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Cornish Story David Penhaligon MP Modern Cornish Legend Brass Band Culture in Cornwall The Iron Era - Cornish Miners in New Jersey A Cornish Murder Trial - Episode 1

Cornish Story Magazine

Remembering Rosemarie Cornish Story Magazine The Wild Winters of Cornwall’s Past


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Welcome to the winter edition of Cornish Story. As we move into 2012, we find ourselves reflecting on what the year has brought and looking forward to what the new months ahead might bring. As always Cornwall as seen much change and had its ups and downs, but it still remains the Duchy we so love. In this edition, we commemorate the life of muchloved Cornish MP David Penhaligon who before he tragically lost his life in December 1986, established a reputation as the natural champion of Cornwall at Westminster. We also introduce the first part of a featured series of a look into an Old Cornish murder trial from the nineteenth century. We speak with one of the last withy pot makers in a longstanding fishing trade, and chef Sanjay Kumar shares some of his culinary secrets from within the industry. Winter celebrations in Cornwall, make it one of the best times of year, with its many traditions and customs, there are so many things to see and do, and we’ve packed much of these in for you, as well as taking a look at some of the roots of the more traditional customs. However you spend this winter, we hope you enjoy every minute of it. We wish you all the very best for the New Year. Anna Tonkin, Editor

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Tree bark in black and white By Steven Webb Editor: Anna Tonkin Design and Layout: John Ault Cornish Story Director: Garry Tregidga Contributors John Ault, Cedric Appleby, Jean Carr, Chloe Philips, Jess Shoemack, Rio Darrington, Sanjay Kumar, Olivia Rowse, Anne Stephens, Shauna Osborne-Dowle, Nina Kristine-Johnson, Mac Waters Notes: The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Cornish Story. Full terms and conditions are available on our website and on request. For advertisement and media queries, contribution details or any other queries please contact us at magazine@cornishstory.com Printed by Leap Media

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David Penhaligon MP -The Birth of a Modern Cornish Legend by John Ault

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The Case of James Holman by Cedric Appleby

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Julie Chamberlain by Jean Carr

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Remembering Rosemarie by Shauna Osborne-Dowle

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Brass Band culture in Cornwall by Olivia Rowse

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Cornwall Record Office update by Chloe Phillips

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Tales Well Travelled by Rio Darrington

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Artist in Focus: Jess Shoemack

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Cooking Sardines with Sanjay Kumar

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Archive Interview with Richard Ede

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The Iron Era: Cornish Miners in New Jersey by Anne Stephens

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An American in Cornwall by Nina-Kristine Johnson

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Interview with Mac Waters on ‘Cornish Winter’

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A Cornish Performance of Twelfth Night

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Cornish 'curls'

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Truro City of Lights

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Share, Support, Sustain: The Sensory Spot

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Gone Crabbing

Cornish Story Magazine

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Cornish Story Magazine


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David Penhaligon – The birth of a modern Cornish legend By John Ault On 22nd December 2011 it will be twenty-five years since the untimely death of David Penhaligon, Liberal MP for Truro, following a car crash near Probus.

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n the immediate aftermath of his death, and the intervening years, Penhaligon has gone from a well-known, respected MP, with an increasing national reputation, who was tipped to be a future leader of his party, to a name synonymous with a Cornish identity and even national pride. His reputation went from being a local boy campaigning in the Clay District to a man who challenged the government nationally and since his death his fame and legacy have retained importance for both the Liberal Democrats and Cornwall.

‘I ‘I do do not not claim claim to to know know the the answer answer to to everything everything but, but, unlike unlike other other hon. hon. Members, Members, II am am stupid stupid enough enough to to have have aa try.’ try.’

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Born on D-Day, 6th June 1944, David Penhaligon often joked that his mother wanted to name him Montgomery, although his mother always used to say that it wasn’t true, but Penhaligon didn’t mind if it made a good story. Story-telling was at the centre of Pehaligon’s connection with the public: he could explain complicated concepts in a familiar way. In his final speech to the Commons just a few days before his death he summed up his own attitude towards politics by saying, ‘I do not claim to know the answer to everything but, unlike other hon. Members, I am stupid enough to have a try.’ Here was a man with a national profile, as the Liberal Party’s Treasury spokesman, and former party President, who admitted he did not know everything but was going to have a good try anyway. This was a man who believed in doing things for his constituents and the country as a whole, and he wasn’t too worried what people in authority thought of him if it made the lives of the people better. He, above all, was a crusader for those who did not have their own voice.

There are, of course, many Members of Parliament who could be categorised as being champions of causes, even some who die in tragic circumstances but not all of these are given the equivalent of a Cornish state funeral nor are they remembered with the affection, even love, that Penhaligon is. It is clear why his status was transformed, it was because of his tragic death. His was a career which had not yet reached its zenith being cut short. But, this does not explain why, even now, when Liberal Democrats canvass the doors of the Clay District why his name is mentioned and brings loyalty to the party twenty-five years after his death.

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ollowing his maiden speech to parliament in 1974 Penhaligon was commended by the following speaker, a Labour MP for Wolverhampton for ‘his splendid name and on his splendid accent,’ two things that defined him, and have perpetuated his legend. He was, in many ways, a politician that harked to the best traditions of Liberalism, although not a Methodist himself, he was the standard bearer for a Westcountry radicalism that had been perpetuated by other Liberal figures like Isaac Foot. He joined John Pardoe, the Liberal MP for North Cornwall, in 1974, but after the dismal 1979 result for the party, Penhaligon was the sole Cornish Liberal MP for the party until his death in 1986. This allowed him to stand out from the crowd with his recognisable voice which was born and bred in Cornwall. Paul Tyler said, ‘people forget that when David and I were first elected in the 1970s television was still quite new to most people and there were only three channels. There was no 24 hour news, no Question Time on BBC1 and parliament wasn’t yet televised. David had a voice that was instantly recognisable on the radio!’

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enhaligon also made sure that he maintained a very strong link with his constituency, and Cornwall. He was never based in London, as many MPs from remoter parts of the UK often are, and the way the family remained running a local sub-post office whilst he was an MP also shows that the process of being elected did not give Penhaligon, and his family, airs and graces, which might not have sat well with his constituents.

T AC2009-028 Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections Service, University of Exeter Cornwall Campus

he most important reason that Penhaligon continues to maintain an important place with Cornish people is that when people met David they automatically knew he was on your side, he was their friend, and that he was one of them. This natural capacity to talk to people and automatically build a rapport must promote Penhaligon beyond the normal local champion to an iconic Cornish figure - it was his Cornishness and his humour that has made him the legend he has become. Cornish Story Magazine

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‘Till death do us part’: The Case of James Holman Cedric Appleby investigates a Cornish murder mystery from the mid-nineteenth century

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or a crime novelist Carne Farm in the wild, rocky uplands of Crowan parish would be a perfect setting for a murder. Just above the farm is the ominously named Hangman's Barrow and the nearby Black Rock. These command a crossroads at which stood, now turned into a house, the small Black Rock Methodist Chapel. Perhaps a hangman did ply his trade nearby in ancient times. The view from that point is one of the best in West Cornwall as it takes in the Penwith Hills to the west and, to the north, the Atlantic with St. Ives and Carbis Bay spread along the western side of the bay which takes its name from the former town. To the south east there is a glimpse of Mount's Bay and, due south, Tregonning and Godolphin Hills and to the south west the higher parts of Penzance and Newlyn.

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My dear Mr. Roberts, do come down, do come down! My wife is dead and I believe she has been murdered

On 26th December 1853 John Roberts, aged 15 and Christopher Roberts (two sons of William Roberts, a farmer in Crowan parish) were returning home in the dark after celebrating Christmas, when a man, apparently greatly agitated, ran up to them at the stile by Carne Farm. This man they recognised as James Holman, a farmer, who lived there. The man asked if their father was at home. They said that he was and the three of them went to their father's home which would have been Carn Vean, the home of William and Mary Roberts. On the way James Holman told the boys that his wife had been murdered. It was 9 pm and both Mr. and Mrs. Roberts had gone to bed but they came down when Holman shouted out; “Oh my dear Mr. Roberts, my dear Mr. Roberts, do come down, do come down! My wife is dead and I believe she has been murdered.”

The tragic events of Christmas of that year at that small farm became well known not only in Cornwall but beyond

Carne Farm or Carn Veor is one of a cluster of small farms below this point. The farm was small, consisting of just over 12 acres. Raising and grazing cattle was the main farming occupation on land wrested from the downs. Just below Carne are the moors from which the Hayle River rises and makes its way from there to St. Ives Bay. Farmers here would supplement their income from mining and the nearest mines were not far to the south at Polcrebo. Their farms would have been leasehold and the lease would, in many cases, have been bought from money they made in mining. They were generally tributers, that is miners who were paid on the amount and value of tin or copper they mined, and a lucky strike could bring enough to lease a farm and since they had no fixed hours at the mine they could find time in the day to work their land, keep cows and other farm animals and grow crops.

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hose living in that group of farms in the Carne area would walk or ride once a week, perhaps to Praze to do shopping and less frequently to Camborne to obtain other necessities of life. There were carriers from Camborne to Helston and, possibly, these were used as they went through Praze. Helston Market was often used by farmers for buying and selling stock. Not far away is Crowan Church with its granite tower around which is the small churchtown and vicarage though the main settlement in the parish is Praze-an Beeble, often referred to as Crowan Praze. Carne with its few neighbours was once near important routes westwards but by 1853 these roads were as they are now very minor with little traffic and most of that local. In evidence at the trial it was said that few people went past Carne itself. But the tragic events of Christmas of that year at that small farm became well known not only in Cornwall but beyond.

