My Cornwall Magazine - Dec/Jan

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My

DAYS OF CHRISTMAS • VEGANUARY •

DOG-FRIENDLY WINTER WALKS

TRURO

CITY OF RENEWAL

TAMAR BRIDGE

AT

SIXTY

Dark

PLUS

Skies

on Scilly

myCornwalltv

DECEMBER 2021 - JANUARY 2022 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 69 £3.25

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Hello and

It’s that time of year when we celebrate

with family and friends, cast our eye

over the last 12 months and look

forward to the next – much like Janus,

the two-faced Roman god who did

exactly that, and gave his name to the

month of January. (I know this thanks

to the 2022 almanac which gave us

this edition’s cover, by Elly Jahnz – see

page 46 for more).

I’ve been editing Cornwall magazines

for 15 years, and I never tire of

Christmas. Pass me some mulled wine,

slap on the Slade and I’m decking the

halls like there’s no tomorrow. There are

so many fabulous seasonal activities in

Cornwall, and we’ve listed 12 on page

18 – having previewed Heligan’s Night

Garden, I can confirm it’s very special,

as are Truro’s Christmas lights (p26).

The Great Cornish Food Store and

Rodda’s offer culinary inspiration. Look

out, too, for myCornwall’s Christmas

gift guide, free to pick up at a venue

near you and stuffed full of ideas for

your nearest and dearest.

There’s plenty of non-festive content

in these pages to keep you going

throughout January. If you’ve

overindulged, Taste also contains

recommendations for Dryanuary and

Veganuary (p78). Meanwhile, Elizabeth

Dale visited St Martin’s on the Isles of

Scilly to experience its phenomenal

dark skies, and I scared myself witless

by climbing to the top of the south

tower of the Tamar Bridge. Turn to

page 37 to find out what possessed me

to do that, plus pictorial evidence.

It only remains for me to wish you a

Nadelik Lowen ha Bledhen Nowdydh

Da – Merry Christmas and a Happy

New Year! See you on the other side...

Oll an gwella

Kirstie

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My

28

6 News: iSight Cornwall at 165

10 Clean Cornwall: The Kernow Way

12 News: Heritage at Risk

18 12 Days of a Cornish Christmas

22 Bishop Philip: A Christmas message

24 The Want List: Cowhouse Gallery

26 Dog-Friendly Cornwall: Winter Walks

28 Truro: a city of renewal

36 Things to do in January

37 Tamar Road Bridge at 60

42 A year to view: 2022 Almanac

44 A weekend on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly

48 My Cornish World: Marie Hand

52 Art News: exhibitions around the Duchy

56 Gallery of the Month: New Gallery, Portscatho

58 Maker Focus: Ceramicist Hugh West in Polzeath

60 Artist Focus: Ken Turner in Penryn

62 Meet the Maker: Jessye Boulton of Carnwear

64 Very Important Piece:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust Christmas card

68 Food Bites

70 Great Cornish Food Store

74 Dish of the month:

Emily Scott’s roulade with Rodda’s

76 Dryanuary inspiration

78 Places to eat: Veganuary

82 Experience: Lappa Valley’s new soft play area

Truro Cathedral by

Arianna Hammersley-Fenton/Visit Truro

01209 314147

thatsmycornwall.com

myCornwall magazine,

Box 27, Jubilee Wharf & Warehouse

Commercial Road, Penryn, TR10 8FG

EDITOR

Kirstie Newton

kirstie@mycornwall.tv

CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Dale

DESIGN

Paul Blyth

ADVERTISING

Jeni Smith

jeni.mycornwall@gmail.com

01209 494003

ON THE COVER

Robin by Elly Jahnz, from 2022

Nature Month-By-Month:

A Children’s Almanac.

Find out more on page 42

MAGAZINE DIRECTOR

Kevin Waterman

kevin@pw-media.co.uk

SUBSCRIPTION

ENQUIRES

contact@webscribe.co.uk

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


THE MYCORNWALL

Promise

ENTERTAINING

We work hard to bring our readers high quality

content that speaks to them in an informative and

entertaining way.

INDEPENDENT

We're independent just like our readers... like

Cornwall. We don't belong to a large multinational

company and we are based in Cornwall.

HONEST

We give our readers an honest, trustworthy and

above all pleasurable read.

INFORMATIVE

Our content is second to none. Fabulous well

written features, top notch news, beautiful

photographs all wrapped up in an easily

navigated design.

myCornwall is the independent, honest,

informative and entertaining read... for Cornwall...

where else?

48 62

74

MEDIA INTERN PROGRAMME

myCornwall supports schools in Cornwall through the

myCornwall work experience programme. To find out more

please contact Dawn Pardoe at: dawn@pw-media.co.uk

myCornwalltv

CONTRIBUTORS

myCornwall magazine welcomes contributions. We reserve the right to edit, amend, correct (or not use) anything submitted. Contributors must obtain all necessary permissions and credit all

sources. All rights to works submitted are supplied for use by myCornwall and its parent company in all media (present and future). Whilst reasonable steps are taken to check the accuracy of

work contained within the publication we cannot take responsibility for mistakes or the views submitted by contributors. Unsolicited contributions that fail to state they require payment or do not

have a payment agreement in place will not be paid for but may be published. In order to avoid any confusion please state if you seek payment.

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Mel Colton-Dyer, chair of trustees

with Ian McCormick, vice-chair

Making a Difference

iSightCornwall

celebrates 165

years of helping

Cornwall’s blind and

partially sighted

In 1856, an association was founded to

support Cornish miners who had lost their

sight due to hazardous working conditions

and accidents. Now named iSightCornwall,

the organisation is currently celebrating

165 years of helping Cornwall’s blind and

partially sighted, in increasingly innovative

and effective ways.

In the mid-1800s, Cornwall was the most

active mining district in the world and the

largest producer of copper, employing up

to 30% of the male workforce at its peak.

Miners rarely exceeded the age of 40 with

many succumbing to consumption. Other

lives were claimed by accidents, while

those who survived might be left injured

and unable to earn a living, leading to

severe hardship. Sight loss was common

as miners would use gunpowder to blast

through rock; unexpected explosions

would occur, even after the invention of a

safety fuse.

Plans for an association for the blind were

first put forward at the Royal Cornwall

Polytechnic Society’s Annual Exhibition of

1856. The following year saw the launch of

the Itinerant Teaching of the Blind in the

County of Cornwall to Read the Sacred

Scriptures and to Write. As its cumbersome

name suggests, its chief purpose was

that of visiting blind people at home and

teaching them to read the Bible using

Moon type (a precursor to Braille).

The founding committee comprised

the great and good of the day: clergy,

solicitors, bankers, magistrates, MPs,

mayors and health care professionals; and

featured names still common in Cornwall

today - Fox, Bolitho, Coode.

St Austell teacher William Baker, himself

visually impaired, taught 61 blind people

to read across Cornwall. One claimed

he “could not find language to express

his gratitude to those who had... given

back his eyes again”. Another, Thomas

James, emigrated from St Just to Victoria,

Australia, and spent the next 40 years

teaching hundreds of blind people from

the Moon type books he took with him.

By the late 19th century, pupils were

learning to type on Braille typewriters

grant-funded by the Society. Mining was

on the decline in Cornwall, but the First

World War saw an increase in injuries from

a different source. The end of the war

coincided with Cornwall’s first “register”

of 250 blind people, while the introduction

of the Ministry of Health Act in 1919 saw

council-funded teachers making home

visits throughout Cornwall, teaching

music, rug making, knitting, chair caning

and basket making in addition to reading.

Association funds went towards hospital

transport, library subscriptions, typewriters,

knitting machines and welfare payments.

In 1920, the Blind Persons Act became

the first disability specific legislation

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


to be passed anywhere in the world,

requiring local authorities to promote

the welfare of blind people and reducing

the pension age for blind men from 70 to

50. However, it was becoming impossible

for teachers to visit those in more remote

areas, and in 1927, the Association

appointed its first sighted teachers who

could drive to appointments.

William Baker, first home teacher

From the collections of the Archives and

Cornish Studies Service, Cornwall Council

The Second World War had a huge

impact on what was now Cornwall

County Association for the Blind. Some

committee members had to resign to

focus on war efforts, while home teachers

helped people to fill in ration cards, gave

advice on blacking out their homes,

taught blind evacuees and provided

lists of blind people to the ARP (Air Raid

Precautions) wardens. In 1944, monthly

social clubs started up throughout the

county - those in Launceston and Saltash

continue to this day.

Post-war, the Association purchased a

property in Highertown, Truro. Malabar

Home for the Blind was intended to care

for elderly members with no family to

look after them, at a time when the only

alternative option was the work house.

It did so, and hosted garden parties for

hundreds of members, until it was sold in

1971, by which time many blind people

were choosing to stay in residential care

closer to home.

Technology moved on apace. During

the 1960s, only half of UK households

had a telephone, with many relying on

public telephone boxes - not a practical

option for the visually impaired. To this

end, the Association offered grants for

home telephone lines. And in the early

‘70s, the Cornish Talking Newspaper and

Magazine was launched on cassette tape

(it’s now distributed on USB stick). In 1989,

volunteers drove a converted bus around

the county, providing a mobile information

service about the increasing number of

daily living aids, including magnifiers and

desktop readers.

The Sight Centre opened on Truro’s

Newham Road in 1994. Its equipment room

and kitchen were used to demonstrate aids

such as talking clocks, watches, weighing

scales and raised stickers to help identify

controls on cookers or washing machines,

while a communications room was filled

with computers featuring assistive speech

software. Weekly clinics were launched to

help the visually impaired live independently;

these now run daily in Truro with monthly

appointments in Penzance, Helston, Bodmin,

St Austell and Launceston.

The team continues to fight for visually

impaired causes. In 2009, staff and trustees

attended a major demonstration in London

to lobby MPs about the Disability Living

Allowance. The resulting changes meant

more people were eligible for a higher

rate of benefit. And in 2011, Terri Rosnau

became the first visually impaired Chief

Executive of Cornwall Blind Association,

having worked her way up from volunteer

to trustee over five years. She held the

position until 2019.

Having switched from being an association

“for the blind” to the Cornwall Blind

Association, which sounded more

empowering, in 2015 the organisation

CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

Moon Type

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Kayak Club

Malabar Home for the Blind

rebranded completely to iSightCornwall,

in a bid to appeal to people of all stages

of sight loss.

Its work in the community continues; in

2017, iSightCornwall collaborated with

the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

to provide Cornwall’s first Eye Clinic

Liaison Officer (ECLO), Tara Butler,

who provides practical and emotional

support at the hospital to help the patient

understand their diagnosis. The following

year, sight loss awareness training and

accessibility audits were made available

for local businesses looking to improve the

experience for visually impaired customers.

When the UK went into a nationwide

lockdown in March 2020 due to the

Covid-19 pandemic, staff moved to homeworking

and all face-to-face appointments

had to be cancelled. To combat loneliness,

iSightCornwall launched MyFriend, a new

telephone befriending service offering

weekly phone calls from a volunteer. Low

vision adviser Shannon Smith won a national

award for devising a new way of helping

patients via a telephone assessment,

enabling them to access essential low-vision

aids that would help them through long

periods of isolation. Meanwhile, the Sight

Centre reception area was refurbished and

enlarged, with socially distanced seating

areas, energy saving lighting and a new

area for demonstrating living aids.

Today’s board of directors is made up of

both sighted and visually impaired trustees

with experience in business, finance,

optometry and ophthalmology. These

current custodians may differ in many ways

from the founding committee of clergymen,

bankers and wealthy landowners, but in

their desire to give their time to improve

the lives of over 23,000 blind and partially

sighted people in Cornwall and the Isles of

Scilly, they are exactly the same.

iSightCornwall chief executive Carole

Theobald says: “Since 1856, the charity

has been known by several different

names and gone through several different

transformations, but our mission to

support people living with sight loss has

always remained the same. Reaching 165

years is a significant milestone for the

charity, but it also shows that the need for

sight loss support has not gone away over

that time. In fact, demand for our services

has never been higher. We support

thousands of people across Cornwall

each year and will continue to do so for

many more years to come.”

This number is expected to grow to almost

30,000 by 2030. Your help is needed to

ensure the legacy of Cornwall’s oldest

charity lives on. All money raised stays

in Cornwall and helps to provide home

visits, essential transport for clubs and

activities, and community events to deliver

sight loss support. Become a Friend of

iSightCornwall for as little as £2 a month,

or leave a gift in your will – and make a

genuine difference to people’s lives. l

ISightCornwall, The Sight Centre,

Newham Road, Truro,

Cornwall, TR1 2DP.

Tel 01872 261110

www.isightcornwall.org.uk

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


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Follow the Kernow Way

Clean Cornwall’s mission is to reduce litter

and pollution – the Kernow way.

If litter makes you angry, you’re in the

company of 94% of Cornwall’s residents.

Litter has been deemed anti-social for

decades, and yet it still costs taxpayers

£1 billion a year to clear up rubbish. In

Cornwall alone, the council employs 123

people and 60 vehicles in an average week

to clean streets, car parks and beaches.

In household waste terms, Cornwall

residents produce 166,000 tonnes of

rubbish annually - enough bin bags to line

the A30 from Hayle to Bodmin every day.

Worse, 25% of the contents could have

been recycled (Cornwall’s recycling rate is

currently a woeful 34%).

Clean Cornwall is a partnership between

local authorities and businesses, volunteer

and community groups, all working

together for a cleaner Cornwall that

everyone can enjoy. Together they discuss

environmental issues such as litter, and they

are asking us all to consider how we can all

minimise our impact on our surroundings.

Clean Cornwall provided equipment for

a litter picking group for the Bray Rise

estate near Redruth. “Our eager young

litter pickers range in ages from 18 months

to 13 years,” said the organiser. “Before

DO IT THE KERNOW WAY

The Kernow Way means:

• Being responsible for ALL of

our rubbish

• Remembering your reusable containers

and coffee cups

• Always picking up after our

furry friends

• Choosing to walk or cycle where you

can, to save the planet

• Using campsites instead of

wild camping

• Respecting wildlife, giving them space

to breed, feed, recover and thrive

• Saying no to cheap snappable

bodyboards - buy good quality,

wooden even, or rent

• Go slow - do it ‘dreckly’! Take your

time and take it in.

Do it the Kernow Way, and remember

to tell your friends about it by using the

hashtag #thekernowway on social media.

Meur ras (Thank you)!

we began our mission to keep our streets

clean, the gardens and roads were never

litter-free. Thanks to Clean Cornwall,

the children kept our streets immaculate

throughout the summer holidays. They

take a pride in their road and have formed

friendships, with older ones guiding

the little ones. They appreciate their

environment and know the impact they

are having on it. Kids don’t get bored here

anymore, they get picking!”

On the website, you can find local

organisations, communities and groups

who arrange and take part in litter picks

that help to keep their neighbourhoods

and our county clean, as well as a list of

forthcoming litter picks - close to 1,000 full

bin bags of rubbish have been collected by

over 2,600 volunteers since January 2021.

You can also find educational resources

and information about specific campaigns,

including balloon litter, single-use plastics

and wildlife awareness. This year has seen

a particular push to tackle litter left by the

increasing numbers of people enjoying

Cornwall’s outdoor spaces at a time when

foreign travel is restricted.

