English Riviera Magazine October/November 2020

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Walks • Local Food • Heritage • Nature • People • Events • Arts

EnglishRiviera Oct/Nov 2020



Cockington Court's Pewter Artist Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group


Give It A Go...

Sea Swimming & World Roots Drumming






Enjoy! Our Decoy to

Abbotskerswell walk

Heritage Quiz

Test your local knowledge

Adam Partridge Auctioneers'


Brandy for the Parson


English Riviera Magazine for Residents by Residents DELIVERED FREE TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT THE BAY

Are you running the risk of outliving your savings? In a world of low interest rates, an unpredictable economy and increasing life expectancy, useful guidance on retirement planning is a necessity

The earlier you start planning, the easier it will potentially be to create the retirement lifestyle you want. The stark reality is that the majority of us need to save more. We all must accumulate more, when we are earning, to meet the extra costs of living longer. The decisions we make today will dictate the standard of living we will enjoy in retirement. The golden rule is to determine exactly how much you are going to need in retirement – and to start planning for it now. Delays costs money but making worthwhile contributions need not be that difficult. Making pension contributions could be seen as a necessary expense: they should not be an afterthought. Budgeting for a regular monthly amount towards any pension savings could be considered as an integral part of business or

household budgeting, just like the heating and lighting bills. Remember that making annual or single contributions has the possibility of buying into the market at the ‘wrong’ time. Monthly contributions help to smooth out the effect of fluctuations in unit prices. Those relying solely on the State Pension to see them through their later years will have to accept that their standard of living is going to drop significantly.




hether you have just started out on life’s journey, or counting the days to retirement, pension planning should be high on your wealth management agenda. However, you will have very different needs and objectives depending on which part of the journey you are on.


The State Pension provides a limited income (£175.20 for a single person, per week, based on a full NI record in the 2020/2021 tax year), which falls drastically short of what is really needed to fund a comfortable lifestyle. So how do we avoid poverty in retirement? First, decide how large a fund you will need. One method is to multiply your target retirement income by 25. For example, if you think you’ll need £30,000 a year, aim for a fund of £750,000. Next, select the most appropriate

investment vehicles to help achieve your goal. Property, investment bonds and ISAs have all proved popular over recent years but don’t offer the same degree of tax breaks as a pension. To help avoid running out of money, selecting a balanced and well diversified investment portfolio is critical, but knowing how much money to take from a drawdown policy is arguably of greater importance. There’s no better time like the present for you to consider how to enhance or protect your wealth whilst thinking about your retirement. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances. Adrian Howard


Managing Director

To review your pension plans contact Orestone Wealth Management

01803 659659 / 07853 370222 • adrian.howard@sjpp.co.uk


The Old Bank Chambers, Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay TQ1 4PR The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.


About us...

To the October/November issue. As we go to press with this issue, the English Riviera, including Torbay and Dartmouth, has been reassuringly busy and businesses are breathing a sigh of relief as cash tills start ringing again. So far, with careful safety arrangements, our community has managed to avoid a second peak – let’s hope this continues in spite of challenges ahead. In this issue we meet Cockington Court’s extraordinary pewter artist Chrystine Jones; we pop along to Oldway to meet the amazing Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group; we dip our toes with a jolly sea swimming group, now called Healthscape and we learn to play the drums. We also have a nose around Brixham and check out the historic Pannier Market. For history lovers we bring you stories of Bay smuggling, the origin of local house names, plus a look at the life of actress Gwen Berryman who starred in ‘The Archers’ for many years before retiring to Torquay. Our popular ‘What’s On’ section is starting to make a tentative comeback and we’ve got our usual arts roundup, gardening ideas, book reviews, a new heritage quiz and a delightful suggested walk.

Created and Published By Devon Magazine Company Limited Julian Rees julian@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone 01803 842893 Mobile: 07455 206470 Anita Newcombe anita@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone: 01803 850886 Advertising Sales sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Advertising Copy copy@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Editorial editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Website englishrivieramagazine.co.uk ISSN (Print) 2052-8515 ISSN (Online) 2052-8523

Next issue 27 November Write to us at: ENGLISH RIVIERA MAGAZINE 69 DAVIES AVENUE PAIGNTON TQ4 7AW © 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form without prior permission of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Devon Magazine Company Ltd will not accept liability for loss or damage. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content but the publishers cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations or for the consequences of any reliance on these details; neither can they vouch for the accuracy of claims made by any advertiser. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers.

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Happy reading and stay safe!

If you would like to ADVERTISE your business in English Riviera Magazine Call 01803 850886 or email sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Walks • Local Food • Heritage • Nature • People • Events • Arts

EnglishRiviera June/July 2019


A Sailing Adventure with




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Torquay Vacation A Lifetime in Art



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Vistas & Views on the coastpath

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In this issue | October & November 2020 6 Openers Local publications reviewed

14 Oldway Volunteers

10 Chrystine Jones - Maker Artworks in pewter

14 Just Doing It Oldway Gardens Volunteers

18 Gwen Berryman Doris Archer’s local links

20 Brandy for the Parson... The Bay’s smuggling history

22 Torbay’s Historic House Names From ‘Mon Repos’ to ‘The 25’

24 Give It a A Go! Sea Swimming Reap the health benefits

27 Give It a A Go! Drumming Find your rhythm with Drum Torbay

29 Brixham Pannier Market A welcoming shopping experience

30 Riviera Walk Decoy Lake to Abbotskerswell

33 Heritage Quiz Test your knowledge of Torbay’s past

35 What’s On Our pick of local events

18 Gwen Berryman

39 Social Diary Local people at local events

40 Arts Roundup Art exhibitions and events

43 Gardening Autumn jobs and garden chat

46 Torquay & District Medical Society A fascinating history

On the cover

Moon over Torquay © Paula Adstock

40 Arts Roundup englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 5

Openers... Openers... Openers... Highway Saga A fascinating new book called The Saga of the South Devon Highway, written by the Chairman of Torbay Civic Society Ian Handford, and author Mike Holgate, has been published. For over three decades Ian campaigned for a new road to relieve congestion on the A380 saying in 2005, “The road will be built. The only question is when.” He gained support from local businesses, media, politicians and even the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Over the years he took on successive governments, antis and environmentalists including Sybil Fawlty actress Prunella Scales. In 2007 David Cameron visited Torbay and said, “There must be an end to the log jam on this road.” Finally the South Devon Highway, first proposed in 1951, was completed in 2015 with a secret opening that took place at 3am on 15 December. Work had begun in 2012 and archaeologists discovered evidence of a 2,000-year-old Roman settlement at Kingskerswell and an 880-year-old medieval building at Aller Cross. The book is filled with anecdotes, stories, timelines and photos telling the saga of ‘Sixty Years of Procrastination’. It is now on sale at Axworthy’s in Paignton.. 

Bound to Win the Day In 1888 Martin Robin’s great-grandfather William was imprisoned in Exeter jail. Yet in 2018 he was honoured by the placing of a plaque at Torbay Harbour. In 1886, the Torquay Harbour and District Act had introduced a law, which prevented The Salvation Army Band from marching through the town on Sundays. Local Salvation Army members including William Robins and Eva Booth, daughter of The Salvation’s Army’s founder, campaigned to have the act overturned. William credited the evangelical group with turning his life around. After marching though Torquay in protest, singing Bound to Win, William was one of a number of local members to be arrested. Their campaign overturned the ban in 1888. Great-grandson Martin and the Robins family, commissioned a plaque to be located on Torquay’s slipway, close to the spot where William was arrested. It was unveiled, on a Sunday, in 2018. If you’d like a copy of the fascinating booklet that Martin has written on the subject please send a cheque for £5 to: MJ Robins, Glebe Farm, Lower Stanton St Quintin, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 6DB – don’t forget to include your name and full address.  englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 7

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Chrystine is a contemporary artist working in pewter; she has developed a ‘secret recipe’ for creating patinas in spectacular jewel colours using water, air and fire. Anita Newcombe popped into her studio at Cockington Court Craft Centre. 10 | October/November 2020

