MAIDENCOMBE.NET AUTHOR Jim Campbell

MAIDENCOMBE.NET AUTHOR Jim Campbell
Maidencombe resident since 1960. Local historian and author of the 'Coves of Maidencombe'.
Copyright © 2013 . All Rights Reserved.

COMBE WEATHER

TIDES

CURRENT MOON

KESTREL CALLING

BUZZARD IN MY GARDEN

The bowl of the coombe as seen from Sladnor heights

The bowl of the coombe as seen from Sladnor heights

Maidencombe point

Maidencombe point
as seen above Maidencombe cove.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

19TH CENTURY ORCHARDS OF MAIDENCOMBE

The names, location and extent of the early to mid nineteenth century orchards in and around the village area of Maidencombe are virtually unknown today.
The old cider orchard off Rock House Lane still exists today, but what of the others that once covered a significant area in the bowl of the coombe?   
For the first time, herewith follows my map, locations and descriptions of the Orchards of Maidencombe:

Key:  C Cleared  D Developed  E Exists
ORCHARD ABOVE LAND (D) Owner: Elias Blackaller Jnr.
The footprint of Five Meadows on the junction of Rockhouse Lane and Brim Hill marks the position of the curiously named (though accurate as the fruit trees would have been raised some way above the cart track) 'Orchard above land'. In the early 19th century, it should be noted that there were no tarmacadam surfaces and all transport was horse drawn.  Rock House Lane (unnamed at that time) was a compacted, largely earth cart track and the location of Brim Hill was a continuation of this up to 'Wendy' where it dissipated into pedestrian access to Maidencombe cross.
CHARITY'S ORCHARD (D) (E) Owner: Daniel Codnor
The smallest of the orchards upon which the footprint of the house at Home Orchard in Brim Hill now stands.  Subsequently retaining orchard in the name when it was largely cleared for a large chalet style bungalow in the 1930's.
BABBAGES ORCHARD (C) Owner: Daniel Codnor
A long, narrow orchard opposite Charity's orchard and adjacent to the Orchard above land. It was cleared for grazing and agricultural use in the early 20th century.
BACK ORCHARD (C) (D) Owner: Elias Blackaller Jnr.
The largest of the orchards by far, the Back orchard took in all of the land now occupied by Coombe Hayes, Barn Hayes, Mouse Cottage (formerly Byways) and much of the gardens of Home Orchard. It was 'L' shaped and stretched over part of what is now known as 'the Slopes' to the western boundary of the Courthouse in Rockhouse Lane.
GREAT ORCHARD (C) (D) Owner: George Nickels
Part of the Cards farm estate, Great orchard extended up from the present day footprint of Suite Dreams in Steep Hill around the corner and up to the footpath directly opposite the Beehive.  It was cleared for grazing and the development of the property Rose Vine.
UNDERDOWN ORCHARD (D) Owner: George Nickels
Also part of the Cards estate, Underdown orchard occupied a narrow corridor running from where Coombe Close now stands in Brim Hill right across the combe to Steep Hill with the Beehive directly above. It was cleared to make way for houses.
ALLEY ORCHARD (D) Owner: George Nickels
Yet another Cards orchard, Alley orchard abutted the eastern half of Underdown orchard and became the gardens for the houses off Steep Hill.
WEST ORCHARD (C) Owner: George Nickels
A far-flung Cards orchard in Sladnor Park situated below Great Meadow Grove House (better known as Sladnor Manor House).  Cleared for grazing.
ORCHARD (BARN AREA) (C) Owner: Elias Blackaller Jnr.
The orchard existed where the barn and Linhay structure (c1750) are today. Largely cleared for other agricultural use  by Henry (Harry) Nickels.
CIDER ORCHARD (E) Owner: Elias Blackaller Jnr.
The sole surviving orchard in the bowl of the combe today and maintained by the TCCT and local residents.
HOUSE AND ORCHARD (E) Owner: Elias Blackaller Jnr.
Situated in the grounds of Little Thatch (c1800) Steep Hill. Apple trees still present today.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

MEET YOUR COUNCILLORS

video
For those residents who were unable to make last Thursday's 'Meet your Councillors' opportunity at Brunel Manor, here is their short personal introduction which I recorded with their assent and permission to post.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

MOUSE TAKES THE BISCUIT!

