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Cornish Story The Real Cornish Online Magazine

guizing and grinning gaukums Merv Davey Discusses The Mid Winter Festivals

Wet Winter Wonderland Surfing Through The Cold Cornish Winter Waters

Memoirs of Christmas at Downlong George Care’s Memory of Winter Festivities

43rd Cornish Christmas in California Gage McKinney Discusses a Cornish Christmas Accross the Pond

Winter 2010 Christmas Celebrations • Dances • Tasy Treats • Picrous and the Piskies


Gwav Winter 2010

Gorhemynadow a’n Seson!

Gwav Winter 2010

Season’s greetings and welcome to the winter edition , of

Cornish Story

Cornish Story

With Christmas nearly here, is striving to bring you all the best that Cornwall has to offer, with our what’s on in Cornwall this winter article, and we cover news and views from around Cornwall in our ‘Up to Date’ section. We also take a look at the people of Cornwall and how they have celebrated Christmases past and present, George Care’s memoir of Christmas in Downlong transports all your senses back to the 1950’s, defiantly worth a read to get you in the Christmas mood and we have been getting in touch with Cornish people around the world to hear about how they celebrate Christmas. Not only that but this gwav (winter) we have been embracing the Cornish language in a big way and to show our appreciation for all of the work that is going on around Cornwall encouraging people to use Cornish, we have a whole section on the language in this issue.

Front Cover Malcolm Sutcliffe Glass Gallery in Penryn Photograph by Kate Ruberry

Also, not only do we have some delicious festive recipes for you to have a go at, we also have on board this winter Cornwall-based chef, Sanjay Kumar who gives you a look into being chef in Cornwall. We revisit the ‘Keep Cornwall Whole’ campaign to see how it is developing, and delve into Cornwall’s historical Christmas past, with articles on the Montol Festival and an insight into Guizing dancing by Merv Davey. Whatever you plan to do this year, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you all again in the new year! Nadelik Lowen ha Bledhen Nowyth Da! Dani and Kate

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With Thanks To:

Contributors:

Tamar Valley AONB MAGA Lowender Perran The Celtic Link Project Brokers Research and Knowledge Transfer Cornwall VolleyBall Association Keep Cornwall Whole Drill Hall in St.Ives Beth Evans All of our advertisers & interviewees

Dani Burt- co-editor & Designer Kate Ruberry- co-editor & PR Garry Tregidga- Managing Director Writers: Tom Shoemack, Matt Nicholas, Lee Rotbart, J.Trevor Lawrence, Claire Morgan, George Care, Gage Mckinney, Colin.D.Roberts, Tiffany Naylor, Dani Burt, Kate Ruberry, Paul Scott, Elizabeth Stewart, Sanjay Kumar, Jesse Harasta, Beth Evans, Garry Tregidga, Merv Davey and Amy Dennis Notes: The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect that of Cornish Story. Cornish Story Magazine

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Contents

Gwav Winter 2010

Gwav Winter 2010

Contents

Contents Features

14 Wet Winter Wonderland 24 Memoirs of Christmas at Downlong 28 43rd Cornish Christmas in California 60 Guizing and Grinning Gaukums

News.

6 Environment 8 Sports 10 Music 12 Campaigns

People

18 From London To Cornwall 20 Cornish and Celtic Stories

Places

21 Drill Hall Re-opens 22 A Cornish Christmas 27 Lansallos 32 Christmas in Australia 34 Behind the Showlights in Mousehole

Creative

36 Beautiful Hand Blown Baubles, Straight From Cornwall 38 The Theatre of Cornwall- A Review 42 Crowning Glory From Cornish Story 43 Cornish Film Festival 44 What Shall I bee?

Language

46 Cornish Has It’s Act Together 48 The New MAGA Website

Food

50 Stargazie Pie 52 Cornish Christmas Fudge 54 Chocolate Cased Cheesecake

Events

56 What To Do This Winter 58 Picrous and the Piskies in the Cellar 63 A Different View of Montol 64 The Making of the City of Lights 4

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Cornish Story Magazine

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News

Gwav Winter 2010

Gwav Winter 2010

News

Up To Date

With cORNWALL’s Environment

Calstock Viaduct What's New at Wacker Quay? Local interest in managing the popular beauty spot at Wacker Quay has been growing, following news of the imminent agreement by the Tamar Community Trust to take over the lease of the site from Cornwall Council. Two meetings in Antony village have stimulated ideas to help look after and improve the site's wildlife interest, historical value and leisure uses. It's vital that local people are directly involved and have a say in improvements and regular maintenance. Tamar Valley AONB and the Tamar Community Trust are helping to get this process

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started and to offer future support for local initiatives. Cornwall Council have looked after Wacker Quay for several years and plan to complete drainage and surface improvements in the parking area this year. On the 14th November, we cleared a pathway along part of the overgrown old railway track that once led to the nearby military forts. For more information contact the AONB office on 01822 835030 or email: walkscoordinator@ tamarvalley.org.uk

Wait a minute, what is the Tamar Valley AONB? The Tamar Valley, bordering Cornwall and Devon, is one of the most beautiful and historically significant areas in the UK. In 1995, the Tamar Valley was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) making it one of 40 in England and Wales. An AONB is given protection because of its environmental, geological and wildlife importance and because of its cultural heritage; the primary aim being ‘to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape.’

The Tamar Valley AONB spans from Felldownhead all the way doen to Wacker Quay and they will be keeping Cornish Story updated with all of the environemntal issues in the area. The Tamar Valley Areas of Natural Beauty have a fantastic wensite and newsletter with events, campaigns, walks, talks and tours going on around the area. Check out the website at www. tamarvalley.org.uk Tamar Valley AONB, Tamar Valley Centre, Cemetery Road, Drakewalls, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9FE

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News

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Gwav Winter 2010

Up To Date

News court. We normally return home, muscles aching, long after dark. It’s a big commitment for everyone involved, all players train with local sides as well as coming together as the Kernow team.

With cORNWALL’s Sports

Kernow travelled to Exeter last weekend to take on Devizes and Torexe volleyball clubs. We set off from Truro at 9am to arrive in time to referee the 1st match. After filling up on chocolate and energy drinks Kernow took to the court and cruised past Devizes (with a little hiccup in the 2nd set). You may well have seen people playing volleyball on the beaches of Cornwall in the summer but did you know that The Cornwall Volleyball Association has been active for over 20 years, and clubs can be found all over the county playing in the local Cornwall league. Volleyball is a lightening fast indoor sport played in teams of 6 over a 2.43m (8ft) net and is one of the most participated sports in the world. Three years ago the best players in the county came together to compete in the South-West volleyball league under the umbrella of ‘Kernow Volleyball’ playing teams from as far a field as Bournemouth, Devizes and Cardiff. It was a big step up for players mainly in their early 20s to make and we struggled in our 1st season but since have gone from strength to strength. After finishing 3rd last season we have now won 5 out of 6 of our matches this season with the aim of promotion to national division 3 south next year. Sundays usually start early with a journey up the A30, lasting for the entire day, playing 2 matches, and always taking our ‘Kernow bys vyken’ call onto

The final match against Torexe was tense, lasting for the full 5 sets and over 2 hours. Kernow managed to pull out the win and keep promotion hopes for next year on track. We returned home at around 7.30, all shattered and ready to flop down in front of the TV! Next Kernow will welcome Bristol and Yeovil to Truro leisure centre for our last match before the New Year. For those interested check out the Cornwall Volleyball Association or Kernow Mens Volleyball facebook pages or www.cornwallvolleyball.co.uk Matches involve welcoming teams to Truro or travelling up the A30 on a Sunday for a full day of volleyball taking our, ‘Kernow bys vyken’ call with us. We are a young squad, most players are in their early 20s and we are improving fast. Our ambitions are to gain promotion at the end of the season into National League 3 South, travelling as far North as Norwich. Last match before the Christmas break sees Kernow welcoming Yeovil and Bristol to Truro.

Kernow Volleyball By Tom Shoemack

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Cornish Story Magazine

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News

Gwav Winter 2010

Up To Date

With cORNWALL’s music

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News

Lowender Peran One of the cultural highlights of October every year is without a doubt Lowender Peran, the festival of interceltic music, dance and culture. This year the festival was held from Wednesday 13th to Sunday 17th October at various venues around Perranporth, including the Ponsmere Hotel, Seiners and Upper Deck.

The festival has always helped to promote the Cornish language, and this year there was more Cornish to be heard than ever before. There was a bilingual troyl where dances were called in Cornish and English and many of the concerts were introduced by bilingual MCs, one of whom was the Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh, Mick Paynter. On Sunday afternoon both Cornish speakers and people with no previous experience of the language joined together to sing traditional songs in Cornish in a sing-along session led by Matthi an Gan. It was even possible to order your pint in Cornish, as staff working the Celtic Link Skinners Bar at the Ponsmere Hotel had been coached to take simple drinks orders in Cornish, and a Cornish lesson for complete beginners was run by teacher, Jerry Jefferies, to give punters a head start with ordering their pints in Cornish.

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News

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News

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Up To Date

With cORNWALL’s Campaigns The Mayor of Saltash Adam Killeya, has been keeping Cornish Story updated on the progress of the Keep Cornwall Whole campaign that we covered in the Autumn issue. Here’s what he had to say: “The ‘Commons voted this evening against the amendment to protect Cornwall, although all 6 Cornish MPs voted for it. We are naturally very disappointed by this result, but sadly not surprised. We wll fight on with the House of Lords and beyond until the fight is over. The fact that we have united all the parties in Cornwall to fight this, and had it debated at the highest levels is no mean achievement in itself, and we will build on this.  Since the original story we have taken a dual approach to the campaign - fighting one fight to

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Left: Horse Riding on the Tamar Trails Below: Autumn River Cruise

raise awareness in Parliament, writing several letters both to all MPs and to particular groups MPs. The other fight has been in the media and the court of public opinion to raise awareness. We had a very successful rally in Saltash in October with around 500 protestors, speakers from a huge range of political opinion (from MK to UKIP!) and excellent coverage. In fact press coverage has been very good overall - local, regional and national press, local and regional radiom and regional and naitonal TV including BBC2 daily politics last week. The Cornish MPs also got an audience to discuss it with the PM last week (following on from KCW’s trip to see the Deputy PM in September)   It remains an uphill battle, but a very important one to Cornwall.