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oberts said that he hurriedly got up and was partly dressed, went downstairs, and found Holman leaning against the partition, his hand in front of his face. He asked Holman whether he was sure his wife was dead and he answered that he was and went on to explain that he lifted her out of the ashes and called her name to which she made no reply. Roberts did notice that Holman had blood on the sleeve of his coat and the wrist of his shirt. Roberts was exceedingly alarmed and sent his two sons to his son in law, John Williams, a miner who lived at Carne, to go with Holman to the house where the death took place. Roberts himself stated that he was too tired to go with them. At the trial William Roberts explained that he did go to the house. The only light was from a candle in the chimney, that is the hearth which would not have had a grate, and wood would have been burned both for heating, cooking and boiling water. Cornish Story Magazine

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There were also screens which sub-divided the room. John Williams, before they took the body upstairs, wanted her head covered so that they would not see it “at once” when they were moving it. He believed, he said at the trial, that Holman himself provided a mantle which was used for this purpose. Williams and Roberts raised the body up and took it upstairs and they were not assisted by Holman. There were two dreadful wounds on the face, temple and head. William Roberts did not see the two children but he did hear them in the room upstairs adjoining the one where the body now lay and he presumed that they were both in bed. After the body had been laid on the bed Holman asked Williams to go out with him to “meat (feed) the cattle” and the cattle shed was under the roof of his dwelling. While they were there Holman went out to another place to fetch straw and then came back and the cattle were fed.

The victim was fully clothed but the fore part of her frock was scorched and her face blackened with the ashes and signs of scorching

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oberts then went downstairs to examine the chimney and to look for any weapon which could have caused the wounds and observed to Holman, “I don't see anything here that could cause those wounds” to which Holman made no reply. He also asked Holman whether he would like a doctor fetched or his friends but he only wanted his brother in law, Thomas Trewhella, who must have lived not far away since he arrived not long after.

He said in court that he “perceived a wound over her nose and another on the left templea large wound; I put my finger on that wound and found the skull was broke in.

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hile Roberts was fetching Trewhella, Mary Roberts and Elizabeth Williams, the wives of the two men visiting, had arrived, not at the house but at the cattle sheds. They all went back into the house to sit down and “freshen up.” While in the house, Elizabeth Williams said to Holman; “It greatly frighted us when the little boys said that you believed she was murdered.” Holman replied, “I did say so, but tell those little boys to say nothing about that.”

The fear that the neighbours felt is very understandable and especially so in such a close community. Not only was there a sense of shock but also a feeling that suspicion could be lying on all of them and that, if a murderer was at large, then that person could strike again. As yet it seemed to be a case of a woman alone in a house with young children being attacked by an intruder. A dark cloud was about to settle on a rather isolated community.Trewhella, on his arrival, remarked to Holman, “This is a bad job.” Holman made no reply to this and Trewhella went on to propose that the body should be washed and Roberts had expected that Trewhella would have brought a woman over to do this. The two women were too terrified to do the task, and other women were sent for and they refused, in spite of the fact that this was seen as work which a woman was expected to do. Williams himself then decided he would wash the body.

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n the little light that there was, they were confronted by the horrifying sight of Phillipa Holman lying dead in the ashes. The chimney was six feet wide with the fire on the ground and made of rough granite stones. The body of Phillipa was lying straight out on her face which was embedded in the ashes right up to her ears and these ashes were still hot. (This did lead to a story mentioned in Joseph Polsue, Lake’s Parochial History of Cornwall, Vol.1, p. 270) that Holman tried to burn his wife's body but this was not reported in the account of his trial nor in the local press). By the side of the head was the lighted candle placed on the ashes with rags round the bottom part of it. To the left of the woman there was a flat iron, used for baking purposes and to the right was a brandis or trivet on which kettles are placed. Nothing appeared to have been disturbed in the chimney and there was a second brandis in the chimney and a baking kettle. The victim was fully clothed but the fore part of her frock was scorched and her face blackened with the ashes and signs of scorching.There was some blood about the sides of the chimney and about the side of the wall of the room, and upon the stool or cricket which was under the table.

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s he washed her face and head he saw something of the severity of her injuries. He said in court that he “perceived a wound over her nose and another on the left temple-a large wound; I put my finger on that wound and found the skull was broke in. The wound over the nose was a kind of three cornered, and not particularly large.” Williams also said that he saw a large “splat” of blood in the chimney. Cornish Story Magazine

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oberts felt that Williams should have some spirits after performing this ghastly task. Holman gave him money and a bottle to obtain these but where they came from was not mentioned in the trial though they probably came from the Cornish Mount at the churchtown which was not far away. In view of subsequent statements by Holman, it is surprising that there were no spirits at the farm and that Holman had to buy them. Were those who lived at the neighbouring farm also unable to supply Williams's needs, even for medicinal purposes, because the Teetotal Movement had touched them?

Apart from the time taken to fetch Trewhella and to get spirits, Roberts and Trewhella spent the night with Holman. Roberts asked him about the events of the previous evening. He established from Holman that nothing had been stolen from the house. Holman told him that it was quarter past nine when he had called to Roberts, having just come home and found his wife dead. If there were any suspicions about Holman at this time they were not voiced and no one had reason to challenge Holman's account.

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he death as yet had not been reported to the authorities.The first to challenge Holman's account was Thomas Cory aged 63, a farmer of Polgrouse Moor, who lived about 300 yards from Holman. He arrived at the house at nine o'clock in the morning on the next day. He had known Holman but he found that a woman was in the house. Rather strangely she is not identified by Cory who must have known those living in the immediate neighbourhood. Cory offered his condolences. Holman was sitting in the kitchen with his little boy on his knee. Holman suggested that they go into the lower room, leaving the woman in the kitchen. Holman told Cory to take a chair and sit down.

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hat followed from Cory was some very intensive questioning. First Holman was asked whether he had sent for a doctor and what was the cause of death. He said that he had not sent for a doctor. Cory said that he understood that Holman had come home and found his wife dead. He agreed that he had. Cory repeated that in view of the extent of the injuries a doctor should have been called. Holman did not see the need to call a doctor but was reminded that “a Coroner's Jury cannot give their verdict unless there is a doctor's opinion about it.” Holman persisted in his refusal to send for a doctor but Cory told him that a doctor would be able to tell whether she died in a fit or whether she was murdered which was the opinion favoured by people in the area. From what was said it appeared that, at this stage, Holman was suggesting that Philippa had died as a result of a fit. The next line of questioning must have been more disturbing. Holman had claimed that he had come home after visiting his brother at about nine o'clock in the evening of 26th December to find his wife dead. The distance from where his brother lived in Gwinear, possibly near Borthog, to Carne was approximately two and a half miles dependent on the route taken. Cory reckoned that he himself had covered this distance in half an hour or even less. This must have been by horseback and since Holman himself agreed that he himself had done it in that time he must have also possessed a horse. Cory doubted that Holman, who left his brother's house at six thirty, could not have taken until nine o'clock for his journey but must have arrived at his home well before eight. He tried to explain the delay by stating that he had “heard of a revel in the churchtown” but then claimed that th he had “called down as far as Mr. Pooley's door” but had not stopped more than four or five minutes. He had seen no one to speak to and no one had spoken to him. In the end he did confess that he arrived sometime before eight but later he reverted, in his final confession, that it was at nine o'clock when he arrived.

he had come home after visiting his brother at about nine o'clock in the evening of 26 December to find his wife dead

Were those who lived at the neighbouring farm also unable to supply Williams's needs, even for medicinal purposes, because the Teetotal Movement had touched them?

Just as the body was washed Holman came into the room and John Roberts told him to strip back the quilt and heave something under her but Holman was unwilling to do this. He said that he was not willing for her to be heaved in on the quilt as it would dirty the quilt. There were some children's clothes which had blood on them and Williams gave these to his mother-in-law to wash.

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he had heard that Holman had threatened to blow Philippa's brains out unless she brought back 7d. a pound for geese she would sell at Camborne

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olman's failure to call a doctor and the contradictory statements about the time of his arrival home must have caused suspicions in the mind of Cory but he did not express them. Philippa's brother, John Parkins, the younger, innkeeper of Redruth, arrived with his brother in law, Jennings, in the afternoon and was not inhibited from airing his suspicions. John Parkins had heard about his sister's death that day and arrived about two o'clock. He asked Holman how she had died and had she any words with her neighbours. Holman replied that they had “very comfortable neighbours” and he said that he “supposed she died in a fit.” He had been out for most of that day, visiting his brother whom he had not seen for four years. Parkins replied that he did not believe that his sister died in a fit, she was not subject to them. Holman very quickly realised that John Parkins suspected him of murdering Philippa and put it to him. He said, “What do you think? That I murdered her?”

Parkins replied that he could not clearly say this but he had every suspicion that it was him.

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here followed a curious allegation that, sometime before, Holman had made a threat to his wife by way of recounting a dream. He had told Philippa that he had had a dream that something terrible would happen to her at Christmas. He refused to impart to her any detail about that dream and Parkins implied that whatever that dream was, there was no doubt that it meant that Philippa would come to a tragic and violent end. Holman himself had now fulfilled it. He denied all of this. There was now great anger from both men with Holman threatening that he would make his brother in law “prove his words.” Parkins remembered that he had heard that Holman had threatened to blow Philippa's brains out unless she brought back 7d. a pound for geese she would sell at Camborne but he denied this. Parkins then demanded to go upstairs to see his sister but Holman refused to let him go up on the grounds that Philippa was in no state to be seen, “her wounds were dreadfulthat she was nothing but a gore of blood.” Parkins still insisted, “I don't care what fashion she is; she is my sister and I will see her”, and “Unless you let me see her by fair means, I will by foul.” He then said that Parkins should wait until his mother and father came in and they could see her all together.

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Just then William Roberts came in and his entry probably saved a scrap developing. Parkins would go up with William Roberts and anyway he did not expect his parents to arrive for some time. Holman provided a candle but refused to accompany the two men saying that he could not see her. What Parkins saw up there certainly confirmed that she did not die of a fit as Holman maintained. On coming down he said to Holman, “James you have done now what you threatened to do. If she had been kicked by a horse it could not have injured her so much as she was injured.” Again Holman said that he would make Parkins “prove his words.” Parkins then went out, probably to alert the two parish constables, as he was very certain that Philippa had been murdered by Holman.

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n the next day (Wednesday 28th December) Philippa's father, John Parkins the elder, arrived at Carne Farm. He was aged 67. He had formerly farmed Cathebedron in Gwinear parish but now he had moved to Penrose in Sithney, near Loe Pool, to farm the estate there. He arrived with his wife and found Holman sitting with his little boy, Thomas, on his lap. The encounter began in a friendly way. John Parkins shook hands and said, “James this is a wisht job.” In answer to his questions Holman replied that he had arrived home after seeing his brother and found his wife dead at about nine o'clock and that he had found her lying in the chimney and there was a lighted candle burning in the ashes before her. Again Holman refused to go up to where the body was. He said that he could “not look upon her.” Thomas

Trewhella was in the house and he went up with John Parkins senior and his wife. On coming down Parkins exclaimed, “why James, Philippa is murdered.”

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olman was obviously feeling that he was being accused of this crime and certainly suggesting in his replies a sensitivity to any suggestion that his wife was murdered. “Maybe so,” he replied, “maybe so but I hadn't done it.” John Parkins senior was a milder man than his son but now he began to probe and it was clear that he had a strong suspicion that his daughter was murdered by Holman. The injuries revealed a greater violence than could be inflicted by being thrown to the ground in a fit. “If she had been thrown into a shaft and fallen 20 fathoms, she could not hav been cut up

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argaret Parkins, Philippa's mother, also spoke to Holman at this time and confirmed that he had denied murdering her daughter and the warning was repeated to her to take care about what they said. At some point the authorities had been informed and, as in the case of any person being discovered dead, a quick inquest was held but adjourned because the surgeons needed to examine the body more thoroughly. Mrs. Parkins stayed there Wednesday night but not on the Thursday night and then returned on Friday and went home later in the day. So on Wednesday, assuming that her husband was not with her, she spent the night with the body of her daughter and her strongly suspected murderer. Constable Orchard visited the house on the Wednesday after the adjourned inquest. The constable looked through the house, with others, but what he found was not reported in the press at the

time of the trial. Orchard was a Parish Constable, the County Police Force was not formed until four years later. n the Thursday the surgeons came to examine the body to determine cause of death. After they had completed their work they must have informed Constable Orchard that the blunt end of a hatchet was the weapon used to strike Philippa. Mr. Gurney, one of the surgeons, asked Holman whether he possessed an axe and he denied that he did so. The constable

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also asked whether Holman possessed an axe but he said again that he did not and neither did he have a coal hammer. He then made a search of the house but did not find the weapon which killed Philippa. He did find in the kitchen chamber, as he first said, “a child's pinney, a frock and two socks with blood on them,” although he later said that they were found in the “room over the kitchen.” Margaret Parkins remembered that, after the surgeons left, Holman threatened that he would “ruin”

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uring Thursday Holman visited his neighbour, Thomas Cory, twice to get water from his well. In evidence Cory said that Holman had got water from him in the spring when his own well was dry but never in the winter. He also asked Cory to go down to the Churchtown “and speak for the grave and to the parson about the burying of his wife.” Cory wondered that Holman's brother in law, Trewhella, or some of his friends had not done that but Holman maintained that Trewhella did not like to do that. It was very likely that all the arrangements had been made by Philippa's family. By Friday, the day of the funeral, Holman had been committed in custody by John Parkins the younger though it was at Carne Farm with a constable, probably John Webster, present. It appears that he wished to attend the funeral but he was prevented from doing so. In the morning, at 9.30 am, Margaret Parkins returned, probably from Penrose and found Holman still in the house with the constable. Both Margaret Parkins and Holman had been informed by the surgeons about the injuries sustained by Philippa Holman and that these amounted to 'willful murder.' They both explained this to Thomas Trewhella who arrived at the house that morning. Holman agreed with Trewhella that the constable had taken Holman's shirt and that of the child and implied that these blood-stained clothes had been taken up by the women when they cleaned the chamber and were hidden away as evidence against him.

I am clear of it; I never gave her the weight of my hand; I never lifted my hand against her, and never gave her an angry word and I never had no cause for it.

Orchard was a Parish Constable, the County Police Force was not formed until four years later.

John Parkins then tried to find from Holman who else other than Holman himself could have been the murderer. Holman had no suspicions of any neighbours, they were “quiet” neighbours and, asked about robbery, well nothing was taken so that could not have been the motive. He angrily said that he had threatened to prosecute Philippa's brother for stating to me that “I was the murderer. The interview ended at that point and Holman was very angry.

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rs. Parkins, according to her evidence in court, told Trewhella that the surgeons had told them that Philippa had suffered many blows and was kicked in the side and that she had died on her back. Trewhella looked at Holman but Holman looked on the ground and said “I am clear of it; I never gave her the weight of my hand; I never lifted my hand against her, and never gave her an angry word and I never had no cause for it.” He also said that he never found any fault in her. Mrs. Parkins responded by saying that she had seen them have differences at Cathebedron and that he had very badly neglected her. To this Holman made a strange response saying that he was never willing to have Philippa as his wife. In answer to this Mrs. Parkins pointed out to him that they were not willing that he should have her and if he did not want her why didn't he let her go to others. Cornish Story Magazine

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Holman's two nephews were in the house at this time. These two boys were possibly two of the children of William Holman aged 47 of Crenver in Crowan, a copper miner who also worked land. Holman had sent them to Thomas Cory to fetch water as he explained that the water from his own well was not drinking water. John was probably 12 and his brother, James, 9. When not in the custody of the constable Holman had been doing this himself and this must have aroused the suspicion of the constables so John Webster went to Holman's well. This well was about eight feet deep and looking into it he saw something and went down and found a hatchet or dag. One of Holman's nephews, John, was looking out of the window and told those in the house that they had found a dag in the mowhay. As he heard this Holman said repeatedly, “If there is any such thing found it is not mine; some person have put it there.” Webster carried the hatchet into the house and Holman denied that it was his saying, “No, it is not mine. I have no knowledge of it.”

According to an early press report Holman expressed some sadness about the death of his wife at this time and was much concerned whenever her name was mentioned.

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It was now decided that Holman should be moved from his own home to an inn at Crowan Churchtown which must have been The Cornish Mount where Henry Semmens was the innkeeper.

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his would have been 30th December 1853. He would remain there until the inquest. According to an early press report Holman expressed some sadness about the death of his wife at this time and was much concerned whenever her name was mentioned. He kept on saying “poor dear, poor dear,” often. Sunday night was a very disturbed one for Holman as well as the innkeeper and the two constables and anyone else staying at The Cornish Mount. Holman went to bed at 11pm. But at 1am the next morning the house was awakened by loud screams from the prisoner. He was out of bed and jumping, terrified in the room. Orchard, who was with him in the room, asked him what he was about. “My dear Philip I could not help it!” was his reply.

Holman made no reply. Perhaps the account of the nightmare would have shed some light on what had happened when Philippa was killed.

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oth constables had to restrain him by holding him on both sides and handcuffs were applied. “What do you mean, James, by alarming us like that?” the constable asked. “My dear fellow, I never meant no harm; oh what passed before my eyes! What a glance!” Holman replied. When the constable asked what he saw Holman made no reply. Perhaps the account of the nightmare would have shed some light on what had happened when Philippa was killed.

The terrible screaming had alerted everyone staying at the inn including Henry Semmens. He thought someone had come to rescue the prisoner and he came up to the room. It was the presence of Semmens which may have induced Holman to recount what the nightmare was about. If they believed that it was a flashback to the night of the killing they would be disappointed. It was about soldiers coming towards him with glittering swords which was the only detail he was able to give. In his terrified state he now seemed to be more willing to talk about other things and it seemed as if Semmens was the person he felt most confident to talk to. He told the innkeeper that he wanted to tell the truth of what happened when Philippa Holman was killed but Semmens was a member of the Coroner's Jury which was soon to hear this case and he must have felt it wrong to hear what might be a confession. He refused to hear what Holman was about to say.

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aturday was the day which sealed Holman's fate. The constable, Phillip Orchard, made a further search and found in the kitchen draw nearest the chimney two small pieces of blood-stained cloth. The cloths were shown to Holman who said that he believed that the blood came when John Williams used them for washing the body but “Mrs. Roberts would tell about it.” Mrs. Roberts was called in and she denied that she had seen the cloths. If Holman had said anything at that point Constable Orchard did not remember it. But for Holman worse was to come.

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oday any statement of this kind would have to be heard in the presence of a solicitor and any legal representative would have insisted that Holman should exercise his right to silence. The prisoner was feeling isolated away from the surroundings of his own home. Although he was under suspicion for a most brutal murder of his wife, the atmosphere seemed to be friendly, even sympathetic, and he wanted visits from friends. The innkeeper offered to bring anyone he wished to see within a ten mile radius.

Part Two of Cornwall’s Holman Case in the next edition of Cornish Story Cornish Story Magazine

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Julie’s Story Julie Chamberlain shares her childhood memories of the newly restored Gyllyngdune Gardens, Falmouth where her great uncle Jack Semple was the resident gardener.

By Jean Carr

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ulie Chamberlain was born in West Street, Penryn in 1961 to Kym and Brian Pollard who had a local butcher’s shop. Her father was the nephew of Jack Semple who in 1931 married Eileen Medlin from Mawnan Smith, the sister of Brian’s mother. Although technically her ‘great’ uncle, Julie always called them ‘uncle and aunty’.

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Jack Semple was Falmouth Borough Council’s head gardener from 1937 to 1972 except for his war service from 1940 to 1945 as an RAF bomb armourer. He left Wellington Terrace School, Falmouth at 14 for a seven year gardening apprentice at Gyllyngdune under head gardener Bob Gill. Once qualified he did various gardening jobs away from Falmouth including at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon. On becoming head gardener at Gyllyngdune he lived on site in what are now the offices for Carrick Leisure who are responsible for the Princess Pavilion with its new Garden Room bar and Cornish Story Magazine bistro.


