Here’s another walking group, this time from Bristol, who decided to immortalise in verse their outing from Bristol with a walk from Dawlish to Teignmouth along the SW coast path on October 5th 2008.
They appear to be a group who travel by train to somewhere where they can do a walk. The train service which brought Victorians to Teignmouth in its heyday is still doing the job.
They commented that: It was not at all like Keats’ 1818 view of Devon while staying in Teignmouth – “a splashy, rainy, misty, snowy, foggy, haily, floody, muddy, slipshod County” ( in the Oxford Literary Guide to the British Isles.).
Ode to Sunday October 5th
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Intrepid Strollers journey to the coast
A walk from Dawlish is their plan
With David their inimitable host.
Alas! The skies are dark and lowering
As they set off from Temple Meads in dread
The clime may yet prove overpowering
If only they had never left their bed!
But as their journey takes them south
Their chat is ever merry on the train
And as they reach their destination
Oh, miracle! There is an end to rain!
See how they sweat on coastal path
And, moaning, strew their sticky garments hence
If only they had known….and yet
The sun, it must be said, is recompense.
Nay, more than this – ‘tis sheer delight !
Laughing, they dodge the lashing waves
That threaten to engulf them on the wall
And Teignmouth head. The pub is now in sight.
But first to reach it they must hire a boat.
It comes: they climb aboard with cheer.
Despite its heavy cargo it can float
And thoughts turn longingly to food and beer.
With pleasant views a hearty meal they eat
Then head off chatting via caves
To sandy cove ( they can’t believe the heat! )
And from the beach they contemplate the waves.
But some of sterner stuff are made
Lissom Diana plunges deep and floats!
David and Michael follow suit, mad fools!
The rest of us lie round in heaps on coats.
Alas, the day is nearly done. We sigh in vain.
The journey homewards must be made
But kind Diana treats us all
There’s scone and jam to munch at on the train!
So hearty thanks we send from one and all
To David and Diana very dear
For this dark day which ended up so fine
And was for sure the best of all the year!