Hallsands Centenary

Thursday 26th January 2017 marks the centenary of the Hallsands disaster. On that night in 1917, the combination of an easterly gale and exceptionally high tides saw the majority of the fishing village swept into the sea; just one house was left standing.

An exhibition of old photos and memorabilia of the village is being held in St Andrew’s Church, Beesands from Thursday 26th January to Saturday 28th January and several events are planned for the day of the centenary itself (Thursday 26 January 2017).


11.00 am - 3.30 pm - Gate to the old village unlocked for anyone to visit.
3.00 pm - Lord Lieutenant unveils a commemorative plaque by the coastal path above the old village.
3.30 - Walk to Beesands to ‘re-enact’ the escape made by the villagers when the storm died down.
4.30 - Lord Lieutenant visits the exhibition in St Andrew's Church
6.00 – commemoration service in St Michael’s Church, Stokenham in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant and other dignitaries.
7.30 onwards – Crab supper at The Cricket Inn, Beesands. Access is by ticket obtained by emailing 
Jonathan Hale: Jonathan@interfreightuk.com .

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Thank you for your continued support. Salcombe History Society continues to go from strength to strength and we have had another great year during which our meetings have been well attended, here at HQ we have continued with the mammoth task of scanning and cataloguing the thousands of photographs and documents in our care, we have provided assistance with local and family history research and another beautiful calendar has been produced.

The enormity of what is needed in order for us to fulfil our aim of preserving the history and heritage of South Devon means that we are always delighted to hear from anyone who feels they have some spare time which they are willing to dedicate to the cause. Most recently, we have been engaged in digitising Salcombe Maritime Museum's fascinating collection of photographs and we have now been asked to assist with the scanning and cataloguing of some 10,000 items entrusted to the care of Bigbury History Group. If you would like to get involved (and it could just be an hour a month doing general tasks such as scanning and cataloguing or working on a specific project for a period of time), do please get in touch: info@salcombehistorysociety.co.uk .

Unfortunately, this year we have lost several valued members of the Society and the Salcombe community, but our memories of them will always remain.

We wish you a happy festive period and look forward to creating more memories together in 2017.

Pitchford House


Earlier this month, the new owner of Pitchford House in Fore Street, Salcombe, put out a request for information regarding the history of the property.

As a result of research and many useful contributions from members of the Facebook group South Hams History Forum (sister to Salcombe Old Locals and Yokels and Kingsbridge Old Locals), the owner has started to compile a tentative timeline of events related to the property:

1851 - Census does not include house numbers

1860s - Basement safe manufactured by Charlwood's of Bolton

1800s - Reports that the basement floor was a Coffee tavern. Upstairs the Salcombe Reading rooms '1 penny readings'. If this is correct did both have the same owner? Did a family still live at the house?

1881 - Census states that Ellen Edwards BUSHELL (widow of Benjamin) lived at the house with two of her children.

1891 - Census stares that JELLARD (widow) lived at the house with her four children all in their 20s.

1939 - Major L.H PAGE owns and lives in the house with his wife Elise Catherine (nee PECK) with their daughter Peggy Joy H. At some point Page used the basement as his Estate Agency offices firstly in his sole name then later as Page & Chant

1956 - 30th April. House and basement are separated in a contract between Leonard Hubert PAGE (retaining the basement) and Sidney Walter GIBSON, Headmaster of the Salcombe boys school who then lives at the house.

1970s - Estate Agency is now called Whiteway & ...

2000s -THORNTON family buy the house only as their holiday home which they also rent out.

2000s - An Interior Design shop called BLUE occupies the basement.

2000s - A General Store selling tackle etc occupies

2012 - April. BIBI & MAC take a lease of the basement as a woman's clothing boutique. They have another store further up the hill and branches in other local towns which turnover regularly.

2014 - 3rd December. Mr & Mrs MARTIN buy both the house (56a) and the basement (56) putting the entire building in the same ownership.

2016 - Bibi & Mac's lease ends leaving the basement empty.

More information is gradually coming to light so the story is by no means over! We will update you all soon but in the meantime please get in touch with us if you have any information or photographs relating to Pitchford House.