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Riviera People


hrystine tells me that sources: water, air and fire. The she loves working results are spectacular and she at the Craft Centre believes that she is alone in at Cockington Court having achieved this remarkable explaining, “I’ve done really transformation in pewter. well here – it’s the first place Chrystine had already pursued I’ve had on my own.” two earlier careers before pewter came into her life, one Her beautiful pieces are often inspired by images making competitive dancewear and one supporting from our local coastline like ripples of water shot autistic spectrum children at South Devon College and through with dappled sunshine. Her ideas are drawn Brixham College. However, she decided to expand from the forms, textures and colours that she sees when her passion for art and take a course in 3D design out and about. Daily events like sunrise and sunset at Plymouth University. Here she studied multiple throw up stunning colour combinations. She walks on materials but was fascinated by pewter, always coming the beaches every day taking photos, collecting fossils back to it. and sketching; the glory of nature regularly triggers During her degree, she was part of a group making ideas for her art. costumes for English Riviera Earth Echoes as part of I’m looking at the work on display in her studio. It’s the opening ceremony for the 7th UNESCO Global a combination of jewellery Geopark Conference held The results are spectacular and here in the Bay. During the with earrings, pendants, she believes that she is alone in event she had a tour of our brooches and bracelets, plus a range of striking framed having achieved this remarkable coastline with geology experts artworks signed with the and discovered the Geopark’s transformation in pewter. distinctive ‘C J’ engraved on amazing importance. Opening a pewter disc. Personally, I’ve always loved pewter but up to her was a world of deserts, tropical seas, flash it’s never been anything other than silver in colour - so floods, upside down mountains, caves and fossils I’m amazed to see colours like copper, blue, green, that she wanted to bring to people’s attention. She purple and pink running through Chrystine’s work. was invited to become a UNESCO Global Geopark Pewter is a non-precious alloy primarily comprised of Ambassador Artist tin, characterised by its malleability and low melting Then three years ago, just as she was finishing her point. The 17th century was considered ‘the golden degree, she was taken into hospital for a heart bypass. age’ of pewter making but now Chrystine has brought it This was in the January of her third year. Luckily she bang up-to-date with her fabulously creative approach. was well enough to return in April and, having made She had to figure it out for herself though. up a missed module during the summer months, she She explains, “Usually, when you run a flame across managed to graduate with the rest of her cohort later metal, such as copper, it will colour but with pewter that year. She says, “Catching up gave me something that didn’t happen.” positive to focus on during my recovery.” She was determined to create coloured and textured A big part of Chrystine’s return to health was patinas to reflect the coastline and geology that she dependent on taking exercise and reducing stress, so finds so inspirational. She continued to experiment she started walking more on our local beaches. The and finally came up with a unique recipe using natural landscapes and the textures and motion of the sea


October/November 2020 | 11


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Riviera People inspired her work and have done ever since. Then Chrystine was introduced to Marissa Wakefield, Director of Cockington Court Craft Centre. Chrystine tells me, “Marissa loved what I did – she put my pictures and jewellery pieces into the main gallery and they sold really well. Before that I would never have had the confidence to open my own studio.” She continues, “It’s a real art community here; everyone helps each other and visitors can see you working.” Highly popular with Cockington Court’s visitors are Chrystine’s pewter-based artworks – many reflect

is much improved saying, “I enjoy what I do – it’s very rewarding and I can do it to suit me.” She loves sitting in her studio working at her pieces and chatting to visitors when they pop in. In fact her Dad had a grocer’s shop in Wolverhampton and she reveals, “I was born in a shop – it’s a way of life.” Chrystine owns a Jack Russell called Gypsy. They take regular walks around the Bay; favourites are along the Coast Path and also from Paignton to Stoke Gabriel via Galmpton; they can easily cover 6-7km per day. While indoor swimming pools were closed, she started swimming in the sea more. She’s also been paddle

Torbay’s highly recognisable coastline. She has found a high quality framer in Ashburton who frames her art and she has started using a high quality, non-reflective art glass in these. Three of her pictures have now been featured in The World of Interiors magazine published by Conde Nast. Chrystine lives in Paignton with her husband; their three children (2 boys and a girl) are all grown up. She tells me that they are all very artistic too; her daughter was a dancer, one son is a potter and the other is an art teacher. She says, “I am quite intense – I feel passionate about things - my heart attack was definitely brought on by too much stress.” She explains that her new lifestyle

boarding this year and finds being around the water very therapeutic. She plans to start bringing Gypsy to work so that she can take her on an hour’s stroll around the beautiful Cockington Estate at lunchtimes. This will provide new artistic inspiration from what is an important part of the English Riviera Geopark. Chrystine has her main workshop at home and this is where all the casting and melting is done – complex and intricate work. At Cockington Court Craft Centre you’ll find her finishing and polishing her pieces, and this is why she’s always got time for a chat. Why not pop in and see her?   chrystinejones.com


October/November 2020 | 13

Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group


The famous French designer Achille Duchêne created the beautiful gardens at Oldway Mansion in the early 1900s. Now a local group of volunteers is actively managing this historic and evocative site. Anita Newcombe pops by.


’m meeting volunteer Peter Welsby who has been with the group since it launched just over a year ago. He explains that the Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group was set up following the decision of Torbay Council to withdraw their gardeners. They’ve now become well established and are here daily, looking after the Grade II listed gardens and managing the tea hut and plant stall, which raise valuable funds for equipment and plants. Pete tells me, “Our ethos is to get the job done – we just get on with it.” And that’s what they are doing. The group’s Chair Tim Eley, who is an experienced plantsman, is currently away but Pete introduces me to many of the regular volunteers; there are 14 or 15 of them working here today. I meet Liz, who is running the tea hut as well as Jo and Mike who are running the plant stall. Alan Salvidge, a volunteer and well-known photographer is also here, selling his beautiful

14 | October/November 2020

cards to raise much-needed funds. The gardens are evocative of a gracious time gone by when the Singer family held court here. It’s such a delightful place to come and admire the formal gardens and ‘pleasure grounds’. I love the box-edged parterre, lovely lawns, weaving paths, balustrades and ornamental urns with their goat mask handles. These areas are hives of activity with trimming, edging, planting, mowing, bench-painting and hard structure renovation being carried out both by the volunteers and by a team from Community Payback. Matt is the supervisor for the Community Payback group and, together with his colleague Vas, works closely with the volunteer group, coming here three times a week. Matt says, “We try to do the heavier work where possible – today we’ve got two cutting the grass, one edging paths and one painting benches.”

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Riviera People Pete says, “There are no shortcuts – it’s hard work. We’ve officially logged over 2,000 volunteer hours so far but in reality it’s much more than that. We’ve also bought more than 500 plants.” Although the Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group is not responsible for Oldway Mansion itself, they tend to be the ’eyes’ on site. Pete tells me that a few days ago they called security to report that people had entered the Rotunda. Then this morning, a glass pane had been broken at the mansion. It seems a party had taken place and there was glass underneath the front facade plus litter to clear. Pete

expert and explains that if funds allowed they would get a ride-on mower. “It would make all the difference”, he says. Terry is an experienced gardener, who comes with her own tools and is busy working on another border. On the way back across the croquet lawn we meet Chris. He helped set up the plant stall and does lots of pruning and edging (apparently being the volunteer with the strongest knees). Of course all the volunteers need to work in a safe and professional environment. The Oldway Gardens Volunteers Group has a proper constitution, a bank

Tasks include: general gardening, strimming, litter-picking, painting, carpentry, building work, tree surgery, fundraising and manning the tea hut and plant stall. “There’s something for everyone...

tells me about the indefatigable volunteer Bev who comes daily in the early mornings to collect any litter before visitors start arriving. He explains, “People seldom see her but the gardens are tidy when they arrive.” The there’s Mike who, in spite of being 85 years old, regularly works 3-hour stints and does an amazing job. We stroll around the grounds and meet Sandy who has been planting grape hyacinth bulbs in a flower border. She says, “I’ve had to dust them with talcum powder or the squirrels will dig them up.” On one of the lower lawns we meet Pete and Terry. Pete is the resident grass


account, health and safety procedures and fully minuted meetings. New volunteers complete a form expressing their interest and highlighting any skills they may have. Tasks include: general gardening, strimming, litterpicking, painting, carpentry, building work, tree surgery, fundraising and manning the tea hut and plant stall. “There’s something for everyone,” says Pete. Now Pete shows me the Gardeners’ Yard where they have a committee room, workshop and storage areas for their equipment, renovation materials and plants. We chat to Jo who is the group’s secretary and also runs the

October/November 2020 | 15

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Facebook Page, regularly posting photos and anecdotes. She tells me, “It’s such an escape for people to come here. I’ve just been speaking to a lady who is home schooling her child; she wants to bring him along to volunteer and learn about community involvement.” Jo confirms that there is something for everyone here – for example, those who struggle with bending down could weed around the historic Parisian urns. There is also a grotto garden with its conifers, rockery, network of paths and pond. Pete says this is next on their list for attention. He says, “It’s full of squirrels; they never hibernate because they are so well fed all year round.” Of course funding for new projects like restoring the grotto is always an issue. When the group started they had nothing, but now the tea hut and the plant stall make useful funds. Pete says, “People are incredibly generous. They see what we’re doing and make contributions.” He tells me that it’s best if people come down and see what the group does before deciding how they can help. There’s a Daffodil Fund running at present and they need donations for all kinds of things from petrol for the


mowers, paint and wood to maintain the benches and gardening and renovation tools. All the volunteers wear distinctive tabards and name badges so you can just stop one for a chat or pop to the tea hut by the tennis courts or to the plant stall. Best times to come are Mondays, Wednesdays and the weekend from 10am to 1pm. I’m left feeling very impressed by a group who don’t waste time agonising over the way forward. They are simply getting on with it. They all seem pleasant, hardworking and disarmingly modest about the valuable work they are doing. It’s very much a quiet success story and one, which has the potential to keep growing. Pete tells me, “Oldway Mansion could be amazingly popular if it reopened to the public. It’s a stunning place with a fascinating history – there’s no doubt that people would come from far and wide to see it.” In the meantime, do pop in to see what’s quietly happening in the stunning gardens – it’s quite inspirational.   Facebook: Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group

October/November 2020 | 17

Gwen Berryman Having starred for years as Doris Archer in the BBC radio’s long running show ‘The Archers’, actress Gwen Berryman retired to Torquay. Torbay Civic Society Chairman, Ian Handford, looks at her life.


