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Radford, Plymouth

Radford Lake, The whole area has a rich and mysterious history.

I will share with you, especially those who know or would like to know the Plymouth area, part of my answer via a Facebook comment from my friend Linda Winter who reminded me via her post of the old Radford House controversially demolished in 1937 and the manor that preceded it, the caves, Radford and Hooe lakes, you referred to Linda Winter, are all still there and I’ll reminisce a little, about happy days….

Reverting to nature, Hooe Lake,
Reverting to nature, Hooe Lake,

The sealed entrances to the caves are in #RadfordPark in the woods near the top of the hill above the old ruined boat house and quay.
I never explored them and don’t know their story.
Long ago Radford lake was salt water, tidal, with a fresh water stream entering the head of the lake, so the caves may have been used for a very long time, way back in time.
The adjoining #HooeLake through which a boat would pass to access Radford Lake, was also known as ‘Dolphin Lake’.
It is said, clever dolphins would drive mackerel into Hooe lake then as the tide fell and the mackerel became desperate to escape, people would see the dolphins feed at the narrow bottleneck into the lake.

Certainly in Elizabethan times boats from Plymouth would visit the quay at Radford Lake.
It is said, Drake and his mates used to visit Radford House when he was mayor of Plymouth, for a bit of R & R, for the peace and calm, to recentre themselves, an escape from the very busy port of Plymouth a mere mile and a half away by boat via the Cattewater and river Plym.

It is said, much of the treasures Drake took from the Spanish were offloaded at Radford quay, away from the prying eyes of revenue officers so possibly the Golden Hinde anchored in the adjoining Hooe lake…

Remains of the old Tamar Sailing barge "Albert".
Remains of the old Tamar Sailing barge “Albert”.

I still have a few paintings left for sale of the series I painted ‘plien aire’ there February 1992 as a colour experiment, of the old wrecks, see “Hooe Lake Series”. One even won an award!
They are very remarkable paintings, history now too, I really ought to post them all, one day maybe… http://www.frickers.co.uk/…/marine-…/ports/hooe-lake-series/

Hooe Lake, "The Boat breakers"
Hooe Lake, “The Boat breakers”

I remember well, does anyone else?
Our home backed onto the park so I turned a hole in our hedge into a gate.

Our home, partially obscured by a tree, seen from Radford Lake
Our home, partially obscured by a tree, seen from Radford Lake

Many were the happy day I took my children into Radford Park for exercise and to play games.
I taught my daughter #HannahFrickers to ride a bicycle there, played football with my son #GrahamFrickers, we tobogganed on the rare occasions there was snow.

I used to run around the lake past the caves for regular exercise.

As a family, we often went to feed the ducks and swans… even when they were still respectively in a pushchair and papoose, with their mum, #TrishFrickers,  then home for tea and cakes, in our garden in summer, by the fireside in winter.