Some 48 Devon General Society members and their guests enjoyed a sunny day trip on Sunday 4th June, visiting sites with links to Torbay’s historic trams and trains. Our transport for the day was the Devon General Omnibus Trust’s 1964 AEC Regent V 503 RUO, which was making its debut following the completion of its lengthy restoration. In support was DGOT’s 1952 AEC Regent III, NTT 661.
From Exeter, we took the coastal route via Dawlish and Teignmouth to Newton Abbot, stopping at Dawlish for a coffee break and a chance to look at the new sea wall works.
Continuing to Torquay, we passed the site of Devon General’s Newton Road garage, now an Asda store, and then Torre Station. This opened in 1848, and from 1907 was the terminus of the Torquay Tramways route from Beacon Quay.
After Torre we headed up to St Marychurch, where the site of Torquay Tramways’ depot is commemorated by a foundation stone and sections of tram rail.
A lunch break on Babbacombe Downs followed, from which aircraft taking part in the English Riviera Airshow could be seen. After the break, the tour continued past the old Devon General garage at Torwood Street and along the seafront to Preston, where we received a warm welcome from the owner of the former Torquay Tramways tram depot in Orient Road, now a car workshop.
Our final visit of the day was to the Dartmouth Steam Railway’s bus base and railway workshop at Churston, where again we were treated to a guided tour.
Our route home took us around the Torbay ring road and over Haldon back to Exeter.
Posted 9th June 2023