FOR DISCUSSION

The following is a first draft of a page under preparation for a new local guidebook …

DAYS OUT ROUND YER

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BOGEYS

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Soon as gates are open again this summer of 2020 we will need to check out “Bogey Knights” of Devonport, now under new management and officially rebranded under its fond forces nickname.

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H & W Knight & Sons has sold off MoD surplus from a junction of alleys by the waterside for three generations. In recent years, it has shrunk a bit but remained a cult chaos loved by sailors, entrepreneurs, interior decorators, people building robots in their sheds and anyone who appreciates a giant ball of hairy string or a tin of primer suitable for submarine use.

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In the navy, they tell us, every knight was always Bogey – apparently a reference back to the days of the press gangs which worked the pubs at night under a boss, the one who laid his hand on your collar, known as The Bogeyman. Whatever the reason, Knight’s Surplus of Plymouth became Bogey Knight’s in forces lingo. And now it is trading under that name on Facebook and eBay and so on as part of a relaunch which includes a bit of a tidy of the yard itself. Find it by the carpark at PL1 4LB or online at www.bogeyknights.co.uk

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Beau Tunks, the man who bought the business, has a history in scrap dealing. He and his family team have been overhauling the yard and its online presence since beginning of March, along with all the old hands who wanted to stay.

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He says: “We know what people love it for. Just trying to make it a little bit more user friendly.”

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THE FAIRGROUND MUSEUM

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Dingles Heritage Fairground, near Lifton, PL16 0AT, is well worth the tenner or so to get in and in return you get enough tokens to ride the dodgems or shoot at the range all day if that is what you want. Also, see a lot of lovely and ingenious work from the days before plastic, when farmers built rides from old machinery, timber and hinges. Also, at least once a year after Cornwall Show, live Wall Of Death.

Picture opposite was created by the chairman of Launceston Camera Club by stitching different views together. Order a proper copy through his website at www.iansmithpanoramics.co.uk/

For more on Dingles, see www.fairground-heritage.org.uk/

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PROPER OLD DARTMOOR HOUSE

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Newest visitor attraction on Dartmoor, opened for visitors 2019, is Higher Uppaton, a restored “longhouse” with a 700-year history.

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The old farmhouse started out, in the 14th century, as a plain rectangle, made of gathered stones, oak timbers and straw thatch, for humans and beasts to share while scratching a living on the edge of the moor between Poundsgate and Ashburton.

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Grazing rights were often given only from dawn to dusk, so a family’s small herd of cattle might have to be taken in at night, as well as during hard weather and at calving time. The cattle would probably have resembled the Devon Ruby, only much smaller.

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Over the years, some comforts were added – an upper storey, a chimney to take out smoke from the peat fire, an outside lean-to with a slate roof, some glass instead of wooden shutters, and so on.

But it retained its original central shape and the original cobble-floored “shippon”, with a drainage channel, at the livestock end up until it was bought for the nation in the 1970s.

In recent years, under the management of the Dartmoor National Park Authority, it has been stripped back and reconstructed with old materials, like lime plaster, to become one of the best examples of its kind.

To arrange guided visits, call the Princetown visitor centre on 01822 890414 or email visit@dartmoor.gov.uk

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A NIGHT AT THE RITZ

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For a fully upholstered cinema, you need Plymouth or Exeter. But The Wharf in Tavistock is usually running a film and Yelverton Cinema Club, which has just celebrated its 10th birthday, is probably best equipped and organised of the indie circuit of small promoters around the rest of Dartmoor. At their cafe evenings, you can have a table, take a picnic and make a bit of a party of it. And the Saturday cinema for kids regularly gets good-old-days audiences of a hundred and more. They are open to bookings for big sports events. Find out more at

www.yelvertoncinema.co.uk

From the birthday party report in the Horrabridge Times in 2019 …

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The cinema was launched with a bequest for a community project. Since then it has made enough to keep itself going and pay some back into community funds.

Sam Whitehead, one of the technical team, used to work as a cinema projectionist in London and Brighton, when it involved splicing rolls of film. He has learned to do it digitally, usually from a Blu-Ray DVD, with trailers and so on mixed in from YouTube. The “projector” cost £4,000 and is due for an upgrade. But its Dolby sound system can handle the shootiest of shoot-outs and the screen quality is no yokel compromise, says Sam.

A lot of cinemas still use film because there is a nostalgic belief in it having the edge in quality.

But Sam says: “I find it very hard to see or hear any difference in on-screen quality between what we do and the average commercial cinema.”

Films usually become available to small venues after they have had their big-city runs but before they are on general release via Amazon and so on.

The Yelverton committee have learned to be a bit wary of running anything with subtitles, he says, but their “alt cinema” thread does well.

