WATCH: 15 retro videos showing Devon in times gone by

PUBLISHED: 11:11 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:09 23 October 2020

Plymouth Pier, c.1910 (c) Richard and Gill Long, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Plymouth Pier, c.1910 (c) Richard and Gill Long, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Although we’ll never be able to see Devon in the glory that our ancestors were lucky enough to enjoy, short clips like these 15 still give us a small insight into our county as it used to be

1) Vive le Torbay

"Look again and you'll recognise Torquay, the town which has adopted a French atmosphere. The illusion lives on when the waiters serve up the fun on Torquay Hotels Day"

2) Exploring Devon

"From Dawlish we crossed the great moors to Bickleigh Bridge - a truly rural contrast"

3) Plymouth Rodeo

"What could be more like the Wild West than a rodeo? Yet here we are at Plymouth. It might mean Westward Ho! to our English eyes but never have so many cattle faced such an amateur bunch of cowboys"

4) Ottery St Mary Guy Fawkes celebrations

"Light and stand clear! Here's one Guy Fawkes Night piece of advice that villagers of Ottery St Mary in Devon don't bother with. In fact they even encourage their youngsters to play with fire"

5) The City on the Exe

"On the edge of the great Dartmoor lies Exeter, city of Devon and of England too. Ancient Britons built their wooden huts alongside the River Exe and their mud walls defied the Roman invaders"


Some more of Devon on screen:


6) Dartmoor Prison Mutiny

"The toughest prison in the country. That's Dartmoor, the home of many desperate criminals and men who are serving life sentences"

7) Tamar Bridge

"Not far from Lands End on the River Tamar near Plymouth, the old fashioned ferry is now no more. In its place the great Tamar Bridge finally began to reach over the seeabound waters in 1961"

8) Brixham Fishing

"Old fashioned as a picture-postcard fishing village like Brixham in Devon. The traditional English, idyllic scene: what more could an artist want?"

9) Beached Torpedo Ship at Westward Ho!

"High and Dry. Mighty seas drive torpedo boat ashore on the Westward-Ho pebble ridge"

10) The Lynmouth Disaster

"Yesterday Lynmouth was a peaceful holiday resort. Today it is a ruin"


Go visit some of the locations in this article yourself:


11) Cockington

"Nestling quietly between Torquay and Paignton on the English Riviera, it's earned its title 'The Prettiest Village in England"

12) Clovelly

"What words can really add to the picture-postcard loveliness of this sheltered corner of Devon?"

13) The All Blacks at Newton Abbot

"The All Blacks are here again. British rugger teams beware they're after your blood! The famous New Zealand rugby team are in training at Newton Abbot"

14) Derelict Hallsands

"Now a weird fantasy world of ruins and, they say, ghosts. 60 years ago this was a village warm and alive with folk who had their roots here"

15) Burgh Island

"When the water wells in it's a stronghold. A smuggler's stronghold"


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