Archive for the 'A bit of history' Category

An Oysterman on the Fal

Apologies for the radio silence! I am very busy with my photographic career. I thought my readers may be interested in some images I recently took of Falmouth fisherman, Les Angell on my professional photography website blog! A lovely man to spend the morning with.

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http://www.marklordphotography.co.uk/2016/11/13/the-story-of-an-oysterman/

Make sure you are all sitting down….. it’s the Isles of Scilly honeymoon pictures!

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We are delighted to be celebrating our first year wedding anniversary tomorrow and I though it was about time to put some of our honeymoon pictures on one of our blogs! So if you head over to www.acornishcoastalwedding.com  (our wedding blog) you will see them.

Go grab yourself a cuppa tea and a piece of Saffron cake and enjoy the pictures!

M&B

 

 

Flora Dance – 8th May

Dont forget the Flora Dance is tomorrow, 8th May in Helston Cornwall. One of the oldest  pre-Christian Spring rituals still practiced today.

This is a great bit of footage of the dance shot in 8mm and 16mm.

A more modern day film can be seen here however the tradition is exactly the same.

Find out more about the Flora dance by clicking here

Cotehele House – A Grand Day out!

Now the holidays are well underway and more and more people are travelling down the A30 for their holiday in Cornwall I though I should post some suggestions on places to visit.  For those looking for something to do and a great National Trust Property to visit then I would recommend the grand house of Cotehele near Saltash overlooking the Tamar Valley.  Originating from the 1300’s Cotehele was the home of the Edgcumbe family with Sir Richard Edgcumbe being responsible for the main parts of the building we see here today.  Its a stunning house to explore on a dull day and has beautiful gardens to enjoy in finer weather. My pictures were taken in March last year so do not do the grounds justice, however check out the National Trust Website here to find out more about this lovely house, how to get there and admission.

One of the UKs most least altered Tudor houses

Details of the main hall and armoury

Details from the chapel at Cotehele

Kitchen utensils in fireplace

Signs of Spring and Signs of Autumn

Top Pic – Dad, Never happier than when he is in a shed….
Bottom Pic – Magnolia in bud

The quayside and relics of days gone by…

South Crofty Closure in 1998

Following on from the St Piran’s day celebrations I thought it would be an appropriate post to show some images that I took of the closure of South Crofty mine back in 1998. I was at college and had got myself a NUJ (National Union of Journalists) press pass for a few years which was a fabulous thing and got me into some situations that the man on the street would struggle to get into – sometimes maybe for the best!  A quick flash of the pass at the gates of South Crofty and with a large black camera sporting the letters N I K O N and I was in! With a lot of press in the area I was being pushed from side to side by the big boys of Fleet Street. But with some Cornish determination I got a few pictures that day that I was pleased with. Here are a few work prints I have found in my boxes.  All shot on Kodak’s lovely Tri -X film!

A proud Cornishman supporting the miners on the last day of the mine being open

The derelict looking landscape surrounding South Crofty in 1998

The tag board showing the few miners underground on the last shift

Local well wishers whom have sent letters and donations to support the miners, even one from over the Tamar!

Two of the last miners to come out of the mine from their final shift

Thankfully South Crofty has reopened and the future is looking bright, well not underground – that’s pretty dark still but the future of South Crofty is bright and its providing jobs for locals again!

…..and finally the PRESS pass

should have gone to SpecSavers! ( I think I did!)

St Piran’s Day – Today!

 

Today, the 5th March is St Piran’s Day, the patron saint of tin miners.

It is said that St Piran was of Irish origin, and arrived in Cornwall in the 6th Century. Fast forward 15 Centuries and Cornwall’s favourite saint is still being celebrated by the patriotic Cornish.

The boy’s name ‘Peran’ is Cornish for Piran and many a young lad in Cornwall has to explain the origins of his name to his upcountry friends.