The Kernow Way encourages everyone

to consider their impact when out and

about, taking responsibility as individuals

and collectively, and understanding that

everything we do has an impact. Be a

custodian for Cornwall, and share the

message of the Kernow Way. l

Clean Cornwall is funded and hosted

by Cornwall Rural Community Charity,

2 Princes Street, Truro TR1 2ES.

www.cleancornwall.org

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


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Heritage at Risk

The birthplace of the Newlyn School of Artists and the little-known medieval castle at

Cardinham, near Bodmin, have been saved from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk

Register, while a packhorse bridge in Launceston and a historic industrial site in Hayle

have been added. The register is the annual health-check of England’s most valued

historic places, identifying those at risk of being lost forever due to neglect, decay

or inappropriate development. Published in November, the 2021 report showed 77

historic buildings and sites in the South West had been removed from the register

thanks to the hard work of local communities, authorities, charities and owners who

were determined to see them brought back to life. However, 31 sites have been added

due to concerns about their condition. These include a five-arched bridge over the

River Kensey, built in the 15th century to serve Launceston Priory; a pre-Norman cross

in Lanivet churchyard, threatened by the growth of a centenarian yew (pictured); and

24 Foundry Square, part of the Harvey’s Foundry complex in Hayle, which is important

to the story of mining heritage and its communities. Laura Walton, chief executive of

Harvey’s Foundry Trust, said: “This is a call to action - the building needs significant

structural work and being on the Heritage at Risk Register enables us to access advice

and grants to protect it. l

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

Love Rowing grant

Carrick Rowing Club has won a national grant from the British Rowing

Charitable Foundation to give young people the chance to learn to row

for free. Based at Ponsharden boatyard, between Falmouth and Penryn,

the club was founded shortly before the pandemic by a group of friends

linked by a love of the Carrick Roads, and now numbers 40 rowers of

all ages and abilities. The £2,000 Love Rowing grant will enable the

refurbishment of two second-hand coastal quad boats, followed by

a schools engagement programme to open up the exciting world of

rowing to young people on free school meals, as well as free taster

days for all. l

To find out more, contact carrickrowing@gmail.com


Iconic lock gates

back in action

Having suffered serious damage during winter storms, Bude

Sea Lock is back in use following major repairs. The lock

allows vessels to enter the sea from the canal and vice versa,

and is one of only two working manually operated sea locks

in the UK. Built in 1823 and reconstructed in 1835, it is an

iconic feature in the town. The outer north gate sustained

substantial damage during winter 2018, rendering the lock

unusable. A lengthy project unfolded, during which both

gates were lifted out in June 2020 and subjected to extensive

repairs and maintenance. The gates were recommissioned in

September, allowing the first yacht in almost three years to

lock out (pictured). l

Victorian Quaker philanthropist commemorated

A Blue Plaque paying tribute to Victorian Quaker philanthropist,

inventor and natural philosopher Robert Were Fox has been installed

on Falmouth University’s Woodlane campus. Robert Were Fox lived in

the Rosehill building, which is now part of the campus. In 1833, inspired

by his teenage daughters, Fox founded the Cornwall Polytechnic

Society, which later helped to found the world-leading Falmouth

School of Art, which eventually grew into Falmouth University. Fox

was also a distinguished scientist and inventor with a keen interest in

mining and magnetism, developing a dipping needle compass that

saved countless lives at sea. Recognising his contribution to science

and innovation will connect Cornwall to its scientific legacy, according

to Falmouth’s Civic Society. l

Accessible

Pentire

A recent project by the National Trust to improve

access across Pentire headland is now open to

visitors throughout the winter. Investment into

facilities and the landscape mean the dramatic

coastal views are now accessible to disabled

visitors or people with limited mobility, who

might previously have considered the area

too challenging to visit. Old farm outhouses at

Pentireglaze now house new toilets, including a

Changing Places facility with a changing table

and hoist. An all-terrain mobility scooter - a

Tramper - is available to hire, and the adjacent

orchard has been transformed into a beautiful

sensory space with a picnic and play area, all

buggy and wheelchair accessible. The café will

be open Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am to 3pm

over the winter. More information about Pentire

and details on how to book the Tramper can

be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/pentire l

Riots and Lobsters

Former Kneehigh collaborator Jim Carey has released a new live album, Riots

And Lobsters, featuring a collection of songs exploring the whirling words and

worlds of acclaimed Cornish playwright Nick Darke. Featuring a handpicked band

of travelling multi-instrumentalists known as The Saboteurs, these diverse and

poignant songs easily cross stylistic boundaries, sometimes folk songs, sometimes

ska or swing. There are laments and ballads, some simple and lyrical, but often

rich with vocal harmonies. The album was recorded from live performances during

the Riots and Lobster 2019 tour and songs include The Bogus, Ting Tang Mine,

Danger My Ally and The King of Prussia. The album is available on all major music

platforms, and a physical album can be purchased on Bandcamp. l

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Kitting out

local schools

A Gunnislake store owner has shared £3,000 worth of

sports equipment with three local schools. Charlotte

Southgate of Premier Gunnislake won the Birds Eye

Kit Out Your Community competition, part of Birds Eye

Green Cuisine’s sponsorship of the Team GB Olympic

team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Lamerton Primary

School, Delaware Pre-School and Tamar Valley Pre-

School all received £1,000 worth of sports equipment,

in the form of branded balls, bibs, hula hoops and other

sports kit to help children get active. l

Hydrogen-powered flights to Scilly

Another critical step has been taken towards making zero-carbon flights

to the Isles of Scilly commercially available. The Isles of Scilly Steamship

Group (ISSG), Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) and its partner Britten-

Norman have signed a Letter Of Intent and vowed to work together to

make the vision a reality. CAeS is leading the collaboration with a view to

integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into the Islander aircraft; ISSG,

which has operated the Islander for many years, has sold one of its aircraft

to CAeS to be retrofitted. ISSG chief executive Stuart Reid said: “The Letter

of Intent for hydrogen aircraft really shows our commitment towards a zeroemission

aviation industry and to becoming an early adopter of this cuttingedge

technology. We take our environmental policy very seriously, as well

as our responsibility towards meeting the Government’s objectives of the

decarbonisation of transport.” l

Reintroducing

lost wildlife

Residents in Cornwall are being asked

to have their say on whether Cornwall’s

lost or threatened wildlife should be

reintroduced. Working with a team of

experts, Cornwall Council is exploring

the potential to bring back different

mammals to the Duchy. The project

focuses on six species previously native

to Cornwall: the water vole, red squirrel,

pine marten, Eurasian beaver, wild boar,

and European wildcat. The aim is to

investigate the benefits and challenges

that reintroducing these species might

have on the local environment, our

communities and businesses. It will help

to inform the Duchy’s emerging ‘nature

recovery strategy’ and ongoing work

with local partners and landowners.

Complete the online survey on the Let’s

Talk website before December 10. l

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Visit Alfords, your local Amtico Recommended Retailer

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Roy Curtis/Visit Truro

18 12 DAYS OF A CORNISH CHRISTMAS

22 BISHOP PHILIP: A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

24 THE WANT LIST: COWHOUSE GALLERY

26 DOG-FRIENDLY CORNWALL

28 TRURO: A CITY OF RENEWAL

36 THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

37 TAMAR ROAD BRIDGE AT 60

42 A YEAR TO VIEW: 2022 ALMANAC

44 A WEEKEND ON ST MARTIN’S, ISLES OF SCILLY

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Things to Do Th

3

1

4

2

1. CHECK OUT A CHRISTMAS PANTO

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a panto.

Oh no, it isn’t! Take your pick:

In Truro, Hall For Cornwall presents

Cinderella, packed with laugh-out-loud

comedy, spectacular dancing, live music and

singing - not to mention a large sprinkling

of Cornish heart and fairytale magic! Ashley

has the voice of an angel, and finds herself

swept up as a masked contestant in the

local Rock & Rhythm Championships,

sharing centre stage with a charming

prince. Will her true identity be unmasked?

Is this her chance to swap rags for riches?

Until January 2. www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

Local company RAMPS’ performs Dick

Whittington at the Regal Theatre,

Redruth from January 12 to 16.

redruth.merlincinemas.co.uk/regal-theatre

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

2. EXPLORE THE TUNNEL OF LIGHTS

Once used to transport clay to awaiting

ships in the village’s harbour, the tunnels

beneath Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure

Museum have been transformed into a

polar-themed wonderland. Follow the

footsteps of adventurers through a world

of ice, encountering shipwrecks frozen in

time, glacial waterfalls, giant icebergs and

caves, all illuminated with thousands of

lights and filled with an arctic soundscape.

There will even be “real snow”! Admission

includes access to the museum, which

boasts over 8,000 treasures. Until Sunday,

January 9. Advance booking required.

www.shipwreckcharlestown.co.uk

3. BE INSPIRED BY THE TUDORS

Cotehele’s garland has been a Christmas

tradition since the Great Hall was first

decorated for a 1950s staff celebration.

That simple yet beautiful swag used the

evergreen shrub pittosporum; the garden

team has since upped its game with

increasingly stunning displays of dried

flowers, all sown and grown in on-site in the

Cut Flower Garden. Due to the pressures

of the pandemic, this year’s garland will

revert to a more modest design reflecting

the kissing boughs Tudors brought into

their homes in the winter. Until January

2 (closed Christmas and Boxing Day).

National Trust entry fee applies.

4. VISIT AN ILLUMINATED GARDEN

See the Lost Gardens of Heligan lit by

traditional paraffin lanterns in the shape

of flora and fauna: owls, hares, foxgloves,

butterflies and robins, and a joyful burst

of fuchsias. Friday to Sunday; daily from

December 16 to 23 and December 27 to

January 2. www.heligan.com Alternatively,


5

6

7

8

is Christmas

follow a magical lantern procession through

Trebah Garden to firelit festivities on the

beach. Discover installations created by local

artists and schools, and design and build your

own lantern (£4pp, pre-booking essential).

This is a pilot event exploring the possibility

of a winter festival of light from Scilly to the

Tamar Valley, giving hope in the dark winter

months. December 9 to 11, £8.50 adults,

£6.50 children. www.trebahgarden.co.uk

5. SHOP AT A CHRISTMAS MARKET

Truro Farmers Market and Truro BID have

joined forces to host a month-long shopping

extravaganza on Lemon Quay. The BIG

Christmas Market will feature a revolving

selection of the finest local food, drink, arts

and crafts from local farmers, small food

producers and talented craftspeople - all

the sights, smells and flavours of a Cornish

Christmas. Wednesday to Sunday until

December 19; daily from December 20 to

24. More about Truro: page XX.

In south-east Cornwall, Mount Edgcumbe

Christmas Fayre returns for its 17th year on

December 11 and 12. Right by the sea and

overlooking Plymouth Sound, the country

park is publicly owned and provides a

marvellous setting for a memorable day

out all year round. £3 adults, £1 children,

parking £1 per car (cash only).

6. MEET SANTA BY STEAM

Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s popular

Christmas trains return after a year off. Be

greeted by Santa’s elves at Bodmin General

before boarding the steam train to Bodmin

Parkway. Children will be invited to write

their list to Santa before returning to Bodmin

General for Christmas-themed activities

and the opportunity to meet Santa in his

Victorian coach. Each child will receive an

age-appropriate gift. Weekends December

4/5 and 11/12, then daily between December

17 and 24. bodminrailway.co.uk

7. FOLLOW A FALMOUTH TRAIL

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

hosts Lanterns and Lights from December

18 to January 2, complete with craft

activities, a Star Trail and the Lanterns

and Lights exhibition: displays of real and

rare nautical lamps and navigation aids

where sailors used the stars to guide them

home. www.nmmc.co.uk

Follow it up with the Christmas Adventure

Quest at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

(weekends until December 19, daily from

December 26 to January 2).

CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

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11

9

10

12

Charlestown Harbour's Boxing Day swim, in aid of Sowenna young persons' mental health unit

in Bodmin. Sponsorship forms are available by emailing charlestowngigs@gmail.com

8. MOUSEHOLE HARBOUR LIGHTS

Mousehole Harbour Lights will go ahead

this year, but to avoid large crowds, the

traditional ceremony and Carolaire will be

replaced by a “soft switch-on”. Displays

in and around the village lit as and

when they are ready by mid-December.

Fundraising was unable to take place in

2020, so please dig deep and donate

online at www.mouseholelights.org.uk

9. CELEBRATE IN STYLE

The Alverton in Truro is pulling out all

the stops for the festive period, with

festive lunches and afternoon teas served

throughout December, special Christmas

break offers including Christmas and

Boxing Day, a performance by Near-Ta

Theatre on December 27. Find out more

at thealverton.co.uk

n 20 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

10. MARK THE WINTER SOLSTICE

One of the oldest Cornish midwinter

customs takes place in Penzance on

December 21, courtesy of the Cornish

Culture Association. Highlights include

guise dancing, mummers’ plays, the

chalking and burning of the Cornish Yule

log (the ‘mock’). Family-friendly events take

place during the day and early evening,

followed by an edgier, adult menu of

misrule as the darkness deepens. The main

procession leaves Chapel Street at 6pm.

11. SING YOUR HEART OUT

Truro Cathedral is surely the place for a

carol service. Look out for A Babe Is Born

on December 18, and the traditional Nine

Lessons And Carols service in the venue

where it began - from 7pm on December

23 and 24, arrive early to get a seat. www.

trurocathedral.org.uk

Or join the Sterts Singers at their home

venue in Upton Cross, near Liskeard for an

hour of festive music and carols to put you

in the yuletide mood. December 22, 7pm.

www.sterts.co.uk

12. GO FOR A FESTIVE WILD SWIM

On Christmas Day or Boxing Day, do as

the Cornish do and earn your right to pig

out! Seek out a community swim, and

remember: leave your wetsuit at home!

Traditionally, you can find such events on

Christmas Day at Coverack, Gyllyngvase

(Falmouth), Trevaunance Cove (St

Agnes), Polzeath and Crooklets Beach

in Bude; and on Boxing Day in Poldhu,

Porthminster (St Ives) and Charlestown.

Due to Covid-19, it’s best to check before

turning out. Remember to swim with care,

and stave off the shivers with a warm drink

afterwards.


Carnwear

Emma Louise Art Stitch

Carnwear is a knitwear brand embracing traditional artisan skills and smallscale

production processes. Carnwear garments and accessories are hand

crafted by designer/maker Jessye Boulton, who works from her studio in

rural West Corwnall, a few miles away from Penzance. Creating stunning,

tactile pieces of knitwear for both men and women, Jessye works on hand

operated knitting machinery, using the finest silks, luxurious wools and other

natural fibres. The ethos of slow fashion is at the heart of the Carnwear

brand, with each item consciousness crafted with longevity in mind.

Pictured, and available to shop via www.carnwear.uk are: ‘Haze’ unisex hand

warmers - £40, and silk and merino wool ‘Reflections Scarf’ in orange - £82.

Etherington Farm Shop

Emma Louise Art Stitch creates Contemporary Art Cross Stitch Kits ,

Cornwall Colouring Books , Postcards and Gifts inspired by the Coastal Life

and Designed and Manufactured in St Austell, Cornwall.

My Bright and Modern Cross Stitch Kits are fun and easy to make projects

created from original Art work. They look fab when finished and are

available in a variety of sizes from Magnets and bookmark kits to large Wall

Art pieces. This year saw the release of my NEW Cornwall Colouring Book

which is a quality spiral bound A5 book, this joins my Cornwall Colour in

Postcard pack as a mindful stocking filler.

You can pick up an original creative gift from my Studio / Shop at 17 Duke

Street , St Austell . Open Mon - Fri 9.30-2pm and Saturdays 10-4. I also

offer free UK Postage and Gift Wrapped Delivery from my webstore

www.emmalouiseartstitch.co.uk

The Grey Lurcher

This Christmas season pop into Etherington’s award winning farm shop, set

in the heart of Cornwall, for some tasty seasonal treats and gifts, including

handmade hampers. Christmas pre-orders for hampers, fresh local meats

prepared by our skilled butchers and locally sourced vegetables and

potatoes are now being taken until the 13th December. While you are there

at the shop don’t forget to try one of our traditional Cornish pasties all hand

made on site. You can’t get fresher than that! For pre-orders please call the

farm shop on 01209 899203 or come and visit us at Wheal Rose, Scorrier -

just off the A30 at Blackwater, and on the way to Porthtowan Beach.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from all the team at the

Etherington Farm Shop and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Etherington’s Farm Shop, Wheal Rose, Scorrier, Redruth, TR16 5DF

Tel: 01209 899203 • Opening times: Mon-Sat 8:30am to 5:00pm

www.etherington-meats.co.uk Email: shop@etherington-meats.co.uk

Sophie Tilston

We have recently become stockists for the fabulous candles and Reed

diffusers from the St Mawes Scent Room. Handcrafted in small batches in

St Mawes, using the highest quality essential oils these have proved very

quickly that they are going to be one of our bestsellers.

For a Christmas Scent with a difference try Harbour Lights, a warm

zesty fragrance with patchouli cinnamon and clementine. Or try the

Coastal Living collection inspired by the Roseland peninsula, Black Rock,

Lighthouse and Riviera will certainly remind you of living by the sea.

The Grey Lurcher, 20 High Street, Falmouth

T: 01326 618240 • www.greylurcherfalmouth.com

St Moritz

Timeless eclectic homeware.

Designed by Sophie Tilston in her

Falmouth seaside studio.

For a selction of stylish original designed

gifts and homeware items, visit her new

shop in Falmouth

12 Arwenack St,Falmouth, TR11 3JD

or order online www.sophietilston.com

Give the gift of St Moritz this season!

A St Moritz Hotel gift voucher is the perfect Christmas surprise, a little

thank you gift for that someone who has everything or someone just a

bit ‘particular’-we all have at least one in our circles!... and let’s face it, it’s

definitely better than socks! Take the stress out of late-night shopping and

the endless hours of scrolling for the perfect gift and simply give the gift of

St Moritz. This is our season, make it YOURS.

Hotel, Restaurant or Spa Gift Vouchers. St Moritz Hotel and Spa

stmoritzhotel.co.uk • T: +44 (0) 1208 862242

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 21 n


n 22 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, reflects on the

pandemic and reveals his hopes for the coming year

The pandemic came out of the

blue and knocked us back on

our heels as a society. Yet what I

remember about the first lockdown, long

before we knew about vaccines, is that

there was a wonderful, quiet springtime.

Nature sprang back to life and there was

remarkable beauty all around us, taking

its rightful place again. I remember

hoping we would learn to live more

lightly and lovingly on the Earth. I want

to hold onto that now, rather than

going back to “normal”, living

unsustainable lives.

As a church, we took a lot of flak

about churches being closed. But my

overwhelming feeling was that of being

proud of how we responded - not just

by putting services online, but also the

way church communities rolled up their

sleeves and did shopping, collected

prescriptions, ran food banks. They

stepped up to the plate.

I myself did Zoom services with my wife.

We had good banter together on screen;

she pulled my leg about things, I got my

guitar out and sang, people even got to

meet our dog. It was good fun and a bit

homespun, but people tell us they really

appreciated it and found it encouraging.

