Author Archives: AH

Penharget 6.5 miles


Penharget Circular 6 ½ miles, 2 hours. Mostly dry under foot even in December. On quiet roads, tracks and footpaths.

From Golberdon crossroads, walk through the recreation field, past the hall and the play park, out through the pedestrian gate, be careful crossing the road, into “The Square” and walk down “back lane” footpath. Keep right, passing the houses at Moorland View, and along the foot path to Trewoodloe lane. Turn left and follow the lane through Trewoodloe, down the hill to Egypt (see the old pump on the left) and join the main Pensilva road.
Turn Right. Take care, keep in to the side and watch out for vehicles on this road.
At Kerney Bridge take the sign posted footpath alongside the water works, through the wood and following The Lynher river, take advantage of the recently installed bench at “the beach” and continue over the stile out to the road.
Turn right and this will bring you to Bicton Bridge, with the remains of the water wheel and leat (water was rushing through here today).

Continue up around the corner and turn right into the wood, through the gate.

Pay attention to any posted signs, as they do have shooting here. There’s a number to phone for more info.
The ground under foot is much improved and dryish, as there’s been logging and planting here recently. Keep going, the stream is on your right, turn right when you spot the turn and a footbridge that crosses the water.

Scramble up the track/gully till you come out at Burnt Wood at the top of Scrawsdon Hill.

Turn left and in 50 paces turn right to Mill Lawn (For Sale sign).
Follow the newly tarmaced road.
(At Cobwebs you’ll see a footpath signposted, this will bring you back to Scrawsdon Farm just above Kerney Bridge.)
Continue past the stables and farm buildings and onto Mill Lawn cottage and then through Penharget Wood. (I saw a couple deer here today). Finally you’ll arrive at the junction with Penharget Cottage. Turn right.
Pass the farm, keep going down and up the hill to the Junction (close to the telephone exchange).

Say Hi to the pony, Keep Right and follow this road (to Golberdon), down hill all the way past Longridge and arriving back at Kerney Bridge.
(For an extra 2 ½ miles longer road walk, turn left to Mornick, at South Hill turn right and right again, back to Golberdon).
Or Continue up the hill, retracing your steps by turning left, pass the pump and up the steep hill to Trewoodloe and back on the lane to the footpath on the right to Moorland view houses, then left, up back lane into The Square and over the road into the recreation field, play park and the parish hall.
Or continue without turning off and continue into Golberdon and back to the crossroads.

St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Mikolaj, Santa


St. Nicholas’ day is on the 6th December, but in The Netherlands and Poland, the major celebrations are held on the 5th December. Sinterklaas or Santa Claus visits and in Poland, Mikolaj, the Polish Santa, visits children and brings small gifts to reward them for good behaviour, or to remind them not to be naughty he’ll leave a twig, maybe with a present. Advent is the start of Christmas in Poland, when people try to be peaceful and reflect and try not to have excess of anything, some giving up their favorite foods or drinks. Children take part in “Jasełka” (Nativity Plays). The smell of tangerines in schools or workplaces is widely thought to mean that Christmas time is about to start!

Christmas Eve known as Wigilia (pronounced vee-GHEE-lee-uh) is a very important and busy day, even though it’s not a holiday. The house is cleaned and the Christmas tree decorated. The main Christmas meal is eaten in the evening and is called “Kolacja wigilijna” (Christmas Eve supper). It’s traditional that no food is eaten until the first star is seen in the sky!

On the table there are 12 dishes, meant to give you good luck for the next 12 months. The meal is traditionally meat free. For catholics the 12 dishes symbolize Jesus’ 12 disciples. Some people in central Poland say that at midnight the animals can talk.

One of the most important dishes is “barszcz” (beetroot soup) eaten with “uszka” (little dumplings with mushrooms) or “krokiety” (pancakes with mushrooms or/and cabbage, in breadcrumbs).

Carp is the main dish of the meal. The fish itself is traditionally bought a few days earlier alive. The carp’s scales are said to bring luck and fortune and kept.

“Bigos” is a dish which can be eaten either hot or cold. It’s made of cabbage, bacon, sometimes dried plums – so it is saved for Christmas day or the 26th as it has meat in it. It is made about a week or so before Christmas Eve, because with each day it gets better.

Herrings are very popular and served in several ways. In most houses there is “kompot z suszu” a drink made by boiling dried fruits and fresh apples.

Presents aren’t to be opened until after the meal and after carols are sung, sometimes prolonged to tease the children. Christmas Eve finishes by going to Church for a Midnight Mass service.

In Polish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Wesołych Świąt’.

Polish Children often get dressed up and go carol singing on Epiphany, January 6th.

In the Netherlands it all starts on the second Saturday of November when Sinterklaas and his servants (elves) called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (‘Black Peters’) travel to a city or town. Dutch tradition says that St. Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain and every year he chooses a different harbour to arrive in Holland, so as many children as possible get a chance to see him.

Church bells ring in celebration, Sinterklaas, dressed in red robes, leads a procession through the town, riding a white horse. Every town in The Netherlands has a few Sinterklaas helpers, dressed the same as Sinterklaas who help give out the presents.

Children are told that the Zwarte Pieten keep a record of all the things they have done in the past year in a big book. Good children will get presents from Sinterklaas, but bad children will be put in a sack and the Zwarte Pieten take them to Spain for a year to teach them how to behave! Continue reading

Church MATTERS


So here we go again – the slide into Christmas and all the good things that it can bring. I’m well aware that it can also bring added pressure on those who set out to make sure that it is a special time for family and friends, but my hope is that the appreciation by family and friends would bring a sense of joy, peace and fulfillment to those who put the effort in. Who knows, the appreciation may even spill over into doing the washing up after Christmas lunch.

Within the Christmas season we of course can’t escape the commercial importance to retailers and all the advertising that goes along with it. You may recall that at this time last year I wrote about the 2016 John Lewis Christmas TV advert and how bowled over I was about its creative brilliance. This year’s John Lewis advert has been eagerly anticipated in some quarters, with even an article in The Guardian on Friday 10 November informing its readers of the first viewing schedules later that day. In some ways the news item and interest surrounding the advert was taking on the dimensions of what we have seen in the launch events of such things as Apple iPhones and the like.

So, the 2017 John Lewis advert features Moz the Monster who sleeps under a youngster’s bed and, over period of time, a fun and loving relationship grows between the two. This culminates in a Christmas present from Moz to the youngster, unwrapped on Christmas Day with the tag line “For gifts that brighten their world.” As The Guardian article said – an advert designed to pull on the heart strings to loosen the purse strings. Continue reading

SHARE Update


South Hill Association for Renewable Energy 

Since the AGM in September, we have appointed two new directors.  Astrid Fischer and Sue Skelton were invited to join the Board.  Astrid will take the role of Company Secretary, and Sue will continue as Treasurer.  We are still actively seeking a Finance Director.

At our first Management Committee meeting following the AGM, we welcomed Magda Gould and Mary Hardman onto the committee.

In October, we organised “Seedy Sunday”, together with Wyld Thyngz, who offer woodland workshops which inspire children to develop a lifelong love of the natural world.  People brought seeds and plants to swap, and although this event was planned in rather a hurry, it was well attended.  There may be some interest in a “Springtime Seedy Sunday” – what do you think?

Members of SHARE took part in the Tamar Energy Fest.  Held in Tavistock Town Hall in October, the event brought together local businesses and volunteers in a celebration of local energy and other eco-innovations.  If you missed out on this annual event, you can read all about it on the Tamar Energy Community website.

SHARE Wood Project More deliveries have been made this year than last, and there is still wood in store if you need it. Plus if you have trees to be felled or pruned, we’re working with Red Squirrel Tree Care.  By working together we can get a better deal. Earlier this month 5 volunteers helped Matt and Tania of Red Squirrel to clear trees at Trevigro and Trewoodloe. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED.

Geoff Hardman is arranging chainsaw training.  If you miss out on this group, put your name forward for the next session.

Taking The Power Back – an event by Regen SW and Plymouth Energy Community 

We attended this event which was held at the spectacular Devonport Guildhall in November. Continue reading

Family Connections Guest Book


Family Connections.

DID YOU KNOW that there is a South Hill Guest Book linked to the South Hill Connection website?

