PICTURES: New Bideford book merges old pictures with new

Bideford Town Hall

Bideford Town Hall - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

Bideford historian Peter Christie has teamed up with photographer Graham Hobbs to be produce a new book, Bideford Reflections, looking into the town’s storied past.

Bideford, situated on the estuary of the River Torridge, has a long and fascinating history as a port.

From its quays sailed the first colonising venture to the New World under Sir Richard Grenville. The first Native American to be buried in England lies in its churchyard.

The Quay

The Quay - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

The town was home to the Victorian novelist Charles Kingsley, who set his novel Westward Ho! in the area, and its tourism industry went on to develop greatly.

Bridge Street

Bridge Street - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

Still popular with visitors today, Bideford’s narrow streets lead to a tree-lined quay bustling with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats.

Grenville and High Street

Grenville and High Street - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs


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In this book, writer Peter Christie and photographer Graham Hobbs have chosen a selection of old and new photographs that are individually merged to reveal how Bideford has changed over the decades.

Mill Street

Mill Street - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

Each of the 180 pictures combines a recent colour view with the matching sepia archive scene. Through the split-image effect, readers have the opportunity to ‘step back in time’ and discover what life was like for previous generations.

Mill Street

Mill Street - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

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This fascinating visual chronicle reflects past and present glimpses of Bideford and it is hoped will be enjoyed by residents, visitors, local historians and all those with links to the town.

'Rose of Torridge'

'Rose of Torridge' - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

Peter Christie is a lecturer at Petroc College where he teaches Geography and Oral History. He is a senior district and town councillor. He’s twice been Mayor of Bideford and is currently Chairman of the Bideford Bridge Trust.

The Quay around 1880 before the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway was laid down or trees were planted

The Quay around 1880 before the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway was laid down or trees were planted - Credit: Bideford Reflections - Graham Hobbs

He has been a local historian for 12 years and has published over 1000 articles on the history of North Devon.

Graham Hobbs has been a photographer for 30yrs and has won many awards which are listed on his website, www.grahamhobbsphotography.co.uk

His work appears often in newspapers, magazines, books, calendars, greeting cards, and on websites. He has worked alongside actors, artist, world record breakers, TV personalities, authors and members of the government.

The book (ISBN: 9781398104228) is available in paperback from June 15, 2021, and is also available in Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats.

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