I felt it was something we could do that

filled a vacant space, and I hope it showed

us in a nice, positive, human light. As other

churches became more equipped, we

stepped back and let them take over.

I don’t think we should be too quick to say

we’ve got over this. The virus is still out

there, and coming to terms with all the

changes it has wrought in us will take quite

a long time. That in itself is humbling for

humanity. I was on Scilly for Remembrance

Sunday, and wound up fog-bound – it was

a reminder that you can’t live life without

paying heed to rhythm of nature, the wind

and the tides. Similarly, Covid has humbled

us and I think as a human race, we have

needed that a little bit.

Social media has become really important

over the last 18 months. You can’t ignore

it, and I don’t want to – I want to be

connected. The church is in the business of

communication; we have a message we want

the world to hear. I want to engage, and use

social media to listen and learn what’s going

on, to take the temperature of the culture

and society in which we live. I want to know

what Cornwall is thinking and feeling.

I often tweet about Freedom of Religious

Beliefs (FORB). This goes back to the work

I was commissioned to do three years ago

by then Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

It has developed real momentum - it’s on

the political agenda much more than ever

before, and I see it as part of my job to

keep it there. It’s not just a narrow issue

of interest to a few people, but part of a

broader agenda around human rights and

being able to live the life you want, free

of the ugly regimes in the world today.

When in London recently, I went to the

Foreign Office to meet Richard Ratcliffe,

[husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,

currently imprisoned in Iran] during his

hunger strike, to express my solidarity with

him and to press the UK government to do

what it needs to do to secure her release.

My message this Christmas is that rather

than simply beginning at home, charity

should broaden its horizons and have

long arms. Central to my understanding

of the Christian faith is that God has not

held himself at a distance from this world,

but is one of us and immerses himself in

the messiness and uncertainty of human

life to the extent that he himself became

a refugee in Jesus and made himself

vulnerable. He’s not one who keeps his

hands clean, but gets them dirty and is

there to care for us and love us. He holds

his hand out to us, and we need to hold

ours out to others, not just our nearest and

dearest but those different from us and a

little more challenging.

For 2022, I think we will discover a new and

better, more caring way of living beyond

the pandemic. We must ensure the good

lessons of caring for one another in the

community and cherishing the planet

are not lost. I hope we will remember

how fragile and vulnerable we are on this

Earth, and not take one another or the

planet for granted. l

Follow Bishop Philip on

Twitter @pmounstephen

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 23 n


THE WANT LIST

Cowhouse Gallery

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

Situated in the picturesque coastal village of Perranuthnoe, The Cowhouse Gallery is run entirely by a group of local artists and

craftspeople, who take it in turns to work in the gallery each day. A wide range of original pieces is displayed in a light, bright art

space, including paintings, ceramics, jewellery, glass, sculpture, leatherwork and more. Perranuthnoe Cove is just a short stroll away,

with breathtaking coastal walks looking towards St Michael’s Mount in one direction and Prussia Cove in the other.

1. Turned Yew Wood Lidded Pot by David Wolstencroft £40 2. Miranda and the Hare, hand painted stoneware by Lorna Hirst Johnson £290

3. Little Chap, slab built stoneware by Jean Foulds £220 4. The Stag of the Wood, Acrylic on board by Linda Craig £200

5. Penzance, Oil painting by Katharine Mair £220 6. Magical Mermaid Clock by Candice Scorey £85

7. Pink Sunrise, speckled mix anodised aluminium and hammered sterling silver bracelet by Rachel Stowe £75

8. Low Tide at Perranuthnoe, Acrylic on board by Wendy Powell £150 9. Siren V, painted stoneware by Carol Chapman £150

Lynfield Craft Centre, Perranuthnoe TR20 9NE Winter opening hours: 11am to 4pm daily.

Tel 01736 710538 www.cowhousegallery.co.uk Facebook: Cowhouse Gallery Instagram @thecowhousegallery

n 24 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


CREATIVE & CULTURAL LIVING

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN OUR 2022

ART GUIDES PLEASE CONTACT JENI SMITH

TEL: 01209 494003

EMAIL: JENI.MYCORNWALL@GMAIL.COM

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 25 n


n 26 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


3 WINTER WALKS WITH

BEACH CAFES

Words by Victoria Carpenter

Winter is the time when dog

owners can enjoy walks on

most of Cornwall’s beaches,

often with huge expanses of sand all

to themselves. To help make the most

of our beautiful coastline at this time

of year, and to celebrate all those cafés

which stay open all year round, here

are some walks to try. Find more at

www.dogfriendlycornwall.co.uk

GUNWALLOE via Poldhu

1.5 miles, 40 mins

With its 15th century church tucked right

at the edge of the beach, Church Cove

at Gunwalloe is a really lovely place for a

bracing winter walk. This one is easy but

beautiful. Leave the A3083 Helston-Lizard

road to reach the village of Gunwalloe

and head on past The Halzephron Inn

(gorgeous food and super dog-friendly!)

to arrive at the National Trust Car park at

Church Cove. Park here and take a short

stroll past Dollar Cove - which gets its name

from silver dollars washed ashore from a

famous treasure wreck, and is dog-friendly

all year round. Next you will come to St

Winwaloe Church, famous from a scene in

the recent Poldark BBC series. Continue

from the car park along the path behind

the beach and follow the coast path up

over the golf course with the sea to your

right. After a short distance, you’ll come to

another car park up on the headland with

views over Mount's Bay and it’s a short walk

down the road to Poldhu Beach from here,

and along the back of the beach to the

lovely Poldhu Beach Café, where you can

stop awhile before retracing your steps.

No matter how hard the winter storms are

blowing, Poldhu Beach Café is open 363

days each year (closed Christmas Day and

Flora Day), offering a rather legendary

selection of hot chocolates as well as snacks

such as burgers, breakfast in a box and

cakes. There is an annual Boxing Day swim

for charity.

WIDEMOUTH BAY via Bude

6 miles, 3 hours

Starting at the right hand side of

Widemouth Bay as you face the sea, head

over the footbridge and follow the path

past Salthouse Cottage until you reach the

circle of stones on the headland known as

Lower Longbeak. From here, turn right and

follow the coast path north towards Bude.

At a fork in the path, take the left towards

Higher Longbeak headland. Continue on

the coast path past Philip’s Point nature

reserve. From here, follow the coast path

through kissing gates and field gates and

you will pass Compass Point, where there

is a stone watchtower. Continue down

some steps and you will soon come to

Summerleaze beach in Bude. Turn inland

and follow the path alongside Bude Canal,

until you come to some steps signposted

left which will lead you towards the road

and the bridge at the Falcon Hotel. From

here, follow the canal to Helebridge until

you reach a fork and a footbridge. The

path here is signposted to Widemouth Bay.

Continue past the lake and turn right until

you come to the public footpath. Turn left

to follow this path which takes you through

kissing gates and fields. Eventually the

path will bring you back to Marine Drive

and Salthouse Cottage where you bear left

back to Widemouth Bay.

The Widemouth Bay café sells hot

and cold drinks and has a really great

menu, from coffee and cake to burgers

and fish and chips. It is situated right

on the beach and open year round.

www.widemouthbaycafe.co.uk

Porth to Watergate Bay

4 miles, 2 hours

From Porth beach, head up the coast path

from the right of the beach (as you face

the sea) and bear left on the road until

you come to a gateway onto a gravel path.

Continue past an information board at

Trevelgue Head and follow the coast path

to Whipsiderry beach. Cross the beach

and climb the steps back onto the coast

path. Here you will pass RAF St Mawgan

on your right, and eventually come to a

mound which is a Bronze Age barrow.

From here follow the coast path through

a gap in the hedge and the route will take

you down to Watergate Bay. The Beach

Hut here and Wax are dog-friendly when

open. To complete the walk head back up

the path behind the car park signposted to

Porth and retrace your path.

The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay may be

closed for the season, but it has opened a

winter pop-up, No.1 Cubs, offering coffee,

drinks and food all year round. l

For more dog friendly adventures visit

www.dogfriendlycornwall.co.uk

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 27 n


The Drummer by

Roy Curtis/Visit Truro

n 28 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


A City of

Renewal

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 29 n


Truro Cathedral by Arianna

Hammersley-Fenton/Visit Truro

n 30 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


On a mild, sunny day in late autumn,

Truro City councillor Bert Biscoe

gestures to the mudflats close to

the harbour office. “If you were to

take a pair of compasses and draw

a circle to show how Truro has grown, this,”

he declares, “is the place where you would

stick the pin.”

Here is the confluence of the three rivers

that gave Truro its name - the Kenwyn, the

Allen and the lesser-known Glasteinan -

and it’s a key point in one of Bert’s guided

walking tours. Today, it’s a hotspot for

wading birds, undeterred by the noise of

nearby traffic thundering along Morlaix

Avenue, the A39 ring road.

“The minute gills turned into limbs,

and our back legs took all our body

weight, it was inevitable Truro would

become a town,” Bert continues, with

the confidence and passion of someone

who has lived in a place for decades. “The

very geography of the place says this is a

stimulating crossroads.”

He reels off the historic evidence that

proves the river has always been at

the heart of Truro’s status as a bustling

centre of trade, from the Neolithic finds

unearthed during the development of

Tregurra Park & Ride and recycling centre,

to comparatively recent industries, such as

the biscuit factory once powered by the

River Allen where it splits round an island

close to the delta. The factory is no longer

there, but the island bears the familiar

name of Furniss.

“This was a machine. There was work here,”

says Bert, with feeling. “Truro has always

been a commercial centre, producing,

exporting and importing.” He points to

Truro’s position as a stannary town, weighed,

stamped and sold – a row of houses was

knocked out of Boscawen Street to make

room for this activity, resulting in the space

we see today before the Coinage Hall.

This month, that space will be lively

with Christmas shoppers, especially on

Wednesdays when stores remain open

until 9pm (see page 34 for more details);

while theatre-goers flock to the reopened

Hall For Cornwall to see the festive

production of Cinderella.

It has been a busy year for Cornwall’s capital

city. In April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson

visited Lemon Street Market to announce

a £23.6m windfall from the government’s

Towns Fund, and in September, top cyclists

powered through the streets during the

Tour of Britain.

Truro is one of 101 towns, and four

in Cornwall, selected to bid for the

Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

The board hopes the £23.6m awarded will

transform Truro into a Connected River

City, and a modern economic, cultural

and green capital for its residents and the

wider community by 2030.

Plans are afoot for the main works to be

funded: repurposing empty buildings,

reimagining Boscawen Park to include

a new ‘winter garden’, and creating an

outpost for Falmouth University’s gaming

students, which will in turn revitalise the

city’s night-time economy. If approved,

work will need to be completed by 2026.

Fast-tracked taster projects include the

recently opened Moresk Centre on St

Clement Street, a community space

run collaboratively by a group of local

churches; a mobile stage for high-profile

events such as the Tour of Britain; Christmas

illuminations, including a specially

commissioned cathedral for Trafalgar

roundabout and 100 reindeer models for

shop displays; street market equipment

which has been used for one-day markets

such as antiques and collectibles, and free

of charge for community events; and more

benches and cycle racks throughout the

city, in a bid to encourage green transport

and relieve some of the wider city’s

traffic congestion.

It’s heartening to see Truro still vibrant after

the ups and downs of the pandemic and

the ins and outs of lockdown, and local

businesses are doing their best to make

up for lost time.

Alun Jones, manager of Truro BID

(Business Improvement District), admits

trading has been "extremely tough” at

times, but he is pleased to see new stores

in town, from national chains (Mint Velvet,

Crew Clothing) to local independents

(Married To The Sea), as well as existing

businesses upgrading to larger city centre

premises (Regatta) and expanding to

open second outlets (Lawrance's bakery,

Pollen in the Park, and On The Boards –

an interactive social sports bar spin-off

from cocktail bar On The Rocks).

Early indicators suggest that despite

flirting with online shopping during

lockdown, customers are returning to

the high street in search of one-to-one

interaction on the shop floor. Needless to

say, Alun is delighted. “Our message to

customers is: shop nice and early in the

high street where you can see, smell and

touch items before you buy. Don’t rely on

online ordering, and don’t leave it until the

last minute.”

Truro became a city by default when

Edward White Benson, Archbishop

of Truro, commissioned the building

of the magnificent cathedral. During

construction, services were held in a

temporary wooden building, including the

inaugural Nine Lessons and Carols service,

since adopted and made famous by King’s

College, Cambridge. It was first performed

on Christmas Eve, 1880, and you can hear

it twice in its spiritual home this year: on

December 23 with the girl choristers, and

December 24 with the boys.

You might be surprised to learn that

Father Christmas will be in residence in

Truro Cathedral’s crypt on Wednesdays,

a storytelling and grotto experience with

Coppice Theatre. This is the latest in a

number of more secular events to make the

most of the Cathedral’s cavernous internal

space, from vintage and volunteer fairs to

fashion shows and gala events, even silent

discos. On New Year’s Eve, you can attend

a masquerade ball by the organisers of

The Great Estate.

This calculated move towards broader

events is managed by the cathedral

executive, including chief operating

officer Sean O’Neill and four members

of the clergy. “My role is making sure the

cathedral stays here and is sustainable for

generations to come,” says Sean. “That

means everything from looking after the

fabric of the building to getting people

through the doors.

“Unlike many cathedrals, we don’t charge

an entry fee, but our congregation is

diminishing, and with it our donations.

We need to find ways of preserving the

building without deviating too far from

CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 31 n


its primary purpose. While it’s obviously

a sacred space, we want it to be a place

for everyone of any background to come

to. Sometimes, you have to give people a

reason to do that.”

Funding from the Cultural Recovery Fund

was used to survey people about their

feelings towards the cathedral. Many

were unaware entry is free, unsure if they

were allowed to go in if not from a faith

background, and worried about the

etiquette – for example, whether children

would be shushed for making a noise.

“Holding different events here means they

put all that aside,” says Sean.

He hopes Santa Claus – who is based

on St Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop

who liked to give gifts - will attract young

families who might not normally venture

through the doors. “We’re mindful of the

fact that this is a place of worship, and

we're looking beyond the commercial

to do something that will give people

a connection to the true meaning of

Christmas,” says Sean. “It’s not just ‘have

30 seconds in Santa’s grotto and come

out with a present’. It’s an experience, a

respectful journey round the cathedral.”

He adds: “The overwhelming feedback

from people going in for the first time

is ‘wow’. We hope some will join the

congregation; if not, they are engaging

with the cathedral as a heritage building,

gaining an appreciation of it. It ticks that

box, as well as earning us some revenue

after a horrible year.”

Back on Boscawen Street, Hall For Cornwall

is welcoming theatre-goers after a twoyear

closure for major refurbishment. The

stage was christened in October with the

world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends –

The Musical, a riotous performance based

on the fictional film (itself inspired by the

true story of the Port Isaac shanty singers).

It was a co-production by the theatre’s new

in-house company, Cornwall Playhouse, as

is the current pantomime.

The refurb was the culmination of a 10-year

project by chief executive and creative

director Julien Boast, who was personally

invested and very hands-on, right down to

the choice of soft furnishings. “Opening

a brand-new theatre with a brand-new

show – I must have been slightly crazy,”

he laughs, adding: “My God, haven’t we

missed live theatre?”

Initial works concentrated on reclaiming

the footprint of the building, which has

served as a cattle market, a prison, a

magistrate’s court and a bank during

its 175-year lifespan, often adapting to

changing times. Some fascinating features

had been hidden for decades or more by

previous “improvements”; a panel dating

back to the 17th century is now in pride

of place at the rear entrance. This space

was latterly used as a flea market, but

would often lie empty of an evening, a

mere thoroughfare to the back door. Now,

it houses a swanky bar, achingly beautiful

arches and 1930s-style terrazzo flooring.

Inside the auditorium is all oak and

concrete polished floors. Where there

were once stalls and simple sloping

seating, there are now proper dress and

upper circles. Seats are covered with fabric

in a design based on Cornish granite: grey,

with flecks of yellow to represent lichen.

No two are the same.

A bigger auditorium means bigger

productions: Everyone’s Talking About

Jamie and We Will Rock You are both

shows that would have struggled to pay

for themselves with the previous full-house

figures. “It’s good for the high street,”

adds Julien. “People will come for the

shows, then shop here, eat here.”

Outside the theatre’s Lemon Quay entrance,

Tim Shaw’s sculpture The Drummer has

been restored to its rightful place, having

taken a holiday at the Eden Project

during construction. The 15ft sculpture

contains both Cornish tin and copper, and

represents Cornish identity, symbolising a

place “where the drum beats differently”.

Work began in 1926 to cover over

Lemon Quay, and when the ring road

was built in the 1960s, the port was well

and truly sliced off from the city centre.

An inelegant car park for decades, the

expansive piazza we now know was

created in the early 2000s. The old quay

walls and river are still there under the

tarmac, and the River Kenwyn appears at

either end: around the Compton Castle,

and down the side of Mannings.

It can be hard to imagine Truro’s port

history: a lively pilchard market, wooden

sailing ships under construction, sailors

running hither and thither. The Truro Loops

project is a long-held community ambition

to reconnect the city to its waterfront. Its

six “loops”, or circular trails, take in the city

centre, Boscawen Park and Newham, as

well as Moresk Forest near Malpas village

- according to legend, doomed lovers

Tristan and Iseult crossed the river here to

escape Iseult’s husband, King Mark.

