Museum takes historic images to Torbay streets

Barry Chandler and Veronika Valigurska, of Torquay Museum, with The Alphington Ponies back on The Strand.

Barry Chandler and Veronika Valigurska, of Torquay Museum, with The Alphington Ponies back on The Strand. - Credit: Torquay Museum

Torquay Museum has taken an exhibition out on to the streets of the Bay.

'Windows in Time: Images on the Street' will finally be complete tomorrow (Friday, April 9) as part of Torquay Museum’s delayed 175th anniversary celebrations.

The exhibition celebrating local heritage where it happened was conceived back in early 2019 long before the pandemic struck.

The idea of an exhibition on the streets now seems to fit perfectly with the current lockdown situation giving local people something different to enjoy as part of their seafront walks.  

The installation of the Marine Spa graphic by Torbay Direct printers.

The installation of the Marine Spa graphic by Torbay Direct printers. - Credit: Torquay Museum

The images span the time period that the museum has existed from the 1840s right up until the 1980s and cover many of the Bay’s most important people, events and iconic buildings and businesses.

"We are probably most excited about placing the Misses Durnford better known as The Alphington Ponies back on the Strand," said Barry Chandler, the museum’s collections manager.

Barry Chandler and Veronika Valigurska with The Alphington Ponies.

Barry Chandler and Veronika Valigurska with The Alphington Ponies. - Credit: Torquay Museum

"They have such a fascinating story and they promenaded on Torquay’s streets at the time the museum was founded.

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"We have also put them on the exhibition poster which blends the Strand they knew with that of today."

The trail contains 25 images spread along the seafront from Torquay station to Beacon Cove then via The Strand up through town to St Mary Magdalene Church.

There are also two more images in Paignton at the Railway Station and the Palace Theatre.

The trail shows now-demolished buildings, fabulous lost interiors and extraordinary events like the Olympic opening ceremony on Torre Abbey Meadows.

"They are truly windows in time, and their large format will allow people to see the glorious details hidden in these beautiful pictures," said Mr Chandler.

Windows in Time was made possible with the help of Torbay Council, who helped secure many of the sites, and was funded with a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Many other local institutions have also helped by offering spaces for the images, which make use of boarded-up windows and doorways.

The Marine Spa graphic is installed by Torbay Direct printers.

The Marine Spa graphic is installed by Torbay Direct printers. - Credit: Torquay Museum

More details can be found on TorquayMuseum.org or by scanning the QR code that can be found on any of the images or posters. 

Within each picture is an object from the museum’s collections, some are easy to find, others are more well-hidden.

Find and name ten objects and bring your list to the museum when it reopens to claim a prize! You can see these objects in the Secret Museum Exhibition at the museum from June.