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

RESERVE

NST

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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, August 31, 2013

BRUNEL MANOR - A STROLL AROUND THE GARDENS

A quick video tour of the top gardens at the historic Brunel Manor in Maidencombe.  A glorious last day of summer for us to enjoy the beauty of this splendid place.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

THE TRAVERSE FROM MACKEREL COVE

The main obstacle to proceeding northwards to Herring Cove is the dreaded Traverse Plateau.
An elevated shelf of breccia (rock formed in the Permian period about 250 million years ago) is a formidable barrier to overcome - whatever your athletic ability.  Well, I did it, but won't be attempting it again until I am more suitably equipped and attired.

MAIDENCOMBE MILITIA CALLED IN

An alert went out late Wednesday evening about two cars seen parked up the John Musgrove Trail.  After consultation, approval was given for the western branch of the Maidencombe Militia to investigate. 

Around 1:20 am this morning the situation was clarified.  Apparently a group of students had mistakenly took the trail off Rockhouse Lane believing it was an alternative route to Watcombe. 
They were very surprised by the militia who descended upon them to gently enquire their intentions.

They stated that they would be moving on first thing Thursday and would not be leaving litter.
They were bid a good night and safe passage.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SLOW WORK IN BRIM HILL

Brim Hill was closed for a period this afternoon as Highways put down five 'SLOW' markers on the road at sensitive points highlighted to the department.  No excuses from now on for any accidents due to speeding down this stretch of road which has had its share of incidents the past few years.   Well done the council.

THUNDER IN THE COMBE

Torrential rain and claps of thunder in the combe as I post.  Swept in from nowhere, glad I got back from town before it started.  Quite handy as I was getting ready to water the garden ...

Monday, August 26, 2013

BLACKOUT MAIDENCOMBE

Wending our way up Brim Hill a couple of nights ago on our Night Patrol,  I noticed the main road at the cross was in darkness.   Sure enough, the reason was the failure of the lurid orange street lamp by the gantry.  Last night, the street lamp outside my bungalow failed to come on and there is now a blackout sector developing.
I don't mind the absence of light 'pollution' but am mindful of security and safety issues that are raised with no lighting.  I'll contact the council Tuesday.

FERRO CEMENT BARGE

Remains of a  WWII ferro cement barge (FCB) on Labrador Bay Beach which is only visible at low tide.  The bow section is further up the beach.  This one was believed to have been deliberately beached just after the war.  FCB's played a crucial role in the D-Day Normandy landings where they were utilised for Mulberry harbours and transportation of fuel and munitions.  Some were motorised, though the Labrador Bay example was not and could have been used for water transportation.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

HIGH ABOVE LABRADOR BAY

The clip tells it all ...

CLAW TROPHY

Found this striking crab claw on the way back from the coves Saturday.  So Cruise barked furiously at it and the cat fled under the settee so it must have impressed them as well!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

LANCASTER & SPITFIRE

Sorry about the judder, but the WWII famous formation appeared suddenly behind me and I only had a few seconds to try and capture a quick vid clip without a stable platform.  Fantastic to see them over our piece of coastline.

AVRO VULCAN OVER DAWLISH

On my 4th Project Coves shoot this afternoon,  I encountered part of the Dawlish Airshow as I wended my way along the coves.  I thought my old eyes were deceiving me as I glanced up and saw what I thought was an Avro Vulcan flying over the bay.  No tripod, so I had to unsling the trusty Canon Powershot SX40 and blast in the zoom.

Friday, August 23, 2013

THE MIGHTY BORDER BEECH TREE

Bit of a rambling vid clip, I know, but I thought it fitting to take it this afternoon on the spur of the moment.   Confirmed that it is indeed a beech tree (see previous post and quiz) but didn't want to spoil the clip (more) by incorrectly naming it. 

Truly a mighty beech tree,  recognised and preserved on film before its possible future demise.

TREE IDENTIFICATION FROM LEAF SAMPLE


I felt a bit of an ignoramus after taking a video clip of a special tree in Maidencombe this afternoon, so I took a leaf sample (above) to try and identify it when I got back to the PC.  I was fairly sure what it was, but didn't have enough confidence to state it.

I found this interesting link and a little quiz to test what knowledge I had.  I was surprised to see my leaf  at number 1 and even more surprised to find that I had correctly identified it in the first place.

It must have been a fluke as I scored 8 out of 8.  See how you get on by clicking on the link.


LEPRECHAUN SCARECROW

Made me chuckle as I walked down the hill this afternoon.  It appears to be a Leprechaun Scarecrow in Terry's allotment garden to keep the thieving birds away.  Nice one!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A SURPRISING SIGHTING INDEED

On my way shopping up Moor Lane I was most surprised to see the Maidencombe road sweeper from the sixties walking along with a backpack.
It brought back memories of that now forgotten era.

