This book covers the main streets of the town centre – Courtenay, Bank, Market and Wolborough Streets – as well as the smaller side streets and roads that radiate off them. It invites you to take a stroll through the town, to stop and stare, and to really notice Newton Abbot. It is over a hundred glossy pages which take a full-coloured delve into the architecture of these street, discovers the lives of some of the past residents and the stories which rocked the town.
Noticing Newton Abbot is an exploration of Newton Abbot’s remarkable heritage. Tess Walker’s extensive photographs and local artist Ewan Walton’s detailed drawings, capture the soul of the most iconic buildings and complement a text that not only describes the architectural features of the different buildings but tells the stories of some of the people who lived and worked in them – tales of riots, fairs and floods, as well as the tragedy and comedy of the lives of everyday people.
Having been born in Newton Abbot and living here for the last forty-three years I thought I knew quite a good amount about my home town. But this beautifully illustrated book has opened up a whole new history for me.
The drawings give an uncluttered view of some of the intricate exteriors which were obviously built with great pride. The reasons for buildings being built are fascinating. Especially when you realise that the names of many families who created this architecture are still represented in the area.
The photographs are very detailed and allow you to see the craftsmanship. Today’s busy world with heavy traffic does not always allow a long lingering look at our heritage buildings.
The joy is that this book shows so many buildings have survived despite some terrible planning decisions in the post war era. I’m sure there are only a few buildings that have been blandly thrown up in Newton Abbot over the last fifty years that will ever merit inclusion in a book like this, so this record of important structures should allow Newtonians to cherish their heritage and fight to preserve it for future generations to appreciate.
More books if possible, please!
Our eyes have been opened to find beauty and elegance in Newton Abbot where many don't expect it.
Felicity Cole, Curator, Newton Abbot Town and Great Western Railway Museum
Fascinating insights into Newton Abbot’s people and social history bring extra warmth and colour to this excellent book.
Noticing Newton Abbot is a new book by local writer and historian Tess Walker, who has not only researched and written the text but has also beautifully photographed all the images featured in the book. The photographs and text are supported by drawings by local artist and resident Ewan Walton, who has captured Newton Abbot’s most important buildings and architectural details in exquisite detail.
Featured in the book is a unique record of the town’s history – in buildings, signs, railings, windows, and architectural features. Surrounding these images are the real-life stories of the people and events that have shaped the town’s history. The book’s contemplative narrative hopes that we may appreciate the landscape around us that is ‘hidden in plain sight’.
Beautifully photographed and drawn, this book would make an ideal gift. It celebrates the town in all its glory and the history of Newton Abbot is explored and celebrated as we discover more about the residents and pioneers who have shaped the town and left us an important architectural heritage.
Keith Lodwick, resident and curator (V&A Museum, London)
Our eyes have been opened to find beauty and elegance where perhaps we don't expect it. This beautifully crafted book does just that, most of the time we all go about our business looking down or straight ahead. This book will encourage you to look up and view Newton Abbot's architecture with new eyes, and help you to explore and appreciate this remarkable town.
Felicity Cole, Curator, Newton Abbot Town Musem