Torquay in 1924... and in colour!

(Last Updated On: November 18, 2015)


Claude Friese-Greene (1898-1943) was a British cinema technician, filmmaker, and cinematographer. He made more than 60 films between 1923 and 1943.

‘The Open Road’ was a film of his road trip from Land’s End to John o’Groats. From the film, here’s Torre Abbey Sands and Cockington in 1924, re-edited and digitally restored by the BFI National Archive. This was Britain seen in colour for the first time:

… and suggesting that while some things change, others remain pretty much the same, here’s Cockington:


Kevin Dixon went to Audley Park – now Torquay Academy – and South Devon College when it was at Torre. After studying at Birmingham City University, he returned home because there’s nowhere else quite like Torquay. He then became involved in community and adult education, completed a PhD at Exeter University , and started writing about the weird and unknown side of town. He now Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and is involved in health and social care in the Bay.