Skip to content

“The secret to long life in Sidmouth”

  • by JW

“Live long and prosper”


Last week’s Sid Vale Association talk from Dr Peter Fung was a very entertaining look at why Sidmouth is such a healthy place to live in:

Live Long and Prosper – YouTube

He referred to the latest statistics on longevity – and to the numbers from 1806, 1820 and 1851 – which show that the seaside resort has brought residents a long and healthy life.

Including accounts from:

Edmund Butcher – Wikipedia

The beauties of Sidmouth displayed; : being a descriptive sketch of its situation, salubrity and picturesque scenery. Also an account of the environs within fifteen miles round, interspersed with authentic anecdotes. / By the Rev. Edmund Butcher. – YCBA Collections Search


The climate of Sidmouth / by W.H. Cullen. | Wellcome Collection

Meterological Journal Kept at Sidmouth

There were several fascinating accounts from visitors, famous and not-so-famous:

Author uncovers secret story of poet’s life in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

Victorian scandal among the pews at Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

What the Rev Butcher considered made Sidmouth such a healthy place was the sea – and bathing in it:

GENUKI: Sidmouth, Devon

Dr Cullen of Sidmouth thought it was the climate.

The Victorians were increasingly concerned with water quality – and sewage – especially Dr Thomas Pullin who would write angry letters to the press and angrily interrupt council meetings on the issue.

There were also lots of ‘medical interventions’ available in Sidmouth – as revealed in excerpts from the local press at the time.

And Dr Fung provided a few more quotes and anecdotes – finishing his talk on the ‘secret to long life in Sidmouth’ with a piece from Vanity Fair in 1880:

Explore the Complete Vanity Fair Archive

With thanks to the SVA:

Sid Vale Association – Events