General Interest


 6 May 2014

 Plymouth News


John Vincent MA

Tinside Pool re-opened on Saturday 16 August 2003 . This photo taken before the cleaners arrived!

The 'listed' Art Deco swimming pool at Tinside, The Hoe Plymouth, was opened to the public once more from Saturday 16 august 2003.

It was closed some ten years before and deteriorated badly over the following years. I have visited the city over the past year during the restoration of the pool; taken a series of photos during the rebuild.  I  returned to live in my hometown, Plymouth in 2002, and it is with some pleasure that I have witnessed its resurrection. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project. Our City has something to be proud of and I am sure it will attract more visitors. Hopefully it will not be much longer to wait until the whole of Tinside is returned to its former glory. This is gradually happening with a new cafe and art gallery/studios at the redundant Leander Diving Club.

Since then, to my dismay, the rock pools (Ladies, Mens and Toddlers) have been filled in and the diving boards removed.

Not happy about the development of West Hoe Park tennis courts next to Janet’s childrens railway. June 2016 It appears that the developer has gone into administration once more with the building incomplete.

Back in the 'dark ages of the '50s my friend (John Ryan) and I used to walk in from Pennycross, where we lived, and spend our summer holidays at the pool. Were the summers warmer then? 

 Ladies Pool

The Ladies Pool and to the right Toddlers Padling Pool and high diving board. All removed or filled in as was the mens pool and Leander diving platform.

To the left of the pool an extension to the Lido was built as a sunbathing deck.

Theatre Royal

It used to be somewhat of an ordeal to catch a show at the Theatre Royal. Why? Well because I had lived in North Devon for the previous twenty years and a trip to Plymouth was a return journey of three hours, unless relatives or friends gave overnight B&B. I'm not saying that I was completely starved of culture-Barnstaple has an excellent Queens Theatre with a very good programme, but even that was a forty-five minute drive each way. Here in the city it but is a short walk to all the facilities.

The Ladykillers

“The Ladykillers” came to the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, with a different cast to the London production.

Having attended the excellent show in London it was interesting to compare the two.

We sat enthralled at the Plymouth show. The scenery was an exact replica, the script followed, I would say, verbatim and the cast did it justice.

Michelle Dotrice was Mrs Wilberforce to a treat but I preferred Marcia Warren in London.

The xmas panto, that year, was excellent and Basil Brush stole the show from Biggins.

The 39 Steps

Enjoyed  this spoof version of The 39 Steps. this was my third time; the others staged in London.

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

The Museum has recieved millions in Lottery funding to start the reconstruction of the building to incorporate other 'interested' quangos in the City

inluding the Film Archive. The Museum closes in September 2016 for four years.

The City Council plans to call this 'renewal' something like 'The History Centre'. Shock horror "The Box"; how silly is that?

The one meeting that I was invited to attend left me shocked at the proposed changes:

Entrances at the front of the building including the Central Library may be closed off . The new entrance will be at the back of the building in a rather dingy street, Tavistock Place, surrounded by student accomodation and bars. Windows have had to be covered in re-enforced wire to deter vandalism.

I can understand the enthusiasm of the Council and the University. The  publicity in the Evening Herald does paint an optomistic view of the proposed plans.

Tavistock Place; note the restricted width behind the museum.

The Central Library has left the building and moving to a new purpose designed location in Mayflower Street opposite the Armada Centre.

The Cottonian Collection, which is LISTED will be moved into the old Library complex.

The excellent Art Galleries are proposed as office and storage spaces. Future Art Exhibitions will be in a refurbished St Lukes Church in Tavistock Place with NO covered way.

I am a Plymothian of 72 years and have been attending our displays, talks and wonderful exhibitions since childhood.

I am sure that the needed extra spaces for the other collections could be provided without losing and, in my opnion, ruining the excellent facilities that we already have.

Take a visit to the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter.

I am sure to be labelled as reactionary; but then it's only my opinion.

My next moan is about the move of the Bus Station from Bretonside to the old car park behind Iceland in Mayflower Street which is now open but restricted with most coaches boarding at stops at the roundabout bottom of Royal Parade.

Work has started at Bretonside which will include an I-Max cinema. I do enjoy the one at Waterloo London.

A better development would have been the Colin Campbell Court.


Drake Reservoir has reopened and Drake Place was reopened 13 June 2014.

A really fantastic restoration- a pat on the back to all concerned.

Updated 12 December 2017

John Vincent MA


A Prayer For The Whales”, a soapstone carving, exhibited the Phoenix Art Centre, Exeter. Devon.

