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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SOLOMON'S POST MARKER

With no carpentry skills to draw upon, the reconstruction of a Solomon's Post marker was daunting but as a former silversmith who had work experience in Hatton Garden, I felt ready to make the attempt.
Here follows the basics set out in photos as I progressed.
Cutting of the pyramid cap.
The 4 inch beam had to be thoroughly dried indoors for several months and then fine sanded smooth.
Two coats of white matt undercoat were applied, followed by two coats of exterior white gloss. The beam was left for ten days for the paint to cure. Then the black stripes were applied, spacing at four inches.
The beam dried and sanded.
The layout of the letters was next, utilizing stencils to space the legend SOLOMONS POST evenly - no apostrophe was used as in the original post set up.

Lettering layout.

Two inch lettering applied.
Finally, the Solomon's Post marker is displayed in my living room, whereupon my mother, thinking I had appropriated the original sign, exclaimed: 'Do they (authorities) know you've got that?'
The reconstructed Solomon's Post marker in my living room.
So, fifty years after it was removed and presumably destroyed, the historical marker comes back to life.




THE SOLOMON'S POST PROJECT

THE SOLOMON'S POST PROJECT

History
The old black and white wooden sign posts - so evocative of the era - that served the rural hamlet of Maidencombe were replaced by more 'modern' metal road signage in the mid sixties. Notably, a major casualty was the non fingerpost Solomon's Post which stood at the junction of Ridge Road and the main Teignmouth Road.  Its status was purely historical - being a record of the importance of the major crossing point which would later serve as the site of the toll house circa 1827 after the turnpike was officially designated.  
 
Reconstruction of the marker post
 
In hindsight, the marker should not have been removed but its relevance and importance may not have been appreciated at the time.

The only remaining trace of Solomon's Post is the retained name of the old toll-house, now returned to residential use. The other associated naming was the Solomon's Post Caravan Park in Ridge Road which was dismantled in the nineteen eighties.

The bus timetable of the era listed Solomons Post as an official picking up and dropping off point and, in those days of less frenetic traffic overload, the #13 Devon General bus would draw up exactly opposite the black and white post on the bend.  With the removal of the historical marker, Stagecoach Devon have relisted the stop (now repositioned further back in a purpose built bay) as 'Maidencombe Sladnor Park Road', thus further fading and eroding the historical significance.

The image of the iconic landmark has remained with me for the half century since its removal and I visualize it on the corner every time I pass. I can recall seeing it for the first time in 1960 when, as an eleven year old with a vivid imagination, I really thought that the post was emblematic of King Solomon of Israel!  In those days, before the advent of the internet, knowledge, especially the local history variety, was hard to find. Indeed, it has only been fairly recently that I have discovered the origin of the local naming*.

The other evocative symbols of past Maidencombe community life were the three K6 red telephone boxes, that through cell phone technology and lack of use also passed into history. Obviously, they will never return but the Solomon's Post marker is quite another matter, such is its social historical importance. Indeed, the central hub of Maidencombe was at this 'Seven Several Ways' junction and not the sleepy combe, sparsely populated with a few farms and isolated houses.

I have been in contact with a much respected council officer and he also is supportive of the idea of reinstating the marker.  He indicated that Torbay council, if approving such a venture, would probably wish to manufacture the sign themselves, however, with such financial constraints right across the table, it is unlikely that funding would be available.

To this end, I have undertaken the task of reproducing the marker myself. If nothing else, the facsimile could be temporarily repositioned at its original location and photographed for posterity. 
 
* See the article  SOLOMON’S POST AT MAIDENCOMBE at www.maidencombeunity.org

Monday, August 21, 2017

GOT MAIDENCOMBE.NET BACK

Pleased to be able to get our original domain of www.maidencombe.net back today. I 'lost' it after an admin error by the provider stopped me from renewing and I have had to wait to get it released again.
All previous archived posts had been lost so relieved to have them back. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SPANISH PLUME HITS THE COMBE

