This film is part of Free

From Paignton to Dartmouth

An intimate family trip is captured in Devon's beautiful South Hams.

Amateur film 1954 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Families holidaying at Paignton take a trip along the coast to Salcombe and Dartmouth. The scenery from Paignton on the English Riviera to the Dart and Kingsbridge Estuaries is among the most picturesque in the world and a heritage steam railway operates here. Paignton's Hydro Hotel with mock tudor frontage opened in 1928 and was aimed at the motortourist. Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight on 4 July 1954, did this make us a nation of picknickers?

The Higher Ferry operates between Dartmouth and Kingswear and forms part of the A379 between Torbay and Plymouth. The Lower Ferry is operated by a tug which pushes the floating platform and the river crossing has been in existence since the eighteenth century. Paignton's original department store Rossiters was thought to have been the inspiration for the 1970s TV comedy Are You Being Served? Isaac Singer was an American who set up the Singer Sewing Machine Company and he commissioned Oldway Mansion to be built in the resort. It was remodelled by his son Paris in the style of the Palace of Versailles between 1904 and 1907 and in 1946 it was bought by the local council.