Thanks to a recent cash injection of more

than £600,000 from the England European

Regional Development Fund, resurfacing

work is imminent on the disused Newham

railway between Gas Hill and County Hall,

now a trail for walkers and cyclists.

In April, a business case will be put

forward for the flagship development

that kicked off the project four years ago:

a footbridge linking Boscawen Park with

Lighterage Quay on the opposite bank

of the Truro River, creating an attractive

circuit and linking industrial Newham with

recreational facilities. Funding is already

earmarked as part of the Town Fund, and

if successful, the bridge is scheduled to be

built by 2025. There are loftier ambitions

for a second bridge between Garras Wharf

and Malpas Road, enabling pedestrians to

avoid busy Morlaix Avenue.

“Truro turned its back on the port for a long

time,” says Trish Hawes of architectural

practice Mei Loci. “The project stemmed

from the idea of the bridge creating the

first loop, reclaiming the river as part of the

city and giving people access again. Much

of the work in this early phase - resurfacing

muddy tracks and improving signage - is

about making better what already exists in

the hope of encouraging more people to

use the existing infrastructure."

“There are so many beautiful areas around

Truro. It’s about making it easier for people

to get to those from the city centre, on

foot or by bike, and enabling the people

in those places to come in, using safe

networks. Green spaces are so important

for health and wellbeing.”

Sitting overlooking the harbour with Bert,

watching the wading birds feed, it’s hard

to disagree. l

By Kirstie Newton

n 32 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


War memorial in Boscawen Street,

by Charles Francis

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 33 n


Shop ‘til you drop

Wednesday is late-night shopping day,

with traffic-free streets from 3pm and

stores open until 9pm. Look out for largescale

light projections onto buildings in

Boscawen Street and River Street, and

a sparkly reindeer trail in shop windows.

Make sure you explore the whole town,

including the narrow opes and peripheral

streets, for Truro’s independent traders –

for example, Bishop Philpott’s boutique

and Tugboat Tea in New Bridge Street,

The Original Art Shop in Nalder’s Court

and Bread & Butter in River Street. On

Saturdays, the city centre is pedestrianised

all day with entertainment, street food and

drink in Boscawen Street.

Discover local traders

The BIG Christmas Market takes over

Lemon Quay from Wednesday to Sunday

until December 20, then daily until 2pm on

Christmas Eve. This is where you can find

a selection of the finest local food, drink,

arts and crafts.

Meet Father Christmas

Santa’s grotto can be found on selected

dates in Truro Cathedral’s crypt. Let his

elves lead you there, courtesy of Coppice

Theatre. Walk around the cathedral and

hear the stories of James Bubb, the first

Clerk of Works of Truro Cathedral in

the 1800s, and the tale of the Cathedral

Mouse, wishing it could sing with the

children in the choir. To book tickets, visit

www.coppicetheatre.co.uk

Sing some carols

Hear the cathedral choir in all its splendour

on Saturday, December 18. The programme

for A Babe Is Born will include familiar

favourites like Deck The Halls and See,

Amid The Winter’s Snow alongside modern

classics such as The Lamb. Nine Lessons

and Carols takes place on December 23 and

24, and all are welcome for the Christmas

morning service (Eucharist) at 10am on

Christmas Day.

See a show

It isn’t Christmas without some seasonal

theatre. Oh no, it isn’t! Pop into the

newly refurbished Hall For Cornwall,

to see its home-grown production of

Cinderella. www.hallforcornwall.co.uk Or

for something a little more anarchic, see

Near-ta Theatre’s "Christmas. Time." for

a comedic vision of the festive season in

prison, at The Alverton on December 27.

neartatheatre.co.uk

Visit Victoria Gardens

Marvel at the static light display, while

Coppice Theatre’s new walkabout show,

Jack Frost 5: Lost in Time, happens here

after dark on Wednesdays December 15

and 22. Dressing up as your favourite winter

character is also encouraged! Booking

essential at www.coppicetheatre.co.uk

Stop for refreshments

Truro is awash with quality coffee shops,

including Café Uneeka in Boscawen Street.

Take the weight off your feet with an Italian

pastry (naughty!), and don’t forget to

browse the gifts downstairs before you

leave (and their Uneeka.home store in City

Road). Alternatively, push the boat out

with the Alverton’s Christmas afternoon

tea, all red and gold and demanding to

be accompanied by a glass of fizz, dahling.

thealverton.co.uk

Catch a gig

The Old Bakery in Malpas Road is arguably

Truro’s funkiest venue. December dates

include folk musician Beans on Toast

(December 10) and a Big Christmas

Night Out with The Voice winner Molly

Hocking and her new band (December 16).

www.oldbakerystudios.co.uk/whatson

Explore the countryside

Truro is surrounded by verdant landscapes

that are worth visiting. The National Trust

property of Trelissick is a stone’s throw

away, with excellent woodland walking

and a lovely courtyard with a café, secondhand

bookshop and the Cornwall Craft

Association gallery, all free to enter.

n 34 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


The Original Art Shop

Bishop Phillpott

The Original Art Shop is a beautiful working Art and Framing Gallery,

set in the heart of Truro. The owner and in-house Artist Julieann Kinley

has over 20 years of experience of professional picture framing and art

restoration. The Gallery invites new artists to exhibit their beautiful work

carefully selected by Julieann, to reflect the diversity of talent around

Cornwall. We currently display bespoke resin tables and acrylic flow

work by local artists. We try to exhibit at least four times a year, featuring

new artists and capturing local talent. We also display silver jewellery,

sculpture and unique wildlife originals.

The Original Art Shop, 4 Nalders Court, Truro TR1 2XH

Bespoke Framing studio above the main gallery open 9.30am-5pm

Monday to Saturday and uses premium quality materials.

www.original-artshop.co.uk

Sharon and Katie, the mother and daughter team behind Bishop Phillpott

carefully curate their collections to bring the ultimate in luxury and style to

the heart of Cornwall. Based on New Bridge Street, their beautiful boutique

brings you collections from well-loved established brands including Paul

Smith, Weekend by MaxMara, Marc Cain, American Vintage and Paige as

well as a range of exclusive and exciting independent labels. The boutique

is full of special pieces to treasure, from stunning cashmere and luxurious

basics to those pieces for special occasions or simply a wardrobe refresh.

Bishop Phillpott, New Bridge House, 24 New Bridge Street, Truro, TR1 2AA

T: 01872 261750 • E: info@bishopphillpott.co.uk • W: www.bishopphillpott.co.uk

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 35 n


Happy new year! Celebrate Cornish style

1. CELEBRATE NEW YEAR

Dust off your party attire and prepare

for a night of glitz and glamour at The

Alverton’s annual New Year’s Eve ball

in the magnificent Great Hall. Arrive to

a glass of champagne, dine on awardwinning

food and dance the night away

whilst our live band plays. Countdown to

the new year, enjoying Truro’s dazzling

midnight fireworks from the terrace.

https://thealverton.co.uk If you have the

energy on January 1, pop over to the Lost

Gardens of Heligan, which are open in aid

of Children’s Hospice South West. www.

heligan.com our terrace.

2. STOMP YOUR FEET TO BLUEGRASS

Acorn Penzance, January 8

A four-piece bluegrass outfit from

Penzance, Flats and Sharps deliver

energetic, enthusiastic and spirited music

to audiences around the world. Powerful

and well-crafted original songs offer a

fresh outlook on foot-stomping bluegrass

n 36 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

material, blending strong harmonies and

stonking solos. They’ll have you dancing,

laughing and singing along in no time.

theacornpenzance.com

3. DISCOVER TREASURES FROM

MEDIEVAL CORNWALL

Kresen Kernow, until January 22, 2022

Cornwall’s archive presents a free exhibition

of Cornwall’s medieval manuscript

treasures, including the Bodmin Gospels

(pictured, with permission from the British

Library) and Pascon Agan Arluth (The

Passion of Our Lord), on loan from the

British Library as part of its Treasures on

Tour programme. Booking recommended.

Visit the new café (open 9.30am to 2pm)

and downstairs exhibitions, including the

new Slavery Through The Ages display.

Kresenkernow.org

4. BE A BOY CHORISTER FOR A DAY

Saturday, January 22

Truro Cathedral has had a choir at its

beating heart since opening its doors

in 1887, and year 3 boys are invited to

experience a day in the life of a chorister,

from morning rehearsal to a relaxed

cushion concert in the cathedral. As

well as singing at services, the choristers

represent Cornwall on an international

stage, with live TV and radio broadcasts

and recordings - after Christmas, they

will record a CD with the BBC National

Orchestra of Wales. All choristers are

educated at Truro School and Prep, with

the help of scholarships and additional

means-tested support. For further details,

contact admissions@truroschool.com

5. TAKE TO THE ICE

Eden’s popular ice rink is back, and

skaters of any age and ability are currently

available to book. Sessions last 40

minutes and cost £8 per adult and £7 per

child. Valid entry to Eden is also required.

Lessons are also bookable online. Until

February. www.edenproject.com


60 years of the

Tamar Road Bridge

In 1961, the counties of Cornwall and Devon saw a new

and improved connection opened to the public. The

existing ferry service had struggled to keep up with the

growing popularity and accessibility of the motor car,

leading to the commission of the Tamar Road Bridge.

Following its unofficial launch on October 24 – the Queen

Mother would preside over the official ceremony in April

1962 - 4,000 cars used the crossing each day.

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 37 n


Six decades on, that figure exceeds

45,000 daily – 16 million annually -

showing just how much we have come

to depend on our vehicles for commuting,

shopping and holidays. The vast majority

of drivers pass through its toll booths more

concerned with whether their TamarTag is

topped up than with the stunning feat of

engineering the bridge represents.

Not so engineering manager Richard Cole,

who has spent the past 17 years working

on the structure. “That’s a significant chunk

of my engineering career,” he muses. “It’s

more than just a job, as anyone who works

here will tell you. That we’re all a bit long

in the tooth is testament to the fact that

we’re passionate about it. We care about

the bridge and how it operates. We want

to look after it and do a good job.”

The Tamar Road Bridge was just the latest

development in the history of the river

crossing. Flashback to the early 1800s, and

the railway only reached as far as Exeter,

leaving the rest of Devon and especially

Cornwall isolated. Businesses faced a long

and time-consuming route by road or

around the coast by ship to get their goods

into the hands of customers nationwide.

In 1846, the Cornwall Railway Act received

Royal Assent on condition that a bridge be

built at Saltash. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

was the man for the job, but cost restricted

his Royal Albert Bridge to a single line; to

this day, around 28,000 trains per annum

slow down to cross at 15mph, while

inspections and maintenance take place

overnight to avoid disruption.

Road travellers, meanwhile, faced a ferry

crossing from either Torpoint or Saltash -

frequent but often with lengthy queues.

The alternative was a long diversion to

the single-lane bridge at Gunnislake, built

for packhorses rather than 20th century

horsepower. The new road bridge would

cut journey times drastically, and transform

Saltash into the gateway to Cornwall and

the perfect commuter town for Plymouth,

on the right side of the Tamar.

“Without a doubt, the bridge is very

important to the local economy,” says

Richard. “It’s the major crossing point over

the Tamar at its southern end, and joins a

trunk road network on either side. Without

the bridge, the A38 wouldn’t exist in this

form today, and I’m sure Saltash wouldn’t

be the size it is.”

The Tamar Road Bridge was a landmark of

its day, the first major suspension bridge to

be constructed in the UK after the Second

World War, and the longest single-span

suspension bridge in the country at the

time. It was built to a design by Mott Hay

and Anderson at a cost of £1.5 million,

and learned lessons from the catastrophic

fate of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, better

known as Galloping Gertie: built in 1940, it

collapsed the same year in windy conditions

(mercifully, the only casualty was a dog).

In contrast, the Tamar Road Bridge was

“over-engineered” to ensure the safety of

its users, and purposely built in the shelter

of the Royal Albert Bridge to escape the

full force of the south-westerlies. Its cabling

was given extra protection against water

ingress, and that it remains in impeccable

condition today bears testament to the

engineering skill of its creators.

Millions are spent keeping it in tip-top

condition so it is operational and safe at

all times. Richard estimates that £80 million

has been spent on improvements in the

last 20 years alone, including major works

in 2001 to be widened from three to five

lanes using cantilevers - the world's first

suspension bridge to do so. The south

cantilever is used by pedestrians, cyclists

and mobility scooters, the north by Saltash

and local traffic.

The original concrete deck was replaced

by an orthotropic steel deck; to prevent

corrosion, this needs to be resurfaced

every 20 to 25 years, during which time

it will have carried around 300 million

vehicles. This work was completed in

October, a mammoth task involving the

removal of 949 tonnes of existing surface

material using a road planer, followed by

the application of 1,920kg of paint ‘primer’,

two layers of waterproofing and two more

of a specialist, super-thin asphalt surfacing

material, not only to the three lanes and

CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

n 38 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


It’s worth visiting Tamar Crossings’ headquarters

on the Plymouth side of the bridge. Not only can

you enjoy superb views of the bridges from here,

but the visitor centre has a fascinating display

following the history of the crossings. You can

also explore the bridge on Shanks’s pony from

here; look out for QR codes linked to stories and

creative work contributed by members of the

public to the Bridging the Tamar archive.

Some offer colourful illustrations of what life was

like on a construction site 60 years ago. Terry

Parker recalls how, at 17, “I sat on two scaffold

planks, 250ft over the Tamar, drilling holes into

a cast steel structure! My first week’s wages at

17 was £1 17s 4d - about £1.70 - plus £1 a week

danger money! A motor boat cruised up and down

the river continuously in case anybody fell in.”

Terry recounts how up to 200 men were working

on site 200ft up, with no toilet facilities; one

unfortunate labourer had the job of emptying

the buckets. Mike Pascoe, meanwhile, was paid

£100 a week to paint the cables; complaints from

Unigate Dairy revealed that specks of lead-based

paint had made their way into their milk.

Sadly, not all construction workers were lucky

enough to tell the tale 60 years later. Seven men

died during construction: five were lost when a

boat capsized, and a painter and a metalworker

fell to their deaths. All were commemorated

with a wreath on the anniversary of the unofficial

opening, with some family members in attendance.

“Remembering them, and the work they did on

this engineering masterpiece to reduce journey

times and make travel easier for all - it’s the right

thing to do,” said Councillor Jonathan Drean,

joint chair of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry

Joint Committee.

Saltash singer-songwriter Florence Hope, 25,

responded to a social media call-out for creatives

to contribute work to the archive. Her song

Connections was written and recorded in her

bedroom during lockdown. “I never feel alone

with you, you always do what you’re supposed to

do, and that’s protect me and connect me – we

have so much history.”

The video – shot by Fotonow CIC and available

to view on YouTube - combines film of Flo on site

with archive footage of the bridge in its early

days. “The song could be about the connections

between indivduals and communities, but I

also wanted to personify the connection and

relationship between Devon and Cornwall, and

the two counties coming together,” says Flo.

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 39 n


both cantilevers but also to the toll plaza

area and the bridge approaches.

Richard is the first to admit this all sounds

“nerdy”, but he’s extremely proud of the

bridge's standing in the industry. “All the

major UK crossings were interested in

our resurfacing, as there aren’t that many

solutions available to big bridges,” he says

in the manner of a proud parent. “And

when the bridge was widened by cantilever,

engineers from Japan – which has the

longest single-span suspension bridge in the

world – came to see how we were doing it.”

Quite apart from the big jobs, around £1

million is spent annually on what Richard

calls “the cleaning, dusting and tidying” -

basic but crucial maintenance and checks.

He points to another example of lessons

learned: the Morandi bridge in Genoa,

which collapsed in 2018 with the loss of

43 lives.

“A lot of people may wonder why we

spend money like this, but it’s simply that

without maintenance and investment,

the bridge would fall into disrepair,” says

Richard. “That’s what happened in Genoa.

If it happened here, there wouldn’t be a

link between Devon and Cornwall.” Doing

small jobs and regular inspections enables

the team to identify the issues that need

to be closely monitored and schedule the

work into a tight budget before it becomes

critical (and expensive). “That’s where

engineering judgement comes in.”

The bridge is rarely closed when work takes

place. “If we’d closed the bridge, the recent

resurfacing work could have been finished

in two months rather than the six it took, but

it would have caused unacceptable levels of

disruption,” says Richard, pointing out that

the sheer volume of HGVs today would suit

neither Gunnislake’s ancient bridge nor the

Torpoint ferry’s weight limit.

However, even closing one lane can cause

tailbacks. “A key point that we need members

of the public to understand is the balance

between time, cost and potential disruption

that we have to consider each time. It’s often

worth doing a job early to coincide with

other work, so you only have to disrupt the

traffic once.” When the road was resurfaced

this year, the six crucial expansion joints that

enable movement in suspension bridges were

replaced a few years earlier than necessary.

Miraculously, the work was completed two

weeks ahead of schedule, in time for all lanes

to be open for half-term traffic.

