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Foresters arriving at Ilfracombe.


Foresters arriving by boat at Ilfracombe

As well as being a destination for Forest coal, the North Devon coast was visited by Foresters who travelled by train and boat.. The photo shows a party of Foresters from Bream arriving at Ilfracombe around 1930. The boy with the suitcase bottom right is Harold Henry (John) Davis. To his left his aunt Maude Jeffery (nee Batten) - who married an Ifracombe man Bertie Jeffery, next left is his mother Caroline Davis (nee Batten), the man to next to her in the dark hat is Thomas Batten. They would have travelled by train from Whitecroft station to Sharpness Docks. Other trains from Birmingham would connect with the sailings. The trains would also connect with the return sailings. The passengers would have set sail from Sharpness Docks on a P. and A. Campbell vessel, usually their flagship vessel the paddle steamer Brittania. The Brittania one of 12 vessels in the fleet and was fast enough to make the return journey in a day.
Vickery the Ilfracombe photographers would be ready to photograph passengers as they disembarked and have the photos ready before the return journey set sail.Ilfracombe Harbour (10k)

The puffer steamer the Snowflake under captain Irwin transported Forest coal weekly from Lydney to Ilfracombe. She was wrecked once on rocks near Ifracombe but she was salvaged and continued her service for several more years. The coal was supplied to the Ilfracombe Coal and Salvage Company who sold the coal to their customers as "Best Lydney". The coal was unloaded onto a Quay (The Cove) which is now a car park

The photo shows The Cove at Ilfracombe.

Peter Essex added (Oct 2009): "...On 7 September 2009 my cousin David and I dragged our wives along to fulfil a boyhood ambition.Coming now from Surrey and Buckinghamshire, we took the steamer "Balmoral" from Lydney via Sharpness to Clevedon.   It was continuing from there to Ilfracombe. It runs 2 or 3 times a year, generally leaving Lydney between 9 and 10 a.m.  You come back by coach, getting back around 5 p.m.from Clevedon or 11 p.m. from Ilfracombe.   It was fascinating to see Lydney from mid-river, since once you are down level with roughly Alvington you can see a panorama right from Pine End to Primrose Hill. Having watched the coal and wood trade dwindle as kids, we never thought we'd sail out down the Bristol Channel, under both the motorway bridges. The ship was packed and these trips are, among things, a means of spreading awareness of the heritage that is Lydney Harbour".

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