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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, December 27, 2014

LPG GAS ARCTIC ON MAINTENANCE 'CRUISE'?

The liquefied petroleum gas carrier (LPG) Gas Arctic is currently prescribing multiple circles within the confines of Lyme Bay, presumably on a maintenance 'cruise'.  Sea conditions are calm so it is not a question of movement to avoid dragging anchor.

The vessel first arrived off Hope's Nose on July 11th and has remained there constantly apart from one or two bunkering (refuelling) transits.

There is no destination listed for the Gas Arctic and it may be a possibility that the ship is waiting for a contract to be arranged.

The Gas Arctic (length 89 metres, width 32 metres) is less than half the size of the Sanko Mineral (189 X 32) which anchored in Babbacombe Bay for nearly a year and so will afford the crew a far less comfortable platform for a lengthy stay.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS DAY

Remy inspects one of his presents.
After fearing the worst on Christmas eve,  Christmas day passed peacefully for my household.
A peaceful Christmas day and I am most grateful  ..

Monday, December 22, 2014

LPG TANKER GAS ARCTIC - ANOTHER SANKO TYPE SAGA?

The Gas Arctic off Hope's Nose
I've been slow on the uptake, but the continuing presence of the Maltese flagged LPG Tanker Gas Arctic raises the question - what is she waiting for exactly?

The vessel first took up station off  Hope's Nose over five months ago on July 11th from Aveiro, Portugal. She is owned by Ventspils Gases Ltd of Malta, a subsidiary of Stealthgas, Greece.

The Gas Arctic was in collision with CV Spring Bok  some 6 nautical miles south of  Dungeness on March 24, 2012 and suffered minor damage to her stern.  The fault lay with the Spring Bok.

The vessel has departed for bunkering on a couple of occasions but has always returned to virtually the same position off Hope's Nose.

Could this be the start of another Sanko type saga?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

SPIRITS OF THE GREEN MAN AT MAIDENCOMBE

Framed ghostly in the entrance to Ye olde Thatched Taverne, the Spirit of the Green Man is revealed in manifold forms.  On closer inspection, the apparitions bear a passing resemblance to the mysterious 'Bluebird' (top left), Sharon 'Whitey Cat' (top right), the become legendary 'Zigmeister' (bottom left) and Debby 'de Devon' (bottom right) - but I could be mistaken and it all be revealed as a Badger beer induced dream .....

Friday, December 19, 2014

LEGENDARY ROY DOG SPOTTED

The likeness is unmistakable ...
The legend goes that the Roaming Roy Dog has his lair in the Caves of Dorset and is a 'fearsome red and green eyed beast with the eyes of his victims entangled in his wild mane of fur'.

Well, he has certainly roamed afar, for he has been sighted outside the Thatched Tavern at Maidencombe - as can be verified in the photo above.

I think I have your attention now and can remind you that this evening is the Christmas Carol Singalong from the Thatched Tavern pub from 7 pm.

The Roaming Roy Dog may not be there - but everyone else will be!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

'COVES OF MAIDENCOMBE' FAVOURABLY RECEIVED BY TEIGNBRIDGE

Front cover of First Edition
Copies of the first print run of the 'Coves of Maidencombe' booklet have been requested by Teignbridge District Council.  A number of associated agencies, including Devon County Council, will have file copies.  The booklet was presented at a steering group meeting and members expressed interest in the publication which covers a stretch of coastline not previously documented.
Copies of the first edition are going quickly.  The 32 page full colour A5 booklet is on sale at £4 or £5 with P & P.  Orders can be placed with either the Thatched Tavern or the Orestone Manor.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

THREE CONTAINER SHIPS CAME A SAILING BY ...

Unusual sight of three container ships off Maidencombe
video
Rather startled to see the container ship Ara Atlantis anchored close in - just over a mile off Maidencombe today.  Also visible in my little sea window were two other container ships, Morning Laura and Nyk Diana. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

WOULD YOU HAVE BUILT A HOUSE THERE?

The dramatic redrawing of the map and loss of features at Oddicombe and Little Oddicombe  are the result of the catastrophic landslip above Little Oddicombe in 2013.  The postcard (above) by Charles Thomas Howard would, in hindsight, have afforded builders and Torquay Corporation vital clues for the future demise of the once beautiful tourist destination.  The question has to be asked: Would you have built a house at letter B on the postcard?