The technology underneath the bridge is

no less fascinating. Volunteer guide Simon

Jones points out the “million-pound

cut” made during the switchover from

the concrete deck to its orthotropic steel

replacement, one that required extreme

precision – the hefty price tag being the

cost of a mistake. And as the Tamar is a

Marine Protected Area (MPA), home to

some of Europe’s most threatened marine

species and habitats, rainwater is funnelled

into interceptor tanks for contaminants to

settle and be removed for disposal before

clean water is discharged into the river.

Owned and operated jointly by Cornwall

Council and Plymouth City Council, the

bridge is one half of Tamar Crossings with

its counterpart, the Torpoint Ferry. The

railway bridge falls under the management

of Network Rail, while the Saltash Tunnel is

overseen by Highways England; although

separate entities, the different parties

remain in close contact with each other, as

you can guarantee that if there’s a problem

with one, the impact will be felt by the

others – and by the local population.

“We have a different demographic to most

UK crossings, very local,” says Richard.

“While the Humber Bridge doesn’t carry

much commuter traffic, our users are

travelling to work or school, or to access

health care. They have no choice."

“So just because it’s not as big as other

crossings in terms of size or volume of

traffic, or as iconic as the Forth Road

Bridge, doesn’t mean the Tamar Road

Bridge is any less important, or less

challenging to look after. It’s hard to put an

emphasis on how important it is.” l

Words by Kirstie Newton,

photographs by Charles Francis

For more information search for

@bridgingthetamar on Facebook

and Instagram or visit

www.bridgingthetamar.org.uk

n 40 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


THE EDITOR’S EXPERIENCE

Imagine climbing a bridge, and your mind the cables: “It’s quicker, and the views

might flit back to those blokes eating their are better,” says engineering manager

packed lunches on a girder, high above the Richard Cole, who kindly held my hand in

streets of New York, with nary a hi-vis jacket my wobbliest moments.

in sight. Those days are long gone, and

when I was offered the chance to explore I got as far as the lower of the two walkways

the Tamar Road Bridge by scaling one

at the top of the tower on the Plymouth side,

of the towers and exploring the gantries

240ft up – the views were superb, but my

directly beneath the busy A38, it was hard

God, it was a long way down. Photographer

hats and harnesses all the way.

Charles Francis climbed up the small ladder

to the crow’s nest, and assured me (along

The event was in celebration of the

with the staff) that it was safe as houses.

crossing’s 60th anniversary, and when the

Well, of course it was – losing a journalist

email popped into my inbox, I knew it was

an offer I couldn’t refuse. The bridge isn’t a

would be dreadful PR.

tourist attraction in that way, and members

of the public are rarely admitted beyond But self-preservation had kicked in and no

the main carriageway (the limited number amount of rational thinking could convince

of tours scheduled to coincide with the me they weren’t lying. I tearfully imagined

birthday weekend were fully booked). falling from a great height, or at the very

least being stuck, rigid with fear, at the very

Call it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, top of a local landmark. Then I patted myself

a journalist’s privilege or a perk of the on the back for achieving what I had, later

job. What I wouldn’t necessarily call it is posting photographic evidence on social

“enjoyable”. While heights never bothered media to the universal admiration of friends

me as a kid - I’d happily climb church towers

and colleagues. “How brave – I could never

and take in the sweeping views from the

do that,” they said with one voice.

parapets without a care in the world - these

days, I hate them, probably because I’m

The under-deck seemed like a doddle in

more aware of the perceived risks.

comparison, until we stopped for a “chat”

and I became aware of the sheer drop to

To get to the top, we climbed five vertical

ladders inside the tower (apparently few

the water below. A sympathetic member

bridges have lifts) and 143 steps. Pity

of staff escorted me back, and showed me

the poor chaps with cumbersome (and some super-strong cabling to take my mind

expensive) cameras; I left my phone off my unnatural surroundings. I made it

and notepad at the bottom, the better back to the visitor centre, knees knocking

to cling on white-knuckled. Incredibly, but proud to have been shown a part of the

the professionals prefer to climb up bridge few get to see. l

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 41 n


Follow the seasons

with this delightful

children’s almanac.

If you need inspiration on your journey

through the seasons, look no further than

Nature Month-by-Month: A Children’s

Almanac. Now in its fourth edition, this

annual guide for seven- to 11-year-olds

includes nature spotter guides, indoor and

outdoor craft and activity ideas, seasonal

recipes, celebrations of religious festivals

and other special events.

It’s a wonderful gift to treasure and explore

over the coming year, with words by west

Cornwall-based nature-lover and wild

swimmer Anna Wilson, accompanied

by beautiful illustrations from Falmouth

graphic designer Elly Jahnz. It’s published

in collaboration with the National Trust,

which protects over 700 miles of wild

coastline in the UK.

Anna moved from Wiltshire to Land’s

End in 2019 shortly after penning the

first edition, and is now well established

there with her Cornishman husband,

their children and a menagerie of ducks,

chickens and a cat called Hercules.

She had only ever written fiction when her

publishers asked her to take on this nonfiction

project. “An almanac would often be

used by a farmer to work out the best times

to plant, and there is quite a set formula,”

she explains. “Wildlife is my passion, so I

started looking at the things you might find,

what plants are out, the stars you might be

likely to see, the moon phases.

“I wanted it to be easy to follow, and

accessible to anyone living in the UK -

even if they have no physical access to

wildlife because of where they live or how

they live. I’ve been mindful of the fact that

not everyone can get to the sea. Activities

include things you might find on a walk, or

creating a den indoors on a rainy day, so

there’s no cost involved.”

Recipes have been devised to be simple

enough for children to tackle alone, or

under parental supervision without being

onerous. “I’m a mum, and I didn’t want

parents to go ‘ugh!’ when their kids asked

them to do it,” Anna laughs.

Elly was recruited to supply illustrations for

the almanac when the publishers spotted

her colourful style on Instagram. Having

grown up in Kent surrounded by greenery,

she began her artistic career by studying

insects at a young age.

n 42 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


After graduating in Illustration from

Falmouth University, Elly joined the team

at Seasalt Cornwall before designing

homewares and gifts on a freelance basis.

She now has clients all over the world, in

areas from publishing to packaging and

shop signage, and most recently illustrated

a map for the Tour of Britain organisers.

“I’m always taking pictures of bits and

bobs in nature as reference for what plants

are out when - I’ve built up a big catalogue

over four years,” she says. “The bug

spotter guide was fun to draw – I recently

moved house and now have a garden, and

now I know what things are.”

Illustrations are freshened up every year,

and a third of the content is changed. New

for this edition is the opening illustration

for December, recalling the snowy fields of

Elly’s childhood. Each month has its own

colour palette - cooler in winter, warmer

in summer. The April opening spread was

inspired by coastal scenes in Cornwall,

although “I also research landscapes

around the country, so I’m not always

WHY DO WE MAKE

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

This tradition started with the Romans.

January was named after Janus, the

god of gates and doorways. He was

always drawn with two faces: one

looking back at the year that had

passed, the other looking forwards

into the new year. He became a

symbol for the Romans of forgetting

what had happened in the past

and moving on into the future, and

January therefore became known as

a month in which to forgive people

and be kind. Perhaps this January, you

could look out for someone at school

who needs a friend, help out around

the house and/or garden, or organise

a sponsored event for charity.

reflecting Cornish landscapes”. You might,

however, spot Padstow’s ‘Obby ‘Oss in the

section about May Day.

Feedback has been positive. “I think it

definitely helped people over lockdown,

when people could only go out for a

short amount of time,” says Elly. “Being

outdoors really took off.”

This year, Anna also published The Wide,

Wide Sea - a picture book for children

aged 3+ about protecting nature from

plastic pollution - in collaboration with

award-winning Norwegian illustrator

Jenny Løvlie, again with the backing of the

National Trust.

And the fifth imprint of the almanac is

already underway. “I’ve found out so many

things I didn’t know, and remembered so

much I knew

as a child in

the 1970s,”

says Anna. l

N a t u r e

Month-by-

Month: A

Children’s

Almanac is

published

by Nosy

Crow £9.99

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 43 n


A beautiful archipelago 28 miles off the coast

of mainland Cornwall with a subtropical climate,

the Isles of Scilly have long been a popular

summer destination but, as Elizabeth Dale

discovers, there is a great deal to be said for

visiting the islands out of season.

n 44 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


rom stargazing and seal and

bird watching to its own island

vineyard and artisan distillery,

St Martin’s is the ideal destination for

anyone looking for somewhere different

to escape to this winter. This is the Scillies’

northernmost island, a curving bow of

land rimmed with white sandy beaches

and crystal-clear waters. At only three

miles long and less than a mile wide, it’s

far smaller than the main island of St

Mary’s, but don’t be fooled - there’s still a

surprising amount to keep you occupied,

both day and night!

Though it may seem isolated now, St

Martin’s was once regarded as the ‘capital’

of the archipelago. During Roman times,

when many of the islands were still joined as

one large landmass, it is thought there was

a deep-water inlet on the eastern side of St

Martin’s which acted as the main port, and

ships from across the empire would have

stopped here. Indeed, an excavation in the

1960s on the small off-island of Nornour

uncovered Roman coins, glassware, pottery,

mother-of-pearl goddess figurines and

dozens of brooches, suggesting there may

even have been a Roman temple on the site.

These days, St Martin’s is a nature-lover’s

paradise. The heather-carpeted downs

are peppered with prehistoric remains

and dozens of ancient standing stones,

hut circles and cairns hide amongst the

rust-coloured bracken. A network of paths

skirts the island’s edges with views of idyllic

beaches, rocky headlands and seals lolling

in the water. These ever-curious creatures

are particularly active during the autumn

and winter months while they are raising

their pups; this time of year also sees an

influx of birdlife, so keep your binoculars

at the ready!

The out-of-season, months on St Martin’s

can feel incredibly peaceful but the

island is home to around 130 people: a

tiny but resilient community of innovative

folk who seem to have inherited a

particular kind of fortitude from their

Scillonian ancestors. The islanders are

as self-sufficient as possible, collaborate

whenever they can and work hard

together to achieve their goals.

One such goal was dreamt up in 2015

over a few pints in the island’s lone pub,

the Seven Stones Inn, and that idea was to

build an observatory. St Martin’s has some

of the best dark skies in Britain - very low

levels of light pollution combined with the

highest number of clear, cloudless nights

in the whole of the UK makes it perfect for

stargazing. After more than three years

of hard work and planning, the island’s

group of enthusiastic amateurs raised

£90,000 and COSMOS, the Community

Observatory St Martin’s on Scilly, opened

in 2019 - a truly extraordinary achievement

for such a small community.

Today visitors can enjoy some of the best

views of starscapes in the UK from the

most southerly observatory in the country.

There are two domes open to the public,

with a 14in Meade telescope for deep sky

viewing and a solar telescope for safely

viewing the sun during the day.

This autumn, COSMOS held its first

annual Scilly Dark Skies Week, welcoming

keen astronomers from all walks of life to

listen to talks by experts and take part

in daily workshops and guided walks.

Astronomer and astrophysicist Professor

Ian Morison, who has been visiting St

Martin’s since the 1950s, was one of this

year’s speakers and is a keen supporter

of the observatory. “There are very few

places in the UK where you can see the

night sky any better,” he said. “It’s a

wonderful place. There is virtually no light

pollution and you can see the Milky Way

CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 45 n


beautifully overhead. Just to come and

see the skies here is very special.”

The observatory is just one of the ways

that St Martin’s has been evolving in

recent years. There have been significant

changes within the farming community

too. While there were once around 20

flower farms on the island, only four remain

to supply Churchtown Farm, who send

their wonderful scented blooms by post to

homes throughout the UK.

Andrew Walder’s family have been farming

on the islands for generations and they

too have diversified, first into producing

sea salt and now the seafarers’ favourite

tipple: rum. It’s possible to arrange a visit

to SC Dogs Distillery and sample their

delicious range of spirits, one of which is

infused with honey from the Scilly bees

on Tresco. Fittingly, each blend is inspired

by the story of one of Andy’s ancestors:

Capt’n Stevens, a fisherman famous for

singing sea-shanties; smuggler John

Nance; and William Gibson, Master of the

St Martin’s Pilot.

Not far from the distillery (well, nowhere

is far from anywhere on the island) is St

Martin’s Vineyard. Visitors are welcome

to take a walking tour of fields of vines

that would look more at home in the

Mediterranean, followed by a tasting

session of the wonderful selection of wines

that have been produced here – from

grape to glass – since 1996. You might

even take away a bottle for drinking while

you watch the sunset later.

For such a tiny place, the sheer range

of businesses operating on St Martin’s

is astonishing. As well as the distillery,

vineyard and flower farms, there is also

the island store and Post Office, the Island

Bakery, a silversmith and two art galleries.

You can find tasty treats at Polreath

Tearoom and Little Arthur Café, and there’s

even a clothing range called Scilly Billy as

well as the island’s very own shoemaker.

While the business hours may vary

during the winter, it’s a small price to pay

for those empty white sand beaches!

Accommodation choices are diverse too,

from camping and cosy cottages like

Upidas (named after Ida Reine, who ran

a tearoom from her front garden here

for many years) to the luxurious Karma

Resort Hotel, which boasts 30 Michelinlisted

rooms and fine dining at the

waterside Cloudesley Shovell restaurant

- who could resist breakfast with views

across the Tean Sound to the myriad

islands beyond?

The family-run Seven Stones Inn is another

popular bolt-hole, offering equally

wonderful views and a warm welcome. The

hearty menu ranges from warming soups

to freshly caught lobster, all washed down

with a Cornish ale.

The days may be shorter and the chances

of rain higher, but the Isles of Scilly still

have more sunshine hours on average in

the winter than anywhere else in the UK

and thanks to the Gulf Stream, it’s usually

a few degrees warmer too. So whether it

is seashells, seals or stars that draws you

here, you won’t be disappointed. For those

seeking an away-from-it-all wild adventure,

St Martin’s truly is an ideal escape. l

You can travel by Penzance Helicopters

to Tresco and St. Mary’s, from

Penzance Heliport; day trips start from

£92.50, single flights from £129.50.

www.penzancehelicopters.co.uk

Upidas cottage is one of three cottages

owned and managed by Carron Farm.

Prices start from £570 and £760.

www.carronfarm.co.uk

For further information see

www.visitislesofscilly.com

n 46 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 47 n


MMY CORNISH WORLD

Y CORNISH WORLD

n 48 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Marie Hand, 51, lives

in Portreath. She has

worked for Kensa Heat

Pumps in Chacewater for

15 years, and was one

of 10 Everyday Climate

Heroes to be shot by top

photographer Rankin

ahead of the COP26

conference in Glasgow.

“I wanted to highlight the extraordinary

change being made by ordinary people

within their local communities and to the

environment,” said Rankin. “This project

takes the spotlight away from the world

leaders and places it on the people that

make up our nation. We all have a part to

play in tackling the climate crisis, and now

is that time.”

Hi Marie! What an amazing opportunity

you’ve had. Tell us how it came about.

I started working for Kensa in 2006, on

the shop floor. I’m now factory supervisor,

with an amazing team of 22; I oversee

production from being built to getting

out the door. About a month ago, Laura

from marketing told me the company

wanted to nominate me as a climate

hero. I was taken aback – it was such a

privilege. I guess they chose me because

I’d worked for the company for so long,

in all aspects of the product - electrics,

assembly, testing; I’m hands-on, and have

a passion for what we do.

What was it like to be photographed by a

man who shoots celebrities?

It was an honour to be shot by Rankin.

He’s unbelievably talented, but made me

feel very relaxed. They did my clothes, hair

and make-up. It was the experience of a

lifetime. I'd never been to London before,

and was amazed at how busy it was on a

Monday evening. I took my daughter, and

we visited Chinatown – I loved it.

What happened to your

portrait afterwards?

It was displayed at 1,000 sites across

the UK during the COP26 conference

last month. Kensa’s MD and one of the

directors went to London, and saw my

face on a billboard at a railway station.

It’s pretty surreal. I would love to see it in

person and take a selfie.

You must be busy at work right now

Yes! We’ve gone from producing 120

units a month to 110 a week, and lines

have doubled from two to four. The

International Energy Agency (IEA) says no

new fossil fuel boilers should be sold from

2025 if the world is to achieve net-zero

emissions by the middle of this century. In

addition, the government has incentivised

switching from your existing gas boiler to

a heat pump. One set of grants runs out in

February, then from April 2022, another one

starts. It’s wonderful that the government

is putting money into making heat pumps

more affordable. I do this to partly help

people out of fuel poverty and hopefully

give them a better life.

How does your work tie into your

life in Cornwall?

When I was young, the climate wasn’t

really spoken about. Now, it’s all I’m

speaking about to my grandchildren. I’d

like my 20-month-old granddaughter to

have better air and not so much pollution.

I certainly don’t want her to grow up and

find it’s no better. If we all do our own little

bit, we can help. I recycle, I don’t eat a lot

of meat and I buy environmentally friendly

products. I also get involved in beach

cleans in Falmouth and Perranporth. I want

to make people understand that we can

change this situation. It’s never too late.

What do you like to do in your

spare time?

I’m a healthy person. I cycle a lot – about

100 miles a week in summer, which is no

mean feat in hilly Cornwall! I also walk daily

and go to the gym a few times a week. My

absolute favourite place is Kynance Cove.