My mouse checks to see what's in the tray.
I had noticed a mouse darting up to a food tray I'd left on the wall at night but it had always been too  quick for me to really identify it.  This evening, armed with my camera, I staked the tray out.  A few minutes of waiting and then a little head popped up and I pressed the 'record' button. I've slowed the video to half speed to enable clearer viewing. Pretty sure it's a field mouse as opposed to a house or wood mouse. Anyway, it certainly took the biscuit - digestive that is!

video

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WARSHIP RIDDLE OFF MAIDENCOMBE

HMS ECHO H87 currently moored off Maidencombe
It is a usual occurrence to see River-class warships (our regular visitors: HMS Severn P282 & HMS Mersey P283) moored off Maidencombe and AIS cloaked.  I noticed a different Royal Navy ship moored close in this afternoon and took a photo to discover its identity.  It is H87 HMS Echo, a hydrographic survey vessel whose principle role is to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations.  Looking on the AIS tracking site, I was surprised to see that the vessel is showing as HMS Daring (D32) a Type 45 Destroyer. Both vessels have vastly different IMO (International Maritime Organization) numbers so the error is puzzling.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BREXIT REACTION IN THE COMBE



The historic exit from the European Union on Friday was, unsurprisingly, not without a certain amount of emotion in the combe and environs - almost exclusively from the disgruntled 'remain' camp. A straw poll, taken before and after the vote, indicated the same 50-50 division as that of the national opinion polls.

However, I can happily report that all the Maidencombers I have encountered and spoken to so far, have conducted themselves with quiet decorum.  On a less positive note, the local (St Marychurch and Maidencombe) reaction on that 'social' networking website has been of the usual haranguing style - all from the remain camp who it seems, had difficulty acknowledging the democratic process.

The Austin's lighthearted EU scarecrow and poll
The EU scarecrow (above) and built-in poll which has endured for the weeks leading up to the referendum, predicted the actual result. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

BAMBOO MAN STOIC TO THE VERY END

Stoic to the very end, the Bamboo Man awaits the oncoming flames.

THE BURNING OF THE BAMBOO MAN - AN AWFUL SIGHT TO SEE

video

The Burning of the Bamboo Man
An awful sight to see
They Burnt his face, his soul within
I shed a tear for him.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

GREEN BAMBOO MAN ADVENTURE

Too large to go through my gate, the Green Bamboo Man had to be hoisted over the wall and walked down Brim Hill to the village green.  Andy Maltas (joint builder of the Green Bamboo Man) couldn't see a thing as he slowly made progress down the hill while I went on in front to warn oncoming motorists of the 'Ent from Fangorn Forest' ... It could only happen in Maidencombe or Comeinbemad our other apt naming.

THE GREEN BAMBOO MAN ON THE VILLAGE GREEN

As part of  Maidencombe's Scarecrow Week, the Green Bamboo Man made his appearance on the village green yesterday evening.  Almost immediately, visitors began snapping the strange sight as well as the EU Referendum caricature scarecrow pair of David Cameron and Boris Johnson.
The Green Bamboo Man on the village green


EU Referendum IN or OUT?
Scarecrows are popping up around the village so you still have a few days to add yours before Sunday 5th June.

Monday, May 30, 2016

MAIDENCOMBER REPRESENTS GB IN EUROPEAN MASTERS CHAMPS.

Neal Taylor of Brim Hill, Maidencombe was in fine form yesterday at the European Masters Swimming Championships in London.  The prestigious event, held at the Olympic Swimming Pool, from May 25 - 29,  drew hundreds of competitors from all over Europe and competition was fierce.

Neal competed in three events: the 200 metres freestyle, 100 metres freestyle and 50 metres freestyle, winning his heat of the 50 metres freestyle and finishing second in the 100 metres freestyle.
Neal's 50 metres freestyle heat result
Heats of swimming, like athletics, are tense affairs - particularly at major events - with each heat a race in itself, so Neal did particularly well to win his heat.

100 metres freestyle heat result




Sunday, May 29, 2016

A DECIDEDLY BASIL FAWLTY MOMENT AT THE THATCHED TAVERN

It's about 2:30pm in the Thatched Tavern yesterday afternoon and a mixed group of walkers arrive for refreshments.  They've come via the coast path from Watcombe and occupy two tables.  Mick ferries their various sandwich and drink orders to them.  After completing the orders, Mick asks if they are all catered for.  One of the walkers replies: 'Yes, thank you, apart from one of our group who fell off the coast path on the way and ended up hanging from a tree.  We called the fire brigade and continued here.' (!!!)  Mick, slightly bemused, (he's seen pretty much all in his time)  withdraws.  No, it's not an April (or May) Fool, it actually happened!

Friday, May 27, 2016

WILDLIFE SURVEYS UNDERWAY AT SLADNOR

Wildlife surveys are currently underway at Sladnor Park In preparation for the expected retirement village planning application later this year.  More roofing felt squares have been laid throughout Sladnor meadow to identify slow worm distribution.  It had already been established that there were many slow worms present around the swimming pool area.  A dormouse survey is also underway, particularly along the Rockhouse Lane hedge corridor.   A wildlife surveyor, complete with head torch and clipboard has been observed in the grounds at around midnight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SLADNOR'S OLD PINE TREE

Majestic and enduring, the old pine tree in Sladnor meadow stands above the older Sladnor pond.  Article to follow.