Our Guest Book link has been tucked away at the bottom right hand corner of the Home page, and as the list of up-coming events has got longer, the Guest Book has been pushed almost into oblivion!   I will shortly be editing the page to bring it back into the limelight.

Entries are moderated, so only bona fide comments are visible to the public.

Recently, there have been a couple of new entries on the Guest Book. In September a message was left by Elizabeth Myers in Cheshire:

My paternal grandmother (nee Elizabeth Lark) was Cornish and her (very faded) baptism certificate states that she was baptised on the 14th November 1856 in (what looks like) “Lanteague” in the parish of South Hill. The minister’s name is also unreadable. Does Lanteague or a similar name ring bells with anyone please, I would love to know? My family history researches are extensive but this is still a mystery. She and my grandfather John Myers settled in his home town of Dalton-in-Furness in what is now Cumbria. Many thanks.

And in November, from Joy Hungerford in Kent:

My SYMONS family come from South Hill; earliest known, John, b about 1600, then Sampson, Sampson (whose Will mentions Higher Manaton and Maders), Rachel (who married William WEARING). Continue reading

Callington U3A November


U3A speaker report 6th November 2017
Today’s speakers were Steve Marker and Emma Jones from Hansford Bell, Chartered Financial Planners, Tavistock.
Their subject was Financial Life Planning in Retirement
Steve started by speaking about the recent changes in the Regulations for Financial Advisers, ie no commissions, minimum qualification levels raised, and others.
What is Financial Life Planning, it covers 4 main areas. 1: Life Planning Stage
2: Financial Planning Stage 3: Financial Advice Stage 4: Regular Reviews 6mths/annual.
Their advice in the Life Planning Stage was to prepare Goals (bucket list). If it all’s ends what would you regret not doing. Or if you had 5 years to live what would you do. Or if you had 24 hrs to live what would you regret not doing! And to have the conversation with your partner.
The advice in the Financial Planning Stage was to analyse existing finances, wants, needs and goals, the stress test. Do a cash flow chart, income, expenditure, total assets, net worth, money for care and a disaster scenario. The Financial Advice Stage consisted of, how much is enough, Care cost Planning, estate distribution, Inheritance Tax Planning and wills. Also the facts about gifting money, £6000 per couple per year, £5000 for a wedding etc. Regular Review Stage was to keep on top of your finances.
Emma then talked about Equity Release and how you could release funds tied up in your property. It was a very interesting talk, it showed us that Planning is very important in later years.
If you are interested in joining us at the Callington U3A please go to …. www.u3asites.org.uk/Callington or come along on the first Monday of the month to the Callington Town Hall at 10am.
Gillian Brown

U3A Tamar Valley Study Day


Callington U3A …2017 Study Day entitled: The Tamar Valley, Past Present and Future.
An audience of 120 gathered for this full day event at Callington Town Hall on October 25th.
The Study Day started with a very interesting BBC DVD entitled Tamar Valley Voyage, from The Great British Story series. It followed the life of the valley from the Roman Hill Fort at Calstock, to the present day. It gave us a picture of how the valley was exploited for its minerals such as tin, copper, arsenic, lead, feldspar, silver, tungsten as they came in and out of use for over 2000yrs. It taught us about how unique the Cornish language is. And the history of the civil war with the battles of Horsebridge and the fight for the tin. It concluded that valley today has one of the finest areas of outstanding natural beauty.
We had 4 speakers scheduled throughout the day,’ the first was Rick Stewart the Mine Manager at Morwellham Quay. He told the story of how the River was the highway to transport minerals. The first evidence of mining on the Bere Peninsula was in 1290 for lead, silver, tin, copper and chalcopyrite this was not shaft mining, but Stream Panning. Shaft mining began in the Mediaeval times, they wanted the tin, as copper was valueless until they discovered how to achieve the temperature with coal to smelt it in 1688/9. During the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, a period of major industrialisation which impacted significantly on the predominantly rural landscape. The populations of villages and towns such as Gunnislake, Drakewalls, Luckett and Tavistock increased dramatically during the nineteenth century as a result of the burgeoning mining industry. Copper mining and arsenic production in particular were to dominate the fortunes of the Tamar Valley through into the twentieth century. Devon Great Consols was at one time the largest copper producer in Europe and, later in its productive life, able to supply half the world’s demand for arsenic. If you wish for more information go to www.cornish-mining.org.uk 

