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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Peaceful but deceptive

In atrocious weather last Monday evening a fisherman lost his life off Hope's Nose.  His small vessel was believed to have been swamped in driving rain and winds gusting up to 60 miles an hour off the headland.  Only a few days earlier, the training ship Emsstrom foundered and sank nearby. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hedgerows giving way

Just walked round the village and the incessant rain and strong winds have caused a tree to fall across Rockhouse Lane between the Courthouse and Maidencombe Farm.  The lane is clear now.  Further erosion of hedgerows evident in Steep Hill and Brim Hill.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

SUITE DREAMS SITE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST

 The site upon which Suite Dreams lies is known to be where Cade's or Card's farmhouse existed way back in the early 16th Century.  This was one of the five original farms that operated within the village and has enormous historical importance.

Hal Bishop, the Senior Historic Environment Officer for Torbay Council has expressed a keen interest in what lies beneath the footprint of Suite Dreams (above) and has placed a condition to development of the site as follows: 'No development shall take place within the area indicated until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeoligical work in accordance with a written scheme investigation submitted by the applicant and approved by the Local Planning Authority'

There has been no move to develop the site since 2007.


Happier times - the sizing branch

Here shown before its demise, the sizing branch is nearly level with the sign on the right hand side of the photo.  For well over thirty years it did its job protecting the village from juggernauts.  A landmark that I will miss.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DEATH OF THE SIZING BRANCH

video
With grateful thanks to Richard Tredinnick for relating the sad tale.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flashback to December 18th 2010

video
When the combe had quite a bit of snow transforming it to a winter wonderland ...

First snow flurries in the combe

video
This taken an hour ago, still too warm to lay though. In the relative safety of the English Riviera, Maidencombe and Torbay have escaped thus far the snow that has affected large areas of Devon.

Monday, January 21, 2013

RETURN OF THE FIRE HASH

News coming in that Maidencombe will once again play host to the Fire Hash - the only event of its kind in the world.  Instead of following flour or sawdust marks as in a conventional hash trail, the way is marked in fire.  Above infrared photo showing a fire hare holding a flare in the 2010 Fire Hash.  Further details to follow.

WAITRESS SERVICE IN THE COMBE

video
(No audio)   Something you don't see very often when out for a stroll in the combe.  Vid clip taken from a Teign Valley Hash laid by me for my Birthday Run Trail.  The harriet is the charming Palmolive who dressed up especially for my birthday surprise - which indeed it was!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Skullduggery at the Cross bus stop?

 However,  the signpost a few yards away mysteriously fell over a few weeks ago (above) and I'm a bit concerned whether skullduggery has taken place.  The relevant authorities will be informed.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

First glimpse of Maidencombe from the north

An unusual view of Maidencombe simply because this is taken from a dangerous bend on the A379 Teignmouth Road.  I just had time to squeeze off the photo before ducking back into the hedge to avoid these oncoming cars.  In the peak summer months of July and August, up to a quarter of the total traffic entering Torbay use this road.  With its winding corniche-like qualities it lives up to its name of the Scenic Gateway to Torquay.

Confused? Many visitors are.

The sign post  just after The Perch that greets ramblers and visitors as they enter Maidencombe from the south. I've lost count of the times I have been asked 'What's the difference, which way is best?'  The coast path to Maidencombe is part of the South West Coast Path and the 'alternative route' has now become part of the John Musgrove Heritage Trail.  For this particular stretch, a better wording might be 'scenic' after the coast path arrow and 'direct' route for the latter arrow.  Incidentally, the missing chunk from the round sign was after a tourist tried to take the sign away as a souvenir - how do I know?  I was watching from higher up the path.  The tourist was quite embarrassed when he saw he had been spotted!

