Try to visualise Appledore without narrow, winding streets and small cottages. How would you feel if these were replaced with flats and garages? To us in the 21st century this would seem outrageous, but in 1971 this was the grand plan for Appledore.
Local folk determined to fight the planners formed the Appledore Conservation and Preservation Society, know later as Appledore Residents Association. They formed their group to fight for their homes and their village where many had lived for generations.
Can you imagine Vernons Lane, One End Street, Market Street and irsha Street being demolished to make way for flats and garages? How many visitors would come to admire Appledore, yet in those days it was in the name of progress.
All of us who appreciate the heritage and quaint unique character of Appledore owe a debt of gratitude to that first protest group who fought so hard with only a portable typewriter and carbon paper.
It would be satisfying to believe that these efforts were successful, but they were greatly helped by a slump in the economy to give time enough for opinions to change and the village as it was and luckily still is, to be appreciated at last.
The Residents Association lay dormant for many years until Appledore was again threatened by many diverse and proposed changes, such as the closure of the village fire station and plans to develop 'Blackies' land near the church in Torridge Road. Later came a series of battles to try and oppose Appledore Arts proposed sculptures and bus shelter which threatened once again the character of the village at the time.
The Residents Association monitors the planning applications and attends the Northam Town Council meetings, both the Planning meetings and the full Council meetings. The Association listens to its members concerns and advises or writes letters on their behalf with regard to issues that arise in the village.