The nearby town of Bovey Tracey is often mentioned in the Devonshire Mysteries, so I thought I’d share a few photos to give you an idea of its leafy environs.

Generally shortened to one word, Bovey, and pronounced ‘Buvvy’, the town is an old one and still small, but it is an official town, complete with a mayor. I sometimes mention real-life issues in the books, and you’ll find Alan chuntering about the building of new houses. Bovey is a case in point. Quite a few of the surrounding fields are being turned into housing developments, and it’s not hard to see why. People want to live in a small town on the edge of Dartmoor, and the old houses weren’t built for those demands. Towns need an influx of young people and families to thrive, but if there’s no infrastructure for those people, there will be issues, e.g. with schools, doctors, transport links and so on. And if people jump in their cars and drive to an out-of-town supermarket for their needs, then there’s a chance that they won’t contribute much to the town.

That said, it’s a nice town and there have been lots of improvements. A new library and community hub was built, and an old pub that was almost falling down has been restored and converted into an arts centre that will one day include a small cinema and cafe. I’m looking forward to that.

I offer all this as background information to the books rather than as social commentary, and I hope you enjoy these few photos.

The old mill is a rather fine building, and it now houses a craft centre, gallery and cafe. The items for sale are made by local craftspeople, and it’s interesting to see the furniture, ceramics and so on. There’s a lot of skill on show, and these handmade items are things of beauty.   The V-shape stonework in the foreground is the edge of the bridge I was standing on – it’s a sort of refuge in the centre of the bridge where you can escape from the passing traffic, which is just as well as there’s no pavement on that side.

Next to the mill are fields.

Opposite the mill, there’s a park. I’m not sure what has happened to the Belisha beacon, but it looks very wonky. These beacons mark pedestrian crossings usually called Zebra crossings on account of the black and white stripes. There are no traffic lights – cars are supposed to stop voluntarily when they see someone waiting, and most people do.

The town was once connected by rail. Sadly the train line is no more, but the nicely flat route is now a cycle path and enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and runners.

This photo was taken from the path shown above.

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