I’m a National Trust member, and I take my

granddaughter to different properties on

Saturdays. I love Lanhydrock, and Trelissick

– which has just had its own heat pump

installed by Kensa! It will supply heating and

hot water to the house, café and secondhand

bookshop, replacing the current oil

boilers and supporting the National Trust’s

aim to be carbon neutral by 2030. l

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 49 n


CREATIVE & CULTURAL LIVING

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN OUR 2022

ART GUIDES PLEASE CONTACT JENI SMITH

TEL: 01209 494003 • EMAIL: JENI.MYCORNWALL@GMAIL.COM

n 50 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


@ John Hersey

52 ART NEWS

56 GALLERY OF THE MONTH

58 MAKER FOCUS

60 ARTIST FOCUS

62 MEET THE MAKER

64 VERY IMPORTANT PIECE

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 51 n


Art News

THANKS FOR THE APPLES

Thanks For The Apples at Falmouth Art Gallery is

an extraordinary opportunity to experience new

work by nationally and internationally acclaimed

contemporary artists, inspired by hidden

treasures from Cornish museum collections.

Sculptures, paintings, textiles and films will be

shown alongside the originals that inspired them.

The exhibition is the culmination of a major

project devised and curated by artists Naomi

Frears and Ben Sanderson, who in November

2019 hosted an artists’ residential at Prussia Cove

with the intention of sparking creativity. Four

contemporary artists each invited another artist

of their choosing, resulting in a diverse group

of eight exceptional practitioners who spent

a week exploring collections at Bodmin Keep,

Wheal Martyn, Penlee House Gallery & Museum,

Perranzabuloe Museum, PK Porthcurno, Royal

Cornwall Museum and the Museum of Cornish

Life in Helston. Each artist selected a museum

object to respond to and spent a year creating

new work to display alongside it in the exhibition.

Pictured is Sir John Arnesby Brown’s A Summer

Day (1913), from Falmouth Art Gallery. On show

until January 22, 2022. l

LINDA CRAIG AT THE COWHOUSE GALLERY

Painter and printmaker Linda Craig works from her home studio overlooking

the harbour in Penzance. A long-time member of the Cowhouse collective in

Perranuthnoe, she is also a member of the Association of British Naive Artists,

a style which comes naturally to her. The harbour provides much in the way of

subjects for Linda, but she also draws upon the mysterious moorland of West

Penwith, where windswept trees point to ancient standing stones. Regarding

processes, she enjoys the immediacy of the collograph printmaking technique,

which allows her to work in a more expressive way. Her paintings call for a more

considered approach, using a limited palette of three primary colours to produce

many vibrant hues. Linda's collographs, paintings and greetings cards are priced

from £3 to £300, and can be found on permanent display at the Cowhouse

Gallery. Open 11am to 4pm daily. l

www.cowhousegallery.co.uk

KENIDJACK: A CORNISH VALLEY

The Jackson Foundation - a large, multiple award-winning art-space in St

Just – tells the story of Kenidjack Valley, the ‘almost-most’ westerly valley in

Cornwall through two interlinked exhibitions. In Kenidjack: A Cornish Valley,

acclaimed artist Kurt Jackson captures the beauty of a place spilling over with

natural treasures and dramatic topography. A stunning collection of paintings

and sculpture takes inspiration from the journey of a small stream from its

source on the moors, down through the valley and into the sea; celebrating

the sights, sounds, history, heritage and wildlife encountered along the way.

Concurrently Valley Lives reflects on the fact that Kenidjack Valley has been

inhabited for 6,000 years - a place of mining, metalwork and agriculture,

with shops, a Sunday school, places of recreation and manufacture. Some

are gone but a thriving community lives on. This collection of images and

artefacts aims to tell the human story of this valley. l

My

n 52 | | Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

The Jackson Foundation is open Tuesday to Saturday.

Tel 01736 787638, www.jacksonfoundationgallery.com


TRELISSICK GALLERY

Members’ Autumn/ Winter Exhibition

Runs until January 2022

Our members’ Christmas Tree Decoration Competition

opens on 1st December. All visitors can vote for their

favourite. The winner will be announced on 23rd December.

Open daily between 10am-4.30pm

Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day

www.cornwallcrafts.co.uk

Improve your skills and meet like-minded

people with pottery classes and workshops

in Redruth, Cornwall.

These sessions are a great way

to further explore the world of

pottery.

I have three types of weekly

workshops; on the wheel, for

those who want nothing more

than to learn to throw and are

focused solely on that; general,

for those who want to try

everything and those who just

want a few fun hours making

a mug, plate or bowl.

My studio has a relaxed and

happy atmosphere, 10am-

12noon and 1pm-3pm Tuesday

to Friday. 10am-12noon and

6.30pm-8.30pm Mondays, and

10am-12noon weekends

G10 Percy Williams Building, Krowji,

West Park, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 3AJ

Text: 07855 102 598

Email: susywardg10@yahoo.com

www.susywardceramics.com

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 53 n


GARY LONG IN PORTHLEVEN

Gary Long is a figurative painter whose images concern the coast, sea,

sky and weather, and the impressions they leave. Born in Birmingham in

1945, Gary attended Birmingham College of Art after which he built a

successful international career as an illustrator. He spent time in Vancouver,

Canada, where he met his wife, Pat; and is an artist member of the Society

of Illustrators in New York. Having moved to Cornwall to be closer to the

environment that most inspires him, Long is a member of both the Penwith

Society gallery and the St Ives Society. He now lives in Marazion and knows

the local coastline well; you can now see his work at the Customs House

Gallery in Porthleven, tel 01326 569365, www.cornwall-art.co.uk l

CERAMICS FOR CHRISTMAS

The shelves of ceramicist Susy Ward hold a

mouthwatering display of potential Christmas gifts,

from small and jewel-like pieces to bigger bowls

waiting to be filled. Vouchers are also a good choice

at any time of year, and cover all aspects of studio

pottery during her regular weekly sessions. Specific

workshops for 2022 include making a hand-built

teapot, extruding a vessel and making and applying

an ancient glaze technique. Visitors are always

welcome by appointment. l

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Cornwall Crafts Association is delighted to announce that following what

they hope will be a fantastic Christmas, normal business will resume. The

2022 Exhibition Programme at the gallery, which sits within the freeto-enter

courtyard of the National Trust property Trelissick, will launch

on January 29 with Craftsmanship 2022, a “best of the best” display

of members’ work. “This is a bit of a tradition for Cornwall Crafts, and

is always a great Exhibition to open with,” says gallery manager Elinor

Lamond. “We are also excited to say that this show, and all our future

shows, will extend throughout the whole gallery, upstairs and down.” l

Find Susy Ward Ceramics at Krowji, G10 Percy

Williams, Redruth TR15 3AJ. Tel 01209 254897,

www.susywardceramics.com

www.cornwallcrafts.co.uk

n 54 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


The Customs House Gallery

˜ Porthleven ˜

AN EVER CHANGING DISPLAY

OF ORIGINAL WORK BY SOME OF

CORNWALL’S BEST ARTISTS

W: WWW.CORNWALL-ART.CO.UK

T: 01326 569365

E: HELLO@THECUSTOMSHOUSEGALLERY.CO.UK

CREATIVE & CULTURAL LIVING

TOP IMAGE: ROGER CURTIS - LATE LIGHT, MOUNTS BAY

BOTTOM IMAGE: SIMON JEWELL - HEADING TO THE SHIP

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN OUR 2022

ART GUIDES PLEASE CONTACT JENI SMITH

TEL: 01209 494003

EMAIL: JENI.MYCORNWALL@GMAIL.COM

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 55 n


GALLERY OF THE MONTH

In the 18th century, Portscatho was a bustling fishing community, its harbour

popular for its protection from the prevailing winds.

Pilchards were cleaned, salted and

packed into wooden barrels, and the

majority were sold into the Mediterranean

market. These days, there are very

few local fishermen left, and like

many communities on the Roseland

peninsula, this pretty village has turned to

recreational boating and tourism.

Where Portscatho scores highly is

in its status as an art colony. While St

Ives, Newlyn and Falmouth have all

hosted groups of prodigiously talented

artists, Portscatho offers a bijou, 21stcentury

equivalent, with even the historic

fisherman’s shelter a seasonal art gallery.

At its heart is the New Gallery, which

has been in Portscatho for 37 years and

in The Square for 21, during which time

it has built up a loyal following. I arrive to

find gallery owner Chris Insoll wrapping a

painting for a regular customer. “People

come not so much to look around, but to

add to their collections,” he says. Part-time

opening hours only serve to heighten the

sense of anticipation: “Three customers

on a Thursday morning is not unusual. We

close for lunch, and it’s not uncommon to

find a queue waiting at 2pm.”

Chris founded the Portscatho Art

Society in April 1984. His own work

appears in collections including the Royal

Cornwall Museum and Falmouth Art

Gallery, and it’s hard to pin him down to a

single style of painting – artwork on show

at the New Gallery varies from fine art

to abstract, still life to portraits, oils and

acrylics to pencil drawings.

The society now has 12 members, and

over the years the gallery has featured work

by an impressive roster of eminent artists

including Grace Gardner and Rose Hilton.

The gallery is two shops knocked

together, while upstairs a flat has been

turned into a studio with facilities,

available to any visiting artist. The studio

has been described as a “treasure trove”

and “an Aladdin’s cave” on numerous

occasions; these may be cliches, but the

reality doesn’t disappoint.

Every available wall surface is hung

with work by member artists and others,

many (especially those by Chris) depicting

the sash window with its delectable view

over the rooftops and out to sea. A chaise

longue is a favourite spot for portrait sitters.

There’s a comprehensive library of art

literature, and dotted here and there

are items of artistic and emotional

significance: a palette and a paintbox

used by Stanhope Forbes (1857 – 1947)

and still used by Chris to this day (“I

painted a whole series using that box

while exhibiting in London”), and an easel

that once belonged to British painter Sir

Matthew Smith (1879 – 1959).

Were it not for the sea view, you might

imagine yourself in a bohemian garret

in Montmartre. “In a more commercial

gallery, this room would be stripped out,

the floors scrubbed and white walls hung

as more gallery space, everything for

sale,” says Chris. “But our studio has a

practical use.” When not busy, the artist

on duty can retreat upstairs to continue

work in progress, with half an eye on the

baby monitor that serves as CCTV.

A table is set for lunch, which becomes

a common theme. Chris brings out crab

with crusty bread and salad; he likes to

take care of his friends. Most meetings

(like mine) are posted on Facebook:

“People follow us and like to see us

having lunch and enjoying life.”

Eric Ward is a regular visitor; formerly

harbourmaster of St Ives, he enjoyed one

of his earliest shows at the New Gallery and

has remained loyal for over 20 years. He is

now a painter of some renown, especially

for his en plein air painting, and it gives him

great pleasure to be actively involved in

the gallery. Many customers time their visits

deliberately to coincide with his: “Eric holds

court on Thursdays,” laughs Chris.

Other members include Chris’ wife,

Andrea Insoll, who produces paintings

based on a combination of flora, still

life and geometric patterns, as well as

collages made from her beach combings;

Andrew Tozer, who chooses to paint

life’s simple pleasures - boats at rest in

a harbour, a figure in the quiet of the

studio, precious family moments; former

restaurateur Ann Long, who earned

accolades from Michelin and Egon Ronay

before retiring and concentrating on her

painting; Nina Packer, whose passion

lies in mark-making and colour, whether

using a charcoal stick, crimson oil paint

or an etching press; and two Devonbased

artists, en plein air specialist Danny

Holmes-Adams and Chris’ own mentor

Trevor Felcey, who tutored him at the

Chelsea School of Art.

A website was launched during the

pandemic, Chris having resisted thus

far on the grounds that “a small screen

doesn’t do the artwork justice”. Having

been coaxed into the 21st century, he

went through his customer card index,

identifying those who might appreciate

the new tech and sending them

personal letters hand-written in fountain

pen. "It's good value and brings us

repeat business,” he says of this oldschool

approach. And if it ain’t broke,

don’t fix it. l

The New Gallery, Portscatho, TR2 5HW.

Open Thursday to Saturday,

10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm

(or by appointment).

www.thenewgalleryportscatho.co.uk

n 56 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Nina Packer

Eric Ward

Andrew Tozer

Andrea Insoll

Trevor Felcey

Chris Insoll

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 57 n


n 58 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


MAKER'S FOCUS

Time for Tea?

This Christmas, Whitewater Contemporary is brightening up Cornwall’s exhibition

calendar with a show inspired by the nation’s favourite beverage.

When you settle down with a cuppa, do

you ever consider the extraordinary history

of tea, teacups and your beloved teapot?

Perhaps you should, because it is truly

fascinating. To inspire you, Whitewater

Contemporary in Polzeath presents Time

For Tea, an extraordinary exhibition of

paintings and ceramics that will appeal

to char-lovers and fans of contemporary

British craft.

The show leads with a collection of

25 teapots by potter Hugh West, who

celebrated his 50th year in ceramics this

autumn. In that time, Hugh has made

thousands of individual teapots, supplying

designer outlets such as Harrods, Heals,

Liberty of London and John Lewis.

“Each teapot should have its very own

tea,” says Hugh, “so that in time, the

teapot takes on the unique characteristics

of its particular variety." Accordingly,

each of his teapots is unique in design,

celebrating the flavours and scents of

individual tea varieties from around the

world including jasmine, oolong, Yunnan,

rose, hand-rolled green and white tea,

and a special green tea grown by Hugh’s

long-time friend, respected Korean potter

Seungho Yang.

Hugh’s porcelain teapots are handthrown

on the wheel, and each handle

is custom-made in clay or rattan with

raffia fixings. In addition, each teapot is

accompanied by a tea bowl or ‘yunomi’,

a traditional Japanese teacup that fits

snugly in both hands without a handle.

This oriental reference is important in

Western ceramics, since both tea and

its accoutrements originated in the East,

where tea drinking carries with it an added

layer of ritual and cultural significance.

Tea drinking is said to have originated in

China more than 3,000 years ago. Legend

has it that in 2737 BC, Chinese Emperor

Shen Nung was served boiled water

while sitting beneath a Camellia sinensis

tree, and its leaves blew into his cup. The

resulting infusion is what we now call tea.

The hot beverage increased in popularity

in China during the Tang Dynasty of 618

AD to 908 AD and is now consumed daily

around the world.

We Brits are famously obsessed with

tea, and this stems back to the marriage

of Charles II to the Portuguese princess

Catherine of Braganza in 1661. Catherine

loved tea above all things, quickly

establishing it as a fashionable drink at

court and among the wealthy classes. In

perhaps the most lucrative business move

in history, the British East India Company

took note and placed its very first order for

China tea in 1664, monopolising its import

from then onwards for more than a century.

Formal teapots had first been created in

China during the Sung dynasty in 1500 AD,

and in 1694 the British East India Company

began importing porcelain teapots from

China, commissioning artists to create

them to the company's own design.

Allegedly, since porcelain can withstand

sea water damage, teapots were used on

East India Company ships for ballast in the

cargo area, making the ships more stable

during their voyage and keeping the tea

stored above safe and dry.

In the mid-18th century, British

industrialist William Cookworthy

discovered kaolin, aka China Clay, in St

Austell, pioneering the English porcelain

industry and producing English teapots

influenced by Chinese designs; the East

India Company subsequently stopped

importing porcelain from China in 1791.

While the history of the teapot has

developed over 500 years, its classic design

has hardly changed: it simply includes

a pot, a spout, a lid and a handle. But

variations on its design, from an Art Deco

Clarice Cliff teapot to the world’s most

valuable teapot - the £3 million ‘Egoist’,

paved with diamonds and rubies - have

been many and wondrous. “The process

of making a handmade teapot, though, is

lengthy and requires skill,” says Hugh.

It goes without saying that a teapot’s

key function can never come second to

its form or finish, however beautiful. “It

must pour well,” Hugh confirms. We’ve

surely all encountered the ‘dribblesome

teapot’, which ruins the calming ritual of

afternoon tea; equally galling perhaps, is

the realisation that a guest in our home

is unknowingly using our own, special

teacup. It is this feeling of ritual and

personalisation that makes the teapot

significant and relevant to us all.

Also on show alongside Hugh’s works

are specially commissioned paintings of

teapots by artists including Port Isaac’s

Caroline Cleave, printmakers Sarah

Seddon and Sally Spens, painter Suki

Wapshott (selected for the Royal Society

of Marine Artists’ Annual Exhibition at

Mall Galleries London 2020), and highly

collectable artist Simeon Stafford, whose

quirky, wittily British works are included

in the private collection of HM Queen

Elizabeth II. As an exhibition concept it

sounds perfectly delicious. Time for tea,

anyone? l

Words by Mercedes Smith

See Time For Tea? from

December 1 to January 6, 2022 at

Whitewater Contemporary,

The Parade, Polzeath PL27 6SR.

www.whitewatercontemporary.co.uk

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ART FOCUS

Nonagenarian artist Ken Turner continues to challenge

climate change at the Fish Factory Arts, Penryn

He might be approaching a century, but

Ken Turner’s energy and passion show

no signs of diminishing. The 95-year-old

painter and performance artist hosts his

latest exhibition at the Fish Factory Arts

in Penryn, picking up the baton from the

UN’s COP26 Conference with the aim of

empowering the community to challenge

climate change in creative ways through

interactive workshops and activities.

