When the houses along the Strand, then called Pleasant Row, were built from about 1786, they were quality residences, many of which were probably let throughout the summer season to wealthy families. By 1830s, many of the houses were occupied by tradesmen.
From Queen Street at the western end, there are a few remaining of the original cottages. Poppadum’s, Fulford’s Eastate agents and then Bay Windows Café are still on their original footage. Their gardens were still there in the 1960s, one of which had a small palm tree.
Poppadoms was the entrance to a printing works belonging to the Dawlish Gazette whose owners lived in The Moorings nearby. The printing works moved across the road to what is now the Library building for a while but it all closed down in 1970. As you can see from these houses the frontage is 15’ feet or so from the pavement and most of the following houses would have been the same. Later three-storey buildings on the previous garden were turned into shops.
Where the Strand Centre (UR Church) is now, was originally known as Tripe’s New Inn, built in the 1789s. From 1820, it became a hotel called the York Hotel, which was demolished for the present church, built as the foundation stone says in 1871.
The shops have changed many times but there were more food shops here – butchers, two bakers, greengrocers, grocers, two or three drapers, ladies and gentlemen’s outfitters, stationers.
At the far eastern end of the Strand, where the Co-op building is now, stood the London Inn. Originally built around 1800 as a residence, it soon turned into an inn. And in 1859, it was the London Hotel. Sadly, in 1910, part of the building was demolished for road widening and was completely replaced in 1926 for a cafe and a bank. The buildings now house a betting shop and the extension to the Co-op.