Saturday is St George’s Day and a chance to recall all those people, places and customs which we regard as typically English.
There’s no mistaking the traditional emblems of the English flag, the red rose, and the three lion crest with its origins in the Crusades. And let’s not forget beefeaters, the Queen’s guards, black cabs and Morris men.
Name some famous ‘English’ people and at the top of the list will be Sir Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Florence Nightingale and Nelson. Among the living, there are the Queen (90th birthday today!), Sir Paul McCartney and David Beckham.
Landmarks like Stonehenge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are universally recognised but recent years have produced the Angel of the North and the Shard.
When it comes to food, the choices are as numerous as they are diverse – steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and toad-in-the-hole. For something sweet, you could opt for spotted dick and custard, Victoria sponge, a cream tea or crumpets. Then, to wash it all down, how about a glass of cider or a nice cup of tea?
However, the South Hams is not without its own landmarks, claims to fame and symbols of local pride. Where to start? Here are just a few:
Burgh Island and Thurlestone Rock, Start Point lighthouse and Dartmouth Royal Naval College, the lost village of Hallsands, and Slapton Ley.
We’ve got Sharpham cheese and wine, Salcombe Dairy ice cream and Heron Valley juices and cider. Agatha Christie, Mary Wesley and Simon Drew have all made their homes here, testament to the fact that we enjoy some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in the UK.
St George’s Day would not be complete without the annual revival of the dragon-slaying legend. Not to be outdone, the South Hams even has its very own ‘dragon man’ in Kingsbridge-based metalworker and SouthHams.com member, Tom May. To find out more, read our blog on Monday.