Mothecombe whale

Joanne Curtis reminded me of the whale that was washed up on Mothecombe Beach many years ago.  It was wedged between the rocks in front of the old WW2 sentry box beyond the beach teahouse.  I remember it was about 10 – 12 feet long and we identified it as a Beluga whale.  These are normally found off the coast of Canada.  As owners of Mothecombe private beach, it was the Flete Estate’s responsibility to dispose of the whale carcass which was beginning to decompose.  We had to cut it up with a chainsaw, and shovel it on to a trailer with a farm digger.  Then we drove it into the city tip in Chelson Meadow.  As the farm tractor and trailer sat in a traffic jam at Laira Bridge in the high summer sunshine, the stench was powerful.

Just another day in the life on Flete Estate!

Mothecombe old bathing pool from WW2 pillbox
Old School Tea House café Mothecombe
Old Mr Burch on Mothecombe Beach
2 replies
  1. Patricia Worthy (nee Francis)
    Patricia Worthy (nee Francis) says:

    One of my brothers just found this interesting site today (17 September 2018). I was born at Flete Castle on 12 February 1942. My father, who was with the Royal Australian Air Force, was posted to Plymouth with No. 9 Squadron (the famous flying boat squadron) and he met my mother and I was born. In mid 2016 my husband and I visited Plymouth and sought out the castle. I had emailed them but received a fairly abrupt reply saying that it was now a private retirement village and that if I wanted any information to contact the local council. Nevertheless, we drove there and despite the “private property” signs, we drove up to the front and took a photo. After having driven the 10 or 15 miles from Plymouth, we found ourselves wondering how Mum and Dad would have got to the maternity hospital given that they didn’t have a car and it could have been in the middle of the night. The castle is quite in the country. If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear from them as Mum and Dad have now both passed on – both lived until they were nearly 94. They came to Australia when I was 4 months old and I didn’t get to visit UK until just recently, so I couldn’t ask them. Mum always wanted me to visit Flete, where I was born.

    Reply
  2. Patricia Worthy (nee Francis)
    Patricia Worthy (nee Francis) says:

    I was born at Flete Castle on 12 February 1942. My Australian father was posted to Plymouth with the RAAF Sunderland Squadron. In June 2016 we travelled to the UK and visited Plymouth, staying at Chester House. We had emailed Flete Castle about a visit but were told rather abruptly that it was a private retirement village and to contact the council if we wanted information about war babies. Nevertheless we did take a trip to Flete Castle and drove up to the front entrance to take a photo. We found ourselves wondering how Mum and Dad would have got to the Castle given that it was a good few miles out of Plymouth and that they didn’t have a car, or much money. I remember seeing Mum’s personal photo of Flete and she was always rather proud of it. Dad finished his posting to Plymouth when I was 4 months old and they came out to Australia on the Umgani I believe. Dad was then posted to a flying boat repair depot in Lake Boga, Victoria, Australia.

    Reply

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