Posts Tagged 'Devon'


Star Trek actor William Shatner has apologised to a Devon town for saying it was “laced with prostitution” on Have I got News For You. 

Mr Crabb, 49, emailed Shatner’s agents: “As Captain James T Kirk, Mr Shatner has been to places where no man has gone before, however, the episode of Have I Got News For You clearly shows he has never been to Ilfracombe.”

It’s a good bit of publicity and a godo call from Paul Crabb. Certainly better than the logo fiasco that had a local councillor saying that teenage pregnancy was a good thing!

I grew up in Ilfracombe. The cast of Coronation Street stayed at the Carlton Hotel that I lived in during the 1970’s (my parents ran it for a while), as did Titanic Tom, a survivor of the famous ship that came year after year, Lady Diana came, the Olympic torch came, arsonists came and burnt down a lot of hotels that didn’t have planning permission to be knocked down, the Pavillion went, the Cliffe Hydro went, The Mount went, the Collingwood went, the Candar went, the Ilfracombe Hotel went among others…but it still has charm even though the high street is a mess and the council seem obsessed with painting it in corporate blue.

Take care Ilfracombe. We will see you soon.


We truely believe this and that it can be again.

For proof, look at these amazing images from the Frith Collection:

Picture 19

Sadly missed...

You can add (and read) people memories of the town too. The church where we had our wedding blessing is there, the hotel where I partly grew up (the Carlton). It looks really stunning in Black and white and It’s incredible how big the crowds are.

Lots of pictures of the pavilion. Non of it when it had the concrete wings. None of the high street.

I wonder what pictures will be on sites like this in the future?

The Old Garden Shop

I remember when this stood next to Mr Benitos.

This is the current state of the building:

148 Empty

But what if it was turn into ‘The Green House’ to serve the community as it once did?

Original 'green wall' photo: Rory Hyde

Original 'green wall' photo: Rory Hyde

Green wall systems absorb noise, are self irrigating, stop graffiti, help insulate the building and enhance the environment. They vary in price but are around £350 per metre square.


How to make an empty shop appealing

This is such a beautiful shop.

It’s criminal that it has been allowed to be left in this state. No shop in ANY high street should be left like this.

This is NOT acceptable.


But what if empty shops were treated like this?

Empty Shop After

But what if estate agents used the building like a billboard:

“I could be an Old Fashioned Sweet Shop, or a Deli, or I could sell Eco Products, how about a Gift Shop?. Use your imagination. I’m next to a cinema, imagine what they might want to buy. Dvd’s?”

The door has two little holes from where you can get a sneaky preview of the shop before calling the estate agent.

This wouldn’t cost much to do either.

Have a look at our other blog:
or the people behind this project;

The Old Job Centre

This was the job centre. So it was a civil building. I can’t understand why the council would leave it in this state.

This is how it looks at the moment:

Furniture Store Before

But this is how it could look if it became a Furniture Store:

Furniture Store After

Ilfracombe should be proud of its history. Why not include a little text about the building next door? The hand points to the Old Candar Arcade and says:

“The Candar Hotel & Victorian Arcade stood next door until 1983 when they were destroyed by fire. The new buildings were opened by HRH Prince Charles & Lady Diana in their last official engagement as prince & princess of Wales in 1992.”

I actually approached the mayor of Ilfracombe with this idea in 1992 when I was a mere design graduate but he dismissed it coming up with every excuse under the sun from planning and red tape to health and safety (it may distract drivers and cause an accident!). Hopefully the local Council are more receptive to ideas these days.

A perfectly formed shop… but empty

This is yet another empty shop that is looking neglected. It’s a very elegant building and compared to many in the town isn’t too bad.

Jack & Jill Before

Bu t what if it came to life again as a kids fashion shop? We suggest calling it Jack & Jill:

Jack & Jill After

Why not use the space above the shop to advertise your store. They used to years ago and the signs are decorative and can help enhance the high street, especially if they are hand painted (as this is supposed to represent).

The Old Chocolate Box

This is where ‘The Chocolate Box’ used to be:

Deli Before

What if it became a Deli selling fresh, fairtrade, free range, organic and locally sourced goods?

148 Empty

Traditional materials and signage are not expensive. Original shop fronts can often look more contemporary than expensive ugly modern replacements.

The high street really should be listed by English Heritage or at the very least be a conservation area (if it isn’t already).