A Bountiful Autumn Tamar Trails Festival It was a vintage year for the annual Autumn Tamar Trails Festival, with more than 40 fantastic events taking place over the half-term. There was something on offer for all, including: autumn river cruises, learning about food and medicine found in our hedgerows, fire and bushcraft skills and horse riding around the Tamar Trails network in aid of charity, with Stoke Climsland & District Riding Association.

a factory in Lifton; the route waymarking discs carry their logo, so it was appropriate that staff from the factory joined the inaugural walk along the route.

Several walks were organized through the Tamar Valley AONB. 'Walking the new Lifton Link' was an enormously popular event within this autumn's Trails Festival. The Lifton Link is a newly promoted walking route which we have waymarked this year to provide an off-road alternative to the existing northern section of the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail. The new route has been sponsored by Ambrosia, as they have

woodland with Launceston Castle and Bodmin Moor in the background.' The walk ended at Kelly House with a warm welcome from the Kelly family who provided a sit down tea in their Tudor kitchen, an excellent way to round off a successful walk. The event was oversubscribed so we will include a repeat in our Spring Trail Festival.

Rosemary Teverson (Tamar Valley AONB Project Manager) commented: 'We were blessed with brilliant autumn sunshine and the effort of climbing several steepish slopes rewarded us with outstanding views over farmland and

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WetWonderland Winter

People

Gwav Winter 2010

By Matt Nicholas

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People

Gwav Winter 2010Mathew Nicholas talks to Cornish Story about his experience as a winter surfer.

With a sharp breath I grabbed my leash and dived under; submerging myself in the freezing cold water once more as the umpteenth wave rolled over, trying to push my board, and me, back to shore. This is the lesser-known practise of winter surfing, the thrill of braving bitter Cornish waters for a different take on the famed ‘summer’ sport for which the county is renowned. Whilst most people are happy to splash about in summer waves once a year, there are the hardened percentage of the population that have no fear of taking a post-September dip into the Atlantic.

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People

By reading the first paragraph you would have realised that I am by no means Kelly Slater (10 time ASP - Association of Surfing Professionals champion) when it comes to the sport, but having experienced a season of winter surfing first hand, I can tell you that it’s a totally different beast to sloppy summer waves. Firstly, you have to kick the neoprene up a notch, Malcolm Ball of Snugg wetsuits advises: “The minimum thickness would be a 4:3, that’s if you’re a hardy soul, but the majority of people will go for a 5:4:3, that’s the staple diet for most.” The ratio of these numbers correlates to the

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Gwav Winter 2010

thickness of the wetsuit in certain areas, with the highest number (5 or 6 in thicker suits) being around the main area of the body, such as the chest and torso, and the lower numbers corresponding to the thickness in areas such as the legs and arms, to allow for more flexibility whilst still retaining warmth. I contacted Charlie Hibbert from Escape surfboards, who gave me some of the advantages of surfing in winter: “For starters it tends to keep the crowds down, surfing’s become so massive now. The media use it a lot so everyone wants to get involved with it.

Gwav Winter 2010

“All the little spots that used to be nice and quiet get pretty busy so at least in the winter when the temperatures drop people are less keen. You don’t get everyone bothering with it. “You just have to suck it up, get involved, and get out there in the cold!” So now you’ve got your wetsuit and your motivation, you’re all set to hit the waves. But we’ve forgotten the most important thing, safety. On the BSA (British Surf Association) website - www. britsurf.co.uk/surf-safety - there’s a comprehensive guide for new surfers, among the tips given is: “Check the area and make sure you are not alone if

People

in a remote area or even on a guarded beach. Take a buddy with you, besides its more fun. Look for any restrictions on the beach and adhere to them. If you are a beginner stick to beach breaks with a sandy beach at all states of the tide.” So there we have it, it’s all about staying warm, staying safe, and having fun. As Charlie from Escape put it, suck it up, get involved, and get out there in the cold!

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People

Gwav Winter 2010

Gwav Winter 2010

FromLondon ToCornwall by Lee Rotbart

People

started with booking tickets to see a performance of James and the Giant Peach at the Minack, and has so far involved selling my flat of 6 years (near the Olympic Park and before 2012, which I thought I’d never do), battling with banks for finance, writing endless versions of the same business plan, taking advantage of everybody we’ve ever met in order to glean information about all sorts of things from house buying through to website development, and ensuring that we do all this without having some kind of breakdown. It’s been an up and down journey, there were times when we thought we would never get the finances together, and there were times when I wondered why on earth I was leaving a stable, well paid job in London to cook breakfasts for unsuspecting tourists. However, every step of the way there’s been the dream of living somewhere where the sound of

View from the guesthouse waves crashing against the sand will lull you to sleep, where people smile at you in the street, and where there are numerous opportunities to get involved in all sorts of community fun, from the local arts centre through to volunteering at the RNLI shops. On a recent trip to St Ives Danny and I walked along Porthmeor Beach and couldn’t quite believe that this will be our new home. Just six hours (it really isn’t that far) from London we found ourselves in a different world. Warm breezes, friendly people, and the freshest fish I’ve ever tasted (not to mention the sticky toffee pudding at Hobblers, St Ives).

Who wouldn’t want to move to Cornwall? A county of such outstanding beauty that you feel inspired as soon as you cross the border. That was how my boyfriend and I felt as we walked along the Coastal Path (St Agnes to St Ives) in June of this year. Little did we know that in a matter of months we would have sold both our one-bedroom flats in the East End of London, had an offer accepted on a guest house in St Ives, and would be busy planning how fabulous our full English 18

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breakfasts (with a Cornish twist) were going to be.

We can’t wait to do up the new place and open our doors to guests. We want them to see what we see, to experience what we experience, to see Cornwall in all its glory – come rain or shine, and to see and do all that while knowing that they are coming back to a comfortable, warm house where there are homemade biscuits in the bedrooms, and the hosts are always on hand to give away some well-kept Cornwall secrets (once someone tells us)!

Having lived in London all my life I was quite surprised to find myself comparing the Underground to the friendly buses around Pendeen (the underground coming off far worse), and comparing my rather sedentary lifestyle, in an office in Soho, with being able to go for daily walks on Hayle beach. It was a spontaneous decision that felt long overdue. We stayed at a guest house overlooking Porthminster Beach in St Ives and, after a long conversation with the proprietors, found out two amazing things: (1) they told us about the Minack Theatre and (2) the guest house was on the market.

Follow my blog for developments: http:// porthminsterview.wordpress.com We look forward to welcoming you. Danny in the garden

This conversation triggered a chain of events that Cornish Story Magazine

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People

Cornish and Celtic Stories Trevor specialises in Cornish and Celtic stories in the ‘Droll’ tradition and performs for groups of all ages. There will invariably be an element of participation so that the audience has a hand in the success of the performance. This can range from simple repetition of words or phrases to dressing up and acting parts or joining in with the musical accompaniment - percussion instruments provided. Trevor will also bring his own instruments to play. The aim is an inclusive experience for all whilst learning a little of the traditions of Cornwall, and having FUN! Along with a keen interest in Cornish folklore, history and language, Trevor is also a musician and is a member of The Fishy Tales Company and Cornish band Hwilas; more details on the website. Recent storytelling performances have been at Lowender Peran and Saltfest Festivals, Halloween for the Forestry Commission, local schools, private groups and working with adults with learning difficulties. Trevor has a current CRB issued by Cornwall County Council and is fully insured.

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Gwav Winter 2010

Gwav Winter 2010

To arrange your storytelling session with Trevor contact him on: 01208 841660 or email: highpitpress@ thegreenhouse.telinco.co.uk Next public performance will be Christmas Stories with the Forestry Commission in Cardinham Woods on the 20th December. Phone them for reservations on Peninsula Events Booking Line: 01392 834233, or email: enquiries.peninsula@forestry.gsi.gov.uk, or visit: www.forestry.gov.uk/cardinham Website address: www.highpitpress.co.uk

Places

The

Drill Hall Re-opens

A historic building in St.Ives has been officially reopened by the Mayor after major refurbishments which will inject new life into the building as well as the local economy. The old Drill Hall has been a hub of the community for nearly 200 years, from church-goers to ATC cadets. It is now welcoming shoppers, as its seven units have filled, offering a wide range of products and services for residents and visitors to the town. The Drill Hall was officially opened on the 18th November with a private party for guests and ribbon cutting by the Mayor of St.Ives Cllr Yvonne Watson. Local businessman Pete Eddie, who now owns the building, has spent the best part of this year ensuring that the businesses which have taken the units will have the best possible facilities. Cllr Yvonne Watson, Mayor of St.Ives said, “I am delighted that we have had new and established businesses in the Drill Hall. It is a building which has been at the heart of the community in St.Ives for over 200 years, so it is right that it should continue to support the townspeople and their businesses.”

The Drill Hall was originally known as the St Ives Teetotal Methodist Chapel and dates back to 1841. The congregation gave their time and skills as tradesmen and for finance, a basin was kept on a table into which members placed whatever they could afford. The bowl was never failed to be replenished until the building was completed. The granite Teetotal Chapel featured box pews with doors and had a gallery running all around the interior. The old organ was up next to the gallery with the choir stalls. In its heyday, the chapel was greatly noted for the high standard of singing from the choir, whilst its large congregation included several of the best known personalities of early and mid-Victorian St.Ives. Over a period of 70 years, the Drill Hall featured in community life of St.Ives in a range of ways, which included being used as a boxing club and flee markets. For more information please drop into The Drill Hall on Chapel Street in St.Ives visit their Facebook page. If you have any stories to share about the Drill Hall, please email helen@eventy.co.uk

Peter Eddy added “There is something for everyone and I hope that it will be a hive of activity for the town. The seven businesses are CafeArt, Brooks Smith Gallery, Serendipity Smile, Birds of a Feather, Poppy Treffry, Salon Uno and Favela.”

