Shannon-Jade Duignan ? Volunteering at Play Torbay in 2015

South Devon College gives 90th birthday Jubilee touch

Torbay Weekly

South Devon College celebrated its 90th birthday in style recently.

In keeping with the Queen’s Platinum jubilee, students and staff wore something purple and took part in lots of activities to mark the event.

“90 years old is quite a milestone for us and it’s been fantastic to celebrate in style with bunting decorating the whole building, a real buzz from our street stalls and talented student bands and other fun activities going on outside,” said Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO of South Devon College.

As part of the 90th birthday celebrations, a call went out to former students for their memories and lots of people got in touch.

Timothy Graham – The Young Hoteliers Association standing on the steps of the hotel and catering department in 1975
Timothy Graham – The Young Hoteliers Association standing on the steps of the hotel and catering department in 1975

Former student Timothy Graham, who now lives in the United States, started at the college in 1969, first doing O’ levels and then A ‘levels.

“In 1972, I took the HND (Higher National Diploma) in Hotel and Catering Management. In the first year some of our classrooms were in old cottages up on Barton Road,” Tim recalls. “Some so old that our feet pushed through the floorboards.”

Samantha Hamberg studied at the college in 1987 and remembers an outing to Brixham. “If I remember… the tutors were called Mrs Gosling and Mrs Carter, although not a hundred per cent sure. We were based in the McKay building. Lovely memories.”

Samantha Hamberg – A trip to Brixham in 1987
Samantha Hamberg – A trip to Brixham in 1987

More recently in 2015, Shannon-Jade Duignan studied Uniformed Public Services. “I had the best time on this course, memories and friends made for life here. Couldn’t thank you all enough.”

Back in 1981 Adrian Gallagher started on his full-time electronics course. He recalls they occupied the 2nd floor of the Mackay building but learnt welding in the Wilson building. “We also used the relatively newly built refectory for lunch.”

Fast forward to 2022 and current South Devon College students and staff enjoyed celebrating the prestigious day and making memories of their own.

“Back in 1931, it was set up with a capital investment of £15,500, with 37 staff and 443 students,” said Laurence. “We are now a successful £31 million annual turnover Further and Higher Education college with further campuses at Torquay, Newton Abbot, and South Devon Marine Academy based on the River Dart.”

Adrian Gallagher – most of the 1981 electronics class
Adrian Gallagher – most of the 1981 electronics class
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