Charles Thomas Howard's (1865-1942) interpretation is most interesting.  The presence of the cliff railway (letter A) dates the postcard as post 1926 but the absence of the ill-fated Ridgemont House (built 1930's) on the headland (letter B) narrows the date of painting to around 1928. The breccia and red sandstone division (letter C) has gone as has the interesting geological  breccia stack (letter D) slightly offshore of the Gentlemen's Bathing Place.  The sea-stack was swept aside by a horizontal, high velocity run out lobe.

The geological fault line running down the valley (directly behind B & C) was long known and despite the open cast, inherently unstable red sandstone cliff, no measures were put into place before the slip commenced in February of 2010.  By then, it was too late to halt the forces of nature.

THE NEXT ADVENTURE

Clues aplenty in an old postcard of Oddicombe
With the completion and publication of the 'Coves of Maidencombe', the temptation of resting on one's laurels was briefly considered, but now the next adventure beckons ...




Sunday, November 23, 2014

MTS VENGEANCE & PHANTOM AIS TUG

video
Taken Saturday afternoon after the visibility had improved.  Bear in mind that the vessels were over six miles away from me.  The AIS of the 'phantom' tug, MTS Venge disappeared overnight - but is now showing again.  A few theories have surfaced, but it remains a mystery how a vessel can be seen approaching the Vengeance from up the English Channel to take up station virtually alongside and not be seen.  To add to the mystery, no vessel of that name can be located in the registry.  It may be that one of the hulk tankers has had its AIS configured in order to be visible to other shipping and lessen the hazard of collision.
MTS Vengeance & tows Saturday afternoon. Vessel left foreground a trawler.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MTS VENGEANCE - NEW DEVELOPMENT

MTS Vengeance & tows
video
An interesting development today with the arrival of another tug, MTS Venge.  I went out to the top of Marine Drive to take more footage - slightly better visibility and a mile or so closer.  Strangely, I could not see the other tug - though she is still showing on AIS.  Now believe that both tugs are virtually alongside and that is why the  other tug is not visible to me at my angle of filming.  The MTS Vengeance is now showing her next destination as Las Palmas - evidently for bunkering.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

MTS VENGEANCE & TWO TOWS IN BABBACOMBE BAY

video
SCHEEPVAART FORUM: Alerted by my contact Martin that the MTS Vengeance was en route to Babbacombe Bay with two barges, the Somtrans III  and the Somtrans VII.  The mini convoy arrived just before midnight Saturday and has anchored at the southern limits of Babbacombe Bay, some six miles off Maidencombe.  Poor visibility at present and I'll try and get clearer footage if the weather improves.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

IT'S FINALLY HERE

Front and back cover
Well, the waiting is finally over.  The 'Coves of Maidencombe'  arrived Wednesday afternoon and will shortly be available from the Thatched Tavern and the Orestone Manor in Maidencombe.
Priced at £5.00, the paperback is A5 format on gloss paper with 32 pages and full colour photographs and descriptions/features of all fourteen coves between Maidencombe and the Ness at Shaldon. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

COVES OF MAIDENCOMBE

 The 'Coves of Maidencombe'  has gone to print and is scheduled for delivery this Tuesday.  Mentioned in the publication is the shelfway -  a difficult and potentially hazardous obstacle to scale.



The Shelfway above & to the north of Maidencombe Cove

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

COVES OF MAIDENCOMBE - READY TO PRINT

The final proofs of our long awaited publication 'Coves of Maidencombe' arrived today and the instruction to print will be issued tomorrow.  More information to follow.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

BUSY SUNDAY IN BABBACOMBE BAY

video
HMS MERSEY & BUOY LAYING VESSEL GALATEA
A busy Sunday in Babbacombe Bay as first the Buoy laying vessel Galatea arrived off the Emmstrom Buoys to carry out work and an hour or so later HMS Mersey arrived to take up station off Maidencombe.  It has been noted that one of the Emmstrom buoys had not been working correctly for the past few weeks and the Galatea might be replacing it if maintenance is unsuccessful.

