Branscombe Blocked!

The direct route to Branscombe is not available to AVT buses as there is a 6ft width restriction, So buses have to turn north and run via a non-place called Woodhead.

The road brings you out just past the “Hotel”, The Mason’s Arms. If you drive via “Vicarage” you arrive at the main central square of Branscombe …

… where once were shops, alas no more and the cream coloured building (flats) which was the Peco factory. The other shop on the opposite side of the square …

… also closed down, is obscured by the pick-up in the Streetview equivalent.

The Masons Arms is popular today (and pricey for meals) but it has been there for many many years.

It has been extended into an adjoining cottage.

But the post box is still nearby!

The 899 appears from the right a few yards past the hostelry, thus missing the delights of The Square.,

It has a bus stop, frame and timetable.

But the fbbs didn’t! At the mysterious Woodhead, instead if turning left and squeezing along yet another narrow lane …

… the 899 simply zoomed past the turn and sped onwards to the main road.

fbb did wonder how the driver would get back down to Branscombe. But he didn’t. Branscombe was missed out completely.

There had been no announcement; there were no bus stop notices, Branscombe was totally ignored, apparently with no concern for any passengers to or from the village. 

Various bits of the village are strung out along over two miles of road and none was served.

From Vicarage to Street and beyond there was simply no bus service and no information. It was assumed that the Branscombe residents would just know, as well they might. But passengers TO the village would get a shock!

So fbb will have to take you via the delights of the village courtesy of Streetview rather than courtesy of Axe Valley Mini Travel!
We pass a row of reasonably “modern” houses and the definitely modern village hall.

… and the definitely un-moderh Blacksmith’s shop. And it is genuine – it does the whole hot fire, clanging hammer and big anvil blacksmithing job.

Then it is uphill to the Church and down steps to gain entry.

It was only a few years ago that St Winifred’s gained a toilet in a little hut at the east end.

This “facility” was formally opened by the Bishop of Exeter. It is not recorded whether His Grace actually used the facility as part of the opening ceremony!

Just past the C of E is the competition! Sadly, whilst the state run service for saving souls still trades, the non-conformist chapel is withdrawn from ecclesiastical operation.

All the way up the hill to the part of the village called “The Street” there is a whole variety of cottages old and new …

… and all intriguing and delightful.

Two signs of life and living are visible at The Street. It has a post box …

… and a carefully obscure bus timetable in a frame.

Not much use when fbb travelled as no buses ran! There is also a house with a very strange name,

Does it really have four letters “o” or is it a bad stitching job by Streetview. The list of listed buildings suggests Streetview as the solution.

But is this an older sign replaced and updated with extra vowels?

When fbb next drives that way, he must observe closely!

The last significant building is The Fountain Head, whereat the fbbs have dined.

It brands itself as …,

… and it is! Full of intriguing crooks and nannies …

… with a non pretentious bar …

… and “top scran” nosh. A definite fbb recommendation.

The stretched-out Branscombe begins to fizzle out after the pub but there is at least another half mile in which to do some “old cottage” spotting …

… mostly tastefully “up-fettled” …

… and all probably incredibly expensive!

But not a jot of this excellent entertainment was available for the fbbs, and, more to be point, residents seeking a bus to Sidmouth, Beer or Seaton.

And this happens regularly. Here is Roger French’s experience!

But he missed all of Branscombe!

Tomorrow we complete the ride and (thrill of thrills) explore the very boring diversion.
 Next Branscombe Bus Bother blog : Wednesday 2nd August 
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