Wednesday, 5 December 2007

By the seaside beside the sea.....

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Have you missed us? Sorry about that but we have just had 4 glorious days away in Paignton and Plymouth. For security reasons we didn't broadcast the fact that we would be away from the boat for an extended period.

We travelled down to Paignton by rail all the way from Apsley, which was a pleasant change, to stay with our cruising friends, Derek and Christina on n/b Kalimera. They have moored the boat up for the winter and returned to Paignton where they have a flat only minutes away from the railway station which is in the centre of the town.

On Saturday we ventured out around town despite the showery weather and visited Oldway mansion which was built in the late 1800's by Isaac Emmeritt Singer, the man who gave the world the sewing machine. He didn't invented it, merely improved a machine built by somebody else but failed to patent it soon enough. When the mansion was built it cost £100,000 and has been added on to over the years by Isaac's son Paris. Inside the main entrance is a beautiful ornate sweeping marble staircase with a beautiful handpainted ceiling. Of a standard matching a certain other ceiling in Rome.

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The building has been used by several movie makers including a German company who used it quite recently with actors all dressed in period costume of the 1800's. Probably the most famous was the film "Isadora" starring Vanessa Redgrave about the life of Isadora Duncan who was tragically killed in 1927.

On Sunday we travelled by bus to Plymouth to visit my Uncle and cousin before they fly out to New Zealand to visit their daughter/sister for Xmas. Along the way we were unsure we were going to reach Plymouth as overnight rain had caused some serious flooding (Oxford re-visited) but the bus driver got us through.

Back in Paignton we had been told of a hotel called the Great Western Hotel which is owned and operated by a Great Western Railway fan. We went off in search of this hotel and were openly welcomed by Cathy who was as equally knowledgeable as her husband Mel on railway matters. Displayed inside the hotel is a virtual feast of railway memorabilia, model railways and other artifacts. Mel also built and operates the "00" gauge model railway which is on display at the Babbacombe Model village.

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After an hour or more of me feasting my eyes over what was on display we left Cathy to get on with her chores and we wandered off down to the waterfront and pier to take in the sea air before we had to catch the train back to Apsley. Due to several cases of signal failure along the way we eventually got back to the boat about 8.45pm.

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3 comments:

P said...

Hi Derek & Dot

Been enjoying your N/B log and find you have bumped into our good buddies Chris & Les on Tripitaka. Just received Chris' latest newsletter over here in Sydney. We were moored up in Apsley for a year or more, so know some of the folks you have bumped into, including Peter.

The hoon episode must have happened since Chris sent the news off - if you see them again please send best Christmas wishes from Phil, Sarah & Ollie. I did set up Chris with a Vodafone data card but I think he gave up - you have clearly sussed the best that mobile internet has to offer.

Regards and hope the idiot minority don't spoil your stay around the Langleys - it's a pretty friendly place for the South!

Phil

Derek and Dot said...

Unfortunately we left them as we were moving north to beat winter stoppages but they were well when when we left.

Dave & Val Taylor said...

I met up with Les and Chris on Tripitaka in Birmingham a few weeks ago. We had a longish towpath chat about various things, including chimney tar stains. Just tried using T-Cut, with some success, and wanted to pass the idea on to them. Yours was the only internet link to them that I could find, so I wonder whether you are likely to be in touch in any way? Worth a try, I thought!