Category Archives: Alternative Totnes

The emergence of Totnes’ reputation as an “Alternative” centre

My research suggests that it was during the 1980s that Totnes began to develop a significant  reputation as an ‘alternative’ or ‘New Age’ centre. One of the most important developments in the emergence of this ‘place myth’ was the publication … Continue reading

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The Totnes Natural Health Centre

The Totnes Natural Health Centre is believed locally to be the first in the country. I have been unable to corroborate this but it was certainly one of the first. There were other Complementary and Alternative (CAM) centres before it … Continue reading

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Totnes Women’s Centre

Goodness, how time flies. I hadn’t realised how long it was since I last posted on here. Apologies to those of you who check on here regularly for updates. I will endevour to be more regular in the future. Anyway, … Continue reading

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Creating countercultural space in Totnes – adult education, groups, and Birdwood House

This extract summarises some of the ways in which increasing numbers of  ‘countercultural’ social spaces were created in Totnes in the 1970s. It also highlights the importance of Birdwood House in providing a physical site for many of these groups. … Continue reading

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The Dart magazine

I recently wrote about the alternative magazine Sherrack but was not the only countercultural publication with connections to the Totnes area. Guy Dauncey (one of the Sherrack team also edited another countercultural journal called Interchange which was dedicated to the … Continue reading

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Arcturus Books

Another important countercultural business was Arcturus Books. This was originally set up in April 1976 by Bob Jelfs. Bob had moved down to Torquay with the intention of being a musician. When this didn’t work out he decided to pursue … Continue reading

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Sherrack – the underground press emerges in Totnes

Sherrack magazine was, as far as I can discover, the first example of the ‘underground’ press to emerge in Totnes. I believe that the North Devon Snail (later just the Snail) may have been available in Collards in the early … Continue reading

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