Lights
Appledore Blue Lights Hall hosts a number of community events – but did you know it was formerly a chapel?
It was built for the Plymouth Brethren in the 1860s before the time of street lights, and the Brethren set out lamps to guide people to the chapel in the hours of darkness.
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The story goes that the red lamps were not very favourable – so they were changed to blue, and that is how the building acquires its name, apparently.
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Every village has a ghost story or two, but in Appledore there are a few things that go bump in the night.
Terry Bailey runs ghost walks through the village every year as part of the Appledore Book Festival.
In 2009 he told the Gazette: “I wasn’t surprised that people saw something, because so many things happen in Appledore that can’t be explained. During our research of Appledore’s history we found more than 60 sites where ghosts have been seen around the village. But I have to admit I did not expect to experience so much activity.”
Among sightings reported include the presence of a French sailor, smells of perfumes, unexplained footsteps and even people being hugged by invisible presences.
Jacksons Are Coming
Appledore could have been home to a very famous family when the Jacksons came to visit on a house-hunting mission in 2008.
Nine members of the Jackson family came to the village in May 2008, including three members of the global pop phenomenon The Jackson Five.
They were filmed during their stay by Channel Four, though in the event decided not to settle in North Devon.
According to the Appledore Historical Society, there are a number of Appledore’s own sayings which have been documented over time.
“He’s an Appledore man by trade” means someone who can turn their hand to any job, while telling someone to “dap on” means to hurry up.
If someone says “‘tis low water” they don’t have any money, and if you’re called a ‘bitter weed’ that’s not a good thing – it means someone who never has a good word to say of anyone.
Did you know there used to be a cinema in Appledore. The Gaiety Cinema was first built as a public hall. Its walls saw both fantastic concerts, as well as the more gruesome court cases, including of the murder of a seventeen-year-old French boy.
Later the building was turned into a cinema showing black and white silent films, and the queues used to stretch back to Irsha Street.
Now the building has been converted into flats.