Torquay Museum wants your images

New additions to the museum’s archive awaiting cataloguing

New additions to the museum’s archive awaiting cataloguing - Credit: Archant

Torquay Museum holds 70,000 items in its archive but not all parts of Torbay are represented.

While picturesque areas such as Cockington village and the harbours are represented in hundreds, images of the poorer and not so eye-catching areas are scarce.

The museum would like to address this issue and asks people to help fill these significant gaps in its collection.

Staff at the museum believe it is important to have a record of all places and aspects of life in Torbay for future generations.

The museum’s archive contains not only a comprehensive collection of images of Torbay but also of most of the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets of Devon but it still lacks images of certain areas and needs the local community to help fill these gaps.

The images the musuem is looking for don’t have to be historical so everybody can get involved but the musuem would also be interested in images from the 1990s and 2000s.

They can be taken with cameras or phones - with social distancing and Covid restrictions in mind - on the way to work or school or simply when you’re out and about.

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The museum is particularly looking for images of Hele, Barton, Ellacombe, Shiphay, Combe Pafford, Plainmoor area, the Willows and Hollicombe but will consider images from other parts of Torbay as well.

Thanks to a generous donation from Peter Tully of 10,000 pictures and slides of Paignton in 1995, the museum can illustrate the way Paignton looked until the 1980s but more recent images are missing.

The musuem would really like to see pictures that show change, this can be through buildings, transport, fashion, shopping, anything that records aspects of social life which have disappeared.

In addition to images of certain areas of Torbay underrepresented in the museum’s archive, staff are also looking for photographs of life during the pandemic. They could show anything from empty shop units to queues in front of supermarkets and people social distancing and wearing masks.

They could be photographs of the amazing NHS staff or any key workers supporting people and the economy, pictures of Covid-related signs, mask vending machines or cruise ships in the Bay.

If you have a photograph which you would like to add to the Torquay Museum archive, email it to and staff at the museum will send you a simple form to sign.

The museum looks forward to seeing new additions to the archive. Your images will be preserved for future generations to use in exhibitions, books, lectures and for research about life in Torbay during these times of a huge social change.