Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A walk back through time in Plymouth, Devon

They say you should never go back.

But I did at the weekend, going back to where my grandfather was born in 1891 and where, in 1979, I began my training as a journalist.

Gramp was an adventurer and a spinner of yarns. I imagine him as a small boy gazing out across Plymouth Sound and wondering what lay beyond it. He ended up in Australia where he was a sheep drover and tamer of horses before becoming an ANZAC, fighting at Gallipoli and the Somme.

Plymouth's not everyone's cup of tea but I like it very much.

Five years ago, my old trainee colleagues had a thirty year reunion, which I wrote about here. There's even a picture of me on that blog post at my New Romantic best.

There were fewer of us this time round, with various people bottling out and giving excuses, but it didn't matter, I enjoyed every minute of it, starting with the train journey to Pymouth.
And then a feeling of euphoria as I alighted from the train.
I checked into the hotel and then took a brisk wander around the streets I remembered from my late teenage years and the area my grandfather would have known as a child.
The disused Palace Theatre, Union Street, Plymouth, which opened as a music hall in 1898, not far from the pub my Gramp's family ran near the docks.
Bomb damage means there's not much left of Martin Street, where the family pub was.
Plymouth Hoe looking towards Smeaton's Tower and The Barbican
Drake's statue and the Naval Memorial
The national Armanda monument from 1888
My grandfather always said he sent these cannon balls rolling down towards the sea. But they're fused together. Another tall tale.
I went down this drain in 1981, intentionally, and then wrote about it. Fact.
My earliest childhood memory is climbing up inside Smeaton's Tower with my mother and looking from the top down at my Gramp on a bench below.
At the age of seven, my Gramp was runner-up in a swimming competition in Plymouth Sound
Most likely out to this breakwater
Looking out across to the city centre
The coffee shop in Dingles was one of my hang-outs
I didn't take the poor turn-out personally (I organised the reunion). It was the others' loss, not mine. It also meant more food to go around.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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