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

Monday, March 31, 2014

PHANTOM FLIGHT (PART 2)

video
I had nearly lost count of the number of times this aircraft had flown back and forth and had gone into the garden awaiting its return.  About five minutes later, sure enough, it returned.  Could it have been some sort of search operation I wonder.

The last time I witnessed a strange air operation was back in the seventies when ten Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports flew over Maidencombe at three o clock in the morning.  They were flying very low about a mile apart and the noise was absolutely deafening.  I never found out details of  the operation.

PHANTOM FLIGHTS OVER MAIDENCOMBE

video
All through our Night Patrol around the combe early hours Monday,   turboprop aircraft  could be seen flying north and south over Maidencombe and Babbacombe Bay.  It gradually became clear that it was the same aircraft on some strange operation.  If you look carefully, the navigation lights can be seen as I pointed the camera skywards.

Friday, March 28, 2014

GREATER HORSESHOE BAT SIGHTED?

My sighting

A very rare sighting of what may be a lone female  Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in a secret location in Maidencombe.  The species is rare in the UK and confined to a relatively few sites.  A most exciting find.

Authenticated photo of Greater Horseshoe bat

Sunday, March 23, 2014

HMS SEVERN BACK AGAIN!

video
HMS Severn (P282) appeared Saturday in its usual position off Maidencombe.  This time I managed to get a good close-up view before the vessel put on its vast array of lighting.  As I zoomed back, So Cruise and I had an unexpected visitor.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

RUDYARD KIPLING'S ROCK HOUSE

Rare archive photo of Rock House rampart & garden

Rudyard Kipling, writer and poet (1865-1936)  was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

Notably, he wrote The Jungle Book, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King, and many short stories and poems including Gunga Din and If.

Between 1896 and 1898 Kipling and his wife lived in Rock House,  Langley Lane (subsequently renamed Rock House Lane probably in recognition of its raised profile) Maidencombe, just off the A379 corniche between Torquay and Shaldon.

Kipling was enchanted with Rock House and its glorious setting when he first arrived in 1896 on an extended let but his mood changed abruptly after he and his wife had a nasty tumble on their tandem in the narrow, twisting lanes that abounded nearby that they had been exploring.
A great melancholy overtook Kipling and he made a flimsy excuse (leaky cistern) to escape the lease.

The archive photo (above) illustrates the faux castellations above the north wing to the left and looks northeast out onto Babbacombe Bay.

Monday, March 17, 2014

ZOOM & VIDEO QUALITY COMPARISON

video
video
A comparison of zoom and video quality of my old Canon Powershot SX40 and my newly acquired Sony Cyber-shot DSC HX300 cameras.  Looks as though the Canon has better image quality but cannot compete with the massive 200 X zoom of the Sony.  The Sony video (bottom) is longer so click this first and then the Canon (top video) a few seconds later.

The vessel is the Singapore flagged cargo vessel APL Dublin which is currently moored over 7 miles distant from me in Babbacombe Bay so both zooms are pretty remarkable.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ROE DEER BUCK FOOTAGE

video
Compressed (from original) and slightly lightened footage of the young Roe deer buck.  Fortunately,  I was downwind of the buck when I first sighted him and filmed from about 60 yards away behind a protective screen of branches.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

RARE SIGHTING OF ROE DEER BUCK

In rapidly fading light, I was lucky enough to shoot video of a Roe deer buck (Capreolus capreolus)
I have often seen does but the buck or stag is an extremely elusive quarry to capture on film. 
This buck is very young and the antlers are still red and hardening - looking closely, I could just make out a strip of velvet (skin) hanging from the left antler..  With dusk and very low light, the buck was joined by a doe and they drifted away from sight.   Still evaluating video footage.
A magical encounter, indeed.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

RETURN OF HMS SEVERN?

Spotted off Maidencombe late Saturday afternoon in the fading light.  Pretty sure it's  a River-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy - either HMS Severn or HMS Mersey.  Both these vessels were here (identical mooring) on February 17th and 19th.  Nothing showing on AIS so presumably operational.
The question is what keeps these warships coming back to Maidencombe? 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

UPDATE ON THE STRANGE TOW SEEN IN BABBACOMBE BAY

This detailed information in from Graham, our shipping expert across in Torbay:

Those pipes that were being towed up and down past Maidencombe by the Island Kestrel actually belonged to another tug called the GPS Avenger. The pipes came from the Norwegian port of Rafnes and are being towed to Arzew in Algeria.  The GPS Avenger had a spot of bother on Tuesday evening! Having recovered the pipes, the GPS Avenger rendezvoused with the Island Kestrel in the middle of Lyme Bay at about 1900 on Wednesday. It would appear that the Island Kestrel then took over the tow (whether it was all 9 pipes or only 5 as alluded to in the Herald Express article below, I don’t know) and headed towards Torquay while the GPS Avenger headed for Portland Port – presumably for some kind of repair. It left Portland just before midday yesterday and rendezvoused with the Island Kestrel off Maidencombe at about 1600. The tow was presumably then transferred back to the GPS Avenger and it then resumed its journey to Arzew where it is due at 1800 next Wednesday. The Island Kestrel, which was definitely ‘pipeless’ when I saw it just before 1700, headed into Brixham Harbour and moored alongside one of the fish quays. It left there just after 0200 this morning bound for Plymouth where it arrived just before 0700. It was still there the last time I looked.

So the mystery  which had coast spotters in a spin is solved .  

We do get our share of adventures and misadventures in Babbacombe Bay, don't we!

Friday, March 07, 2014

ZOOM TO BUTEO BUTEO

video
Late afternoon and a resident buzzard (Buteo buteo) is on the lookout for its prey.  From its lofty perch above the Slopes it is lord of all it surveys.  Not a bad zoom on my new Sony HX300.
Look for the ever present Sanko Mineral in the background as I zoom out.

ISLAND KESTREL OUTSIDE BRIXHAM HARBOUR

After meandering around Babbacombe bay and returning off Maidencombe this afternoon, the Island Kestrel  is now at anchor just off Brixham Yacht Club outside Brixham Harbour.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

TUG OPERATION IN BABBACOMBE BAY

video
Surprised to see this operation passing off Maidencombe this afternoon.  The tug Island Kestrel which is showing Torbay as the destination on AIS,  appears to be towing  nine rigid pipe sections.
Presently proceeding at 1.6 knots on a heading of 46 degrees. 
Island Kestrel (UK)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

ODDICOMBE TRIP FINAL PART (OF THREE)

video
A close-up inspection of the damage to the cafe.

ODDICOMBE TRIP PART 2

video
Down onto the beach and the extent of the devastation is clear ...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

POSTS

My apologies for the lack of posts recently.  Full service will resume later today, all things being well.  Thank you for your patience.

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.

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. 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.