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Views up river from the quay at Cargreen

Is it a bus Ė no, itís a research tool

A project Iíve been looking forward to with excitement, yet putting off because itís so big, is a chart of Plymouth Sound. Thereís so much to go in it and not everything will fit or sit well together. The answer is more than one chart. That decision means more material per chart and more exciting research. Having spent ages in Royal Naval records, some merchant marine records, and even with the help of the Maritime Museums Greenwich and Falmouth, still it seemed that every avenue of enquiry led to The Box.

I went by bus, all the way - free (bus pass now). The scenery from the bus to Saltash that you never see when driving is quite beautiful: deep little valleys and at intervals a panorama of moorland and river. The journey from Saltash on the top deck was an adventure too, as the bus goes along the cantilevered carriageway and all you can see below is the water. A bit of imagination and you could be aloft on the yard arm of the mainmast of a wind jammer, for five minutes.

The Box is spectacular; no other word will do. You feel you would never get to the bottom of the possibilities for exciting exploration.

There are friendly and passionately enthusiastic staff to direct you to what youíre looking for. The presentation is inspirational and the coffee and cake is pretty good too.

Lots of research achieved, and thatís only the beginning. Lots more to dive into and digest with enormous pleasure. Is this a song of praise for The Box? Yes! And I hope it sparks interest in the reader.

The single-decker back to Saltash was like the childhood village bus: everyone chatting, couple of dogs; three-week old baby for people to admire.

Trundling back over the Bridge, I looked as always upriver. And there was a rainbow curving over Cargreen.

Gill Mannings Cox, Landulph Climate Group

15th November 2023