Part of my Solo exhibition “Ressurrection”, April/June 1999.

To my disgust the Gallery not only refused to pay my ‘EPR (Exhibition Payments Right) but took 30% out of my insurance payment

as their share!

You can imagine my disappointment as I still feel strongly about my treatment even now in May 2016.

I did donate a sculpture (The King), worth over a 1000-, to the Gallery which was purchased by Councellor Eastlake.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of my sculpture please e-mail me @

Drawing purchased in Penzance, believed to by the Late Roger Hilton.

Devonport High School 1958


On 28th July Pat sprung a big shock! She left to live with someone else; who or where was a mystery for months. 16 years down the pan and completely 'out of the blue'.
She wanted my home sold which would have made me, at 70 years old, virtually homeless.
Cannot see me trusting anyone again. I wonder just what story she has given to her daughters.
It has been almost 8 weeks now; over three weeks since her last text cancelling picking up her belongings.
Life went on with support from my daughter and friends. Thanks to Mike and the group at the cafe.
Was not happy, which was probably understandable in the circumstances.
I am very fond of her family and was missing them. Sue and Steve; contact me at any time.
it is now 12 weeks since Pat left.
Have been made aware of her wherabouts and who she has been with since she left.
Cannot believe the abuse of trust; of all the options this is one that would not have entered my imagination.
I can only hope that she feels completely ashamed and that her daughters do not find out the truth about their mother.

It's almost 5 months now and 3 weeks since my last conversation with Pats solicitor.
I made a settlement offer and arranged dates on which Pat can collect her belongings- nothing heard since!
It will be christmas in a week; had hoped to reach a conclusion before that and a better year in 2015.

Tuesday 23rd December: Solicitors letter arrived today. Rang Pats solicitor and discussed the letter.
I have upped the amount of settlement which will leave me destitute- all my savings will be gone!
Solicitors office is now closed for the festive season and won't be open until after the New Year, so arrangements are now on hold.
As for Pats insistance that I NOT be present when she collects her belongings- well thats not going to happen. All my trust went out the window
five months ago when she ran off with a married man. I WILL be present, with my daughter and Pats solicitor( should she choose to be there).
There will be NO confrontation- what would be the point? "She has made her bed".

Happy Christmas and a much better New Year to all my readers.
Well it's January 8th and still no news. Both weekend dates for collection of effects have not been confirmed. Over 5 months; her belongings cannot be that important to her or the new man in her life!
Heres hoping for a better year. Need to get on and start over again.

It's saturday 10th January. The good news, which arrived this morning, is that my final offer HAS been accepted.
It will take a couple of weeks to release the funds from 4 separate accounts. I will be left with no investments.
A great weight has been lifted from my mind- my home is secure. It has been a very stressful , almost, six months.
Collection of her belongings: I have already assured her solicitor that there will be NO confrontation or even discussion so why is she still insisting that I be NOT present?

Monday 19th January and still nothing heard. Pat has had almost six months now to collect her 'stuff'.
My investments have been liquidated; just waiting for final transfer of funds to my bank account. Should be this week. Didn't happen!
Nothing left bar my pensions! Ho hum it's only money.

Thursday 22nd January; still waiting for final investment account to clear, maybe tomorrow, then the cheque can be sent. Didn't happen!

Saturday 7 February 2015 and am back from two weeks chillout in St Ives, Cornwall.
After 4 weeks of prevarification Scottish Widows released my money.
Cheque, for Pat's settlement, was sent on thursday pm and recieved and banked by her solicitor the very next day.
Just have to wait now for the transfer documents, of my home, to be completed.

Things are nearing conclusion. Transfer documents have been exchanged.
Pat has agreed to visit on saturday afternoon, 28 February 2015, to collect her belongings. An agreed list has been recieved.

Collection went amicably. Still stuff to collect which I am boxing/bagging for convenience.
Date yet to be confirmed.

My home has been transferred to my sole ownership this afternoon, 20 March 2015.

Tuesday 14 April 2015. Had a text from Pat today! She has been married to Jo Hobbs- I presume that he has been divorced by his wife Pamela? All very swift since only left me 8 months ago.
Doen't want the rest of her belongings except for personal things which could be picked up by Sophie Wong.
Will start to dispose of unwanted 'stuff' today; the sooner it's gone the better.
Spoke to Sue today, who didn't seem aware that her mother had been seeing Jo behind my back for at leasr 6 months before she left.Pat should be awarded an Oscar for her performance.
Life goes on.
Saturday 26th April: Remainder of Pats stuff removed.
Quote: "I'm not a bad person". YES you are! Engaged to Joseph while living with me!!!
Watch your back, Joseph, Peter, Graham and Derick? are still out there.

monday 27 july 2015. A year has passed by since the 'Bad Person' left to live with a married man ( her patient's husband!)

