Torquay isn’t the place it used to be when I was growing up

Union Street in the 1960s

Union Street in the 1960s - Credit: Torquay Museum

So how many of you parents were sad to see your little darlings off to school this week?

And, who like myself hopped, skipped and jumped your way out of bed and all the way to the school playground grinning like a Cheshire cat? Surely, I wasn’t the only one.

Balloons hung from the gates and teachers were smiling - I think - through their masks and all is well again.

I even enjoyed making the packed lunches - radio on, dancing around the kitchen in my PJs  - the kitchen blind closed, that is something the neighbours don’t need to see.

Oh, normality, how I have missed you! 

Except, for many people things are far from normal, we are still in a lockdown – albeit a ‘stepped down’ one, and normal life has not resumed.

Not all shops are open. Gyms, hairdressers, beauty salons and the hospitality industry are still closed. People are struggling, some have lost their jobs, causing financial difficulties and mental health issues.

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There has been a lot in the media about mental health this week, and this got me thinking - a rare and dangerous event, and one I try not to do very often - the pandemic has certainly changed the way we lead our lives, and for some the change maybe a permanent one.

We are all adjusting to a different way of life.

With that in mind, I got to wondering what is there to do in Torbay, these days? What does Torbay have to offer us all and those who are now out of work? What opportunities does the Bay have, post pandemic?

I think it’s fair to say that Torquay isn’t the place it used to be when I was growing up, the town centre certainly isn’t the vibrant lively place it used to be.

Saturdays, I remember, were particularly busy, everyone seemed to be in town on a Saturday. I have very happy memories of Saturday mornings in town. Mum getting some shopping, having lunch in the café in the market, then heading home with our M&S treats, or in the summer heading to afternoons at cricket, simple but perfect pleasures.

I miss those days... so, where has everybody gone? What do people do to fill their days in Torbay now?

I certainly don’t have the answers, and I’m not on a political rant, sometimes I just wish my children could experience the Torbay I grew up in, the one where there were always places to go and fun times to be had.