Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Summer Is Officially OPEN For Business!!!


Yes, well, this IS South Devon and to be fair, the thick fog that was almost obliterating the island when we arrived had lifted a little AND the rain eased off a bit.  About 20 minutes after this it was actually warm enough to take my coat off for a bit!

But this was the END of my weekend and I really ought to start at the beginning don't you think?

So ...

Saturday morning saw SD and I load up the van and head for deepest, darkest Devon.  Not a place was often venture but the place of my childhood and for one weekend only I was revisiting not just the place but the people too.

As it was the first weekend of the holidays and the world and his wife were likely to be travelling South we gave the motorway a miss and  headed down the Ex Valley.

On the way we stopped off here:

How stunning is this place?

Bickleigh Mill was built in the late 18th century and was milling corn until the devastating floods of the 1960's. Corn from surrounding farms was raised into the corn loft and then ground. The mill workings and water wheel are still on display. In 1973 the Mill, Bickleigh Farm and its land underwent a major change when it became the Devonshire Centre with crafts, a working farm and the mill.

 The main event of the weekend however was this:

A mini festival organised by an old school friend to celebrate the fact that we all turn 50 this year.

These guys REALLY know how to throw a party!!!

There was a hog roast, a lamb roast, a beer and cider tent as well as a tea and cake tent and not just one, not just two but SIX bands playing from 11am until midnight.

Jessica and the Rabbits

As well as these guys there was a band called Stumpy Drives A Datsun, The Elderly Brothers and Lesley Presley:

More than slightly scary in and out of character!

It was an epic day/night from sitting in the sun catching up with friends to dancing in the rain at midnight.

I'm in there somewhere ...

The following morning some people were feeling a little worse for wear ...
As I said, SD and I don't often go to South Devon, when we head that way it's usually to Cornwall but South Devon is where I grew up and, as we were only a few miles away we set out for Bigbury-On-Sea, the home of my Grandparents and my childhood playground.

The photo at the top is of Burgh Island taken from the mainland.  The tide is out in the photo but it sweeps in from both sides and covers the causeway cutting the Island off from the land.

The only way to get across the sands at high tide is on this:

The sea tractor!

This is the 3rd generation sea tractor and it's actually smaller than the one I remember from my childhood - it's still a pretty big thing though!

The Island itself is well worth a visit.

If you have plenty of money you could stay in the hotel (prices seem to range from £300 to £700 PER NIGHT!!!):

I think actually I need to write a post devoted to the Island and my memories, there is far to much to say about it here so I'll just post a couple more photos:

Wandering around it was good to see how much has stayed the same while at the same time a little sad to see how things had changed.


SARN said...

Oh Goddddd . . . SAVE me from reunions! It looks like you all know how to party in Devon. But me? I'm at a loss after 30 seconds of conversation with someone I haven't seen for donkey's years . . . all I have is a massive inferiority complex but everyone else seems to have become something FABULOUS!

Hugs, Sarn xxx

Sarah said...

Ha ha, you are SO right Sarn! I've got to admit, I had a few really nice catch ups with some people and really didn't speak much to anyone else. Some had travelled down on the Friday so had already formed little groups and many were intent on drinking the bar dry. I kind of regret not throwing myself into it more but I am glad I went.

Val said...

Now I want to go to FATSTOCK and hear Stumpy Drives a Datsun and ride the sea tractor! There must be some weirdos there who haven't felt my magnetic pull yet.