Imagine standing on the Quay watching as bullet ridden Trawlers limped in, crammed with children, the elderly and the hungry. After 3 days at sea, dodging floating mines and with terrifying memories of their home towns destroyed by German soldiers, the Belgian refugees were welcomed to freedom by the people of Brixham.
Our Exhibitions aim to bring our heritage into modern day focus, let us know how you think we're doing....
World War 1 - Roll of Honour
Lest we forget those Men of Brixham that paid the ultimate price.
For The Fallen
(First Published in The Times in 1914)
'They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning
We will remember them'
BRIXHAM IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
Ralph Gardner, a Brixham schoolboy, overheard adults talking about 'a nasty man called Kaiser Bill' (Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany). He remembered ladies gathering in the the streets, worried about their husbands being called up...,..
"Like being in Hell - only worse!"
Life in the trenches revealed by letters and postcards sent home by Brixham Soldiers. Now in an incredibly moving book written by our Writer in Residence, Samantha Little.
D-DAY - OPERATION OVERLORD
1 June 1944: the US soldiers and their LSTs (Landing Ship Tanks) 284, 380, 382 & 499 were at Brixham harbour, loading men, vehicles and supplies for the upcoming Normandy invasion.
WORLD WAR TWO
KEEP SMILING THROUGH
The Brixham Home Front (1939-1945)
"Mr Ashford was haunted by the sight of a Belgian grandmother sitting on a chair amidst the chaos, crying out in horror, while two women were taken to Brixham hospital for treatment, another giving birth to a son in the cabin of a Trawler berthed at the Pier Head before help could reach her"
Buy this and other great books by Samantha Little
(our Writer in Residence).
.. and then he gets to Heaven, to Saint Peter he will tell, just another Soldier reporting Sir, I've served my time in Hell.
LIFE IN VICTORIAN BRIXHAM
In Victorian times the children of working people went to the National School in Brixham. Girls started at 7 years old and usually left when they were 9 or 10. Boys went to school for longer.
Daughers were expected to help their mothers, 12 year old Barrett Williams worked really hard in the Laundry, there were no taps so rainwater had to be carried in, the water was heated in in a large copper pot over a fire and then ladled out into a wasthtop. Barrett would have worked long hours, sometimes until 10pm, two or three nights a week and all day on Saturday...
Class 3 visited us to find out more about daily life in Victorian times. "We found out lots about the sort of food Victorians would have eaten and some of us got to taste some food made from traditional Victorian recipes"
NAPOLEONIC BERRY HEAD 1793- 1815
200 years ago Britain was fighting the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars with France. The warships of the Royal Navey found a safe anchorage in the waters of Torbay when the forts and gun battery on Berry Head were built to defend them.
After the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815) the long wars ended. For the next 70 years Chelsea Pensioners (retired soldiers) looked after the abandoned Forts in case they were needed again. IN 1832, Corporal Sutton lived alone in the Guardhouse in the Northern Fort, tending his potatoes and cabbages with only 'the quarrymen, a few sheep and the wild birds flying overhead' for company.....
HFL interviewing on 19 June 2013
FISHING & ROPEMAKING
ARCHEOLOGY & GEOLOGY
During the Variscan Oregeny, 310 to 280 million years ago, Brixham lay at the southern edge of the Continent of Euramerica, and the slow motion of the Earth's tectonic plates made it collide with the southern continent of Gondwana. This process took a few tens of millions of years and closed the Devonian Sea, creating the supercontinent of Pangaea which made up most of the worlds's landmass.
BRIXHAM BONE CAVES
Brixham Bone Cavern was the site of pioneering excavations by William Pengelly. In 1858 he found flint tools alongside the bones of extinct animals in the cave, providing undeniable evidence of the antiquity of prehistoric man. The scientific excavation and recording system he invented here was later developed into the methods used by archaeologists today.
Animal bones and flint tools were buried in Brixham Bone Caverns, Bench Fissue and Ash Hole Cavern.