2008 -- England in the Fall --
      A Reunion ... and Other Stuff!
Exeter University's Streatham Campus
 
We set off in our silver 1.4 Fiesta to face the motorways of England - M23, M25, A303 -  stopping at the convenient haunt of the Swan Inn in Barton Stacey, where we had lunched in 2006.  This time, we stayed a little longer.  After a Ploughman's lunch, we wandered around the village, enjoyed a nice dinner in the bar before retiring to our very old but comfortable room, with its uneven floors, for a long night's sleep.
Once again, it's Words by Margaret, Pictures by Bob. The photos usually have mouseable comments, and look out for the           for links to other places.
   
The Swan Inn, Barton Tracey, our first overnight.
"Downtown" Ottery St Mary
Fortified by breakfast and an encouraging weather forecast, we continued our drive westwards basking in the warm sunshine.  As we were making good time, we took a side road to stop at Ottery St. Mary, birthplace of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  (NB Early November 2008 - this town was severely damaged by a freak localised storm) 
We found our quarters at the new Holland Hall, built into the hill high up above the University's Streatham Estate.  Our room was small, modern and functional - the only snag being that the toilet paper had been put into the dispenser the wrong way round, the dispenser was locked, and the cleaning staff were off for the weekend!   How did we manage?  Don't ask! ! !
Some captioned photos of the occasion follow ...
Just remember -- these people also built the Titanic!
Margaret's Reunion was at Exeter University.
Margaret at the Reunion Dinner
Margaret's friend from college days: Ann
The College Jazz Group played for us
Newquay -- the coast beyond the Headland Hotel
A trip on the Nostalgia Express ... to Newquay
Great Western Beach at Sunset
Apart from a few of the old big hotels nothing, but nothing, is the same after fifty years or so.  The centre of town is now traffic free, the newer property and renovated older houses all look so tackily built, and there were just so many people.
One heartening update:  the cocktail bar of the Great Western Hotel has recently been renovated and redesigned to become the Steam Bar and restaurant, having many more windows overlooking the sea and beaches. 
It was good to gaze across Great Western Beach, watch the sun set over the Harbour, and let one's mind drift back to those student working summers spent in this holiday town in its heyday.
We made a few stops on our way East ...
Cobbled main street of Clovelly, Devon.
Clovelly. It's a short, but VERY steep walk to the beach!
Short break for an icecream -- we earned it on the hill!
Bob's Home Town. Statue of "Yankee Jack" on Watchet Esplanade.
As usual, Gatwick Airport was our last view of England.