Category Archives: General Interest

Church Matters Nov 2018


This is my 65th year, getting on a bit, but I was still born 9 years after the end of the Second World War. Whilst our nation has been involved in many conflicts during my lifetime, none of them have had a major impact on life in this country – although some terror attacks did come quite close while we were living in London. My mother told me a little of her recollections of the blitz – of one occasion when a stick of bombs was falling, each one getting closer, knowing that the next one would get her – but fortunately there wasn’t another one! My father never spoke about the war, other than to say that he was in a ‘reserved occupation’ and didn’t have to serve in the forces. It was only at his funeral that my brother and I learnt that he had been employed during the war years as an auditor hunting for ‘economic saboteurs’ – an account I shall now never be told in full.

Many, over the years, have been reticent to recount their war experiences, though fortunately a few have left us their stories in print, and there are many images which allow us a fuller picture. Today, of course, we see all too much of what is happening in conflicts around the world virtually as it happens. Such reporting shows us first hand what we have always really known – that war is a terrible thing in which there are no real winners, and where the only certainty is that there will be terrible suffering. This suffering is inflicted by all sides whether deliberately or by accident – wars create casualties – and wars are created by humanity. Continue reading

Callington U3A


U3A News – At their September meeting Callington U3A were taken on a magical trip to the Galapagos Islands by Ian Casper, a retired teacher from Tavistock, who achieved a lifetime ambition visiting the archipelago. Through pictures he spoke of the differing landscapes, volcanic rock, forestation, plains, shorelines, emerald coves and mangrove lagoons. Ian showed examples of the endemic animals like the inquisitive sea lions who welcome visitors, the gentle endangered Marine Iguana the only lizard that swim and feed from the sea. Roaming the shoreline are the prehistoric looking Land Iguanas, the popular giant tortoise, remember Lonesome George, and the delightfully named crab Sally Lightfoot. He went on to explain the many species of birds, the red and blue footed boobies, the Great Frigate and flightless Cormorant that have developed skills to swim instead of fly. There are 14 species of finch. One Finch breed lives alongside the tortoise eradicating annoying insects from them. The tortoise support this toilette by raising their legs to help the procedure! Amazing flora and fauna grow on the equatorial islands.  Ferns and trees, a cactus that grows on lava and mangrove seeds that floated to the islands and grew into large vegetation lagoons. This brief tour of the Galapagos was extremely interesting thanks to Ian Casper. Maybe one day some of us can make the dream come true.

Next months U3A meeting is Monday Oct 1st 10:45am start at the TOWN HALL, Callington

and will be an illustrated talk about Kit Hill Country Park, it’s history, geology and more.

Kit hill is the highest point in the Tamar Valley and has 400 acres of heathland and is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site.

 

Church Matters


Church Matters

There are times when I’m intrigued by the lives of well-known personalities. So often they can be seen to be achieving so much in their lives, and yet at times there emerges the frailties that they can suffer in their more private moments. There can be no doubting the influence and success that they have, but we don’t often catch a glimpse of the inner person that may be quietly plagued with doubt and fear.

I recently came across a Guardian newspaper interview with Lisa Brennan-Jobs. I suspect that name will not be instantly recognisable, but Lisa is the daughter of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, the company that is now the largest in the world by market value (over 1 trillion dollars). He was in many senses a brilliant man – a visionary of how technology could be designed and produced to not only look and feel good, but effectively support new and effective ways of doing things. One well-known example was the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, a totally new approach to the mobile phone which changed the market completely. Since that time most mobile phone manufacturers try to out-do the latest iPhone with each release of a new product. Continue reading

Rame Trust


The Rame Conservation Trust

…… is a buildings preservation charity founded in 1997 which was established to preserve for the benefit of the people of the Rame Peninsula and of the nation at large, the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that exists in and around Maker Heights and the Rame Peninsula.

A Trust with the purpose of conserving and promoting the heritage assets and values at Maker Heights – the natural environmental value, the historical value the aesthetic and communal values.

The Trust owns the Grade 11* listed Barrack Block at Maker Heights, and leases from the Edgcumbe Estate a further 12 hectares which include the Scheduled Ancient Monuments redoubt 1, redoubt 3, redoubt 5 and Grenville Battery. Also the Nissen huts which house the Canteen cafe/restaurant and the camp site which the Trust manages.

