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Archive for April 2012

Heartlands open – now for the Minack

Posted on: 23rd April 2012

We were at the Heartlands opening at the weekend, with Duchy Opera (Peter was singing in the chorus, and I was gallantly trying to hold onto the music for the accompanist as it threatened to blow away). Should be renamed Trewince (house of the winds!). We were all given little heart-shaped bookmarks (based on the new Heartlands logo) but sadly our promised heart-shaped Cornish pasties failed to materialise, having sold out completely the previous day. We saw the Bal Maidens dancing and heard the Falmouth Shout singing and generally enjoyed the ambiance of the opening event. We didn’t manage to spot the heart-shaped blimp in the sky – I hope it hasn’t blown away.

Minack flyer

Minack flyer

In two week’s time we shall be heading down to the Minack (the open-air theatre on the cliffs at Porthcurno, not far from Lands End).  Time for Baron Herzog to strut his stuff and open up a world of opera. Let’s hope the wind has dropped by then and the rain stays away. Now the Minack in a storm is an entirely different story!

Babington’s Leek

Posted on: 20th April 2012

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Some guests staying here this week, keen botanists, pointed out that we have Babington Leeks growing in our woods – along the pathway. I must confess that I had never heard of such a plant, but apparently it is quite rare, and grows in the Roseland, our particular part of Cornwall. Another local rarity is the moss “Weissia multicapsularis” (many-seeded) but no-one seems to have spotted that yet. There is lots of wild garlic in our hedgerows at the moment – the flowers resemble white bluebells but the garlic scent gives away its identity. Lots of culinary uses for this one – and I have even seen the leaves for sale in the greengrocer’s organic boxes.

Sunday School Treats

Posted on: 17th April 2012

I found this book one day in the Truro library. It made fascinating reading. Sam Marsden was a very popular rector of Gerrans  around 1975/6. Here are some quotations from “Accounts of the memories and reminiscences of a number of people of the parish of Gerrans, collected by Sam Marsden, rector of Gerrans 1975 or 6.”

” For Sunday School outings the Congregationalists went to Pendower, so did the Wesleyans. The Bryanites went to Towan.”

“For our Sunday School treat we went to Pendower, or Towan or Trewince; we were allowed to have tea there and walk through the gardens. They had a carriage and pair and servants in livery (just a dark frock coat). We had splits and Saffron buns, and each took our own mug. We had games on the beach!!”

Will and probate of Stephen Johns of Trewince

Posted on: 17th April 2012
It’s amazing what you can find when you dig in the records at the Royal Cornwall Museum (Courtney Library)
HO/2/82 12/7/1778 Will and probate of Stephen Johns of Trewince. Executor was Richard Johns. “In the name of God Amen. I Stephen Johns of Trewince within the parish of Gerrans in the County of Cornwall Esquire being at this time in a tolerable good state of bodily health and of a sound and disposing mind memory and understanding (Praise be to God for the same), but considering the great uncertainty of this life and how necessary it is, that a settled disposition should be made of all my temporal affairs Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) First – I resign my Soul into the hands of God in his due Time hoping in and through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ for a full and perfect remission of all my sins and transgressions whatsoever, and my body to the earth to be decently interred at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named and as to my real and personal estate I give and dispose thereof as followeth: first debts legacies and funeral charges be paid and satisfied to wife Ann Johns 100 guineas to be paid six months after death and household furniture as she shall chuse and think necessary for her use. Also ratifies and confirms joint use or settlement made unto or in trust for her on and previous to my intermarriage and my will and meaning is that the same and the above legacies or bequests may be accepted and taken in full Barlieu and satisfaction of and for all Dower and Thirds which she might otherwise claim or be instituted unto out of any of my lands goods or chattels. Youngest son Stephen James Johns £1000 to be paid 6 months after attaining 21. Meantime to be educated in a proper manner out of the estate at discretion of executors and trustees; when attains a proper age to be put out and placed out as a clerk or an apprentice to some profession trade or business. Either clerk to attorney or merchant of good character and reputation in his profession or to a surgeon and apothecary or such other trade business or profession as shall be thought most proper and my said son should approve of. Also such sums of money as should be necessary in these professions etc. (Not to be taken out of £1000). Daughters Mary Ann and Elizabeth £800 1 year after 21 or marriage with consent of their mother and education wife Ann kinsman Richard Thomas of Tretheake cousin John Davis of Penryn and survivors and heirs messuages lands tenements hereditaments goods chattels and personal estate in trust for eldest son Richard Johns and heirs during his minority, after which he will be the sole executor. They are to be trustees and also Executors of the will. Also guardianship to tuition of all my children. If RJ died in minority unmarried or without issue of his body lawfully begotten then inheritance would go to trustees and put in trust for Stephen James Johns (younger son). Written 1778 – died 1793? Probate; letter of administration dated 1793 (16th December.)ie proved 1793 Stephen John (younger) married Ann James from Saltash daughter of merchant. Richard Johns esq. of Trewince or his heirs or assigns are entitled to a moity of all the tithable lands of the parish, except Rosteague, Trewarthas, Tregair, Tregairwoon.

