When Torbay Museum posted the letter U images onto Facebook back in August they received an extraordinary number of views - around 40,000 - and prompted some very interesting memories from the local community.

Traffic in Union Street, August 1965. The 1960s saw an increasing number of complaints about the effect of cars. Motorists and non-motorists alike complained about the clogging of the town centre by motor traffic. It was about this time that new regulations came into force making this a one-way street to down traffic onlyTraffic in Union Street, August 1965. The 1960s saw an increasing number of complaints about the effect of cars. Motorists and non-motorists alike complained about the clogging of the town centre by motor traffic. It was about this time that new regulations came into force making this a one-way street to down traffic only

The museum is recording these memories that are often not found in local history books.

For a change, museum staff thought they would share some of these comments and reminiscences with Torbay Weekly readers.

The first letter U stands for Union Street located in the heart of Torquay.

These two photographs are from the 1960s. We asked people if they preferred the current state of the street or the way it looked 60 years ago?

View of Lymington and Teignmouth Roads. Penny's Cottage, the oldest surviving memory of the old village of Upton, is on the left. This cottage located at the bottom of Penny's Hill dates to the 16th century and was named after John and Peggy Penny who lived there until 1871View of Lymington and Teignmouth Roads. Penny's Cottage, the oldest surviving memory of the old village of Upton, is on the left. This cottage located at the bottom of Penny's Hill dates to the 16th century and was named after John and Peggy Penny who lived there until 1871

Jill commented: “Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could have a combination of the two? Retain the charm and diversity of the old town, but without the traffic? Union Street at the moment is looking soulless and holds little appeal for locals and visitors alike. It deserves better.”

While Carol recalled: “Look at all those lovely old shops that aren’t there now. Hodges, Hepworths, Dolcis and there were many more back then. We could buy anything we wanted.”

Of the view of Lower Union Street. Carol also recalled: “Yes, I remember Mogridges on the left and Frank Hastie gents’ outfitters on the right. Both were flooded badly back then and I saw bales of beautiful fabric bobbing about on the dirty water in Mogridges’ basement. Frank Hastie laundered quite a lot of shirts etc. and re-sold them cheaply.”

The second letter U stands for Upton, a part of Torquay that is very poorly represented in the museum archive.

In 1944, prior to D-Day, a US Army field-kitchen was set up in Upton Park to serve meals to troops before they marched down to the harbour to embark onto the ships that would take them over to the beaches of NormandyIn 1944, prior to D-Day, a US Army field-kitchen was set up in Upton Park to serve meals to troops before they marched down to the harbour to embark onto the ships that would take them over to the beaches of Normandy

“When I was a young boy, we lived in Upton Road, adjacent to the park. We played football here and it was always known as ‘The Canteen’. This would have been the early 1960s. I don’t think many people will use that term now, 76 years after its use by the US Army,” recalled Christopher.

Of the view of Lymington and Teignmouth Roads, Amie said: “Wow, must be just before my parents’ house was built along Daison Cottages as some are built but not all.”

Victoria added: “The wall behind Penny’s is still there and now runs past ATS, I’ve often thought it looks old when I’ve walked past it, shame it always full of weeds and rubbish!”

If you would like to access all the images from our archive alphabet Torquay Museum now has a dedicated page on its website. Just visit torquaymuseum.org and under ‘explore’, you will find the pictorial records collection and the A-Z images. If you would like to purchase a print just follow the instructions on screen.