Archive for the 'Cornish Produce' Category



Support the Cornish and get your pasties for less!

People are up in arms on the south side of the Tamar as those in charge of the country namely the The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his 2012 Budget has announced that VAT will be added to hot food. This means the Cornish Pasty will incur an additional 20% VAT to its price. This increase will dramatically damage the Cornish economy and could potentially damage employment in Cornwall too.

Boo… Mr Osborne, surely Mr Cameron is not happy with this decision for all the holidays he has in the county! Another 40p on top of a £2 pasty, whatever next? 5p if you want it in a bag!

The pasty is a staple diet for the Cornish and a popular attraction for visitors. Pasties are expensive enough as they are without putting the cost of them up.

Well, followers of My Saffron Bun please have your say and sign the e-petition on the HM Government website here.

 

Mother's pasties - you will not be putting VAT on these beauties Mr Osborne!

 

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Memories of Cornwall

Ok, let’s get this blog a bit interactive with a bit of audience participation!

Whether you live in the county as several of my followers do, holiday down there or like myself are Cornish and live outside of the county – this post is for you!  Do you have a fond memory of Cornwall, from your childhood or maybe more recently? It could be something life changing or something silly but when you think of it makes you feel great and gets the Kernow blood pumping though your veins.

So, please send them in, with a photo if you like and I will post them on My Saffron Bun. If you wish to remain anonymous that’s fine, just let me know.

Please send your fond memories to mysaffronbun@gmail.com

Go on – you know you want to! Thanks 🙂 Here’s my effort…

 

Who said men can't multi task?

This is a photo of Becky and I on a bicycle made for two (mainly pedaled by one!) on the Camel Trail, Padstow. We always go from Wadebridge to Padstow and hire bikes from Bridge Bike Hire who are good chaps and always supply decent bikes, well ones that will get you to Padstow and back. The scenery is stunning all the way and its an easy 7 miles each way although it doesn’t feel that far, well maybe on the way back!

When we get to Padstow its got to be Rick Steins Fish and Chips for lunch, eat in or on the quay. If it’s a nice day I’d do the quay option, you will be served quicker and the views are better!

Have a great weekend, whatever you get up to?

 

Marsha Drew – Jewellery in silver, inspired by the North Cornwall coast

On my trail of Cornish artists and crafts people I have found the wonderful Marsha Drew, an independent jeweller, designing and individually hand crafting every piece of work, inspired by natural forms found near to her home on the North Cornwall coast.
Here is what Marsha has to say about her work and her life working in Cornwall…
” OK, where do I start….
 
I was born in the good old Treliske hospital many moons ago and lived in Falmouth for my first few years before my folks moved up to Gloucestershire. Fast forward a few years and I found myself heading back down into Cornwall every summer to work and now I’m back in full effect, living and working in my beloved Cornwall.
 
Living up in “The Shire” was brilliant, being so close to the Cotswold hills, beautiful little villages and amazing woodlands. But its not Kernow, there’s no sea up there and, I think that’s what I love most about Cornwall is the sea. Strangely enough I don’t surf and rarely go in, I prefer to observe and gain inspiration that way.
 
I’d been making jewellery for a few years, nothing spectacular, just gemstones and glass beads and was selling it at a few small festivals and events at various locations in the South West. In 2008 I discovered the Silversmithing and Jewellery (BA Hons) Degree at Truro College and spent the next three years immersed in learning how to make real jewellery.
 
My Foldform Collection is the result of my work and research during the final year at Uni. Foldforming is a relatively new system of shaping sheet metal by folding, forging then opening to reveal beautiful organic forms. The inspiration for this collection comes from the ocean waves and as I live in North Cornwall, very close to the sea its hard not to be influenced by the big blue. I’m lucky enough to live in between the sea and a small woodland and both these influences can be seen throughout my work”.
Check out some of Masha’s lovely work below or visit her website here.
 

Turning Leaf Ring

Riptide Studs

Turning Leaf Earrings

Riptide Bracelet

Turning Leaf Bangle

Double Drops Pendant

” I take all my photos on the beach which is just at the end of the lane where I live and couldn’t wish for a better photography studio”. All images © Marsha Drew

If you are visiting Rock, Polzeath and the North Cornwall coast then you must pop into The Winter Gallery at Polzeath to see Marsha’s work and other Cornish artists work.

