Couple step back in time after finding 60 year old local newspaper

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Saturday 6th August 2022 6:00 am
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Ann Styles ( )

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The carnival, local farming and the closure of the Ashburton railway line were among the stories hitting the Totnes Times headlines 60 years ago.

Local couple Ann and John Styles found an old copy of the paper dating back to 1962 when they were revamping their home in Higher Westonfields in the 1990s.

Ann decided to save it as a historic document so tucked it away in an envelope and placed it on a bookshelf, where it has remained ever since.

She recently unearthed the paper again while having a sort out and is loathe to throw it away.

So she contacted our Totnes reporter to find out if anyone would like it.

Ann explained: “We’ve lived in our bungalow since 1988 and when we did some work on the property some years ago we found a copy of an old Totnes Times.

“It was spread out sheet by sheet under the flooring - which may have been carpet or lino.

“In the 1960’s it was common for people to put newspaper under flooring - like a modern underlay. 

“I glanced through it and decided it was worth keeping as an historical document.

“I don’t want to just throw it away in the bin or use it to wrap the chicken carcass in, so I wondered if there is anyone around in Totnes who was born on that day who would like it as a souvenir of their birthday?”

The paper, which was a broadsheet in those days, is dated September 15 1962, and its front page splash was the now defunct Totnes Carnival.

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Ann, a retired primary school teacher, said: “There are articles on the closure of the rail line between Totnes and Ashburton, and also the closure of the Kingsbridge line. 

“It’s quite obvious from the content that farming was very important, with mention of the weekly Totnes Store and Fatstock Market conducted by Rendells. 

“The front page is devoted to the Totnes Carnival, with lots of descriptions of the various entrants. 

“The adverts are quite amusing and there is a mention of the Romany Cinema showing ‘Bon Voyage’ with Fred MacMurray and Jane Wyman.”

Ann added: “My husband is always quite critical of me keeping ‘stuff’, but I think it is very interesting to see how life was in the past. 

“I was born in 1951 so in September 1962 I had just started at the local girls grammar school in Quorn, Leicestershire.

“If I had been living in Totnes at the time I would probably like to keep it, but I am very happy to see if we can find a Totnes person who would find it special. 

“It certainly shouldn’t be thrown out with the recycling.”

Anyone who would like the newspaper can phone Ann on 01803 862780.


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