OODS celebrates 1956 walk
on 21st May 2016.
This is believed to be the first organised
walk which the University Society held in 1956. It was to become
the traditional first walk of the Autumn Term to welcome Freshers
to the Out of Doors Society.The photograph shows the beginning
of the path which wound to the top of the cliff.
I remember that at the top there was a nice clear piece of ground.It
was there that I addressed the members and explained the procedures
of the Society and the programme for the next few weeks. Tom
tells me that there is now an obelisk on this very spot. Surely
nothing to do with me!
The path ran close to a golf course and I remember that we found
a new player under instruction. Unnerved by this sudden large
audience, he sliced the ball straight over the cliff into the
sea. Now I am very sorry to say that this was greeted with a
howl of laughter from the assembled audience and I had to quickly
push the party along sensing that we had definitely outlived
our welcome at this particular spot.
The path also ran close to a new caravan park. These were springing
up all along the coast to provide accomodation for the burgeoning
tourist trade. Budleigh itself I found retained an old world
charm highly reminiscent of the 1920s and I was to find this
again and again in places we visited on our walks. We have to
remember that the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s were years of crisis
and austerity and lots of places simply could not move on. So
in a very real sense we were often quite literally walking into
Now I remember that we took a double decker bus out of Budleigh
and,as I recollect, this bus brought us directly home to Exeter.
I may be wrong on this, but in those days buses were frequent
and did marvellous things. Anyway, it was a lovely day with a
great party and clearly the celebration walk went just as well
as shown in the following two photos . Despite the inclement
weather and the proximity of University examinations an astonishing
45 people turned up 21 of whom were alumni. By any standards
this is excellent.
Photos by Tom Clemo
If you enjoy these memories you may like the
accompanying ebook Exeter Memories by John Watson. This is available
from www.smashwords.com at $2.99 and from the Apple Store (for
ibooks) at £2.49. Use an author search to find on the latter.