Monday, December 13, 2010

Bygones Visit

We spent a fabulous couple of hours with wonderful friends from our home-ed group this morning.  We actually arrived on time, despite last minute hitches with the tinsel on our hats :)

I had been looking forward to this visit for a long while.  I've never been to Bygones before.  It's one of those places that has intrigued me greatly, but I've never quite walked through the doors.  Well I have only lived in these 'ere parts for around 20 years you know.... *sigh*

If you have ever driven or walked passed Bygones in Torquay and wondered what it was like, I'm going to give you a nudge and tell you to visit.  It's amazing!  From the outside, the frontage is small, and I admit that I thought it probably wasn't worth a look as it appears to be a little, erm, how shall I put it, erm, pokey perhaps?  It's a huge surprise when you walk downstairs and find yourself wandering around a cobbled street full of Victorian charm.

The Old Forge...

The Forge

The Sweet Shop...

The Sweet Shop

The Chemist...

The Chemist

The General Store...

The General Store

The Post Office...

Post Office

and The Toy Shop...

The Toy Shop

to name but a few.

The whole place is bursting at the seams with history. Old food packaging and advertising are crammed almost everywhere you look.


Advertising 2

Upstairs is filled with exhibits of various rooms based around the Victorian theme. We loved the Kitchen...


and the Parlour (complete with Harry style cat in situ)...

Victorian Parlour

and the Bathroom - complete with newspaper in place of loo roll...


Many of the children enjoyed dressing up...


and most listened intently as they were "taught"...


There were dolls houses and toys to be admired...


Dolls House

old cameras to read about, and a rather gruesome looking dentistry display.

Callum liked the mini displays too, such as this Christmas scene...

Childhood Glee

and most of the children adored the huge - 28 foot sort of huge - model railway display. I'm not usually a fan of that sort of thing, but even I found myself rather transfixed with this one as I tried to take in all the detail (the photo doesn't even begin to show it in all its splendour).


Now, if that doesn't make you want to dash out and visit the place, just do one thing - next time you are passing, pop in and browse around the shop (it's free to look!)  The replica Ration Books and newspapers are a real delight to see, and the whole shop is filled to the brim with old fashioned loveliness. We are going to go and stock up on various bits and pieces for our project work :)


  1. I do want to dash out and visit the place!!! erm, but I'm in Portsmouth - so we'll have to wait till March when we're on hols in Devon (yay!!). Thanks for this though - I never knew Bygones was there - an educational gem if a little freaky (that's probably just me). :-)

  2. wow - like you I've heard of it, but we've never been, now I am determined that it will be on our list of things to do, and we'll definitely make time for it next time we are in Torquay; Chris and Amelia loved looking at your photos.
    Hope you are all well, take care, with love Jules x

  3. Hi Jules,

    Did you get the parcel I sent you? It was sent first class last Thursday!

    Hope it did arrive and that the items were useful.

    Hugs San x

  4. Looks like a great day out, I love these museums!xx