Bygone take on Torquay

STUDYING the letter from Miss C.E.Raynor in the Dispatch earlier this year about holidays on Torquay, I was reminded of an article published in the Dispatch on August 13 1931 by a contributor signed M.H.H., which came long before the motorways and mass tourism to destinations like Spain.

Entitled ‘To Torquay By Bus’, the article describes the first stage of the journey from Nottingham to Leicester and goes on to extol the loveliness of the countryside outside Coventry and the lanes of Warwickshire being shady with the outstretching woods.

It adds: ‘Stratford-Upon-Avon, an old town known the world over, has a quaint market place — the timbered houses recall the Bard of Avon.

Evesham or Civil War memories was next en route.

The hills are beyond description outside Cheltenham. The road is on high ground and all to the right are wonderful hills, vales, woods, houses perched on high land and nestling in alleys coloured with gold of the sun.

The ravines and the precipices, the winding roads, the church spires, the rays of light touching with fire the colours of the gorges, provided a magnificent picture, making us wonder why people leave England in search of beauty.

The bells were ringing as we passed through Painswick. There were many people in the churchyard, and around the church, holding up the flag of St George, and we were told it was the custom to join hands around the church on this particular day.

Men were milking cows in the fields passing through Somerset. The cows were milked in the open without being tied, and stood perfectly still. Ponies and milk floats were waiting close by

It was an interesting ride into Exeter. The cathedral and its many sister churches marked this town on the Exe, also the old Abbey.

Star Cross Station for Exmouth and a long stretch of water, red cliffs, rocky coast, then turning into red banks guarding deep, dark woods, provided untold beauty.

The bus kept returning to the waterside, showing glints of sun on the flashing gulls, flying over the diamond waves, and settling on the red rocks, a foretaste of the beauties of Devon.

Finally the resort of Torquay, of many bays, of blood-red cliffs, and houses perched there on, of water of many shimmering rays of one colour into the other, of greenery right to the water’s edge, came into view.’

MAVIS ELLIS,

Enniscorthy,

Mansfield Road,

Papplewick.