RESUMPTION OF POSTING

Yes,  you may have noticed that nothing has been posted for a month and I have had various residents enquiring about my health and possibly linking the two events.  Well, fortunately I have recovered from the suspected spider bite and overcome subsequent allergic reactions. 

The past few weeks have also seen a flurry of activity by the Maidencombe Community Group and, as secretary, I have shared the workload.

Resumption of posting later today.  MCG members are advised to check here as well as the main website at www.maidencombeunity.org.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ACCIDENT ON STEEP HILL

Accident on Steep Hill Tuesday afternoon: A car has demolished part of the wall near the bottom of Steep Hill. This photo taken after the car was pulled clear. Photo courtesy of Thatched Tavern Media.
The badly damaged car awaiting recovery.

Friday, April 22, 2016

TORBAY COUNCIL WELCOME SIGN

Following up from our 'Welcome to Maidencombe' banner on our notice board, here of course is the Torbay council signage at the northern entrance to Maidencombe.
The welcome sign (with inset) sited at about the true boundary of north Maidencombe.
The placement though geographically accurate, is possibly questionable being on a rising bend where motorists should not have their attention diverted. The original location of the welcome sign was in the dip just after the Deane Road turn off to Stoke. Though not exactly on the boundary, motorists had a clear and safe view.

Monday, April 18, 2016

MAIDENCOMBE AS I KNEW IT

A fascinating photograph of Maidencombe Cross Post Office as viewed from the field opposite (by the present bus stop Torquay bound).  This is how it appeared to me in 1960 when I first arrived in the combe.  It was then called Crossways Cafe and incorporated a shop and post office counter.  The present day sprawl of flats had yet to mar the landscape.
An interesting feature is the lock-up wooden shed (extreme right) which dispensed tea, light refreshments and provision for vehicles to park (sometimes overnight for a small fee).
Crossways Cafe
There is a decided rural village feel, uncluttered by excessive signage which is, regrettably the case today.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

'WELCOME TO MAIDENCOMBE'

'WELCOME TO MAIDENCOMBE'
The rustic notice board on our village green had an add-on Wednesday evening. The room for posting was somewhat limited so two panels were added including a 'Welcome to Maidencombe' legend at the foot of the board.
A resident seems to recall that the last time a welcome sign was seen in Maidencombe was in the late fifties but I cannot find any archive evidence at present. If anyone has a photo, I'd be fascinated to see it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TREE DOWN IN SLADNOR

The strong winds a few days ago were responsible for a mature beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) in Glass wood coming down into north Sladnor Park.  It seems that the beech was helped on its way by a large branch from a Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) which sheared off and hit it full on.

The stricken tree viewed from Glass wood.


View from Sladnor Park north.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

MEMORIAL BENCH ON THE GREEN

Funding has come through to enable the John Musgrove memorial bench to be finally installed at the head of the village green.
The memorial bench taped until footings set.
The inscription plaque.

BURNING OF THE BAMBOO MAN JUNE 5 2016

SLADNOR PARK CHALETS

SLADNOR PARK CHALETS
Eerily shrouded in mist, two of the lower chalets of Sladnor Park.

AN ODE TO SLADNOR PARK

(sung to the tune of 'Home on the Range')

Oh give me a park where the badgers can roam
Where the deer and the wildlife reside
There never is heard the developer's word
To disturb where the denizens abide

Oh give me a park where the diggers are banned
And the architect can't earn his fee
Where the noise of the town
Is a far distant sound
And conservation is all it can be

For when houses are built
The council covered in guilt
And all the animals forlorn
Now the only sounds to be heard
Are vehicles absurd
And the cries of a motherless fawn

Jim Campbell

BLOG CONTENT

BLOG CONTENT
The twinning of Maidencombe with Comeinbemad reflects the light-hearted nature of this gentle blog. The articles posted are written by the author alone and have no connection with any official body or association.

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OUR MAIN LINK - CLICK ON IMAGE TO REDIRECT

OUR MAIN LINK - CLICK ON IMAGE TO REDIRECT
THE ENDANGERED CIRL BUNTING - SYMBOL OF THE MAIDENCOMBE COMMUNITY GROUP

PUTTING MAIDENCOMBE ON THE MAP

PUTTING MAIDENCOMBE ON THE MAP

OUR LOCAL LINK

I came across this fascinating and informative guide to St Marychurch and Babbacombe recently. For many Maidencombers, these are our local shops and first 'port of call' before venturing into the urban jungles of Torquay. There's a local news feed which is regularly updated. Well worth a look. Here's the link:



CLICK HERE FOR BABBACOMBE & ST MARYCHURCH GUIDE WEBSITE

MOST VIEWED POST ON THIS SITE

MOST VIEWED POST ON THIS SITE
The old Toll House on the west side of the A379 Teignmouth Road, stands at the junction of Claddon Lane with the A379 about 50 yards from Ridge Road and the former position of the black and white Solomons Post sign (see side panel right). This early photo shows the open porch (lower left) - now blocked off and the blanked out toll-board recess (top right). Under the angled roof on the right, there is a small shop and working post office. The building probably dates from 1827 when the new road was built. Originally named Solomon's Post Gate when there was a gate across the road for the toll collector to open upon payment.