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ack and Eileen did not have children but loved having Julie and her eldest sister visit them, although Julie recalls , “While I was a bit of tom boy and loved being in the garden my sister was a proper girly girly and would often go off to another aunt in Perranwell.” Julie’s earliest memory of Gyllyngdune is Uncle Jack holding her up to pluck an icicle from the bandstand roof. “It was a really cold Christmas and the gardens were completely white with hoar- frost. I was wrapped up tight and had a muff you put both hands in to. Later when I was about six or seven at the infants school in Commercial Road, Penryn, uncle would take me down through the gardens and the little tunnel to the beach to look for starfish in the rock pools, Castle Beach being the best.”

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he remembers the gardens being more intensively planted than today with numerous hanging baskets around the bandstand and climbing plants on the veranda posts. “There were several gardeners here [at times] who spent hours planting up the borders with summer bedding and lots of spring bulbs. I sometimes went with uncle to local Spring flower shows when he was picking up bulbs in great bags almost as tall as me.” “He always seemed to have a wheel barrow with him with his tools and spent most of his time around the Pavilion. He especially liked putting the flowers around the bandstand and potting up the hanging baskets. Back then it was lots of geraniums [grown by Jack in the garden’s glass house which has been rebuilt] plus established Dracaena palms and other Cordylines. In the quarry at the bottom of the garden that was mainly shrubs and quite a few Fuchsias.”

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“Uncle was constantly tying things up – he always had a ball of twine with him and a very sharp knife for the trailing plants and cutting back and dead heading the Roses. He wore a shirt, and braces with his trousers, his flat cap used to go everywhere with him and his gardening gloves tucked into a pocket.”Cornish Story Magazine


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y favourite photograph of Eileen and Jack, who were a very smiley couple, is 1946 and they are sitting by the bandstand, uncle having come back from the war. They would say how they would love to see the garden back to what it was before the war when the bare minimum was done because the men were not there - and some did not come back. All the ironwork and gates at the front were taken away and aunty told me how the gardens were used to receive the refugees from Dunkirk and how casualties were laid out in the gardens and around the Pavilion.

During the Dunkirk evacuation 26th May to 4th June 1940 thousands of refugees were landed from the ships that filled Falmouth bay. Many were fed by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service in the Pavilion’s tea room and garden. Survivors from ships like the Lancastria which was sunk with 6,000 troops and civilians on board during the raid at St Nazaire on 17th June 1940, were also tended to in the gardens.Julie says, “Uncle did not talk about his war, he was just a quiet gardener who loved what he did and wanted to get back here.” But she does remember his joyful enthusiasm for the Pavilion’s legendary Spring flower show which was first held in 1910. Jack Semple was pivotal in reviving the show in 1946 as he had kept prewar show schedules and went on to win many awards for his displays of plants from Cornish Story Magazine Falmouth council’s gardens.

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here was much good natured rivalry between the Cornwall council gardeners for the best displays, particularly between Falmouth and the Truro parks,” says Julie. In the 1950s these displays of early Spring flowering shrubs and bulbs were re-assembled in high street stores in cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool to promote Falmouth as a holiday resort. Julie helped her aunty Eileen replace missing shells in the grotto in Gyllyngdune’s quarry garden which was a favourite place to play. “I’d pretend I was a pirate. Aunty used to make me a hat from newspaper and I’d patch out one eye. Sometimes I’d play with my sister, or other children if they were around, but mostly by myself dragging a half- life size doll around”, she remembers. Depending on which shells were missing they would collect like for like from the beach or Eileen would buy larger ones such as conch shells from a Falmouth Cornish shop. The shell grotto and the garden’s shell seats which date from the Story 1840sMagazine have also been restored.


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“At the end of the day when everyone had left they would sit out there with a big glass of homemade lemonade. Uncle liked spring and autumn, when the seasons were opening and closing, everything coming up new and then all cleared away tidy for the next year. When he retired in 1972 he was in quite poor health, wear and tear I suppose, but he kept coming back and keeping in touch with people and the gardens.” The council house they moved to behind Swanpool, Falmouth, soon boasted a great garden.lie’s own passion for gardening is a legacy of childhood times spent with her uncle in Gyllyngdune. “He taught me how to take cuttings and grow things. I loved it and took rural studies at school learning how to graft fruit stock and roses and thought about being a florist. I did a Youth Training Scheme with Harcourt Williams [local nursery established 1856 now a wholesale fresh food producer] but I became a sewing machinist instead. I do love my own garden and I have a couple of fuchsias my dad gave me which uncle had given him.”

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treat was tea and sandwiches sitting on a wooden crate in the ‘Chapel’, the local name for the garden’s Victorian brick folly on Cliff Road opposite the seafront entrance. Julie cannot remember the building being open to the public so it felt special being there. Uncle Jack would tell her and her sister how the Walt Disney film Treasure Island with actors Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll was made in the River Fal in 19491950. Indeed he supplied a number of sub-tropical plants from the council gardens which included Fox Rosehill Gardens in Melville Road. “Uncle had a small telescope and we’d look out to see who was coming into the bay. It was just the little sailing and scallop fishing boats, but to us who had read ‘Swallows and Amazons’, it was pirates.” The Pavilion’s tea room and local brass bands playing for free on the Edwardian band stand on Sundays were popular with families in the summer.

he and her family still visit Gyllyngdune – she took her son and daughter “ever since they were tiny tots, and my mother too would take them through the tunnel to the beach. At summer weekends the men would come with us and have a beer in the gardens. My daughter Amanda is married to a landscape gardener and they have brought their toddler Eden Rose here. I just love coming, it is comfortable and has good memories. These gardens are really important as there are not many big public gardens in Falmouth. Once there were private homes and old fashioned hotels like the Carthian Hotel along the seafront which had a lovely garden with a pond. They have been sold and built over with flats, and once an old garden has gone you cannot get it back.”

Julie recalls, “Then other children would be in the gardens with their parents but when I was very little it was much more formal and they were not allowed to run riot. My mum and dad used to come down to see aunty and uncle and we would go into the tea room. You were in your Sunday best and on your best behaviour as well. I remember having to stand very quietly and still when the band concerts were on.” Living in such a public place in a home that went with the job does not appear to have lessened the Semples’ personal enjoyment of the garden.

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Rosemarie:The hidden history of a Cornish houseboat By Shauna Osborne-Dowle

John, her son, after this job was over for accusing him of murdering his wife. Mrs. Parkins's response was that “it was on everybody's mouth that you murdered her.�

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he Rosemarie II was a classic early wooden motor yacht, which came to a sad end in 2009 when she was cut up for scrap, after falling onto a rotten mooring leg which punched a large hole in the hull, as the full weight of the unsupported boat fell onto one side, breaking many structural timbers, and rendering her useless. Although I do hope that from this previously un-documented account of her working life, you will conclude as I have, that her true value has been greatly over-looked and undervalued. Rosemarie will most recently be remembered as a well-loved, live-aboard, and home to many consecutive owners over a forty year period, on the Penryn River in Cornwall. Ending her days just half a mile up river, from where she was originally built at R.S. Burts & Sons, then situated at the Little Falmouth boatyard, near Flushing. At the time that the Rosemarie was built in 1930, R.S Burts & Sons were the Thornycroft agents for the area, and she supported two twin screw, four cylinder petrol Thonrycroft engines.

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Frank Peters on Rosemarie II Naval Patrol Penzance 1940

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.S.Burts & Sons of Falmouth, was a ship-builder of excellent reputation which spanned several generations of the family and extended into cousins of the same name all working as boat builders in and around the Falmouth harbour during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were most famous for the design and production of the Falmouth Quay punts, which were deep keeled, sailing ships of 28’ which would tend upon the large commercial sailing ships delivering loads to the port of Falmouth until the late 1930s. The last quay punts were being built, just at the time that Rosemarie II was commissioned, she saw the beginning of motorised pleasure cruising and heralded the end of the days of sail.

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The Hendersons were a wealthy family who spent only half the year living at Greystones in St Mawes, where they employed a gardener, a housekeeper called Mrs Burley and a yachtsman called Walter Hitchins. They had a son and two daughters, in 1931 Ian Henderson, Arthurs son, commissioned Frank Peters at Freshwater Yard in St Mawes to build an 18’ restricted class racing yacht called Marie. In the summer the family would take both vessels, the Marie and the Rosemarie out to Fowey or up the Helford River for the day, attending racing regattas all along the south coast. In the winter the Rosemarie and the Marie would be kept on the beach at Polvarth Yard.

Rosemarie’s design was similar to that of the Clyde built Motor Yachts produced by James A. Silver Ltd of Rosneath, and she can be almost exactly compared with the Silver, 'Brown Owl class' yacht registered in 1928, with the distinctive cruiser stern design. The ‘Silver’ yachts were built in three sizes; 42’, 47’ and 52ft in length, and came in two styles; the coach roof type, and the raised topsides type. The Brown Owl was a highly regarded class of motor yacht throughout Britain .

he Sailing vessel Marie, transferred ownership back to her builder Frank Peters on the outset of war in 1939 and Ian Bernard Henderson, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve died in the St Nazaire raids on the 28th of March 1942 aged 31yrs, leaving his widow Norah Clennell Henderson of Dousland, Devon.

She saw the beginning of motorised pleasure cruising

It may forever remain a mystery just how many vessels were built in this style by R.S.Burts of Falmouth, but it can’t be more than a mere handful, spanning a brief five year period of local production. I know only of the ‘Molan’, and have seen the original plans for another named ‘Unique’. The Rosemarie II was built, true to the ‘Brown Owl Class’ at 42’ by 11’ with a 6’ draft and with the typical cruiser stern.