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Places

Gwav Winter 2010

Egg Flip

A Cornish Christmas

Take the following ingredients and mix 4 oz brandy 4 oz cinnamon water 2 yolks of eggs ½ oz fine loaf sugar 2 drops of oil of cinnamon

by Claire Morgan

There are many wonderful traditions in Cornwall, but none so magical as those surrounding Christmas. This December, the Cornish Studies Library is mounting an exhibition highlighting many of these customs and giving people a look at Christmas past & present. Some of these customs may be familiar, like the Mousehole Lights and the Festival of the Nine Lessons, but some may be surprising; such as the (now sadly forgotten) tradition of shopkeepers in Falmouth giving the poor that visited them on Christmas Eve a piece of cake & drink of gin. And who among us remembers the names of Thomas Merritt, William Sandys & Davies Gilbert? All were composers of music to well known “curls” (or carols) such as “When Shepherds Watched”. Carolling was a very popular pastime, with the choirs of the local

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church or chapel singing from house to house. Nowadays, there are Carolaries and services held across Cornwall in the days leading up to Christmas. Before the Victorian popularisation of Christmas trees, most Cornish houses were decorated with evergreens, sold in small bunches, called penn’orths of Chris’mas & the merrily named “Kissing Bush”, which was made of 2 hoops of wood fastened 1 on the other by nails at the centres and decorated with more evergreens, apples, oranges and candles and suspended from the middle beam in the ceiling of the kitchen. In the days when open fires were common to all houses, the Cornish had their own form of the Yule Log. Known as a Christmas stock or block, it was decorated with the chalked figure of a man and

Places

Gwav Winter 2010

kindled with great ceremony, often from the charred remains of the previous year’s stock. Cakes were also a part of the tradition, with a particular type of saffron cake being made in some parts of the county on Christmas Eve. These differed from other saffron cakes by having a piece of the dough in the centre pulled up to resemble a smaller cake balanced on the larger one. This piece was usually called “the Christmas” and 1 was baked for every member of the household. There were also sweet mince pies, plum puddings and more traditional Christmas cakes. These cakes had all to be eaten by Twelfth Night, and all decorations to be taken down by the end of the following day to avoid bad luck. There were also festive drinks as the following recipe from Mrs Peters of Madron, written down in the mid 1800’s shows:

To find out more about Christmas in Cornwall please visit the exhibition at the Cornwall Centre, Alma Place, Redruth from Monday 29th November to Friday 31st December. Our opening hours are 10 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday & 10 am – 4 pm Saturday. Contact us on 01209 216760 or cornishstudies. library@cornwall.gov.uk

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Memories of Christmas at Downlong Places

Gwav Winter 2010

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Places

By George Care

The days leading up to Christmas are associated in my memory with a series of various festivals and events from Guise Dancing to Fair Mo and then Christmas itself. This too was soon followed by the scarlet coated and spectacular grandeur of the Western Hunt during St Ives Feast. The Guise Dancing was ominous and noisy; it seemed to myself-perhaps a timid child, with masked figures, lanterns and loudly beating drums. However, by Fair Mo, a Church based fair situated in the Guildhall and taking place at the end of November it was by then always clear that the Christmas season would soon be upon us. It is described now on the History of St Ives website, as,”… a less rowdy tradition, celebrated just before Christmas. This ancient ‘pig fair’ reflects the long-standing custom of keeping pigs in virtually every Downlong yard. Today local ladies dress in traditional costumes and hold their fair, or market, in the Guildhall.” Around Christmas Eve,, everyone in Downlong had been serenaded by the agreeable euphony of perambulating choirs from the Primitive and the other Methodist Churches. These were 24

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accompanied by a clarinet or two and everyone emerged to the truly blissful sounds of Thomas Merritt’s Carols, before each the verses were briefly intoned and led by the choirmaster. “Hark the glad sound” resonated and reverberated against the cottages and along the cobbled streets with such utterly superb harmony that Christmas, together with its peaceful promise, seemed as imminent as the arrival of “the Saviour promised long.” The effect was utterly magical and glorious; recalling it again makes the hairs on my neck stand up on end. So that neighbours emerging from their doorways were thoroughly receptive to the “Tidings of great joy” that Gabriel brought “to you and all mankind.” After the melodic repetitions of Cornish and other carols people returned to their houses prepared by such benedictions to enjoy Christmas Day itself. Most pubs and inns similarly resounded with affirmative renditions of the “Old Time Religion.” The Cock Robin choirs provided youngsters with the opportunity for mild horseplay- as evidenced the next day by seeing a punt or skiff hoisted on to the roof of the fisherman’s lodge. Few would have ventured as far afield as Mousehole, for either Tom Bowcock’s Eve or even Starry Gazey Pie. There was

absolutely no rowdy celebration on New Year’s Eve but grand and elegant Scottish or Hogmanay dances, attended largely by the professional classes at such grand venues as the Portminster Hotel or Kenegie Manor in Gulval. Preparations for Christmas in the home were concerned with food, presents and decorations. There was an early ecological arrangement whereby potato skins were placed in a special bin and collected each week by the ‘pig man’. The result at Christmas was that every house received a good sized pork joint. The turkey-some in the family might have had goose -was paid for on a card signed for, again on a weekly basis, at the butchers over the autumn months leading up to Christmas. Pickled onions were prepared over a longer period and stored with peppercorns and tiny red chillies on a shelf above the stairway on the ground floor. Military pickle and piccalilli were purchased to go with the tongue, pulled together with skilvin (quality string from the Fisherman’s Co-op) and pressed in a saucepan, with a weighted lid-usually a smoothing iron. Salt beef was also prepared with other cold meats for suppers over the Christmas period.

The house was extra warm from the heat generated from the kitchen and if it was windy in the wrong direction, especially before a cowl was fitted, smoke from the coal fire would fill the sitting room. The resulting “smeech” would deposit smoke particles of varying sizes spoiling some of the coloured paper decorations in the sitting room. After saffron stamens had been floated in a small bowl to extract the lovely liquid yellow concoction, bowls both of dough and cake mixture were placed by the fireside, covered by tea towels and left to rise. Cakes purchased especially at Christmas included batten burg, chocolate log and walnut. Macaroons, coconut pyramids were prepared on rice paper as well as congress tarts. The one cookery book –the one which probably came with the oven- were referred to on an annual basis. Reference was made to on one or other well thumbed pages. The Christmas tree was always a holly tree and the large fairy light bulbs were checked and replacements inserted into and the holders, some of which were in small copper lanterns my father had made and into which rice paper was inserted to diffuse the light. Embroidery thread was cut into lengths and tied on to the baubles or shiny things. Cornish Story Magazine

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Places

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Lansallos

Winter might not seem like the ideal season for walking, but some places look much more dynamic when the wind is forcing giant waves to crash against the rock you are standing on, or the wild heather is blowing against the cliff it clings to. Lansallos, on the south east of Cornwall’s coast has coves, waterfalls and a beautiful coastline which is untouched. There are plenty of different routes to take depending on how energetic you are feeling (as well as how the weather is looking!)

The extra demand meant that the electricity meter ‘went’ more frequently and had to be fed and wound with two shilling pieces that were of course known as florins. This process was often accompanied by the question, “Where was Moses when the lights went out?” There seemed to be much to do in those days leading up to Christmas Day and my father might describe how in the 1920s he and my uncle would mostly just have oranges, some wrapped in silver paper and walnuts and brazil nuts as the main fillers in their Christmas stockings. After Christmas dinner, the turkey which was taken upstairs afterwards into the preservative cool of the so-called small bedroom, borne on the large appointed Victorian ornate and crazed platter. It was carved for suppers and other dinners over the next few days. Nobody could

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Places

The walk begins in the village of Lansallos where there is ample parking and then heads towards the sea following a coastal path. You will find yourself rambling through fields, over stiles and alongside the sea. For more details and specific instructions look at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/wcoastal_walk-lansallos.pdf So wrap up warm, with your wellies and waterproofs in tow, as well as a warm flask of tea and head down to the coast for this fantastic walk.

quite get through all the cakes or biscuits, so my father took it, as a snack, with his thermos flask of tea to the factory where he worked until about the middle of March. Apart from Sherry and usually Port – there might be a bottle of eachthere was little in the way of drink until white wine, in the form of Blue Nun became a favourite with my mother in the seventies. On reflection much of the fun in the celebration of Christmas was probably also a recovery from the tough period during the war when my parents had travelled around air stations. From Filton in Bristol, where they both worked and had been bombed, they journeyed to Hull and Girvan in Scotland and other places. Housing shortages, especially in Cornwall had to be endured and the severe economic pressures of the Cripps austerity period had also just ended.

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Places

43rd

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“Cornish Christmas”

in caliornia By Gage McKinney

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Thousands of little white lights outline the buildings along Mill Street as a winter night falls on an old California gold mining town and the surrounding hills. Along the street that rises through the town vendors have set up stalls for selling handicrafts, pasties and cider. Beside an open fire a man in a scarf and gloves hands out roasted chestnuts. On the steps of a stately building that once housed The Union newspaper, a chorus of singers assembles. The men wear black coats and ties, and some top hats, as miners did a century ago. The women are bundled in shawls and one wears an antique broach. A crowd gathers on the street. Then the choir director, in a black velvet cape, raises and drops her hands as the choir begins: “Sound! Sound! Your instruments of joy!”

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Places That’s how the 43rd annual Cornish Christmas will open this year in Grass Valley, 150 miles northeast of San Francisco. For most of its life the town was defined by the manners, preferences and folkways of Cornish immigrants and their descendants. Nothing conveys that heritage as fully as the Cornish carols that miners wrote for miners to sing and for audiences of mining families to hear. In Grass Valley the carols are the folk music that evokes a persistent identity. They testify to the resilience of a small American town as it resists the encroachment of mass culture and tries to provide young families with a livelihood and a future.Those who will sing with the choir this year reflect both past and future. One of them is Harold T. George. His ancestors were among those who brought the Cornish carols to California during the 1849 Gold Rush, and his father directed the choir for half a century. Harold began singing alto with the choir when he was five—and that was 85 years ago. Many of the singers represent immigrant families that settled in America, and no one better than Jack Pascoe with his distinctive Cornish name. Others have no Cornish ancestry, but they value the heritage bourn by the carols. They are known locally as “galvanized

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Gwav Winter 2010 Cousins Jacks,” and for them the California Cornish Cousins perform “naturalization” ceremonies. Yet another singer is Steve Murphy, a dental surgeon with a beautiful young wife and infant daughter, who has recently established a practice and joined the choir. His grandfather, a miner from St. Just, worked in Grass Valley’s richest mine and served as president of the choir in the golden age of radio. Those were the years, before television became ubiquitous or the internet was conceived, when the choir performed on radio every Christmas for regional and national audiences. They were heard over the BBC and in World War II performed live over short-wave radio for allied forces around the world. The choir is heard by a wide audience today, especially during Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas that extends over four Friday nights leading up to Christmas. Even more listen to them each year through digital recordings that are prized in Cornwall as they are in America. Since the days of old, the days of gold, the days of ’49, Grass Valley has never been without its Cornish carols. And there’s no sign that it ever will be.