Isolated thunderstorms and flash floods hit Cornwall and Devon overnight, resulting in localised flooding and severe damage at Coverack.  They were initiated by a 'Spanish Plume' (very warm air pushing north from the Spanish plateau on a southerly airflow).
Maidencombe did not escape but was let off comparatively lightly after 35mm of rain fell in about ninety minutes.  Light rain together with sheet lightning at 11:30pm were the harbinger to a sustained downpour of heavy rain which fell just after midnight.
Sheet lightning captured from my porch last night.
My extension was flooded after the porch guttering was inundated by run-off from the conservatory.
I shot video of part of the thunderstorm from my porch:
video


Friday, July 14, 2017

MYSTERY AT MAIDENCOMBE CROSS

A blue Astra Sport Cdti was seen blocking the farm gate below the layby at Maidencombe Cross last Tuesday.  It was later moved by the police into the layby where it has remained for the past three days.  Strangely, the keys were still in the car and were removed by the police to Torquay police station. With the garage close by, it would appear that mechanically the car was sound.
The car remains in the layby with this notice taped to the windscreen:
The Astra has a cymru plate so presumably is not local.
The Astra abandoned with the keys inside.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

SOLOMON'S POST CARAVAN PARK HISTORY

Research has been ongoing regarding the Solomon's Post Caravan Park off Ridge Road in Maidencombe. Photographic evidence is particularly hard to find but I have been able to locate an image taken circa 1960 when I first arrived in Maidencombe.
Caravans at Solomon's Post c1960
This was taken at the time when the site was unauthorized and living conditions were primitive and the winters hard to endure.  A few caravans had been present since about 1930 and word of mouth resulted in a steady accumulation of these most basic forerunners of 'affordable housing'.  In the photo (above) small, two wheeled caravans can be seen, cut into the slope of the field with the backdrop of the Stoke valley below. Tiny wooden sheds served as privies.  A few years later, larger, more permanent mobile homes moved onto the site and water and electricity installed. These upgrades ultimately would result in the demise of the caravan park. I can remember that these later homes were towed onto the site and had concrete footings, making them permanent dwellings.

By the early sixties, the authorities took an interest and the owners were forced to make an application to the local planning authority to license the field off Ridge Road as a legally permissible caravan park.  This was granted on March 4th 1963, but after objections and several legal rulings, the permission was withdrawn and the site was cleared in the late eighties.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

BOUNDER IN THE BAY

You may be wondering what the ship lying off Maidencombe for nearly a fortnight is doing there.  The Antigua & Barbuda flagged general cargo ship Bounder is apparently 'awaiting orders', which covers several eventualities.  The Sanko Mineral, anchored off Maidencombe off and on for over a year was also apparently awaiting orders until it transpired that the ship was at the centre of a legal dispute and could not continue to any port.
The cargo vessel Bounder as seen on June 1st.


CHERRY THIEVES

It's that time of year when the cherry thieves strike in my garden.  I have five trees and every year without fail, various sweet tooth birds swoop to strip the trees bare.  The main culprits are pigeons though even small birds take their share.  Unfortunately, cherries do not ripen off the tree so picking green unripe ones is not an option.
My kitchen owl perched on a cherry tree.
This year, I have enlisted the help of my kitchen 'owl' to see if he can protect my crop on one tree at least.   I'll let you know how he gets on...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

BACK IN BUSINESS

I am glad to report that the new domain of www.maidencombe.org.uk is now functioning correctly. There were redirect problems with the DNS settings which have now been resolved.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

NEW PUBLICATION FOR MAIDENCOMBE COMMUNITY GROUP

A new publication by the Maidencombe Community Group will be available shortly.  Entitled 'Maidencombe, Coves, Walks & History', it is crammed with descriptions, exclusive maps and a concise history of Maidencombe, courtesy of the first hand knowledge of residents Jim Campbell and Alan Hunt. More details to follow.
Front cover of MCG publication



NEW DOMAIN

Please note that our website has a new domain. We are now located at www.maidencombe.org.uk

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

NEW FENCING SOUTH OF THE VILLAGE

TCCT workers have been cutting back and clearing old hedgerows in the fields to the south of the village the past few weeks.  Now new stock proof  fencing is being erected and hopefully the hedges will regenerate rapidly with the onset of Spring.
Hedgerows are essential for wildlife and in particular the highly protected Cirl bunting which is established - albeit fragilely in and around Maidencombe.
TCCT operatives installing the new fencing around Tom Box field.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FIRST SNOW WARNING FOR COOMBE

Snow warning from 5pm Thursday

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.