After a quick breakfast I met Joe and Adrian outside my hotel and set off for the South Hams area where my Moore side ancestors lived. We drove initially on motorways but were soon on country lanes. We had a slow cruise through Totnes complete with “Bogan House” , the humour of which was lost on my Welsh and English companions. Then it was on to the Salcombe brewery which isn’t actually in Salcombe but out in the country by Kingsbridge. We met the team , tasted the beers (which were wonderful an interesting mix of traditional cask styles executed with American and English hops) and chatted the morning away. Then it was on to Salcombe . The nature of the town has changed a lot since my people were there. In the 1830’s it was a working port exporting fruit , cider , coal and slate, fishing and boatbuilding. Now its is firmly an up market resort town. Boat building runs in the family so it was very fitting that we finally found a park in the boat yards and wandered past the boat building sheds on our way into the village.
Our destination was the Kings Arms which was at one time circa 1830s/40s operated by my ancestors. We popped into the local liquor store to met one of the current licensees Pete. And then on to the pub where we met the other 1/2 of the team Christine. We had a wonderful lunch and were given a wee behind the scenes tour. We then popped to a pub down the road , The Fortescue Inn which is run by a chap from Blenheim (the NZ one not the palace) and had a pint with him.
I can’t say the ghosts of my ancestors outright shouted at me but perhaps they had a whisper. There was a sweet moment when Christine, whose people go right back in Salcombe, said that so many people who live there have moved there that I was more a local than most of the residents.
We then drove to Dartmouth and took the car ferry across to Kingswear and back to Exeter. Joe dropped us off and left to play some late night football. The hospitality of Salcombe Brewery was amazing.
Adrian, myself and Adam one of the Salcombe brewers then reconvened at The Pursuit of Hoppyness for several pints and some good conversation. Then it was another attempt at a kebab , this time a shish. More manageable and also delicious and to bed.
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