Monday, July 13, 2009

Tavistock and Milton Abbot, South Devon

Friday morning: I said my goodbyes to Ray and Trisha at Banbury station, and sat in a “standard” carriage on the train (Cross Country train) at a table, with my Netbook connected to a powerpoint at the side. How civilised can that be? I must say that I found the privatised British Rail very good, both last year and this year. This train only stops at Oxford and Reading. I have to change at Reading and again at Redhill.

Later: I take part of this back! I changed at Reading, and must have caught the slow train instead of the express, because I was over an hour late coming into Horsham. A pleasant evening with Linda and Peter, and early to bed with a long journey to Devon in the morning.

Saturday: Unfortunately the weather turned bad, and we couldn't see in places because of thick fog and rain. However, I could see enough to enjoy the countryside – lots of hedges dividing fields, and pretty villages. I was very impressed with Arundel and its magnificent castle, the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. It is not far from Portsmouth.

We arrived at Tavistock, near Plymouth (South Devon) where I am staying for three nights in time to enjoy a pub lunch. Peter was very impressed with my hotel – Browns – and thought it would be a good place for he and Linda to stay in the off season. After lunch they continued on to Cornwall where they are staying for a week, and I explored the town in the rain. I found myself in the Pannier Market, where they boast that it is the best market in England. It was certainly impressive.

Sunday: My great great grandfather Robert Reed, a seaman, was born in Milton Abbot, just six miles from Tavistock, so I called a taxi (£9 one way) since there was no public transport except on Tuesdays! I explored the graveyard of St Constantine church and found the graves of three generations of Reeds, who were blacksmiths in the town. Unfortunately these are not my ancestors, although they are probably related. After lunch at the Edgcumbe Arms (quite deserted apart from me) I returned to Tavistock by taxi, and further explored the town. It is really quite impressive, with the ruins of an abbey, a beautiful church, wonderful architecture and a huge railway viaduct. And very hilly. Wheelchair users wouldn't like it much!

I had been told by hotel staff that another Australian was staying at the hotel, also researching his ancestors at Milton Abbot. He eventually found me, and said he was from Darwin.

I decided to spent a fourth day at Tavistock, and found that my room was available. I had intended to go to Weymouth, but public transport was difficult, and I hadn't been able to find any accommodation anyway. I will travel by rail directly to Southampton instead.

Monday: Today I spent most of the day at Tavistock Library, researching the Reed family on microfiche. I don't think I found out much that I didn't already know. Tomorrow I will catch the bus to Plymouth and see if I can find the place my great grandfather, Robert Henry Reed was born.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Margaret! all that travelling, hope it proves worth while!!
    Have discovered that Tilburstow Lodge, now called North Lodge, Tilburstow House,Godstone, is the house where Neil Macvicar Forbes, and Edward Beddome Forbes lived. But it was resold last year to a big estate, not sure what they do, and the PA girl could not maybe I can do more land registry search.
    Did email you yesterday. hope all well. love Olivia