occasions she absented herself from a recording. wendoline M. Berryman was born at Burley Road, It was 1951 and now Gwen discovered that the BBC Penn Fields Wolverhampton in December 1906 wanted to produce a programme to assist farming. and became a beloved radio star of the nation when Their intention was to support those portraying Doris Archer in BBC brave souls who, having survived the Radio’s ‘The Archers’. Her father Second World War, had returned was a successful Wolverhampton and either leased or bought a farm so shoemaker but the family were that they might become farmers. An always on the move. As a child, unnamed official at the radio station Gwendoline (Gwen) wanted to be had identified a need for some lighta singer, and attended the Royal hearted advice to be broadcast daily Academy of Music during the on farming, designed to assist new 1930s. She had her first break in agricultural entrepreneurs. entertainment, not singing but as an Gwen explained, “Although the understudy in theatre, and was later programme was written very strictly offered a small part in a film. with this in mind, everything was She subsequently opened a small checked out with an expert. The idea business but never cut her ties to was that Dan was the farmer who show business, remaining with the did things right and other people, local repertory company for fourteen mainly Walter Gabriel, did them years. Years later, in an interview, the wrong way and was told how to she told the journalist, “It is rather do it properly. It was a measure of funny when I look back; in those how carefully this was noted by our days I was doing comedy and Doris’s first book published in 1976 listeners because one day we made a longing to do a sweet mother for a change; now I’m a sweet mother longing to do comedy”. small slip and the next day, we had no less than 4000 letters pointing this out”. Her next opportunity came after auditioning at the Miss Berryman was always surprised at the show’s success BBC, still hoping to become an opera singer. Again years later she admitted, “I don’t think I would have made the and her tremendous popularity. In an interview she said, “Fortunately they (the BBC) seemed to want me to stay grade actually”. It was her spoken voice that attracted and my one hope was that when the time comes they won’t the BBC producers; it was exactly what they wanted kill me off – I don’t think I want to hear my own funeral.” for their new ‘Archers’ radio show. Regular listeners will For decades Miss Berryman would make trips to the BBC’s know that her voice was very distinctive, and the BBC city centre studio and this continued for some time even never did find an understudy for ‘Doris’ on the rare

18 | October/November 2020

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Riviera Heritage With a brother and nephew already in Devon, in after she moved domicile from Wolverhampton to Torquay. 1974 she decided to move west and take up residence But over the decades rheumatoid arthritis had set in and at Seaway Court in Torquay. The weekly trek to eventually as the pain became almost too much to bear, she admitted to, “Getting a bit sick of Doris”, although adding Birmingham continued until she finally retired. A love of handicrafts and needlework plus learning Italian “I think I like her better when she is a bit nasty and not while attending the Torbay Soroptimists, eventually quite so twee”. gave retirement more appeal. The arthritis started after a fall at Paddington Station, In national Arthritis Week she actually offered advice and thereafter her knee always felt as though there was to fellow sufferers saying, “I would advise people to “broken glass in the joint” resulting in her “pains and live where they can see things happening from their twinges”. When visiting relatives in South Africa in windows - keep cheerful – don’t sink back and just 1962 and joining them on a conducted tour of a game say ‘I can’t go out’ – be cheerful and thank God for reserve, the ranger, having spotted a rhino, ordered a the things you can do. In one way or another things quick retreat. Now an American lady started shouting do improve…take one day at a time… treatment is as they ran, alerting the short-sighted rhino who started improving all the time and one day research will find to charge. That was the moment Miss Berrymen felt the cure”. ankle pain and knew the Having published so-called ‘twinges’ were I would advise people to live where “Doris Archer’s Cookery more serious than she had they can see things happening from Book” in 1976, it was thought. All survived the their windows - keep cheerful and in that year she also ‘charge’ but later when her thank God for the things you can do appeared as the special ankle was X-rayed, doctors guest on the popular confirmed her worst television show, ‘This is Your Life’. She was then suspicions; it was not arthritis but ‘psoriatic arthritis’, a awarded an MBE in December 1980 before finally disease carrying skin complications which can break out writing an autobiography entitled, ‘The Life and Death all over the body - from ankle to scalp. of Doris Archer’ in 1981. This star of radio for 29 Not wishing to let her audience down, she was joined years and an actress for 40 years had never married and by her fellow actors at the hospital bedside to finalise the Gwen died peacefully at Torbay hospital on the evening week’s programmes. Once discharged, she would forever of December 20th 1983. The Wolverhampton Civic have to negotiate the two flights of stairs at the studio on Society, arranged for a Blue Plaque to be unveiled at a walking stroller, an increasing challenge. With no lifts Goldthorn Hill, which was sponsored by the BBC in or plans for such, Lady Luck rescued her. BBC Radio was her honour.  to relocate to Pebble Mill TV Studios and so for the BBC and ‘Archer’ fans, that move came in the nick of time.  torbaycivicsociety.co.uk

Recording at BBC Pebble Mill studios with fellow cast members


October/November 2020 | 19

Smuggling Around the Bay

“If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet, Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street, Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie. Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!” Torquay visitor Rudyard Kipling’s A Smuggler’s Song

Torbay has a long history of smuggling with local spots like Brandy Cove serving as a reminder of the illicit trade. Kevin Dixon tells us more.


n May 13, 1783, there was a sea battle in Torbay and a mass fight on Paignton’s beach. There were two vessels on each side. One side consisted of the Revenue Cutters ‘Spider’ and ‘Alarm’. Facing them were ‘The Swift’ with 16 guns and a crew of 50, plus a sloop under the command of Thomas Perkinson of Brixham. These two ships were smuggling a huge consignment of illicit goods. ‘The Swift’ en route to Paignton, was spotted off Brixham by the revenue men. Revenue man Captain Swaffin attempted to seize the smallest smugglers’ ship but was captured and held prisoner. There then followed an exchange of fire between ‘The ‘Swift’ and ‘The Alarm’. However, cannons from the garrison at Berry Head supported the revenue ships and the smugglers eventually retired. On shore 100 local men were waiting for their consignment of four tons of tea and 9,000 gallons of spirits. During unloading there was fighting on the beach with John Stanton, a Cockington smuggler, attempting to kill a revenue man called Thomas Petheridge; he “was knocked down by a rock and judged likely to lose an eye”. Two others of Captain Swaffin’s crew escaped, one by hiding under a boat, another by swimming away.

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This was just one incident in the long ‘cat-and-mouse’ game between Torbay’s smugglers and those responsible for dealing with tax evasion, a skirmish in a smuggling tradition that local folk had been following for a very long time. When John Leland visited the area in the 16th century he recorded, “thirty hoggesheads of wine in a sellar in Torbay and sugars in quantities not known”. Indeed, it could be argued that the real mothers and fathers of Torbay were organised criminals, and not the Georgian gentlefolk we’re told about. Smuggling was big business in the 18th century - a quarter of England’s overseas trade was illegal. Devon and Cornwall were particularly active in the illicit trade and became more so when smuggling in the southeast of England was suppressed. We certainly had natural advantages; our coast faced trade routes; we had secluded coves, beaches and caves as well as a long tradition of shipbuilding and fishing. And it all fitted nicely with more acceptable pursuits - Brixham’s fishing fleet was known to bring home extras alongside their catch. Smuggling is about making money and saving money; a great deal was at stake. A single cargo on a ship could be worth up to £10,000 - the equivalent to £1,800,000 today. Certainly the trade offered an escape from poverty, but it was also a way to resist an unjust society.

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Riviera Heritage used as a cache by smugglers landing kegs at Watcombe. During the 18th century England was often at Tasked with eliminating smuggling were teams war with its continental neighbours, and later with of preventive officers. In 1780 four Revenue cutters the United States. Taxes were consequently high on operated between Dorset and Berry Head. There were luxury goods, such as tea, spirits, tobacco, fine fabrics, also individual customs officers at Torquay, Paignton playing cards and fashionable clothes. Smugglers called and Brixham. However, there was always an insufficient themselves free traders and could offer cheap goods, at number of officers to patrol our coastline and most half or two-thirds of the normal price. They could do smugglers were never caught. Though less cruel than the this because those goods were substantially cheaper in violent gangs of Kent and Sussex, this was still a world Europe. Tea was six pence a pound in France, but cost of violence, lawlessness and intimidation. Torbay was seven times that in England; tobacco costing £10 in known for its large armed gangs, and those confederacies the Netherlands could be sold at £100 at home; while could often act without fear. In December 1760, for French Cognac - known as Cousin Jackie - cost five instance, 30 horses times as much. and 25 armed men Smuggling was Contraband was landed across the Bay. accordingly a highly But sometimes it was better to avoid official arrived in Exeter. This was a gang that profitable venture, observers stationed at Berry Head, so Anstey’s had brought in a but if the men were Cove and Oddicombe were preferred... consignment of tea caught, they were from Torbay and they hanged. And so apparently made no attempt to disguise their profession. the smuggling community of Torbay learned to evade It was reported that, “the gang readily resorted to detection and to defend itself. By the 1780s it was said violence”. that half of the entire nation’s imported brandy was And so there was, alongside community solidarity in smuggled through Devon and Cornwall, alongside a quarter of all contraband tea. Sixty-three ships, a quarter our Bay, a great deal of fear caused by the smuggling gangs. Not surprisingly then, those smugglers who of all smuggling vessels in England and Wales, were were caught were often not convicted. The Dartmouth based in the two counties. Contraband was landed across the Bay. But sometimes Collector wrote, “We think that it is almost impossible it was better to avoid official observers stationed at Berry to convict an offender by a Devonshire Jury who are composed of farmers and generally the greatest part of Head, so Anstey’s Cove and Oddicombe were preferred. them either smugglers or always ready to assist them in We even have Brandy Cove, below Black Head, as a securing and secreting their goods”. reminder of its past use. In St Marychurch, there was By the early years of the nineteenth century the Bay a small house used by smugglers, with a hiding place was changing and so was smuggling. The Revenue men under the hearth. Maidencombe Farm and Rocombe had more and improved ships and were better organised Farm also had places for concealing barrels of brandy. on shore. In response, the smugglers changed techniques Between Barton Hall and Kerswell Cross there was an and tactics... as they still do in modern Torbay.  ancient hollow oak known as ‘The Brandy Bottle Tree’,


October/November 2020 | 21

House Names

A Question of Class?

