Ye Olde Coffin House 1904, Brixham
Memories of Ye Olde Coffin House 1904, Brixham
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Brixham & local memories
Read and share memories of Brixham and Devon inspired by Frith photos.
Constructing Mayflower II
When I was young we would holiday in a caravan at a site near to Hollicombe in between Torquay and Brixham. As we lived in Walsall in the West Midlands this journey, by coach, was not to be undertaken lightly and a day was usually set aside to complete it. We left town early in the morning and didn't usually arrive in Torquay until late afternoon. One day we went to see Mayflower II under construction. I has a great interest in sailing ships and to see one actually being constructed left a great impression especially the myriad smells and scents of wood that seemed to fill the boatyard. I remember my father explaining to me how it was being built, what the keel and ribs were and how the wood had to be seasoned. My father took some photographs but unfortunately they were not overly good but I still have them. When Mayflower II was launched and began its journey across the Atlantic there were bulletins and photographs put up... Read more
Learning to Swim
I have fond memories of Shoalstone Pool. Both my sister and I learnt to swim in this pool. i can remember a swimming gala, about the time of the photo, we had to walk around the pool and up and over the diving board, which i was frightened to do as I didn't like heights !!!! Can also remember in the winter at high tides watching the sea wash over into the pool. So glad to hear recently that this freshwater pool is to be saved.
I had a wonderful weeks holiday here in June 1961. I often think of the short time I spent there and the people I met, fellow campers. My chalet was, by today's standards a little more than a shed, but had gas heated water and a hand basin. I was eighteen at the time and often wish I could put the clock back! I met a young girl there who I chose to ignore; as we left the camp on our last day I realised that I had made a serious mistake and I have regretted this ever since!
Many happy times with my parants staying at the Louville Camp by Berry Head. I can recall visiting the lighthouse and being given a guided tour by the keeper, his name was Peter and we went for tea at his cottage close by. I do believe he emigrated to New Zealand some years later. Just one of the wonderful memories of my childhood.
St. Mary's, Higher Brixham
This is the interior of St. Mary's, Higher Brixham - parts of which date back to Norman times. My mother, a Brixham girl born and bred, was married here in August 1952. I, along with my twin brother,w as christened in the baptismal font (left foreground) a year later. Generations of my mother's side of the family lie buried in the churchyard and I still have relatives who have lived in Brixham all their lives, and I spent many a childhood holiday there.
Dancing at The Brixham Heritage Festival 2008
One of the week long programme of events for the Brixham Heritage Festival is morris dancing on the old Fish Quay.
Grimspound Border Morris entertained the crowds first. They "blacked up" in the traditional way and then danced to the hypnotic rhythms of their large band under the canopy of the old Fish Market. It was something of a surreal experience as a replica of The Golden Hind as shown in this view was right beside us!
Following on were the dancers and musicians of Heather and Gorse Clog Dancers - described in the Festival programme as "our favourites" ! The two teams of dancers put on a display of dancing for more than an hour and then retired to the bar of the nearby Bullers Arms. We sat inside with our beers and looked out past the Prince William of Orange statue (with a seagull on his head!) and the evening sun setting over the harbour.
It was a really enjoyable evening -... Read more
In September 1970 I had my hen night at the Coffin House; it was then a restaurant and I went for a meal with friends. Being born and brought up in Brixham I have great memories of the town and often return. I am currently trying to find any photograghs of the Symons Bakery that was in Middle Street before the properties were knocked down to make way for modernisation! I can remember when the buildings had been knocked down, seeing the old bakers oven in the back wall.
We arrived in Brixham in the spring of 1954, our first 'home' was a one bedroom basement 'flat' in Torquay. I found plumbing work on a block of flats at Plainmore, and became close friends with Brian and Whin Dovey from the Newton Abbott area, unfortunately we have since lost touch. Our first home in Brixham was in Langley Avenue. I worked for Palmers in Dartmouth before starting sub-contract plumbing and small building works on my own account, in and around the Torbay area. We later built a house for ourselves in Braddons Crescent and then as a member of the F M B some hundred-plus 'houses' at various locations around the area.
For those that are interested in Brixham we are a voluntary organisation and run www.brixhamshowcase.co.uk.
We are currently researching people that stayed in the coffin house and lived there, so we can build up a picture of the memories of the building. See www.coffinhouse.co.uk. Those that know Brixham love it, its a special place. To hear a true Brixham accent, music to ones ears. It has a rich past, with a large fishing industry and was leader in the paint industry research.
Very best wishes, Dr Paul Strickland.
Coming to Brixham from just outside of London as an 11 year-old was a real culture shock. New smells (fish!) new sounds (seagulls) and new faces (the inhabitants of the south west certainly have distinct facial features...to say nothing of the accent).
The total freedom of the countryside was something new and exciting also. Long walks around Mansands, totally unspoilt cliff walks all the way to Kingswear. In the winter you could set out with a ruck sack and disappear for a day and hardly see a soul.
A cliche it might be, but growing up in Brixham as a child really was the best time of my life.
I live in Ireland now but still think about those times and try to get back to Brixham as much as possible.
A large picture of the restored Brixham fishing smack, Vigilence, adorns the wall of my study. My grandfather worked as a deck hand on that vessel in the 40's and it was built in Uphams yard by a... Read more