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The beach at Westward Ho! pictured in September 1973 (Image: Documentary Photograph by James Ravilious for the Beaford Archive © Beaford Arts)

UK - Then and now pictures show tides of change on Devon coast

Images through the years capture everyday scenes in an area where outstanding beauty stands the test of time

North Devon’s meandering Bristol Channel coastline boasts some of the most appealing scenery in the West Country, beloved by residents and holidaymakers alike.

Dotted with small towns and villages, its largely undeveloped and unspoilt qualities led to it being officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the government more than 60 years ago. But even with that protection from major disruption in place, small and significant changes to the landscape do still happen as times move on.

Those often subtle alterations are seen in some of the stunning pictures we share here, offering a snapshot of the collection shared by Dave Edgcombe (North Devon Coast AONB Project Officer) to illustrate his recent book Tides of Change, A Lens On The North Devon Coast.

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The old images come courtesy of the Beaford Archive, guardians of a treasure chest of North Devon pictures from the 1970s and 1980s by photographers James Ravilious and Roger Deakins as well as much older images from the area dating back to the 19th century. The new photos are Dave’s own, taken to illustrate the effect that development, land management, coastal erosion and conservation can have.

Tides of Change is published by Beaford and available from their website www.beaford.org.uk where their whole image archive collection can also be seen.

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For more beautiful images from the past have a look at memorylane.co.uk/ and see what you can discover.

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