It may surprise residents to know that there once was a full-time, council paid road sweeper for Maidencombe.

I have forgotten his name but he was a regular fixture around the village with his little wheeled cart and invariably smoking a pipe.
He was, on occasions accompanied by one or two dubious fellows  and my little cameo recall ends somewhat dramatically.

For whatever reason, one late autumn's afternoon, the road sweeper and his two companions attempted crossing the narrow channel between Shaldon and Teignmouth in a tiny pram dinghy.

The current is very strong at this point with a severe undertow and local knowledge about the dangers here were evidently not sought by the hapless trio.

The dinghy overturned, tipping the occupants into the water.  Their situation became dire as two of them were wearing heavy overcoats which became waterlogged, making it impossible to swim to safety.

I was running from Shaldon back to Maidencombe on the afternoon of the incident and vividly recall a dreadful sight that met my eyes.

A rescue helicopter had been called out and was hovering a few feet above the estuary entrance.  I stopped to observe, not knowing of the dinghy capsizing earlier.
A line was suspended from the helicopter and suddenly, it was winched in.  A  body, with water pouring off it, emerged from the water and then the helicopter turned and flew off towards Teignmouth with the body still suspended below it.

I was never sure if the body of one of the others was ever found but the sole survivor was the road sweeper and I never saw him again - that is, until this afternoon.   A surprising sighting indeed ...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PATIENTLY WAITING

So Cruise waiting patiently for me to get back Monday evening.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

CHESS CLUB AT THE ORESTONE MANOR

I'll have some explaining to do come Sunday lunchtime after arriving home to a house in darkness at 2:30 am.  So Cruise was in the living room looking accusingly at me as I made my belated entrance.
Usually the excuse would have been that I had partaken of a few sherberts too many and had totally lost track of time.  However, on this occasion the reason is somewhat bizarre. 
I had been playing chess up at the Orestone Manor Hotel, after last playing  in 1965! 
Time simply flew by and after scrambling a couple of draws against better players,  I returned home trying to think up a better cover story.

'Playing chess until 2:30 in the morning?  Come on, pull the other one, it's got bells on!'  On second thoughts, I'll say that I had  one too many - at least that'll be more believable.

Friday, August 16, 2013

BLACK SAIL UP

The type of small, inshore craft that would make drops of 'tubs' off secluded coves for later collection from the land.  The tubs (containing all manner of merchandise from brandy to tea) were often bought in the Channel Islands and sailed across the English Channel under cover of darkness with black or maroon sails to cloak their progress. 
Notorious smuggler Jack Rattenbury from Beer on the east coast of Devon plied his lucrative trade all along the Lyme Bay coastline.
If challenged by a coastguard cutter or Royal Navy vessels, the tubs were thrown overboard and the smugglers could proceed without arrest.  On many occasions they could return an hour or so later to retrieve their cargo.

UP THE CLIFFS WITH SMUGGLED GOODS

From the stretch of coastline between Maidencombe and the Ness, smuggled goods such as brandy, rum and tea would be landed at any sandy cove with no access for horses.  The only way up the steep cliffs was by men carrying goods on their shoulders or backs.  Once at the top of the cliff, ponies and carts were waiting.  The hooves of the ponies were often covered in leather to muffle any sounds.

SMUGGLERS TUNNEL

A smugglers tunnel very similar to the one  at the Ness Cove in Shaldon.

EXCISE MEN AWAITING SMUGGLERS

On a lofty vantage point high up on the cliffs, excise men in the early nineteenth century on the lookout for smuggling along a stretch of   Devon coastline. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TWO CENTURIES OF KNOWLEDGE

It is a duty of those with knowledge to pass it on  lest it fade and be lost in the mists of time forever.

A special little gathering took place this afternoon up at Ferndale House when Bob Hunt and his younger brother Alan took tea with Jim Campbell, the junior of the venerable trio.
Their pool of Maidencombe knowledge is well over two hundred years and stretches back to pre-1930. 

The decades were rolled back as the brothers related experiences and life in Maidencombe before and during WWII.  The shape and positioning of  former buildings down in the village were confirmed by notepad sketches and tales aplenty were swapped.

A few popular stories going the rounds in the village were discussed and subsequently debunked.

The afternoon flew and my head was buzzing with several new facts hitherto unknown.

A worthwhile meeting indeed.





SUMMER'S NEARLY GONE

It came with a surging virtually uninterrupted spell of three glorious weeks in July and then stuttered and stalled as August gathered pace.  Yes, that elusive rascal we call summer has seemingly made its main appearance for this year and now the last fortnight ticks away.  A sensational red dawn Tuesday heralded the weather breakup as the rain swept in this morning.  The garden really needed it, far more than our human desire for blue skies.  Summer's nearly gone but my favourite season beckons ...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

CORRUPTION OF PLACE NAMES

I am indebted to Paul down Stoke Road for the article on 'Lost Village of Labrador' he sent in to me.
The medieval map (above) was included.  Of great interest are the place names, some of them familiar but others are real shockers.  Present day name of one of the lanes running from Forches Hill eastwards is Butterfly Lane.  The medieval map shows it as 'Better Flee Lane' and there is a good reason for this unusual name.  At the old cross stood a gibbet or gallows, positioned high up on the hill to be evident for all to see.  The corruption to Butterfly Lane may or may not have been accidental, but is intriguing, nevertheless.  A fascinating map,  I think you will agree.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

PROJECT COVES NEARING COMPLETION

After three expeditions over the rocks, down tortuous cliff paths, I've amassed sufficient footage and hi-res stills for Project Coves.  There now remains the 'Yippee Kayak By'  when water and tide conditions are favourable to view all coves from offshore and confirm identifying features from seaward.

After the woeful Titanic2 maiden launch and tiny voyage, I will be swapping craft for the Red Surfer, a sit-on kayak with no stability issues.  Also, hopefully, I will be accompanied.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

BUZZARD ZOOM

That's me whistling at the start of the clip - trying to get the buzzard to fly.  You get an idea how difficult it was to hold the camera steady with no tripod when I zoom out at the end.

BUZZARD CALLING

Rare sighting of a Common buzzard (Buteo buteo) on the ground calling to its mate circling high above.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

HUE AND CRY INVOKED

For the first time in living memory in Maidencombe, a hue and cry was invoked from the Thatched Tavern at ten minutes past ten Monday evening. 

A vigilant resident had observed the northern gate to the cider orchard being opened and a land rover type vehicle drive in with a caravan in tow.  It had then exited the orchard and proceeded into adjoining fields under lease to the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust.

A call was made to the pub and several residents set off up Rock House Lane to investigate.
The landlord, Mick Bruckin and an employee, Andy Maltas were joined by three Maidencombe Residents Association committee members, James Harvey, Rodney Horder and Jim Campbell.

The group caught sight of the vehicle exiting Tipley Finch and driving across the John Musgrove Heritage Trail path into private land opposite.

A strange hour to make such an unusual journey up difficult terrain and it is questionable whether permission had been sought to cross Trust land.  Further investigations will follow today.

The residents returned to the Thatched Tavern for a well-earned pint.  A little adventure and a story to be remembered.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

EXPEDITION 3 OF PROJECT COVES

ROCK FLATS
Both the first two expeditions were five hour strength sapping sagas but were good preparation for amassing preliminary photo angles to assess back home.
With high tide around 5 pm I set out at exactly midday knowing that it would be tight to get to the Ness at Shaldon and back before the tide cut me off around 3:30 pm.
Proceeding via the South West Coast Path to my designated drop down one of my cliff paths, I encountered several groups of hikers travelling in both directions. 
I began to feel like a tour guide as everyone stopped to ask questions about the route.  Although I was in a hurry,  it was only courteous to pass a few minutes to convey information.
By the time I cleared Bundle Head just before the Ness, the flat section of rocks was beginning to flood.  After squeezing off a few shots and telephoto video, I gulped down some water and legged it back to my chosen cove escape route up over the cliff.
I just made it with waves breaking up to my knees.   I've scanned the footage and I think I've got everything I need now.  Looking good ...

Saturday, August 03, 2013

HITTING THE COVES FOR EXPEDITION 3

Weather good for filming and tides reasonable for Expedition 3 of Project Coves.  Bumper edition this evening, fingers crossed.

Friday, August 02, 2013

ON THE CLIFF FACE FOR PROJECT COVES

It may not look like it, but this is a clearly defined path above one of the fourteen coves from Maidencombe to the Ness.

SEA FRET AND SURF

On Expedition 2 for Project Coves, Thursday afternoon and events are conspiring against me somewhat ...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

MOVING OUT

Wall to wall sunshine here at Maidencombe-upon-Sea which is ideal for the second photo shoot for Project Coves.  A couple of access points to be mapped as well.  I won't be negotiating  the elevated plateau from Mackerel Cove to Herring Cove this time!  Back with (hopefully) the goodies later this evening.  Moving out   ....  Rawhide!

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.

SLADNOR PARK CHALETS

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

BURNING OF THE BAMBOO MAN JUNE 5 2016

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

Search This Website

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 exist. 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.