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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Waves lash Dawlish railway tracks once again. And fancy dress outfit revealed.

A very blustery day was on the forecast today (3rd Dec) and by 'eck the met office were right for a change. This being Boxing day on the Turkey and Tinsel calendar, a trip had been arranged to Teignmouth and Dawlish. Only problem was the lack of time. A lunch had been arranged for us all back at the hotel for 1pm, With only two hours to do both places we opted out of going back to the hotel by coach, deciding to forego the lunch and decided to take the South Devon Railway local train along the coast road instead.

Teignmouth (or Tinmouth as the locals call it) is a small fishing port situated on the north bank of the estuary mouth of the river Teign ( pronounced Teign not Tin! Confusing isn't it) With no urgent need to rush we took a walk to the fishing port along the sea wall where I took great delight in getting our mob to pose for a photo. Didn't quite get them being deluged by the wave but it was close!!! Think my name would have been mud if I had succeeded..

Dam.....it missed them.

Also called The Grand Pier it was built in 1865 and completed in 1867. The 212 metre long pier became a dividing line between the bathing machines. The ladies would bathe on the long stretch of coastline on the eastern side of the pier, and the gentlemen would bathe on the western side. The open promenade deck was a place to enjoy a cool beverage or a bite to eat. Locals would sit on the pier and gaze out to the sea watching the ships come in and out of the harbour. During this time there would be changes to the structure. After the renovation in 1875 a 75.5 metre Castle Pavilion was completed in 1890. Like most piers around the world, Teignmouth has had its ups and downs. In 1904 the kiosks at the entrance collapsed on the beach for no apparent reason. In the late 1900’s the Castle Pavilion caught fire and was destroyed. Because the bridge section at the end of the pier was removed it shortened the pier by 22.7 metres. (exert taken from the pier.co.uk)

Fishing port

Anyway, after a Wetherspoon stop for coffee and cake, we made our way to the station to catch the train. Train was crowded and it was only just midday but with only 2 carriages it was never a wonder. Within minutes (one stop later) we arrived in Dawlish station. Blooming 'eck I was totally blown away by what I saw. Wow!!! The waves were huge and breaking over the tracks ( nothing like the storm of February 2014) but now I can understand why and how the track was left hanging in mid air. Next two photos were taken from the web so I could refresh memories.

Todays storm. Tame after the 2014's

The new section of concrete being bombarded.

One mad idiot was walking along the wall. Highly dangerous considering how large the waves were.

Having spent loads of time watching and photographing the ferocity of the waves, we only had 40 minutes left before catching the train back to Exmouth. Just enough time for a coffee and tea cake and a walk through the park. Thinking we would be back in under 30 minutes I was amazed at how long the journey took. Just over an hour and stopping at 13 stations. In fact I was completely thrown when after pulling forward into Exeter the train then departed backwards, the way we came in! Thought we were heading back to Dawlish again but no, just to where the line branched off toward Exmouth.

Back at the hotel and after dinner, we first listened to the excellent singer before heading to our room so Ian could get changed. Margaret and Dennis also joined in the fancy dress competition  Margaret  dressed as a mermaid and Dennis the fisherman that caught her.

Ian as Pete the pirate and Dennis happy with his 'catch of the day'

Pirate Pete (Ian) strutting his stuff
 There were loads of entries and you could have knocked me down with a feather when they called Ian's name in third place. Next photo is of Ian claiming his third prize, just a kiss and a box of dominoes mind, but he did sooooo enjoy that brief kiss!

 As the bingo started straight after the judging we headed off to the pub for a final drink. Staggering back a shade before midnight we had hoped for a decent nights sleep. Those bl**dy elephants were at it again even at that time of night. It did quieten down eventually only to start again at 5.30am!!!! After a while we managed to get back to asleep but then brrriing...... what a shock when the alarm went off at 6.30am reminding us to put the cases outside the door for collection.

So today (4th) it was farewell to Exmouth and by 9am the coach was on route for Langley Mill. Much better journey home and even the holdups were short lived. So another T&T done and dusted. Next on our agenda will be moving Merlin back to Bunbury after her paint job before the New Year. Will the weather be kind??? I do hope so.

This Wagtail was so tame we could have fed it by hand.

And along the resort in Dawlish.


1 comment:

nb Chuffed said...

Glad you enjoyed our corner of the world! If you come again take a boat trip or even a walk up the estuary, there are fantastic bird and sometimes seal photo ops!

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