Does your Torbay home have a name or a number, or perhaps both? Kevin Dixon investigates the evolution of the naming tradition.


better identification of buildings and boundaries. House hese days all our houses have a number, while the names and numbers became important locally due to a majority do not have names. But names can be rapid increase in population. In 1801, Torquay had 838 important. We can sometimes work out who lived in a residents; in 1851, 11,474; and in 1901, 33,625 – though house, when it was built, who named it, and why. Names this now included St Marychurch and Cockington. are vessels of history, and there have been specific times The real boom time for house names came from the when the appellations of the Bay’s houses, great and small, arrival of the railway, which reached Torre in 1848 and its acquired particular meanings. The British have been present location in 1859. The railway brought in visitors, and giving buildings names for over a thousand years. The the town consequently adopted the names familiar to the meadhall in the epic poem Beowulf was named Heorot high-class clientèle it was trying to attract. The hotels and – the name survives as the White Hart, now yet another guest houses in these areas would take on elite names to cater ‘lost Torquay pub’. for expectations: Giving your An intense period of economic prosperity enabled Grosvenor, home its own many people to buy their own homes and to move Belgravia and name is a custom, Riviera for which began away from the congested centre of town example. with the gentry An intense period of economic prosperity enabled naming their manor houses and castles. They tended to many people to buy their own homes and to move away do this according to ancestry, location, and family titles. from the congested centre of town. This generated a new Then tradesmen and merchants also started naming their suburban middle class of both local folk and newcomers. properties, sometimes as a form of advertising, such as Mill Torquay’s Victorian houses ranged from modest terraced House or Forge Cottage. Many in Torbay’s villages couldn’t properties in our town centres to large detached family read and didn’t travel more than a few miles, so medieval houses with imposing drives and gardens. Many houses were usually named after the householder, their became known as villas and Torquay claimed to have occupation, or the appearance of the house. What changed was a need to gather taxes, the evolution five hundred. However, the term isn’t a precise one. In the early eighteenth century a villa was a compact house of the postal system, and a rise in the population. In in the country. Then it was extended to describe any 1765, an act of Parliament decreed that all new properties large freestanding suburban house. By the latter part must also have a house number and a street name for

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Riviera Heritage of the nineteenth century, it came to encompass semidetached homes and even exclusive terraced town houses. Effectively, a villa became a very broad marketing term aimed at this aspiring middle class. In the early days of Torquay, house names were generally taken from the local surroundings. However, the emerging middle classes were a new type of householder, aspiring to a higher status. All were striving to ‘talk up’ their social standing. These names were proudly proclaimed on large gatepost pillars, while the terraced villas generally had their name carved or painted on the lintel above the front door. Across Britain there were recognisable themes. Some named their homes after distinguishing features of the property – such as Rose Cottage or Moor View. Others used names associated with royalty or the classics. Amongst these general trends, Torquay had specific characteristics. The town was originally a health resort and so there were a significant number of disabled and retired residents. These incomers often named their homes after beauty spots or remembered holiday destinations like Allerdale or Ambleside, or simply to make a statement, as in Dunroamin. The English Rivera’s association with the Grand Tour also gave us place names transferred from southern Europe: Napoli, Roma and Florence. As with so much in Torquay’s history, the naming of a property was about social class. House names were complex codes that indicated the owner’s place in the social order. Some incomers consciously moved away from their own history. We became a place to abandon past reputations and old accents; the upwardly mobile became intensely socially competitive. Consciously or not, we learned to read names as class and even religious signifiers. For example, Sunnyside was used by Quakers and other nonconformist religious households. Torquay’s new urban villas were often merely streets, or yards away from working class areas. Even a century ago, nine in ten homes were privately rented, and poor urban Torquay featured anonymous tenements and courtyards to be navigated by numbers rather than names. In many cases, just having a good view of the sea was hugely important and so differentiation was crucial. Being known by just the name of your urban home was a real signifier of class. If you


were of a higher social standing, you wouldn’t have to give a full address; it was expected that people would know who you were and where your house was. The other influence in Torquay house names is that so many houses were, at one time, used as guesthouses or hotels, and they needed to advertise. Accordingly, the location or view from the property would be utilised: Bay View, Sea Vista, Seascape, Waters Edge and Harbour Heights. House naming became popular again in the interwar years. By 1939 a quarter of homes were owner-occupied; old-sounding words created novel hybrids to create new identities in ancient fields. Not all were happy about the new aspirational classes, however. In 1939 George Orwell critiqued the middle-aged, middle-class Englishness of, “The stucco front, the creosoted gate, the privet hedge, the green front door. The Laurels, the Myrtles, the Hawthorns, Mon Abri, Mon Repos, Belle Vue.” And then, in the mid-twentieth century, the propensity to name houses began to die out. The post-war housing boom had created hundreds of thousands of homes. And with a surge in homeowners came a rise in home-namers, many being working class or lower middle class. This free-for-all also brought out the British sense of fun; one trend was in blending two personal names together, such as the exotic-sounding Pesharon, being a celebration of the union of Pete and Sharon. Yet, this new wave of home owning and naming didn’t suit everyone. The association of house names with social standing became confused. For some, the naming of a house in a new estate was seen as pretentious and a symbol of that quintessentially English put-down of being ‘naff’. By the end of the twentieth century, few people built their own homes, many more of us were renting, while apartments just didn’t lend themselves to the practice. But for every elitist display, and every action, there is a reaction… and then a counter-reaction. House numbers were once a symbol of Torquay’s lower classes – now Avenue Road’s award-winning boutique B & B Edwardian villa goes by the name of The 25. And, in a most public act of subversion of the self-importance of Torquay’s Belgravia, we have the wonderfully named Lulu’s Fawlty Towers Hotel. 

October/November 2020 | 23

Sea Swimming Nutty or Nice?

When Guy Edwards, his wife Megan and friend Paul Richards decided to start a sea swimming friendship group in the chilly month of December last year, people said that they were ‘nuts’, but the health benefits can be great. Anita Newcombe met them at Goodrington Sands.


’m meeting Guy, Megan, Paul and more recent member Victoria Whitchurch-Bennett near the ice cream kiosk at Goodrington’s North Sands. The tide is high and lapping at the sea wall and the weather is a little drizzly. They turn out to be a cheerful bunch

and delightfully chatty. Guy explains that they called their group ‘Nutters Who Swim in the Sea’ as a fun and zany term for a friendship group that would welcome all comers. Swimming in the sea in winter is definitely not for all – but might be a fun, if slightly crazy idea to some. The group’s weekly plunge took off and they were soon attracting 30-40 swimmers every Sunday afternoon at a range of beaches across the Bay. They swam at Ansteys Cove; they splashed at Babbacombe Beach, they dipped at Fairy Cove, they bathed at Breakwater Beach and they floated at Fishcombe Cove – and still the swimmers kept coming. When Victoria joined she was made to feel really supported and welcome. She tells me, “They were so reassuring and helpful – I had swum in the sea before but wanted to meet new people and share my swimming experiences.”

