7th June 2020

7th June 2020


I am continuing to slowly read through Agatha Christie's autobiography. The first part of the book goes into lots of detail about her childhood at Ashfield which is quite fascinating and is making me think about my early years, trying to think of all the things that I can remember.

Visits to the dentist is something that immediately springs to mind. Probably breaking one of my back teeth last weekend has almost certainly not helped! Up until my early twenties I used to dread going to the dentist. I ate too many sweets as a child and always seemed to need a new filling when I went to the dentist in my teens. 

My first visits to the dentist were in Exeter. Although I was then living in Torquay I think that my parents took me to the dentist in Exeter because we had previously lived in Pinhoe. I don't remember anything unpleasant about those visits but when we started going to the dentist in Shiphay that's when I remember the injections and the drill. 

The needle always hurt and despite the numbness it caused the drill still hurt as well. I would imagine that the drill would have been even more without the injection. Then there was the horrible numbness in the mouth which seemed to last for hours afterwards with the feeling that you were dribbling and unable to speak or eat properly.

On more than one occasion a sticky sweet such as a toffee would remove a filling and consequently another trip to the dentist for another injection and further drilling and filling. I think my dentist in Shiphay was a very good dentist. Whenever the school dentist checked my teeth at the Torquay Boys Grammar school I was usually informed that my fillings were extremely good.

As well as going to the dentist in Shiphay I also went to an orthodontist in Newton Abbot. The orthodontist is still in the same building by the war memorial in Newton Abbot. I remember coming back on the bus from one visit to the orthodontist when I saw a nasty fire in a church in Kingskerswell.

Moulds were taken of my teeth, top and bottom and I have still got these somewhere in my basement. I then had to have four back teeth removed, not a pleasant experience and had to wear a brace. The brace used to make my teeth ache and when I was eventually able to dispense with it I found that I had gained a very slight speech impediment. Still the removal of the teeth ultimately proved to be a good thing. Those teeth all had fillings and after their removal the gaps between my teeth were better and made it easier to clean them with a toothbrush. I had a few further fillings in my early twenties but since then I have had to only endure one further filling and after that only one filling which was the replacement of an old existing one.

I remember being with my sister the first time that she had a filling. I saw her panic at the sight of the needle and she knocked the hand of Mr Abrahams, the dentist so that he accidentally pricked one of his fingers.


My fascination with the history of Torbay continues and I recently purchased  a jigsaw puzzle of a map of Victorian Torquay and this gave me the idea for another song.


The Town of Torquay

Let's take a walk by the harbourside in 1893

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

Everything looks so old fashioned

The ladies hats, their shoes and dresses

Let's take a walk up Union street in 1903

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

Gas lamps to the light the street

A horse and cart but no cars seen

Soon there will be trams

With electrification

The terminus for them

Located by Torre station

Take a walk to the town hall in 1923

Life would be quite different then

In the town of Torquay

© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2020 - Version 9.0.1 September 2020