The Maker Heights Conservation Management Plan is a collaborative project to explore opportunities for maximising public benefit and enjoyment of the site whilst conserving, enhancing and celebrating its heritage values and securing a sustainable future for the buildings, monuments and landscape.

The Trust has just secured its first Heritage at Risk Repair grant from Historic England. This is for a condition survey, schedule of works, overperspexing and repair of the worst windows in the Barrack Block

Although Maker was originally a military base (from the late 18th century), it is also well known as the school holiday camp established by Nancy Astor and the Virginia House Settlement in the 1920’s for ‘deprived city children’.

Apart from a brief spell during World War II when it was recommissioned as a military base, it continued as this until its closure in 1987. As a result, thousands of children (mainly from Plymouth) had their first and sometimes only childhood holiday at Maker.

More recently Maker has hosted hundreds of musicians who have played and learned their craft at the venue, thousands of festival-goers (with an annual music festival starting in 1999) and artists who had studios there. There’s also been a campsite and facilities for people to hold their wedding.

Regardless of whether they’re young or old, regular or occasional visitor, what’s become clear through the project is that everyone holds Maker dear to their hearts.

Maker Barracks View of front elevation

Minefield


Minefield

How can a soldier deal with memories of war? What memories do they repress – and which do they cherish?

Three Argentine and three British veterans from both sides of the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas conflict came together for this remarkable show exploring the treacherous minefield of their memories, through theatre, film and live rock music.

MINEFIELD is an enthralling piece of documentary theatre by Argentinian actor and director Lola Arias – compassionate, cathartic and astonishingly moving. Performed to enormous acclaim in both Britain and Argentina and have taken the crew on tour to Paris, Frankfurt, Angers and Montpellier. The show takes you from the horrors of the battlefield to today’s uncertainties, with brutal honesty and startling humour. See more here

Cast: David Jackson, Lou Armour, Gabriel Sagastume, Ruben Otero, Sukrim Rai, Marcelo Vallejo

Dave Jackson lives in Trevigro, Congratulations on the success of Minefield and the wedding of your daughter in September. What an amazing time for you all.

Golliwogs


Golliwogs

The origins of the Golliwog begin with the British soldiers who occupied Egypt near the end of the 1800’s. Egyptian labourers working for the British bore the letters W.O.G.S. on their armbands, indicating that they were Working On Government Service. These labourers were spoken of as Ghuls- the Arabic word for desert ghosts – by the British troops. The children of the Egyptians played with black stuffed material dolls. These dolls in turn were given as gifts or purchased by the soldiers returning home to England. These dolls became known as Ghuliwogs, a name which become Golliwog

Florence Kate Upton, struck upon the character in 1895. Born into an eccentric English family who had recently emigrated to the United States, Florence found work as an illustrator and formulated the idea for a children’s book. Stuck for a main character, her aunt, found an old battered black-face rag doll in the attic. “ I called him ‘Golliwogg’” The Adventures Of Two Dutch Dolls And A Golliwogg, was soon published.

In this tale, the Golliwogg was initially described as ‘a horrid sight, the blackest gnome’, but turns out in fact to be good, loveable and brave, with a ‘kind face’.

He proved an instant hit with the British public, and Florence proceeded to publish a whole series of Golliwogg adventures.

They failed to trademark the Golliwogg character, and after the books had proved such a hit, toy companies jumped on the bandwagon. Slightly changing the name, they released a flurry of ‘Golliwog’ dolls, toys and badges.

Then, in 1910, John Robertson of jam manufacturing family saw children playing with a golliwog doll and decided it should be the company’s mascot. In the 1920s the company began producing Golliwog badges and enamel brooches which could be claimed by collecting tokens from jam jars. As more golliwog toys, watches and dinner sets were produced, the figure became part of everyday life and began to pop up in numerous children’s books.

It was in some of these stories, however, that they fell foul of the unpleasant racist stereotyping that has made the golliwog such a contentious figure in recent years. Children’s author Enid Blyton is seen as a major culprit, after portraying golliwogs in her Noddy stories as naughty thieves who once pinched Noddy’s prized yellow car.

Meanwhile, the word ‘wog’ began to be used as a derogatory word for black people. First popularised during World War II, it was uttered by some British soldiers as a slur against North Africans and other dark foreigners. By the 1960s, both the use of the term ‘golliwog’ and the dolls themselves were under increasing attack. Seen at best as racially insensitive and at worst as racist and vicious, golliwogs were gradually removed from public life. In 1983, the Greater London Council banned Robertson’s products from its jurisdiction, and in 1988 the character was no longer used in TV advertising.