Megan Edwards, Guy Edwards, Paul Richards, and Victoria Whitchurch-Bennett

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Give it a Go! Swimmers were coming to the sessions regularly because it was held at a set time every week so they could plan accordingly. Many looked forward to the weekly sessions and Megan started getting messages on the group’s Facebook page such as, “joining the group has really helped my mental health.” Guy explains, “We always welcome new people and have a group chat before entering the water so there’s lots of time for people to make new friends. Many people find it relieves the stress and anxiety of daily life.” Dips are generally 20-30 minutes with a group chat before every immersion. Anyone who is not experienced at swimming in the sea receives extra support and encouragement. Swimmers soon started communicating with each other via the group and started to arrange additional meet-ups with friends they’d met at the sessions. Megan tells me, “I wasn’t a sea swimmer myself and some people come along purely for the chat. One day I just decided to get into the water and I really enjoyed it.” Then came ‘Lockdown’ and the group meetings had to stop. Members who had come to rely on the group wanted to keep in touch and started posting messages with photos of their now-solitary swims. These regular chats morphed into an online discussion about people’s wellbeing and mental health, with members encouraging each other and chatting about coping strategies. Guy tells me, “During ‘Lockdown’ the mental health of our swimmers was more widely discussed and we already knew that sea swimming could be a huge help for people with any kinds of anxiety – we felt we could offer really effective social support through our group.” Soon Guy and the team began to realise that there was a place for a more professional approach and a detailed plan started to take place. Firstly rather than being simply a group of like-minded ‘peers’ with a Facebook page, they decided to set up a Community Interest Company (CIC). This has now been launched and is called Healthscape CIC with Guy, Paul and Victoria as Directors. Megan explains, “Our old name was no longer appropriate to how the group had englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

evolved.” Victoria adds, “I like to think of it as our Health Escape.” The new CIC aims to provide support and opportunities to enhance people’s mental health and well being in the local community. The team at Healthscape plans to offer a variety of additional experiences, which may include: snorkelling, fishing, walks and wild camping. However, 95% of the sessions will still be sea swimming. The team has much useful experience to offer in terms of supporting swimmers and their mental health. Guy is a care & support worker, Megan is a travel and tour representative providing respite holidays for people with disabilities and mental health conditions, and Victoria is a nanny / enabler. Paul is a professional, working in store management. Initially Guy and Paul are being trained as Beach Lifeguards but they will all eventually be trained and Victoria is currently taking a course in autism awareness. With the changing government regulations, swims had been on hold, but at the time of writing sessions are now going ahead in small groups. In September Healthscape held a special event at Splashdown Quaywest, where safety regulations were well observed and everyone had fun. The new Healthscape t-shirts had arrived and the new CIC was well and truly launched. Just message the group on Facebook to join in and discuss any support you may need. Positive messages, videos, and photos abound on this vibrant group’s Facebook page so why not take a look? The benefits of swimming have been much in the spotlight recently and it’s a mixed group suitable for any age, fitness level or gender. At the moment they’d like a few more men to get involved – it’s very energising and great fun.  facebook.com/healthscapecic

October/November 2020 | 25



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Find your rhythm...

Give It A Go!

w ith

Drum Torbay currently runs world roots drum and percussion workshops at Lupton House near Brixham on Monday evenings. The sessions are open to beginners and experienced players alike. Julian Rees drops in to give it a go...

James Carr


e assemble for the workshop at 7.00pm on a strikes to achieve the bass, tone and slap sounds, that Monday night at Lupton House, just outside form the basis of the kpanlogo (the Ghanaian drum I’m Brixham. Previous classes have taken place outdoors but playing) sound. Drumming can be hard on the hands for with the evenings drawing in we take our seats in the old beginners, so some people elect to use sticks and three ballroom; it’s a large room that already resounds to the drums (dun duns) to achieve the different tones. warming up of hands seemingly more keen, or at least more We kick off with some simple rhythms and the punctual than I. combined sound of the group in this large Everyone has at least one drum; for those high-ceilinged room is quite awesome. using just hands one is all that’s required Soon we progress to some more complex but for those using sticks there are three. I arrangements using the three different strikes. will explain the reason for this later. It certainly does focus the mind and keeping The workshop is led by James Carr, a in time is quite challenging. I watch James percussionist of over 20 years experience. and other students, and once the rhythm is He tells me how he started out with a embedded, concentrate hard on my hands. traditional drum kit as a teenager as his It’s a great feeling to be working as part of a parents ran a pub and he was exposed to group especially in these isolating times. lots of live music. When he moved from We work through some West African and home to university, not being able to fishing rhythms from Guinae. James plays Julian gives it a go...note take his drum kit, James began to explore lead parts and the group play responses hands moving too fast for the other forms of percussion. Before long, which makes the whole sound feel quite camera to pick up! he found himself supplying the rhythm accomplished. section for a local belly dancing troupe. Over the years As the routines become more complex I notice I’m not the he has experimented with a wide variety of drums and only one in the room who’s getting out of step...but James other percussion instruments and has visited Ghana twice reassures us that it will come. There is more than one way to to study musical culture. James is now a teacher at the learn depending on how you best pick things up. Some just EF school in Torquay and whilst having a hectic family memorise the sequences straight away and work them up to life with two young children, his passion for drumming speed whilst others will play along and get the same result drives him to share his knowledge through Drum Torbay’s through feeling the rhythm and watching others. workshops. Prior to lockdown James had been running The session comes to a crescendo as we play through busy classes for 12 months and had big plans hosting the longest piece at the fastest tempo we’ve mastered so workshops at Torre Abbey and working with Torquay far, and everyone in the room is beaming. Museum. So he is glad to be able to get going again with It’s great fun and certainly beats the offbeat rhythms of socially distanced workshops. my computer keyboard! Why not give it a go?  Our group is made up of novices and experienced  Facebook: @drummingtorbay players, male and female, young and old, but we are able email: drumtorbay@gmail.com to get straight into playing. James explains the three hand or call 07540 077297 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 27

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Out & About



Pannier Market


Brixham’s well-loved local Pannier Market is located in Scala Hall, part of the iconic Town Hall Built in 1886 by local architect George Bridgman and home to Brixham Theatre and Brixham Heritage Museum.


he character and style of Brixham is undeniable and many trendy new businesses have moved in over the last couple of years, making Brixham the latest ‘mustvisit’ in the area with its pretty pastel-coloured fishermen’s cottages and busy working harbour. You’ll find boutiques, cocktail bars, funky eateries, historic fishing boats and lots of yachts. On any visit to Brixham, you’ll want to stroll around the harbour and then head up Middle Street to visit the delightful independent shops and cafés that wind over this gentle hill towards the bus station. Keep going just a tiny bit further and on the right you’ll see the Scala Hall, which houses Brixham’s Pannier Market. Here you’ll find a wealth of fascinating stalls, selling beautiful handcrafted gifts, paintings, jewellery, cards and souvenirs. In addition, there are stalls selling antiques and collectables, fantastic home-ware, pet food and supplies, home made jams and preserves and some delicious home baked cakes. We’ve seen lovely plants for sale, sparkling crystal and glassware, colourful cushions and antique toys. You can browse the great second hand bookstall, with a constantly changing selection of paperbacks and hardbacks; all the money raised goes to support the town’s theatre and film company, The South Devon Players. There’s also a welcoming café englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

(currently takeaway) with drinks and snacks on offer. You can also buy a selection of handmade face masks. Shaun the Market manager says, “We’ve worked hard to create a safe and welcoming shopping experience for you, so why not add to your day out in Brixham by popping in to see us, and picking up something local and unique, at fantastic prices? You’ll be supporting local artists, businesses and community groups too, as we all try to get back to normal. You’ll find a large, airy space in the market hall, with one-way systems, lots of hand gel, screens, and contactless payment, to keep everyone safe. Don’t forget your face masks too.” Brixham Pannier Market is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 09.30 and 4.00pm. Scala Hall is close to Brixham’s bus terminal and the main public carpark. Entry is accessible to all, including wheelchair and mobility scooter users. If you want to know more, or if you are a stallholder interested in selling at the market, get in touch with the Market Manager, Shaun by emailing brixhampanniermarket@gmail.com   Facebook @BrixhamPannierMarket Brixham also has an open-air Art and Crafts Market on the Old Fish Quay currently held daily Wednesday-Saturday (weather permitting) until the end of October. October/November 2020 | 29


Distance: 4.0 miles Exertion: A good long countryside walk Time: Allow 2 hours with time to stop for lunch Terrain: Pathways, green lanes, field paths and roads. Dogs: On leads near livestock, some roads Refreshments: Decoy Country Park and the Court Farm Inn, Abbotskerswell Start Postcode: TQ12 1EB Grid Reference: SX 86692 70263


ecoy Park has long been a favourite dog-walking haunt of mine but I’ve neglected it over the past few years as access has been difficult from the Bay. Now trips inland are so much quicker I headed Newtonward for this circular walk. Decoy Park is a popular with walkers, families and watersports enthusiasts. The lake plays host to kayaks, paddleboards and sailing dinghies throughout the warmer months and the well maintained trails make it a year round attraction and a wonderful place to observe the seasons.

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1 From the country park car park proceed toward the lake and take the left hand path as if you were going to skirt the lake in an anticlockwise direction, passing the play park on your left. Dogs should be on leads until one sees the green signs. 2 After approximately 300 metres and just after a wildlife viewing panel on the right, turn left over a small wooden bridge and stream and walk away from the lake. Follow the path for a similar distance and where it forks, take the right path for a short stretch along a field border. Dogs on leads here as there may be farm animals grazing. 3 t the corner of this field you will come to a green lane, signposted Magazine Lane (so called as it led to one of several local gunpowder magazines that served the local quarries). Turn left and follow the track for 100 metres until it forks at a galvanised metal five bar gate. 4 Just before the gate turn right and follow the footpath to a stile then proceed uphill following the boundary of the woods (this is quite a hill so take time to turn and en oy the view . t the corner of the field climb the stile. Look straight up the hill and at its peak you will just see the top of the footpath marker. Once you’ve reached this sign continue straight on the same course to reach a further stile that leads onto Stoneman’s Hill. 5 Turn left on the road then right, over a stile, 30 metres further on. Head downhill past the three magnificent oaks and over another stile into the village of

