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The Hope Cove history blog

Monday, 31st August, 2020

Three Slipways and Two paths

My first Slipway is at at Inner Hope and was used for launching the Lifeboats. In the 1700's this area was known as Hope Gate. This slipway has good for access to  all the beach at low tide only.caption

 This is one of the first lifeboats pre 1900 the slipway presumably built  or improved in 1878 when the Free Masons gave the village the Lifeboat House.

The stream that rises in Galmpton comes down the valley to Mash or Marsh corner, where water cress was grown, flowed past what was called Bridge Cottage, now a re named rental property, beside Mouthwell beach and opposite the Hope and Anchor. Most of the water was piped under the road above Mouthwell, about 70 years ago, where it emerged from a pipe and fell to the beach. More recently, a local group, possibly the Hope Cove Association, had the cascade built, a plaque used to be  on the wall above the cascade. Not all the water ran down the cascade, some ran on and joined the beach at the end of what were the first coast guard cottages in the village.(now it is piped awayunder the beach), but the adjacent slipway, my second was impossible for wheel chairs and pushchairs.

The Third and main slipway started by the old coast guard watch house. I have always thought that smuggling around the village must have been rife to have needed eight coastguards and their chief officer in the 1840's. The watch house was used by the coast guards,office on top and the boat stored below, and launched down the slipway.. The coast guards moved to Inner Hope in the 1850's; the watch house and slipway were acquired by the Maw family in the early 1920's.caption  This photograph around that time show the sandy beach before the breakwater was built. See village Facebook page for a photographof Sheila Maw on the slipway around 1914. The family were a great addition to the village. Col. Pat Maw for many years used his landrover for coast guard duties, covering the roof light with a checked spongebag when not in use. The slipway was used by fishermen for keeping their boats,  winter storage, mending nets and making pots, as well as access for all to the beach During the second world war,there were three pill boxes above the inner to Outer Hope beach,one by Shippen House, one on top of the slipway near the watch house and a fancy one at Inner Hope. The main slip way also had anti tank barriers. In the 1960's the watch house was converted into The Watch House and became home to Peter and Marion Maw and family. Peter tells me that when the sea made a huge hole at the bottom of the slipway in the 1950's, it was mended by the council, and that in line with his grandfathers wishes they never closed the slipway in the yeas they lived there.

One of my pathways is the one down to Mouthwell beach, the original access was down over some rocks in front of where there is a bench near the Post Office,I think the concrete one must have been put in in the late 50's. It is too steep to be a slipway for boats, though I'm sure some would have been dragged down. Certainly coal boats came into Mouthwell over the flattened rocks, and the coal stored in the shed behind the post office.

The other footpath  that seems now to be missing is associated with  the slipway has always run from the remains of the Old Road down beside the watch house and onto the slipway. A few years ago an upturned boat was placed across the footpath, used by fishermen to access their sheds, and certainly by my parents  my children and myself to access the beach and up from the beach to the Kiln. Then a gate was across it, but could be opened, but now it seems to have disappeared !The footpath still shows on OS maps, but on land registry maps there is a red line not following the original black lines and going over the footpath, this doesn't seem right does it?

Thanks to various members of the Maw family, Maddy, Phil and Colin for information and gap filling. Any more information would be great

Previous posts

; 2020

; August

Three Slipways and Two paths

>  July

>  June

We'll Meet Again

>  March

>  February

>  January

November Gales

>  2019


This post is intended to share local history information, to promote discussion and inform research. The information included is to the best of my knowledge and belief accurate, and obtained from reliable sources. If you find inaccuracies or omissions it would be really helpful to know, so that we can update our information. Maz.

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