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Movyans Skolyow Meythrin (Nursery Schools Movement) aims to provide bilingual Cornish-English preschool opportunities to children between 2 and 5. MSM runs a weekly Saturday school (Skol Veythrin Karenza) on the Cornwall College Camborne campus in Redruth. Ten children and their families attend our school regularly where they learn Cornish together in a fun, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our two volunteer teachers are qualified, experienced professionals and provide high quality teaching to both children and parents. “We strongly believe that bilingual education is an asset for our children’s education and development. We also promote the importance for children in Cornwall to know about the place where they live, their culture and heritage. That is why the children and their families don’t only learn the Cornish language but also learn about Cornwall's wildlife, history, culture and traditions. The aim is to give children a strong sense of belonging. Research has also proved that bilingual children score better at numeracy and literacy tests and get better qualification at a higher level. We therefore believe that a bilingual education gives our children a head start in life.”

Opportunities for Families 7 good reasons for children to learn Cornish: ONAN Learning Cornish helps them understand the place where they live DEW It’s part of their heritage TRI Learning another language at an early age helps to improve learning ability in general and literacy in particular PESWAR Learning one language helps with learning others PYMP It’s fun HWEGH Parents and children can learn together SEYTH Learning Cornish helps understand and appreciate

Opportunities for Volunteers MSM offers various exciting volunteering opportunities: - organising activities and excursions with the children and/ or their families; - translating promotional and administrative material into Cornish (e.g. website, policies, administrative documents); - organising fundraising events; - helping with grant applications, marketing, accountancy, etc. Why volunteer with MSM?

- make new friends and have new experiences,

MSM offers a great opportunity to learn and speak Cornish with other Cornish speakers in a friendly atmosphere. It also provides an opportunity for you to share your love and knowledge of Cornwall with young children and their families. And for Early Years practitioners or students it is a unique opportunity to approach pre-school education from an innovative, bilingual point of view.

come and join us for a taster session on Saturday

Who can volunteer with MSM?

diversity

So if you want your children to: - learn about Cornish language and heritage, - have a head start in learning languages,

morning from 10.30 to 12.30 in the Karenza building, Cornwall College Camborne campus.

For more information visit our website at www.movyans-skolyow-meythrin.net, call us on 07 563 775 678 or email us at ebost@movyans-skolyow-meythrin.net

- If you are over 16; - If you have creative skills (e.g. dancing, singing, cooking, knitting, writing poetry) and want to share them with young children between 2 and 5 and/or their families; - If you speak fluent Cornish and you want to help us translate our website and official documents; - If you want to organise a fundraising event, help us promote the school or help us with the school’s daily administration; - If you are an Early Years professional or student and want to help us with organising activities for the children.

Movyans Skolyow Meythrin is committed in principle to the development of policies to promote equal opportunities in regardless of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origins, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, religious or political affiliation and trade union activities.

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Movyans Skolyow Meythrin is a registered CIC in England and Wales:Cornish 6874802Story Magazine 5 Chyandour, Blowinghouse Hill, Resrudh/Redruth, TR15 3AB, Kernow 07563775678 ~ ebost@movyans-skolyow-meythrin.net

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Christmas in Australia By Colin D. Roberts

‘Christmas in Australia is Christmas in Paradise………’ or so the popular Australian song goes, but is it really true? In total, I had 22 Christmases in Australia and can remember most.

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Firstly, it’s worth reflecting on what it is to be a Cornish person in Australia. In the UK and even in Cornwall many people still don’t get the regional distinctiveness and separate identity the Cornish feel. Not so Downunder, they totally get it as we helped shape and develop the country’s modern history. I can remember many times in a pub somewhere when someone would ask “you a Pommy?” “No” I’d say,”I’m Cornish” that usually meant I was forgiven and bought a beer! The Cornish went out in droves during the mid Eighteenth century as the mines were drying up home here. Firstly to mine copper in South Australia and later, more widely, but particularly in Central Victoria, to mine gold. It’s far easier being Cornish in Australia than it is in Cornwall at times. The first thing you have to note about Christmas in Australia is that it’s bloody hot! I remember a number of Christmases in Queensland where it is hot and humid. Increasingly the locals up there have a seafood and ham salad as it’s too hot to cook, or perhaps the proverbial shrimp on the Barbie. But when I went up there with family, as I did perhaps four or five times, it was the full Turkey roast, Cornish style. I can well remember sweating over the stove to get the meal on the table on time, cooking for perhaps eight or so people. They thought I was mad but enjoyed the dinner just the same. Now, back in Victoria, where I spent most Christmases it was different. There was little or no humidity but it was a damn sight hotter – often well into the forties. In Melbourne during the summer months you never open the windows or doors as you want to keep the heat out. But I remember this one Christmas day when it was so hot that I had to as although it was forty odd outside, the kitchen temperature, with me cooking the full turkey dinner, was 50!

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Places I also remember one year when the weather was hot and we decided to have more of a buffet outside in the back garden and had lots of friends over. It was an evening meal this year and we eat and drank and generally enjoyed ourselves. It got hotter as the evening went on and then all of sudden got very dark. A huge storm cloud came over and when it broke the most amazing electric storm took place over us. The rain was so hard that we had to move into the shed and watch the table and the remnants get ruined. Another memorable hot one was when we were down the road at friends for the evening. Again, and surprisingly, the evening got hotter as it went on and a strong North wind was blowing hot air down off the desert. At midnight it reached 38 degrees and was almost unbearable. Mind you, we were daft enough to be outside when most sensible people were indoors with the air con on. Luckily, the kids had been bought giant water pistols for Christmas and they had a pool so we sent them fully loaded up on the balcony to fire on us to cool us down. The usual image of Christmas in Australia is dinner on the beach, especially Bondi Beach in Sydney. Does it happen? Well, yes it does, the beaches are often crowded on Christmas Day as revellers take advantage of the ocean to keep cool, but I think it’s less the locals and more like European visitors wanting to live the dream and send the photo’s back home. Is it better than Christmas in Cornwall? Well no but it’s different – I always feel sorry for myriad Santa’s parading in the shopping strips in the unbearable heat but still in full costume! Boy do they earn their money! I go out there for ten days in three sleeps (Australian term) time to see my sons before Christmas but look forward to returning to Cornwall to spend Christmas with my wife, Alison.

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Behind the showlights of Mousehole

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Victorian-inspired signs are found on the lampposts and walls of Mousehole.

By Tiffany Naylor

Mousehole; the tiny Cornish village that tourists from around the world flock to at Christmas time for its famous lights display. What the tourists don’t see is the Mousehole 11 months of the year that hides eclectic crafts and unique sights in every nook and cranny. Read ahead to see a small taster of what the fishing village has to offer when the streets aren’t crammed with people and then you can begin planning your off-the-track Cornish adventure…

Dolly Pentreath; one of the last speakers of the Cornish language. Mousehole’s historic roots crop up in unusual places including its Christmas lights display

Evidence of the famous lights display are dotted around Mousehole. Preparation for the Mousehole Christmas Lights often begin as early as September. There are many local crafts and art to be found along the narrow roads of Mousehol

A WW2 monument against a harbour backdrop greets you at the bus stop. One hundred children were sent to Mousehole during the war, where they were taught to fish, mend nets and how to scull.

Colourful kayaks and canoes lined up against the harbour wall. Mousehole residents brave the cold water for kayaking and canoeing, whatever the weather.

The village’s traditional dish, Stargazey Pie in the form of Christmas lights. Stargazey pie is eaten during the Tom Bawcock Eve festival; a lantern-lit parade on December 23rd celebrating the tremendous efforts of the fisherman who saved Mousehole from famine.

An unusual hobby playing on the village’s name. The owner of Skillywiddon has been hand-making puppet mice for over 30 years.

Don’t be afraid to step off the roads Walking along the coastal ‘path’ can be a bit of a stumble but is worth it for the view across to St. Michael’s Mount.

A Colirful Look at Mousehole Before the Christmas Lights

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Malcolm and Jean Sutcliffe run a glass gallery in Penryn selling beautiful handmade pieces ranging from bowls and vases to Christmas Baubles in an array of different colours and shapes. They are made on site in Malcolm’s workshop behind the gallery.

Beautiful hand blown Baubles Straight From Cornwall By Dani Burt and Kate Ruberry

The glass shop opened in 2002, in August on Fair Day, ‘We had white washed windows up until Fair Day then we cleaned them to reveal all of our glass to everyone at the Fair,’ says Jean. The gallery has been very popular ever since with its renowned window displays and with Penryn drawing in a very arty crowd, the glass gallery fits in well. Living in Cornwall has inspired Malcolm to design very scenic pieces with a lot of blues and greens, ‘Most of the designs are Malcolm’s, a couple are mine, and he does get inspiration from the Cornish countryside. Even when we lived in Chesterfield ten years ago his designs were very sea orientated then. We have a lovely view out of our bedroom window so we can see the sunrise which gets you ready for a day of creativity,’ says Jean. Malcolm has been glass blowing and designing all of his life, the couple had been selling only to the trade before they came to Cornwall and opened the gallery. ‘Glass blowing is very much like camera work- you get taught the basics and then go away, get lots of practise and do your own thing’, says Malcolm.

Creative glass gets dipped into pots of powdered coloured glass, then finally blown and an extra bit is added to the top to create a hook for them to be hung on Christmas trees. ‘Baubles can be tricky, I try to improve every one I make each time,’ Malcolm says. ‘Baubles are our thing at Christmas- we really go to town on the baubles and we have a Bauble Blowing Demonstration evening in November.

People come to watch Malcolm blow baubles and I make hundreds and hundreds of mince pies and gallons of punch- we don’t charge anything it’s just a fun way to start Christmas. We also have a raffle to raise money for cancer research- It’s a really great evening, ‘Jean tells me. The baubles start at about £8 and are worth every penny so do remember to have a look in the beautifully decorated front window. http://www.malcolm-sutcliffe.co.uk

Malcolm was busy making a bauble when Cornish Story came to the gallery and he talked us through the process of making each one. The hot molten 36

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Gwav Winter 2010 The Truro branch of national bookstore Waterstone’s was the venue for a very Cornish affair last month with traditional Cornish music accompanying the launch of celebrated St Austell born writer Dr Alan M. Kent’s latest offering, The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance.

Creative writers capable of compiling a thorough analysis of the subject. Refreshingly modest, Kent compares the process of writing a book of such voluminous detail to that of a theatrical production. He writes in the book: “Theatre is rarely the work of one individual. Contemporary high-quality drama is the result of an interaction between a dramatist, a director, actors, and those working back stage. Likewise this book is based on that kind of interaction with numerous people from different backgrounds and places that have helped me write this volume.”

