Online group helps crack Sidmouth house puzzle

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 September 2016

The house Ali McNally tried to identify from a journal.

The house Ali McNally tried to identify from a journal.


A curious resident is celebrating the power of social media after fellow users helped her answer a burning question.

The Woolbrook Road home now belongs to Vix Linton's parentsThe Woolbrook Road home now belongs to Vix Linton's parents

Ali McNally discovered an image depicting ‘A Cottage at Sidmouth’, designed by architect and urban planner Barry Parker, in a portfolio published in 1926.

Unable to place it, she turned to Facebook group Sidmouth Remembers and people searched satellite imagery or took to the street before the puzzle was cracked – by the homeowners’ daughter.

Speaking before she discovered the location of the house, Ali said: “Some have used satellite view websites to try to determine where it might be located, poring over images of rooftops to find one that matches.

“Others have gone out on cycles to check possible locations but to no avail. It has created quite a buzz, with members confessing that they will not stop until it is identified.”

Group members said it seemed like a hilltop location, or looked into Mr Parker’s career for clues. It was eventually identified by Vix Linton as her parents’ home in Woolbrook Road.

Ali said: “It’s so difficult to comprehend that the old photo is Woolbrook!

“While so much of Sidmouth looks remarkably the same as 100 years ago, that cottage, apparently standing alone in fields, is now surrounded by housing with a busy road instead of what looked like a lane.”

Sidmouth Remembers has also identified members in team photos and brought together users with pictures of how the town has changed over the years.

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