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Riviera Walk N

1 2 3 4





7 8

Abbotskerswell. 6 Head downhill over one crossroads. At the bottom of the hill you will reach a T-junction with Slade Lane (the main road through the village). Turn right and follow the lane through the pretty stone cottages at the village’s centre and as the road starts to climb, turn left into Court Grange Lane. 7 Climb the hill and after 150 metres take the pathway on the left that brings you out onto Court Park Road. Turn left then almost immediately right into Court Road which then leads into Wilton Way. Pass the church on your left and then the Court Farm Inn - a good halfway point for refreshments and reputedly haunted! 8 Just past the driveway that leads to the inn’s car park is a cut through path that leads back to Slade Lane and the centre of the village passing the ancient Church House on the way. Turn left on Slade Lane and then right up Priory Lane taking the high pavement on the left hand side. Keep to this lane as it bears right and continues uphill. After 100 metres take a break from the englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Ordnance Survey

© Crown copyright. Media 082/19

exertion of the hill on the bench set back from the road on the left, which offers views over the village and also celebrates the reign of George V from 1910-1936. 9 Follow the road for another 200 metres then follow the footpath sign left, across one field, over a stile into a field with a cob barn. Carry on downhill aiming for another stile through the hedge opposite, equidistant between the gates at either end of the field. Turn right and follow along the field boundary then uphill for 20 metres before another stile on the right takes you into a field, which at time of writing is sown with maize. Follow the lower field boundary to the far corner of the field where it meets the woodland of Decoy Park again. At this point follow the track as it skirts the woodland rather than the footpath that turns left. 10 As the end of this track comes into view turn left over a stile into the woods (approximately 100 metres before the end of the main track) and then right again onto the woodland trail that passes Magazine Pond then returns to the car park.  October/November 2020 | 31

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Riviera Heritage Quiz

The Heritage Quiz №2 Lots of interesting people had connections with Torbay and surrounding areas. How many of their stories do you know? 1. A daring member of Bomber Command who witnessed the destruction of Nagasaki, this man dedicated his post-war life to the betterment of humanity, building care homes including one in Brixham. Who was he? 2. He was the first presenter of television programme Panorama in 1955 and bought a house in Dittisham on the River Dart where he loved messing about in boats. Who was he?

5. Why was the late 19th century Torquay priest William Parks-Smith known as Flower-Pot Smith? 6. He and his American wife transformed Dartington Estate in the early 20th century. Who were they? 7. In the 1960s this beloved English entertainer, noted for super-fast tap dancing, played alongside Morecambe and Wise at Torquay’s Pavilion Theatre. Who was he? 8. Doctor and ‘Friend of the Poor’, an obelisk memorial was commissioned in his memory by public subscription. It placed at the crossroads in St Marychurch in 1888 where it can still be seen. Who was he? 9. A BBC sports commentator who retired to Galmpton, his famous remarks in the final moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup “some people are on the pitch… they think it’s all over.... it is now”, earned him legendary status. Who was he?

3. Major Henry Augustus Garrett was a career engineer based in Torquay. Which iconic building, currently closed, was considered his greatest legacy? 4. Charles Paget Blake was an eccentric naval doctor who practised in Torquay. He collected funds to bring a Russian cannon, captured at Sebastapol in Russia, to Torquay in 1859. Why did the arrival of the cannon at Torre Station cause great embarrassment to the welcoming committee?

10. Born in Torquay, this famous comedian and star of Beyond the Fringe died in 1995. Who was he?

Answers: 1. Leonard Cheshire; 2. Richard Dimbleby; 3. Torquay Pavilion; 4. The train carrying the cannon arrived at Torre Station at the same time as visiting members of the Russian royal family; 5. Flower Pot Smith decorated his altar with flowers and flowerpots, causing the furious Bishop of Exeter to sweep them to the ground with his staff; 6. Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst; 7. Roy Castle; 8. Dr Herbert Nicholas Chilcote; 9. Kenneth Wolstenholme; 10. Peter Cook

With thanks to Torbay Civic Society englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 33

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October & November


Please check all events before travelling as there may be cancellations and changes. Please also check websites for latest Covid restrictions. Some venues will not be open every day and this may vary during the period listed here.

The Russians are Coming! On till 2 January During the Cold War the Soviet Union

embarked on the greatest secret intelligence-gathering operating the world has ever (not) seen, with spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and undercover agents gathering information from across the globe. It drew up detailed invasion maps of the great cities of the world: New York, Paris, London … and Torbay! This extraordinary exhibition tells the hidden history of this remarkable undertaking to map the most important areas of the world in the pre-internet age.

Torquay Museum, 529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG 01803 293975 torquaymuseum.org

Claws! The Human History of Cats On till 2 January

Exploring the relationship of cats and humans from distant prehistory until the present day, including cats in Ancient Egypt, Myth and Magic and Man eaters, this exhibition runs until 31st December 2020 and will include many specimens from our extensive collections. A must for all cat lovers!

Torquay Museum, 529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG 01803 293975 torquaymuseum.org

The Great Big Brick Safari On till 3 January

Over 80 wild animal creations made from thousands of LEGO® bricks has formed a trail that visitors can follow with the help of a Great Big Brick Safari map. The trail is included when visiting the zoo. Online booking is essential for zoo entry and certain exhibits and areas (including zoo entrance building) require face coverings. You will need to select a zoo entry time but can then stay all day. Times: 10am-5pm.

Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU 01803 697500 paigntonzoo.org.uk englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Torbay Dinghy Regatta 3 & 4 October

Royal Torbay Yacht Club is running racing for all dinghy and junior classes and the event will incorporate The Contender Torbay Open.

Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Beacon Terrace, Torquay TQ1 2BH 01803 292006 rtyc.org

Imperial Hotel Wedding Showcase 4 October

hether it’s the perfect dress, flowers, suit or entertainment for your guests you can find it all at the Imperial Hotel Wedding Showcase. Enjoy a complimentary welcome drink and a special bridal catwalk by Brides of aterfields at noon and pm. Arrive early for a chance to receive a goody bag containing wedding magazines, only available for the first brides grooms through the door. ree admission, times: 11am-3pm.

Imperial Hotel, Parkhill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG theimperialtorquay.co.uk

Families for Children Adoption Sessions 8 October & 12 November

amilies for hildren, is holding online information sessions via oom to give you the opportunity to find out more about adoption. You will hear from adopters and talk to the adoption team about how you can adopt, the qualities needed to be a great adopter and about the children waiting. Times: 4-5.30pm. Book online: familiesforchildren.org.uk book online information event or call 01364 645480.

Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search 9-31 October (Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat) October/November 2020 |

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36 | October/November 2020

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Riviera What’s On Find Wally hidden around the museum, spell out a spooky phrase and receive a special “I found Wally!” bookmark. Why not come in fancy dress and wear a red-and-white striped shirt and black-rimmed specs to add to the fun? Entry to event is included with normal admission. Abbey entry requires pre-booked time slots, each limited to a group of 6 people.

ex-serving members and their families, as it has done since 1921.

Cenotaph, Princess Gardens, Torquay TQ2 5EY

Torre Abbey, The King’s Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

Kents Cavern Halloween Fun 24 October – 1 November

Bring your little witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls to Kents Cavern for batty adventures. Head into the mysterious underground world of the caves to find the hidden pumpkins, get the right answer and claim your Halloween prize. All tours must be prebooked, tour sizes are limited and face coverings must be worn in caves and visitor centre. Restaurant open.

Ilsham Road, Torquay TQ1 2JF 01803 215136 kents-cavern.co.uk

Cockington Court Halloween Festival 24 October – 1 November

Head along to Cockington Court and follow the spooky trail if you dare.

Cockington Lane, Torquay TQ2 6XA cockingtoncourt.org

Children’s Hospice SW Halloween Fayre, Dartmouth 31 October

Enjoy some Halloween excitement with the Children’s Halloween Fancy Dress Competition with prizes, plus face painting, 24 stalls selling lovely crafts, cards, books, art, jewellery, cakes, gifts and much more. All proceeds will help CHSW to provide essential specialist care and support for over 500 families with life-limited children in the South West.

English Riviera Film Festival 16-21 November

This year’s festival will be accessible remotely with the highlight being the English Riviera Film Awards plus a tempting line-up of features. Local photographer and filmmaker race lifford hosts the omen in ilm virtual panel of film creatives including actor ictoria Lucie, costume designer Annuska Rogers, producer and composer Amanda Rowe and director and actor Lucy Townsend. Festival Director John Tompkins will host panels, following on from his popular series of lockdown film interviews. hey include the outh est eature ilm irector panel, when he will be talking to no less than five irectors. his year’s film premiere hails from orbay based The Seal Project.


The Old Market Square, Market Street, Dartmouth TQ6 9QB 01803 770730 (Sue Tweed) tweed833@btinternet.com

Torquay Remembrance Parade & Service 8 November

There will be a parade and service at Torquay War emorial in rincess ardens, with rockets being fired to mark the two-minute silence at 11am. Torbay Road will be closed between 9 am and 12 noon. The money raised by the Poppy Appeal provides the main source of funding which enables the Royal British Legion to continue to help englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Holding an event in December or January? E-mail us at editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk and we’ll list it in the next issue

October/November 2020 | 37


Fleet Walk, 74 Fleet St, Torquay TQ2 5EB www.art-hub.co.uk (01803) 463385 collective@artizangallery.co.uk


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Summer Open Launch

Social Diary

Artizan Collective CIC hosted a series of six ‘sociallydistanced’ Meet the Artist launch previews for their annual Summer Open Exhibition at Fleet Walk. The exhibition coincided with this year’s Devon Open Studios event.

