Category Archives: History

Stoke Climsland Free Concert


On Saturday 25th April, the Callington Singers will be giving a free concert in Stoke Climsland Church. The concert will incorporate lots of joyful music under the general theme of the coming of summer. The programme will include Vivaldi’s Magnificat, along with some madrigals, the Hallelujah Chorus and an original setting of the Jubilate, composed by our new Musical Director, Andrew Wilson. The Callington Singers has a long tradition of making music freely accessible to the community. It is our policy to strive, wherever possible, to give concerts completely free of charge. This is not always practical, as there are many expenses to cover, such as venue hire, publicity and the fees of hired musicians. The choir rely on a retiring collection after each concert to cover these costs. We are very pleased to be working again with Stoke Climsland Parish Church. The Callington Cluster (incorporating churches in Stoke Climsland, Linkinhorne, Callington and South Hill) have the admirable policy of hiring out these churches free of charge, which makes our job of providing free music very much easier.

The free venue and delightful surroundings are not the only reason we are pleased to be performing in Stoke Climsland church again. We also enjoy performing there as an unofficial honour to an important character from Stoke Climsland’s past, who strived as we do, to provide music in his community and who would be familiar with most of the music we are to perform on this occasion; namely Thomas Calvert, gentleman of Stoke Climsland. The impressive memorial to Thomas Calvert appears prominently in the foyer of Stoke Climsland Church: In Memory of Mr Thomas Calvert Late of this parish who in the year 1746 First introduced into this Church four part Psalmody and with Indefatigable Pains and perseverance not only encouraged but in a great measure supported it with great Reputation upwards of 30 years He Was an Honest Man a Kind Master a Sincere Friend And a good Christian He departed this life at Plymouth on June 3rd 1781 in the 71st year of his Age. Although described as being ‘of the parish of Stoke Climsland’, Thomas Calvert was born in Moor Monkton, just outside of York. He was the firstborn son of Joseph and Elizabeth Calvert (née Hunter) and was baptised on the 18th August 1710. How he came to be a pillar of the Stoke Climsland community is a complete mystery. He married a local girl, but had no children. He was employed as Coroner for Cornwall in 1756 and retired from this post in 1776. He spent his last months living in St. Germans (where he made his will) and he was buried in Stoke Climsland churchyard.

His contribution to village life is undeniable. Mr. Calvert’s promotion of four part psalmody singing reflects the growing popularity, at this period, of incorporating music into church services and we owe him a debt of gratitude for the continuing tradition of choral singing which is enjoyed in this country. The ‘Indefatigable Pains and Perseverance’ which are quoted on Thomas Calvert’s memorial stone are aptly illustrated here in a transcript of an extract from the Vestry minutes of Stoke Climsland. Any modern Musical Director will doubtless recognise the inherent challenges facing him. Vestry Minutes from 28th of November 1773: A Letter was read from Mr Thomas Calvert, setting forth the disappointments he has meet [sic] with in his frequent Attendance on the Singing owing to irregularity & Refractioness of many of the numbers, and Declaring that he wou’d not think of Attending many more unless the whole Body wou’d enter into an Obligation Consisting of Several Conditions which he propos’d for the better keeping up & bringing to perfec[ti]on & carrying on with Psalmody to the promotion of Religion and Harmony [in] the Performers; Observing at the same time however that the Parishioners who were the Singers had been at much trouble in Learning & many of them were put to Inconvenience by their Attendance & moreover that few or none has Books & others in general very bad; Proposing therefore as an Encouragement & Countenance to those who wou’d enter into & sign an Association to continue & practice the singing for three years, that the Parish at Large should contribute something towards purchasing proper Books, & defraying other Expenses, in which He, Mr Calvert wou’d also contribute & Mr & Mrs Call had also promis’d. The Members of the Vestry taking the premises with Consideration & being sensible of Mr Calverts Obliging Attendance & Trouble for many years, in promoting & assisting the singing & in doing many other Beneficial Acts to the Church, Do unanimously Agree, that the sum of Six Guineas out of the Church Rates be allow’d from Xmas 1773 to Xmas 1774 to be paid to Mr Calvert by the Churchwardens & laid out by him as he judges may best promote the good order, regularity & continuation of Psalmody, provided that the singers will all enter into such a Bond as he proposes, this contribution to be for one year only at this expiration of which the Parishioners will Continue or revoke it as they See it has Promoted, or Disappointed the End Propos’d.

We sincerely hope that Thomas Calvert would approve and enjoy this upcoming concert, as we also hope you will. Stoke Climsland church will shortly undergo a major refurbishment of the church roof, which we hope will go forward without a hitch. Come and help us raise the roof before it is repaired by joining us for a splendid evening of music on 25th April at 7pm.

The Few that fed The Many


2018 – 100 years since the end of the First World War

In 2014, the NFU marked the centenary of the start of the First World War by commissioning a report – The Few That Fed The Many – which investigated the impact that the Great War had on British farming families, read it here.

