Thursday, June 03, 2010

Roadtrip Days Four and Five - Torquay and Edwin Emmanuel Bradford




One of the reasons that Torquay was a stop on our roadtrip was because the town saw the birth and childhood of one of my queer Victorians, the Rev'd Edwin Emmanuel Bradford. I've been doing a lot of research into the life of this priest and poet and so it seemed too good an opportunity to miss to do a little digging around in his birthplace. I already knew that there was a tragic story associated with Bradford's early years in Torquay which, for the time being I'm going to be quiet about until I've had a chance to write it up properly.

The church above is St Luke's Torquay where Bradford was baptised along with some of his sisters. The family owned a jeweller's shop on The Strand in Toquay and although the buildings are long gone I have spent some time trying to work out where they might have been and a little time in the local history section of the library in Torquay trying to find contemporary pictures of the shop/house where I know the Bradfords lived and where tragedy struck. It's always a struggle to find photos of just the right spot from over 100 years ago but I think I have come close but I have no scanner at the moment to share them. The really good news is that I was able to scan the local papers at the period and find a particularly detailed report of the horrible incident I keep referring too. The Internet is a wonderful thing but sometimes there really is no substitute for being in situ.

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