RAMBLING GROUP WRITE-UP OF WATCOMBE TO MAIDENCOMBE WALK

Found this interesting little site with a rambling group's write up of walks. CLICK HERE FOR MAIDENCOMBE WALK ARTICLE

MAIDENCOMBER SLADNOR VIDEO AND WRITE-UP

YOUR LOCAL WEB APPROVES DREAMINCOMBES

YOUR LOCAL WEB APPROVES DREAMINCOMBES
After scrutiny by a panel, this site has been added as a reputable source of information about Maidencombe.

ARCHIVE: MAIDENCOMBE TIMELINE EVENING AT THE THATCHED TAVERN

The first Timeline evening took place Wednesday evening March 20th at the Thatched Tavern. Local lad Ziggy Austin's brainchild, it was an endeavour to map out the history of Maidencombe on a ten metre paper scroll. The initiative was first mooted and widely supported on Ziggy's Maidencombe Residents Facebook page. Residents and non residents were asked if they could research local history on the area and bring along any material such as postcards or text to place on the scroll.
The first evening was well attended and as can be seen in the photos on the left, a great deal was achieved.
Longest residing villager, Alan Hunt attended to add his considerable knowledge and was supported by his 'young' student Jim Campbell with a mere 53 years of residence under his belt.
The pub opened up the restaurant area for the occasion and were most generous in providing sandwiches for the studious throng.


SOLOMONS POST AT THE JUNCTION OF TEIGNMOUTH ROAD & RIDGE ROAD

SOLOMONS POST AT THE JUNCTION OF TEIGNMOUTH ROAD & RIDGE ROAD
No known images of this iconic Maidencombe landmark. Post war and up to the late 1960's, sign posts were wooden posts painted black and white. This is a close reconstruction of the sign where buses would actually pull in to for passengers to alight or board.

A UNIQUE VIDEO

A video of one of my foxes being treated for Sarcoptic mange - taking the medication on the food by hand. She recovered completely and my thanks go out to the Derbyshire Fox Rescue who supplied the medication.

DRAMATIC EROSION OF THE SOUTHWEST COASTAL FOOTPATH

Worth a look as Maidencombe's section of the SWCP is also very much under threat.

From myfoxesandbadgers site

ARCHIVE: DANGEROUS STATE OF CLIFF FACE

ARCHIVE: DANGEROUS STATE OF CLIFF FACE
Photo taken from the beach cafe above Maidencombe cove and the arrows indicate the cause for concern. A minor land slip has already taken place and the Environment Agency had a look Christmas eve in case the cove had to be closed.

ARCHIVE: Entrance to Crossways at Maidencombe Cross

ARCHIVE: Entrance to Crossways at Maidencombe Cross
After a catalogue of antisocial behaviour displayed by motorists illegally entering a private area, the police recommended that the entrance be made narrower. A sad indictment of society.

THE FOLLY AT SLADNOR PARK

THE FOLLY AT SLADNOR PARK
Constructed between 1830-1833 by Mrs Groves who inhabited Sladnor Manor House at the time. The hexagonal tower and accompanying arched outbuilding were built of Devon red sandstone. A projecting castellated cornice crowned the gothic apertures and single faux crossbow slit at ground level. A most interesting aspect of the folly is the purpose-built pony and trap winding carriage-way which Mrs Groves carved through the north western woods of the estate to facilitate her passage to and from the folly. The structure is now in poor condition and it is earnestly hoped that Richmond Villages, the new owners of Sladnor, will be able to make safe the folly to enable residents to enjoy in years to come.

FEATURES OF MAIDENCOMBE

Some of the features we will be mentioning:

ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO
THE CASCADE
THE IRON STILE
THE CASTELLATED FOLLY
THE BAT RETREAT
THE PUMP HOUSE
THE PILL BOX
THE 190 OAK
SMUGGLER'S LANE

GRADE 2 LISTED ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO

GRADE 2 LISTED ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO
Circa 1850. Constructed of Devon red sandstone with unfortunately, as is the case with the Sladnor Folly, some cement patching. Sited at the eastern end of the garden, overlooking the sea. A single storey structure with faux castellated parapet. It has a one-window front incorporating a gabled porch on the front to left with a segmental headed and arched doorway. There is a matching arched window to the right. Reportedly, the structure had a flight of external steps for access to the flat roof with commanding views of Lyme Bay. The interior is clay-tiled laid.