Iv'e been told that he is after her money- good luck with that Joe; she changed her will while she was with me
her grandchildren will get the lot ha ha, jokes on you Joe..

It has been a trial being on my own but time heals; so they say. I have kept myself busy tidying the house and hanging pictures that were verbotten in Pats day.
Napolion, an 4 panel painting 8ft by 7ft, by Jane Bayer, is now on the stairwell wall; positioned with great difficulty.
All the rooms in the house are Now usable.
One of the next projects will be decking the front garden and starting some long overdue artwork.
Studio needs a big overhaul; flue needs capping, roof needs insulating and rubbish needs to be removed.

Monday 18 July 2016

The grapevine is buzzing; so the 'Bad Person' has changed her will again. In favour of HIM; so the grandchildren will dip out!! Watch your back now and check the brakes regularly- you know what i mean.

My old friend and fellow crossword puzzler, Chris, passed away 7.45 am Saturday 2 May. We will miss him at the Cafe.
The funeral will be at Efford Crematorium at 1pm, tuesday 2 June.
The Wake has been booked, on behalf of his son Michael Scott, and will be at Goodbody's Cafe at 2.30pm after the funeral.

The funeral of Chris(Cecil) Farnham was held last tuesday 2 June. A fantastic turnout by family and friends made it a truly memorable occasion.
Amongst the people was a large contingent of his fellow 'eucre' players from the Steam Packet, his favourite pub. Also attending were both of  his 'landlords' of the pub and his home, who were also good friends for many years.
His friends from Goodbodys Cafe, who did crossword puzzles with him every day bar sunday were joined by waitresses from the cafe.
We held his Wake at Goodbodys where a splendid buffet and bar were consumed and anecdotes exchanged.
A really good send off for our friend Chris.
I was surprised by the gift of his car which his son, Michael, who I attended Devonport High School with, said it was Chris' wish that I have.
The car has already made a difference to my life and I am truly grateful.
Friday 11 December 2015.  Two weeks to christmas and a turkey blowout at Paula's.
Didn't get around to the garden or studio stuff; always another time next year! Christmas cards sent- Happy festive greetings to all my readers except " The Bad One" and her divorcee.No forgiveness there.
Sunday 20 December 2015. It's almost on top of us- christmas eve starts with pub food with Paula and Alan; leaving a little room for Paula's xmas dinner on the next day.

