My parents owned the Sidmouth Herald so when my grandfather died we moved down the town and lived over the shop, then we moved into Caxton House with my Grandma who had dementia. The paper was all printed on one sheet and I was paid 3 farthings per dozen to fold them for cutting.
Miss Truman also had tea gardens at the top of Peak Hill, washing up was hard as she had to walk down to the cottages half way up the hill to get water. She kept cats which went to families all over Sidmouth.
We lived in Sidford and used to go to the village dances, sometimes we came to the Manor Hall dances which were better. Then when that became a theatre we went to dances at the Winter Gardens. At the front there was a restaurant where we had knickerbocker glories.
When we came to Sidmouth from Beer we always went to the British Restaurant in St Teresa’s Hall. Lunch was about 3d. We used to go into Boots Library where Santander is now. The main library was where the Museum is now. We also had our school lunches at the British Restaurant when the war was on.
Vallance’s Brewery was at the bottom of Brewery Lane. When we walked home from school they would be hosing it out and it smelled of beer. Temple Street was all small shops. A dairy, a carpet shop , a chemist , the Co-op, a jewellers, a butchers, a grocers, bakers, sweet shop and a builders’ yard.
We never went to the pub , but we did have Diggory Tedbury’s milk bar which was gorgeous. All the furniture was made of tree trunks and they painted pictures of Sidmouth on the walls. You could leave messages for your friends if you were meeting up for a coffee or an ice cream. We would go in there and stay all night.