About Bygones

Where did it all begin?

Bygones is an independent attraction, created and run by three generations of the Cuming family - but where did it all begin?

Back in the 1980s, Ken Cuming’s obsession with railwayana started to out-grow his house. The final straw for wife, Patricia Cuming, came in 1986 when Ken purchased a huge 27-ton railway engine from Falmouth Docks.

As good fortune would have it, the couple spotted that the old cinema had become available in St. Marychurch and they bravely took the plunge to turn their hobby into a family business.

The Cumings decided to combine their interests in railways and objects from the past, and invite the public to come and visit the collections. Bygones was born.

One Sunday in February 1987, the road outside of Bygones was closed and the 27-ton steam engine arrived. We removed the front of the building and used 2 enormous cranes to winch it into position. Much to his wife’s delight, Ken had named the engine ‘Patricia’.

Over the next year or so, with the help of an excellent mason, a skilful carpenter and many patient friends, the Cuming family recreated a Victorian street scene. It took much research and a lot of travelling to secure authentic building materials and genuine exhibits, but finally, on the 23 May 1987, Bygones was opened to the public by the Mayor of Torbay.

The Cuming Family

Many areas within Bygones display the Cuming name.
How many can you spot?

Explore Bygones

In Memory of Ken

Sadly, Ken Cuming passed away on Friday 2nd June 2017, his wife Patricia, Son Richard and Daughter Amanda are still working daily in Bygones.

Plan Your Visit

Bygones is a popular attraction for visitors to Torquay, we are delighted to be family and dog friendly