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rthur Henry Henderson of Greystones, Tredenham Road, St Mawes was the man who commissioned the build of Rosemarie II. Trade records have him registered as a private resident at St Mawes in 1926, and he would have been 57 years old at this time. In the same year of 1926 Arthur Henderson commissioned a motor yacht, called ‘Rose Marie’ (the Rosemarie II’s predecessor) to be built by R.S.Burts & Sons, which were at this time situated at the Bar in Falmouth. She measured 30’ by 8.9 with a 5.3 draft. ‘Rose Marie’ only appears in the ships registers for another 4yrs until 22nd December 1930, when her registry is closed upon the sale of the ship to an American subject. It does seem that Arthur Henry Henderson may have already replaced the first Rosemarie with another vessel, as in 1929. He became the registered owner of a motor-boat called ‘Moonbeam’ previously named ‘Portia’ which he purchased from a Mrs J Bowen of Falmouth. This vessel was built in 1913 by Moonbeams Ltd, of Southampton. She was 24’ by 6’4 with a 2.9 draft.

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Arthur Henry Henderson died on the 25th September 1936 aged 67. His smaller vessel the Moonbeam changed ownership at this time, and the Rosemarie II transferred ownership on the 13th April 1937 to joint-owners; Ethel Rose Henderson, his widow and Barclays Bank. Then on 14th December 1937 she was sold on to Mrs Sarah Jane Keyes and Miss Ursula Irene Marie Keyes, a mother and daughter from Chester who became the new joint owners of the vessel. The Keyes family never did live in Cornwall, but Ursula and her friends would come and stay onboard the Rosemarie which was now kept at Freshwater Boatyard under the care of Frank Peters. He would make sure she received the annual maintenance needed to keep her in excellent repair. Ursula only enjoyed the Rosemarie for a couple of years before war broke out and she then went to work in her fathers factory, making ‘Devalite’ batteries for torches which were now in great demand due to the blackouts. Edmond Keyes, Ursula’s father, was made the Sheriff of Chester for the year 1940-41, and in 1940 the Rosemarie was one of the first St Mawes boats to be requisitioned by the Admiralty, her certificate of registry being surrendered at the time of acquisition.

Rosemarie went to Dunkirk, but she was never officially recognised as a Dunkirk Little ship

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rank Peters became the Rosemaries wartime skipper, with Walter Hitchins and Fred Hamling as crew and Engineer. In her first year of service she worked as a river patrol boat around the Lizard peninsula. In May 1940, Falmouth was one of the Departure points for the small ships leaving to collect the troops from the Dunkirk evacuations. I am convinced that the Rosemarie went to Dunkirk, but she was never officially recognised as a Dunkirk Little ship. I did find one account of a boat called Rose Marie, going to Dunkirk in a flotilla of eight along with five other motorboats and two lifeboats, on Friday the 31st of May, towed by the Dutch Skoot ‘Hilda’, which was captained by Lieutenant A.Gray of the Royal Navy, to evacuate the troops from the shallow sands of Bray beach. Ref; Page 72, ‘The Evacuation from Dunkirk’ W.J.R Gardner ISBN 071465120-6. I cannot be sure this account refers to our Rosemarie, but it was however, the job of the Rosemarie and crew to Cornish officially check theStory shipsMagazine and to record all the troops returning from Dunkirk as they landed back in Falmouth.

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I know that some boats which have been awarded the Dunkirk status didn’t actually go, as Raymond Peake informed me; “Some boats from Newlyn went to Falmouth for the Dunkirk evacuation but they were sent back because they displaced too much water, and I know that ‘Maid Marion’ has a brass plaque saying she went to Dunkirk, but I know she never went! What they were looking for was boats like the Rosemarie with a shallow draft, they only wanted boats with a 6ft draft, which could go right in close [to the beaches]”. There are two ‘Little ships’ called Rose Marie. One of these is a twin-screw schooner built by J. Crossfield, of Conway in 1926. From my own research at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, I can see that this boat was not requisitioned by the Admiralty until 1946, and so it is possible that she could be a case for mistaken identity. She measured 53ft by 13.2 with a 7.7 draft. This means that her draft was over the Admiralty requirements of a maximum 6ft Cornish Story Magazine draft. So she could be stealing our Rosemarie’s glory on the official listings.


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n 1941 Frank Peters secured a contract to make lifeboats for the Royal Navy at Freshwater Yard, in St Mawes. With a team of three men including himself, his apprentice John Drinkwater and a painter called Ernie Whitford they built two boats per week, which were made entirely from locally sourced Cornish Elm. The Peters family had a long established reputation for boat building, Frankie’s father, grandfather and great grandfather had all built Cornish gigs, at Freshwater Yard and Frank Peters himself was the original Designer and builder of the famous St Mawes One Design.

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he Rosemarie seems to have returned to Falmouth around 1944, but I have little record of her from this time. In 1948 she was purchased from the admiralty by a Francis Bertram Sawle of St Mawes who partnered with his brother in law Tommy Clode. Tommy then re-fitted the boat, as an open-backed passenger ferry, which was board of trade tested before they went into business running her as a pleasure cruiser off the Prince of Wales pier, offering trips up the River Fal, to Malpas and the Helford river.

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In 1942 the Rosemarie is officially listed as an Auxiliary Petrol Vessel based at Penzance, and as a Care & Maintenance Vessel at Falmouth.

The Rosemarie went down to Newlyn under the care of Marine Engineer Fred Hambling, who moved with his family to live there for a period of three years. In 1942 the Rosemarie is officially listed as an Auxiliary Petrol Vessel based at Penzance, and as a Care & Maintenance Vessel at Falmouth. She was also used for targettowing by the home-guard who at this time had occupied the ‘Jubilee Pool’ Lido at Penzance, and they regularly used the two mounted, six inch gun defences to practice firing at her moving target.

S They went into business running her as a pleasure cruiser off the Prince of Wales pier, offering trips up the River Fal, to Malpas and the Helford river.

he next changed ownership around the mid 1950s when she was reputedly sold to a Mr Keen who kept her moored up at Turnpike beach, where the Falmouth marina is now situated. It was around this time that the boat was substantially altered, into a suitable liveaboard, with the rebuilding of a coach roof and cabin in a style similar to her original design, now minus her engines. In the late 50s she was sold on again, to a Mr Alex Mc Cormack, who worked as a riveter at Falmouth Docks, and He then took the boat over to the picturesque Carne Creek at Gillan on the Lizard peninsula, where He kept her as a holiday rental houseboat for several years. In the 1960s she changed ownership again and was towed back over to Sailors Creek in the Penryn River, where she began her life as a full time Houseboat and home to many adoring owners.

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his history of the Rosemarie has been compiled from my original research and from the video testimonies which I have collected during the making of two separate but related films, together they tell the 79yr life story of the Rosemarie. ‘The Many Romances with Rosemarie’ is about her 40yrs of Houseboat history, and ‘Remembering Rosemarie’ is about her fascinating working life. These are both available to purchase online from www.medialproductions.co.uk.

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Brass Band Culture in Cornwall By Olivia Rowse Cornish Story Magazine

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joined Redruth Town Band in March and since then I have played at a number of home games for the Redruth Rugby team, the Royal Cornwall Show, Stithians Steam Rally, St Michaels Mount, and Princess Pavilions in Falmouth. I have also competed in the annual Bugle Band contest. So all in all it’s been a busy, yet fun time of year for us all in the band and, whilst enjoying a brief rest at the end of summer, we will be back in full force in December playing Christmas carols nearly every evening throughout December.

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n an unpublished paper by Mr D.Tonkin, he sums up brass bands as a part of Cornish Culture, “Cornish bands were of and belonged to the people of the village or town.” And this is most certainly still true today. From their formation as a brass band movement around the mid to late 1800’s, brass bands have always formed an integral part of the community.

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espite whether or not people notice them, they are always there providing the musical entertainment at carnivals, fetes, concerts and, as we move into autumn and winter, at Remembrance parades and Christmas carol concerts. Due to moving house, I have recently played in different bands throughout Cornwall, and most recently I have joined Redruth Town Band. So, for this article, I thought I'd share some of the history and my personal experiences so far. As with many brass bands, the formation of what we now know as the Redruth Town band can be traced back to around the mid to late 1800's. Around this time, there were many small groups of musicians, comprising a variety of instruments, not only brass; and it is more than likely that the brass band formed out of a mix of these other musical ensembles.

A brass band just finishes off the Christmas atmosphere

The Christmas period is most definitely one of my most favourite times of the year for playing in the band. It’s the one time of year when you can really feel that people appreciate hearing the band. Maybe it’s just the spirit of the season but there’s something about a brass band that just finishes off the Christmas atmosphere. Try to imagine being out late night shopping without wondering past a brass band, or going to the supermarket without a brass band playing in the foyer. They’re as much a part of Christmas as mince pies, turkey and fairy lights!

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Cornwall Record Office: Archives in the Spotlight By Chloe Phillips

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ornwall Record Office (CRO) was sprinkled with stardust in late 2011 when esteemed television historian, Michael Wood, visited the Office to film for his new BBC series which explores the social history of Britain from the Middle Ages to the present day. For the series, which offers a more ‘local’ perspective, Wood and historian Professor Mark Stoyle visited the medieval excavations at Gunwalloe, the civil war battlefields at Lostwithiel, and the CRO to film documents focusing on the Cornish language and Cornish migration overseas.

Professor Stoyle is currently researching William Scawen, a seventeenth-century Cornish patriot, language revivalist and a Vice-Warden of the Stannaries. The BBC crew filmed him discussing this interesting – and oft-neglected - character while looking at Scawen’s 1688 manuscript`Antiquities Cornubrittanic'. This features a copy of one of the earliest surviving Cornish language plays, 'The Passio Christi', in ancient Cornish with a literal translation as well as observations on the language.

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Archivist David Thomas was invited to discuss the theme of migration overseas using the letters of Richard Scoble, a Devoran man who moved to America in the 1870s in order to seek his fortune.

The eight-part series will air on BBC2 in the spring

These dialect letters are a fascinating glimpse into one man’s life abroad; they include minor details about haircuts and weight gain, and Scoble, who appears to have been something of a ladies’ man in his youth, asks his mother to “tell William to kiss all the madens [sic] up top of the hill for me...”

