Paddy and Plunkett – A RAIL Good Time!

Paddy and Plunkett, Wandering Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, these two certainly don’t hang around in one place for very long! After exhausting the entertainment possibilities of their own attic a couple of weeks ago, Paddy and Plunkett decided that the time was right to hit the road again.

Next thing I knew, they were sending me pictures from Devon, in south-west England! And it looks like Plunkett was in charge of organising their first day out, because they began their explorations at the historic Babbacombe Cliff Railway, just outside Torquay! Plunkett has a bit of a thing for trains.
Paddy Photobomb 1 - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesUnfortunately, Paddy has a bit of a thing for jumping in front of the camera.
“Paddy! Sit down!”
Paddy Photobomb 2 - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“But look! There’s another carriage coming up on the other side!”

Plunkett finally got his first Paddy-free shot when their Beastie-sized funicular train reached its destination – right to the seashore at beautiful Oddicombe Beach. As Paddy dashed off to skim stones over the water, Plunkett looked back up the tracks…
The Tracks at Babbacombe Cliff Railway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… Then took a few steps back to watch as a fresh carriageful of visitors were delivered right to the water’s edge.
The Babbacombe Cliff Railway in Action - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe car really does look very strange when you view it from the side!

The idea for the Babbacombe Cliff Railway dates back to the 1890s – those Victorians loved a good seaside gadget – but it wasn’t completed until 1926. The 720-foot-long track saves people a very irksome uphill walk at the end of their day at the beach, so it’s little wonder it soon became a popular attraction – records for 1935 say that 192,000 people made the trip that year!

But more recently, the railway fell on hard times. Following a significant breakdown in 2003, it closed for 6 weeks… and although services did still run occasionally after that, it was in need of hugely expensive repairs that the local council simply couldn’t afford. Luckily, some enthusiastic locals set up the Friends of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway group, and made it their mission to promote the railway and raise money for the repairs. Thanks to their hard work and the sale of St Marychurch’s Town Hall in 2005, the funds were finally there – so the railway got its much-needed overhaul. Everything got an upgrade – cars, cables, rails and control systems! By the end of winter 2006-7, the repairs were finished and the Babbacombe Cliff Railway was back on track!

So, with some nice clear photographs and a brainful of information from the visitor centre, Plunkett rejoined Paddy for a walk along the shoreline. This beach is on Devon’s Jurassic Coast, so the steep cliffs are made from stunning rich red sandstone – you can see them a bit in the photo above. The main attraction for the boys was this waterfall… Complete with Beastie-sized viewing platform!
Paddy, Plunkett and the Waterfall - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut they couldn’t dawdle here all day… Quick, you’re about to miss the last train home! And walking up that hill will be no fun on little short legs!
Plunkett Admires the Babbacombe Cliff Railway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesFortunately, they juuuuust made it in time. And after catching his breath on the journey back up, Plunkett felt brave enough to clamber up on a railing to get one last look at the train!

Are there any weird and wonderful attractions near you? Be sure to tell us all about them in the comments – perhaps Paddy and Plunkett will come to check them out on a future visit!

Oh, and also… Welcome to May! The latest Beastie calendar page is up in the shop and ready to download, if you haven’t already! You can find it here.

We’ll be back on Friday with more Beastie fun and games – see you then!

17 thoughts on “Paddy and Plunkett – A RAIL Good Time!

  1. So fun to go on their adventures! Does Paddie annoy Plunkett a little? I could sense a little Beasties-tension – ha! I just noticed your tagline – Beasties HQ: We Make Monsters. Brilliant 🙂

    1. Awww, thanks Tierney! It’s good to know that the tagline still works… I’m yet to come up with anything better! 😀 As for Paddy and Plunkett – well, they’re certainly two very different personalities, but they’re always still friends at the end of the day. Cheers for your lovely comment!

  2. ‘Ukulele Proms’ – they’re in Devon alright! Haha so good to see the boys enjoying the Devo shire! B had a read last night and confirmed that he has never heard of this fascinating railway… neat find! It doesn’t look like they caught much sun on the English Riviera (hahahhaa) but adventuresome and educational trip nonetheless! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. They’re hoping for sunnier days for the rest of their trip… I suppose the “English Riviera” was always going to err on the side of being English in the weather stakes! 😆
      But yes, the Babbacombe Cliff Railway does look like a little gem… And so handy for skipping out on that steep climb back up from the beach. Go Victorians! Is this B’s home turf? If so, the boys are planning to hit more famous places over the next few posts, so stay tuned 😀 Cheers for popping in!

      1. Oh excellent – can’t wait to see more! Yes, B is from Totnes (and parents still live there), a super duper hippy town in Devon. We also had our sneaky wedding down there. Such a nice escape from the big smoke! Do love a bit of Victorian ingenuity ❤

        1. Gosh, it’s lucky Paddy and Plunkett didn’t know that, or they definitely would have shown up and demanded tea! Ooooh, and I remember you showing pics from your wedding before – you only looked STUNNING! I bet it was a super-lovely setting… Sure, it’s not Poowich, but I suppose the waiting list for all the possible venues there is off the charts!

        2. Awwww why thank you!! I really went all out with 5 minute self-done hair and a £50 dress from United Colors of Benetton! But the setting did make it almost as nice as it would have been in the Poowich. OMG I see weddings here almost every week day, actually, and it makes me really depressed. I’ve stopped going to the window with everyone else to look at the ‘happy’ couples leaving town hall!

        3. Reeeeally? Nice one! That’s definitely the way to do it… I don’t think anybody really enjoys the giant bridezilla weddings anyway! As for the Poowich bridal experience… NOOOOO! You HAVE to be joking! 😳😳😳

        4. I decided I’d be waaaaaay too embarrassed to have a lot of attention on the day! And yes… I’ll just say that there are a lot of sparkly wedding dresses that come out of Poowich town hall, accompanied by wedding parties wearing tracksuits and flip-flops. Fortunately, there’s a conveniently located ‘Spoons right next door for the celebrations! Blahhhhhhh

        5. Then photo ops in front of the Bridget Jones Sainsbury’s and the biggest Tesco in the world, presumably? Niiiice!

  3. Beautiful snapshots of Devon! I love, love, love mountainous terrain, and am fascinated by funiculars. What an incredible undertaking it is to build and design them! (and as your post reveals, to keep them running smoothly is not small feat either). Glad to see that P & P had a good time by the beach (waterfall!) and didn’t have to make the steep uphill trek afterwards (my thighs and calves are hurting just thinking about it!).

    1. Mine too, Shirley! And yes, I love a good funicular… Although this one has a more charming vintage-y look to it than any of the ones I’ve been on! I’m wondering if they have to tailor the cars to the incline of a particular hill as well… Surely all hills are not made alike? 🤔 Anyway, thanks for joining the boys on this latest adventure… More to come!

  4. I know you were having a good grin when you typed “and the Babbacombe Cliff Railway was back on track.” Those Victorians sure did love a technological/engineering challenge, didn’t they? Myself, I love a good funicular, although for some reason I can’t stop myself from calling them “Funk-u-lars.” I mean, look at those things, they are pretty funky looking, right?

    1. They really are! I went on one a few years back that didn’t even try to pretend that it was a regular train carriage…it was stepped all the way along, so the whole thing hugged the hillside! So yes, “funk-u-lar” makes perfect sense, especially in that case!
      Oh, and you caught me. I was waiting to drop that pun in pretty much from the minute I started typing up this post. 😁 Thanks for stopping in, Tammie!

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