HISTORIAN Viv Wilson will be taking people back in time later this month.
She is showing a film – Back in Time at Teignmouth – at The Pavilions on October 21.
She explained: ‘Generations before Bitton Park Road became the traffic-choked corridor of today, numerous local people inhabited the network of narrow streets caught between the main road and the docks. Saxe St, was renamed to honour the Saxe-Cobourg family and is believed to have been the oldest street in the town.
‘At its highest point, a trio of ancient cottages were demolished to make way for the building of Douglas House in 1969.
This large block of flats continues to serve its purpose of housing many residents and its original 1960s monstrous architecture was the first of the four post-war blocks to be completed. Parson St, where the curate of St James was housed, Chapel St site of the Primitive Wesleyan building, Willey Lane where once there was a well ..all these names mean something even though much of it is forgotten nowadays.’
In her forthcoming presentationViv will bring the details of the old days in the town to life with images and tales that paint pictures of a simple, hard life.
She said: ‘The one area that held more misery from poverty than any other is the enclave between Willow and Mulberry streets. An austere Poor House embodied 5 tenements of 14 rooms in the 19th century.
‘The parish had to shell out 1/6 ( 7.5p) per head for the 17 adults and 23 children occupying the place. Children over 9 were made to pick oakum - tar-caked old rope that would be recycled for use on ships.’
Viv, who has studied Teignmouth and its people in close detail since 1986; added: ‘Abject poverty continued right into the 1930s with the soup kitchen helping the poorest avoid starvation.’
Ihe other side of the coin is also highlighted and includes the story of a local bank manager turned astronomer, Hedley Robinson, who became friends with Sir Patrick Moore.
Viv, who has offered a new show annually for the past 37 years will narrate the 2-hour event live from the footlights. This repeat performance offers a chance for those who missed last February to catch up.
► ‘Back in Time’ will be shown at 2.30pm on Saturday October 21 and pre-booking is advised. Tel. 01626 249049