Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Out and About in the South West

Three days in South-West England in June 2011. My original intention was to visit the Scilly Isles but, as the weather was so wet and windy in Cornwall, I decided instead to linger further north on Day 1 and to visit the Severn Valley Railway, near Birmingham:

The railway was making preparations for a Second World War re-enactment weekend (!) and so had constructed a facsimile of a 1940s home interior on Kidderminster Station's councourse.

Great Western splendours:

The railway's set of 1930s London, Midland & Scottish coaches have beautiful period interiors:

A brief stop in Stroud:

On the way further South-West, I passed this very intact 1930s factory in Bridgwater:

Minehead signs:

A brief visit to the West Somerset Railway:


Made in Glasgow:


The bed & breakfast in Lynton:

Lynton signs:

The Cliff Railway, linking Lynton and Lynmouth, down by the sea.

Lynton's splendid municipal building:

Coombe Martin:

Ilfracombe, where I had intended to sail on the paddle steamer Waverley's final Bristol Channel cruise of the season to Lundy Island. Although the weather was bright, there was still a strong wind and so Waverley arrived late. So, unexpectedly, I had a couple of hours to explore the town:

Waverley approaches Ilfracombe pier:

As it was deemed too windy to go to Lundy, the captain decided to substitute a shorter cruise along the Exmoor coast. Some were disappointed, of course, but I thought it was a good alternative and it allowed me to see part of the country I'd not previously explored. Unfortunately, the wind situation meant that Waverley failed to pick up around 500 eager passengers from Clevedon and so - worryingly for her operator's finances - she was rather empty.

With the Town Crier (and Mrs Town Crier) on Ilfracombe Pier:

Waverley crewman (in DFDS Seaways uniform):

The engine space:

Me on deck with tea as we progress along the coast:

After disembarking at Penarth, Waverley sailed straight to Greenock for the Clyde season:

Brass-polishing, DFDS-style:

Waverley leaves Ilfracombe for the last time this season. After so much disruption caused by poor weather, Waverley's operator is presently in a worrying financial position. The ship offers the very best way of viewing the wonderfully varied British coastline and so it is hoped that she will be able to continue in service for some time to come.