Exeter in the 1920s was a city recovering from the aftermath of war, both good and bad. There was an air of promise, with new housing and new educational opportunities. But signs of the war remained: war memorials commemorated the dead, and many of those who had come home from the front had to adjust to life with disabilities. Then optimism was submerged by gloom as the country went into recession and problems such as unemployment and slum dwellings were hard to solve. Nonetheless the decade is often remembered as the ‘Roaring Twenties’, because of the new opportunities for leisure brought by motor cars, cinema, wireless, jazz and speedway racing. Dr Julia Neville, who is leading a research project on Devon in the 1920s, explores how the city of Exeter was affected by all these trends.
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