The last morning of the Scrag End of Summer Break. Tea and coffee options on the hob. The next trip in the van will fully embrace Autumn. This has really been a very traditional Scrag End, British break with long walks in the rain and steamy cafes providing respite from the weather either side of one full day of glorious skin warming sunshine. Our last day highlight was the local museum , something we would have missed if we had had two consecutive days of serendipitous sunshine. Local museums are just glorious nuggets of local history, geography and culture. Sometimes they are dusty and fusty and you have to dig around to find pride and joy. Combe Martin Museum is not like that. A great selection of second hand books at the door entices the museum phobes closer luring them into the museum and part with their fifty pences for books and even better the small entrance fee. As is often the case in second hand book shops three well thumbed copies of Fifty Shades of Grey suggest that Combe Martin has a specialist interest in S and M. Just a few steps into the museum gives a mental loosening of the bindings when the true specialty of the area is revealed to be S and S. Strawberries and Silver.
Three sorts of cream is quite decadent. Never has ‘normal’ cream been so unappetising to me though. Who in their right mind would ever order ‘thin’ cream. Regardless of that Combe Martins original USP was mining for Silver and Lead and growing Strawberries. Products that they historically traded with nearby Wales for Coal and other essentials that coukdnt be found closer to home. Tourism has obviously been a big factor in the life of Combe Martin. In a curious time warp the first big boom was during the time of the Napoleonic Wars when the wealthy could no longer travel in Europe. Combe Martin boomed again this year when neither the wealthy or the normal could easily travel anywhere but the British Isles.
One small aspect of the museum I loved was a contemporary book of Remembrance. Featuring obituaries of the residents of Combe Martin. Ordinary peoples lives reveal extraordinary stories, revealing the human face of a location.
Here are our doggy faces posing, vintage style at the end of their Scrag End of Summer Van Trip.