Well New Years Day and I didn’t set the alarm, though I thought I would wake up early forgetting that I’d not gone to bed til gone 1am. Doh! I woke at 9.30am but then fell back to sleep til 11am. So much for getting up early to crack on with my sketching project for 2019.
I made some lunch, made a coffee, collected my sketch book and pens and was on the road before twelve. I left Dave to enjoy a whole day of war films! I drove to Saltash, all the way to the Devon border and before crossing the Tamar I turned right and down through housing estates and onto Fore Street, as predicted nothing was open, I turned down Lower Fore street into the oldest part of town, following the signs for the oldest building, built in 1480, which is Mary Newmans Cottage tucked away close to 1970s bungalows and flats. A plaque above the house reads ‘Here lived Mary Newman afterwards wife of Sir Francis Drake and Mayoress of Plymouth died 1582′. It was hard to imagine the area way back in the 1500s as the house overlooks the Tamar bridge now!
It was impossible to sketch as it was quite a thoroughfare down to the waterside and my true destination the Union Inn and the Brunel bridge. The sun was shining beautifully and for some reason I decide that my first sketch would be the bridge – what was I thinking! It’s so complex with perspective and all those metals straps and beams! None the less I didn’t do it justice at all. The first part is ok, but the second stretch was at odds with the first. I shall be doing this again from the photos I’ve taken.
As I was sitting on the bench sketching away I became aware of a number of people flooding past in bizarre outfits. They were all gathering outside the pub drinks in hand, shaking charity tins; some pushing bikes, prams and shopping trolleys. It was impossible to sketch the pub now as it was obscured by nuns with beards, mini skirted policemen, chickens, convicts and various crazy concoctions. The clouds had closed in now so I sat in the car and ate my lunch, people watching. Talking to one of the runners this was a yearly event, where a huge group of people came together on New Years day to raise money for a needy Saltash resident, this year is for a child with special needs, and basically the run is a fancy dress pub crawl around the town…. but to see so many people dressed up and enjoying doing something for someone in need was lovely.
Some of the group decided to take a dip in the Tamar just to add to the days excitement. They must have been frozen.
Once they’d run off to their next drinking stop I sat in the car and sketched the Inn.
It was 2pm once I’d finished and drove back up the steep hill back out of town and on the A38 retracing my journey til I got to Tidesford where I turned off towards St Germans to cut across country to get to my second destination, Cremyll.
I stopped at the Salty Dog cafe as I needed a ‘comfort break’ and a coffee. The sun was back out again and the cafe was really busy. It was nice to see Michele too. I eventually arrived at Cremyll and there was already a queue for the ferry, Mount Edgcumbe was open and there were people milling around and also in the pub. So it was busy. The sun has dipped behind the hill casting the whole area in cold shade. Over the water the Royal William Yard was bathed in sunshine and a lone yacht sailed on the sparkling water.
I took loads of photos of the buildings and did half a sketch of two cottages which I will finish tomorrow, the cold got to my fingers so I had to stop.
When I got back to the ferry stop I noticed a sign on the small ferry building which was a fabulous rusty enamel notice for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Plymouth, SW Devon and East Cornwall Branch. There’s no date but it looks early 20thC to me. On the same building is the Ferry clock, which is just beautiful dating back to the 1886, it has the apt motto for the start of a new year, ‘Dost thou love life, then do not squander time’.
A good afternoons work, not as much achieved as I would have liked, but it’s a good start.
Next stop will be Kingsand and Cawsand later in the week. Tomorrow I’ve got commission work to complete and post to send out.