Plymouth's naafi under demolition JULY 2010


Princess Margaret opens new NAAFI (Navy Army & Air Force Institute) in Plymouth 1952.

From Pathe News

MS. and LS. Navy on parade, as Princess Margaret's car arrives. LS. Princess Margaret getting out of car and being greeted by the Lord Mayor and C.U. of Plymouth Barracks. MS. Princess Margaret talking to the Mayor and the C.O. of Plymouth Barracks. GV. Crowd, pan to naval contingent presenting arms. LS. Margaret inspecting Guard of Honour ( 3 shots) LS. Margaret and officers walking towards new N.A.A.F.I. Club pan up to N.A.A.F.I. Club. LS. Royal Marines band outside N.A.A.F.I. Club, pan up to flag flying on roof of N.A.A.F.I. club. LS. Crowd. LS. General General view, new N.A.A.F.I. club LS. Sign over door, N.A.A.F.I. Club. LS. Margaret in club lounge. MS. and LS. Margaret meeting Service's committee. LS. Margaret inspecting the kitchens. LS. Margaret inspecting the kitchens. LS. Margaret walking through restaurant. LS. Margaret in a tavern bar. LS. NAAFI girl presenting bouquet to Princess Margaret. LS. Margaret leaving NAAFI club and entering car. LS. Cars leaving. GV's crowd.

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There are actually hundreds of books on Plymouth's history. You can see most of them in the Local Studies Library of the Central Library - top of the stairs and take the second left. Joyce Brown and her fellow librarians in there will point you in the right direction if you've got a query about your neighbourhood or topic. Or you can just browse through the books for hours! Take a dip! It's free - courtesy of Plymouth's Council Tax!

My favourite books are:

"Plymouth and Devonport in Times of War and Peace" by Henry Whitfeld 1900.

It's a great book full of "normal" history - but embellished with anecdotes, stories, poems and songs. It's a giant book, and impossible (for me anyway) to read from cover to cover. I just dip into it from time to time. I like the story of how Napoleon's undies were sent to a local laundry - and it was said that they had the French Royal cypher embroidered on them. Where did he get them? The book's been long out of print, but you can usually find it at AbeBooks.

"History of Plymouth from the Earliest Period to the Present Time" by R.N.Worth 1890

This was the classic history for many years, even when Bracken and Walling had published their books on the history of Plymouth. For his time, he brought a great academic rigour to the subject, based on his researches into the municipal records. Now out of print but sometimes available at AbeBooks.

"Plymouth: A New History" by Crispin Gill

This is the most up-to-date account. Unfortunately Crispin doesn't reveal his sources so well - he was more of a journalist than a formally trained historian. But his wide-ranging knowledge was superb, and this is the best general book on Plymouth's history we've got. Sadly, it's now out of print. But you can usually find it at AbeBooks (click here) . Make sure you choose the 1993 edition, not the two volumes with a similar title from the 1960-70s.


Burns, Lt. Cdr. K V "The Devonport Dockyard Story" by Lt.Cdr. Ken Burns (Maritime Books, Liskeard) 1984.

This is more a collection of short episodes, than a comprehensive history. It's a great book to dip into. Out of print but usually available from AbeBooks - click here .


"Victorian Plymouth" by Chris Robinson.

I'm a fan of all Chris's books, but this one is my favourite, mainly because it's about a very exciting time in Plymouth's history, when the three towns were bursting with civic pride and industry. It's available from Chris's shop in New Street, The Barbican, or from his website.


Check out these excellent websites on Plymouth's history:

PLYMOUTH DATA The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History

Brian Moseley's Plymouth Data Website, covering old Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse, and also the ancient parishes of St Budeaux, Eggbuckland and Tamerton Foliot, which make up the modern City of Plymouth, within the County of Devon, in the United Kingdom.


Chris Robinson's website with prints, books and Plymouth history.


Steve Johnson's wonderful emporium of historical images and maps of Plymouth.


Plymouth City Library's archive of old Barbican photographs.

For books on Plymouth you thought you would never find, try - find more than 110 million out-of-print books worldwide.


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