Tony Parrini

My brother Michael was born in early 1949 and instead of cycling to Ladram, the journey was undertaken by train. All the major Camping kit was already in Devon stored from the previous year; a bale and an old cabin trunk would be packed with bedding, clothing and other essentials and despatched as “luggage in advance” to East Budleigh Station. A couple of weeks later the family would travel to Waterloo Station and we would get on the overnight “paper train” destined for Exeter. A sleepless night ensued as we stopped and started all the way as newspapers were dropped off at Basingstoke, Shaftsbury, Sherborne, Ilminster, Yeovil and other towns along the route. At dawn we changed trains at Sidmouth Junction, changed again at Tipton St Johns and eventually arrived at East Budleigh Station at about 9 o’clock in the morning.

The coal merchant and general haulier in Otterton was Mr Paver; he would be waiting at East Budleigh having loaded up all our camping equipment deposited at a large barn on Ottery Street. Dad would recover our luggage in advance and have that loaded and with Mum in the passenger seat up front, Dad, my brother Michael and myself sitting amongst the luggage in the back, off we would head through Otterton to Ladram Bay. Bill Carter would know of our booking and frequently gave us the privilege to camp on a newly opened field as the camping site expanded year on year. For instance, we were the first to camp in the orchard field just above today’s car park when it was full of apple trees and had no terraces as it does today. This procedure continued annually until Dad purchased his first motorbike and sidecar for the journey.

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