Continue reading

Tamar Energy Fest


On October 28th 2017 SHARE were delighted to be invited to Tamar Energy Fest, by Tamar Energy Community at Tavistock Town Hall. We joined other community initiatives:

Roots to Transition/Tasty Tavy www.transitiontavistock.org.uk/working-groups/roots-to-transition

Sustainable South Brent   www.sustainablesouthbrent.org.uk  including Woodfuel from hedges

Tamar Grow Local www.tamargrowlocal.org  Sustainable local produce

Transition Tavistock www.transitiontavistock.org.uk including “life without plastic” display

Tamar Energy Community www.tamarenergycommunity.com Renewable Energy, home visits for energy advice, Local Matters premises.

Plus: Building materials and insulation advice and suppliers;

Cosy Home Company www.cosyhomecompany.co.uk insulation solutions  for period properties

The Fell Partnership www.thefellpartnership.co.uk in concrete form building

Greenhus www.greenhus.co.uk  external wall insulation

Green Scheme www.greenschemeltd.co.uk Eco-friendly outdoor materials

Mantle building system www.mantlepanel.com super insulated system build

Mike Wye & Associates www.mikewye.co.uk Sustainable & traditional building specialists

Plus: Renewable energy technology specialists;

Metalelectrique High Energy batteries

New Generation Energy www.newgenerationenergy.co.uk Renewable Energy

Regen www.regensw.co.uk advice on sustainable energy delivery

Sungift Solar www.sungiftsolar.co.uk Renewable Energy

ZLC Energy www.zlcenergy.co.uk Renewable Energy

PLUS Other services available;

Abbey Garden Machinery www.abbeygarden.com tools for garden and tree management

Graham Reed Glass www.grahamreedglass.co.uk Demonstrating hand made glass designs

Red Squirrel Tree Care www.redsquirreltreecare.co.uk Tree pruning/arboriculture, & photo booth

South West Water www.southwestwater.co.uk using water wisely

Tamar Valley AONB www.tamarvalley.org.uk oversight of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Utility Warehouse www.lovelysavings.co.uk utilities including energy

During the day there were interesting talks and discussions on;

High Energy batteries, changing the game.

Smarter Community Energy innovation

Affordable energy and warmer homes

Dealing with older homes

Woodfuel from hedges.

The exhibitors and the general public were genuinely interested in SHARE achievements to date and we had great fed back and signed up 3 new associate members supporting our aims. We aim to keep in touch with the Tamar Energy Community and attend their monthly “Green Drinks” the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7:30pm at LOCAL MATTERS, and other events. If you would like to join us please contact share@south-hill.co.uk  so we can car share.

November Church Matters


Whenever i sit down to write a church article for a magazine there is always the question as to other the content should be slanted towards the seasonal, topical or eternal. So having considered all that I’ve decided this month to write about Postman Pat, the BBC children’s TV series.

When our youngsters were small, Postman Pat was a regular favourite TV watching experience. My wife Pam and I would often sit and watch the programme with them, getting quite familiar with the characters of Pat and his faithful black and white sidekick Jess the cat (and even as I type away I find that in my head I’m singing along with “Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his Black and White Cat…”). They had such adventures trying to get the mail through to the outer lying areas of the village of Greendale, with early episode titles such as “Postman Pat’s Windy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Foggy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Difficult Day,” and “Postman Pat’s Tractor Express.” And then of course there were the other characters – Mrs Goggins the postmistress, Alf Thompson the farmer, Ted Glenn the handyman and the Reverend Timms.

I must admit I’ve lost track of all the adventures that Pat has had down the years, and I’m a little astonished to see that in 2016/17 the programme is now into its eighth series. It seems that the story lines might have progressed a little, as now there are episode titles such as “Postman Pat and the Zooming Zipwire.” There’s even one called “Postman Pat and the Cornish Caper” and another called “Postman Pat and the Loch Ness Monster.” Although I haven’t sat down to watch any of these episodes, it’s obvious that Pat’s mail delivery area and duties have been extended. Continue reading