The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls

A quick review of the The Fisherman’s Apprentice

Marine biologist Monty Halls is down in Cadgwith working in one of the toughest professions in the country , fishing. With fish stocks depleting and various quotas put on the fishermen, fishing is a dying trade and is getting harder and harder to make a living.  With fishing being taken over by the big trawlers and their nets trawling the sea beds the fishermen of Cadgwith are still fishing in the traditional way with small boats using lines, small nets and pots to catch their wares. Monty is being taught by local fisherman Nigel Legge a seasoned Cornish fisherman who has fished from Cadgwith all his life. Monty has been lent Nigel’s boat Razorbill and is left to go to sea with his pots to catch crab and lobsters.  On his 3rd day in Cadgwith and on his first trip Monty caught just 5kg of crabs, whilst on a good day a fisherman could catch 500kg. Monty’s 4th day in the fishing cove and  the weather is too bad to go out so he catches up with Tonks one of the local fishermen working in his workshop. The fishermen may find themselves shorebound for up to four months a year due to bad weather, however that’s the way it is which they accept and gives the fish stock time to breed.
The following day Monty brings in 16kg of crab, just enough to be sold to the fish trader who collects their catches. With a smile on his face Monty has to prepare for a day out with Tonks on a larger boat to do some larger scale fishing. Half a tonne of crab from hundreds of pots and a hard day at sea the crew return. Monty decides it’s not for him and he would rather try and catch the more lucrative lobster further inshore, so he head out in Razoebill to sets his pots and leaves them for a day or two.  Next day, with little rest Monty’s out with another local chap Danny; out with the big boys catching real fish, the Monkfish. After a few hours and I can only empathise with Monty, he is spewing up over board and useless to the skipper. With a boat getting filled up with top quality ‘Monk’ Danny would not turning back. Monty’s day got worse when he became unconscious and started choking on his sick, we’ve all been there! 😮  Five and a half hours later and with a green crew man the boat returns. Monty, delighted to be back on dry land and ready to get out on his little boat the next day to check his lobster pots. With a good catch under his belt he at last feels like a proper fisherman having made a decent wage from the sale of his lobster.
Another great programme of lovely Cadgwith showing the difficult lives of the Cornish fisherman. With another 4 episodes on Wednesdays 8pm make sure you don’t miss out on this eye opening series.

Missed it? Catch it here on BBC iPlayer

And the big question is where is Rueben?

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!

 

 

Cath Bull’s brave leap of faith to St Just…

In my quest to show off some of Cornwall’s artistic talent of which there is plenty I stumbled across jeweller Cath Bull from St Just, nr Penzance. A fellow listener to Radio 4 as she drifts off to sleep trying to decipher the shipping forecast and what might be brewing in the Atlantic.

Although not Cornish and only having lived in the county a short time this is the story of one ladies leap of darkness to the west of Cornwall but fingers crossed the future is looking bright…

‘I was not born in Cornwall, Leeds was my birthplace. I have lived in various places in the UK with the last 25 or so in Lancaster. I moved to St Just, near Lands End, October 2010. This was the outcome of being diagnosed with a form of arthritis, and neither the health service or benefits system seemingly being able to cope with the intermittent nature of the illness, with my families help and support decided to move down here. It was a leap in the dark, and after some admittedly shaky moments, the ferocity of the Atlantic storms took me by surprise, Lancaster is relatively sheltered by comparison, and the fierce winter, being practically snowed in, I now feel it was and is a good place to be.

I trained initially as a Goldsmith, gaining a National Association of Goldsmiths Diploma, then went on to gain a BA in jewellery design at Birmingham. I have worked in other areas, bookbinding, production pottery, textiles, graphic design for screen printing, at the point where PC’s were just becoming widely available. For now I have two outlets and am hoping to build on that. One is the Arts and Crafts Gallery in St Just, and the other is Bohemia in Market Jew Street, Penzance. I don’t as yet have a website, but my details can be found on www.cornwall-arts-and-crafts.co.uk under jewellery, and also www.landsendchamber.co.uk.

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The jewellery I make has changed. It has become more colourful and freer. Walks on the beaches nearby with my camera have fuelled more ideas that I hope to carry out soon. The round rug is a new departure. It was inspired by walking down the Cot Valley, October just gone, in an unseasonably warm spell. The sea and sky were summer blue tones but the bracken had turned so there were also the rich russets and rusts of autumn. And then the soft glow of lichen on the rocks. I didn’t have my camera with me that day, but when I got home I dug out all the colours and started working on it. This is still a work in progress. The light down here is at first overwhelming, and even on a winters day can be blindingly bright. But being a jeweller I love all things that glisten and gleam. And the granite does just that in the sunlight. I hope I can carry on working and making things for other people to enjoy and feel quite eager to crack on with the ideas that come through living in this incredible landscape.

 



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