A Review BY Paul Scott

Those at the well attended launch were treated to wonderful performances by Dalla, a band that leads the revival in traditional Cornish song, and by talented fiddler Francis Bennett, cofounder of Cumpas, a charitable organisation that supports and showcases Cornish music. The re-emerging confidence and subsequent strength of contemporary Cornish identity shown through the passionate, imaginative performances proved to be the ideal introduction for the unveiling of a book five years in the making and of undoubted importance. Respected thespian and familiar face of Cornish theatrical production company BishBashBosh Trevor Cuthbertson, fresh from a run in Henry VIII at The Globe in London, was on hand to interview the author in front of an invited audience eager to learn of Kent’s ground-breaking work detailing the history of theatre and performance in Cornwall. Dr Alan M. Kent, a man who has produced diverse Cornish literature ranging from prize winning poetry to gritty, contemporary fiction, is one of the few

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Impressive in its sheer bulk, The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance is a very approachable read, with an insightful preface written by Mike Shepherd, founder of Kneehigh theatre company setting the tone. Shepherd questions how theatre is perceived in modern day Cornwall. “I’m not so sure that the Cornish are that fussed about theatre,” he writes. Shepherd does however go on to identify a uniqueness that he feels continues to fuel not only theatrical performances but Cornish identity and culture. “There remains in Cornwall a sense of anarchy and independence,” he writes. It is a sense that has survived through the ages. “Cornwall has one of the oldest theatrical cultures in the world,” writes Kent. The vast range of historical complexities fails to derail Kent in his attempt to produce a comprehensive account. From analysis of texts and locations of Medieval and Tudor periods through to the influence of the mining community on artistic expression Kent approaches difficult issues with clarity, resulting in concise writing and an interesting read. Few, if any comparative texts exist, highlighting the enormity of the task faced by Kent yet he manages to produce a book that embraces, analysis and exudes Cornish identity. Kent moves through the ages with confidence, drawing from an impressive number of important fields: Celtic, Cornish, AngloCornish, and Post-Colonial studies through to eco-

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criticism. The Theatre of Cornwall Space, Place, Performance, proves not only invaluable to those conducting academic research but also entertaining and highly informative for any individual with an interest in Cornish history and performance. Kent’s role as director of the BishBashBosh theatre company allows him to write authoritatively regarding the health of contemporary theatre in Cornwall. The relocation of Dartington College of Arts and the subsequent £19m construction of a purpose-built performance centre at Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Tremough campus give Kent “hope” of continued cultural development. The writer is critical of the Hall for Cornwall for apparently neglecting its original aims and objectives, before urging more rapid progress in the pursuit of a Cornish National Theatre. Kent turns his attention to modern day apathy, citing the violent clash of one of the oldest acts of artistic expression with the trappings of modern day technology. “Perhaps there would be even more

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theatre in Cornwall if more people could be dragged out of their living rooms and away from their computer screens to see it,” writes Kent.

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Culm Valley Publishing’s flagship A Dozen Dramatic Walks series will be adding a Cornish title to its list during 2011. A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Cornwall takes the reader on outstanding walks where the drama and beauty encountered in earlier West Country titles is now brought closer to home.

It is a point bluntly made; one that heightens the importance of this, a book of such magnitude that Kent has successfully delivered. The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance, not only possesses great historical importance but also contains warnings as to the dangers of cultural complacency. The current strength of Cornish identity, as so excellently demonstrated by Kent and the wonderful musical performances at the book’s launch, is built on a solid historical foundation, yet without continued interest, education, passion, and investment there remains the danger that The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance may well read in the future as a well documented obituary of theatre and performance in Cornwall. Dr. Alan M. Kent’s The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance - published by Redcliffe Press. ISBN – 978-1904537991

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Crowning Glory from Cornish Story By Dani Burt and Kate Ruberry

CROWNS took centre stage this November as they returned to Cornwall to play some ‘noisy folk-band’ music for some keen fans. The four boys, Bill Jefferson, Jake Butler, Jack Speckleton and Nathan Haynes ,all originally from Cornwall, have been together for a year now and embarked upon a Cornish tour after entertaining in London recently. They have been playing alongside the like of Damien Rice, Mumford & Sons, Babyshambles and Angus & Julia Stone. Having shared a stage with such exciting musicians, you’d think the boys would be enjoying big city living, but they were relishing being back in Cornwall and even dropped into their old college in Launceston to say hello to their music teacher. Cornish Story spoke to Jack (who plays the mandolin) from CROWNS as they were travelling down to St.Agnes to play in The Taphouse later that night, ‘We are not trying to do anything different, we just want to play honest music that can be enjoyed.’

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Photography By Rob Edwards

Cornwall Film Festival

The band describe themselves as ‘rugged and rowdy’, much like the scenery they grew up with and Bill, who writes the songs draws inspiration from traditional Cornish music. CROWNS told us that their favourite gig this year was at the Flower Pot in Kentish Town where they played for the record label Communion and recorded with other artists a complication CD which will be released in the New Year. “A Pogues-influenced Cornish monster of a band these guys are fantastic” – Communion Records Cornish Story looks forward to catching up woth the boys next time they visit. Make sure you check out the bands music and up and coming tour dates at http://crownsband.wordpress.com/ http://www.myspace.com/crownsband

The first weekend of November saw the ninth Cornwall Film Festival take place at the Phoenix Cinema in Falmouth. As well as screening a wide range of feature films, documentaries and Cornish shorts and running professional development workshops and talks for film enthusiasts, the festival also included an expanded category of Cornish language and heritage films this year. On the Saturday afternoon there was a retrospective of past winners of the Govyn Kernewek award. The Govyn Kernewek is an annual £5,000 award supported by MAGA and awen productions cic which funds the production of short films that use Cornish wholly or substantially in an interesting way. The award began in 2003 when it was awarded to fund the production of an episode in the quirky spoof serial, Kernow’s Kung-Fu Kick Ass Kweens. Every year since then a range of Cornish language films have been funded by the award, including the dramas Yn-dann an Gweli, Dy’ Sul and An Jowl yn Agas Kegin; a documentary about the language itself entitled Nebes Geryow a-dro dhe’n SWF, and Skath, a documentary about gig rowing. The winner of the 2010 Govyn Kernewek was also premiered at the festival with three separate screenings. Skynt an Ilowek is the first musical to have been filmed in Cornish, and with a grand finale similar to those in Bollywood movies, it proved to be a big hit at the festival. Here’s what writer and

director, Ian Bucknowle, has to say about the film: “Once upon a time…in a dole queue in Cornwall, three people from very different walks of life discover they have something in common. “Skynt an Ilowek is a Kernewek musical set in a job centre. Like any musical, songs are sung by the film’s characters to advance the story and give us a window into their feelings - the difference is that the characters sing in the Cornish language. “This film isn’t set in any grand location or showcase huge events; it’s an intimate, character-driven story in a familiar and relatable world. At the end of a busy summer season in a small seaside town we follow the fortunes of a lifeguard and an ice cream seller as they try to navigate the bureaucratic minefield of signing on after their seasonal jobs have ended. A mysterious busker enters their lives and suddenly everyone can burst into song at a moment’s notice! “The songs combine the talents of musical director, Phil Innes with Lyrics from Pol Hodge. The film also features renowned guest artists including Dalla, Ryan Jones, Matthew Clarke, Andrew Bate, Jo Tatham, Iain Marshall and Jason Squibb, all of whom have helped to create new material in the Cornish language.”

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What shall I bee? By Sanjay Kumar

Whoever switched on the wind yesterday evening on the river Fal got it wrong! Wayward ships moored halfway across the Carrick roads, swayed listlessly as lifeboat after lifeboat left the safe havens of Falmouth bay to respond to infinite SOS calls. As the wind howled past the hollow twittering masts of lonely working boats, a sudden twist of fate landed me amongst a nest of half smashed, and windswept sea gull eggs. Landing amongst a pile of half cracked sea gull eggs, my chances of survival were thin. Believing in the voice of my royal ancestors (who I had not mortally seen yet, and only heard of in broken conversations) I gathered strength and rolled over to my side, hanging precariously into the rumbling waters of a vengeful river Fal. The following hour was living hell. Saving myself from the jaws of a meandering river snake, to dodging a wayward flying twig only to be edging close to a sharp cliff end, reminded me of all the blessings I have had in my previously rather uneventful life. A few of my half a dozen siblings were already earth citizens, discovering their senses and the joys of eating locally sourced food, while there I was fading progressively into oblivion, solely because of my laziness to evolve.

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Never had I thought in my wildest of dreams that, one day I would be braving the vagaries of nature along with thousands of sea creatures. Be it curious looking one armed crabs, to sluggish spotted seals and lusty barnacles, everyone was a traveler in the tide of uncertain times. As the wind picked up in speed, so did the obedient waves, howling in unison…as if there was an unfinished job to be done. A strange streak of fear ran down my spine as I almost lost consciousness.

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wings, gave away an occasional wave of scent to the rather unsettled air, as the weary indefatigable lamp of the nearby lighthouse provided distant comfort. Tales of succulent Kea plums and romancing around the tea vines of Tregothnan almost masked away the effects of a rapidly dying storm. Rosen, had an excellent gift of the gab mind you, and a deep insight of the life around Fal. Amidst counting what a blessed life Rosen had lived and countless beautiful flowers she had pollinated, calm had finally returned to the Falmouth bay. Dawn was breaking reluctantly over the silent hill of Roseland as I finally had found a comfortable little sandy beach to rest my much battered structure. Although emotional, Rosen the bee parted on a rather sweet note. A mixed feeling of pride and insignificance fills up my weary self. Giving up sometimes is not an option, I guess! I better get on with it ….and if I do not camouflage myself, chances are, I will soon end up as an exotic omelette on a local restaurants foraging menu. - So much to be a wild duck egg!