THE PERCH - SOUTHERN GATEWAY TO MAIDENCOMBE

The spectacular viewpoint with bench at the top of the Goats Path marks the southern boundary of Maidencombe. Known as 'The Perch' from its jutting outcrop of rock directly overlooking the Valley of the Rocks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

BLUEBELL & TIPLEY FINCH

So Cruise wending his way along Bluebell towards the sentinels entrance into Tipley Finch or 'Tiddly Pinch' as it was affectionally known to locals.  Photo taken May 29th 2012.

So Cruise at the entrance stile into Lyme's Weep


Thursday, January 17, 2013

VIEW FROM LYME'S WEEP LOOKING SOUTH

The bench nearby provides residents and visitors with stunning panoramic views over Lyme Bay to the north and Babbacombe Bay to the south (shown here). 

VIEW FROM LYME'S WEEP LOOKING NORTH

In the upper left of the photo is Commons Plantation.  Towards the upper centre is Teignbridge and the southern entrance to the RSPB Nature Reserve.

This is Maidencombe and not Watcombe

The TCCT outdated marker a quarter of a mile inside the Maidencombe boundary.  The nearest part of Watcombe is over half a mile away courtesy of boundary changes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

MAIDENCOMBE MAP PRESENTATION & TALK

There was a map presentation and talk on Maidencombe given by Jim Campbell last Monday at the St Marychurch Community Partnership meeting held at Westlands School, Plainmoor.
The talk lasted thirty minutes with all three St Marychurch councillors present along with Torbay Council representatives and Susie Colley, the Chair of the Torquay Neighbourhood Forum.
Mr Campbell identified the boundaries, Torbay Coast & Countryside leased fields and the permissive routes that ran through Maidencombe.
Every stile and kissing gate was marked on an A1 sized draft map which the audience could follow on specially printed A4 maps distributed for them to peruse.
It was also revealed that all of the TCCT's fields had names and nicknames (rather than the Council's numbered & lettered versions) dating back many years. A few were mentioned such as Tipley Finch (Tiddly Pinch), Gypsy, Lyme's Weep, Bluebell and Cade's.
It was established that the southern entrance to Maidencombe was at the 'Perch' a seat and viewpoint at the summit of the Goats Path from the Valley of the Rocks.
There were a number of questions posed at the end of the presentation. 

Torbay Council sells parcel of land in northern Maidencombe

Residents have been enquiring about the land sold recently in Maidencombe.  Details were forthcoming from Torbay Council officers who were present at last Monday's St Marychurch Community Partnership meeting. 
Confusion was caused by the size of the land - 2.2 acres - which is identical to that of Bowden Meadow at Maidencombe Cross.
The land sold is situated at the very northern reaches of Maidencombe, some 80 metres to the NW of Whiteway Lane inland of the A379 (see illustration).  The auction realised £46,000 for the Council, exceeding its estimate by some way.
The land in question is part turf and part woodland with views across the bay and it raises the question what the buyer has in mind for the plot of land.
The auctioneer's notes reveal this:
Interest is anticipated from equestrian and small-scale farming types as well as those on the lookout for a stunning tucked away but readily accessible piece of Devon for occasional recreational tenting and caravanning purposes.



Monday, January 14, 2013

The stricken Emsstroom with HMS Severn standing by


The Emsstroom founders


Tugboat drama off Hopes Nose - towed ship sinks

The tugboat, CHRISTOS XXII (pictured above) got into difficulties off Hopes Nose last night and her crew has been rescued.
She was towing the EMSSTROM, a German training ship en route for Turkey to be scrapped.

The tow became unstable and while coming in closer the  EMSSTROM apparently holed the tug which began to take on water.

The drama unfolded about a mile off Hopes Nose and could clearly be observed from Maidencombe as two lifeboats from Torbay and Exmouth, the Brixham harbour tug and two Royal Navy vessels  HMS Lancaster and HMS Severn stood by. The RAF search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor and the Torbay Coastguard Rescue Team were also called to assist.


The tug BRENT came alongside and pumps  temporarily stabilised the stricken vessel. Salvage was attempted but there is a concern over possible oil spillage 


The EMSSTROM has subsequently sunk but with no pollution fears.


Dry in the combe

I really cannot recall the last time there were dry roads in the combe.  A most pleasant change was the walk up Brim Hill without the water leaking from the water main which seems to have been repaired.  The run-off of surface water from the north exiting half way down Steep Hill has also dried up.  The Maidencombe spring is now only weeping a little water onto Rock House Lane and Orchard Lane is nigh on negotiable without waders.
Dry and still as So Cruise and I wended our way around the combe on our Night Patrol and most enjoyable it was too, though temperatures are due to plummet the next few nights.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Valley of the Rocks and the boundaries of Maidencombe

Research on our Maidencombe map has yielded quite a few results already - particularly with regard to defining the boundaries of Maidencombe, which have long been clouded in mystery.  The southern borders of Maidencombe have always been a topic for discussion with the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust placing wooden signage posts a full quarter of a mile inside of the summit to the Goats Path bearing the legend: 'Area of Watcombe'  and supported by an SX grid reference.  These look authoritative but I have always been dubious of their validity and had posed the query to the Trust's Director who had not been dogmatic in replying 'Have we got them in the wrong position?'
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Well, they are in the wrong place and should be changed at some point.  I confirmed this after making a visit to the Town Hall Friday afternoon to inspect the ward boundaries.  It may even come as a surprise to some that the Valley of the Rocks (listed on the English Riviera Global Geopark website as Watcombe) and indeed Watcombe Beach both lie outside of the Watcombe Ward boundary courtesy of the radical changes of December 2001 when Maidencombe changed wards, moving from Combe Ward (renamed Watcombe Ward) to the St Marychurch Ward.  There is even a  possibility that Maidencombe could even lay claim to the Valley of the Rocks and the Giant Rock ... more on this later.
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SWW now repairing leak

After being notified of the reoccurring leak at the top of Brim Hill, SWW operatives have dug a trench and cordoned the section of road off.  You are advised to use Steep Hill to enter the village weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm as congestion from works vehicles at Brim Hill Villa is severe.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BRIM HILL LEAK



Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Neighbourhood Plan banner

You will note that a Neighbourhood Plan information banner has been positioned on the council owned (permission approved) grass verge immediately after the bus stop bay before the Rock House Lane turn.  This was done at the behest of the Neighbourhood Forum.  I assisted local councillor Alan Faulkner with the operation.

Confirmed water leak Brim Hill

Confirmation of a water leak at the top of Brim Hill.  Highways and SWW to be informed.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Appearing all over the village

Seen on trees, telegraph posts and signposts to ensure folks see the upcoming fun.

Friday, January 04, 2013

There's a Coach Coming In ...

.. Or so the song goes in Paint Your Wagon (1969) sung by Rotten Luck Willie (Harve Presnell) & Chorus .
The double-decker draws in at Maidencombe Cross bus stop to drop off a resident.  In the summer months, it is a mystery to tourists where the actual bus stop is as there is no 'sign' of one nowadays.  You have to go back a few decades to when there actually was one ...

Horse & pony in Bowden meadow

Good to see company for the pale pony in Bowden meadow.  The horse is believed to be the same animal which caused chaos in the village a few days ago when it escaped from the field.  Steep Hill and Brim Hill were sealed off by the police to prevent the animal getting on to the main road.  Fortunately, no harm came to the horse.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Another leak in Brim Hill?

As residents will recall, about a year ago there was a leak at the top of Brim Hill which necessitated SWW engineers coming out to repair.  Hard to be sure - especially after all the heavy rain we've had - but I have a suspicion that there's a water main leak in the same area.  The churned up mud from parked vehicles is masking the tarmac but water appears to be coming out of the ground.  I'll monitor the situation.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Deep in the heart of Sladnor Park

Four of the eight pairs of  Swedish style cantilever lodges cut into the hillside below the Teignmouth Road.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

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.