Devon 2015

Reserved? Little Egypt?
In which Little Egypt renew and enhance their relationship with, and affection for, Travel by Steam

Beneath the garish beam of day
I've often marked this scene before,
When field and hill and moorland gray
One aspect broad of beauty wore.
I've seen the hills' majestic sweep
Reflected from the water's clear,
But never felt a charm so deep
As this which now enchains me here.


N. Parry, Esq., 2015, après Sydney Hodges, b. 1829, "The River Dart"

Of Trains and Boats and Trains

We gathered outside the Smuggler's Haunt to make our way up the hill to the waiting coach.
The men had successfully cleared the nearby Tesco Local of paracetamol and were raring to get to our first destination, Paignton Station.
The Dartmouth Steam Railway had a reserved carriage waiting for us, a Pullman lookalike named "Lady Chatterley".
There was time for a brief dance on the platform before boarding, and as the guard blew his whistle and waved his flag Hercules, our locomotive, belched steam and smoke as it gently accelerated on the trip to Kingswear.

 
   

Mr. Bangs anticipated an eyeful of smuts while the orange rucksack looked vulnerable.

 
The AA say they'll be here about 9   
    And off we jolly well ... 

As we waited for the ferry across the Dart to Dartmouth, NuNu - for today was his 80th birthday according to his badge - demonstrated to the new boys the correct angle at which the stick should be held in Vandals.

 
That's right: about knee height for most people  The star turn 

A helpful local guided us to the oldest building in Dartmouth, which just happened to be a pub called The Cherub, where we sampled some fine local ales and danced in the exceptionally narrow street outside.
No Morris man was injured in this exercise, but a couple of passers-by suffered some near misses.

The next part of our scheduled day was a trip on the Dart to Totnes.
Mr Bangs was pleased that, so far, everything was running completely on time which is unusual where Little Egypt is concerned.

 
 Ship Ahoy!  Old Riverlegs shows how it was done 

On board everyone relaxed for a tranquil trip, with commentary, while the orange rucksack was once again found to be missing.

 
I'm looking for Roger ... is this his cabin? 

As we disembarked at Steamer Quay Mr Bangs led from the front, guiding us to our "lunchtime" venue, the Dartmouth Inn.
The landlord was surprised to see us but this was not a Comberton moment - just Mr Bangs thoughtfully acclimatising us for our showpiece dances in the company of some varied and frankly very good Morris sides whom we would be meeting in two days time for the Day of dance.

Refreshed we walked briskly to the Totnes station of the South Devon Steam Railway for a further oily smuts trip, this time to Buckfastleigh.
As we danced on the platform the driver was kind enough to make plenty of steam to add to the atmosphere.

Waiting at the station was our mighty coach ready to speed us back to Brixham and NuNu's famous portable birthday bar. Sounds familiar ... .

 
    

The fine footwork, impeccable stickwork and the precision choreography can be experienced on You Tube: here

 
 
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    Page designed and maintained by Steve Clarke on behalf of the Morris Men of Little Egypt. - stephen.clarke06@btinternet.com - © Steve Clarke 2015 - Photographs and text courtesy and © Brian "Emeritus Baggie" Stephens - 2015