ALAN HUNT'S 80TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Alan Hunt beside his photo montage
Born at Ferndale House, Rockhouse Lane in 1934, and in continual residence since then, Alan Hunt is the true 'Father of Maidencombe',  much respected and loved by all.  He celebrated his 80th birthday at Stokeinteignhead Village Hall, where family and close friends congregated to toast his good health.
Each candle representing a decade

Friday, October 31, 2014

MAIDENCOMBE AT WAR

Tiddly Pinch Bofors (click to enlarge)
Very few Maidencombers can recall the sites of the Bofors AA gun emplacements in Maidencombe.  Residents and visitors will have walked past their positions oblivious of their location and the role they played in safeguarding our part of the coast in WW2.

Most famous was the Tiddly Pinch Bofors (see photo and inset above) which was positioned to take on Tip & Run Focke-Wulf  FW 190 fighter bombers approaching Teignmouth and those aircraft which had attacked Torquay and were turning for home across the Channel.

The Bofors 40mm gun could fire a one kilo projectile three miles at a rate of 120 a minute and was most effective at defending against fast moving aircraft.

Alan Hunt recalled the crew of the Tiddly Pinch Bofors, when off-duty, playing cards at Ferndale House in Rock House Lane, Maidencombe.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SPEED WALKS IN MAIDENCOMBE

video
From the Folly at Sladnor Park, wending southbound, adjacent to the A379 Teignmouth Road - at four times walking speed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ENGLISH HOUSE DEMOLISHED

The English House on the Teignmouth Road, Maidencombe was demolished today to make way for a housing development.  A particularly nostalgic moment for me as I can personally recall the history of the site from 1960 when it was the popular Rocombe Brae guest house.  It then was converted into the Dartmoor Maiden, a licensed restaurant, before being sold in 2003.  Finally, it was renamed the English House, also a restaurant and managed to eke out a living until a few years ago when it finally closed for business.  It is noted that the house next door is up for sale.
A sad 'site' for some

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE CLOCK IS TICKING


The countdown to the closure of the Coastguard station at Berry Head has begun.  The station will close on Friday October 31st.
Brixham Coastguard Station at Berry Head


Saturday, October 18, 2014

DAD'S OLD SET SQUARE

Old rosewood and brass set square circa 1910
Clearing out the shed, I came across a sad and nostalgic sight - my dear old dad's old rosewood and brass set square circa 1910.  It was scarcely recognizable from the polished and fiercely cherished possession of my late father.  Heavily pitted with corrosion, I took time to remove some of the rust and recalled its association with me and my father.  Dad always looked after his tools and was at pains to safeguard their appearance and retain their working life.  The set square was his pride and joy and woe betide me if I didn't return it immediately after use.  I'll spend some time on it and try and restore it to something like its former pristine state.  Dad would approve, I know, great Maidencomber that he was ....

Friday, October 10, 2014

PIPE TRANSFER TO MTS INDUS OFF MAIDENCOMBE


video
Converted and compressed to Flash Video format (flv) owing to video size.  The MTS Indus returns from Brixham to take up her tow of pipes. She is currently en route to Las Palmas with her unusual tow.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

SLIGHTLY BLUE - 'CROSSROADS'

video
From the Jam Session at the Church House Inn, Stokeinteignhead Tuesday October 7th.
The group from left: Markel, Ali, Doc (vocals) and Ed.
Permission to post here on www.maidencombe.net given by Slightly Blue.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

YES, YET ANOTHER TUG OPERATION OFF MAIDENCOMBE

video
The MTS Indus with what appears to be pipe sections in tow.  She moved from Tor Bay yesterday afternoon to take up station in Babbacombe Bay south of Maidencombe. Destination Brixham showing on AIS log.
MTS Indus and pipe sections off Maidencombe

Monday, October 06, 2014

DUTCH TUG MARION V AND HULK ELLEN IN TOR BAY

video
A little trip over to Roundham Gardens above Goodrington to see the tug operation off Brixham.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

'THAT'LL BE THE DAY'

Jim Job DIY repair
video
Yes, I'm still here after an absence of eleven days.  Outside jobs preparing for winter and the rains have included repairing and re-felting my extension and outside shed; rust-proofing metal porch supports; sealing and staining of outside windows and back door etc etc.   Mightily pleased with the extension repairs as I was quoted four figures by a 'friendly' tradesman - see short vid clip above.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MAGICAL EYE TO EYE CONTACT

video
Spotting wildlife is painstakingly methodical.  At first casual glance, the meadow appeared bereft of life.  However,  on closer examination, I found this beautiful creature at rest just as the light departed.
She was well aware of my presence and eye to eye contact was established - making for a magical few moments.

Monday, September 22, 2014

BECBLA THE BLIND VIXEN

So Cruise and I had a most special Night Patrol early hours this morning when I managed for the first time to get footage of Becbla the totally blind vixen I have been feeding for over three years.

She is incredibly elusive and emerges briefly to snatch her food before disappearing into the undergrowth to escape from other foxes and badgers who chase her for the food.

Fortunately, Becbla knew me when she was sighted and would come very close to take food from me.  Gradually she lost sight in both eyes and became dependent on me for food.  She has a sighted male companion who I suspect is one of her offspring.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

THE INDY TAPES: SENSATIONAL FIND

Labrador Bay Hotel discovered!
video
The weight of evidence is undeniable,  this is part of the foundations of the Labrador Bay Hotel.

THE INDY TAPES: Physical evidence

video
Some 35 yards due west of the glade, physical evidence is discovered.  I keep referring to the Labrador bungalow when in fact it was the Labrador Bay cottage which was situated southwest of the hotel.

THE INDY TAPES: Southward foray

video
Indy Jim sets off to the south, searching for the link path to Cherry Red Cove and Thorns.

THE INDY TAPES: Looking up to Smugglers Top

video

THE INDY TAPES: 'Call me Indy'

video
Let's cut to the chase here.  I've parked at the Ness car park and come down the tunnel on to the Ness beach and traversed Bundle Head to Smugglers Cove beach. Now  made the ascent up to the 'glade' or the supposed footprint of the Labrador Bay hotel ... take it away 'Indy' ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

EFFLUENT DISCHARGE IN BRIM HILL

Hose clip from the vehicle?
Returning from my Night Patrol with So Cruise in the combe after 1 am this morning, we encountered a broad swathe of effluent entering the culvert (and lower reach watercourses) alongside the Cider Orchard in Rock House Lane.  I traced it back to its source in lower Brim Hill between Five Meadows and Home Orchard. It had not emanated from the road.  On closer inspection, I found a hose clip (see photo above).  I then remembered that a waste tanker (septic tank vehicle) had gone up Brim Hill sometime around 7:30 pm Thursday evening.
I am unsure what the liquid is, though I took the precaution of washing So Cruise's feet when we got back home.  Care should be taken negotiating the effluent whether by vehicle or on foot as it is very slippery.  Even if harmless, the operator is responsible for the discharge and cleaning up the highway.
Effluent spill in Brim Hill & Rockhouse Lane     



Monday, September 01, 2014

FAREWELL TO SUMMER

September 1st and autumn is here, but there is always a lively discussion as to what date is the true start of autumn. There are three definitions: meteorological, celestial and those derived from the changes in nature.
For consistency and comparison of weather records, the Met Office nominates three month cycles, each commencing on the first of the month.
Astronomers  utilise celestial events such as equinoxes and solstices with autumn occurring this year on September 22nd.
Phenology, or the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events, dictates that autumn is here when oaks and beech trees start to tint and the ripening of sloes and elderberries is evident etc.

Well, the sloes and elderberry are everywhere in the combe,  so I stick with the first of September as the true start of autumn - my favourite season






Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHRISTMAS IS A COMIN' IN

Yes, unashamedly I promote a Christmas event on August 30th, but it is a special event for Maidencombers all. 

It is the fourth running of the Thatched Tavern Christmas Carol Singalong and ALL are welcome.

For those unfamiliar with the format, song/carol sheets are provided and there will be Advent calendar prizes.

The singalong commences at 7pm on Friday December 19th. 

The countdown begins ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SANKO US BOUND

As anticipated, the Star Minerva made a brief stopover in Tor Bay before heading off across the Atlantic US bound.  Her scheduled destination is Camden, New Jersey and she's due to arrive on September 5th.  Let's hope her paperwork is in order as the US authorities are strict and have a long memory ...

Monday, August 25, 2014

STAR MINERVA BACK IN TOR BAY

Well, the old  ex Sanko Mineral duly arrived back at her identical mooring off Paignton in Tor Bay before breakfast today.  The MTS Valonia joined her from Brixham just after 7 am and is currently alongside.  It appears that the Star Minerva is undergoing another underwater inspection.  Keep you posted on this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

WAIT FOR IT - THE SANKO'S COMING BACK

Star Minerva en route back to Tor Bay
Our shipping correspondent, Graham has contacted me with this news:

'After a five day stay in Bremen the Star Minerva (ex Sanko Mineral) left there in the early hours of yesterday morning. She is currently off Dover and her AIS is showing Torquay as her destination with an ETA of breakfast time tomorrow! I have no idea what this visit is all about – we will have to wait and see!'