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Oral Storytelling: 3rd November at The Poly, in Falmouth By Rio Darrington Back by popular demand for the second year running, The Poly in Falmouth was recently host to Tales Well Travelled, an evening of alternative entertainment provided by professional oral storytellers Giles Abbott and Viv Minton. The oral tradition is one that has been around for centuries; a literary and dramatic form which many students from both Universities at the Tremough campus are taught in detail within certain courses such as English Literature, whose society helped to organise the event. Such academic interests made the event extremely popular amongst the young people of Falmouth who are interested in this well-established literary tradition as well as its vocal and performative elements. From the ancient epics of Homer to the modern day power ballad, it is a tradition which has awed and enthralled audiences time after time. This night was no different. The evening began with Viv Minton, an ex- lecturer and previous host of the fascinating Falmouth History Walks, who both awed and horrified us with a gruesome tale of cannibals on the high seas; a terrifyingly true story from Falmouth’s grisly past. Her dramatic training shone through as she drew in the audience with her vocal portrayal of four desperate men and their fight for survival. This eerie tale was followed by Giles Abbott, an awardwinning storyteller and Voice teacher who transported the audience to countries across the globe with a voice reminiscent of melted chocolate. From skeleton brides in Norway to a Cornish mermaid’s revenge, Giles weaved both the myth and the modern seamlessly together in a masterful enactment of these gripping and fantastical tales.

The oral tradition is one that has been around for centuries

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Luckily for the residents of Falmouth, there were plenty of short stories which provided laughs, scares and the occasional happy-ending

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or Giles, the love of storytelling began in 1999 as a result of losing much of his eyesight in the previous year. Now registered blind, he has recorded his stories for blind children as well as working as a resident storyteller at the Kensington & Chelsea Hospital Schools and frequently visiting other primary and secondary schools around London. But it’s not just the children who benefit from his extensive repertoire, as he also teaches voice to drama students in Birkbeck College in London and runs training courses for business people. Luckily for the residents of Falmouth, there were plenty of short stories which provided laughs, scares and the occasional happy-ending to entertain us during this truly original evening. Event organiser and local student Roseanna Freiburghaus commented that “It’s fantastic to have such skilled storytellers keep up the oral tradition. It was brilliant to be able to celebrate the tradition in the local community. They kept us hanging on to their every word; as the audience shouted out we’re still begging for ‘just one more!” Luckily for those who missed the evening, or just can’t wait to attend another night of storytelling, there is likely to be a similar event taking place next year. Certainly, Tales Well Travelled was a real success; an exciting and original night of entertainment for both students and locals alike. For more information about the two speakers please visit: http://www.curiosuslearning.com/ http://www.gilesabbott.com/

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I have developed my work this year with the subject of Traces. I am using a combination of stitch, photography and painting. My painting reveals texture underneath, and my stitching traces the lines of an image to add colour and raise the surface creating multiple layers of interest in each piece. The word ‘trace’ has many connotations, but my own thoughts are that a trace is a surviving mark; evidence of where something or someone has once been.

Artist in Focus: Jessica Shoemack Cornish leaves inspire textiles By Jessica Shoemack

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he wild woodland at the end of my Cornish garden is the subject of much of my work. Come rain or shine, summer or winter, the Duchy’s nature is a muse for many artists. Creative Subjects have always fascinated me. My strength is in creating pieces of Art that have a textile influence. I would describe myself as a textile artist and from a

I have been building on this idea in both my art and textile work. There is a connection between the two; my art is about the actual trace such as a fallen leaf from a tree or a footprint lost in the sand, whereas my textiles are based upon forming traces within each piece, whether it is in drawing, print or embroidery.

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I am using a combination of stitch, photography and painting

young age drawing has always been a passion of mine. When at home in Cornwall I draw and take photographs of beautiful and interesting sights to capture my surroundings. I use my images and develop them into textiles. 44

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Cooking Sardines with Sanjay Kumar When it comes to looking for an apt dose of fish inspiration,”Slow Fish”, is the final and fitting destination. Blessed with an opportunity to represent the United Kingdom as a “Slow Chef”, I was fortunate to visit Slow Fish in the port city of Genoa, a biennial event to debate, savor and glorify the “love of fish.” Falling upon my Bengali Indian upbringing and a Cornish way of earning a living out of preparing fish, it was a life changing opportunity for me to revive the interest in Cornish Sardines.

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ased upon a traditional Italian recipe of pairing Cured Cornish Sardines with spiced Polenta, I worked towards enticing the Italian contemporary palette in the light of an ancient fish trade route from Cornwall to Genoa. It is rather uncanny not to be motivated by the gastronomical experiences and the Italian Way of life. Paired with significantly positive words of Maria Damanaki, (European Commissioner of fish)a motivational Hug from Carlo Petrini (President Slow Food) and a lot of encouraging evidence from the scientific committees, I have certainly gathered a lot of good wind to the sail of my humble cause to make “Artisan landed Fish” to be the sustainable food for the future. Never before has fish been the boiling topic of so many dinner table conversations as in recent times. Earning a living out of presenting fish experiences to discerning Fish Lovers, it is thus quite a natural process to assume the responsibility of bringing“Cornish Fish Story” to Genoa at Slow Fish 2011.

Hevva Hevva, the glory days of Cornish Fishing is around the corner...

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My mission to Slow Fish in Genoa was a rather daunting and simple one, “to revive the interest in Cornish fish”, in the perspective of modern eating habits and trends. While creating a taste adventure around Cornish Sardine, an icing on the cake was to meet and debate upon how European council policy can work towards sustaining artisan fishermen and their unique traditional techniques of catching the right fish using the most suitable and practical gears. No matter what the language you christen “Fish” and the pleasures it delivers, around the world, we all agree upon the fact that with a little bit of “Concerned Citizenship” and “Frugal Gastronomy” we can savour the precious fruits of the sea, for generations to come. Despite the Jargon world of Quotas, Mesh sizes, juvenile fish catches and illegal fish landing, there is a silver lining that like the early golden years of Cornish fishing it tempts me to shout “Hevva Hevva”, the glory days of Cornish Fishing is around the corner. Salacche Inglese (Cornovaglia) con polenta Sale Speziato Every summer without fail a shoal of Sardines swim across the channel, towards the warm shores of Cornwall. A dedicated marksman perched atop the hill kept an eye on the approaching train of shimmering fish shouting “Hevva Hevva” upon spotting the prized catch. Alert fishermen cast their nets, catching the prized fish, which was then prepared, salted, packed symmetrically in barrels, stenciled and shipped back to the shores of Catholic fish eating countries in the Mediterranean. Genoa in Italy was one such port of call a few centuries back. My recipe today is a modern twist on the amazing blend of ancient and modern eating habits, in the perspective of Cornish Sardines. Nick and Mithe Howell are passionate producers, who care more about keeping the traditions than earning surplus money by exploiting the sea. Over the years, the market and demand for Cornish fish has dwindled, due to alternate cheaper sources, and modern methods of industrial fishing. Slow fish is a platform to rekindle the interests in restoring the pride of origin of a delicacy that is so proper to Cornwall, and the people who earn a living catching it, from shore to plate.

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Recipe Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes Estimated Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 100 Cornish Sardines/Herrings fillets 250 g Cumin Seeds ground 1 pkt(10 g) Saffron strands 4 Kg Polenta 2 Kg Fish bones for stock 20 Lemons 2 Kg Roquette 2 Trays Cherry tomatoes on vine 1 Kg White Onion 4 Bay leaves 100 ml Olive oil 1 Kg Peanuts Salted 250 g Whole Grain mustard

Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

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Prepare a fish stock, using the fish bones, onions and bay leaves. Simmer the stock for 15 minutes and strain through a fine sieve. In a hot deep pan, heat up the oil and cook the cumin seeds. Add a few ladles of fish stock to the pan, and soak the saffron strands in it. Pour the Polenta into the pan, and keep stirring. Ladle the rest of the fish stock, slowly into the polenta mix, and keep stirring until it is creamy and boiling off the sides. Finish the polenta with salted peanuts and grain mustard seeds. Place the delicate, salted sardines under a grill, to warm through. Serve the salted Sardines on a bed of spiced Polenta, with a drizzle of Roquette leaves, cherry tomatoes and a lemon wedge.

Cornish Story Magazine

An interview with Richard Ede Master of a dying trade

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familiar face around the Cornish coast, Richard Ede proudly continues a dying skill, as one of the last withy pot makers and prides himself on being, to his knowledge, the only remaining person who makes them for crab and lobster fishing. Whilst busily bending willow, he explains the dedicated processes involved in hand-making the fishing pots. Not from a fishing family himself, he was taught this intricate craft 47 years ago by a local fisherman, ‘long dead now.’ In the mid-sixties hand-producing the pots in the traditional way was not a sentimental or romantic hobby, but the practiced method for the many workmen whose livelihood was based around fishing. “In those days there was no such thing as manufactured gear, it wasn’t even on the radar let alone just over the horizon, wasn’t even thought of then.” It was the early and mid-seventies when the manufactured versions came to the fore. “By the end of that decade,” Richard explains whilst pointing to one of his masterpieces, “these virtually died out. There was only a few old timers left who were doing it, and me.” “Now”, Richard tells us, “I’ve ended up being the last person left that still makes them ‘specially to put out and use.” As an experienced fisherman, he chooses to use his own made pots because of their apparent quality of catch: “the reason I still use them is because they are so much better than manufactured ones.” Boasting ‘a pot full of eleven’ in 1994, and several bunches of six in Cornwall, has reason to believe so. The amount of time and effort involved in making the pots is extraordinary, and this we learn, all depends on the time of the year in which the withies are used. In December the withies are freshly cut and green and therefore more workable. At quickest, and with no interruptions in winter, it takes around five and half to six hours to make a large pot, and three and a half for the smaller ones. The handiwork and intricacy of it requires a steady eye and nerve. “Patience is the name of the job, have to have the patience of Jobe, you have.” Cornish Story Magazine

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s the years have passed, along with the increase in manufactured gear, many factors have forced the hand-made pots out of use and made it practically harder for traditionalists like Richard to sustain. The suppliers of Richard’s materials are based at a considerable distance, the binders come from Somerset, “the big stuff like the bars and this-that comes from another grower just outside North Molton, and the rest Exmoor.” When we spoke to Richard at the Newlyn Fish Festival he’d made a trip within the last ten days. “My best Somerset binders ... four years ago were fourteen pounds a bundle; this year they’ve gone up to thirty six pound a bundle. Seconds are twelve. But the best binders are thirty six. I have to go up there half a dozen times a year, round trips to the two growers, almost four hundred miles, towing that big trailer fully loaded. That’s eighty quid’s worth of petrol per trip. Six trips a year that’s 500 hundred quid for the fuel alone…never mind the withies, I still have to buy they.” The implications of the rise in fuel meant that Richard had to leave his home and move closer to his work: “It was costing me too much money in fuel to and fro […] My fuel bill was never less than £100 a week, and that was last year, not now. I just couldn’t sustain it.”

