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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 the past!

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.





But please BOOMARK this site now. It is not a self adulatory blog. It is factual and based on information from photographs and written records made in the late 1950s. No wedding photographs, no grinning face shots. Just information about a facinating byegone era which is now difficult to fully understand. You may be able to help.