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Showing posts with label devon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devon. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Ancestors

My ancestors come from South Devon. Many still live near here. I have a continuous genealogy back to the mid-1500s and one of my ancestors owned a piece of land near here in 1428. It is good to think of them enjoying this all those years ago. The cycle of life goes on.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

South Hams, Devon

Until I went to university I was brought up in the South Hams of Devon where my family have been for centuries (definitely) and probably for millennia. I expect we were Stone Age farmers on Dartmoor thousands of years ago and we fished these waters long, long ago, probably when the coastline was quite different. The picture shows Bolt Tail  in the far distance from Thurlestone.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Family History

Many years ago I came from, and was brought up in the South Hams of South Devon. The picture shows where our family lived for hundreds of years. The earliest record I have is 1428, although I am sure we've ancestors in this part of the world going back thousands of years. Very humbling.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

More Devon

A view of Burgh Island in the evening sunshine. We did a short stroll this evening from the cottage where we are staying which is very close to the coast.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Devon

So, I was going to do some radio operating from a bench on the coastal path, but instead we went for a walk along the coastal path in the glorious sunshine. In all I walked about 3.5km, which in my current state is quite good. Years ago this would have been trivial.  The first image is Thurlestone, Devon looking towards Burgh Island.

Earlier in the day we were in Salcombe where I was brought up.  These days it has become gentrified with locals priced out and local shops replaced with clothes shops for the well heeled.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Summer bird migrants arriving

The wheatears have started arriving back in Devon and soon it will be martins and swallows. The long winter will soon be behind us.

See http://www.devonbirds.org/news/bird_news/devon_bird_sightings .

The image below is not on this site but at the link below. You may have to wait for it to load. The link to the image will be removed if a problem.
http://www.devonbirds.org/images/library/dbn/public/stoke_point_male_wheatear_10617_0.jpg.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Distant distant memories

It is funny what lurks deep in the crevices of the mind.

This afternoon we visited some old friends, who live quite near us, for afternoon tea. On their hearth was a brass object of globular shape. Seeing it, I remembered an old bell owned by Jack White and his wife who lived in Slapton, Devon. They had an outside toilet.

I swear I had not thought of that little bell in nearly 60 years but in my mind it was crystal clear. This very very distant memory was there waiting to be triggered. The Whites were a lovely couple. I remember us playing the card game "Newmarket" at their table. One wonders what other memories are buried which will one day surface again.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Returning swallows

The Devon Wildlife website is now reporting the return of lots of swallows. This is good news. Spring returns!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Hope Cove webcam, Devon

See http://www.camsecure.co.uk/SalcombeHopeCove.html .

It is a while, because of my illness, since I have been to Devon, so I enjoy looking at the various webcams from there. The one above is at Hope Cove, where our family used to live centuries ago. The weather looks cold and windy down there today.  It is windy here today as well.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Dawlish Railway Station

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawlish_railway_station .

I cannot help but think this delightful line along the coast is going to have to go. It has been there for over 150 years and was once on Brunel's 7 foot gauge. At one time there was an inland route from Newton Abbot to Exeter but this was lifted about 50 years ago and now part of the A38 uses the route. The only other alternative would be to re-lay the Tavistock to Plymouth line. This would be expensive and would leave the Dawlish area with questionable rail services. I don't have the answers,  but think the time is drawing close when some serious decisions have to be made. One positive, it would create jobs whilst the line was being created.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Housing costs in the South Hams, Devon

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28648704.

The gap between house prices and average earnings is huge in the South Hams with a ratio of 14.8 times. This makes most homes unaffordable to locals who work there. Average house price there is £304,012 and average earnings £20,478.

Places like Salcombe will impact results and some remote inland villages, with poor infrastructure, will be a little less bad. It is becoming a very serious issue.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Widegates, Kingsbridge Estuary, S. Devon

This is a matter dear to my heart. I come from this area and love it dearly.  Because of  my poor health, I have been unable to get to Devon at all this year.  

