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This week we ended up going on a Tamar Valley Tourism Association outing.  The idea of these is really that people who run accommodation go out to local attractions and see what is available locally so they can recommend it to guests.  We don't have any guests, but we kind of fancied a boat trip anyway, and we are Tamar Valley Tourism members, so we labelled it 'networking' and went to Plymouth.

We had lunch at a cafe on the quay at the Barbican (under the sort of white gazebo things).  It was a nice lunch but served somewhat dreckly, in that it took about 3 hours.  Oh well, the view was good, and so was the food (the idea is that they have a cafe and a fishing boat, and you go to the cafe and eat whatever the fishing boat caught this morning.  Pp spurned this idea, and had steak.  Although I'm not convinced that the fishing boat caught the salad that my scallops were sitting on.)

Just over on the right out of this shot are the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim fathers... well didn't actually sail from, apparently, as the waterfront has been slightly  remodelled since then, but if enough people turn up asking 'where did the Pilgrim Fathers sail from?' it's handy to have something to point them to.  Hence the existence of the Mayflower Steps.  I commend this idea to Oxford.  They should put up a building and label it 'The University'.

I don't know who those proud Cornish flags middle right belong to.  Plymouth is in Devon, not Cornwall, but it sometimes seems a little confused about its identity.  It is effectively the capital of the 'middle bit' for which Exeter is in the cosmopolitan East and Truro is far away in the webfooted West.

A seagull posing in a 'Look at Me' manner, on a buoy in front of Drake's Island.   According to the Giant Voice on the ferry, there are plans to make the buildings on Drakes Island into a hotel, but they are having planning problems.

  I would not be too bothered if the seagull was left in charge of the empty buildings full of bats and the rocks, personally.


Then we puffed around the dockyard for a bit.  I'm afraid I did not find large grey warships very photogenic, but I did take a picture of King Billy, who is not really a figurehead, but a replica of a figurehead, apparently.    The small sign in front of King Billy proudly announces that King Billy is in a prohibited place within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act, and unauthorised persons entering the area will be arrested.    It's nice to know that our important replica figureheads are protected by the full vigor of the law.

I was going to add a couple of photos of fishing boats and pubs here (I prefer taking photos of fishing boats and pubs to giant grey warships or pretentious superyachts.)  But LJ doesn't want to play, so here is the Royal William Yard Ferry instead.  The Royal William Yard used to be a terribly sombre and rather ruinous old dockyard, but now it has all been done up and is full of posh eateries and expensive flats.  Hence the existence of the ferry.


Here is quite an architectural jumble.  Back left, the top of a monstrous war memorial (you can only see about half of it here: I always feel the style of this memorial is just a tiny bit Nazi architecture, which seems ironic in a way).  And in the middle a random Ferris Wheel.

Next to the Ferris Wheel, dressed in fetching red and white stripes, Smeaton's Tower, which used to be the Eddystone lighthouse.  When the lighthouse was replaced with a shiny modern one in the 19th century, apparently the 18th century stripy building was considered just too good to chuck out, so they took off as much of the lighthouse as they could safely remove from its rock, and put it up in Plymouth instead.  You tend to think of relocating old buildings as a 20th/21st century thing, but no.

In front of Smeaton's Tower, the Plymouth Dome, which I always think looks like a bit of a cut-rate Evil Supervillain's base.   And in front of that down near the water, the flags of the Tinside Lido.  Building an outside swimming pool about 10 feet above the sea always strikes me as a little odd.  But I suppose that way you get the view, but never put your foot down on a squid or something when swimming.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Jul, 2013 23:43 (UTC)
I've always thought the brutalist university offices in Wellington Square should just bear the sign 'University of Oxford', and tourists can be directed there, in order to be confused, and then enlightened.
28th Jul, 2013 10:23 (UTC)
I think those "proud Cornish flags" are actually windows...
28th Jul, 2013 10:56 (UTC)
Ooh, I think you are right! There were so many flags in the photos, I automatically registered these as 'yet more flags...'
28th Jul, 2013 16:37 (UTC)
I'm sorry I completely misunderstood your title at first glance
28th Jul, 2013 16:51 (UTC)
The funny thing about the war memorial, for me, it that there is an identical one on Southsea Common, which I saw regularly when I went to university in Portsmouth. So the first time I saw the one in Plymouth, I was rather taken aback, as they appeared to have picked it up and moved it many miles to the west. :-)
28th Jul, 2013 17:09 (UTC)
Caerwent has a war memorial with a lantern on top, together with a suitable inscription. The only one like it that we have seen.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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