God only knows when I dozed off, partly aided by fear and partly by exhaustion. The last amount of energy reserve was fast combusting, as a sudden tapping sound on my head woke me up from my deep dream of unease. In the first instance, I sensed the end! Perhaps this was the way to go: being trounced under the weight of some wayward wild bird. Moments of excitement slowly gave way to spans of sudden comfort. The cause of my so called end was infact Rosen, a wayfaring bumblebee that had lost its way in the fiercest of storm and landed on me as a final floating resort to rest its tired wings. Unsure of my own future, I promised to keep afloat as long as my skin held turgid. Misery had created a bond of the odds. Dried up honey drops from the summer, on Rosen’s tattered

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Cornish Has its Act Together By Jesse Harasta

For the past four years, while I worked for my Doctorate, I have had the pleasure to study the Cornish language during what may be one of the most important periods of its history. The various elements of the language movement have, for the first time in 25 years, sat down and begun to work out their differences and agree upon a public form of the language. This development has been observed by a largely supportive Cornish public. Over and over I have heard a refrain: “the language is finally getting its act together.” While I agree with the enthusiasm, I take a different point of view about the history of the language revival, especially the past 25 years. If you would, step back a bit and join me in the position of a sympathetic outside observer. Revived Cornish is an impressive collective intellectual feat. A small group of enthusiasts—without the benefit of the lessons of contemporary linguistics—gathered a handful of written fragments and used them to re-create a spoken tongue, a feat that has only been achieved a handful of times in history. Remember that these written records stretch from the 12th century to 1776 and constitute a few hundred thousand lines, compared to 37,000 lines that survive from William Shakespeare alone. Unlike Shakespeare’s works, the Cornish writing was scattered across seven centuries (the distance that separates us from life of Joan of Arc), and exist in the handwriting of dozens of individuals that needed to be contextualized and transcribed. From this scant record, the Revivalists reconstructed a language which was foreign to both English and the Latin and Greek that they were familiar with. Even after the reconstruction was underway, every Cornish speaker for the past century has had to face the difficult task of mastering a foreign language at evening classes with no promise of economic reward and without the benefit of professionally-produced textbooks and, in many 46

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cases, professionally-trained teachers. All of this was done without a shilling of public money and in a climate where the project was met with everything from mirth to hostility.

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At the heart of the past 25 years of discussion has been the existence of real, important questions about what it means to be Cornish and in what direction the language should move. While I agree that the past decades have taken a toll upon the language—in the loss of speakers, potential students and public esteem—I do not believe that they have been “lost.” In fact, the factions threw themselves into the project of using Cornish, producing what may be seen some day as a golden age of literature, analysis and critique. During this period the discussion about the Language truly matured and drew upon international debates about the role of language and the effect of ideology upon the way we speak and write. Rather than arguing that Cornish never died, I believe that the Cornish should be truly proud of this Revival and see it as perhaps one of their greatest achievements, comparable to their mining heritage.

Here are some fabulous Cornish phrases... Nadelik Lowen! Merry Christmas! Ha And Bledhen Nowyth Da!Happy New Year! Gorhemynadow a’n Seson Season’s Greetings Gorhemynadow dhyworth Kernow Greetings from Cornwall Pub Bolonjedh Da rag 2011! All Good Wishes for 2011! Dhe To (Name) hweg Dear (name)

Many Cornish speakers remark to me with pride that Cornish never died; my response is that I find it more impressive that it died and is where it is today. Simply put, language revivals rarely work and the only truly successful model—Hebrew—had the full support of a state and was already used in a ritual form by a large percentage of its potential users. The idea that Cornish is “finally getting its act together” ignores the tremendous achievement of simply having a system to debate!

I believe that the language stands in a good position to move from being primarily an intellectual project to becoming what it aims to be: a language used by people as a medium of communication. While Cornish lacks some technical vocabulary, it is perfectly capable of performing the most crucial task of a language: being a carrier of the emotions and dreams of its users. The language, with its growing public presence, internal unity and robust intellectual arenas, is ready to make that leap.

The second implication of the popular opinion on the language is the idea that the past quarter century has been a loss for Cornish. For those of you outside Revival circles, a bit of history is perhaps needed here. The Movement had maintained an outward unity from the 1920s until the mid-1980s when an attempt to reform the spelling system led to an implosion of the Movement and the creation of three major factions, each with a different spelling system. For many observers, this is an example of the inherent divisiveness of the Cornish people. The dismissal of the “Spelling Wars” as reflecting some flaw in the Cornish character has the effect of glossing over the source of the debates.

Jesse is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist studying for a doctorate out of Syracuse University in Upstate New York.  He has spent the last three summers in Cornwall doing research for an MA and is currently based out of Camborne.  His research interest is in the cultural politics of minority languages and ethnicities.  He is studying the Cornish Language and hopes to produce a study that will be useful to both people in Cornwall and those who work in language revival movements around the globe.  He loves a good pasty (chopped beef only, no mince, please!), but misses breakfasts of pancakes smothered with real New York maple syrup.

Rudolf an Karow Ergh Tron-Rudh Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Gans kerensa With love Gorhemynadow a’n gwella Best wishes Gwedhen Nadelik Christmas tree Royow Nadelik Christmas presents Tas Nadelik Father Christmas

Kelyn Holly Ydhyow Ivy Uhelvar Mistletoe El Angel Den Ergh Snowman

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Check out the New MAGA Website The MAGA website has gone bilingual! It is now possible to read every page of the website in either Cornish or English. When Cornwall Council decided to migrate all of its websites to a new CMS (Content Management System) the option of having a fully bilingual website finally became a reality. The website was translated over a period of months by members of MAGA’s Translation Service: Neil Kennedy, Rod Lyon, Pol Hodge and Jori Ansell. The work of populating the new site with content in Cornish and English was carried out by MAGA’s Project Support Officer, Elizabeth Stewart, starting back in July, and the new bilingual website went live at the start of October. The website contains information for Cornish 48

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speakers, learners and people with an interest in the language. Speakers of the language and people with an interest in the language. What’s New – news, new publications, events and seasonal phrases Using Cornish – advice for individuals, businesses and statutory bodies wishing to use Cornish Learning and Teaching – information about resources and where to learn Playing Place – interactive games, podcasts, music and film clips About Cornish – find out about the history of the language, its status today and plans for the future About Us – information about the Partnership including forthcoming meetings and conferences Go to www.magakernow.org.uk and switch to Cornish at the top right hand corner of the homepage.

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#RYSTALS JEWELLERY MINERALSPECIMENS FOSSILS ARTSCRAFTSINASTUNNING#ORNISHCAVERN ,OCAL-INERALOGISTSPLUS'EMOLOGISTS %XPERTSFROMALLOVERTHECOUNTRY #ORNWALL7ILDLIFE4RUST0ROTECTING7ILDLIFE FORTHE&UTURE

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#ARNGLAZE#AVERNS 3T.EOT,ISKEARD#ORNWALL0,(1 %NTRYTOSHOWa #HILDRENUNDER&2%% EMAILINFO CARNGLAZECOM WWWCARNGLAZECOMCornish Story Magazine

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Food

Stargazie pie

according to Sanjay Kumar Christmas Celebrations in Cornwall will not be complete without the mention of an age old tradition. In this recipe, I use the best of Cornish fish to produce a unique blend of ancient and modern British eating habits. Starry Gazie pie is a type of Cornish pie made with sardines or pilchards (small herrings can be used instead). The name Starry Gazie comes from the fact that the heads of the fish appear looking upwards through the pastry lid. This Christmas why not try this at home?

Ingredients 100g short crust pastry, rolled 2 sardines or mackerel, gutted 4 dry king scallop with roe 1 boiled egg 2 native Cornish oysters 200g hake fillets 2 smoked bacon rashers 1 fennel, large, chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped

Preparation time will be about 20 minutes

1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp corriander powder 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp chilli powder 10ml eggs wash Saffron strands, a few 15ml milk 20ml vegetable oil 5g Cornish sea salt 2g peppercorn

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Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. 2. Heat a sauce pan with vegetable oil, and soften the fennel, garlic and tomatoes, with spices. 3. Neatly arrange the scallops (sliced in half), oyster, hake fillet and boiled egg in the base of a pie dish. 4. Season the fish with crushed Cornish sea salt and freshly crushed pepper. 5. Spread the tomato and fennel mixture on top of the fish mix; place the bacon rashers on top, and lay the sardines on them (arranged in the form of the spokes of a bicycle wheel) with their heads facing skywards. 6. Cover the pie dish with short crust pastry, leaving the heads of sardines looking out of the pastry and seal the edges with egg wash. 7. Brush the surface of the pastry with saffron soaked in milk 8. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Sanjay’s serving suggestion: Serve garnished with curly parsley, on a bed of local seaweed with some coriander tossed boiled Pink fir apple potatoes.

Place the rolled out pastry on the fish

Just checking!

Star spangled fisherman’s pie!

Baking time will be 20 minutes A total of 40 minutes for this dish www.sanjayskitchen.co.uk

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Cornish Story Magazine

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Ingredients

Cornish Christmas Fudge By Beth Evans

An irresistible easy to make treat with that extra Christmas twist ! This Christmas inspired dish is an ideal homemade Christmas treat for all the family to enjoy.

550g granulated Sugar 150ml milk 150ml double cream 4 tbsp golden syrup 2 tbsp butter 1 tsp vanilla essence 100g raisins soaked in 6 tbsp of brandy for 1-2 hours or preferably overnight 50g chopped nuts 50g chopped glacier cherries ½ tsp chopped crystallised stem ginger Zest of ½ a lemon 100-150g white chocolate melted to decorate. Method 1. Into the soaked raisins add the nuts, cherries, ginger and lemon, stir well. 2. Line an 8 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. 3. Place the sugar, milk, cream, golden syrup, butter and vanilla essence in a heavy-based saucepan. 4. Bring to the boil and stir continuously for 15-20 minutes. 5. When the mixture has reached the soft-ball stage or 115˚C on a sugar thermometer, remove from the heat and allow to cool to 5 minutes. 6. Beat the mixture for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and the gloss disappears. 7.Add the brandy mixture and stir the fudge until evenly combined 8. Pour into tin, and leave to set. 9. Once set cut into bite-size squares and decorate with the melted white chocolate.

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Food

Chocolate cased cheesecakes With so much to sort out at Christmas time, here at Cornish Story we want to help out as much as possible. If you are planning a party, are entertaining, or are just prone to having people ‘pop’ by unannounced, this is recipe for you. The chocolate cases can be made in advance and left in the fridge need them.