Who still has their badges and models ?????

Third Light


Third Light A play by local Linkinhorne resident and historian Simon Parker was at The Minack Theatre September 10 -14th.

Amongst the 13 soldier cast, is local lad Thomas Bariball from Polhilsa.

Imagine a Cornish village whose men all came home from the trenches. Imagine a war memorial honouring the living, not the dead. Imagine a place symbolising hope amid horror. Through immersive drama, live brass band and contemporary dance, Third Light tells the unique and moving story of Herodsfoot. A play based on the true story of the thirteen men of Herodsfoot, who went to serve in the First World War and all came home. Conceived and written by local Linkinhorne historian, directed by Nicola Rosewarne, choreographed by Ben Dunks, designed by Meier Williams, produced by Sarah Pym. Performed by an ensemble of professional and community actors and dancers, with music played live by St Pinnock Brass Band led by David Johnson. Continue reading

Commonwealth War Graves


Commonwealth War Graves

Some of you will have seen the Commonwealth War Graves Commission sign which has gone up outside St Sampson’s church. If you try to find the usual Portland stone headstones you will search in vain.

John Henry Rogers and Aaron Dennis are commemorated in the churchyard not with official war commission memorials but with personal gravestones.  There are no Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in St Sampson’s churchyard.

John Henry Dennis was Chief Stoker aboard HMS Earnest when he died on Tuesday 8th February 1916, age 39.

Aaron Rogers was a Petty Officer, on HMS Vivid, who died on Thursday February 10th, age 40.

For reasons unknown, neither of these men’s names appears on the war memorial in Golberdon.

Their graves can be found in the churchyard next to each other in the row of graves nearest to the road wall.

 

Thank You Miranda Lawrence-Owen for this information.

Percy Jenkin


The final resting place of Percy Jenkin

Percy’s parents, James and Mary Jenkin lived at Lower Downgate with their four daughters and five sons, most of whom who were born there and all baptised, either at home or Downgate Chapel, as Bible Christians. James was a miner although a few years later, he was recorded as being an invalid. That didn’t stop his eldest son George working in the mines too. Next in the family was Alfred who joined the Territorial Force. Then came Ephraim who joined the Royal Navy and was a stoker, first class, on HMS Vivid. Percy was next and he went to work for Mr. Lawry Rickard as a live-in waggonner at Manaton. The youngest brother Stanley got work at Trewassick for Mr. Nicholas Coad. He lived in, and looked after their cattle. Continue reading

Walking Festival


Sun 9th: Liskeard to Looe Walk. Meet Liskeard Station (main entrance) 10.30am. Walk is about 11 miles and takes around 6 hours. Please bring refreshments. At the end of the walk, journey back to Liskeard by train or bus.

Sun 9th: Mt Edgcumbe Country Park Walk. Organised by the Ramblers, more details HERE

Mon 10th: Antony Passage Walk. Organised by Saltash Walk & Talk Group. More details HERE

Tue 11th: TBC

Wed 12th: West of Fowey Walk. Organised by the Ramblers, more details HERE

Wed 12th: Artists of Polperro Talk. Festival organiser Mark Camp will be giving a talk about the history of artists in Polperro. Starts 7.30pm Pelynt Village Hall nr Looe.

Thur 13th: Polruan Village Walk. Meet Polruan Quay More details HERE

Thur 13th: Unlocked Liskeard Walk. Discover the history of Liskeard as part of Heritage Open days. More details HERE

Fri 14th: Liskeard Geology Walk. A different way at looking at a towns buildings. More details HERE

Sat 15th: Duloe Ale & Cider Fest Walk. Celebrate the 18th birthday of the walking festival with a shortish walk through the Looe Valley to the ale fest. Catch train from Looe at 10.20am

Sun 16th: Drangways of Liskeard Walk. Explore the ‘alternative Liskeard Heritage trail’ More details HERE

https://www.visitcornwall.com/whats-on/sports/south-coast/looe/south-east-cornwall-walking-festival

PLUS Ali is walking on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th Sept – walking THE SAINTS WAY  from Padstow to Fowey (28 miles ish). If you would like to join us for the whole walk or a part,  let Ali know ASAP Thank You iamalihumphreys@yahoo.com  https://www.oliverscornwall.co.uk/saintsway.html