Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

A Short Stay at Exeter University

I had a short break, with my wife Anne, recently at Exeter University.

This was at the invitation of the university, made when they exhibited at the Academic Venue Show earlier this year at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal`s football ground in London.

The break was what is known in the trade as a "fam" (familiarisation visit).

When we arrived at lunchtime, the rail journey from Leicester having been quite a long one, everybody else had been introduced to each other and disappeared, so we started at a bit of a disadvantage. There should incidentally have been fourteen people taking part, but four had called off at short notice, leaving only ten.

After taking our case etc up to our room, we joined the rest of the group for a short trip to Powderham Castle, where we were given an interesting tour by an engaging guide, followed by a nice cream tea.

Dinner was taken in one of the other halls of the university.

Our room afforded us an excellent view across the River Exe to the hills beyond - without a doubt one of the best views we have ever had from a room.

On the second day, after breakfast, we were shown some of the leisure facilities at the university, and then given a tour of the gardens by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable retired lecturer.

After lunch, in another of the halls, we were take into the City Centre, where one of the red coat guides gave us a walking tour, finishing at the Underground Passages. An administrative hiccough meant that we could not actually visit these passages at the time, but arrangements were made with the staff that we would be given a tour later on. It was very interesting indeed.

In the meantime, Anne and I had a stroll around Exeter, and visited St. Stephen`s Church, St. Pancras Church, the magnificent Exeter Cathedral and St. Martins Church.

Dinner was held in the main eating area used mainly for breakfast. Incidentally, among other guests were the Royal Society of Church Music, based at Salisbury, and the Yorkshire Schools cricket team.

In the morning, we packed our things and left them at the left luggage outside Exeter Station. We went out by train to the little town of Crediton, visiting its magnificent church and excellent little museum, and returned by bus. Before ctaching the train back home, we visited another two of Exter`s churches, St. Petrock`s Church and St. St. Olave`s Church.

That last day was marred, unfortunately, by the fact that we both had upset tummies all day. Must have been something that we ate.

It was very nice to be in Exeter again. It is a very historic city.