It could be a case of a brief stopover before moving on to another destination.  However, the long-running saga  of this vessel carries on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM

This day, ninety two years ago, my mum was born.  Here she is, sitting on the stile into the cider orchard after taking a walk down Brim Hill.  Virtually house bound nowadays, it was quite an adventure for her but she was adamant that she wanted to have a walk, unaided, to see the orchard again.  More a true Maidencomber than many,  happy birthday Mum.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SHE'S FINALLY GONE

Our old friend the Sanko Mineral (Star Minerva) left Tor Bay late yesterday evening and is currently en route to the German port of Bremen.  She now sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands.

So ends an eleven month saga which saw the vessel virtually permanently moored off Maidencombe in various positions - Babbacombe Bay, Tor Bay and Lyme Bay, making a few journeys to Falmouth for bunkering and under 'impulse power' around Lyme Bay in heavy weather.

It all came about when the Sanko Steamship Company - one of Japan's oldest shipping companies - became embroiled in financial difficulties and was forced to file for bankruptcy, leaving a number of its vessels 'stranded' around the world as creditors sought payment for unpaid charters.

The Sanko Mineral had other difficulties, however, and was allegedly involved in the ramming and sinking of a barge in US waters and managed to escape internship by the US authorities.

What an adventure,  I'll miss her.   Bon voyage, Sanko ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

VIDEO FOOTAGE OF SANKO MINERAL IN TOR BAY

video
Too much of a mouthful to keep on putting Star Minerva, former Sanko Mineral - she'll always be the Sanko Mineral while she's off our shores.

I saw her make her initial approach into Tor Bay from Maidencombe but she gradually disappeared from view behind the Babbacombe peninsula.  Footage attained by driving up to the Ilsham Marine Drive.

RETURN OF THE SANKO MINERAL!

Star Minerva formerly the Sanko Mineral
Our shipping correspondent, Graham, has reported that the renamed Sanko Mineral - now the Star Minerva,  left her mooring off Falmouth just after lunchtime today and is en route back to Tor Bay!

The vessel first arrived off Tor Bay on October 15th last year and has been the subject of much discussion on marine forums.  Such was the interest that she departed on May 15th to take up a new mooring near to Falmouth.  She was subsequently sold at a sealed bid auction   (see previous post).

Graham speculates that the vessel may be returning for an underwater hull inspection and clean after accumulating much marine growth on her keel over the past eleven months.

Her ETA is 1830 UTC – 1930 local time.  We'll be keeping a lookout for her here at Maidencombe.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

TROPICAL STORM BERTHA JUST A PUSSYCAT

With all the usual media hype about the dreaded 'Hurricane Bertha' swooping across the Atlantic via the jet stream, precautions had to be taken - just in case they were correct.

In the event, Bertha, downgraded to a tropical storm on making landfall in the US and subsequently further downgraded to just a 'vicious low depression', turned out to be just a pussycat for us in Maidencombe after veering sharply northwest after hitting Ireland.

I had spent the evening battening down the hatches and checking the guys on our giant Eucalyptus tree.

The wind (gusts of over 60 mph expected) started up at about 3:50 am but then died away, giving way to some fairly sustained rainfall (an inch in all - 25 mm).

Better safe than sorry and I'm quite relieved we got off so lightly.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

SANKO MINERAL SOLD AT AUCTION

News coming in from Graham, our reliable and knowledgeable source, that the long running saga of the Sanko Mineral now appears to be at an end.  Graham informs me that the Sanko Mineral has been sold at auction for a reported $17.2 million - some $4 million less than she changed hands for in March of 2012 to a Greek buyer.

The vessel has been renamed Star Minerva and is currently showing on AIS as that name.  It is my belief that the purchasers are Minerva Marine Inc.  a private and independent Greek shipping company that has  established long term business links with Major Oil Companies.

Graham says that  it appears that the vessel is heading up into Falmouth Bay in the morning (presumably for bunkers) and will be sailing again at teatime.