The exhibition explores the extremes

of climate change; paintings concern fire

and flood, insect life, forests, drought,

extinction of animals, famine, destruction

of plants and “a very angry Gaia”. Says

Ken: “This is but a small contribution to

the protests happening around the world.

Paintings and performance can tell a story,

and I hope this makes a difference.”

Raising awareness about climate change

has never been so important during his

70-year career as it is now. “COP26 is not

doing enough for the poorer people of this

world,” he declares. “I am appalled at the

way big corporations and rich countries

ignore the disasters happening now.”

In mainstream media, younger

generations are frequently portrayed as

the central activists in the face of climate

change, which is one reason why Ken, a

nonagenarian and long-term advocate

for the climate, has chosen to present

his exhibition at the Fish Factory Arts, a

creative community space for people of all

ages. He also seeks to challenge inequality

through his work, regularly performing and

exhibiting in public venues.

Born in India in 1926, Ken arrived in

the UK as a child and seeks to challenge

western modes of thinking with his

practice. Following several solo exhibitions

in London, the painter and former pictureframer

founded Action Space in the 1960s,

a performance and community art group

that became integral to developing his

practice. “What inspired me was how the

movements of the body in performance

can relate to the physical act of painting,

which for me is very physical as well as

emotional,” he explains.

Ken has a longstanding connection

to the Cornish art scene, as a member

of Newlyn Society of Artists, with past

exhibitions at Newlyn Art Gallery as well

as a collaborative history with Tate St Ives,

not to mention his many public art projects

across the streets of Cornwall. To launch

the exhibition in November, he hosted a

performance piece with dancer Stephanie

Richards called Painting And The Crisis Of

Climate Change.

Look out for two free family workshops

on Sunday, December 5. Participants will

be invited to contribute to large-scale

floor paintings; rolls of paper, water-based

paints, brushes, aprons and cleaning

stations will be provided (tickets must be

booked in advance).

Fish Factory founder and director Rose

Hatcher says: “We are very excited to

present this exhibition of recent work by

Ken Turner. These large-scale paintings

express and embody some of the most

important themes of our times. The

Fish Factory hopes to contribute to the

movement against ecological disaster

by providing a place for conversation,

creativity and action.”

In November, Fish Factory Arts CIC

received £35,000 in the third round of

grants from the government's Culture

Recovery Fund. "Without this help we

would almost certainly have had to close

down, or at least would be a shadow of our

fishy selves," adds Rose. "This funding has

supported staff wages and overheads, and

has given us the opportunity to organise

free events, workshops and exhibitions

which centre the community and are open

and accessible to all. As a community

business, it has allowed us to remain free

to support all kinds of creative ideas and

experiments in whatever way we can. l

Ken Turner’s exhibition continues until

December 13 at the Fish Factory Arts,

Penryn. Find more information at

www.fishfactoryarts.space or via

social media @fishfactoryarts.

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MEET THE MAKER

JESSYE BOULTON

Carnwear: consciously crafted knitwear

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I grew up a few miles from Penzance, and

was home-educated, which allowed me

to explore creatively. My mum taught me

to hand-knit when I was four, on a pair

of chunky knitting needles my dad had

made. I was inspired by how loops of yarn

could create fabric. As a teen, I became

obsessed with creating different Fair Isle

patterns, making the design my own.

I spent hours knitting up socks when I

should have been revising for exams!

How did you take that passion forward?

I studied A levels at Penwith College and

completed a year-long foundation course

in art and design. Then I realised you could

actually study knitwear at degree level - my

dream come true! I did so at Winchester

School of Art, specialising in fashion

knitwear and knitted textile design.

What motivates you when

working on a piece?

The possibilities within knitwear really

are endless, as you’re not only creating

a fabric but also the final product. This

is really exciting as you have full control

over the process from start to finish, from

the colours and yarns you’re using to

the fabric texture, garment shape and

pattern choices. I love to play with yarn

combinations, creating depth and subtle

differences in colour and tactility, and

designing pieces in response to that: my

popular ‘lattice’ scarf uses a mohair/silk

blend mixed with soft cashwool to create

a luxurious, sumptuous handle.

What equipment do you use?

I have two hand-operated knitting

machines, with no electrical power - they

are operated by pulling a ‘carriage’

across a bed of needles to create a

row of stitches. I work predominantly

on a Dubied knitting machine that was

common in UK factories before digitally

programmed machines gained popularity.

Mine was used for 80 years in factories

and small design studios across England

and Scotland, before being reconditioned

in 2018. It feels very special to work with a

piece of equipment that holds such a rich

part of our manufacturing history!

What do you love about

working with wool?

I use a range of natural fibres, including

cotton, linen, cashmere and mohair, but

wool is definitely the fibre I use the most.

It has many amazing qualities: it’s odourresistant

and breathable, and as a natural

fibre it will biodegrade quickly at the end

of its life, decomposing in both land and

sea environments. I love the diversity of

wools from different breeds of sheep – I

use a lot from breeds that have very fine

hairs, such as Merinos, which create a

luxurious super-soft yarn which feels good

next to the skin. However, some of my

products feature British wools in their

natural colours.

What’s a typical working day like for you?

I work from a small studio space at the

back of my parents’ garage, in rural

west Cornwall. Here, I have my two

trusty machines alongside plenty of

yarn and other essentials: a small desk,

a linking machine, an iron for steaming,

sketchbooks, accessories for packing

orders, etc. As a designer/maker working

alone, I not only create my products, but

oversee all other aspects of the business:

marketing, branding, sales, finance,

business planning and development. I

would say only 40% of my time is actually

spent knitting!

How is west Cornwall reflected

in your work?

I’m very much drawn to the colours

and texture of the landscape: lichencovered

rockfaces or heather-strewn

moorland always provide me with colour

combination ideas to try out in the studio!

When is your busiest time?

My business is pretty seasonal due to

the nature of my products. The lead-up

to Christmas is always very busy, with

everyone looking for cosy knits to gift! I

like doing markets at this time of the year

(pandemic permitting), meeting customers

in person as well as other artisan makers

working in different fields to me. I also sell

direct via my website - online sales really

took off in lockdown; and I supply shops

and galleries across the UK.

The ethos of slow fashion is

important to you – why?

Slow fashion is built around a sustainable

mindset which values people, the planet

and our natural resources. My work is

very much in line with this, due to the

considered, heritage processes I use

to produce my products, the natural

fibres I work with, and the importance of

longevity that I hope to inspire through

my timeless, trans-seasonal designs.

What in your work has made you most

proud to date?

I’m still very proud of the menswear

collection I created as part of my final year

at university, back in 2018. I embraced

a scope of techniques, from crochet to

hand-knitting to super-fine digital knitting,

using knotting, stranding and overworking

to create an organic, fluid collection of

menswear pieces. My inspiration was drawn

from the relationship between our bodies

within the natural landscape, with colours

and textures reflective of the juxtaposing

rugged, dramatic land and seascapes of

west Cornwall. I often reflect back at the

work I did at this time, in order to consider

new directions for my current designs.

What are the biggest

challenges you face?

I also work two days a week doing admin

for Aspects Holidays. Juggling my time

between these two very different jobs,

switching off from one and tuning in to the

other, is challenging but I enjoy the balance

between being creative and practical. l

www.carnwear.uk

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


@ John Hersey

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VIP

A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE

CORNWALL WILDLIFE TRUST CHRISTMAS CARD

BY CAROLINE CLEAVE

For the second year running, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has produced its own range of

Christmas cards with designs donated by local illustrators who are passionate about

Cornwall’s wildlife.

Caroline Cleave lives and works in the heart of the beautiful fishing village of Port

Isaac; she has donated artwork on both occasions, and having focused on sea life in

2020, she chose to feature bugs, beetles and butterflies this year. “I jumped at the

opportunity to do it again,” she said.

n 64 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

“Wildlife is really close to my heart, as I live in a valley with natural things all around

me and I see how fragile and vulnerable they are. As such, I wanted to depict insects

of all kinds – not just the pretty ones, but shield bugs and woodlice too, because they

are all of equal importance in the chain. I wanted to put them in an appealing design

- as a child, I loved picking out detail in images, and I like to think of children spotting

all the different bugs in this piece.”

Caroline joins three other local artists in contributing to the multi-pack selection:

Falmouth-based illustrator Holly Astle, artist and print designer Katherine Toms and

south Cornwall-born artist Lisa Curtis. Made from recycled paper and packaged in

a compostable bag, the cards come in packs of 24 and cost £8; printing has been

sponsored by Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, meaning all proceeds can be used to protect

Cornwall’s wild creatures and places.

www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/shop


CREATIVE & CULTURAL LIVING

COWHOUSE GALLERY

INSPIRE MAKERS

The gallery is run by a group of local artists and craftspeople and offers a

wide range of original arts and crafts at very affordable prices. A stroll away

is Perranuthnoe Cove with breathtaking coastal walks looking towards St

Michael’s Mount in one direction and to Prussia Cove the other.

Left: Windblown Flowers by Jane Bodle, Watercolour on Yupo Paper

Right: Rock Studies by Paul Young Photography

Winter hours open daily 11-4. Lynfield Craft Centre, Perranuthnoe TR20 9NE

T: 01736 710538 • www.cowhousegallery.co.uk

Located towards the top of Falmouth High Street, Inspire Makers is

a creative space showcasing the talent of over 50 Cornish artists and

craftspeople. There is a wide range of contemporary work from both wellknown

and emerging makers, across jewellery, ceramics, textiles, painting

& prints, stationery, and homewares. There is also a pop-up gallery which

hosts a year round programme of short exhibitions by Cornish artists, and a

dedicated workshop space which offers classes to inspire people to become

creative themselves. Check our website for details on what’s coming up.

Opening Times: Tues to Sat 10am-5pm

Inspire Makers, 5 High Street, Falmouth, TR11 2AB • T: 01326 531176

E: create@inspiremakers.com • W: www.inspiremakers.com

A @inspire_makers • G inspiremakers

MARTIN JOHN FOWLER

JACKSON FOUNDATION

SHARON MCSWINEY

Martin John Fowler is a

professional working artist

based in South Yorkshire

with strong connections

to Cornwall. Displaying

in several local galleries,

Martin’s work looks to

capture Cornwall’s rugged

and wild coastal areas,

often en plein air when

possible, and as a result

has had his work exhibition

both nationally and

internationally in solo and

mixed exhibitions.

www.martinjohnfowler.com

KURT JACKSON - KENIDJACK: A CORNISH VALLEY

Kenidjack Valley in West Cornwall is one of those special places spilling

over with natural treasures, heritage and dramatic topography.

Kurt Jackson has spent over three years painting it to explore, reengage

and immerse himself through the seasons from top to tail of this

extraordinary watercourse, the UK’s ‘almost-most’ westerly valley.

We have moved to a new gallery space exhibiting handcrafted metalwork,

jewellery & paintings. Inspired by the sea unique metal seaweed wall

pieces & silver limpet jewellery capture the Cornish coast.

Sharon McSwiney, Gallery on the Square, Island Square, St Ives TR26 1NX

Tel: 01736 448293 • www.sharonmcswiney.co.uk

VALLEY LIVES

Kenidjack Valley has been inhabited for

6,000 years. This has been a place of

mining, metalwork and agriculture.

Along the valley there were shops, a

Sunday school, places of recreation and

manufacture. Some of these have now

gone but a thriving community lives on.

This collection of images and artefacts

aims to tell the story of this valley.

Open Tuesday - Saturday.

North Row, St Just, TR19 7LB

T: 01736 787638

www.jacksonfoundationgallery.com

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n 66 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


68 FOOD BITES

70 GREAT CORNISH FOOD STORE

74 DISH: RODDA'S WITH EMILY SCOTT

76 DRYANUARY INSPIRATION

78 PLACES TO EAT: VEGANUARY

82 EXPERIENCE: LAPPA VALLEY

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bites

New site for Primrose Herd

Primrose Herd, which has been

delivering the finest Cornish

pork to retail customers and

the hospitality trade for over

two decades, has expanded to

a new site on the outskirts of

processing and butchery facility,

office space and pop-up shop.

“Despite the challenges of the

pandemic, demand continues

to grow so it feels like the right

time to expand,” she says.

Truro. Award-winning farmer “We’re offering a Click & Collect

Sally Lugg started the family

business in 1999 with just two

pigs on one farm in Redruth; the

service for online orders, and

will be opening a pop-up shop

in the run-up to Christmas.” l

new HQ at Cornwall Cold Store

in Newham includes a large www.primroseherd.co.uk

Great Success for Farm Shop

A new farm shop and café near St Austell has

enjoyed brisk trade in the first six months of trading.

Owners Alison and Paddy Talen opened Trevithick

& Trays Farm Shop & Café at London Apprentice

in April, selling a range of Cornish meats, eggs,

conserves, sauces, artisan breads, seasonal fruit and

vegetables, as well ciders, beers, wines and spirits

from local producers such as St Austell Brewery,

Knightor Winery and Colwith Farm Distillery. The

café is convenient for the Pentewan Trail and has

a dog-friendly outdoor dining area. Look out for

late-night Christmas shopping evenings on Fridays

December 10 and 17. l

Visit the Facebook page or call 01726 458324.

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Prestige for Cornish Restaurants

Congratulations to the Cornish restaurants featured in this year’s prestigious

AA guide. They include The Great British Menu winner Paul Ainsworth at No.

6, Padstow; Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac; The Royal Duchy Hotel, Falmouth

(pictured); and Fallowfields, in the Housel Bay Hotel on the Lizard peninsula. Now

in its 28th edition, The Restaurant Guide 2022 features over 1,700 restaurants in

the UK and Ireland, broken down by county and including a detailed description of

each destination, information on latest chef changes, opening times and sample

menu prices, and AA mapping of each region. RRP £16.99. l

Royal Navy Cookbook

From the staple

‘hard tack’ biscuits of

Admiral Nelson’s days

to the sumptuous

feasts prepared by

today’s chefs, food

has always played

a central role in the

Royal Navy. A new

cookbook shines a light on the incredible

skill and talent found within this demanding

industry: Galley - The Royal Navy & Royal

Marines Charity Cookbook features

contributions from 20 professional chefs

with a naval connection, including several

with links to HMS Raleigh in Torpoint,

south-east Cornwall. Each has shared a

starter, main and dessert alongside their

journey through active service and beyond.

The book is also packed with insights into

Navy life and traditions, such as the strictly

observed toasts of Burns Night (January 25).

All proceeds from sales will go towards the

charity’s work supporting serving personnel,

veterans and their families. RRP £25. l

Porthleven Food

Festival returns

The 2022 Porthleven Food Festival will take

place from April 22 to 24, 2022. Following

a two year break due to the Coronavirus

outbreak, the popular free festival will once

again welcome top chefs, food providers and

musicians from across the South West to the

picturesque harbourside. Trader bookings

will open soon and tickets will go on sale in

the new year. All the latest information will

be posted on Facebook, Instagram and at

porthlevenfoodfestival.com l

@ John Hersey

Ugly Butterfly New Menu

A new menu has landed at Adam Handling’s Ugly Butterfly on the Carbis Bay Estate

near St Ives. Look out for Cornish crab, apple and jasmine; BBQ lobster, carrot, pak

choi; and white chocolate, cucumber and dill. The signature dish is lobster cured

for 24 hours in beef fat, cooked simply on a barbecue and served garnish-free,

letting the incredible quality speak for itself. Local suppliers include Homage to the

Bovine in Stithians, regenerative farm Trenow Fields in Perranuthnoe, Trink Dairy in

St Ives and Matthew Stevens for seafood. Bar manager Josh Linfitt, has developed

an innovative cocktail menu using kitchen byproducts: for example, the Faltown

Martini uses oyster shells to infuse vodka and harness the flavour of the ocean,

served straight out of the freezer at -15˚C. l

www.uglybutterfly.co.uk

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KEEPING IT

CORNISH

Fantastic quality at no great cost to your

pocket or the environment – the Great

Cornish Food Store is pulling out all the

stops for Christmas

Photographs

by Kate Whitaker

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| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


If you've been listening to the COP26

conference from Glasgow, you might

be wondering how you can approach

Christmas from an environmentally

friendly direction. The Great Cornish Food

Store is keen to help, offering the finest,

freshest produce at reasonable prices, as

well as expert service and handy tips from

its team of butchers, fishmongers, chefs

and personal shoppers.

"Buying local can make an impact, as it

reduces the need for distribution as well

as being good for Cornwall’s economy -

you’ll be supporting all our independent

suppliers, for many of whom the pandemic

has been harsh,” says business owner

Ruth Huxley.

Whether you’re seeking a succulent joint

as the focal point of a feast or something

ready-made that you can slam in the

oven, both are available here, with a trail

from plough to plate. Launceston-based

farmer and master butcher Philip Warren

and his son, Ian, supply beef to around

20 Michelin-starred restaurants, from the

crème de la crème of the Cornwall food

scene to top London names. Pork and

lamb come from JV Richards of Perranwell,

just five miles away, bacon and gammons

from the Cornish Farmhouse Bacon

Company of Bude. Turkey and geese come

from Treway Farm, near Grampound, a

family farm rearing free range birds to the

‘Golden Turkey’ standard.