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evertheless, Richard is obviously passionate about making and using them, for their catch quality and the process, obstacles aside. Whilst there are a few others who make the pots in this way for displaying etc., Richard is rightly concerned that the method is not being freely adopted. “I have no family, and I have no children. No. the other fishermen are not interested, I have to date taught one person, and he lived here in Newlyn and he’s been dead nearly twenty years.” However, he is currently teaching a basket maker, a mother in her early thirties who is keen to grasp the knowledge to use it in the same way to fish from her boat in Porthleven. “She doesn’t want to learn to sell them commercially, she just wants to be able to do it. And she picked up putting a bottom in just like that…”

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hilst there is unlikely to be a resurgence in the use of hand-made pots, there is hope that Richard’s ‘intern’ will adopt the practice in the same way he did so long ago, and pass it on. In general, the pot-fishing method is a much more sustainable and ocean-friendly contender. There is considerably less by-catch of non-target species than other methods such as tangle-netting for crabs, and by fishing in this way, there’s a sense of kindness to a scarce resource which we so love and depend on. Long may it live.

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The Iron Era: Cornish Mining in New Jersey... by Anne Stephens

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hen the British colonists came to the area of what is now northern New Jersey, they soon found that the fields were alive with iron ore and a small patch of zinc. Thanks to the glacier of the last ice age that melted at this point, a highland ridge loaded with minerals was left in its wake. By the late 1700s there were numerous forges and blast furnaces along the highland ridge. Mining had become a business and/or a sideline for the farmers. During periods of war the mining flourished. In 1775, the Iron Works at Mt Hope were busy making iron cannon balls for General Washington’s army in the struggle for independence.

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y 1820, following the end of the War of 1812, the iron miners were complaining about the drop in the price of iron ore. As usual with miners, they concentrated on their farms and waited until the price of ore rose again. In the mid 19th century, mining had grown again, so much that the local newspaper in Dover was named The Iron Era. The area was now a great attraction for Cornish miners and their families. The biggest challenge for the mining companies was the transport of goods. To address the problem, the Morris Canal was developed. This was a marvel of its time. It was opened in 1831 and soon stretched from the Delaware River in the west to the Hudson River in the east. Due to its length of 109.26 miles and 914 foot height there was a need for 23 locks and 23 incline planes. The highest plane overcame an elevation of 100 feet. The mule driven canal boats transported

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ore, coal, and other goods. Traffic went both ways, west to Pennsylvania for coal and east to New York to market. The most prominent Cornishman in the early days of the area of the highlands was Robert Ford Oram. He was born in 1824 in Breage, Cornwall to Thomas and Loveday (Ford) Oram. He attended a private school until the age of 13 when he went to work for his father, a tin assayer. In 1845 he immigrated to the anthracite coal area of Pottsville, PA. He was soon recruited by the New Jersey Iron Company to supervise several of their mines. He then became the manager of the large Orchard Mine in a small but growing mining village, where he built a general store on the banks of the Morris Canal. The village soon became known as Port Oram. He had the foresight to guide the growth of the emerging village. In 1895, four of the small villages and the Port Oram village organized to incorporate the area as the Borough of Port Oram. Robert Oram’s death in 1899 and the beginning of the decline of the mines and the Morris Canal led the Port Oram citizens to rename the borough as Wharton in honor of Joseph Wharton, a New York financier and owner of the large furnace that was now the mainstay of the borough.

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he Morris Canal, as marvelous as it was in 1831, was soon eclipsed by the emerging railroads. The mine at Mt Hope developed a mule-drawn railway to transport their ore down to the Morris Canal in nearby Rockaway village. Furthermore, the disadvantages of the canal were numerous: travel only between April and October, no travel on Sunday. Also, travel was by daylight only and very slow. The railroads soon became big business. The village of Port Oram became a railroad town with two large railroads and two smaller mining railroads contributing a vital hub for the prosperity of the mines. This area was a magnet for Cornish miners. In 1865 my Notwell Honeychurch family emigrated from St Erth, Cornwall with a party of four experienced hard rock miners, three wives and their children. They travelled on the ship, S/S Kangaroo and landed in the New York Harbor on 6th June. They travelled very fast from New York City to the village of Ogdensburg to work at one of the two zinc mines. They were enumerated in the June 1865 New Jersey State Census.

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y then, the men were already employed as miners. I do believe the miners were recruited from Cornwall. The Cornish had risen in rank to become mine superintendents and they knew where to find experienced manpower. In 1860, the Mount Hope Mine was one of the largest mines in the area, with Cornishman Richard Stephens as the superintendent. He began to seek out Cousin Jacks to work in his mine. In the 1870 census, my great-grandfather Edward Williams Rodda of Camborne was enumerated as a miner at the Mount Hope Mine. Another Cornish miner, William Davy, had become quite successful. In 1864, he purchased a large farmhouse with acreage in the area of Mount Hope. By 1868 two of the mining companies saw the need for churches to accommodate the spiritual needs of their large group of Cornish mining families. That year the mining companies built two Methodist Churches, one in Port Oram and the other in Mt Hope. A newer stone church to replace the original wooden church in Port Oram was built in 1926. The Mt Hope Church closed in 1972 after the final closure of the Mt Hope mine. After years of abandonment, the Morris County Park Commission took ownership of the church, which is located next to the remains of the Mt Hope Mine. They are restoring the church to its original Victorian roots. The decline of the New Jersey mining business began at the turn of the 20th century when the price of iron ore dropped due to lower prices from the mines of Michigan and further west. Transportation of the ore had greatly improved during the last century making those mines more able to compete.

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Wharton United pasties every month. 52

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An American in Cornwall By Nina-Kristine Johnson

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he first time I came to Cornwall was in late December of 2007, the year I completed my Anthropology degree, and it was when I took a two-week holiday with my mum to the United Kingdom. We were visiting her partner who had recently returned to his native country. We did the normal tourist thing and visited places like the Eden Project in St Austell and the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, shopping the high street in Truro while eating a Cornish pasty. There was never a real sense of what Cornish Culture was like. I had a lot of fun, but being the Anthropology fanatic I am, I felt there was something missing from the experience. Two weeks was not enough time to learn as much about it. I wished for more, should I get the good fortune of returning to this wonderful land in the South West of Britain?

Some of the people interviewed were children who were evacuated to Cornwall during the Second World War from London

Cornish Story Magazine

My work began with listening to recorded interviews with retired railway workers or stories about them from their living relatives. My task was to write summaries about each recording that was missing one. I admit that it was a bit difficult in the beginning since I could not even spell some of the unusual Cornish town names referenced in the interviews. For two hours a day, I would listen and take notes and then I would write the final summary. What I learnt from every interview I summarised somehow stayed with me. I would not remember every single detail, but the things the interviewees discussed with the interviewer about what they did—or in the case of widows or children—at work or home were unique and unforgettable.

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ome of the people interviewed were children who were evacuated to Cornwall during the Second World War from London. I found it fascinating to hear them compare life on Cornish farms to their lives before they left London. Some returned as adults, because they had such a good experience. I could not but help sympathise with them. However, unlike them I was not from the United Kingdom and I grew up during a very different time. I have been back twice, since then. Each time, I learnt about a different aspect of Cornish culture. The most recent was in relation to the China Clay and agricultural industries. Until then, I never knew what this festival called Crying the Neck was or if I heard the person who was recounting the story correctly. Later on, an interviewee who wrote an essay about it when she was a teenager explained what it was really about and what they did. Why it is called Crying the Neck. Indeed: it was actually Crying the Neck and not some sort of Cornish Language name that I could not spell.

It was not until the spring of 2009 that I got the chance to visit my mum, who was now living and working there. It was through a friend of my mum’s partner that my wish came true. To get an opportunity to not only learn more about Cornwall’s cultural history and its people, but also get a chance to do some voluntary work with the Cornish Audio Visual Archive based at the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter, Tremough Campus in Penryn. I got the good fortune of working with staff at CAVA along with the other locals I interacted with around town in Penryn, and this made me feel welcome. It helped ease my fears of not getting on very well with the locals and making cultural mistakes.

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uring my most recent visit: I was offered the opportunity to conduct several interviews. I was to be the person asking the questions. I was quite nervous, because not only did I have to interview someone, but I had to record it, as well. Having the disadvantage of having a foreign accent, I was worried that the person I was going to be interviewing would have difficulty understanding me. Despite all that, I accepted the offer. It was a new challenge for me. This included interviews on the language and cultural identity of Cornwall. The interviews went well. Admittedly, not as good as I had hoped, but for a beginner: it was not too bad. They did understand me despite my odd accent. I hope to return for a fifth time, someday. Much like the last three times: I will be sitting in front of the computer with my tiny, white earphones plugged in and taking notes. I enjoyed helping out with the Cornish Audio Visual Archive. I want to thank Garry Tregidga and all of his colleagues for the positive experiences I have had and for making me feel welcome in Kernow.

