As part of Torquay Museum’s 175th anniversary celebrations, staff are now working again on our street photography exhibition.

A carnival carriage with Torquay gardeners in front of Dyer's Cottage in 1910A carnival carriage with Torquay gardeners in front of Dyer's Cottage in 1910

‘Windows in Time: Images on the Street’ will see some of the museum’s most iconic images displayed on the streets of Torbay.

The medium of photography as we know it today has been going just a little longer than the museum has existed.

Torquay Museum holds tens of thousands of historic images and has been collecting them for around 100 years.

There are some large and important local collections in the museum including Peter Tully’s pictures of Paignton, the Miss Hamblin’s collection of the local area amassed in the 1950s and 1960s and Ashton Reed’s collection of colour images taken for postcards in the 1970s and 1980s.

Corporation men with examples of their work on Market Street, circa1890Corporation men with examples of their work on Market Street, circa1890

Through this external exhibition we hope establish a greater presence in the community, opening our collections up for the enjoyment of all and using this unique anniversary opportunity to better interpret these historic collections and demonstrate how they connect us through time and space to people and places in the past.

Many of our historic images were conceived to create a sense of wonder in their audience, especially when projected in a lecture theatre before the advent of moving images.

Many are also images of great quality and clarity and have as much impact today, because of the essence of change they convey as they did when they were produced.

We hope to transport our audience to a previous age and inspire people to look again at their surroundings.

This exhibition is for everyone who lives in or visits Torbay to enjoy.

The exhibition will be a trail of images through the town from the seafront through the harbour and up Fleet Street into the heart of Torquay.

Some images will show historic moments in time, others lost buildings, people and businesses but all displayed where they were taken, often using boarded-up windows on now-empty buildings and a few at very large scale.

We will try to show some of the town’s most important sites, the Pavilion, Marine Spa, Clock Tower and Old Town Hall.

We hope the trail will encourage locals and tourists to explore the town and discover the history around them.

If you are a local business owner and would like to be part of the exhibition by hosting an image on your premises, we would like to hear from you. We can’t guarantee that we can place an image, that will depend if we have a suitable one in the collection, but if we can you can become part of the trail which is part funded through a generous grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Please email enquiries@torquaymuseum.org or call the museum on 01803 293975.