MAIDENCOMBE.ORG.UK AUTHOR Jim Campbell

MAIDENCOMBE.ORG.UK 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, 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.

THREE TUGS 'RENDEZVOUS'

Interesting development as the MTS Vengeance and her two tows en route from Rotterdam to Lagos are now within 3 miles of the Atlas and the Herkules which have been stationary for some time.  The Herkules has Dakar as her destination and it is not known whether she has any vessel in tow.  All three tugs are British flagged.  On their current heading, it is unlikely that they will come within sight of me here at Maidencombe.  The proximity of the three tugs cannot be coincidence and a rendezvous, for whatever reason is imminent.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

MTS VENGEANCE CLOSING IN WITH TWO OTHER TUGS 'NOT UNDER COMMAND'

The MTS Vengeance and her tows, the Steindamm and Rana are now closing in on their first stopover at Brixham and currently making 3.2 knots.  However,  there are two tugs about 15 miles southwest of the Vengeance both showing the 'not under command' status.  I understand that this could signify a number of eventualities: either the vessel has encountered a mechanical or steering problem or that the vessel  has the auto pilot engaged but no one is at the helm.
The two tugs are currently about 2 miles apart.  The MTS  Atlas is showing Lyme Bay as her destination but interestingly, the other tug the Herkules  has Dakar as its destination.  
Dawn may well clarify matters ...


COMING TO A BAY NEAR US - ANOTHER TUG OPERATION

The Steindamm in questionable seaworthy condition
Information in from Martin, a most reliable source - another dubious tug operation en route to Lagos, Nigeria. 
The GB flagged MTS Vengeance departed Rotterdam on June 29th with two hulks in tow - the Steindamm (above) and the Rana.  Her first stopover is logged as Brixham and then she will continue to Las Palmas (bunkering) and then on to her drop off  point, Lagos, Nigeria.
The operation is currently about nine miles southeast of the Isle of Wight making 2.6 knots.  She is estimated to come within sight of me here at Maidencombe first light tomorrow.
As can be seen by the photo of the Steindamm (courtesy Jonathan S, Scheepvaart Forum) the vessel is in a questionable seaworthy condition - especially for the distance to be covered in open ocean.
Although the paperwork may be in order for the tow, questions as to the subsequent purpose of these vessels to Nigeria remain largely unanswered.   Several of these vessels have been impounded by the Nigerian authorities for oil smuggling operations after falling into the hands of Nigerian warlords.

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.