The launch of Devon History Society’s Devon in the 1920s project is taking place on Saturday 24 April (10.00 am – 12.30 pm via Zoom.) The principal speaker at the launch will be Dr Stefan Goebbel of the University of Kent, who will set the scene with a talk on the aftermath of the war and the long shadows cast over the 1920s, while Professor Henry French, Penny Lawrence and Peter Mason will introduce some of the questions which will be explored during the research project.  These include what happened on the big estates, what happened in farming communities, and how did Devon’s tourist attractions develop in the 1920s?  This event is open to everyone, whether or not they plan to contribute to the research project, but a slot will be provided at the end specifically to discuss plans for taking forward the research.

The Project Programme

The second event in the project programme will focus on the use of sources. David Pinder will address one of the key areas of 1920s development, the water supply.  ‘Devon’s rural water supplies in the 1920s: what can Wembury’s experience tell us?’ will take place on Zoom at 7.00 pm on Thursday 4 May.

The third event will take place via Zoom between 10.00am and 12.30 pm on the morning of Saturday 5 June.  This is will be an introduction to one of the key research themes of the project, Tourism and Leisure. Peter Mason, Kevin Dixon and Paul Cleave are the principal speakers, covering tourism and leisure on Dartmoor and in Torquay, together with a look at the provision and enjoyment of food.

Booking and Bursaries

If you wish to attend any of these events, please book via the Devon History Society website.

Do you have family who lived in Devon in the 1920s?  Are you interested in what life was like in your own community in the 1920s?  Have you an interest in a particular aspect of 1920s history – the arrival of the wireless, or the history of new housing estates or the development of the golf club?  The Devon History Society is offering bursaries to people who want to carry out research using the British Newspaper Archive website, but don’t delay, as applications close on Sunday 28 February.

Julia Neville ( who is managing the project, will be interested to hear from anyone interested in getting involved in research, applying for a bursary or who has stories to tell. 

Photo credit: Topsham Museum Society

The project was originally scheduled to be launched at the Devon Heritage Centre in March 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic.