World War Two film shines a light on wartime Budleigh Salterton
PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 18 December 2018
Budleigh Salterton historian Nick Loman has produced a film giving a unique insight into life in the town during World War Two – through the spoken words of an evacuee.
Entitled ‘Budleigh at War’, it is a first-hand account of wartime life in the town, from a man who was evacuated to the supposed safe haven of Budleigh in 1941 from bomb-hit Bristol.
Nick, of Swains Road, was not sure what to expect when he was given an old cassette tape recording of Richard Dellenty’s memories of his evacuation to the town and his experiences of life in what was a quaint seaside town, far removed from city life.
Said Nick: “When I heard the tape, I suddenly realised it was a wonderful piece of history. He was talking about people and places I knew.”
Richard Dellenty and his mum were among thousands of people evacuated from war-torn towns and cities to quieter backwater places.
He attended primary school in Budleigh and, eventually, worked as a telegram boy at the town’s post office.
During his time in the town, he built up many friendships, including a life-long link with an East Budleigh woman, Ms Olive Dyer, who also worked in the post office. Then, 40 years later, he recorded his memories and sent them to her. They eventually found their way into historian Nick’s hands through Ms Dyer’s nephew’s wife, Mrs Pauline Dyer.
Richard, who died in 1996 at the age of 66, opens a window into life in the charming seaside town.
His story centres on his life as a telegram boy, the places he saw and the people he met. His recording is a mix of humour, history and sadness.
He witnessed first-hand a fatal bombing raid on Budleigh in broad daylight, as people were taking a lunchbreak from work.
Budleigh at War runs for 45 minutes and includes not only Richard Dellenty’s recording, but also archive photography, illustrations by Budleigh artist Jed Falby and film footage.
It also available from Card Shop 2 in Budleigh Salterton, and the DVD Shop at Exmouth Market.
• The film was recently shown at The Salterton Arms, Budleigh Salterton, attracting a large audience and raising more than £175 for the Poppy Appeal.