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Archive for March 2012

Musical Adventures in Cornwall

Posted on: 26th March 2012
Musical Adventures in Cornwall

Musical Adventures in Cornwall

The British Newspaper Archives make fascinating reading and in the Western Morning News and Daily Gazette of Monday March 14th 1938 I came across a reference to an appearance of the Falmouth Opera Singers, giving two performances at London’s Notting Hill Gate of Mozart’s opera “Idomineo”, with “The chief honours” going to “the orchestra, which, under the baton of Miss Maisie Radford, played crisply throughout”! The story of the Radford sisters, and indeed the Falmouth Opera Singers, is told in their 1965 book, “Musical Adventures in Cornwall”, and the amazing achievements emerging from their St Anthony-in-Roseland cottage and studio are a joy just waiting to be discovered.
They shared their music in W.I’s and village halls and formed choirs and orchestras all over Cornwall, founding  the Falmouth Opera Singers in 1923. Their productions of classical opera included the first performance of Mozart’s Idomeneo in England, and performances of Gluck’s operas, which were acclaimed by musicians throughout the country.  The best means of transport from St Anthony at the time was by water, and in their own words, “All had to be transplanted by farm cart, by row boat, by steamer, by truck from the steamer, whenever we set out.” To get to their newly founded St Mawes Choral Society, their first permanent choir, they “had only to run down two fields and row across.” The book tells of the dismay of their visiting singer at having to “wade over thick mud in evening dress, through pitch darkness, to launch the rowing boat which was then their only transport back to their Roseland home”.
Their tradition has been continued by their niece, Jennet Campbell, founder of our local band, ‘St Anthony’s Noyse’, and you can read more on the website of the Radford Trust, and of course in their fabulous book, published by David and Charles.

Cornish Tin at the London Olympics

Posted on: 16th March 2012

Tin mined and smelted in the county is being used to create the bronze medals for this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The tin was mined at South Crofty 14 years ago and smelted at Wheal Jane, near Redruth.  It had been stored at Wheal Jane since the South Crofty mine closure in 1998 and was thought to be the only candidate to match the incredibly high levels of purity needed for medals that will grace the necks of the world’s finest athletes. This is a very emotional moment for Cornish miners since production of tin ceased in Cornwall some years ago. There are still hopes that the South Crofty Mine will reopen in the not-too-distant future. You can read all about it in The Western Morning News and see comments here.

 

From the Archives………

Posted on: 16th March 2012
Taken from a 2004 newsletter:
The Pool was finally declared open in February this year to everyone’s relief. We have received so many compliments on its quality that we feel that all the waiting was worthwhile. It has not been without its teething troubles, some of which continue: the UV technology which is used in the purification process is state-of-the-art and still being pe…rfected, and for everyone’s safety we err on the side of caution, especially with the spa pool, but everyone agrees that the low chlorine/no red eyes result is far superior to the chemical solution.
Polishing the Pool

Polishing the Pool

It has been a steep learning curve for our staff, for, contrary to our plans for a totally unattended pool, we found it necessary for health and safety reasons to have trained first aiders and pool rescue staff within call for emergencies. We have had a full health and safety analysis of the whole business, which has put everything on a secure footing. We have also struggled with our photo-entry computer software system which proved to be not quite so state-of-the art as we had hoped, but we have had lots of fun asking everyone to stand in front of the camera and some amusement when cards entered into the machine as Mrs A came out with an entirely new identity as Mr B!
staff in pool

staff in pool

Spring is here

Posted on: 5th March 2012

The daffodils are out in the Woods now – I picked a big bunch last week. My favourites are the jonquils which smell so heavenly – but they are quite hard to find. Peter sent a few to his mum in the post – she loves the scent. Let’s hope there are some left to send for Mother’s Day. There are various types of daffodils, from the tiniest ‘wild’ ones, to the large King Alfred and the frilly double ones. We’re told that in times gone by the bulbs were literally thrown into the woods and allowed to grow where they settled.

Jonquils

Jonquils

Some years are better than others, and at the moment there are a lot of ‘blind’ leaves as well as flowers, but they may be waiting to pop up later in the month. We have some daffodils in the front garden which regularly flower in December. We bought them one September when we were down Lamorna way, and I’ve often thought it would be good to get some more. There’s nothing quite like a daffodil in the garden at Christmas.

Daffodils

Daffodils

As for the deer – I didn’t see any sign of them but then they are rather shy creatures. The badger tracks are very clearly seen at this time of year when the ground cover is minimal. It’s so lovely to walk through to the end of the woods – the view alone is worth it, and it’s so quiet and peaceful so early in the season. In a way you want to share it with everyone but at the same time keep it all to yourself – that’s Trewince I suppose.