Here a short list of some of the events that take place around the county courtesy of Wikipedia

Bodmin –  A parade through the streets with Cornish pipers and a children’s dance. Speeches by various notables, including the town mayor, Lord Lieutenant, and Grand Bard of Cornwall, followed by children’s performances of Cornish plays and songs. 400 people attended the parade in 2009.

Bude – a St Piran’s day walk led by a piper and attended by hundreds of people annually.

Camborne –  singing with Cadgwith Singers at Camborne Rugby Club.

Falmouth – A parade through the town. Shop window competition.

Launceston – Piping the Flag at Launceston Castle, followed by a procession through the town ending at the West Gate.

Marazion –  Procession led by mayor and mace-bearers through the streets, a short ceremony with food and entertainment afterwards.

Newquay – St Piran’s Feast.

Penzance – Annual performance of St Piran Furry dance and procession through the streets by 500 children. Annual St Piran Schools Concert.

Perranarworthal – St Pirantide celebrations at the Norway Inn. Cornish Evensong.

Perranporth – St Piran is welcomed from the sea. A processional play is enacted across the sand dunes to St Piran’s oratory and then to the ruins of his church, attended by over 1000 people annually.

Porthleven – Raising the Flag ceremony with the Old Cornwall Society. Cornish dancing by three local schools.

Redruth – First held in 2011 and billed as the biggest St Piran’s celebration in Cornwall. In 2011 it included entertainments in the town centre before a parade to the rugby club where there was a market and fairground rides, with a rugby match. During the evening there were various live music events at venues across the town. Over 2000 people attended the rugby club events while hundreds more attended events in the town. 2012 will see three separate marches from different parts of the town converge as one giant procession at the miner’s statue before heading to the rugby club.

Rock – Homecomers celebrate St Piran

Roche – St Pirantide celebrations, Victory Hall.

St Issey – Cornish music and singing.

St Ives – Procession through the streets.

Truro –  Procession through the streets with speeches outside the cathedral which has a St Piran themed lunch menu in its cafe, and a Cornish folk music session afterwards. Hundreds of people attend the parade annually.

and out of the county you will find celebrations in…

London – Kernow in the City, annual live music event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Daytime activities include a showcase of Cornish film, a Cornish language workshop, and Cornish food and drink

USA – St Piran’s day is also celebrated annually in Grass Valley, California to honour the Cornish miners who participated in the area’s mining history beginning in the mid 19th century.

Oxfordshire – We have our own celebrations tonight with home-made pasties a la Becky and a couple of Tribute ales.

Diet resumes on Tuesday! If you would like to find out how to make a pasty by a seasoned pro then you must check out my mum making a pasty here

Her pasty making demonstration is up to nearly 1000 hits and she’s loving her global sucess. So please spread the word on St Pirans day and lets getting the nation making pasties tonight.

So raise that St Piran’s Flag on your flagpole today and be proud of your Cornish roots!

 

 

A CORNISH FOLK SONG by R S Hawker

Tonight as I hear the bells ringing in the church down the road (its bell practise night! nothing eerie…) and before the owl starts hooting in the tree outside our window I was reminded of this poem by the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker (1803 -1875) titled A Cornish Folk Song

Now, of all the birds that keep the tree,
Which is the wittiest fowl?
Oh, the Cuckoo—the Cuckoo’s the one!—for he
Is wiser than the owl!

He dresses his wife in her Sunday’s best,
And they never have rent to pay;
For she folds her feathers in a neighbours’s nest,
And thither she goes to lay!

He winked with his eye, and he buttoned his purse,
When the breeding time began;
For he’d put his children out to nurse
In the house of another man!

Then his child, though born in a stranger’s bed,
Is his own true father’s son;
For he gobbles the lawful childrens’s bread,
And he starves them one by one!

So, of all the birds that keep the tree,
This is the wittiest fowl!
Oh, the Cuckoo—the Cuckoo’s the one!—for he
Is wiser than the owl!