1. Take a glass bowl and place it over a hot pan of boiling water – ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Break in all the chocolate, except one piece to use later. 2. When all the chocolate has melted, take a pastry brush, dip it in the melted chocolate and ‘paint’ the insides six silicone cupcake cases, about 1mm thick with the chocolate. 3. Once you have painted all six cases, place them on a baking tray and pop them in the fridge until they have set. 4. Meanwhile, crush the biscuits with a rolling pin until there are no large pieces left and mix them with the butter. Leave to one side. 5. To make the filling of the cheese cake, mix together the mascarpone cheese with the double cream and caster sugar. Add to the mixture either 2 drops of vanilla essence or half the contents of a vanilla pod. Mix again. (If you have any of this mixture left at the end, it goes deliciously with

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Food

a until you

numerous desserts, including mince pies!) 6. Once the chocolate cases have set, gently peel away the silicone cases from the chocolate, ensuring not to break them. 7. Next add the biscuit mixture to the bottom of the chocolate case, until it is approx 1cm thick. 8. Then add the cream filling to the top of the chocolate case. 9. To finish, garnish the top of the cheesecake with a cut strawberry and grate the last piece of chocolate over the top. If you are feeling a little bit more wintry, try topping the cheesecake with hot stewed apples and cinnamon, and a grating of nutmeg. 10. Serve individually on a plate, dusted with icing sugar. If you have any delicious recipes let us know at magazine@cornishstory.com

100g bar of chocolate – dark, milk or white, it’s up to you. 6 strawberries 5 tbsp mascarpone cheese 3 tbsp double cream 1 Vanilla pod/2 drops vanilla essence 2 tbsp caster sugar 30g melted butter 4 digestive biscuits Icing sugar to decorate Cornish Story Magazine

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Events

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What to do This Winter December What: Fowey Christmas Market and Festive Weekend When: 3rd – 5th December This weekend, Fowey town quay will be bustling with stalls, food, drink and entertainment. The market will boats stalls selling art, crafts and local products while bands and choirs will create the perfect atmosphere for a Christmas Shopping experience.

What: Truro Victorian Christmas Fair When: 8th – 12th December The perfect way to get into the Christmas sprit. Lemon Quay in Truro will showcase over 80 stalls selling lovely Christmas gifts, as well as an animal pen and café to keep you warm and keep you going.

What: Carols at Pendennis Castle When: 12th December, 1pm - 4pm Pendennis Castle, Falmouth will host a family fun day, full or carols and arts and crafts for the children. Admission fee applies. Adults, £6.00. Children £3.00. Concession £5.10.

What: Montol Festival When: 21st December This year on December 21st, the midwinter solstice, Penzance will once again celebrate the Montol festival. The highlight of the festival for all family members is a lantern procession, leaving St John's Hall in Penzance at 6pm. For more information, log on to http://www.montol.co.uk. See our ‘Guizing and Grinning Gaukums’, and ‘A Different View of Montol’ article for full details.

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January What: Royal Watercolour Society Exhibition lunchtime event When: 13th January, 1pm – 2pm Join David Paskett, President of the Royal Watercolour Society, in the exhibition in discussion with other exhibiting RWS members, Janet Treloar, Richard Sorrell and Jenny Wheatley at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. The artists will discuss their experiences as watercolourists in Cornwall as well as China, India and Europe. Free. Places limited, prebooking advised – 01872 272205

February What: Lighthouses: Life on the Rocks When: 6th February “From 6 February 2010 National Maritime Museum Cornwall is shining a light on the world of lighthouses and their keepers. From the massive scale of these triumphs of engineering to the tall tales of the lighthouse keepers themselves, Lighthouses: Life on the Rocks aims to illuminate these incredible stories before they slip out of living memory. The UK’s last manned lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in November 1998, and this evocative exhibition explores the lives of the last of the lighthouse keepers.”

Events What: China Clay in Cornwall. When: 17th January 2011 – 7.30 pm A talk by Ivor Bowditch, the unrivalled expert on the industry which is so important to Cornwall’s economy. Meet at Luxulyan Village Hall.

What: Wedding Fair at Launceston Village Hall When: 23rd January, 10am – 3pm Local companies will be showcasing their wedding services, from photographers to dressmakers and catering to lingerie, you will find all your requirements here at the fair, and best of all? It’s all local!

What: Hurling at St.Ives When: 7th February, 10.30am – 12.00pm The annual St. Ives hurling match happens on Feast Monday each. At 10.30am The Mayor throws the silver from the wall of the Parish Church to the crowd of children below on the beach. The ball is passed from one to another on the beach and then up into the streets of St Ives. The person in possession of the ball when the clock strikes at midday takes it to the Mayor at the Guildhall at receive a traditional reward of five shillings.

What: Cornwall Youth Brass Band at the Hall For Cornwall When: 12th February, 2pm Founded in 1955 the Cornwall Youth Brass Band is the longest established County Youth Band in the UK.

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that ‘I always used to look forward to Christmas and singing carols down at Bridges. It was always renowned as a “Singing Pub” with visiting quartets from other areas’. Yet as Will points out, ‘you can expect the unexpected’ at Picrous!’ One year a group of Indian musicians were performing at Eden and they decided to join in the Picrous celebrations at the Kings Arms thereby creating a powerful fusion of different musical styles. This ability to combine tradition with innovation will hopefully ensure the survival of Picrous at Luxulyan for years to come. Garry Tregidga

The Tale Of Picrous Picrous was a traditional feast for tinners in east Cornwall and the specific connection with Luxulyan is based on Robert Hunt’s reference in 1865 to the legend of Jan Sturtridge who was walking to the village to join in the Picrous Eve celebrations when he was led astray by the little people (see next page)! The contemporary history of the celebrations is closely associated with Will Coleman who moved from Fowey to the nearby parish of Lanlivery about fifteen years ago. Inspired by Eric Higgs, a local farmer who used to sing some of the traditional Cornish carols like ‘Lo, the Eastern Sages Rise’ and ‘Wassail’, Will and his neighbours set up an informal singing group (sometimes called the ‘Lanlivery Singers’ or even just ‘Will’s Lot’!) that performed at Christmas time in local pubs at Lanlivery, Luxulyan, Lerryn and Golant. Will recalls that about ten years ago he was talking to Ken Saundry, popular landlord of the Kings Arms at Luxulyan, about Jan Sturtridge and Picrous. Kenny’s response was that Picrous should be revived 58

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with free pasties at the pub! This soon resulted in a popular community-based celebration combining storytelling, singing and instrumental performances with a distinctive Cornish flavour. Picrous at the Kings Arms, more popularly known in the area as ‘Bridges’, can draw on a long tradition of communal singing. Stanley Tregidga recalls

The Piskies in the Cellar ‘On the Thursday immediately preceding Christmastide (year not recorded) were assembled at "The Rising Sun" the captain and men of a Stream Work in the Couse below. This Couse was a flat alluvial moor, broken by gigantic mole-hills, the work of many a generation of tinners. One was half inclined, on looking at the turmoiled ground, to believe with them that the tin grew in successive crops, for, after years of turning and searching, there was still enough left to give the landlord his dole, and to furnish wages to some dozen Streamers. This night was a festival observed in honour of one Picrous, and intended to celebrate the discovery of tin on this day by a man of that name. The feast is still kept, though the observance has dwindled to a supper and its attendant merrymaking. Our story has especially to do with the adventures of one of the party, John Sturtridge, who, well primed with ale, started on his homeward way for Luxulyan Church-town. John had got as far as Tregarden Down without any mishap worth recording, when, alas I he happed upon a party of

Events the little people, who were at their sports in the shelter of a huge granite boulder. Assailed by shouts of derisive laughter, he hastened on frightened and bewildered, but the Down, well known from early experience, became like ground untrodden, and after long trial no gate or stile was to be found. He was getting vexed, as well as puzzled, when a chorus of tiny voices shouted: "Ho I and away for Par Beach!" John repeated the shout, and was in an instant caught up, and in a twinkling found himself on the sands of Par. A brief dance, and the cry was given: "Ho! and away for Squire Tremain's cellar!" A repetition of the Piskie cry found John with his elfish companions in the cellars at Heligan, where was beer and wine galore. It need not be said that he availed himself of his opportunities. The mixture of all the good liquors so affected him that, alas! he forgot in time to catch up the next cry of "Ho! and away for Par Beach!" In the morning John was found by the butler, groping and tumbling among butts and barrels, very much muddled with the squire's good drink. His strange story, very incoherently told, was not credited by the squire, who committed him to jail for the burglary, and in due time he was convicted and sentenced to death. The morning of his execution arrived; a large crowd had assembled, and John was standing under the gallows tree, when a commotion was observed in the crowd, and a little lady of commanding mien made her way through the opening throng to the scaffold. In a shrill, sweet voice, which John recognised, she cried: "Ho! and away for France!" which being replied to, he was rapt from the officers of justice, leaving them and the multitude mute with wonder and disappointment’. From Robert Hunt, Romances of the West of England, James Camden Hotten, London, 1965.

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Jago summed up Cornwall’s Guizing (pronounced Geezing) tradition when he explained that “Geys Dance or Geeze Dance is a kind of Carnival or Bal masque at Christmas. This dance answers to the mummers of Devon and the Morrice dancers of Oxfordshire etc In Celtic Cornish ges means a mockery, a jest” (Jago’s Ancient Language and Dialect of Cornwall 1882).

Church represent just such a thread between the mystery plays and guising in folk dance tradition. Whatever the origins, Guizing is alive and well in Cornwall today with new traditions springing up alongside the revived and the well established. As well as the celebrated Padstow “Obby Oss” and it’s parallel in the form of Helston’s “Hal and Tow”,

My favourite description of the Guize dance, however, is Uncle Jan Trennoodle’s (Willaim Sandys) 1846 dialect story where the Christmas Guizers are introduced by, “a grinning gaukum who told us as how the geeze dancers were to the door”. The gaukum, from the Cornish “goky” – foolish, is the master of ceremonies who introduces the guizers and teases both them and the audience throughout the proceedings. For the 19th Century folklorists the Guize Dancers continued a thread of tradition that went back to Cornish Mystery Plays and there may be a hint of this in the play of 1611 which carries the instruction: “ Mynstrells Grewgh theny peba, May Hallan warbarthe downssya, Del ew an vaner ha’n geys Minstrels pipe for us, That we may together dance, As is the custom and the fashion”. Although “geys” here is conventionally translated as “custom” it could equally be translated as “guize”. It may be that the musicians and dancers depicted on magnificent 16th Century bench ends at Altarnon

Padstow Mummers 2008 many towns in Cornwall bring out their guizers throughout the Cornish Calendar of customs. The spiritual home of guizing, however, is the dark nights of mid winter and the festivals that take us through Christmas and the New Year. The Padstow Mummers Days take place annually on Boxing Day and News Years Day. The American

Guizing and Grinning Gaukums By Merv Davey Mys Du

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16th Century Bench ends at altarnon

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Events folklorist, James Madison Carpenter, was given a script for the Padstow Mummers play by the Magor family in 1933. Another of his informants was Robert Morton Nance whose father could remember being scared by the dragon in the play as a child, circa 1845. Local historian John Buckingham recalls having his face blacked with cork as a child in the 1940s and being sent to sing songs such as “Old Daddy Fox” and “Begone From the Window” for his grandmother. These songs were also strongly

