Visit to Brixham

On Tuesday morning Dan and I prepared to visit Dan’s dad and his wife, Pam, in the small fishing village of Brixham.  We were hoping for nice weather, but as we drove towards the west, we encountered more and more angry-looking clouds.

Dan spent a lot of time in Brixham as a child so we were able to see a lot of the places he used to visit and I also was finally able to meet Dan’s dad which was nice.  Generations of Ellis’s were born and raised here with history surrounding the family dating back into the late 1800’s.  After we arrived George and Pam took us on a little tour of the area, the first stop was Battery Gardens.

An inlet off the gardens where Dan’s dad used to take him and his brother to camp, fish, swim and “tombstone” or cliff jump.

Shot of the marina, we could see fishing trawlers coming in while we were standing on the hill face.

Here’s a photo of Dan and I looking slightly awkward…

Here is a view of Brixham from one of the marina docks – In the background is a replica of the Golden Hind, a 17th century ship which was captained by Sir Francis Drake who lived in Brixham and who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.

After the marina, we went to Berry Head, a nature reserve.  There are still remains of WWII nuclear bunkers and various forts dotted along the cliff.

Later in the evening, we went to a place called Stoke Gabriel which sits right on the estuary. This is where the remains of Dan’s great grandfather’s fishing trawler now lies after running aground.  Although the main use for the ship was to catch fish, he also raced it in local regattas in the early 1900s and won quite a few races, one of which Dan’s Dad has the trophy for.  The site where the trawler now sits has been turned into an archeological site but can only be seen at low tide.  If you click here and scroll down to the picture of Glory BM 16, that is a photo of the trawler.

We had dinner at an authentic English pub that night.  I’m becoming a big fan of pub food and pubs in general.  They are filled with the most interesting assortment of knick knacks, the stand out piece in the establishment was what appeared to be the remains of a house cat in a shadow box.

The next day, we took the car onto the ferry over to Dartmouth across the river Dart.  From there, we drove to Slapton.  Slapton Sands was the site of the practice runs for the American army for the Normandy D-Day invasion during WWII.  The main stretch of beach was chosen as it closely resembled those in Normandy .  In 1944, the townspeople of Slapton were told they were to evacuate their homes, approximately 3,000 residents had to pack up their livestock, belongings, salvage what crops they could in 6 weeks.

Exercise Tiger was one of the most notable events that took place during the practice runs because while the American army was running their drill, German E-boats spotted them and interrupted the practice.  749 American service men were killed during the attack, fortunately the Germans did not establish what the training exercise’s main objective was.  The practices at Slapton greatly contributed to the success at Normandy.  A memorial was erected on the beaches

There is another memorial site backed by Ken Small that has a Sherman tank which was recovered from the sea.

After Slapton, we headed back to George and Pam’s where they made us a delicious roast dinner (yay lamb!) before we set back off to Bournemouth.


About Mandy

29 year old, somewhat snarky, happily married, and always on the look out for a good recipe or latest beauty bargain.
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10 Responses to Visit to Brixham

  1. Lynne Warzecha says:

    Beautiful pictures – bet you are having a blast there. Might as well while you can. I have a computer question for you. Uncle Lee picked up your old laptop. The same night we turned it on to see how it works – it worked fine. When we turn it on now, it does nothing – just a blank screen. The lights are on, but nothing happens. Do you have any idea what might be wrong, or have any tips how to get it going? We may just not know how to do it – we ARE getting a bit older now – HA. Thanks Mandy – Uncle Lee and Aunt Lynne.

    • penguinspam says:

      Hi Aunt Lynne,
      I really have no idea what the problem is with it, I hadn’t used that laptop for quite some time…Andy might be able to help you out though.
      ❤ Mandy

  2. Alex says:

    1. I’m *extremely* jealous of your lamb intake.
    2. You’ve gotten to see so much cool stuff, you’re super lucky, Mandy. That trip sounded like a blast. So much sightseeing there!!! I’m super interested in some of the things you post about because it shows up in the reading I’ve been doing about England during the 16-1800s (this time, the Golden Hind and Sir Francis Drake).
    3. I will email you soon, I’m lazy and have literally nothing interesting to tell you about. But I am interested in whats going on with you and have been reading your blog, just not commenting. I’m going on a retreat next weekend, so I’ll probably email you after that because it will be something to tell you about, other than how I’ve watched the Sandlot 5 times this week.

    • penguinspam says:

      Haha, I’d never had lamb before Australia. It’s good stuff, slathered in mint sauce…yummm.

      That’s really cool, I’ve been having to do a lot of research on the places we’ve been to just because it’s bits of history I have no idea about, very neat 🙂

      Sounds good, hope you have fun on your retreat! I miss you!!!

  3. pam & George says:

    Glad the lamb was ok!! Nice to see your pics & great to meet you. Hope all goes well on the big day: we are packing up the house & cases ready for Oz. Will be in touch when we get down under. Love George & Pam

    • penguinspam says:

      We had such a nice visit! Hope everything goes smoothly for your flight over and get some sunshine for us 😀
      ❤ Mandy

  4. Kath Curtis says:

    Hi, I’m Georges twin sister. V interesting to read your blog. Also interesting that you went to Slapton Sands. I’ve been doing family history for many years and know that your John Ellis came from Slapton origjnally then moved to Brixham as a fisherman – he apparently was known by the nickname “Jimmy Slapton”. Hope your wedding day went well. Looking forward to meeting you.

    • penguinspam says:

      Thank you! Being over here has been a little like getting a crash course history lesson and I’ve barely seen any of England yet 🙂

  5. Nic Compton says:

    Hi Mandy, I was very interested to read your comments about the Glory. I live in Stoke Gabriel and am researching the history of the boat for a book I’m working on. I wonder if you could put me in touch with Dan’s father, if you think he wouldn’t mind? I’d love to talk to him about the Glory’s history and the family connection. My email address is nic (at) saltydogmedia (dot) com – website Your help would be much appreciated! Best wishes, Nic

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