Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

North Devon’s first surfers tell their stories

14:43 01 July 2014

The original gang of some of North Devon

The original gang of some of North Devon's first surfers - Bill Gliddon, Bob Powers, Paul Latham, Pete Sandy, Alan Kift, Steve Latham and Ozzie Gammon.

Archant

The trailblazers of the region’s surf scene gather at the Museum of British Surfing to recall an image from their past.

Pictured in this 1960s shot at Woolacombe of some of the first North Devon surfers are Brian Kettle, Barry Charlesworth, Ozzie Gammon, Mick Lock, Peter Sandy and one unknown surfer.Pictured in this 1960s shot at Woolacombe of some of the first North Devon surfers are Brian Kettle, Barry Charlesworth, Ozzie Gammon, Mick Lock, Peter Sandy and one unknown surfer.

PIONEERS of the North Devon surf scene got back together on Sunday at the Museum of British Surfing in Braunton to recreate an iconic image from their past.

Before surfing became a multi-million industry, the beaches of North Devon had hardly seen a board, but all that changed in the 1960s when a group of friends began tackling the waves with their ‘new-fangled Malibu boards and rubber suits’.

Their pictures and stories from the birth of modern surfing in the region form part of the museum’s new exhibition The First Wave, revealing the history of British surfing through the people who were there.

Alan Kift, 76, and Paul Latham, 83, could well have been the first in North Devon to own a surfboard, after spotting the craze in Newquay in 1963.

Surfing in North Devon during the 1960s.Surfing in North Devon during the 1960s.

The Woolacombe Surf Life-saving Club members gathered together like-minded types such as Peter Sandy, Ozzie Gammon, Barry Charlesworth and Bob Powers, thought to be the first ever board shaper in North Devon.

“We wanted to work with the museum to add our knowledge about the first days of surfing in North Devon and to encourage as many people as possible to go along and find out more,” said Alan.

“Since we started surfing the turnover has grown and grown, so today it must be worth £15-20million for the local economy.”

Their recollections of those days have been recorded by The First Wave project and can be listened to at the museum through touch screen displays, alongside other forerunners and innovators of the British surf scene.

Pictures, surfboards and memorabilia from the heady days of the 1960s and even earlier can also be seen.

Peter Robinson at the museum said they were still keen to hear from anyone with surfboards from the time who would be willing to lend them to the exhibition.

The exhibition at the museum in Caen Street car park runs until December. If you have boards or memorabilia you’d like to share, call the museum on 01271 815155 or email contact@museumofbritishsurfing.org.uk.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:35
Syria fundraiser organisers Jake Slee and Jumoké Fernandez at Bideford's Cafe Onboard venue.

Don’t miss ‘Syria’ at cafe Onboard this Saturday (August 27)

Read more
Yesterday, 09:06

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is expecting more than 10,000 calls over the bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Roosting greater horseshoe bats. Picture: John J Kaczanow

Devon Wildlife Trust has teamed up with North Devon AONB for the project.

Read more
Thu, 15:34
RNLI lifeguards have been busy again in 2011 on North Devon beaches. PIC: RNLI.

RNLI lifeguards had a busy week as they rescued people from rip currents and dealt with several serious medical episodes on Croyde and Woolacombe.

Read more
Thu, 11:45
Flora Kyte, Ben Price, Ottelie Kuehne, Hannah Munro-O'Brien, Bethany Lee, Emily Yelland and Helena Reed celebrate top results at South Molton Community College. Picture: Matt Smart

Teenagers across the region opened their results today (Thursday), with more exceptional achievements for schools in the area.

Read more
Thu, 11:39

Mystery surrounds the circumstances as to how the man was found injured in the early hours after Hartland Carnival. Can you help?

Read more
Thu, 10:20
The Seamoor Unit has won a regional award

Seamoor Unit is named ‘best building under £2m’ at the Michelmores Property Awards

Read more
Thu, 09:38
MV Balmoral is welcomed to Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The vessel arrived in Bideford with 224 passengers as was greeted by the mayor and town crier.

Read more
Thu, 09:34
A pop-up night club transformed the Wrey Arms pub in Sticklepath, Barnstaple. Picture: Contributed

First pop-up club is held at The Wrey Arms with disco, lights and plenty of party spirit.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications