5 Crediton to Barnstaple

On Wednesday, the scout’s spring loosening ride up to North Devon was as joyous as previous years. Beyond Copplestone, the road seems to have been detrafficked and he can only assume that satnavs send the slaves via Tiverton.

At Colleton Mills, between Eggesford and King’s Nympton, the River Taw had recently been diverted away from the railway and although the project is complete, the scout was fortunate to find the project manager waiting there for someone and he was able to sate the scout’s interest.

The bridleway leading up to Chenson Crossing between Lapford and Eggesford. +
Looking towards Exeter from the crossing. +

It was here that the scout first tried the video function on the railway’s Cybershot. The results were rather poor and it is quite obvious the narration was unscripted and unrehearsed. The scenery is very fine, though. He said a bit about the crossing, Tarka and the river; the valley and byway; the turnpike; the keeper; and a train passing.

The diverted River Taw, back on the course it is thought to have followed 200 years before. The North Devon Railway is just out of sight at left. +

Excrutiatingly, the scout said some more to camera about the old and new course of the river. When he heard the recordings later, he determined to obtain some mufflers for the camera’s microphones.

Barnstaple, seen from Bishop’s Tawton Road at the edge of the village.
After the pleasant ride from Crediton, during which the scout had seen only three other cyclists, he entered the traffic chaos of Barnstaple, which, as always, new road building has not solved.
The railways can be positioned by the Victoria Road to Junction loop bridge, and by the civic centre tower block, near the former Town station and on part of the L. & B. line. The North Devon line can barely be seen just above the red and white truck.
This scene is brought to life in another dreadful recording

The scout drifted across town and found himself following, not for the first time, the course of the little L. & B.

At Pilton Causeway, the scout photographed the tops of the gate posts at the former level crossing.
Beyond, where the cars are parked, was the long side of the triangle at Pilton Works. He went into this yard in the early ‘seventies; his Dad asked in the office if they could look around. The buildings were all still there, with their two-foot inspection pits.
The scout is convinced that at the Lynton point of the triangle, which was fenced off, the sleeper impressions were still there in the ballast, but it hardly seems possible when he thinks about it now.

Before catching the train home, there was time for some more refreshment to be taken on the river promenade. When he returned to the utilicon, the scout had ridden 42 miles.

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