Amazing recreation of Torquay childhood photograph 60 years on
A Manchester man who used to holiday in Torquay 60 years ago came back to the exact spot where he took a photo at the harbour to recreate the photo of his younger self. Geoff recounted memories of what he did during his South West holidays, including watching the Gulls play a match at Plainmoor Stadium.
Though a lot has changed in the area since, there are also some amazing similarities that live on still decades later.
Geoff said: “As a family, we occasionally look through our photo albums, some of which go back to my childhood, and in doing so I happened to notice a holiday snap where I’m shown in a harbour. Having examined it in detail I realised that it had been taken in Torquay, and so on visiting this week with my wife and boys, we decided to recreate the photo.
“I was most interested in making the comparison of the buildings and shops in the background between today and 60 years ago. I was struck by the fact that most of the buildings at ground level are exactly the same, with an odd exception. The main differences are in the levels above ground level where there has obviously been a lot of new development over the years. I notice there are many more boats nowadays, and that the bollard has had a lick of blue paint!”
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Today we see there are many more boats in Torquay than there used to be and the most glaring difference is the addition of the group of large apartment blocks above the marina.
Geoff spoke about his old family holidays. He said: “I’m born and bred in Manchester, aged 74, born in 1949, and through my childhood, every first week of August, families traditionally took their holiday at a UK resort. In my case, this included taking the train with my parents to Bournemouth, Brighton, and Torquay, for our southern holidays.
“For our Torquay holidays, sadly my memory isn’t good enough to remember much of what activities we did or where we went. What I do remember quite well with it being early August, was going to watch a pre-season friendly match at Plainmoor where the opposition was either Exeter or Plymouth. Also being a keen train spotter, a popular hobby for boys of that era – I particularly remember going on the train on a day trip to Newton Abbot and collecting the numbers of the engines of the intercity trains that passed through.”
Geoff and his family rediscovered Torquay 15 years ago after visiting Bath with his wife and catching the train down from Bristol. Since then he has taken his own children to enjoy the views over the harbour and visit surrounding towns like Dartmouth, Brixham, Plymouth and Exeter.
A previous story on DevonLive revealed an array of , two years on from Geoff’s original photo.
Perhaps Geoff and his family saw similar scenes when he visited the bustling 60s streets of Torquay.
The town looks even busier then than it does now.