Posts Tagged 'Coast'

The Penlee Lifeboat Crew Remembered – 30 years ago today

The Penlee lifeboat was called to assist the crew of the Union Star, a cargo ship on her maiden voyage as she was heading towards the rocks off the Cornish coast on 19th December 1981.

The Solomon Browne and its 8 crew from Mousehole were called at around 8.15pm. Trevelyan Richards the Coxswain of the lifeboat got the Solomon Browne alongside the Union Star from where it was thrown several times onto the deck of the cargo ship before sliding off. A Sea King helicopter above the incident was watching but unable to help due to the adverse weather conditions.  As the pilot of the helicopter looked on he later commented at the inquiry that ‘they were truly the greatest 8 men I have ever seen’. Eventually Trevelyan Richards got the boat alongside the Union Star and got 4 of the 8 crew off the ship and onto the lifeboat. Not content with rescuing the 4, he went back in to save the other 4 lives. At this moment as the Falmouth lifeguards were listening to the radios between the Union Star and the Solomon Browne it all went silent and something terrible had happened. Both boats were so close to the shoreline rocks and they had succumbed to the power of the sea. All 16 people were lost, 8 crew of the Union Star and the brave selfless men of the Solomon Browne.

Those men who gave their lives that night were

William ‘Trevelyan’ Richards – Coxswain

James Madron – Second Coxswain and Mechanic

Nigel Brockman – Assistant Mechanic

John Blewett – Emergency Mechanic

Charlie Greenhaugh – crew member

Kevin Smith  crew member

Barrie Torrie – crew member

Gary Wallis – crew member

The following day boys and men from Mousehole were stepping forward to replace the crew of the Solomon Browne, one young man who stepped forward was the son of one of the crew who had died the night before. He later became Coxswain of the Penlee Lifeboat.

These men are still remembered annually as the lights at Mousehole are dimmed between 8pm and 9pm in memory of their sacrifices.

Many a tribute has been paid to these men on the internet and much can be found on the net. However our favourite is a song by Seth Lakeman called Solomon Browne all about that stormy night.

…and aptly Seth also played this at the Minack theatre not far from where the lives were lost.

Russell Holland has also produced this together with the Cornish Wurzels I believe. The backing singers are the crew of the current Penlee lifeboat.

Tonight at 10pm on BBC FOUR is the Cruel Sea: The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster – first screened in 2006, is an account of what happened that night with real radio footage, eye witness reports and memories of the families who lost their loved ones.

To find out more about the Penlee Lifeboat visit their website here. Finally to make a donation to the RNLI please click here , its a very worthwhile charity.

The Shipping Forecast explained… by two fat badgers!

When we cannot sleep at night we often switch on the radio beside the bed and listen to Radio 4 and to whatever is being broadcast. At some point in the night there must be some kind of children’s entertainment on World Service because sometimes I awake feeling like I’m on speed as the children’s entertainment is not conducive to a good nights sleep. But more often that not if its been a late night we will doze off listening to the shipping forecast which also is not that conducive to a good night sleep…


As you are dozing it’s just words that don’t always make sense so I thought I would google it and find out what it all means.

Now where do the Two Fat Badgers come into it? Well, the two fat badgers run a website which in an independent look at places to visit around the UK and pubs to visit etc. They have also done some homework on explaining the shipping forecast.

Take a look at their website here to see what it’s all about.

Finally as I’m scratching my head deciphering the shipping forecast most of the time I will fall asleep to “Sailing By” composed by Ronald Binge in 1963, and performed by the Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra. It’s a beautiful track and can be listened to here.

It may be cold outside but I think its going to be a quiet one tonight – sleep tight!

The sea like a mill pond - Newlyn





Yet another headline about the great county…

My reporters out there tell me a killer whale was sited off the cliff tops of Padstow just yesterday. With warmer waters around the coast of the UK it is proving a popular holiday destination for the orcas of this world.

The full report is here on the Telegraph website.

Keep your wits about you if dipping your toes this Christmas!


Christmas Lights at Mousehole

Now its  December and I cannot contain my excitement any longer I have to tell you about the Christmas  lights spectacular of Cornwall. Down in Mousehole, near Penzance the harbour is lit up with some pretty radical Christmas lights, about 7,000 in fact and the small village attracts over 30,000 visitors over the festive season.  Mousehole is called Mousehole for a reason and its best to park in the car park on the approach to the village rather than driving into the centre of the village to be met by wondering pedestrians looking at the lights and wondering how to turn their cameras on (We’ve all been there!). Whilst you are in Mousehole you may want to check out the Ship Inn for a pint and some food or just have a browse around the quaint streets, galleries and gift shops. Don’t forget to take some change to give to the nice men and women in their high-vis jackets shaking a bucket, if it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be any lights to look at!

To find our more about the Mousehole Harbour lights click here. They will be turned on at 7.30 on the 17th December for the 48th year this year!

Where to this be then me ansomes?

Quick quiz, there’s a free saffron bun going out to the person who tells me where in Cornwall this was taken? UK entrants only please otherwise it will go stale!

Lone Gull

A quick post tonight but keep an eye out for some great posts this weekend!! Digging in my archives  I found this lovely picture of a gull cruzing the skies above Pendennis point. I will touch on Pendennis point in later posts but for the meantime enjoy this picture of a lonely gull. I love the  colour or lack of colour in the picture and the gun metal colour of the sea with that bit of Cornish blue colour coming through in the sky.

Vote for your favourite Cornish beach here

As a bit of fun in this cyberworld tell us your favourite place to dip your toes!

A place to visit this weekend…

Planning to get out this weekend in this fabulous weather? Want to get away from the crowds and maybe dip your toes in the water?

Mark is a fabulous guide to his home county and since being together I have been taken all across the countryside to places I never knew existed. Often with Mark’s Mum & Dad with Noel (Mark’s Dad) being navigator – Mark’s good but no one knows the back lanes of Cornwall like his Dad.

One time we paid a surprise weekend visit; calling Mum & Dad half way down the M5 to let them know we were on our way! We had one of those idyllic Cornish weekends where the sun shines and the cider flows. We headed to St Just – first make sure you have the right St Just! This is the one north of Lands End not St Just in Roseland ( also a beautiful place…we’ll come back to it another time) In the middle of St Just is a square with a sign to Cape Cornwall.

Cape Cornwall is a tiny place. Worth a walk around and to the top where you will find a monument donated to National Trust by Mr Heinz to commemorate 100 years of producing baked beans!

Anyway back to Cot Valley; 50 yards down the road from St Just to Cape Cornwall take a left and immediate right onto the narrow road signed Cot Valley. This road passes St.Just Primary School and there are speed bumps in the road! Continue on this road to Bosorne and take left branch to Cot Valley.

But the real highlight is Cot Valley. Unlike any other beach or cove in Cornwall that I know of. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked along from the car park and I caught sight of the beach. Here’s a few fabulous photo’s taken by Mark to whet your appetite!

Cornwall, West Cornwall, Coast

The photo 2nd up on the right hand side features two very small figures – Noel & Pauline (Mark’s Mum and Dad) this really shows the scale of the boulders…Noel & Pauline are average size in real life!

The photo bottom right shows a famous landmark actually called The Brisons but more popularly known as General De Gaulle in the bath. Take a closer look and I think you’ll see why!