And another year begins; a much better one for everyone. Last years notes are on ""general interest" page.
Returned from a two week annual birthday chillout in St Ives.
Did all the usual things ; spent weekends with Mike, Paula and Alan. Ate too much such as steaks, jam doughnuts and icecream. Home to a better regime!
Went to the Cookbook in St  Just for the best full english for my birthday. Sadly I was by myself. Didn't find the Fougou at Sancreed, better luck next time.
Came home with more paintings and sculpture. 2 by Marie Keeling, 1 by Diana Forrest and some stone carvings by Samvado.
Spent an afternoon with Samvado and with lunch at the Lizard. Collected some serpentine pebbles at Kennack Sands- inspiration for some new work.
Did the usual mismapreading(sic) took wrong roads; been lost in most major cities in the world.
Went to Art Club for an enjoyable evening of music, poetry and readings. Bob Devereau and Tony Corden did some pieces together.
Did my Times crossword in the Cafe Art most days- Lucy has taken over from Pete and Zoe and kept the same friendly atmosphere.
Still it's good to be back.
Thursday 18 March 2016
Spring is here but its still a bit on the chilly side. Not up to much as yet; plenty of ideas and material.
Drove out to Ashburton, yesterday, for lunch at the Studio Cafe; its always good to see Dave and Steve. Bought a couple of pots, in my favourite antique shop,
by my friends Svend Bayer and Nic Collins. A couple more little Buddahs in another shop- maybe they will bring some luck.
The house has had a major spring clean; visitors form an orderly queue!
Plans to overhaul the front garden with a wooden deck are back on the cards.
Any energy left will be spent sorting out the studio!
Easter dinner at my daughter's with my sister Maureen. Paula is such a good chef; the food was yummie.
friday 15 april 2016
Drove out to Ashburton on wednesday for lunch at the Studio Cafe..Usual bacon sandwich and coffee. Then went for a stroll around the antique shops; can't help myself!
A rather scuffed lithograph by Marino Marini, and it's foxed; maybe it can be restored.
An African owl mask, a piece of chinese chalcedony carving and an Inuit walrus with damaged feet.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon.
saturday 23 april 2016
This last week seemed to spin by.
 No museum talks this month so tuesdays are a blank.
 The museum and art gallery are due to close in september; for four years while it will be transformed into The History Centre.
5 May 2016
The sun is making an appearance this week with 22 degrees forecast; good for Delamore Arts at Cornwood.
17 May 2016
Went to Delamore Arts on sunday; a lovely sunny afternoon, great sculpture and paintings and a light lunch and coffee.
Nicky, Gavin and the group worked tirelessly to put on the yearly show.
Just to put a spanner in the works the A38 was blocked with the debris from an exploded bridge; the clearance taking much longer to complete, and I mean ' complete chaos.
Cornwood was gridlocked and holiday traffic backed up for what seemed like miles!
23 May  
The weather was a little better today; sunshine even. Took the old bird feeder from the 'jungle' at the back and moved it to the front garden ( which is still a mess).
The last one was stolen!! Whithin minutes a couple of robins and tits came for a helping of seeded fat balls. This is what goes for excitement around here.
18 June
Not that many birds visiting the feeders; the occasional sparrow or tit, expected more.
Still haven't got round to decking the front garden.
Bovey Tracey Craft Show was , as usual, very high standard. Doug and Hanna not there but Dilon Bowen's ceramics were excellent; tempted.
If the rain holds off will be at the Vanstone's sculpture garden tomorrow. Meeting Mike for lunch. Last weekend had early Father's Day chinese with Paula and Alan- stuffed.
Didn't go, was raining maybe next week.
23 June
Referendum or Independence Day. Made my vote To Leave!
27 June
Went to Coombe Sculpture Garden on saturday and had lunch with Mike; really good afternoon with  rhubarb crumble for tea, with cream naturally.
21 July
Must be a year now without a major 'black dog'; probably the first time in my life.
I remember my then psychiatrist, Jennifer Hill , writing an underlined in red letter to my doctor: " He claims to have Never taken unprescribed drugs".
Tempus Fugit. It's 2 years since the bad person ran off with her patient's husband. And life goes on.
9 August 2016
didn't visit Saltram yesterday; not feelin good- hayfeaver?
Rio Olympics have started; something for next two weeks.
5 September 2016
The Olympics were great.
12 Sep 2016
an inventry since the Bad One left found the following items missing!
Cordless drill battery charger, pruning saw, dummy mallet, garden shears, pointed clippers, gas cigarette lighter( figure),Large skillet frying pan, cake knife (wedding gift),
The City Museum is closed now until 2020 while it is being rebooted as The History Centre. So alternative activities sought for tuesdays in lieu of the talks which will be held at the Atheneum on alternate tuesdays.
Have a new tablet; a Linx 1010 (what is the difference between 1010 and 100B? Nothing that I can see.
13 December 2016
been offair for a while. Took Paula for pre birthday lunch- stuffed in Tavistock. Happy 49th tomorrow.
Plymouth Airport report was due yesterday, withheld!!!!!
Christmas cards in hand, a little bit delayed as usual, pictures printing as I type. Chrimbo is a week on saturday; just where has the year gone. It will soon be my birthday in the St Ives cottage.
Plymouth airport report Not favourable!!
6February 2017