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A Different View of Montol By Amy Dennis

Penzance Guizers St.Ives Guize Dancers associated with guizing traditions elsewhere in Cornwall. Today the Padstow Mummers consists of a procession through the town stopping off at various pubs for a blast of music, song and refreshment. It is very much influenced by the May Day tradition in that a tremendous wall of sound is produced by ranks of drums and accordions. The St Ives guize dancers have taken many different forms over the years but have a continuity that goes back a long way. It ran into some criticism in the early 1900s when a correspondent in the local press observed: “I learn with greatest satisfaction that the worthy Mayor of St Ives, Mr Edward Hain … ……………. has prohibited Gees Dancing for the year 1900. In this I feel he has the support of every man and woman having any pretensions to moral refinement in the parish.” The fact that critics saw it as necessary to repeatedly condemn the guizers over the next few years is testimony to the traditions very survival and popularity! At one stage the guizers moved their 62

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that survived in the area until well into living memory and was actually recorded and broadcasted as the Madron guizers play by the BBC in 1935. These guizers featured a dance called “Turkey Rhubarb” which brought audience and guizers together as a finale to their performance. The name “Turkey Rhubarb” will probably continue to exercise folklore theorists for some time to come as it was a dialect word for laxative! It makes an intriguing name for a band, however, and it is the Turkey Rhubarb Band that now leads the Guizers for the Montol – Midwinter festival in Penzance. As the images show, a feature of guising is the costume, a disguize in the form of a mask, a veil or a blackened face together with exotic attire that is colourful, mock posh or simply dark and brooding. Once in costume you become the “other” that normal life will not permit. Guizing in one form or another has been a living tradition in Cornwall for several hundred years and looks like it will continue for a few more yet.

As Montol, a Penzance festival celebrating the ancient Cornish traditions of Christmas and Midwinter draws closer, I speak to festival chairman Simon Reed, to find out the history behind the event. Montol was started recently in 2007 by Simon and 3 others, who wanted to provide Penzance with a public celebration of Midwinter and Christmas. Simon explains, “Prior to the early 20th century, the Guise dancers paraded around the streets of Penzance in huge numbers. It would have looked very much like an Italian carnival. “In 1831, at the height of the Guise dance tradition, there were literally thousands on the streets all dressed in brightly coloured clothes, ribbons, large hats, gentleman's hand me downs, and they would perform dances, plays, and other music for their own entertainment, and for the small number of spectators whom they almost always outnumbered. “In Penzance on December 21st, we’ll celebrate the main event, Montol Eve, where we try and recreate this atmosphere. “The parades of lanterns, masks and Guise costumes will be led by the Turkey Rhubarb Band, a rag tag group of disguised musicians who play in a dark and foreboding style.” The beacon is lit by The Lord of Misrule, who is, in the context of Montol, the leader of the masked

Events Guisers during the festival. The Lord of Misrule has a special costume and mask made for the occasion, disguising the wearer completely. Montol has had 3 Lords of Misrule to date, 2 ladies and one man. Other than lighting the beacon, the Lord of Misrule leads the processions and takes part in the ceremonies. Anyone can be considered for the honour of Lord of Misrule, as long as you are dressed in full Montol Costume and mask, by presenting yourself to the Master of Revels at 5.45pm on the evening of Montol Eve at St John's Hall steps. If you select a red bean, you will have the honour of serving as lead Guiser for the night’s celebrations. To take part you must not be a serving member of a local authority, an MP or a member of the house of lords. Montol Eve will start in Penzance at 6pm, with the ‘Rivers of Fire’ processions in the town’s main streets, followed by the lighting of the beacon and a specially composed dance and music session at the Iron Age settlement, Lescudjack Hill Fort. From 8pm, Chapel Street will be closed to all traffic and entertainment can be found on the streets, in the pubs and elsewhere. The Penzance Guisers will weave pub to pub performing traditional music and dance for the entertainment of the people of Penzance. Towards the end of the night is the Burning the ‘Mock’ or Yule Log, an old Cornish custom representing the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. The tradition is to mark the Mock with a stick man representing Old Father Time or the Christ Child, symbols of new beginnings and redemption. Despite the festival’s recent conception, Montol will open your eyes to the heritage and traditions of our county. The Montol Festival runs from December 16th until December 21st, with full programme details to be uploaded to their website in the near future. http:// www.montol.co.uk/. Cornish Story Magazine

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The Making of The City Of Lights

By Kate Ruberry

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Now in its fourteenth year, the enchanting City of Lights festival once again illuminated the streets of Truro on 17 November. Professional artists, children from Cornwall’s schools and local community groups paraded a dazzling array of withy and tissue lanterns through the city centre, inspired this year by all things mythical, magical and legendary. But what preparation goes in to an event such as this? When crowds stare in wonder at the magical lanterns and lights, entranced by the noise and commotion of a bustling street full of people enjoying every moment of a wonderful parade, do they ever think of all the hard work and effort that has gone in to making that one evening, such a magical night? I caught up with Liz Parsons from Eight Wire to get a behind the scenes look at Truro City Of lights. CS. Hi Liz. Eight Wire is new to the event this year, what made you decide to get involved with the City of Lights Festival? LP. City Of Lights put out a tender earlier in the year for a marketing company to aid in the publicity

of the festival. Eight Wire won the tender which we are really happy about, due to the fact that as a company we are dedicated to working with local and community events, for example in the summer we publicised and sold day sails on the tall ship "Artemis', brought to Falmouth Harbour by Falmouth Tall Ships Association. Our aim is to spread awareness beyond Cornwall about Truro City of Lights and continue to support the event all year round. CS. When do preparations for Truro City Of lights begin? LP. It’s an ongoing process. As soon as the event finishes there are meetings to discuss how it went, so that the organisers can learn from past events to make future ones even better. From a marketing perspective, this year we want to incorporate social media much more as it's such a great way of publicising the event to a wider audience. CS. What has to be considered when preparing for

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Eight Wire has been a marketing and design agency for six years, specialising in website design, event management, print advertising, logo and graphic design. They work closely with you and your company to provide the most appropriate marketing strategies to meet your needs.

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given the brief for this year’s City Of Lights festival, Myths and Legends, the previous week, leaving them a little over two weeks to go through the design and construction processes. This is the fifth year that University College Falmouth have been involved in the making of the lanterns for the event, one they relish being involved with.

the event? LP. The City of Lights is a non-profit making partnership incorporated as a CIC (Community Interest Company) in 2009. It's led by a voluntary team of freelance practitioners and representatives from The Works Dance & Theatre Cornwall, Kernow Education Arts Partnership, Truro School of Samba, Cornwall Music Service, Totally Truro Business Improvement District, Truro City Council, Event Cornwall and Devon & Cornwall Police. Therefore, the success of City of Lights is very much determined by community support, benefactors and volunteers. Again, for us on the marketing side of things there is much planning and scheduling to be considered, which is constantly being altered and updated which means we have to continuously be thinking on our feet and working closely with all other teams of people working together to make City of lights a fantastic night that everyone will enjoy and remember. CS. How can people get involved and support the event in the future? LP. Well the event relies heavily on donations, all of which are greatly appreciated. There will be donation boxes on the night. Additionally there are many volunteering opportunities on the evening, such as steward, collector and surveyor positions which Event Cornwall search for each year a couple of months before the event. The West Briton have also been fantastic in supporting City of Lights, supplying photographers when we need them and promoting the event as much as they can, so we would really like to thank them for that. We have also been working on our social media pages, so you can find us on Facebook under Truro City of Lights and support us there, letting us know what you think of the event this year and in the years to come.

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“The speed of the making is important. These creations do not have to last long, they are transient, but this means team work is essential. The students work in groups of approximately six or seven and they all take the task very seriously, applying constant professionalism to their designs and construction of the work, as well as the process of taking their design from 2D to 3D, a challenging task.” Jason tells me. “City of Lights gives these students the opportunity to not only get involved with a local, and long standing event, it also provides them with a chance to show off their work and ability, celebrating the fact that they have the ability to achieve work like this.” Each lantern is designed and created by hand, by many different people. Some are made by local primary schools and the larger lanterns are created by students at University College Falmouth. I caught up with Jason Clevely, course leader of BA Hons Contemporary Crafts, and his students at the design centre, Tremough campus.

“The students involved also get the chance to develop their professional practice and teaching skills through this event, as they go out to local primary schools to assist the pupils in the making of their lanterns for the event.”

As I watch in amazement at these creations being put together, I am greeted by Jason who begins to tell me how this scene before my eyes came to be.

Every year the students are allocated by City of Lights, a chief artist to help advice the them in their designs, in addition to the construction, practicality and health and safety elements of the lanterns and the parade, for example, the lanterns can be no more than seventeen foot high so as not to hit lights and cables on the parade route. Chris Nixon is the said artist. “I act as enabler to advise the students, especially on the practicalities of their designs. I have been involved with City of Lights for nine years now, so I know a lot about the event and how these young artist’s designs will have to consider the parade route and health and safety.”

Jason tells me that the students have only been

“It is great working with other artists, which is

The design centre is a hub of activity when I arrive, with students gluing tissue on the floor, paper and wicker limbs hanging in every direction and people contorted in all directions holding together massive creations. There is, however, a great sense of calm about the place. Everyone is working quietly and efficiently together as a team.

partly why I enjoy assisting here for this event, I can teach them, but they are also teaching me. It is important to remember that this event and the lantern creations is all about theatricality and how the lanterns interact with the audience.” As I walk round the fantastic facility that is Tremough design centre, I marvel at the Pied Piper of Hamlin towering into the sky, the Jabberwocky, scattered across the floor in several pieces, Baba Yaga, a character from a Russian folk story (who eats children, I may add) having layers of tissue and glue added to her, and The Kraken, a mythical Squid, dancing in the air. Having the opportunity to see these creations in production, really gives you an appreciation of the sheer amount of work and effort that goes into the making of them, and how they magnificently add to the essence of a spectacular night. There was a chill in the air on this crisp November night, but the rain held out and the mesmerising array of lanterns and dancers paraded through the bustling streets of Truro to the ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ of the crowd. Spectacular lanterns of dragons, griffins, and even Elvis (well, he is a legend!) danced their way along the parade route to Boscawen Street where the Truro Christmas lights were turned on. The parade continued to lemon Quay to the sound of steel drums, whistles and even the bagpipes - a magical way to welcome the festive season.

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Cornish Story - Winter 2010