So ends the near eleven month  self-imposed internment of the Sanko Mineral off the Devon and Cornwall coast. 

I am sure it will come as a huge relief to the crew and their families.  It is a matter of conjecture what remuneration the crew members have received on what had become virtually a 'prison ship'.
Star Minerva - formerly the Sanko Mineral

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

FORGET THE DAY JOB JOE!

Forget the day job Joe - you've got serious talent!
UPDATE FROM JOE OUR POSTIE

Hi all 
Just thought you would like to know that the plaster is finally off!
Leg is still bruised and swollen, but can finally put my foot on the ground, just waiting for a appointment with the physio.
Still not sure how long before I am back.

Attached is a photo of one of my paintings - what do you think - 
good enough to put in the loo?

Joe the postman

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE MENACE OF FRACKING COULD COME TO TORBAY

Area in red under consideration for licensing
Maps of UK locations for fracking (extraction of gas and oil deposits by hydraulic fracturing of rock formations) have revealed that about half of Devon is included for consideration.  The area includes Torbay and us here at Maidencombe. 

However, although parts of Torbay could be affected, Maidencombe should escape this menace as it is designated an 'area of oustanding natural beauty'.

We can only hope that no deposits are located anywhere in Devon as cash-strapped councils might be tempted to sell  out to the oil and gas industry.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

SUMMER QUEST

It's that time of year again when I get the urge to set out on a summer quest.  It was last September when Neil D'Allen, the owner of the Orestone Manor Hotel and his son James teamed up with me to mount an expedition to locate the footprint of the legendary Labrador Bay Hotel.

With that success behind us,  there is now an opportunity to expand our knowledge of this once thriving community and perhaps identify some other key landmarks.
Snippet of medieval map


The snippet of medieval map (above) though crude by modern day standards, gives us several clues.
The legend 'mere' is the Old English of a sea or inlet.  'Medencomb' is one of the earliest spelling of Maidencombe.  Interestingly, Smugglers Bay extends along several coves along this stretch of coast from Red Rob (present day Border Cove) to Smugglers Cove itself.  No mention of Labrador Bay (or its supposed derivation 'l'abri d'or' or shelter of gold).  Instead, intriguingly, the legend reads 'springs dor' ...

 
Early twentieth century map (locations hidden)
Fresh information in the form of an early  twentieth century map (above) has now passed into my hands courtesy of Bob Arthy, who will soon take up residence in the area.
A veritable 'treasure trove' of information has been gleaned on enlarging and enhancing the map.
Armed with this, I will be undertaking more expeditions to see if there is any evidence of these key landmarks.
Who knows,  we may even stumble upon one of the cannons that are believed to have been sited for defence and ultimately abandoned some three centuries ago ...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

WOULD THIS MAKE YOU SLOW DOWN?

Common sense signage not permitted
After yet another serious RTA (road traffic accident) last Friday,  it is time Highways took more action to warn motorists of the very dangerous stretch of the A379 through Maidencombe. There have been numerous accidents along this notorious  'black spot' stretch.

Full details are not available, but it is evident that excessive speed was the cause of the accident which closed the busy road for two hours, causing tailbacks and frustration aplenty.

Although there is a 30 MPH speed limit in place, motorists persist in speeding along this stretch and are often caught out by traffic exiting from side roads onto the A379. The 30 MPH repeater sign temporarily sited at 'gantry island', Maidencombe Cross has no effect whatsoever and should now be removed.

Torbay council Highways state that their hands are tied with central government legislation.
I wonder if a sign similar to our mock-up  (above) would make motorists slow down?

However, since when did common sense prevail in these days of political correctness and madness?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SIX-SPOT BURNET DAY FLYING MOTH

Six-spot Burnets on a Scottish thistle
On a mini expedition, Tuesday afternoon, I spotted a cluster of  Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena  filipendulae) day flying moths clustered upon a Scottish thistle. Such was the glare of the sun,  I had to wait until I got back home to definitely identify the number of spots on each wing .


GERONIMO!

