1. Paula with her husband (Victorian postie!) and children and cat. 2. Lee, back from his travels, with pith helmet and carpet bag. 3. Hannah and her son. 4. Caitlin, in Edwardian beach-wear, ready to meet friends and with her portable music equipment. 4a. Michael and Greg – colleagues in Newcastle, with a picture of the Tyne Bridge. 5. Tori and Chris.
1. Traffic jams during November with 3-way lights and roadworks on the A386 south of Tavistock. 2. 75th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush in the UK from the Caribbean. 3. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney corporation – Disney created a huge number of wellknown and much loved animated characters in the past century. 4. The RAF’s huge Boeing Globemaster aircraft was spotted – and heard! – over Devon and Dartmoor several times during October. 5. Teams taking part in 2023’s Ten Tors event. 6. The Austin 7 motor car – Britain’s first affordable small family car – was launched in 1922 and celebrations of its 100th anniversary have been taking place throughout this year. 7. 2023 marked 60 years since the end of National Service in the UK. 8. Tavistock Town Crier David Turner with his consort (and wife!) Rosemary. 9. King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned in Westminster Abbey on 4th May 2023 (Penny Mordaunt was noted for carrying a ceremonial sword upright throughout the service!) 10. 2023 is the 60th anniversary of the Dr.Who TV show. 11. Tavistock Mayor Cllr Andy Hutton with his mace bearers. 12. The vicar of Tavistock, Fr Matt Godfrey, and his team – incl. Rev Dr Hazel Buckland, Rev Judith Blowey, Rev Mike Loader and Rev. Sue Tucker. 13. Lodestone Morris dancing at a Dartmoor pub. 14, 2023 saw a 400% surge in the numbers of Red Admiral butterflies seen around the UK.
1. Bedford Hotel – transformed from Inn to Hotel by architect Jeffry Wyatt by 1822 (Wyatt also worked on Windsor Castle!) 2. Former Bedford Estate Office 3. Duke of Bedford Cottages 4. Sir Francis Drake’s Statue 5. Former Grammar School (built 1895, now the Alexander Centre) in Plymouth Road 6. Plymouth Road ‘villas’ 7. Tavistock Methodist Church 8. United Reformed Church 9. Catholic Church 10. St Eustachius Church
11. Dartmoor hills, including tors and ponies 12. Dartmoor Stone circle 13. Dartmoor Stone cross 14. Moorland shepherd and his flock of sheep 15. Dartmoor Inn at Merrivale 16. Dartmoor Prison and an escaping prisoner!
1. The spectacular aurora borealis (Northern Lights) has been seen on several occasions over Devon during 2023. 2. Olympic champion Mo Farrah retired after running the London Marathon in April 2023. 3. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney corporation – Disney created a huge number of wellknown and much-loved animated characters in the past century. 4. 2023 marks 200 years since the birth of the game of rugby, when Rugby schoolboy William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a game of football and ran with it in his arms. 5. For much of the year, the face of Tavistock’s iconic town hall has been swathed in scaffolding. 6. On November 2nd, “Now And Then”, billed as the last Beatles song, was released. Written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, it was finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later. 7. In July, the NHS celebrated the 75th anniversary of its foundation in 1948. 8. 2023 is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the “First Folio” of William Shakespeare’s works, (actually published seven years after his death). 9. Celebrations to mark the King’s coronation on 4th May included local schoolchildren maypole dancing in Bedford Square, and amongst those entertaining the crowd was a performer blowing magnificently huge bubbles! 10. Worryingly large numbers of Asian Hornets were sighted in the UK, including some seen throughout Devon and Cornwall. Asian Hornets present a significant threat to local bee populations and other native pollinators, and have a very nasty sting!
1. The Town Hall with the Lions Club “Trees of Light”. 2. Spire of the Congregational Church which was in Brook Street built in 1873 and demolished 1966 3. Court Gate – now used by Tavistock Museum 4. Statue of Francis, 7th Duke of Bedford, who was responsible for the building of many of Tavistock’s distinctive buildings – both public buildings around The Square and the many cottages around the town – notably Dolvin Road, Parkwood, Westbridge and Fitzford Cottages, plus others further from town. The statue is Bronze, made from metal from local mines. (The statue was moved to its nearby current position in 2021.) 5. The Guildhall – now open to the public as a visitor centre
1. Emma and Marc with their new baby boy, Reg. 2. Gemma and Matt with dogs and cat -Gemma carries a reminder of the Hansford Bell team’s Christmas celebrations this year! 3. Steve and Nikki. 4. David with his wife and new grandchild.
1. 2023 is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the USA’s first space station, Skylab. 2. Dom and team, with Steve and Ali, installing the Christmas lights and windows. 3. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney corporation – Disney created a huge number of wellknown and much-loved animated characters in the past century. 4. 2023 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, and a special exhibition opened in The Box, Plymouth. (Here Reynolds seems to be offering one of his portraits as a replacement for the Hansford Bell Christmas windows…) 5. Elton John made his farewell tours around the world this year, including a final concert at the Glastonbury Festival in June. 6. Elon Muske’s SpaceX Starlink “satellite trains” were clearly seen passing over Devon on several occasions during the year, sparking many reports of UFO sightings! 7. In 2023, Thor the walrus joined a list of walruses who have been seen around the British coast in recent years. Previously, Wally the walrus had visited ports and harbours along the cost of Devon and Cornwall, turning up in many unlikely locations. 8. The 2023 (67th) Eurovision Song Contest was held in Liverpool in May, hosted on behalf of the 2022 winners, Ukraine. 9. In recognition of Dickensian Evening, Charles Dickens himself is here giving a public reading of his “Christmas Carol”. Dickens gave public readings of his works from 1853 onwards, throughout the country and in the USA, which were hugely popular with the public. 10. 2023 is the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Dark Side of the Moon” album by Pink Floyd. 11. 2023 is the 50th anniversary of the release of the “Tubular Bells” album by Mike Oldfield 12. 2023 is the 60th anniversary of the Dr. Who TV show. (Here, a Dalek from the show is doing his Christmas shopping…) 13. Tavistock’s annual cream tea week in June/July 2023 included a competition run by Tavistock BID to find the town’s best cream tea. (Here, during judging, a competitor is being dismissed for getting the cream and jam the wrong way round!) 14. India’s Chandrayaan 3 mission successfully landed in the south polar regions of the moon and unloaded its moon rover. 15. Tavistock BID manager Janna Sanders (with her husband and two daughters), and Tavisock BID members campaigning against the installation of parking meters in the town’s streets. 16. 2023 saw increasing numbers of electric cars being sold in the UK. (Here a vintage 1910 Waverley electric “4 person coupe” is cruising by.)
1. Duke Street buildings – part of the 7th Duke of Bedford’s remodelling of the town’s main street. 2. Hansford Bell offices! 3. The former Corn Market building, erected by the Duke of Bedford in 1835 (now FatFace) 4. 22 Market St – a 17th century timber framed building with 19th century shop front. Grade II listed, (now Taylor’s Restaurant) 5. The former “Sweets” department store building (now Sue Ryder charity shop and Odds & Sun) 6. Tavistock Viaduct – dated 1889. Eight stone round-headed arches. Carried the London and South Western Railway, which ran from London Waterloo to Okehampton and on to Tavistock North Station (now the site of the West Devon Council offices). It then continued on towards Bere Alston and thence to Plymouth. 7. Former coaching Inn, the Queen’s Head, and now Weatherspoons (with bouncers outside!).
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