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Sunday morning - Lost Gardens of Heligan

Sunday morning - Lost Gardens of Heligan

Master's Weekend 2011 Cornwall

The weekend began officially on the evening of Friday 16th. September 2011 with a welcome glass of wine in a private room at the Falmouth Hotel and then onto minibuses to mark our way to Porthcurno and the Minack Theatre to see “our Town” by Thornton Wilder. The party was well fed with a buffet picnic from the Fisherman’s Arms and beverages provided by Liveryman Coleman who hauled them and a small table down and up the cliff. The weather was kind and only drizzled a little once or twice.

On Saturday 17th.September 2011 the party gathered again to board a Truronian Coach with Bert at the wheel and a Blue Badge Guide in attendance. Malcolm Surl gave a very knowledgeable commentary on the history and tin mining of Cornwall to while away our journeys around St Piran’s land. We arrived at Helston Guildhall and took up occupation of their Council Chamber with John Kirkhope. John is a notary and 4th. Year PHD student of Stannery Law and tin miners disputes and special tax status and we earned 1 CPD hour whilst having our eyes opened to a fascinating tax free world. John has kindly provided the notes upon which his talk was based which are accessible below. After such heavy stuff we retired to the famous Blue Anchor for a pint of their home brew “Spingo”, a Cornish Pasty and a game of skittles with the largest and heaviest balls I have seen for many a year.

After lunch we re-boarded the coach and made our way to St. Ives where Cornish pirates and dancing to raise funds for next year’s festival was in full, slightly off-key but very merry swing. Of course one just has to try the clotted cream vanilla ice cream. Climbing up the hill after the compulsory but all too brief visit to the Barbara Hepworth exhibition we found the coach and set off on a tour of key tin mining sites in the area en route back to the Falmouth Hotel.

A brief hour later we re-assembled. Climbed on the coach and went down to the Greenbank Pier where we climbed down to board a little boat to go up the Carrick Roads to Castaways Restaurant at Mylor Harbour. A fantastic experience but we decided perhaps in the dark there may be a slip off the floating walkways and opted to return by Coach. The food was excellent as was “the music of Cornwall” harpist Rachel Williams. We were regaled by Councillor Bert Biscoe who alternated between history, here-say, politics and poetry. On return to the Falmouth hotel we managed a nightcap before turning in. Quite a hectic day all round.

The Sunday was much more at leisure. At 10am on 18th. September we again boarded the Truronian with Bert at the helm and headed back towards Lands End past St Michael’s Mount to arrive for a guide of the North garden at the magical world in “The Lost Gardens of Heligan”. At 3pm the happy band made it back to the coach for a slap-up Cornish tea with splits not scones and of course clotted cream done the Cornish Way. We learnt to say Cornwall forever and parted with our friends at the end of the official weekend. KERNOW BISS VICKEN.

The following date 9 survivors set off for Geevor Tin Mine, near Lands End where we were met by ex-miner Dennis Way. We had a guided tour of the Dry, the offices, the shaft, the clocking in and a fascinating insight of life underground with noise, drills, water, mud and great lumps of black tin. Wwe then went down the Mexico Wheal shaft which was suitably tidied up and boarded to make it safe but still quite challenging. Nice to get above ground again, remove our hard hats and coats then devour a final Cornish pasty and make our way home.

Kay Linnell - Master

Many thanks to Kay and to Liveryman John Coleman for a memorable weekend
Chris Dancaster

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