 Julie and Jacob Brandon (Artizan Gallery)

 David Rowley and Sarah Doman

 Colin Steinlechner and Natalie Wilkes

 Kamini Gupta (artist) and Camilla Armstrong

 Amanda Player

 Jo Armstrong and Kamini Gupta

Julie Skinner and Ian Cox (artist)


October/November 2020 | 39


Torquay’s Artizan Gallery and Artizan Collective Exhibitions and Events

All That Jazz 3-17 October, Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm It’s 2020 and we can look back 100 years to the Roaring Twenties and the dawn of a golden age of Modernism celebrated in architecture, fashion, art, literature and music. The era rejoiced in youthfulness being played out under the shadow of the catastrophe of the First World War. Many works by poets, writers, musicians and artists symbolised the trauma this generation suffered and also its optimism for the future. This exhibition of art and poetry asks submitting artists of all disciplines to reflect on the themes of the Jazz Age and its legacy. Artizan Gallery & Café, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW art-hub.co.uk/ex/allthatjazz20

animation films. e discovered more about his local area on his early morning walks whilst shielding during the pandemic, becoming acquainted with lanes, steps, buildings and streets, and absorbing the character, names, nuances and patterns. is pro ect helston in ockdown a leeping Beauty’ invites local people to look at their neighbourhood with fresh eyes and to share their experiences and discoveries. rawing on local people’s contributions, Fred will be creating a series of paintings to share. art of orbay ulture’s reate to ecover’ pro ect. Artizan Gallery & Café, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW art-hub.co.uk/ex/chelston20

Moments featuring Louise Bougourd 4-25 November, Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm

Chelston in Lockdown – A Sleeping Beauty featuring Fred Grey 20-31 October, Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm red is an established fine artist who has also worked commercially including creating backings for Aardman

Imagine Louise Bougourd is a painter of seascapes, landscapes and still life. he is largely self taught and lives in evon. She has exhibited work at the Mall Galleries, London with the Society of Women Artists and was selected to exhibit with the helsea rt ociety. he says, do not seek an actual representation; I focus on the connection with a place and feeling to steer my creativity Artizan Gallery & Café, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW art-hub.co.uk/ex/moments20

Autumn Contemporary Showcase

Across Walnut

40 | October/November 2020

5-31 October, Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 – 16:00 he showcase features works of artin utton, usan avaliere, illiam ills, irsteen itchener, avis and Jo West with a greater body of work than that seen at the To promote your business to our readers email sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Arts recent Summer Open. Artizan Collective is celebrating these six talented artists who all call Devon their creative home. Curated by Artizan Gallery this collaborative exhibition recognises the growing professional cultural network of individual practitioners, leading producers and dedicated venues present in Devon. Artizan Collective Unit 5, 74 Fleet Street Torquay TQ2 5EB art-hub.co.uk/ex/autumnshowcase20

English Riviera Winter Open 7 November – 23 December Artizan Collective CIC will once again be hosting their annual Winter Open Exhibition on Fleet Walk. It will play host to a wealth of local artistic talent from across Torbay and South Devon, as well as welcoming national and international submissions to celebrate Torbay as a destination for visual arts. Artizan Collective Unit 5, 74 Fleet Street Torquay TQ2 5EB art-hub.co.uk/ex/erwo20 For more information: juliebrandon@artizangallery.co.uk 07522 509642 artizangallery.co.uk

The People’s Choice Exhibition On till 18 October See some of Torre Abbey’s diverse collection of art not normally on display. Included with normal entry fee. Torre Abbey, The King’s Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

Torbay Guild of Art Exhibition 17-31 October Enjoy a showing of original paintings, ceramics, sculptures, metalwork, mosaic and other mediums that guild members have been creating during lockdown. Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey, The King’s Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

Robert Garnham Professor of Whimsy fears and experiences. Drawing on these Robert is creating ‘Squidbox’, an original collection of poems for performance that will celebrate and shine a light on Brixham’s fishing industry and the folk who work there. Robert Garnham is a spoken word artist and LGBT comedy performance poet based in Torbay. This project will enable Robert to explore a new process and direction in his work and to get back in contact with his audiences after an enforced absence due to lockdown. Robert will be performing ‘Squidbox’ on Saturday 24 October out of doors, in the harbour area near Rockfish (check website for further details).

The Waymarker Project with Zoe Singleton Zoe will collaborate with staff at Torbay Hospital to create five waymarker stones that will form the foundation of a trail around the hospital grounds, connecting spaces along a journey to pause, think and reflect. Each stone will be carved with a word that has special meaning to hospital staff and carved in a number of languages that reflect the diversity of staff, patients and visitors. torbayculture.org

Torbay Culture – Create to Recover Throghout the coronavirus pandemic, Torbay Culture has been supporting the local culture sector. There are various happenings taking place as part of this Covid recovery programme. The full list is on the website.

Robert Garnham’s Squidbox 24 October Robert has been spending the summer learning about the Brixham fishing industry and meeting the people who work there to find out about their lives, hopes, englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 41

At Abbeyfield people are at the heart Supported Housing for Independent People of everything we do

Supported Housing for Independent People


Sheltered Housing for Independent People over 55

ABBEYFIELD SOUTH WEST SOCIETY staff, consisting of a Manager, cooks and a cleane oth Abbeyfield houses are situated in lovely areas, oasting their own beautiful grounds. Park House in who all work together to ensure residents are happy staff, consisting of a Manager, cooks and a cleaner Both Abbeyfield are situated in lovelypark areas, and content. aignton is situated directlyhouses opposite a beautiful boasting their own beautiful grounds. Park House in who all work together to ensure residents are happy nd is a five minute walk from the beach. Sanders and content. are various activities, events and entertainmen Paignton is situated directly opposite a beautiful park There ourt in St Marychurch, Torquay, hastheabeach. wonderful and is a five minute walk from Sanders that take place throughout the year which the There are various activities, events and entertainment Court in St Marychurch, Torquay, has a is wonderful that take place throughout the wish. year which the rge private courtyard and the local precinct just a residents can join in if they large private courtyard and the local precinct is just a residents can join in if they wish. ve minute walk away, with all the amenities you would five minute walk away, with all the amenities you would Traditional home cooked meals are provided in the Traditional home cooked meals are provided in the xpect. Both sites offer public transport services expect. Bothgood sites offer good public transport services dining room every day and breakfast dining room every day and breakfast provisions areprovisions are by,and so it iseasy nice and easyand to goexplore. and explore. ose by, so it isclose nice to go provided for residents to have in their rooms. provided for residents to have in their rooms. At our Abbeyfield houses residents find friendship The weekly charge covers all utilities and food, so t our Abbeyfield houses residents find friendship Allsupport bills arelosing included, except telephone line &all calls and without their independence The charge utilities there weekly are no bills to worry covers about, other than a BTand food, so nd support and without dignity. losing their independence telephone lineno which the residents, there are billsis necessary to worryforabout, other than a BT nd dignity. The rooms are unfurnished with en-suite facilities and telephone 24hr emergency pendant to work, so all concerns line which is necessary for the residents a kitchenette area. The houses have a communal

he rooms arelaundry, unfurnished withlounge en-suite and dining room, and facilities beautiful garden. kitchenette Each area. The houses have a communal house has a small and friendly committed undry, dining room, lounge and beautiful garden.

about running a house are taken away.

24hr emergency pendant to work, so all concerns Each room has its own 24hr emergency call system about running for residents peaceaofhouse mind. are taken away.

Each room has its own 24hr emergency call system for residents peacetelephone of mind. ach house has a To small and friendly committed arrange a visit or for more information

the Manager at: Park House, Paignton 01803 557732 or a forvisit Sanders Court, Torquay 01803 316164. arrange or for more information telephone Or visit our website: www.abbeyfield.com

To the Manager at: Park House, Paignton 01803 557732 or for Sanders Court, Torquay 01803 316164. Or visit our website: www.abbeyfield.com Registered Society No: 23413R under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014

Registered Society No: 23413R under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014


Mr Fox’s Garden As the autumn gets going, Mr Fox looks at the pros and cons of lockdown and muses on the wisdom of pulling weeds.


mongst all the negatives, one or two good things came with the lockdown. Back in the spring, our planet had a full two weeks to recover from the endless and meaningless destruction that we humans like to partake in, given the odd exception. The two main weeks of lockdown must have been our street’s turn on the rota for the council to spray the weed killer on the pavements. We got missed, and a few months later a little tomato plant started growing out of the crack in between my front garden wall and the path. It has already given a few fruits albeit a little too dodgy to fancy eating. I’d have a small fortune if I had a pound for every time some one told me, “a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place”. Nowadays I know it’s a fact for sure. I say leave the weed killer on the shop shelf; look at the weeds and if you don’t have time to pull them out, and if you can’t afford to pay someone to pull them out, then don’t start spraying poison about. I whisper words of wisdom, and say, “Let it be”. If I’m in danger of copyright infringement, I hope Paul McCartney’s not reading this. Summer’s lease hath all too short a date! It’s that time of year again. Nothing states the madness of summer quite like an overgrown garden full of spent flowers. It’s been something of a roller-coaster ride with the weather this year and it’s pleasing to think that by Christmas all but a few leaves will be down on the ground and rotting,

beginning the cycle of regeneration and feeding the plants and trees for the future. Autumn leaves are sublime, on a par with the summer flowers if you ask me. I think to myself at the end of every summer, “I’m going to enjoy this next bit” and I hope you enjoy it too. All the best


We are James and Catherine (Mr Fox’s Garden). We provide a garden maintenance and landscaping service around the Bay but the main part of our business is making plant supports, garden art and sculptures - and it’s all made right here on the English Riviera. After our display garden won the People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Tavistock Garden Show, we can now happily say we are ‘award winning gardeners’. We’re also proud to say that this year we have pieces on permanent display at RHS Rosemoor and Buckfast Abbey.

