My Many Walks To And From Abbotsham 1957
A Memory of Abbotsham.
At the side of the Post Office is a single track lane that leads to the cliffs, half a mile along the lane past the farm was a large thatched cottage named "Rixlade".
In 1957 our father Major William (Bill) Hay was stationed as O.C. at Fremington camp near Barnstaple, from our home town of Aldershot in Hampshire.
As a southern townie from the London commuter belt moving to the quiet but beautiful south western village of Abottsham, in a cottage almost at the cliff edge over looking the sea, was kind of lost on a eighteen year old teenager with girls on his mind.
Bearing in mind in those days of fewer motor cars, the only car in our family belonged to the head of the house, and the fact there were only two buses a week, one Wednesday and one Friday, from the village to Bideford. My feet soon learnt to pace out the three miles from the cottage to the bus stop in Bideford to catch the bus to my work at MacFisheries in Barnstaple every day and back at night.
The last bus at night from Barnstaple was at 11pm, and many a night one too many goodnight kisses from my girlfriend led to the sight of the last bus disappearing over the bridge on its merry way without me, without a lift it was a thirteen mile walk home.
Many times over the years while on holiday in Cornwall with our children we have detoured on our way back to Manchester to visit the cottage and village and I am glad to see nothing much has changed.
All in all my short time spent and fond memories of Abbotsham will remain with me always.