At 94 years old, Tom King, MBE and recent recipient…
This issue in 2019 has seen a notable Devonshire person attain the great age of ninety
For those of you that don’t know him, Ted Gosling is an interesting character, from a generation of Devonians that hark back to a much gentler, simpler and probably an altogether nicer time.
Born in Seaton, Ted left school at the age of 14 to work in a local garage, a sign of things to come, because Ted developed a great passion for all things motor car.
Ted’s first community involvement was during the second world war, as messenger boy at the age of 12 for the local Air Raid Protection group. It’s hard to believe it now, but in one of the German raids, four people in Seaton lost their lives. Ted later went off to undertake National Service in the RAF, working in the department that repaired instruments. Ted spent most of his time working on Lancaster Bombers (this was after the war), although the Lancasters were now redeployed for use on photographic surveillance of England and Africa. Every Friday Ted had to go up on a trial flight to ensure equipment was working correctly – he said that this had put him off flying for life!
When his time in the RAF finished, Ted returned to the motor trade and his interest in vintage cars was fulfilled when he opened a garage in Seaton, restoring vehicles, this was situated next to the old post office.
Ted Gosling’s cars
Ted laughs when he tells me about some of the classic cars that he’s both owned, and passed over. For instance, Ted used to go to Exeter motor auctions, an old Lagonda Eight – described as a gentleman’s car, offered for £50 at the time, now worth an easy quarter of a million pounds. The list of old classics he’s owned is extensive, for instance a 1924 Lancia Lambda, 1926 Bull-nosed Morris, 1938 SS100 Jaguar, numerous Austin 7s, an Austin Heavy Twelve Four.
Ted was also involved with the Sidmouth Carnival for a number of years, his girlfriend at the time being the 1956 Carnival Queen Valerie Moore. One of his fundraising stunts for the Carnival was riding a penny farthing along the Esplanade in Sidmouth.
Interest in history
Another, and probably the most overriding passion of Ted’s life has been his interest in history, to the point at which he became one of the founders and also the curator of the Axe Valley Heritage Museum. He’s also been a prodigious author, with over thirty history books on Devon to his name. Ted’s contribution to the community has exceeded some 78 years in total, an amazing achievement and testament to his selfless character. In 2011 Ted had the honour of being made Seaton’s first Freeman, presented by the Mayor Peter Burrows.
Ted Gosling has been an editorial contributor to Devonshire magazine over the years and it’s been an absolute pleasure working together. I’m sure you’d like to join me in wishing Ted All The Best in his 90th year.