Tuesday, 2 February 2010


This innocent little gem is from E R Delderfield's book "Exmouth Yesterdays" published in Exmouth in 1952. It is a story of the first years of the twentieth century.

There was the occasion when five or six Exmouth youths decided to spend a day at the Dawlish Races. The wealthy among them had a shilling each. At the docks they spent twopence each to be rowed over to the Warren. They walked to Dawlish and at the Races spent a whole sixpence on a luscious dinner. A bun and a bottle of ginger beer for twopence satisfied them for tea and what a wonderful day they had! The outing concluded with the walk back to the Warren where they adopted the usual method of calling the boatman over by lighting a fire on the beach. Their last two pennies were spent on the return journey across the strip of water.

As a story I find this somewhat inconclusive and less than satisfying. It would have been more fun if they had drunk too much ginger beer and fallen out of the boat and been attacked by a disoriented shark or something but that's all we get. I like, however, the bit about lighting the fire on the beach to attract the ferryman. And that's another thing that is forbidden these days, lighting fires on Dawlish Warren. It says so on all those dismal notice boards.

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