Vicar of Morwenstow - R S Hawker

a belated Cornwall with Caroline Quentin…

Apologies for the late post of Caroline Quentin’s Cornwall but I have lots going on at present! But here it is before the next episode tomorrow…

Caroline kick starts episode 5 at Prideaux Place situated  in Padstow with its own herd of fallow deer which have been roaming the estate since 485 AD. It is said that if the deer die out then the Prideaux family will disapppear too. The population of the deer became just six in 1926. George V sent down a stag from Windsor but it is said the game keeper shot it by accident.

Interestingly the back of the house is still as the American Army left the house for D-Day in 1944 when soldiers from a US combat batallion occupied the house. The rooms untouched, have many memories of those American soldiers. The lady of the house recently uncovered some letters for the mother of John Fontaine, sadly no longer with us whom must have died in service. Other soldiers names still appear on the wall in thier memory as they sadly never returned to their loved ones.

Robert Hocking, a man whos videos I have shown in past posts. A proud Cornishman who has a organic vegetable business in the Port Eliot estate who loves to spend a Sunday morning on his white leather armchair in the corner of his polytunnel reading the Sunday papers, and yes I did say polytunnel! Robert who runs Buttervilla Funky Leaves is a purveyer of fine fruit and veg. His website is well worth a look, he has had a lot of press and chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen resturants use his leaves. Not only are Roberts videos a great reminder of Cornwall’s past but his current business is a great tribute to Cornwall for producing such wonderful produce. Robert also does vegetable boxes which can be bought through the Dig For Victory website. If you live within a 30 mile radius of PL13 1PA then delivery is free.  So all you Cornish and Devonians out there log onto Dig For Victory and buy some veg! It’s ansome! If you are struggling for what to do with veg then two must have books are the Riverford Farm cook book which can be bought here and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Veg book which is a must for every kitchen, vegetarian or not!

Caroline then went onto talk about Robert’s other passion of perserving Cornish history on film. Some of his videos I have posted previously which you will find on this blog. Robert shows Caroline a video of his family sailing Redwings in Looe. the video can be seen here

The redwings championships still take place and Robert’s family have won the silverware more than any other family in the town. Robert, not a sailing man and the black sheep of the family prefers to keep his feet on dry land. Florence, Robert’s great neice was entering the Redwing race and won another cup for the family silver collection.

Next stop and Caroline is sitting on the ledge of one of the engine houses at St Agnes eating a pasty, hers is half savoury and half sweet. Personally I have never had one like that but it is said that in days gone by the miners would have had it half and half. I just prefer meat and veg in my pasty!

Another visit to the Camel Valley vineyard at the end of the grape growing season and they are now picking them ready to be pressed. The vineyard are launching their new 20th anniversary wine and it will take place at Nathan Outlaw St Enodoc Hotel at Rock with top wine critic Tom Stevenson and writer Suzy Atkins.  The wine got top marks all round, a wine where the grapes are grown and bottled all in the small vineyard tucked away in the Camel valley.

Good old Cornwall! I will try to get tomorrow’s episode on the blog sooner next week, but before I do that I will have to post about Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys, on tonight at 7pm on Channel 4.

Great vintage footage from the British Pathé

The British Pathé website is a great archive for old footage of Britain over the last century or so. My mate Denzil introduced it to me as he found it whilst looking for paths on the internet.

Anyhow, here are a few great little videos I have found of good old Cornwall. Cheers Denzil!

Lovely footage of  Bob Barron going fishing from Mevagissey harbour for conger eel,  filmed in 1955 – Click here

Captain of the sunken ship, “Flying Enterprise”, and his rescuers welcomed in Falmouth. Great footage of the hero’s welcome received on the Prince of Wales pier in 1952 – Click here

And finally for now a little snippet of Obby Oss which is celebrated in Padstow on the 1st May. This footage was shot in 1932 – its brilliant! – Click here

 

 

 

Happy New Year One and All

Happy New Year to all my readers and thanks for your continued support in following my blog. There’s a lot that will be going on the blog in 2012 so keep a look out!

The Cornish Crest depicts a fisherman, a miner and of course the Cornish chough. To find out more about the history of the crest and the relevance of the figures click here.

 


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