Does it feel challenging to talk about re-emerging into community life; stepping outside our doors again to meet with neighbours and share some fun events?
Or perhaps you’re already doing that and can’t wait to do some more.
The fact is, it will be some while before we understand all the social effects of lockdown and how it has differed for people. In the meantime, we’ve been working on some gentle ideas to help a re-emergence into the light.
“DID YOU KNOW? STROLLS" AND THE GOLDEN HOUR
This is about taking a walk down your street in the hour before sunset. That’s when the light is at its best so you might want to take your camera.
Here are some suggested subjects for your eye, mind and camera in different streets in the St Thomas area.
DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas Street Fact #1
Did you know that St Thomas had its own fire brigade? You can still see the entrance in Cowick Street next to the old coucil building that was recently age uk.
In 1888 Exeter City set up the Exeter Municipal Fire Brigade which, in 1899, St Thomas was incorporated into. You can find more about the Exeter fire Brigade here:
DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas Street Fact #2
Did you know that Tin Lane which connects Old Vicarage Road to Church Road went all the way up to Cowick Lane? Bypassing the County Ground (originally home to Exeter Chiefs Rugby team and the Falcons Speedway track. You can see how, on the 1892 map, that it connected Church Road to Churchfield Path and head up the hill to Cowick Lane. Tin Lane and a small part that re-emerges into Church Path Road and Larch Road still happily follow the same route.
DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas Street Fact #3
Did you know that Pinces Road, the entrance to Pinces Gardens, was once called Priory Road!
The entrance to Pinces Gardens has an early Arts and Craft style (which was about 1880 - 1920’s)
The Iron Railings and gates have an art deco feel with stylised flower buds. What do you think, are they tulips or rose buds? As far as I can see there has been a building on the site since 1873 but maybe even longer. Was this the main entrance to Pinces Nursery/Exeter Nursery when they were in full bloom producing plants, trees and flowers from their greenhouses at the time? Pinces Road is lined with some lovely mature trees, so were they planted by the nursery along with the amazing wisteria within? Thankfully this lovely old building is about to get a new roof and a well needed overhaul.
DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas Street Fact #4
Did you know St Thomas had two prisons! One on the corner of Cowick Street next to the railway called Beaufort Place a Bridewell / gaol which stood on the site of the current Farmers Friend. Beaufort Place even held up to 1,300 French and American prisoners during 1770’s.
The Other being Devon County Prison for Debtors the entrance which is now Cowick Street Motors. Debtors Prisons were truly terrible places split into two sides,The Keepers Side for those who were regarded higher in society, with financial support from others paying for better food and lodgings. And The Common side for the truly destitute and impoverished individuals. Thankfully society has progressed! A short story about Elizabeth Stentiford who unfortunately found herself incarcerated there in 1819:
More about the prisons history:
DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas Street Fact #5
Did you know St Thomas railway station was part of Isambard Kingdom Brunels atmospheric railway called The South Devon Railway? The station was opened on 30 May 1846. The South Devon Railway ran from Exeter St Davids to Plymouth using a combination of steam and atmospheric trains from 13 September 1847 until 9 September 1848 (atmospheric rail uses differential air pressure to provide propulsion through a tube running along the side of the track). In 1861 the viaduct was widened and the second platform added along with the building we have today.
If you're nervous about meeting with others, for whatever reason, then you can take your DID YOU KNOW stroll at the times when you feel safest of course.
Enjoy your walks and why not share your photos on the St Thomas Squilometre Open Group on facebook. We’d love to see them!