Earlier today I cycled up the Plym Valley Trail, to Yelverton and back. Officially, the Plym Valley Trail ends at Clearbrook, and Drake’s Trail starts from there.
Along the way, I stopped at Shaugh Halt to eat a chocolate bar and have a drink. Shaugh halt retains the old platform, and is a rather good spot to stop during a downpour, as you can shelter on the old platform, under the bridge.
There used to be a wooden bench off to the side, near the gate that gives access to and from the road, but the bench was destroyed several months ago by Decon County Council workers/contractors, who apparently needed it out of the way so they could dump some rubble from the nearby roadworks.
The remains of the bench is still there, and of course the rubble makes it look like a bundling site, which is a pity. Shaugh Halt is otherwise a very nice spot to stop for a while.
This got me thinking – what Shaugh Halt could really do with is not simply a replacement wooden bench (although the bench simply has to be replaced!) but a couch! Yes, you heard me right – a couch.
Obviously it cannot be a normal couch, as that wouldn’t last very long at all. Instead, I was thinking of building a couch out of bricks and cement. It’d need drainage holes, so puddles don’t form on it, but otherwise it must look – as far as possible – like a proper couch. Something like this:
The couch should be built against the wall, directly under the bridge, so it can offer people somewhere sheltered to sit.
And then I started thinking some more – why stop with a couch at Shaugh halt?
The traffic-free section of Cattedown road in Plymouth has the huge St Christopher, and the Green Man. On the Tarka Trail there are some outdoor art tucked away in unexpected places.
So why not the Plym Valley Trail and Drake’s Trail, too? Both routes can really benefit from outdoor art to offer pleasant surprises to people travelling on them.
So whereto from here? Well, aside from the obvious, which is that Devon CC needs to grant permission, we’ll need people prepared to suggest items to build, and to help build them Can you help? Do you know somebody who can help?