June 2005 | Newton Abbot, Devon
This is a small sample of the 22 pubs in the town at the time. Actually, one of them is not a pub in the strict sense: Ye Olde Cider Bar does not have a beer or spirits licence, but sells great local ciders and wines! Some of them have changed little but some have changed beyond recognition. The Greene Man is now Teign Cellars and is better than it ever was, at least in my memory. It was originally the Devon Arms and, being right opposite the (old) hospital, popular with nurses in the 1970s and 1980s. I would like to know what happened to the old pub sign, which was the Devon County coat of arms – Auxilio Divino as I recall.
Thankfully the Greene Man was short-lived before it became the Teign Cellars, which is now a very pleasant pub. It started life as a beer shop in nearby Union Street, with the beer shop being moved to the ‘downstairs’ part of the pub. Sadly the beer shop, which used to have an excellent selection of the rare and unusual, no longer exists, but the bar usually has a good selection of beers and ciders.
The pub that appears to be ‘SHIP’ in the photos was actually ‘Ships’, but someone nicked the second ‘S’. This incarnation was also thankfully short-lived. It was always The Ship Inn and was worth a visit as part of a pub crawl. It is now unrecognisable, having completely changed the frontage and is now Twelve Twenty, named for the approximate date of the famous Clock Tower just outside.
The others have not changed too much, although since Covid-19 some of them have not reopened. I considered The Union to be my local for about 20 years, but went into steep decline after about 2017 and no longer offers real ale, at least in any form that I would find palatable. The best pub of those pictured here, and probably the one that has changed the least, is the Wolborough.
These photographs were taken in 2005 on an old Panasonic digital camera – I can’t remember which model. The original resolution was 1840 x 1232 but are shown here at 1200px wide and 70% of the original quality. Contact me for details of originals.