Rowland Conibere from The Knights of Saint Columba, organised a very enjoyable coach and boat trip to Exeter on the 20th August for Parishioners of Barnstaple, Torrington and Bideford.
After an early start with pickups from Ilfracombe, Bideford and Barnstaple, our coach took us down to Exmouth, where a total of 250 passengers boarded 'The Pride of Exmouth' for our 2½ hour, one-way cruise up the river Exe.
Near Exminster beside the 'Turf Hotel' (a seasonal pub, which can only be reached by boat or on foot), we entered the Exeter Ship Canal through a flood gate known as Turf Lock. Work on the canal started in 1564 making it the oldest working shipping canal in Europe. The canal was widened and extended in 1700 and was still in commercial use until the 1960's.
There are two manual footbridges and two powered road bridges that have to be opened to allow the passage of ships by staff from Exeter City council - who own the canal - as well as a manually operated lock along the 8 miles of canal enabling craft to reach the centre of Exeter at the quay.
Here, we disembarked and while some people took the offer of the coach transfer, others walked up to the town through the old city wall to the Cathedral Green. We had four hours to explore Exeter, before the return coach journey, during which a raffle was drawn, with proceeds going to the Knights chosen charity WORK.
Photographic memento of the day, which you can view here as a slide-show:-
[If any Parishioners would like to send in their thoughts, photographs and memories of the day, we would greatly appreciate your comments to add to this web-page]
Click here for a slide-show of photos