Swinging pensioner Jim (photo courtesy David Hyde)
Would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be
An OAP?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THATCHED TAVERN CALENDAR 2015

Front cover and sample month
The Thatched Tavern 2015 calendar is now available.  Priced at £5 it comes with a heavy card envelope ideal for posting to family and friends.  The calendar is month themed and includes images of the area as well as the beautiful Thatched Tavern gardens.  Call in to the pub to collect.  Postage rates will be made available.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

GIANT BARREL JELLYFISH INVASION

Jim Campbell holding up a beached giant barrel jellyfish
Bathers are being advised to keep a lookout for swarms of giant barrel jellyfish which are appearing off the South Devon coast.  I found this one at Shaldon yesterday evening.  Although quite alarming due to its size, the barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) or the dustbin-lid jellyfish or the frilly-mouthed jellyfish, is relatively harmless though you are advised not to touch the trailing stingers.

Further information can be gleaned from this news story of May 20th this year on BBC News Cornwall:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-27483262

Saturday, July 05, 2014

OUTRAGE AT FLY-TIPPING INCIDENT

Yet another fly-tipping incident in the village.  For the third time in the past three weeks, rubbish has been dumped in Brim Hill.  I encountered this latest outrage at just before 1 am today on returning from our Night Patrol.

Also dumped:  sachets of medication




There was also a box of constipation sachets scattered in the middle of the road.  I retrieved these for the safety of the public and animals.

Presumably, this happened late evening as Tor2 react swiftly to calls.  In a serious large scale dumping in Steep Hill, the council failed to investigate fully, even when allegedly supplied with the identity of the perpetrator.

Residents should be extremely vigilant and take registration numbers of vans/lorries they see acting suspiciously.

Friday, July 04, 2014

TRACTOR DRAMA IN BOWDEN MEADOW

The tractor clearing Bowden meadow Wednesday
Clearing of a heavily overgrown Bowden meadow commenced Wednesday and continued yesterday until the tractor (photo above) got into difficulties in the northern corner above the Beehive (top centre).   A JCB had to be called out to tow the tractor out.  A water line had been damaged during the operation and was still flooding yesterday evening.  No one is believed to have been injured.

Bowden meadow belongs to the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust but it is not known who was clearing the field.

A local man was killed in the late sixties when his tractor overturned in the steep fields below Labrador.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

THE ATLAS AND TOWS FROM ABOVE THE ORE STONE

video
Rapidly changing picture here with the three tug operation which has been going on for the last eighteen hours.  The MTS Vengeance has dropped her tows off and is now proceeding back up the channel en route to Rotterdam.

The Herkules which appears to have started her voyage and tows from Gdansk, Poland is some 15 miles off Salcombe and proceeding to Dakar, currently making 4.8 knots.

Seeing the Atlas on AIS some 6 miles east of the Ore Stone and nearly out of range, I drove up to the top of Marine Drive and got this footage of her.  She now has two hulks with her and these must be either from the Vengeance or the Herkules.  As the Atlas was escorting the Herkules without any tows it is logical to assume that these may be the tows from the Vengeance.  Shipping forum experts please take a close look at this close-up photo (below) I took along with the video footage and give me your opinion.  You'll know much better than me.
Tug Atlas behind the hulks off the Ore Stone
Earlier, when I was out walking So Cruise,  I might have spotted a single hulk lying unattended some way off Maidencombe to the north, but it was very difficult to pick out.  Keep you updated.  Still evaluating more video footage.

TUG ARMADA OFF MAIDENCOMBE (PART 2)

video
More footage of the MTS Vengeance, Herkules and Atlas with their respective tows.  The mini armada is currently stationary in Lyme Bay some 16 kms northeast of Maidencombe.  The Pilot vessel Celia T remains on station with the vessels.

TUG ARMADA OFF MAIDENCOMBE

video
First footage of the huge towing operation off Maidencombe.

MTS VENGEANCE IN LYME BAY

The Steindamm - one of Mts Vengeance's tows
Got up early to see what developments there have been with the MTS Vengeance and her two tows since 3:15 am this morning.  After closing to within a mile of the Herkules (also en route to Nigeria) the Vengeance tracked in westwards and is currently some ten miles east of Hope's Nose in Lyme Bay.  Her status is listed as 'restricted manoeuvrability'.
I popped up to the top of the hill to see if I could spot her but she was hidden in the early morning haze.
The other two GB flagged tugs, the Herkules and the Atlas are both within a kilometre of each other, though the Herkules is now underway, making over 8 knots and on a heading of 308 degrees.
If visibility improves, I'll attempt to get some footage.

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.