Newton Abbot in 2009 – part 2
Whilst on a photo-shoot of Newton Abbot architecture I strayed over into one of my favourite parks in the town, of which there are many. Courtenay Park is, in my view, stunning, with its huge fish pond, bandstand, amazing trees – and of course the buildings that surround the park. Who wouldn’t want to live here?
The park has a large arc of Italian-style stucco villas to the north, and the railway station – itself a magnificent building – and railway line to the south. As a child I was told the story – many times – of a relative of mine who sat on a bench at the entrance to the park opposite the railway station. At the time – the early 1940’s – the bench was flanked by two Italian statues. What happened to them?
My relative apparently felt the urge to remove himself from the bench with some haste, and it was just as well he did – minutes later bombs dropped on the railway line catapulted a length of track over the road – crashing down on the recently vacated bench. Needless to say, the bench was no more. I wonder if that is how the sculptures also disappeared?
Anyway, it is one of three portentous stories I heard over the years recalling events that, had they not occurred, I would never have come into existence!
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