Monthly Archives: November 2015


Robin Hood 2014

Robin Hood 2014

A few posts ago we had a poem from the early nineteenth century – Private Theatricals by Winthrop Mackworth Praed.

Theatricals are is still alive and well in Teignmouth even though last year saw the demise of the Carlton Theatre to be replaced on the Den by a brand new facility, The Pavilions, due to open early next year.

In the mean time the Teignmouth Players have had to improvise and change venue. But the show goes on and here’s a poem that advertised the Christmas Panto 2014 in the local press. Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!

It had no named author or title so I’ve just called it ……


Christmas is that special time
When you can see a pantomime.
The audience from near and far
May witness a spectacular
Performance from the Teignmouth Players
With heroes, villains and soothsayers!
The Carlton may well be ‘behind you’
But there’s no need to shout or ‘boo’,
Teign Community School is here.
     (Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is!)
So everyone can clap and cheer
Along to each and every number
Until they all go home to slumber.

Amy Burton-Smith’s direction
Is absolute panto perfection
With Jeff Hocking’s musical skill
This show is set to wow and thrill!
The Teignmouth Players cast and crew
Are all proud to present to you
The Adventures of Robin Hood
To excite you like a panto should!
The evil sheriff of Nottingham
Does all the things a villain can
To make life hard for our poor hero.
But will his efforts come to zero?
The love of lady Marion
Will have them fighting ‘till it’s won!

The Dame of this year’s panto battle
Takes form as Nora Tittletattle.
The Nanny of our fairest maiden
Who’s sure to have her make-up laden!
So book your tickets right away
To come and see a matinee
or evening if that’s your bag
And laugh along with every gag!
Bring all the family with you
And shout out loud and cheer and boo!
Lots of laughs are on the menu
At this exciting new venue
Over Christmas and New Year,
Be sure to leave a window clear!

To Dance on Teignmouth Pier

The Right Side of the Pier

There have been a number of poems written about Teignmouth Pier, still one of the iconic and leading attractions on the seafront despite the most recent damage caused by the 2013 winter storms.

Here is another take on the Pier with a nostalgic view of its heyday when ‘dance’ was one of the main forms of entertainment.

To Dance on Teignmouth Pier
(Barbara Hine)

During the forties and fifties or so
The Pier was the place to go.
On many a night when the moon was bright
The Pavilion held its show.

There was comedy and song, all week long,
And even an acrobat strong,
There were beauty contests and famous guests
Who performed with great aplomb.

There was a place to eat where friends could meet
To indulge in a little treat.
No tea in a mug, no ‘Little Brown Jug’
But china and napkins neat.

But best of all was the lure of the hall
And the excitement of a ball.
For a real live band above the sand
Did nothing but enthral.

The dance floor fine with seductive shine
Was a veritable Glenn Miller shrine.
The bands played loud, the latest sound,
Above the foaming brine.

And with drinks and food, the girls were wooed
To get them ‘In the mood’.
When the boys cast a glance at the weekly Dance,
They did not think it rude.

With their hair in curls and ‘A String of Pearls’
And a spangly dress for twirls,
They gilded around to the big band sound.
They were up for it all, those girls!

Be it waltz or foxtrot, they didn’t mind what,
They quick-stepped away to the lot:
The rumba, the mamba, the cha cha, the samba
They gave them their very best shot.

For they all came here in excellent cheer
To lighten the fifties drear,
After days In the sun, they craved laughter and fun
And to dance on Teignmouth Pier.

So the music played and the people swayed
To ‘The Moonlight Serenade’,
While some went on deck, for a hug and a peck
And a gentle promenade.

And ‘I know why’ there was nipping and stripping –
The young were indulging in skinny-dipping.
Then they’d get themselves dressed so no one would guess,
But went home through the town all dripping.

Back in fifty-four, when folk took to the floor,
Not one of them knew the score:
That soon men would go ‘Over the Rainbow’,
In space ships they would soar.

There’d be lunar cars and trips to Mars –
The earth would have no bars.
There’d be astronauts then and little green men
‘On the Stairway to the Stars’.

James Bond would ride on the incoming tide
And people would just stay inside
To watch the tele with legs like jelly
The day the music died.

With the sixties new, beatlemania grew,
And ‘Come Dancing’ was just for the few.
When the bubble burst and TV did its worst,
It was discos for me and you.

Those nights on the pier, folk had no idea
That a brand new era was near,
That storm and fire would make a pyre
Of the ballroom once so dear.

And the Pavilion grand would come to land
Far out from the amber strand,
Where hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They had danced to a Glenn Miller Band.


Storms hit the pier

Storms hit the pier

Want to know more?  Check out:

Teignmouth Pier …..

Holiday in Teignmouth



Since the early days of bathing machines on the beach Teignmouth has always been a sea-side resort.

A couple of months ago someone came into the Heritage Centre in Teignmouth bringing a small book of poems called “Gillyflowers”. It was a selection of poems by her mother, Dorothy Heard, who had moved to Teignmouth many years before. The collection has been compiled and published privately by Dorothy’s brother.

Dorothy was born in a small Yorkshire village and had to leave school before matriculation. She went to work on the fields in a local farm before moving indoors to help the farmer’s wife. At school she loved English and enjoyed reading poetry; one of her favourite poems was Meg Merrilies by Keats. In the seventies Dorothy found herself working at the Minadab, on the Dawlish Road, which at that time was a restaurant. Later she ran her own Bed & Breakfast. Dorothy, aged 97, is still living in Teignmouth.

The poems in Gillyflowers reflect her thoughts and memories from Yorkshire and Teignmouth. This first one is about Teignmouth as a holiday seaside resort 40 years ago.

Holiday in Teignmouth
(Dorothy Heard – 1972)

Crowded beaches, sun-kissed faces,
silver sand and sparkling sea,
gay striped awnings, Granddad’s braces,
children digging merrily,
picture postcards, sticks of rock,
paddling pool and donkey rides,
trains arriving choc-a-bloc,
roundabouts and local guides.

Landladies, all working hard,
changing linen, sparkling clean,
flower beds on the promenade,
cricket matches on the green,
busy cafes, fresh cream teas,
lobster, crab and cockles too,
ice-cream parlours, chips and peas,
candyfloss from Lindy Lou.

Daily trips across the moor
visiting historic places,
Tavistock and Widdecombe, or
chance one’s luck at Newton races.
Pennies clinking on the pier,
scent of pungent suntan lotion,
local inn for ice-cold beer,
moonlight bathing in the ocean.

Singing hymns on Sunday morning
in the ozone-laden air,
dancing till the day is dawning,
sudden hectic love affair.
All too soon the days have flown,
cases packed, a goodbye tear,
back to work, and home sweet home,
promising to meet next year.
Deck-chairs stacked away once more,
little town now strangely still,
lonely seagulls on the shore
screaming through the autumn chill.