Fish and seafood are sourced daily from

Newlyn, Looe and St Ives; crab meat is

handpicked fresh, and whole cooked

crab and lobsters can be ordered when

available. As the store only stocks fresh

and never frozen, there will be no fish

counter between December 20 and

January 4, when the markets close down.

Alternatively, in-store chefs led by Nick

Tinney have cooked up a range of

celebration food, side dishes and nibbles to

rival any high-street supermarket, with the

added bonus that they use top-quality local

produce. Set price packages are available

for any occasion, from intimate Christmas

parties to full-on office get-togethers.

“People are getting together for the first

time in a long while, and want to make the

most of the occasion," says Ruth. “We’d like

to think they can do that without spending

a lot of time slaving away in the kitchen, by

buying beautiful pieces of meat or ready-

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made food from us. We do it all, it comes

to you in a box and all you have to do is put

it on a plate. We’ve taken the sweat out of

it but not the quality of the end product.”

There are no significant supply issues

expected, but as with every Christmas,

early pre-ordering (deadline: December

10) is recommended for peace of mind,

especially if you have specific needs.

This year, online shopping has been

paused for Christmas, enabling staff

to focus on the shop at its busiest time.

This is a good thing, according to Ruth.

“Shopping isn’t dead. Go to a real place.

Give yourself a buzz. Talk to a real person.

Know what you’re getting: see it, smell it,

taste it. Get some advice from someone

who knows it inside out. It’s the next best

thing to talking to the producers – we have

a close relationship with them and have

worked with them for years.”

That goes for more than 200 producers, who

between them have supplied an impressive

2,000 lines. “We have regular conversations

with them and try every product ourselves

before stocking anything,” says Ruth. Most

of the food on sale in the deli is made

daily in the kitchen, from pâtés, salads and

dips to meals and accompaniments, and

Cornish scones of course.

The beautiful photography on the website has

been shot to reflect how food might look in

your home kitchen – think rustic and informal

rather than primped and pimped, and more

achievable. “It’s the reality,” says Ruth.

Customers are typically people who are

interested in Cornwall and Cornish food,

and Ruth is keen to broaden the store’s

appeal to all generations, especially

young professionals who are traditionally

more likely to shop elsewhere.

She is also keen to signpost corporate

gifts – treat your staff to something nice in

a classy black gift box. “A bit of food and

drink never goes amiss.”

And there’s more than food here – you

can also find a wide range of Cornish

homewares, books and cards. “You can do

all your Christmas shopping here,” says

Ruth. “I know – I do.” l

The Great Cornish Food Store,

Tregurra Park, Newquay Road,

Truro TR1 1RH.

Tel 01872 306060

greatcornishfood.co.uk

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Photograph

by Beth Druce

n 74 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Dish

of the

Month

A COLLABORATION BETWEEN

RODDA’S CORNISH

CLOTTED CREAM

AND

CHEF EMILY SCOTT

This Christmas, Rodda’s is adding a

spoonful of wonderful to the festive

celebrations, by collaborating with

Cornwall-based

chef-restaurateur

Emily Scott to produce three exclusive

recipes using its Cornish clotted cream,

that look beyond the traditional mince

pies and Christmas puddings.

Emily has devised three incredibly

indulgent dishes to bring some luxury

to the table this Christmas: chestnut

and sage soup finished with clotted

cream; fillet of beef with pumpkin

and red onions, and Rodda’s clotted

horseradish cream; and, always a

crowd-pleaser, a festive chocolate

roulade with clotted cream crème

Chantilly and gold leaf.

Few have had a better year than

Emily, with her impressive list of

accomplishments including opening

a brand-new restaurant at Watergate

Bay, cooking for world leaders at

the G7 Summit and publishing her

first cookbook, Sea & Shore (Hardie

Grant, £26).

But she loves nothing more than

bringing friends and family together

through food, creating memorable

moments intertwined with fond

feelings of nostalgia. Emily cooks

with seasonal ingredients, and keeps

things simple so you can recreate her

genius easily at home.

“Cornwall to me is a place of sea

shanties, finding ‘treasure’ on the

beaches, building sandcastles, combing

for shells, and the pure Cornish gold

that is Rodda’s: thick and silky clotted

cream with the most unmistakable

crust. I have fond childhood memories

of morning walks to the bakery with my

father for the best teatime treat: the

deliciousness of splits, and always jam

first. I have loved creating these festive

recipes, and I hope you will use them

year after year."

Rodda’s managing director Nicholas

Rodda adds: “In a year that’s all about

bringing people together again, we

wanted to make Christmas Day extraspecial.

We have worked with Emily to

this end, to create a truly memorable

festive feast.”

Further recipes can be found at online at

www.roddas.co.uk/amazing-recipes/

RICH CHOCOLATE ROULADE

WITH RODDA’S CLOTTED CREAM

CRÈME CHANTILLY

A delicious pudding that is quick and simple,

sweet and rich, yet light - everything I love. Served

on a large serving plate and decorated with festive

foliage, it brings joy to children and adults alike.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 8

500g 54% dark chocolate

2 tbsp water

300g caster sugar

10 medium eggs, separated

For the Clotted Cream

Crème Chantilly

500g Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream

100ml double cream

1 vanilla pod, split

25g sifted icing sugar

icing sugar to decorate

gold leaf to decorate

METHOD

• Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line a Swiss roll

tray 35 x 25 cm with baking parchment. Break

the chocolate into small pieces and melt over

a bain marie.

• Add the water to the melted chocolate.

• Remove from the heat and set aside.

• Meanwhile whisk the sugar and egg yolks

together until thick and fluffy, to a ribbon stage.

• Add the cooled chocolate to the mixture.

• In a large clean bowl whisk the egg whites

until stiff.

• Carefully fold the egg whites into the

chocolate mixture.

• Pour into the prepared tray and bake in the

oven for 12 minutes until set.

• Allow to cool. Place a damp tea towel over

the sponge, this will create steam as it cools

which helps make the sponge easier to roll.

• Meanwhile, for the crème Chantilly, whip the

Rodda’s clotted cream, double cream, sifted

icing sugar and vanilla seeds together until

thick enough to spread, being careful not to

take it too far so it curdles.

• Remove the damp tea towel and turn out the

sponge onto new parchment.

• Spread the Chantilly crème mixture, leaving a

gap at both ends and dust with extra icing sugar.

• Roll up the sponge confidently, do not worry

if it cracks or breaks, this just adds to the

character similar to a Yule log.

• Place on a wooden board, dust with more

icing sugar, which is a great way to hide any

imperfections, although I am rather fond of them.

• Brush with gold leaf for that extra Christmas feel.

• Eat with happiness and extra Rodda’s clotted

cream if feeling indulgent.

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 75 n


A SOFT

TOUCH

Want to lay off the booze for Dryanuary,

but can’t face a month of sugary soft drinks?

Here are some refined alternatives, all made in Cornwall.

n 76 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Jack’s Kombucha

Slow-fermented kombucha has been

revered as a revitalising, healthsupporting

elixir for over 2,000 years. Tim

Orr of Jack’s describes it as "refreshing

and moreish with none of the sugar crash

or after taste that comes with so many

soft drinks”. Produced between The

Helford and River Fal, Jack’s is a delicious,

feel-good fusion that deserves posh

glasses. Lightly sparkling and brimming

with active, gut friendly cultures, this

enlivening concoction is vegan and

gluten-free too. With layers of complex,

fermented flavour and a tart, clean finish,

it’s a satisfying hangover-free alternative

to beer, wine or fizz. Unopened, it keeps

in the fridge for months.

jackskombucha.co.uk

Pentire Drinks

Pentire Drinks of Port Isaac make botanical

non-alcoholic spirits for active, healthy

living. Plants native to local headlands

are distilled to produce two delectable

tipples: Adrift, easy-drinking with a coastal

taste, herbaceous and fresh; and Seaward,

invigorating with zesty and verdant notes.

Add ice and tonic, or explore the list of

cocktail recipes online. £26.80, 70cl.

pentiredrinks.com

Wild Life Botanicals

#BubblesWithBenefits is the slogan of

this sparkling wine, ultra-low in alcohol

yet ultra-high in goodness. Available in

‘Nude’ and ‘Blush’, it has just 0.5% ABV

and 60% fewer calories than champagne

or prosecco. One 125ml glass delivers a

minimum of 15% of the daily reference

intake of eight active vitamins and

minerals. A 75cl bottle in a stylish gift box

featuring abstracts from an original piece

of artwork (Ecosystem by Sarah Trewhella)

costs £15.

www.wildlifebotanicals.co.uk

High Point Drinks

Launched in October by Eddie Lofthouse,

founder of premium craft brewery Harbour,

each High Point bottle is a month in the

making, crafted without artificial flavours

or colours - just Cornish spring water,

tea leaves and natural ingredients. Ruby

blends hibiscus, lavender, wormwood,

pink peppercorn, orange and pink

grapefruit zest to produce a wild herbal

aroma, while Amber draws upon ginger,

clove, vanilla, cacao nibs and gentian

root, all cold smoked and aged for one

week, producing notes of freshly stoked

embers and toffee. £19.99, 70cl.

highpointdrinks.co.uk

R-Chi Tea

Archie Boscawen grew up on the UK’s

only tea estate, at Tregothnan near Truro.

He and the camellia bushes recently

celebrated their 21st birthday, and Archie

marked the occasion by creating R-Chi

Iced Tea, a refreshing soft drink that not

only tastes good, but also maximises

the natural, antioxidant-packed health

benefits of the leaves. No. 1: Earl Grey

with blackcurrant; No. 2: Manuka with

ginger, turmeric and lemon.

www.r-chitea.com

Doom Bar Zero

The first scale 0.0% amber ale in the UK

market, Doom Bar Zero is based on Sharp’s

flagship bottle. It shares the same moreish

and balanced character as the ‘mother’

brand, and stays true to the amber ale

style with a sweet roasted malt flavour

and a subtle green hop aroma. With

succulent dried fruit, lightly roasted malt

and a subtle bitterness, it is as deliciously

moreish as its alcoholic counterpart, yet

drives a new flavour profile all of its own

due to its alcohol-free nature. The team

spent two years fine-tuning the formula,

and it paid off, winning a silver gong at

the coveted World Beer Awards 2020.

www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 77 n


Veganuary

Whether you’re a committed vegan, going on a new year health kick or just fancy

some veggies, there are some fabulous eat-in and take-out vegan options available

in Cornwall. Here are just a few.

Vega Tintagel

Bossiney Road, Tintagel, PL34 0AH

Tel: 01840 770460. FB: Vega Tintagel

Aiming to explode the myth that vegan food is bland and

boring, Vega serves 100% vegan food and drink, using

organic, Fairtrade ingredients wherever possible. Choose

from a tapas menu to try a selection of different dishes, and

a core menu featuring curries and pasta; 50% of all profits

go to animal welfare charities. Vega is closed for eating in

from winter to Easter, but Take-Out Fridays continue from 5

to 7pm, and look out for a brief reopening in February halfterm.

vegatintagel.wordpress.com

Be Kind the Vegan

Coffee Caravan

South Quay Hayle Harbour, Hayle, TR27 4EP. Tel: 07492 502873

The delightful Marek and Miska run this all-vegan caravan selling

cakes, hot drinks and savoury treats. Try the popular vegan kebab

wrap - plant-based spiced kebab meat with vegan mayo, sriracha

sauce, homemade tzatziki and vegetables – or the salted tahini

caramel millionaire bars. Be sure to take your snack for a stroll around

this UNESCO world heritage site, once home to a noisy foundry and

busy port. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.15am to 3pm. Facebook

@bekind.vegan.caravan

Wilder Allotment Kitchen

Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Chapel Hill, Porthtowan, TR4 8HL.

Tel: 07534 621057

Vegan cafe focused on delicious wholesome food. International

food a speciality; look out for Mexican nights, Reggae Roasts and

Indian Thali. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights; café

Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm (closed January 23 to 26).

www.wilderallotmentkitchen.co.uk

n 78 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


The Bean Inn

Vegetarian Restaurant

St Ives Road, Carbis Bay, TR26 2RT. Tel: 01736 791706.

The Bean Inn has earned a reputation as one of Cornwall’s most

reliable vegetarian establishments. All dishes are either are vegan

or can be adapted. Globally inspired mains include potato cakes

stuffed with pea curry, served with tarka dhal and a chilli and

coriander flatbread; follow this with chocolate and orange mud pie

for dessert, washed down with Wild Thing organic wine. Enjoy your

favourite dish at home with a restaurant meal kit, prepared and

ready to cook in the oven or on the stove. (The Bean Inn team will

take a well-earned break in January). www.thebeaninn.co.uk

The Hungry Hamster

This self-dubbed Cornish “plantisserie” can provide anything

from elegant afternoon teas and picnic hampers, to event and

private catering. Owner Fern Pugh’s culinary style is inspired

by the ritual of eating abroad, making the simplest of meals

an experience; she draws upon her childhood travels and an

international career working in top restaurants and hotels. Fern

is based in Looe and takes orders for local deliveries; you can

also find her at Truro Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays until

December 16, then from January 12.

Facebook @The Hungry-Hamster, hungry-hamster.com

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 79 n


Sprout Health Foods

The Old Printhouse, Crescent Lane, Newquay, TR7 1FZ.

Tel: 01637 875845.

Popular health food shop with vegan cafe. Look out for the Daily

Sprout Pot - a winter warmer around the £5 mark, usually a dhal,

curry or stew accompanied by basmati rice, always gluten-free and

using wholefood ingredients. Follow it up with a treat from the wide

range of raw cakes, again free of gluten and refined sugar. Sprout

at the Yard can be found at 44 St Pirans Road, Perranporth (closed

January). www.sprouthealth.co.uk

Buddhas Kitchen &

Wellness Lounge

7 Madford Lane, Launceston, PL15 9EB Tel: 01566 772435

A vegan cafe with signature dishes including the mouthwatering

BBQ jackfruit kebab, delectable desserts including

the Smores Square, and caffeine-free energy-boosting

drinks such as the beetroot and ginger latte. Look out for

regular live music, and an evening menu for late-night

shopping on Wednesday, December 10. Facebook: @

buddhasmindfuleating

n 80 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


Archie Browns,

Truro and Penzance

You can’t list vegan eateries without mentioning Archie Brown’s.

Sadly, the pandemic has seen both cafes close, but the Penzance

store still offers takeaway food and smoothies, and both are your

first port-of-call for health foods, environmentally friendly products

and ethical purchases. For more information, visit

www.archiebrownscornwall.co.uk

The Fish Factory

Art Space

Commercial Road, Penryn, TR10 8AG. Tel: 01326 618364

A bright and comfortable space serving an array of vegan

snacks, drinks and light meals from crumpets and cakes to

sausage rolls, pizza slices and soups. Why not check out an

exhibition while you’re there? See p60 for inspiration.

www.fishfactoryarts.space

The Cornish Vegan, Truro

15 Kenwyn Street, Truro TR1 3BU. 01872 271540

Nourishing, heart-warming and delicious food in Truro’s

bohemian Kenwyn Street. Most of the range is handmade on

site using locally and sustainably sourced products, including

fabulous cakes (including mince pies!). Also selling vegan

pasties by The Cornish Oven. Open Wednesday to Sunday.

www.thecornishvegan.com

t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 81 n


LAPPA VALLEY

Lappa Valley has opened a new purpose-built indoor soft play centre and café as

part of a significant investment that will transform the much-loved attraction into

a year-round, all-weather destination.

For almost half a century, families have

enjoyed fun-filled days with train rides,

outdoor play areas and attractions set

on and around the picturesque boating

lake at St Newlyn East, between Truro

and Newquay.

The site was founded in 1974, and

visitors still begin their visit with a trip

on a narrow-gauge steam train, from

Benny Halt to the site of the former

lead and silver mine at East Wheal

Rose, complete with its imposing 1830s

engine house and chimney.

Keith & Sara Southwell acquired Lappa

Valley in 2014 and The Engine Shed,

which is central to their plans to improve

the attraction, opened to visitors for

October half-term. At the heart of the

new energy-efficient building is a multilevel

soft play area with two play zones,

one for under-fives and the other for

children aged five to 12. A 100-cover

indoor café features an expanded food

and drink offering, with a large decked

area overlooking the boating lake.

“It has always been our ambition

to become the number one tourist

attraction for under 10s in Cornwall,

but without a wet-weather facility this

could not be achieved,” says Keith. “The

Engine Shed turns Lappa Valley into

an all-weather destination, and we’re

excited to be open all year round.”

The new development includes two

dedicated party rooms with direct

access to the soft play areas, so young

partygoers can get straight into the

action. There are also unisex toilets

with touch-free taps and flushes and

a Changing Places toilet to cater for

visitors with disabilities.

“One of our core values is to ensure

everybody can enjoy a day out with us

so we’re particularly pleased to be able

to upgrade our facilities with everyone

in mind,” Keith adds. “The Engine Shed

lays the foundation stones of our vision

of the next 50 years of Lappa Valley.” l

Advance booking is highly

recommended as tickets are limited in

number. Visit www.lappavalley.co.uk

n 82 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022


t @myCornwall_ | G myCornwalltv | w www.thatsmycornwall.com 83 n


n 84 | My

| Volume 2 Issue 69 | December 2021 - January 2022

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