Tales of a Devon tour guide
Devon Tour Guide, Alex Graeme, regaled 35 club members with stories of his career as a Devon tour guide. He puts together tours for individuals and small groups of tourists, tailoring tours to their wishes, many of whom have previously enjoyed finding out about their family histories with roots in Devon and the west country, especially Americans whose ancestors travelled from Plymouth with the Pilgrim Fathers to America. Another successful tour is based on Agatha Christie and her books (She has sold more than any author other than Shakespeare and the Bible), whilst his successful Hound of the Baskerville tour focusses on Dartmoor. Helping visitors trace ancestors and experiencing the areas in which they lived is, however, what Americans particularly enjoy.
He told many stories, including one about the family that he took to Chagford to see the post office run previously by their grandmother. Their great, great grandfather James Parrot set up the first Dartmoor letter box, which the family visited at Cranmere Pool, where they put their postcards and later reported back that the cards arrived home in Tasmania before they did. Alex also arranged for them to see ancestors’ graves and meet distant cousins in North Devon.
One of Alex’s happiest days was when he led a party of Americans on their Euro Pub Crawl. That tour started on Dartmoor and as soon as the pubs opened, the group went to the Nobody Inn, famed for its stock of 250 whiskies. One of the Americans gave Alex a glass of Glen Livet whisky, distilled in 1940 and costing £96 a shot. For a man used to giving tourists memories for life, it was Alex’s turn to be given wonderful memories by this group who treated him like a king.