Friday, 10 August 2012

Torquay's Other History Month

A plug for an excellent website: The People's Republic of South Devon. This was established in 2005 with the ethos "we wanted to mix it up a bit and offer an alternative source of news and views".

The site features a regular column by local historian Kevin Dixon called Torquay's Other History. I've probably bitched previously about Devon local history, with its focus on mainstream fame and safe heritage - Agatha Christie, Sir Francis Drake, the Duke of Monmouth passing through, Vivien Leigh, and happy artisans plying their trade and gurning as they hold up the biggest salmon ever caught. Torquay's Other History is a counterblast to this, and looks at the off-the-wall and less-known aspects of the Torquay's history: social, anti-establishment and counter-cultural history; lesser-known figures; and lesser-known connections of famous figures.

For August, this column has been upgraded to a daily entry, and so far it has been a fine batch: Aleister Crowley's early career; the Torquay origins of the Communist-hating Sir John Armstrong Spicer; the Fascist MP Charles Rosdew Burn; Dame Edna Everage's sidekick 'Madge'; the Lolita actor C Denier Warren; Joss Stone and the Torquay-based lesbian kiss in Snappers; the actor and writer Stephen Sheppard; the poet and artist Frances Bannerman; the science fiction of Edward Douglas Fawcett; and the anarchist George Powell Ballard.

Check out Torquay's Other History.

- Ray

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