A very happy new year to you all and I do hope you had a happy Christmas.

As we put the decorations away for another year and celebrate Epiphany it is high time we put our brains to good use – having probably relaxed and imbibed a little too much food and drink over the festive period. I thought it would be a bit of fun to start the new year off with a quiz to test your knowledge of old Exmouth.

Listed below are 22 questions for you to find answers to. Please email your answers to me at mike.menhenitt@btinternet.com to arrive by 8am on Thursday 12 January and I will publish all the answers in the Exmouth Journal together with the winner’s name on Wednesday 18 January.

The quiz is a bit of fun but as an incentive there will be a prize of free admission to the museum for the lucky winner once we reopen on 4 April. The winner will be the one with the most or all the correct answers – in the event of a tie I will put the names in my top hat and the first one out will be declared the winner. The writer’s decision in all matters is final! 

Good luck, and here we go:

1: When was the first Exmouth Journal printed and who started it?
2: Where was Pencarwick School ? (General Buller was a pupil there) 
3: Where was Hope Orphanage?
4: What was the name of Exmouth’s first hospital, and where was it, and when?
5: Where was there an advert for Holloway’s Pills & Pears Soap?
6: What happened to the paddle steamer The Duchess of Devonshire at Sidmouth?
7: Where was the Dispensary and Soup Kitchen in Exmouth?
8: When were the streets of Exmouth first lit by gas?
9: The YMCA building in Victoria Road – when was it built?
10: Do you know when the Exmouth Steam Laundry caught fire?
11: Exmouth Urban District Council – when was it formed?
12: When was the first air raid alert in Exmouth?
13: Where did the first bomb fall in Exmouth?
14: The last air raid warning was sounded on February 26th 1943 – do you know where the bombs fell?
15: When was the first branch line train to Budleigh Salterton?
16: The Exmouth Pavilion is on the sea front – do you know when it was built?
17: How did Camperdown Terrace get its name?
18: When was the first train from Exeter?
19: Before the Roman Catholic Church was built where did they meet for worship?
20: When was the Exmouth Cottage Hospital built?
21: The letters SPQR was seen over a shop in Chapel Street a long time ago – what does it mean?
22: When was Exmouth Docks opened?

Some of the answers to these fiendish questions you may well know off the top of your head, some you find answers to in one or more of my history articles and some will really challenge you – hopefully!

As you grapple with this, much work is going on inside the museum, where the visitor reception which is housed in the Tack Room is being totally revamped; all being supervised by Duke, whose picture accompanies this is and is safely wintering over in his stable.  My thanks go to all the museum volunteers who have helped with this major project, to the businesses in Exmouth who have given freely of their time and materials to make this possible – you will all feature in an article on this project in due course when it is complete.

Normal service will be resumed with local history articles starting again next week – in the meantime as Hercule Poirot used to say, time to get those 'little grey cells' working!

Happy new year!

You can find out more about Exmouth Museum at the museum’s website www.exmouthmuseum.co.uk or you can email me at mike.menhenitt@btinternet.com.