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SWIMMING

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A list of swimming places in the Sunday Telegraph of 13.8.17 included one we didn’t know about – a river-fed outdoor pool at Chagford … fed by the Teign … dug in 1947 as a co-operative effort by the village – some of the original old boys still come down”

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Open May-Sept, 2pm-5.45pm, TQ13 8DA, 01647 432929

www.chagfordpool.co.uk

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Other open-air pools, listed by Emma Cunis of www.dartmoorsdaughter.com

Moretonhampstead: solar-heatede – www.moretonpool.co.uk/

Ashburton: “small but lovely” – www.ashburtonpool.com

Buckfastleigh: in Victoria Park – www.buckfastleighpool.co.uk

Bovey Tracey: includes disability chair hoist – www.boveyswimmingpool.org.uk

Local indoor pool at Tavistock Meadowlands – www.fusion-lifestyle.com/

Wild swimming pools on Dartmoor include …

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Sharrah Pool, Dart near Ashburton – from here

“go through Princetown, take the Ashburton road, through Dartmeet, on through Poundsgate to Newbridge … cross the bridge from the Dartmeet to the Ashburton side, turn right and walk upstream about two miles … one steep climb halfway, where the river goes through a cutting and the path takes the high ground, and a longer but lesser climb at the end … you are there after you have crossed the falls of a brook falling to the river and you come to a slightly awkward stile … you can get there from Holne where a trail brings you down to early stages of the same path and Holne has a tea-room and an old pub, The Church House”

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Spitchwick Common, Dart near Ashburton

Cadover Bridge, local Plym crossing, and pools upstream …

Bellever Bridge, West Dart near Postbridge

Foggintor Pool, walk from near Princetown

Meavy Falls

Mel Tor

Bel Pool

The Erme at Ivybridge – map ref SX 637571 (park under railway viaduct and walk upstream)

River Taw at Belstone – map ref SX 621930 (park in village and walk towards Belstone Tor)

Crazy Well Pool – grid ref SX582705

And more to be found in a book by Lynne Roper, late of Mary Tavy, published 2018:

Wild Woman Swimming: A Jourrnal Of West Country Waters

and at

www.wildswimming.co.uk

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Sea-fed pools with bather access around the local coasts …

Tinside Lido, Plymouth Hoe

Shoalstone Pool, Brixham – open May-September

Rock Sea Pool, Westward Ho! – when the tide is right

Bude Sea Pool – part natural pool

Jubilee Pool, Penzance – largest seawater lido in UK

Chapel Rock, Perranporth – when the tide is right

Polperro Bathing Pool – down steep cliff steps

Priests Cove Pool at Cape Cornwall

Treyarnon Pool, North Cornwall

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TOUR A SUBMARINE

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Guided tours of HMS Courageous, a former nuclear sub, now restored as an exhibit in Plymouth, are the main attraction of the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre. Tours can be booked or joined but are not always on at short notice. See www.devonportnhc.wordpress.com./

or email navynbcd-book1@mod

or call 01752 552326.

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CALL A CARRIAGE

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Tours around Burrator reservoir in a horse-drawn carriage are normally running all summer: £12 for adults and £6 for under-5s, for three and a half miles in an hour. Pick-ups at the Quarry Car Park at 11 am and 2 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Call 07966 256984.

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DARTMOOR ZOO

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It’s a good zoo – big natural-looking enclosures and the animals, including wolves, tiger, lion, bears and monkeys, look well. Open every day except Christmas Day. Discounts for service personnel.

Drive to Sparkwell, PL7 5DG. Call 01752 837645.

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THE PRISON MUSEUM

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The Prison Museum

Dartmoor Prison Museum is an interesting explanation of why the prison’s name is infamous and is open most days, 9.30 to 3 or 4, depending on the day, PL20 6RR. Call 01822 322130 or see

www.dartmoor-prison.co.uk/

NATIONAL MARINE AQUARIUM

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The pride of Plymouth – nationalaquarium.co.uk/

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A DEVON VINEYARD

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Sharpham, on the Dart – www.sharpham.com/

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A DISTILLERY TOUR

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The Dartmoor Whisky Distillery at Bovey Tracey.

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EAT OUT

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Last list of top gastropubs we saw included …

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Cornish Arms, Tavistock

The Mariners, Rock

The Swan, Bampton

St Tudy Inn, Bodmin

Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton

Five Bells, Cullompton

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Thanks to Rachel Short and The Moorlander for this list of cyclists’ and bikers’ favourite refreshment stops on and around Dartmoor:

The New Inn, Sampford Courtenay

Pump & Pedals, Okehampton Cycles.

Central Cafe, Moretonhampstead.

Church Lane Cafe, Tavistock.

Cafe 360, Bovey Tracey.

Dartmoor Bakery, Yelverton.

Rockets & Rascals, Plymouth Barbican.

Route 2 Cafe, Topsham.

Fox Tor Cafe, Princetown.

Union Moto-Velo Cafe, Crediton.

Hound Of The Basketmeals – catering van at Hound Tor.

The Birdcage, Chagford.

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GO WINDOW-SHOPPING FOR THE GARDEN

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A Sunday Times list of winter gardens to visit, Jan 2020, said:

Endsleigh, in Devon, exhibits the genius of the 18th century landscaper Humphry Repton, with water charging under paths and down rock faces (£5 or free with lunch or tea: hotelendsleigh.com

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Current Devon Life recommendations …

Hillhouse Nursery & Gardens, between Newton Abbot and Ashburton: free entry, 7 days.

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Stone Lane Gardens, Chagford – specialist in trees & sculpture.

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High-end Exeter nursery specialising in the rare and expensive – www.urbanandruralplants.co.uk/

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Also seen mentioned lately …

The Italian Gardens, near Ipplepen – “lost treasure” undergoing rescue …

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PLAY PROPER SNOOKER

Buckland Monachorum Parish Hall has a restored full table available for hire by the hour or day. Call Phil Bennett on 01822 855367 or 07484 151379

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BUY TOYS

At House of Marbles, Newton Abbot – hq of national toys business.

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* For kids’ activities, check Clearbrook Wild Child and National Trust at Lydford and at Buckland Abbey.

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* to be included here next edition, email: newsdesk@horrabridgetimes.net/

looking forward to your comments and corrections …

About the editor 382 Articles
Editor of The Horrabridge Times.