Callington U3A U3A speaker of the month for July 2017 Walking in Cornwall
Sue Kittow came to speak at our July meeting. Sue lives in Falmouth and writes books on Cornish Walks. She has always loved walking but now enjoys the company of Mollie Dog her Jack Russell who provides a means of chatting to other people and their dogs. She is an excellent photographer and showed us lots of her pictures, including a beautiful geographic sand sculpture she came across at Gwithiam – made by an artist with a rake.
Sue used to write up her walks for the magazine Cornwall Today but thought about producing a book. So she re-visited and re-wrote 20 for her first effort, then set about trying to find a publisher. She found one in Wales and has kept going – both in the walking and writing sense.
She was inspired by a friend to take a more themed approach and has written a book of walks connected to Writers in Cornwall and their favourite places. Following that came the television series of Poldark and Sue realised that someone else would write about the places used in the filming if she didn’t do it first. So she began, by her own admission, a little late in the day and working through the winter. The weather took its toll on her photography and she was faced with a bit of a scamper towards the publisher’s deadline trying to get pictures which were not indistinguishably grey and misty. She said she spent the Easter weekend driving around madly taking duplicate photographs because the sun had come out! Sue expanded on her Poldark Walks and showed photographs of places used for filming accompanied by interesting facts. Charlestown stood in for Truro and many fishing scenes. The shipwreck scenes were set in Gunwalloe Cove. The two shipwrecks mentioned in Winston Graham’s books actually took place but on Perranporth beach. Dr Ennis and Caroline’s wedding took place in the tiny church of St Winnow, near Lerryn. She is going to take on Daphne du Maurier next and I’m sure it will be as interesting as her work so far.
Sue’s books are full of beautiful photographs and each walk has all the details of length – both in time and distance – terrain, how to get there, local facilities and a map. These are not walks with a list of points A to B and stiles and streams in between however. They are written from her personal experience, mentioning who she went with or met on the way, what mischief Molly got up to and what discoveries were made by making a detour. From a swift perusal of her Cornish Writers book, I found it to be charming and to stand alone as a good read. As we sit in the indistinguishably grey and misty winters – which dogged her Poldark efforts – it reminds us of what is hidden in the cloak of Cornish cloud.
The books are available via the usual places, Waterstones and Amazon for example.