Heartlands opens and Duchy Opera sings

Posted on: 12th April 2012

Duchy Opera is honoured to have been invited to sing at the launch of the prestigious new Heartlands attraction and World Heritage site. We shall be there on Sunday April 22nd at 11.30–12 & 1-1.30. Everyone is invited to this free event which lasts all weekend. Watch out for the specially commissioned 4m² heart-shaped blimp which will rise into the sky over the 19 acre site.

“Special guest, Newton Faulkner joins line-up for three-day opening celebrations at the UK’s first free cultural playground”

BRIT nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso Newton Faulkner was today announced as the special guest of honour at the launch of Heartlands, the new free visitor attraction and World Heritage site in Cornwall, which will open to the public on Friday 20 April 2012.
The musician, who will be playing two concerts in nearby Falmouth on Sunday 22 and Monday 23 April, will perform a small live acoustic set on the Saturday afternoon as part of the three-day party to celebrate the opening of this inspirational new 19 acre site, which has been created to help regenerate one of the poorest areas of Cornwall.
As well as performing, Newton will also leave his mark on the Totem Circle within Heartlands, a new events space dedicated to buskers and new talent.  Twelve totems surround the circle; each with two sides left blank for performers to graffiti their initials.  On carving his initials, Newton will kick-start this ritual and begin the Totem Circle’s story.
Newton joins a large and eclectic line-up for the Heartlands Magic Myth and Mayhem Launch Party, which includes music performances from (amongst others) Dalla, John Dowling, The Viewers, Hedluv and Passman, and Duchy Opera; theatre from Rogue, Bish Bash Bosh and Squash Box; dance from The Big Dance Company, CScape and TR14ERs. The event will also include special lantern, flag making and dance workshops, storytelling, face painting, aerial performances, acrobatics, skateboarding, BMX, fire show and fireworks.
The weekend will begin with a Hearty Party Parade on Friday 20 April as over 800 schoolchildren, local community groups, businesses and colleges formally open the site.  Once open, a specially commissioned 4m² heart-shaped blimp will rise into the sky and fly over this, the former mining heart of Cornwall for the remainder of the weekend.
Vicky Martin, Chief Executive of Heartlands said:
“We are honoured that Newton was able to take time out of his busy tour schedule to pop in to see us at Heartlands and we can’t wait to see him perform.  Our three-day extravaganza brings together an eclectic and exciting mix of music, dance, theatre and spectacle and we are looking forward to opening Heartlands in style.”
Heartlands is based on former derelict mine land at Robinson’s Shaft in the village of Pool.  It is hoped the £35 million Cornwall Council-led development, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the European Union will support the regeneration of Pool, Redruth and Camborne – an area containing over 10% of the Cornish population which has struggled to recover from the closure of the tin and copper mines (and related industries).
• Heartlands became a reality in 2007 when it was awarded a £22.3 million grant by the Big Lottery Fund, the biggest grant BIG has ever given to a single project in England.  It was one of only three projects in the UK to receive the grant under BIG’s Living Landmarks scheme.

