Friday, 12 June 2015

In my father's footsteps

In 1938 my father Roger and his brother Barry went with their grandparents to stay with a fishing family on a very remote part of the Devon coast, at Ivy Cove near Start Point.  It was very different then, with its own little fleet of fishing boats.  I have a little album of snaps his grandmother took with her box brownie, and I decided to go and retrace their steps, and try and recreate some of the photos in the present day.   As we approached Ivy Cove, we came across a couple and their grandchildren and got into conversation.  It turned out he was the local farmer, so I showed him the album, and told him how Dad used to stay with a family called the Logans.  "Oh Bill Logan still lives there" was the response, and apparently I'd find him working in his garden. Sure enough, at Ivy Cove, there was Bill tending his broadbeans in his veg patch overlooking the sea. I introduced myself and it turned out Bill had a photo of my great grandfather - except he'd never known who he was.    We then went down to the beach which was truly beautiful: shimmering white shingle, crystal sea and a raised platform of rock laced with gullies and chasms.   It was so strange to think of my father and his brother fishing, swimming and diving here nearly 80 years earlier. Tragically Barry was killed in the final stages of the war just 7 years later, aged 23.

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