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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Odds and Sods October 2022

Yes it's that month when we all buy giant fruit we would normally never buy and cut holes in them and leave them outside for one night and then throw them away. Aren't we strange creatures.


Which means it's nearly November and the leaf change is late this year, just some yellows coming through but still a lot of green. It was time for another car tour following our little blue book which tries to find the narrowest, twistiest lanes in South Devon, whereupon it tries to get us lost. Well not this time matey. We may have had to bail out last time and switch on the Sat Nav for a rescue, but this time we made it. This was a route north of Newton Abbot and headed east for the sea, or at least the Exe Estuary.


I would like to fess up at this point and say because of only taking my point and shoot, and because the light was poor, and because we were bouncing around in the car, and because these were mostly taken through the windscreen doing 40mph I had to set the camera in such a way as to make all the photos quite noisy and after noise removal quite soft, but I ended up quite liking them.

If you follow the little blue book you usually end up with a lawn growing in the middle of the road. This shot was my favourite.


We stopped at this pub intending to have some lunch but it was Monday and they don't open on a Monday. It is right at the edge of the coast and between it and the sea is a major railway line and a road. Today the railway line sports high speed trains bulleting their way between London and Plymouth but when it first opened and I am going to keep this simple here because we are just doing Odds and Sods, Isambard Kingdom Brunel used an experimental vacuum method of propulsion. The trains ran on normal train tracks but between the tracks was a metal pipe with a leather slit valve along the top. The train was fixed to a piston inside this pipe and coal fired pumping stations sucked the air out of the pipe sucking the train along. As you are trying to picture this insanity, yes, you are right, it was a complete disaster and after the leather seals rotted with sea water and got eaten away by rats, the trains were going nowhere fast.


The system opened in May 1846 and the first vacuum train arrived 15 months later, as the track was used by conventional trains while the vacuum systems were installed and tested. It was another 6 months before the conventional trains were phased out completely and replaced with an atmospheric train service by February 1848. By September the system was abandoned and conventional steam trains returned. There were just too many unforeseen problems and the idea was in fact years ahead of the required technology and materials. Being British, however, the pub survived, albeit not on Mondays.


According to tradition, around the year AD 560 St Petroc founded a simple church at Kenton. This angel greets visitors to the church, and there is one either side of the front door inside the porch said to depict Henry IV and Joan of Navarre. The present church was built between 1360-1370 in Perpendicular style, and though it has been restored several times since, it still retains its 14th-century character.


Henry was the first King of England in 300 years to speak English as his mother tongue. He was King of England and France. Joan was the widow of John 4th of Brittany and ruled as regent until her son was old enough to take over. Joan and Henry had a love marriage not a dynastic one as they had both met in Brittany and they fancied the pants off each other. Joan had to renounce all her lands and rights in Brittany to keep the Breton Lords happy before leaving for England to marry Henry and become Queen of England.


This is Cockwood harbour which as you can see is tidal, it originated as a fishing village in the 13th century and the embankment in the middle distance is the much later railway line, which crosses a short bridge allowing boats to access the harbour. This harbour once bustled with fishermen and smugglers who frequented the Anchor Inn which opened for business 450 years ago and opens on a Monday.


We weren't smuggling anything but this was the view out from the pub. Just don't stand up too fast or you'll bang your head. It had some of the lowest ceilings I have ever encountered. Smugglers were obviously very short, or maybe the taller ones had caught stray bullets.


Don't ask me about the Giraffe. Bats I get, spiders I get, Giraffes?


The beginning of the month was a great week for high tides and sunsets so I have included some examples here.






We also went on another outing, this time to the Cridford Inn which claims to be the oldest inn in Devon if not in England, so that is about 36 oldest inns in England so far.


The Cridford Inn - the oldest pub/inn in Devon and possibly the oldest in England dates back to 825AD. It had previously served as a nunnery and a farm, being originally inhabited by the early Britons/Celts, before the building was remodelled in 1081. In 1086 it was one of the nine small-holdings mentioned in the “Domesday Book” and by then belonged to the Abbey of Buckfast in the Manor of Trusham - a small village that’s nestled in the Teign Valley between Chudleigh, Newton Abbot and Exeter.


I am assuming these are some of the new bits from 1081. You can sort of tell they didn't have set squares and protractors. Again very low beams and I can attest to the fact that they are hardwood, very hard. The acrylic salt grinders are from a more recent remodelling.


If you are liking what you see, you can also stay the night here.


The Cridford Inn has four en-suite bedrooms all beautifully decorated and individually designed each with their own unique style. Whatever your needs, you won't find a more quirky, quiet and quaint place to stay in Devon! All our rooms are en-suite, with Tea/Coffee making facilities and a TV for your convenience. A full West Country cooked breakfast is available from 8:30 a.m. to start your day.


Next, The House of Marbles, with its marble museum, it's glass blowing heritage and also it's pottery making history.


Our Marble Museum may be one of the most unique museums you will find on your travels. Inside is a collection of highly collectable marbles from across the ages, including examples of early materials such as clay and stone, as well as glass marbles that have been dated back as some of the oldest found in existence.


You can set our unique and interactive marble runs going yourself at any time. Four great designs can be found in our marble museum but the one you will really want to see is our giant sized ‘Snooki 2000’ – possibly the largest permanent marble run structure in the UK, or even the world!


If you can make marbles then of course you can make eyes too. These are guaranteed to follow you around the room.


I don't normally photograph toilets, you can get a reputation, but this one I could not resist.


You may have seen my Seal Post earlier in the month. If not here are some more shots taken on the day.





He really was an inquisitive little fellow. I would love to know what he was thinking.

As the sign on this thing said.........


What is this?

Scientific instrumentation that is collecting information about the beach profile shape and elevation.

Why is it here?

The data helps coastal managers understand how the beach may respond to coastal flood events.

How long will it be here?

The unit will be here for the next year to monitor this location and feedback to coastal managers.

Please don't tamper or climb on the equipment.


This is put up by the University of Plymouth, they have signed it with their name and logo. Such are our universities now that they don't know that you can't tamper equipment you have to tamper with it.


As in, Please don't tamper with or climb on the equipment.


This is a rarity in my Odds and Sods a photo not taken in this current month. This was taken back in August, and I merely add it here as a contrast with the one I took last week.


Now that the South Devon Desert conditions have left us we return to normality.


I am putting this photo in as a tease for a post still to come. If you like reading my posts and cannot bear the thought of missing any, or not finding out why this almost invisible sign getting overgrown with ivy has a great story to tell, then why don't you subscribe to the Blog. It is completely painless and a lot more fun than a combined flu and Covid double jab, and no after effects.


It takes about two seconds to do if you go to the home page and scroll to the bottom, just enter your email address and click submit. Done. I don't need your credit card details or your date of birth or your blood group, you haven't got to look for lions in little boxes of photos even if you are not human, I don't have to authenticate you, or send you a text message with a pin code or send up a distress flare. Click, scroll, enter, click. You don't get a "Gethin fixed it for me" badge either, what you get is an email when I post a new blog piece. The badge thing won't mean anything unless you watched British TV in the 70's.


I am not telling you about this sign yet, you will have to wait. But it is big, surprising, and almost earth shattering, sort of.


This beautiful fifteenth-century, stone-spired church is a landmark in a fold in the hills just below Dartmoor and it has wonderful views to the south. St Mary's is mainly of the fifteenth century and the tower and stone spire remain largely unaltered. Inside, the furnishings are mostly Victorian, as are the memorials that line the church walls including one to the widow 'Admonition Strode'.


Yes that was a real person.This is also just a taster of things to come in the River Avon Moor to Sea series.


Meanwhile where could I possibly be but in Totnes. My last Totnes post included some photos of this shop on the outside, Paperworks. This time I went in and found this tiny secret room right at the back. Don't miss the little birds nest under the deer's coat.


Warning. The next photo after this features a dead bird so you may want to turn away and scroll if that is going to bother you.


Here is one that didn't make it. There is a bird flu alert going around here at the moment and when we went to a nearby beach we found about six dead birds but we weren't sure if it was the flu or a storm, as they had been there for some time. I think it was a Gannet.


...........and finally, I kept my favourite sunset until the end. While I won't be sending you emails with special offers or invites to buy things, don't forget that if you ever see a photo you would like in print form, just to drop me a line, there is some information on the home page about ordering prints. Have a great Halloween and a Happy November.


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7 comentarios


Miembro desconocido
31 oct 2022

Of course you know how I feel about your odds and sods posts....the feeling remains true and clear. BUT I do want a badge considering I have been your most loyal follower EVER!!!!!😁

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Miembro desconocido
31 oct 2022
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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 You are absolutely correct!!! I DO NOT want the badge!!!

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Chucks Digital Photography
Chucks Digital Photography
31 oct 2022

Nice series Gethin, couldn't help noticing the word "maneuvering" spelling on the old sign in front of the train station. 😎

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Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
31 oct 2022
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Well spotted, yes we and the Canadians still spell it like that. I know in America you ruthlessly cull unnecessary letters.😂 Think of all the ink and paint we must be wasting.😂

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John Durham
John Durham
31 oct 2022

Wonderful tour - thanks so much! I love the point and shoot through the windshield, as I always carry mine in the car and have done the same often. Better to have than not, and they turned out very nicely. As is often said, it's not the camera, it's the photographer that counts.

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Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
31 oct 2022
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Thanks John, glad you liked them.

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