The Spitfire Flies Home

The great news this month is that the Bishopsteignton Village VE-75 Knitted Spitfire has finally found its forever home, flying high from the ceiling of the HUB at the Community Centre. Along with that we are pleased to publish an article about its creation and background. Read it here;

Also keep a lookout for details of our Virtual Xmas Social where you will be able to see for yourself (on Zoom) what it and the rest of the HUB now looks like.

The Bishopsteignton Village Show 1995-2020

2020 marks the 25th year anniversary of The Bishopsteignton Village Show.  However, due to the current COVID circumstances many village celebrations have been put on hold until next year.  This article celebrates the history of the Village Show since 1995 until the current day and has been written primarily from the minutes of meetings that took place over the years and looking through the archives for newspaper articles and artefacts.

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Philip Coombe

Born 25th September 1891 in Bishopsteignton, Philip Coombe is remembered for his brave service during the First World War as well as his local accomplishments as a builder. Though some thought him a ‘hard man’, the Coombe family archives shows Philip to have been a lover of poetry, animals and his family.

Photograph of Philip and Grace Coombe in September 1969.
Philip and Grace Coombe in September 1969.

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The Coombe Family

Molly Coombe (1929-2007) was the only child of Philip (1891-1970) and Grace Coombe née Loud (1898-1984). The Coombe family have left an incredible mark on the village of Bishopsteignton. From memories of Molly as a home-owner and landlady to streets of houses built by Philip, the Coombes remain a part of many households in the village.

Here, the compilation and presentation of information about this family is dedicated to the memory of Molly Coombe who’s legacy has been put to fine use in developing the Bishopsteignton Heritage Project for the benefit of the whole community. In these articles I hope that the long-silent voices of Molly, her parents and relations, can again be heard telling stories of life in Bishopsteignton and sharing the humble and steadfast love for this village which emanates from every record in the family archive.

A wedding favour note from the marriage of Philip and Grace Coombe on March 10th, 1925.
A wedding favour note from the marriage of Philip and Grace Coombe on March 10th, 1925.

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The Molly Coombe Memorial Lecture 2020

Alex receiving "Top UK Tour Guide" at the Wanderlust World Guide Awards. Presenting the award are Wanderlust Magazine founder Lyn Hughes and Author Bill Bryson.

Due to our present situation Bishopsteignton Heritage has taken innovative steps to bring you this year’s Molly Coombe Memorial lecture. We cannot meet in person but we can meet you virtually. Alex Graeme of Unique Devon Tours is preparing a fascinating talk for us entitled ‘Tales of a Devon Tour Guide’ which will be held on October 21st at 7pm, via the Zoom platform. Participation is free of charge.

Alex is a highly experienced, multi award winning tour guide with many entertaining tales to tell so it promises to be an exciting evening for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. We have certain limitations on numbers so we urge you to sign up to participate. If you are not familiar or comfortable with the Zoom format, we can help you with that too, just email us at [email protected]

You can sign up for the talk here: One ticket, free of charge, is all you need for one household. Your invitation to the talk will be emailed to you on the day.

We also want to use this event to launch our own zoom presence which will be a great way to meet and talk with our Researchers on a regular basis while we still cannot meet in person. We hope you will join us on the evening for a great event

Bishopsteignton Bombers – The Lancaster Past and Present

As part of our WWII commemorations this year Bishopsteignton had scheduled a talk by Richard Gibby to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain. Due to the restrictions on meetings we decided to use the innovative platform of Zoom to deliver the talk so that it could appear on the website. It tells of the Lancaster Bomber and its connections to one particular RAF casualty who came from Bishopsteignton.[1] Watch it below.

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Parish Census Search Tool

Census search tool header image - family items from the Bishopsteignton Heritage archives

Welcome to our Parish Census Search Tool

We have combined information from all the currently available censuses 1841 – 1939. There is a lot of fascinating information to be found therein which is presented as transcribed from the originals by our team of volunteers in order to enable you to research the people and places within the parish of Bishopsteignton throughout the aforementioned years.

It is worth remembering that the censuses are a series of snapshots taken over a couple of days, ten or more years apart. The censuses were hand written with varying degrees of legibility and some are damaged in places, so let us know if you spot any inaccuracies! There are a lot of gaps in the story of our village and we would love to hear from you if you have any information to help us fill them in.

This is the first delivery of our much larger ODIN (Online Data INterface) project which seeks to gather and store as much detail as possible about people, places, events, documents, stories etc. connected to our village, and present it in as enjoyable and informative a manner as possible, for present and future generations.

Credits for their contributions to this stage go to James Hooper for compilation, development and transcription, David Whitehouse for transcription and consultancy and to Rowena Bradnam and Ian Roberts for transcription.


You can:

Search by forename, surname or both. Use full or partial names. Not case sensitive.

Search for up to three people – allows for husband + wife’s married name + wife’s maiden name, for example.

Choose the census year or years for specific queries or search multiple years to get an individual’s or family’s story through time.

Choose to omit “closed” records. These are records that have been redacted due the person concerned still being alive, at the time of transcription.

Once you have searched you have the option to hide rows where there are a lot of results and only some are relevant to your particular query.


As a suggestion try typing “Coombe” into the Surname field and click Submit to see the history of our benefactor Molly’s family.

The next instalment of the database will allow researchers to record family trees within the parish.

Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.



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