Sunday, 29 April 2012

THE FREEZING EXE

From 'The Devon Weekly Times'  Friday February 15th 1895

"Mr Andrew Haydon of Cockwood, who is in the habit of attending Exmouth with market garden produce, had ...an unpleasant experience on Saturday, as well as a boy with him.

"After completing his business he attempted to return home in his boat which got into an ice floe.   He and the boy were powerless to manage the craft, which drifted at the will of the tide and ice to Starcross, when two young men -  Bert Serle and Ernest Morrish put off to render assistance,  with the result that they got into a similar predicament. 

"After strenuous efforts they took the boy into their boat and managed to catch the sea wall with their anchor near Exeleigh.  They and the boy, in a very benumbed state, landed while the other boat continued up the river.  A rope was eventually tossed aboard from the seawall and the boat was secured."

It makes sense that boats came across the river to bring produce to the Exmouth Market.  There would have been many such crossings on Saturdays although perhaps not too many in a freezing February. 

'Exeleigh' is the great  house that was built for Sir John Duntze in the middle of the nineteenth century.  It is close to the Estuary, near Painter's Wood and close to the southern entrance to Powderham Park.   The ice bound boats would therefore have drifted upriver no more than a mile and a half  but, especially for the boy in 'a very benumbed state',  it would have been a terrifying experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment