April 11, 2023

A tale of two towns?

What do Salcombe and the Borg have in common? Well live here for some time and you will be assimilated!

A tale of two towns?
Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Dickens? Who's he?

There has been a lot written about our beautiful town, and it is somewhere that has courted press interest for some time. For as long as I can remember, Salcombe has been the place to be. House prices have skyrocketed and there, for now, seems no end to its ‘A’ list status?

Why the question mark at the end of the last paragraph? Salcombe is a tale of two towns. Firstly, the affluent, second, or even third holiday homeowners, and secondly the people who were either born here, or have had this as their primary home seemingly forever. Those who have lived here forever or were born here know the score.

A former holiday home manager said to me, sage words, and these words were that you cannot live off a view. An excellent observation. For a while, it seems like you are on holiday, then the reality kicks in. A cold, windy winter will make it all too clear that it is not a picnic on the beach. Life here can be difficult and different from city life. The countryside is not a ‘Disney’ film. It is an industry, farmers use the land to grow stuff and those little fluffy animals often end up on your dinner plate.

Okay, we have a small hospital in Kingsbridge, but the main hospitals are in Plymouth and Torquay. Both are over twenty miles away. Hopefully, you will stay healthy all your life, but the odds are you will need hospital care. Okay, our local doctor's surgery, Redfern, is exemplary, you could not want better, but you are very much at the end of a long line.

Personally, I found it to be about ten years before I completely got London out of my system. Strangely, over time the draw of the big smoke wanes, and you assimilate into the local scene. But I know some people who have moved here and found it to be hell on earth, and cannot wait to plan their escape. You have to be patient and have a degree of luck, I was lucky. Now I hope that I will stay here before I get the boat onwards to the Grey Havens.

My advice after twenty-six years of being an extra on the filmset, that is Salcombe, is to take it slow, detox yourself from the city. Then finally the penny will drop. Take the rough with the smooth. Just do not hope for too much.