Posts Tagged 'Mousehole'

Cornwall with that lady from Men Behaving Badly…

‘Cornwall, a place of epic landscapes and dramatic coastline – a county that will showcase the best of Britain’s natural beauty. Where beaches meet the moors and cliffs surrender to the Atlantic!’  To quote the opening titles of the show. Sound exciting huh, bet you are disappointed you missed it…. maybe you just saved yourself half an hour of screaming at the telly.

Well, in fairness there were a few bits of interest that I will blog about for all those that missed it and want to find the relevant details for the people Caroline met.

So episode 3 and yet another Unique Home Stays advertisement so if you haven’t got the details yet its UNIQUE HOME STAYS based  near Newquay, they look like a premium company and have a very nice website if you are looking for an up market property in Cornwall for a stay.

This week they were looking at a wedding venue, a Victorian country cottage near the Helford called Colenso House. They were looking at it as a possible venue for humanist weddings. It was a stunning house with a stream running through the garden with nearby woods making it a very exclusive and interesting wedding venue.

Next stop Caroline? In Mousehole in the far reaches of west Cornwall they meet a lady by the name of Rosie who works in Marshall’s the estate agents. Rosie, born and bred in Mousehole would not move out of the village for the world. ‘Its like being on holiday everyday’ she says. Check out our other posts on Mousehole (just type it in the search box at the top!)

With over 300 beaches in the county and some of the best waves for surfing, Cornwall is the California of Britain. Surfing makes over £200,000,000 into the British economy with £21,000,000 made in Cornwall alone. I’d have thought Cornwall would have a larger percentage than that, where’s the other £179,000,000 made – Oxfordshire? I think not! Caroline then met veteran surfers 87 year old Cyril and 88 year old Sharmian Cannon who have been holidaying in Chapel Porth, St Agnes since before the war (WWII I think they mean!). They are a lovely couple and Cyril being the old romantic proposed to his love on the cliff top at St Agnes. Who would do a thing like that? 😉 Their surfboards are old skool, made of plywood which they still own. They are now referred to as belly boards but to them they will always be surf boards. Looking great as they are approaching their 90s due to their physical activity they are still surfing and take part in the world belly boarding championships in Chapel Porth.

We then jump coastline to the Roseland Peninsula for a spot of camping on the Treloan campsite. A proper campsite in the traditional sense where people can just enjoy a simple holiday where the children can play outside safely.  Debbie, the campsite owner introduces Caroline to a chap who produces some lovely produce in the nearby allotments. They have an honesty stall near the campsite office for campers to help themselves and leave what they like in the box.

At Porthcurnick beach just a couple of miles away Caroline revisits a couple Gemma and Simon who run The Hidden Hut. Some summer evenings it opens up for feast night, Simon works  for Wings of St Mawes in nearby, you guessed it, St Mawes who are fish suppliers. Simon cooks a seafood paella for the evening. The deal is the guests buy a ticket, bring a bowl and then enjoy the grub! Sounds brilliant (anyone have a mixing bowl?). With guests gathering on the cliff top as the sun starts setting it’s a great atmosphere with 139 people turning up. Note to self –we MUST find the hidden hut this year.

Well, ever the diplomat and one to sit on the fence in the hope of not offending anyone. There are parts of this show that are interesting, it’s about Cornwall after all. Do I look forward to it? – a little! It is about Real Cornwall – if you are wearing rose-tinted spectacles. It’s probably worth watching just to pick up a few gems like The Hidden Hut, so keep tuned in every Monday night at 8pm on ITV – you never know what Caroline may tell us next.

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.

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