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Bude in 1891

‘Years a-gone’: Winter Stories from Cornwall’s Past

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he unique collection of old postcards and photographs owned by Mac Waters, the popular Cornish bard from the St Austell area, includes a number of fascinating winter scenes dating back to the late nineteenth century. In Cornish folklore the Great Blizzard of March 1891 continues to be remembered as one of the worst on record. For several days southern Britain experienced severe weather conditions with heavy snow and high winds on land along with stormy conditions at sea. Cornwall, which was more used to milder conditions, suffered particularly badly with no railway or telegraph connections with the rest of Cornish Britain. Story Mac’sMagazine collection contained two pictures showing the impact of the Great

Blizzard on the coastal town of Bude and the Mount Edgcumbe estate in South East Cornwall. He also recalled a story passed down by John Waters, his grandfather, who was then living in Fowey: “In the Great Blizzard, you know the cutting, the top hill that goes down [into Fowey], you turn right to go into the school? That cutting, he said, was full of snow and the only way that pupils were getting in and out was walking on top of the hedges. That’ll tell you Cornish Story Magazine how deep it was.”


Mount Edgcumbe after thg 1891 Great Blizzard

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"...by reason of the Southes neere neighbourhead, and Seas warme breath, fauoureth it with a milder cold then elsewhere, so as, vpon both coastes, the Frost and Snow come verie seldome, and make a speedie departure. This notwithstanding, the Countrie is much subiect to stormes, which fetching a large course, in the open Sea, doe from thence violently assault the dwellers at land, and leaue them vncouered houses, pared hedges, and dwarfe-growne trees, as witnesses of their force and furie : yea, euen the hard stones, and yron barres of the windowes, doe fret to be so continually grated. One kind of these stormes, they call a flaw, or flaugh, which is a mightie gale of wind, passing suddainely to the shore, and working strong effects, vpon whatsoeuer it incountreth in his way. The Cornish soyle, for the most part, is lifted vp..."

Cornish Story Magazine

Richard Carew, The Survey of Cornwall (1602)


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n his own lifetime Mac recalls that “1947 was a hard winter. I was only Winter 2011/12 fourteen then. I remember because at Lodge Gwav Hill [by the school at St Blazey Gate] we had a slide on the pavement and you could go down 100 yards plus just standing up! … It got like a glass bottle. But then it was a bit different from what it is now obviously: there wasn’t so much traffic about so … people who found it was slippery would walk in the road because it was better grip.” When working for the Clay industry he remembers one winter when normal working conditions came to a halt because of snow and ice: “At Parkandillick we had tanks where we would have our clay landed prior to processing. We had to go up every hour and break the ice around the tanks to stop them from freezing up and breaking the sides. That’s all we were doing. I can only remember doing that once so it must have been a bad winter.”

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et winter was also a happy time as families gathered around the old Cornish Range to keep warm. “I say children miss out now because we used to get up on a cold winter’s morning, go right in and the kitchen range would be on and we’d open the oven door … We used to do toast. I’m talking about a wire toast: they were only wire and used to stick a bit of bread” in over the fire. When Mac’s father returned in the evening after working in the family’s butcher shop “he would do kippers like that. Come home and open the fire door.

Cornish Story Magazine

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ut them on a wire toasting fork Winter and theGwav smell as 2011/12 they were roasting and the fat dripping out of them into the fire!” Mac’s memories of Christmas also focused on the ‘home and hearth’ appeal of the fireplace. He recalls roasting chestnuts and even using the Cornish Range to contact Father Christmas! “At Christmas we all used to write letters to Santa Claus in an envelope. In the slab [or range] there used to be a ring as part of the flue. We used to put the letter there and … up he’d go! So far as we were concerned he went up the chimney and Father Christmas, fairies or pixies were up there waiting and he got the message! The innocence of children.”

Cornish Story Magazine

St Austell in the snow: All photographs for this article come from Mac Waters collection


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Students of St Austell Grammar School (now Poltair) in costume for their performance of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Twelfth Night,’ a comedy originally written as entertainment for the end of the Christmas season. Mac Waters’ mother Florence Mabel Blake (back row left) and class mate Cornish Story Magazine A.L. Rowse (centre back).

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Trevor Nunn’s 1996 film adaptation of the traditional tale was filmed at many locations in Cornwall including Lanhydrock House, Cotehele House, Mount Edgcumbe House, Prideaux Place (Padstow), St Michael’s Mount and Cornish Story Magazine Trebarwith Strand.


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A picture showing St Austell Grammar School Prefects: Mac Waters’ mother Florence Mabel Blake(left front) and A. L. Rowse back (Circa 1919)

A.L. Rowse on the Christmas carol traditions… “What a beautiful old superstition it is! As I write out the words, and the tunes come back into my mind after twenty-five years- a quarter of a century filled with what changes, what disillusionments and disasters-there come back the memories of the boys that we were, some of them already dead, all of them dispersed and I alone remaining to keep faithful witness to those clear starlit nights, sometimes a Christmas moon bathing all the hills about in such an unreal and lovely light that one could more than half imagine the shepherds on our hillsides, the choirs of angels., and Gaspar, Melchoir, Baltazar on the road to Bethlehem, as it might be across the bay. Has all that changed?...” Cornish Story Magazine

Cornish Story Magazine

An extract from A.L. Rowse’s Autobiography: A Cornish Childhood, by A.L. Rowse


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regular to the City of Lights celebrations, Jenny Starke was impressed: “The city really came alive this year, and it was great to see the children’s faces light up when they saw the animal lanterns. Everyone loves animals, particularly the kids.”

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first for Cornwall’s city - a beaming rhino, a huge polar bear, a giant squid … and a record-breaking number of people packed the streets of Truro in November to witness the annual switch on of the city’s Christmas lights and its lantern display. A bustling crowd of 25,000 gathered to watch the spectacular parade of withy and tissue lanterns light up the streets of Truro. This year’s parade was themed ‘wildlife’ to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, a leading local charity that protects Cornwall’s wildlife and wild areas. The spectacle th fascinated, with music, dance, and a celebration of the age old relationship between man and beast.

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Cornish Story Magazine

50 anniversary of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust

The rain set in throughout the day, but fortunately held off for the evening events, and as the parade moved through Truro’s streets and stopped at Boscawen Street, the Christmas lights were officially switched on, marking the start of the festive season. A lot of hard work and preparation was involved, and a band of local volunteers helped support the project. In total the event showcased ten giant animal lanterns - carefully hand-made, some made to come alive by their puppeteers. Five hundred children and young people were directly involved alongside professional artists, including local community groups, schools, colleges, and Cornwall’s University College Falmouth. The festival ended on Lemon Quay where there was music and dance and a chance to have a closer look at some of the amazing handy-work.

The celebrations have already been going for 14 years now, and people can look forward to its return next year.

The Christmas lights were switched on, marking the start of the festive season

Truro lit-up for its annual City of Lights Festival

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The Sensory Spot- Makers of affordable sensory products Cornish company The Sensory Spot produce and sell a range of affordable sensory products to help autistic people with sensory issues, including the ‘Chew Me Tube’ pencil topper to encourage sensory stimulation while drawing and writing, and sensory chew blanket made-to-order as comfort companions for those with sensory needs to help with oral and tactile issues. Directly affected by their son’s autism, parents Gavin and Sarah have used their own experience to create muchneeded support items. They also run an online forum for anyone affected by autism. Visit www.thesensoryspot.com to find out more to browse items.

The Sensory Spot produce and sell a range of affordable sensory products to help autistic people with sensory issues

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Cornish Story Magazine

Gone crabbing :

The story of Morveren, a one armed crab: “an optimist who narrates the challenges modern day Falmouth faces, in the light of industrial development and our love for ‘eating more fish’” By Sanjay Kumar

Many a tropical storm, has brewed and withered, many a cruise ship repaired on the docks and many a fishing net and pot have made unsuccessful bids in curbing my enthusiasm

Share, support, sustain

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round the shallow waters of my native Cornish habitat in Falmouth bay, they call me Morveren the crab. No one ever bothered to explain to me why and when I lost one of my limbs. Or was I born like that? Legend has it, my father was a well known Cornish crab, who was served poached at the royal banquets in London, and my mother was from the Highlands. However in the sixteenth golden year of my eventful life, I have seen it all.

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any a tropical storm, has brewed and withered, many a cruise ship repaired on the docks and many a fishing net and pot have made unsuccessful bids in curbing my enthusiasm .Here I am, leading the “Cornish high life”, entertaining kids of all ages, by imparting my appearance as a loyal visitor of the pontoon during the local Maritime museum’s Crabbing session .To be honest ,I love it because, I have always been a peoples person myself, and once in a while I get to eat bacon, when they have run out of the usual Mackerel for bait.

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nce the summer is out of the way, and I have had enough of swimming in the deep blue sea, avoiding sharp edges of wind swept surf boards, and prying eyes of deceptive sea gulls, I generally wade inwards to the tranquil waters of the Falmouth bay, looking for some fun and company. Generally all of my younger cousins have either been featured in tasting menus of famous restaurants in friendly European countries, or lead a rather low key life within the four walls of domestic aquariums.Honestly, I detest most of them. Sometimes I get to flirt with muscular male spider crabs, but deep down I have a crush on Gorran, the lobster.

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Living with only one claw, has its advantages. Local fishermen know me well, and generally chuck me back to the sea with the by catch even if I do get careless and get caught

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Photograph from the Mac Waters collection

Living with only one claw, has its advantages. Local fishermen know me well, and generally chuck me back to the sea with the by catch, even if I do get careless and get caught. The trick of the trade about crabbing is all about show business. Hold tight to the bait, and as it gets suffocating in the air, let go of the hook. Directly!!!

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part from the light pollution from the gigantic ships at the docks,( which is breeding insomnia among a lot of my brethren) and a few stray non bio-degradable plastic shopping bags, that tend to suffocate us lot, and a few minor oil leaks from visiting super yachts, life is good! There is still plenty of fresh air to breathe, some good Cornish spirit to get happy-drunk on, and of course the hope that one day Man and nature will live in harmony, just as the good old days of yesteryears. Crib, Croust, Mossal (Time to eat)

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Cornish Story Magazine

Cornish Story Magazine



Cornish Story - Winter 2012