A wonderful postcard exhibition, currently taking place at Torre Abbey Museum, takes you back to a time when the mobile phone was unheard of and the postcard was king of communications!

Running until Friday 31 August and with kids and teens free entry*, Wish You Were Here! provides a fascinating glimpse into over a century of holidaying in Torquay. For a number of reasons including advances in technology, postcard use has declined by 60% over the last 20 years. Research also shows that the older generation are more likely to send postcards than younger people.

As part of this local exhibition, we are asking visitors to the Abbey to put down their phones and fall in love with the art of writing and sending postcards again. For only £1, visitors can sit at our special desk and write and send a postcard to a loved one and we will post it for them.

Cllr Nicole Amil, Executive Lead for Tourism, Culture and Harbours, said: “Once again Torre Abbey Museum has curated a fabulous exhibition which profiles Torbay’s tourism culture over many years. The postcards evoke a range of emotions ranging from hilarity to those with a more serious message, particularly those sent during times of war.”

Loaned from private collectors**, the postcard collections have been divided into the following categories:

  • Timeline - tracing Torquay’s history through postcards sent across the decades.
  • Gone but not Forgotten - including views, buildings, businesses and attractions that no longer exist.
  • Changing Fashions - people sporting different fashion styles while on their holidays.
  • Seaside Humour - funny cards from the saucy to the witty.
  • Bad Taste - the very worst postcards of Torquay ever created.
  • Propaganda and War Years - postcards of Torquay during the wars.
  • Unchanged Scenes - postcards that show why Torquay is still The Queen of the Watering Places.

There is also a British Pathé film from the 1970s showcasing residents and visitors enjoying the beaches and attractions across Torbay.

*Up to four under 19s per paying adult

**With thanks to Margaret Forbes Hamilton, Michael Sellick, Joanna Blakeman and Kevin Dixon.


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