Friday 23rd February

Blessed with more sun than rain (and only a touch of hail) volunteers from the latest chapter of Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots – joined by a multi-generational group of local people – took a stroll through Exeter’s multicultural past this morning, led by the walk’s creator, Ghee Bowman.

The walk (usually self-guided) is a legacy of the Exeter chapter of Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots which took place in 2013. 

Ghee Bowman

With his unique storytelling flair, Ghee recounted stories of groups and individuals who have come to Exeter from all over the world for over 2000 years: from the city’s founders, the Romans, through to the GIs of World War II and beyond – all incomers to the city who experienced welcome and resistance in equal measure.

Braving the elements

Starting at the Cathedral, standing atop ruined Roman baths, the group took in the site of the city’s first Chinese restaurant, the Synagogue (where Ghee was interviewed live by Radio Devon), the World War 2 memorial, Sidwell Street, and the city’s purpose-built Mosque – each location the link to an intriguing personal story, bringing to life diverse elements of the city’s history.

Ghee and project coordinator, Hilda Kalap, being interviewed by Radio Devon

The tour also served as a learning opportunity for the volunteers involved in the latest chapter of Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Rootswhich is this time focussing on Honiton and Ilfracombe. Similar walking tours, based on the emerging multicultural stories being researched in these two towns, will be curated and run later this year.

Radio Devon has shown a keen interest in Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots since the launch of the Honiton and Ilfracombe chapter of the project and will be following us as we research and develop emerging multicultural stories. Broadcasting live on Radio Devon during today’s walk, Ghee outlined the aims of the project, whilst Hilda Kalap, project coordinator urged listeners to visit the website to find out more information.

We are still looking for more volunteers to get involved in this exciting community project. If you are from Honiton or Ilfracombe and are from a multicultural background, or are interested in researching the more diverse elements of local history, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You’ll receive training, learn new skills (all expenses paid), meet like-minded people and contribute to creating a more inclusive future in Devon.

For Ilfracombe contact Abi at

For Honiton contact Jess at

Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots is funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and is a project of Devon Development Education (DDE), a global education charity based in Exeter.