Uncle Frank Matcham

Below is an article from Famous Devon Figures on my great, great, great, great uncle Frank:

FRANK MATCHAM – Supreme in Theatre Design

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Second of nine children of Elizabeth and Charles, was born at East Street, Newton Abbot on November 22, 1854.

His father, who was manager of the Torquay Brewery in Warren Place and the Malt House in Temperance(!) Street, Torquay, eventually moved the family to Torquay in 1864, after which Frank attended school at Babbacombe before leaving to become an office boy with a local architect.

It was Mrs Mary Bridgman, who owned many public houses in Torquay including the Maritime, the Steampacket, the Railway Inn and the Malt house, that first employed Charles Matcham.

Mary’s son, George Soudon Bridgman, ran a local architect’s and surveyor’s office in the town so perhaps it was not surprising that 14-year old Frank should find himself working at the Bridgman office.

Certainly this was where his interest in architecture was born.  The young Bridgman, at only 23, was already leaving his mark on Paignton, having become involved with designs for the water supply, a school, many public buildings, and even the rebuilding of Teignmouth Pier.

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