Back home after 2 weeks in St Ives for my annual birthday holiday. It was cold and wet; not unreasonable for the time of year,
Mike looked after me for the first week and Paula and Alan joined us for the actual birthday weekend. Steaks at the Sloop were memorable to say the least.probably the best rib~eyes ever.
Tripped over the cottage doorstep on arrival and went down like a sack of spuds. banged my hip shoulder and head; braincell survived but have felt pretty shook up since.
Did the usual bus ride into Penzance, visited my favourite bookshop, Newlyn Books, in Chapel Street and had a tasty lunch (chilli soup and salad) in the Honey Pot in Parade Street . Rained naturally.
St Just, by car for a super breakfast at the Cookbook. Rained again. Picked up a couple of old block planes from the 'junk' shop opposite; a gift for Roy Dutton who makes ship models out of odds and ends. Bought a .Tall Ship' of his from Sharon and Tim in the Drill Shed.Spent most lunchtimes in the Cafe Art where Lucy Davis upholds a very friendly artistic atmosphere. Made a new friend in Yogi and joined in with the art group for a little drawing session~rusty.
2 March 2017
Had my first invasive operation; on my head a week ago. Removal of a basal carcemona. Not an experience I would wish to repeat( at local anaesthetic.
when the wound heals up I will have a 'Harry Potter'scar on my upper forehead.
8April 2017
spent a week in London. Did one show at The Duchess Theatre "The Play That Goes Wrong". Hilarious.
I-Max King Kong Skull Island in 3d.
Rauchenburg at Tate Modern, Hockney at Tate Britain, Hodgkin @ National Portrait Gallery, Anish Kapoor @ Lisson.
Super antiquarian bookshop in Bell Street; Archive Bookstore Sam Dolbear.
as usual bought plenty of books as above and Marcus Campbell.
Had a really nice afternoon and lunch with a very long standing friend.
12April 2017
Having trouble with contacting both my website helpdesks. Forth Hosting and
Renewal rate for .com was a shock and unaffordable so I want to transfer my website .com to my host.
Have sent multiple e-mails to both in the past few days with no response.
14 April 2017 transferred from Mydomain to Forth Hosting.
26 April 2017
A new website is being progressed.
The  "The Play That Goes Wrong" is coming to the Theatre Royal Plymouth shortly. Don't miss it- hilarious.
3May 2017
It's May and Delamore is open for this years Art Exhibition. Looking forward to a visit, maybe next week.
Tavistock this weekend for a book fair at the Parish Hall and lunch with my family/ full english all round for us and cake. What diet?
21 May 2017
Delamore Arts. Sunny day and great show, as always. Mike treated me to lunch and a walk to the other gallery for the South West Artists show.
Lots of inspiration.
22 May 2017
Cleared out the old printers and Biglaptop from computer room; plenty of dust left! A trip to the tip to be arranged and with the old scanner. so a good clear out.
5 June 2017
Just a few days to the General Election. I feel that the Tories have 'foot in mouth' over pensioner's winter fuel allowance, Works out at about 4 a week less; of course if NOT on benefits.
How can statements like 'Pensioners are better off than those in work' be correct? 123 per week!! This year's increase was wiped out by the increase in Council Tax.
Whats next? Bus passes.
8 June 2017
Election Day!  Also PV @ Bovey Tracey Crafts Show At 6pm. Parking in the field is going to be muddy.
9 June 2017
Attended the Preview of Bovey Tracey Craft Show. Excellent as always with a very high standard of work.
Came home with 5 pieces of  Sabine Nemet's beautiful ceramics, a 1st Edition Bronze Owl by David Cooke and 2 from 'Books About Art'.
A special mention: The writing desk by Brook Studio is the best I've seen. Wish I could have added it to my collection of desks. Maybe a lottery win?
Sadly I am retiring from Devon Guild of Craftsmen, due to continuing ill health, after 31 years. It has been a privilege especially as a Trustee
during the major reconstruction of the Riverside Mill.
My very best wishes have been sent to Erica Steer, Director, and all the Members and Friends.
The General Election results are in and a shock to Teresa May with no overall majority and the SNP losing 22 seats.
Note for the diary: Torre Abbey, Torquay, Contemporary Artists Summer Exhibition 8July- 3 September. One not to miss.
26 June 2017
A very pleasant surprise; e-mail from the Director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen offering me Honorary Membership which I have accepted with 'alacrity and joy'.
Have applied for membership of The HMS Fisgard Association. Hope to contact some my friends from all those years ago. Nostalgia is a thing of the past.
Friday 30 June 2017
HMS Fisgard Association membership set up and already contacted one S39 member.
Pity that many I would like to find are not members: Alan Warner(Gateshead)( Died 1993) Jim White(Dagenham), John Wrightson, Dave Fenchurch(Southhampton), Terry Brooks, Stan Collins,
John (Dolly) Witt, Daisy May, Derick Garner( made contact), Tony Morris and Robin Gallagher,
Tuesday 4July 2017
Uploaded photo of S39 Hawke Division 1960 and a rather young looking pic of myself at 16.
Wimbledon Fortnight
Shocks: Andy Murray and Nadal are out But Joanna Konta is through to next stage.
thursday 20 July 2017
With sadness just been told that my friend Alan Warner passed on in 1993. Hadn't seen him for a long time.
26 July 2017
Three years haved passed since The Bad One ran off with her patient's husband.
Time to stop counting. She made her bed.... Life goes on.


Devonport High sports day at Brickfields 1950s

John Vincent MA

 Updated 12 December 2017