AN exciting artistic regeneration in Teignmouth’s Quay area was unveiled by mayor Peter Williams on Saturday.

A 30-metre-long timeline of Teignmouth’s maritime history has been created and stretches along the outer walls of the port’s storage warehouses.

The project was initiated by Teign Heritage Centre (THC), as part of a larger Arts Council-funded project to aid THC’s recovery after the pandemic.

It will act as a wonderful signpost to THC, which is by Teignmouth railway station.

Local artists Amy McCarthy and Sam Lock were commissioned by Teign Heritage.

The artists said: ‘Local residents regularly mention how grey and ugly this part of town is and we have been in discussion with Teign Heritage Centre and Teignmouth Port for several years to produce an inspiring artwork to liven up the big grey walls.

‘The installation is a historical timeline that depicts many of the events that shaped Teignmouth’s fortunes, stretching right back to the original settlement, when salt production was the main industry, moving through wars, recessions, and triumphs up to the modern day.

‘This artwork is intended to bring history to life in an area of the town that is rich in history but very grey and uninspiring to look at.

‘When the Arts Council released their CV19 recovery fund Teign Heritage Centre saw a unique opportunity to help the town’s tourist industry, signpost visitors to the Teign Heritage Centre and realise our dream of creating a largescale artwork on the Port Wall.

‘We had a great creative collaboration with the designers at Inspirations, whose local offices are in the old Quay buildings nearby. Our written descriptions are brief, inviting the viewer to learn more about the history of the town by visiting the museum.

‘CV19 has brought challenging times for all of us, not least of all Teign Heritage Centre, which has had to close for so long. This timeline shows how resilient the people of Teignmouth have been in the past, from the town being destroyed by fire in the 17th century to being heavily bombed in World War II.

‘We hope that Teignmouthians of today can draw parallels between the pandemic and events from the past and that the artwork inspires people to visit the Heritage Centre.’

Two of the panels on the timeline highlight the influence of Morgan Giles Ltd, renowned local boat builders, and the port wall timeline is one element of a larger Arts Council Funded exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Morgan Giles in Teignmouth. This mobile exhibition will be touring around South Devon and represents the most comprehensive history of the company, which was Teignmouth’s biggest employer between 1920-1968.

Tom Batchelor, port manager (South West) at Associated British Ports added: ‘Teignmouth Quays have played an important role within the community over a long history, importing and exporting various material, which continues to this day.

‘ABP are proud to continue to play our role within the community and support Teign Heritage in displaying this impressive artwork on the port walls. We hope that visitors passing the display will take a keen interest in the port’s history and the role it plays in modern day logistics.