By the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914, Britain was 60 percent reliant on imports for food supplies and other commodities such as fuel and fertilisers, there was only enough wheat to last for 125 days. Government was importing around 78 per cent of wheat and flour along with 40 percent of meat, this should have prompted a change in attitude towards food security as Britain was not in a position to be able to feed itself.

German U-Boats cut off trade routes, and the government turned to our farmers to feed the nation during this time of crisis.

Almost a third of male farm workers had gone to war, more than 170,000 farmers fought in the trenches along with mechanics and blacksmiths, half a million farm horses had been requisitioned by the War Office to help at the front line. Machinery was limited and experts scarce to maintain and fix, plus fertilisers and feed were in short supply. Continue reading

Roll of Honour


Roll of Honour Servicemen from South Hill Parish who died in the two world wars 1914-18 and 1939-45

Private John Garfield Doney Aged 21 The London Regiment. Son of William & Martha Doney, Wagmuggle.

Private Thomas Drew Aged 29 The Somerset Light Infantry Son of Mr and Mrs William Drew from Pensilva

Private Percy Jenkin Aged 22 The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Before enlisting, he lived at Manaton where he worked as a waggonner.

Private William Gordon Landry Aged 24 The Essex Regiment Son of William & Elizabeth Landry, Trevigro.

2nd Lieutenant Herbert Gloyne Forster-Morris Aged 19 The South Wales Borderers Only son of the Reverend Herbert and Mrs Forster-Morris, the Rector of South Hill.

Private William Nicholas Stephens Aged 28 The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Son of Stephen and Harriet Stephens, of Pear Tree Row, Callington.

Sapper Vernon William Buckingham Aged 21 The Royal Engineers Uncle of Jill Reynolds & Shirley Shears.

Also remembered from this parish, but not named on the war memorial

Able Seaman Stanley Jenkin, brother of Percy Aged 18 Lived at Trewassick where he looked after the cattle. Read more here.

John Henry Dennis Chief Stoker aboard HMS Earnest died aged 39

and

Aaron Rogers Petty Officer on HMS Vivid died aged 40, both are buried in South Hill churchyard. Their graves can be found next to each other in the row of graves nearest to the road wall.

And Some Came Home


Callington Town Band, in association with Callington Community College and the People of Callington & District, presented AND SOME CAME HOME.

 

Conceived and written by Shirley Morse and originally staged in 2014, this production has been made possible by a grant from Tesco “Bags of Help” scheme.

The First World War claimed the lives of William John Smith the Town Band’s principal cornet player, who was born and lived at St. Mellion. He joined the 1st Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps and was 19 when killed in action on the Western  Front on 14th Sept. 1914, just a few weeks after the war had begun. Also Robert Hicks Pike, born in Callington in 1878, he ran his late father’s drapers shop in Fore St. before he was conscripted during 1916 into 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards. He died in action on 6th July 1917 aged 39. Continue reading

Parish war exhibition


Exhibition in St Sampson’s church, to show how the two world wars, and all the other wars of the last century, affected the families of the people who have lived in South Hill Parish, during that time, or live here now.
This is not just about families who were living here during the wars, although obviously they have some interesting stories to tell, but also those parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts etc. of the families who live here today, and who may have been living hundreds of miles away.
We have some fascinating stuff, including details of a South Hill man who was awarded the Victoria Cross, but there must be much more we could include. Pictures, letters, diaries, photographs of medals, and newspaper clippings are ideal, but we would also like the stories of what happened on the ‘home front’.
Land girls, prisoners working on farms, home guard (Did we have our own Captain Mannering ?), ambulance drivers, evacuees, merchant navy, or anything about how our families were affected.  Does anyone still have a gas mask, or a ration book ?
Please let me know if you have anything.  We can help with printing and copying if it is too valuable to loan.
Geoff Clemerson, Anvil Cottage, 01579 362623 gcclemerson@gmail.com

Continue reading

WW1 Exhibition at Sterts.


Linkinhorne History Group, exhibition to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 – and its effect on the Parish of Linkinhorne – is now up in the Gallery at Sterts. This exhibition includes illustration, information, artefacts and one of the newly restored Linkinhorne Rolls of Honour for WW1.  This exhibition is free and will remain at Sterts until the latter end of November.  The Gallery is open during Box Office hours.

 We will also be mounting another, quite separate, small exhibition to augment the centenary celebrations at Rilla Mill Village Hall where there will be a Victory Tea and Dance on Saturday November 10th – where the second of the restored Rolls of Honour will be officially handed back to Rilla Mill.

 Also, as part of our joint collaboration with Sterts, the Sterts Youth Theatre Group will enact a ‘walking play’, at sets around various locations on the Sterts campus, based on the research we have provided them with about the ‘100 men of Linkinhorne’ and the stories of their service in WW1. This will begin at 7.00pm on November 4th.

 And please don’t forget our talk on November 21st at the Cross Link Room, Upton Cross, where our guest speaker will be Major Hugo White who will further enlighten us with a talk entitled “The Role of the DCLI in WW1”.

 Peter Sharpe & Mike Todd.

LINKINHORNE History Group  EMAIL :  secretarylhg@btinternet.com

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 ?????