Museum appeals for memories of local high streets

Bideford High St - historical

Posted on: 17 February 2020

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is collecting stories of local high streets and is appealing for members of the public to come along and share their memories.

The histories are being collected in conjunction with a new exhibition currently on display which showcases photographs of shops and high streets in North Devon towns and villages.

The public are invited to help Museum staff and volunteers record what has changed and how different goods and services have appeared and evolved or disappeared over the years.

Everyone is welcome to visit the museum and share their story in the Community Gallery between 17 February and 4 April any time during opening hours, Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

Alternatively staff and volunteers are running special story collecting drop in events, taking place on:

  • Tuesday 25 February 1.30pm – 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 4 March 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 10 March 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 16 March 1.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Wednesday 25 March 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 31 March 10.30am – 12.30pm

Museum Curator, Alison Mills, says: “The retail sector has experienced massive changes in the past few decades and our aim is to document people’s memories of high streets in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, South Molton, Bideford, Torrington and the surrounding villages as a way of preserving them for future generations.”

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says “I have many memories of the high street in Barnstaple and remember how much it has changed over the years. By collecting these histories, the Museum staff and volunteers will be capturing a valuable piece of North Devon history.” 

Some memories which have already been collected are:

I remember Youings as a child, you could smell the tobacco and snuff”

“In the 1950s Northam was a self-contained village where you could buy everything you needed for day-to-day life…”

“All under one roof, that was Gales, 20 Joy St Barnstaple….drool over the electric train set on a Saturday”

 “Bideford Pannier Market, my mother would take a glass dish to be filled with cream by Mrs Grigg”

To keep up to date with events happening at the Musuem, visit their website or facebook page.

1 comment on “Museum appeals for memories of local high streets

  1. Frederick Parr says:

    In the last ten years under Tory admin the town has suffered catastrophic change. In 2010 when the tories took control. The agenda was as follows. Jack up the rates. Jack up the allowances. If you had a problem. Easy answer. If you had the brass. No problem. If you had not the council would crucify you. Sorry workers. Profit providers don’t count. Profit holders. Do.

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