• The free attraction will be run as a social enterprise by the charity, the Heartlands Trust and includes:
o World Heritage Site state-of-the art exhibitions
o Restored Engine House with 80” Beam Engine (the last Cornish engine to work on a Cornish mine)
o Biggest Adventure Playground in Cornwall (themed on Cornish myth and history)
o Diaspora Botanical Gardens (each relating to a country that the Cornish have emigrated to)
o Red River Café and Bar
o Art and Craft studios
o Chi an Bobel (large community, conference and function hall)
o Totem Circle  (small amphitheatre for music, dance and theatre performances)
o Market Square
o Events Arena (for large scale outdoor festivals)
o Interactive art installations including graffiti-me totem poles and Red River paddling stream
o 19 one and two-bedroomed sustainable homes
o Biomass boiler, photo voltaics, rain-harvesting system and wind turbine
o Year-round programme of events
• Newton Faulkner first entered our world back in 2007, when his debut album Hand Built By Robots rocketed up the charts all the way to the number one spot. Since then, Newton has toured relentlessly around the world and 2009 saw the release of his second full-length album, Rebuilt By Humans. Currently Newton is working hard on material for the eagerly anticipated third album, due for release next year.  For more information, visit www.newtonfaulkner.com
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Big Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030, Textphone: 08456 021 659. Full details of Big Lottery Fund projects and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
• Big Lottery Press Office: 020 7211 1888. Out of hours: 07867 500 572
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England.  Its vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas. This is achieved by:
• Understanding the needs and aspirations of people and communities through close working with local authorities on local investment planning
• Enabling local delivery through the channelling of expertise and investment
• Working effectively with the market, housebuilders, investors and other stakeholders

Almost on our doorstep

Posted on: 6th April 2012

FOOD tastes better outside – fact. And food this good tastes exceptional outside. Simon  Stallard and Jemma Glass of the Hidden Hut have only been here since Easter 2011, yet have been featured on TV, sold out of upcoming feast nights until the end of June and regularly serve more than 100 guests in one sitting.

And all out of a large caravan-sized, olive green wooden hut that squats discreetly above the dunes at Porthcurnick beach on the Roseland Peninsula. Reaching the hut is by foot only, either from Portscatho along the coastal path or down the road from the Rosevine and Driftwood hotels, four miles from St Mawes.

The Hut

The Hut

As yet, there are no signs, just word of mouth, passers by and locals, who are as much a part of the clientele as tourists.

This is a more permanent pop-up café with food prepared by an experienced head chef and a nutritionist.

“The sourcing of the products is what I enjoy,” explains Simon, “I love rare breeds.”

The split pea and slow roast ham soup featured an Old Spot from Calenick Farm and the beef bourguignon I missed yesterday was made from the farm’s shorthorn beef.

The soup whacked a meaty punch from the stock used to boil up the ham, served with generous chunks of bread and slabs of butter.

Alongside the soup we ordered wraps – smoked salmon and creamy cheese, blue cheese, prosciutto and rocket. The wraps were crammed full and the combination made for a light but filling lunch.

Followed up with a chaser of cake and tea and the meal became a feast. The brownies were particularly memorable (as a good brownie should be), made by Jemma’s mum Maggie, and no, you can’t get the recipe. The pair have grand plans for the little Hut – Simon speaks of giant metal stands for his paella feast nights, the next of which is happening on the beach in June, of plans to get a fire-pit built and more tables that are currently being crafted out of an entire tree.

Simple, big ideas and a conscious move away from the stress and anti-sociable hours of Simon’s previous life as head chef at the nearby Roseland Inn, Rosevine and Bustophers, Truro. Souped up and sated, the sun came out and our cup of tea became a brew with a view –  priceless.

The tables filled and emptied – walkers, elderly ladies, families, dogs, locals.

Book early if you want to get a place on the Hut’s summer feast nights to which you bring your own booze, cutlery and plates, making for a very reasonably priced evening out. Sourced with passion and knowledge, expect such Hut classics as lobster and chips, crab night, slow roasted pork belly (vegetarians catered for) and fish pie, all featuring the great outdoors and all its breezy, unpredictable Cornish beauty.

For more on the  Hut take a look at this week’s West Briton newspaper www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Hidden-tales-Hut/story-15723507-detail/story.html or go to www.hiddenhut.co.uk

Under wraps – the perfect excuse to eat   al fresco at Porthcurnick beach on the Roseland. Your cup of tea becomes a brew with a view.