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24 September 2014
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Home town Newton Abbot

Wendy Van Hildyck-Smith

Wendy Van Hildyck-Smith was born in Devonport, joined the WRENS in 1943 and lived abroad in for many years. However, she decided "North, South, East and West Devon for me is always best".

After the war she returned to settle in Newton Abbot, where she lives with her four legged friend, Penny the Poodle.

One of the joys of living in Newton Abbot is its position. Just a very short drive takes you to the magnificent South Devon coastline.

Fifteen minutes inland and you are in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park. With good train and coach links to the area, it is very conveniently situated.

Newton Abbot is twinned with Besigheim in Germany and every year we hold our version of their 'winzerfest' the October wine festival and a smaller one called 'The Onion Festival' where food samples are laid out and the smells from the stalls really make your mouth water! The Town Crier makes an appearance and looks resplendent in his powder blue regalia.

silver birch trees
Penny and I always walk along by these silver birch trees

Newton Abbot is a very green place to live. My house is in a conservation area and that means that everyone takes a great pride in their properties and gardens.

Every day when I walk my dog Princess Penelope or just Penny for short, we pass an avenue of silver birch trees.

Penny loves these walks and meeting all her other doggy friends while we are in the park.

Local attractions
There are interesting pottery works within a short distance of the town as the Bovey Basin is a centre for the ball clay industry. The Cardew Teapot Works is a great attraction for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can have great fun trying to throw pots with clay that has a mind of its own... and the professionals make it look so easy!

Tucker’s Maltings is a very popular attraction for the area. This local brewery makes delicious beer and is open to the public, who can sample the brew.

Just one of Newton Abbot's many pubs
Which pub do you fancy tonight?

In an effort to keep fit and healthy I'm a regular at the Passage House Hotel swimming pool and leisure complex. It's a very sociable pastime as a group of us all meet after a few lengths for a chat over a cup of coffee.

There are also plenty of pubs, restaurants and night clubs catering for all tastes and needs. When I am not busy I like to attend matinees at the old local cinema.

Our local library in Newton Abbot is first rate and you can brush up your skills with an evening class. You can learn a language or take an o level and absolute beginners and the more advanced can become internet whizzes at the local computer learning centre.

Fancy a flutter on the gee-gees?

Tears of joy and despair can be shed by gamblers at the race track

Newton Abbot is synonymous with horse racing and the race track attracts many visitors to the town. Gamblers can win a fortune on a good day but its a risky business and you won't catch me losing my shirt.

Continue Wendy's tour of Newton Abbot More


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