There is a proposal to allow water skiing in part of the Widegates area of the Kingsbridge Estuary.  This is an area of special scientific interest and at low tide a place where waders congregate. It is an area that is peaceful and quiet and of international importance.


If you know the area and want to comment, write to the Salcombe Harbour Master adam.parnell@southhams.gov.uk.

Personally, I am against the proposal. I fear the area will be adversely changed for ever. 

Water-skiers are pulled by fast boats which create lots of wake and lots of noise. I may be wrong, but I fear the area will never be quite the same again if the plans are approved. The "for it" campaign people have got lots of  publicity on the TV and in the press. There is a need to counter this. For democracy to work, the voices of both sides need to be heard.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The best place on Earth

Thurlestone Rock and Bolt Tail (in distance)
Although somewhat biased, I believe this picture posted on the South Hams History Forum by Mike Wannacott tonight shows the best place on Earth.  I have seen many places but none match the South Hams.

Lapthorns (my family name) have lived near here for at least 500 years. A Lapthorn shared "1 fee of land" at South Huish (just off the left of this picture) way back in 1428.  We have lived in these parts for a very long time.  The coastline was probably quite different when Lapthorns first farmed or fished hereabouts.

I suspect my ancestors farmed on Dartmoor more than 4000 years ago before the soils were exhausted and when the climate was milder, living in Stone Age huts.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Missing "the promised land"

My dad, who died in 1987, used to call Salcombe in the South Hams of Devon "the promised land".  Whenever we returned from being away he would say "the promised land" out loud in the car. Maybe to him it represented real home, security and a freedom, away from the horrors of WW2 in those dark years before 1945.

Because of my illness, I have been unable to get to the South Hams this year, so far.   I really miss it.  It is, without doubt, the best place on Earth. Some of the unspoilt coastal walks are just spectacularly beautiful. I hope to get back there before too long.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Missing South Devon

Usually, we go back to South Devon at least twice a year and stay with my brother who still lives in the South Hams. This is where I was brought up as a child (Salcombe and Kingsbridge). This year we have not been back because of my stroke sadly.

I get very emotional these days (stroke) and thinking of "home" - my dad (who died in 1987) used to call it "the promised land" - makes me fill with tears. I shall get back there again before too long, I very much hope. Strange how thinking of the South Hams makes me tearful, but it does.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Brother's visit

Tomorrow, my brother and his wife are driving up from Devon to stay a few days. They are good company and it is always good to have them come to stay.

It gives my wife a chance to have a glass of wine with company. I have not been allowed alcohol of any kind since my stroke last September. Can't say I've missed it. but I wish I was fully fit again.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The South Hams

I was born and brought up in the beautiful South Hams of Devon, UK.  This is a gentle land of rolling hills, estuaries and farmland surrounded on 3 sides by rugged coastal scenery and on the other side by the southern slopes of Dartmoor. This last week I was back there on holiday in the best weather possible: wall-to-wall sunshine and blue skies. Outside of school holidays the area is not busy with tourists and May is an ideal time to visit.

This video is of Salcombe at the very tip of South Devon, taken yesterday from Snapes Point.



Monday, 10 December 2012

Walking in Devon

Originally I come from the South Hams in Devon. It is a beautiful part of the world with some great clifftop and country lane walks. Last week, I went back  to visit my brother for a few days and do some walking.

Unlike in the high season when there are lots of visitors, this time of year before Christmas it is so quiet. I chanced on some lovely fine sunny weather, albeit cold, and did a couple of longish (for me) walks around 10 miles each.
Thurlestone, Devon
Although I cannot guarantee the weather, I can assure you that this most beautiful part of England is at its best when it is quiet. I shall go back next December too.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Where ancestors walked

Starehole Bay near Salcombe, Devon
Today my wife and I walked to Bolt Head in South Devon, not far from Salcombe. The weather was perfect with bright sunshine and a not too cold wind with temperature about 11 deg C.  My ancestors back to at least 1428 lived and worked just a few miles from here.