Pinhole Pedallers are GO!Posted: August 19, 2011
Day 1: Wednesday 17th, Bedford Sawmills
The tour is in full swing! On wednesday morning we sprung out of our camping pod and rolled downhill to Bedford Sawmills. Underterred by the drizzle we set up and focused the camera across the border to Cornwall, taking in the chimney stacks from the old copper mines and the rolling hills of the Tamar Valley. It was not long before the first members of the public entered the camera and the very first Pinhole Pictures were generated.
We were met by Simon, AONB officer for Tamar Valley. A fountain of landscape knowledge, he was keen to hunt for the famous view in Turner’s 1815 landscape, Crossing the Brook. The trailers bumped around offroad and struggled along the old mining country trails, but try as we might the view could not be found!
We concluded the lost view was partly due to Turner’s clever playing with perspective, and partly due to the planting of new woodland. It was interesting to think about Turner being able to rearrange elements of his painting as he saw fit – a luxury photographers don’t have without turning to Photoshop!
After a nice cup of tea with the TreeSurfers (a treetop adventure challenge) we tackled our first giant hill (the same we had so happily cruised down that morning!) on the way to our resting place for the night – The Railway Carriages of Bere Ferres. On our sweaty arrival we were met by Bill who plied us with tea and cake (lots of cake!) and showed us to our carriage.
The rooms were fantastic, built inside disused carriageways and the whole place was absolutely full of character. In the evening we went to the waterside of Bere Ferrers for some good food and a great view of the Tavy – you could nearly see around the headland to where we were heading the next morning.
Day 2: Thursday 18th, Lopwell Quay and BTCV
One comfortable, cosy night by the railway later, a rainy morning greeted us. After a giant breakfast curtesy of Bill, we packed up, met Simon off his train and hit the short road to Lopwell Dam.
A slidy, slippery offroad track forced us to dismount as we decended the Tavy Valley. Safely at the bottom we found our next obstacle – Lopwell Dam. We’d timed our arrival for low tide but there was still a good few inches of running water blocking the way; Simon’s suggestion of shoes and socks off seemed a very sensible option! Lots of slipping and sliding later and a brief cycle south, we reached our destination for the day, Maristow Quay.
Maristow Quay was an ideal site for the camera looking South down the River Tavy to Saltash. with good views of the Tamar Bridge. A group of BTCV volunteers arrived to spend the afternoon exploring the camera and photographing themselves and the landscape.
As the day drew to a close we took down the camera and headed uphill to Plymouth. The climb out of the valley was ridiculously steep and we both ground to a halt. All might have been lost had it not been for Simon’s helpful pushes! All too soon it was time for Simon to catch his train home – we said our farewells and promised to stay in touch.
Our thanks to Simon and the Tamar Valley AONB for all their help and enthusiasm, to Jeremy and the BTCV volunteers, and to our lovely hosts Chris and Bill at the Railway Carriages of Bere Ferres for a very warm welcome.