Mr Fox

mrfoxsgarden.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2020 | 43

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Bulbs September is the beginning of a new exciting season for gardeners. You have probably been busy planting bulbs ready for spring (I have been planting fritillaria bulbs), saving plants for next year, propagating and seed sowing. Fritillaria meleagris

As an example, the paper white daffodil (Narcissi papyraceus) flowers 6-10 weeks after planting. Whereas, amaryllis (Hippeastrum), which has really large and beautiful flowers of varying colors grow relatively quickly, so you can plant them in November and they should be flowering for you by Christmas. One of my favorite amaryllis is Apple Blossom, an older variety that’s meant to have the biggest blooms of all. But then Green Magic is equally as beautiful with an impressive height and beautiful markings on slightly pointed petals. When growing bulbs indoors it is important to keep them away from drafts and artificial heat. Amaryllis apple blossom

Planting bulbs is exciting and rewarding; this can be continued inside the house from October to November. Great bulbs to grow indoors for the winter months (or maybe even for Christmas) include: Muscari, amaryllis, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, iris (reticulata) and tulips.

Jobs for the garden in October

Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppies)


• Protect half hardy plants • Clean and disinfect your greenhouse ready for use • Cut back perennials that have died down • Lift and divide herbaceous perennials whilst the soil is still warm • Prune climbing and rambling roses • Apply a winter wash to the trunks and branches of fruit trees to kill off over-wintering pests. • Sweep up any fallen leaves as they could harbour fungal spores and they provide an ideal hiding places for slugs and snails. • Use the swept-up leaves to make leaf mould for the garden. • Harvest apples, pears, grapes and nuts • Last chance to cut lawns and trim hedges October/November 2020 | 45

Torquay & District Medical Society The Torquay & District Medical Society has over 500 members, both currently working and retired. Dr Peter Moore (President Torquay and District Medical Society 2018-2020) dips into its fascinating history.


n 1842 the Torquay Medical Book Society was founded, which evolved into the Torquay and District Medical Society. This was a time of great change. It was no longer possible for doctors to work in isolation and so the ‘medical men’ of Torquay came together to share books and meet up regularly. Nowadays we are no longer just “medical men” and do not need to share books but we still meet regularly. Transport around the Bay was difficult and so members who lived in such far-flung places as St Marychurch and Babbacombe were allowed to keep books for longer. One doctor from Paignton turned down membership, writing, “If I lived in Torquay I would gladly do so but as my lot is not fallen in that blest land I regret my inability to do so”. Over the years, the ‘bread and butter’ of the society consisted of regular clinical meetings, discussing cases and the latest developments but the members also became involved in local politics. The society wrote to the council in 1866, “The proximity of cholera & the known incomplete state of the drainage make it desirable ....that the town be placed in a suitable condition to resist the invasion of any epidemic”. Two years later nothing had happened. Over the years, communication with Torquay Council became a two-way process. In 1899 the council asked the society to suggest a “leading London medical Gentleman” to sing the praises of Torquay to encourage visitors but the society did not think that there were any “leading London medical Gentlemen” who would agree.

46 | October/November 2020

The next year the society received a letter about beating carpets, “If the medical men in the town approached the town council the corporation would be compelled... to put a stop to this nuisance.” This was also refused. In the days before antibiotics, infectious diseases such as TB, diphtheria, pneumonia and enteritis were common, although not Covid-19. However much we may complain about local councillors today, few doctors would be as outspoken as Dr Elliot in 1904 who said, “After attending to the supercilious and often hostility of the members of the local council, who were often slum property owners, towards sanitary improvements... we could hardly expect them to trouble about infectious diseases... Yet in the present time of cheap travel and cyclists there is a constant danger of such diseases being brought in from outside districts”. With relatively low levels of Covid-19 in Torbay and Devon and higher levels elsewhere, this is still a worry although not many holidaymakers arrive by bike. Complaints about budget cuts are not new. In 1908, the society complained that recent budget cuts, “show the futility of the efforts of the town council in providing improvements and sustainments” for visitors. They also emphasised “the necessity of having the condition of the roads bettered.” There is no record of any response from the council. In 1911, the motion, “It is essential that the town should possess a horse-ambulance” was carried unanimously by the society. The council had invested in public baths but by

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Riviera Charity

Hotel with twenty-four medical gentlemen present 1921, the baths were losing money. Could the society, and for which, “the price must not exceed 7/- (35p) “actively assist in popularizing the baths and sending excluding wine”. patients for treatment?” The society replied “...it is The following year, the suggestion that non-medical impossible to accept or support many of the claims.” guests could be invited was thrown out. Five years later The town clerk asked for “a full frank discussion”. He members complained that, “It would be more dignified got it. Their claims of ‘radium water’ were nonsense; ... if there were no songs”. Some songs “had not met the council had arranged for the extension of ‘electrical with general approval”. But by 1927 the annual dinner treatments’ without medical supervision and their employed a professional entertainer. At a dinner at brochure advertised ‘quack cures’. the Grand Hotel in Undeterred, The first annual dinner was held in 1892 at 1930, the invoice two years later, the Victoria and Albert Hotel with twenty-four included 200 the council cigarettes and eight asked for medical gentlemen present and for which, “the the society’s price must not exceed 7/- (35p) excluding wine”. bottles of port. The Torquay approval for a and District Medical Society has evolved. Cholera is Vitaglass sun lounge the length of the ballroom, which no longer rampant, no one beats carpets and no one faced Beacon Cove. Unlike traditional glass Vitaglass sings at our meetings. Before the pandemic, we met allowed the sun’s ultraviolent rays to pass through regularly for a meal and presentation at the Imperial claiming it, “let health into the building”. Again the Hotel and look forward to restarting our meetings Medical Society was not impressed. once it is safe. Other professions allied to medicine are These debates reflected the times and some would not welcome as well as partners. Recent talks have included: be acceptable today. After a birth control clinic opened in ‘Poverty, pathology and pills’, ‘From Glamour to Gore’ Exeter, a debate was held on this controversial subject in (a makeup artist explaining how she creates ‘injuries’ for 1930. Dr Craig, who supported birth control, pointed television programmes), and a one by GP who sailed out “the folly of allowing the mentally unfit to become round the world. Unlike our Victorian predecessors, it is pregnant”, exposing the ugly subject of eugenics. all on our website.  The society also had a social side. The first annual dinner was held in 1892 at the Victoria and Albert  torquaymedsoc.com


October/November 2020 | 47

Adam Partridge Auctioneers are delighted to be opening a new office at 28 Torwood Street, Torquay. Adam is well known for his regular television appearances on Flog It!, Bargain Hunt, Dickinson’s Real Deal and many more, and is delighted to be offering a full auction and valuation service to Devon. “It has been a challenge to open a new office during these unprecedented times, but when the opportunity arose in Torquay, I jumped at the chance. We will offer free valuations for clients looking to sell as well as professional valuations for probate, insurance and family division. I will be in the area whenever possible as well as organising specialists from my valuation team to attend valuation days and meet anyone looking for advice”. The office will be run by Chris Surfleet who lives with his family in Goodrington. Chris has nearly 30 years’ experience as an auctioneer & valuer and will host the free Saturday valuation days on site at 28 Torwood Street, as well as visiting clients in their homes. Partridges hold regular specialist auctions of antiques, jewellery, watches, Asian Art, stamps, paintings, silver, musical instruments, automobilia, studio ceramics, militaria, coins, wines & spirits, rock & pop, maritime, clocks and more, and Chris will be collecting items in the area to sell at the head office in Cheshire. Recently, the auction house broke all records for an on-line event when over 5000 registered bidders joined the live stream to take part in the sale, resulting in the most successful auction they have ever had.


FORTHCOMING VALUATION DAYS Every Saturday from 10am-3pm we hold a free valuation day at the office in Torquay. We will advise on all areas of antiques, art, and collectors’ items, but also offer the following specialist events: STUDIO CERAMICS


Monday 5th October 10am-3pm

Saturday 10th October 10am-3pm

John Ward sold for £5000

Diamond ring sold for £30,000



Saturday 17th October 10am-3pm

Please call for no obligation free home visit

Henry Pether sold for £25,000

Hong Kong stamps sold for £3850



Saturday 24th October 10am-3pm

Saturday 31st October 10am-3pm

Silver trophy sold for £5000

Chinese vase sold for £94,000



Saturday 7th November 10am-3pm

Saturday 14th November 10am-3pm

Rolex Date Just sold for £10,000

Gagliano violin sold for £102,000

If your group or organisation would like to host a valuation event please get in touch with Chris.


Registered charity number 300923

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