A bit of tourism for you now, as I make the dangerous and epic journey across the Teign to Shaldon Conservative Club.
I really couldn’t have picked a better week to do the Devon Dozen (actually nine, but do what); a gorgeous sunny day with enough gentlefolk visitors to keep the pumps ticking over.
That’s nonsense, of course; they were all drinking coffee in the Spoons.
I thought The Brass Monkey would give me an early Tribute, but it’s not yet legal to drink beer from the barrel while it’s still on the brewery van.
So I headed through town for the ferry to the village Shaldon, which sounded remote and mysterious.
On my only previous visit on a scorcher in ’98 I’d stopped here to buy some apples. Sadly that greengrocer had long gone, probably replaced by an artisan deli. Who needs fruit when you’ve got quiche ?
While walking I noted down “More Filey than Southwold” which is more a comment on the pier than the beach.
I’m always a bit perplexed by the seaside. I can’t sit still for five minutes, so what are you supposed to do apart from get sunburnt and eat chips ?
The biggest excitement is when I get to kick a football back to two lads who shout “Thanks mister” in that delightfully polite way that adolescence will knock out of them.
But the views down by the ferry are a picture,
and the ancient little boat across to Shildon sticks to the knitting and avoids playing sentimental tunes or boring you with history.
Tiny streets too small for cars lead to the Conservative Club, which taunts me with a Bass sign but is clearly only in the Guide due to “guest ales”
“Are you a member ?” says the young steward.
I haven’t been asked that in a GBG club for a while. I flash my gold card.
“Fine, have to ask”
Can’t have any old Tom, Dick and Harry coming off the streets enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the Cons Club, can we ?
Still, £2.60 a pint of tasty but not super-cool Teignworthy, “Embarrassment” by Madness, and
a picture of Theresa May in the ladies a tick.
I walked back over the bridge, can’t afford to waste another £1.30 on boats, can I ?