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This article is part of the Celebration of Bishopsteignton Women poster series in honour of International Women’s Day 2022! To find out more about this project, visit the project homepage.

Molly Coombe was born on 18th October 1929, the only child of Philip and Grace Coombe née Loud. The family lived at ‘Locarno’, which is probably one of the houses on Berry Hill in Bishopsteignton. Molly lived in the village all her life. The Coombe family have left an incredible mark on Bishopsteignton. Molly was a landlady to streets of houses in the village built by her father Philip. So the Coombes remain a
part of many households here.

Molly had Meningitis when she was a child, and this is thought to have continued to have an impact on her into adulthood. Molly led a quiet life, greatly enjoying caring for her beautiful garden and her beloved pets. She inherited this love of animals from her parents.

Molly kept cats throughout her life. Molly also had a love of entering competitions, particularly those that involved her cats, including one that involved photographing her cats. She won many prizes over the years, including a cruise on The QSS Arcadia.

Molly’s legacy has facilitated the creation of the wonderful community facility, the Bishopsteignton Heritage Hub in the Community Centre. Another valuable part of her legacy was the Coombe family archive and many of her precious possessions, which are now in the care of Bishopsteignton Heritage. The Coombe family archive contains all kinds of records of life in Bishopsteignton, from photos to medals and even a teddy bear; it illustrates the affection all members of the family had for each other, the community, and the local area. The collection has been catalogued and is currently in the process of being digitised and made available to access online.

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