south devon technical college in the 80s from newton road

Devon College calls out for memories

Joe Cooper
Authored by Joe Cooper
Posted Saturday, April 23, 2022 - 6:45am

2022 is a big year for landmark anniversaries

Along with Her Majesty the Queen, South Devon College is celebrating a long reign.

Originally founded as a technical college, with its first intake of students back in the 1931/32 academic year, it’s celebrating its 90th birthday this June.

To mark this prestigious day the college wants to hear from former students.

“South Devon College has seen many changes in its 90 years. It’s a remarkable institution and I would like to ask our community to help us celebrate this important anniversary – to recognise and celebrate the contribution of our students and our continued mission to support local ambitions by inspiring our community through learning for all,” said Principal, Laurence Frewin.

It’s hoped former students from far and wide will come forward and share their photos and memories of their time at the college.  These will then be displayed in the main foyer at the Vantage Point campus for everyone to enjoy.

Back in 1931 the college was established with a capital investment of £15,500 and opened with 37 staff offering vocational education to 443 students. Roll on 90 years and things have changed a great deal.

South Devon College is now a successful £31 million turnover Further and Higher Education College with further campuses at Torquay, Newton Abbot, and South Devon Marine Academy based on the River Dart. The College helps over 10,000 learners of all ages achieve their ambitions and progress into employment, apprenticeships and continuing education.

And in the last ten years alone there have been significant developments with the opening of the dedicated University Centre building, the Hi Tech & Digital Centre and the new South Devon College Marine Academy.

"This celebration is about people, place, and purpose. It’s important to look back at where we started, to reflect on how far we’ve come… but most importantly to keep looking and moving forwards. We have so many more exciting plans for the future and look forward to celebrating those milestones too,” said Laurence Frewin.

If anyone has stories, memories or photos from their time at the college over the last 90 years please email

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