Oral Archive

The Oral History Archive exists to record material that might otherwise be lost to future generations providing a resource & raising awareness of Newton Abbot’s history.


Aims of the Oral History Archive

What was it like to live in Newton Abbot in the past?  To be an evacuee during the Second World War, or to witness the bombing of the station?  To live in the notorious courts, or in a grand house on Knowles Hill?  To go to school in the 1940s and 1950s?  To experience food rationing?  What games would you play?
The Oral History Archive captures some of the memories of local people – ordinary people living ordinary lives, but in times very different from our own  – in their own words.  They form an important record of everyday life in our town – a record that would otherwise be lost with the passing of the generations.  It is hoped that it will be a useful resource for the community, giving us a greater understanding of what life was like in our parents’ and grandparents’ time.


The Archive is grouped into three main themes: Click on a theme to listen to the audio clips.

A Sense of Place
Past and Present
The Second World War