Thursday 26 December 2019

Visiting St.Austell and Charlestown Over the Christmas Period

Sign: Welcome to St.Austell

My gosh, Christmas Day is now a memory, but it'll be pleasant to remember the day with fondness at some future time.

I'm writing this on Boxing Day. 

How Boxing Day came about is not absolutely clear. The most popular thought is that this was the day when servants and tradesmen would collect their Christmas Boxes tips for good service - from the gentry or their employers.  These money gifts or 'boxes' were mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for December 19th 1663, so the tradition goes way back.

In days of old churches would have a box in which to place contributions for the poor at their Christmas Day services. These boxes were then opened on the 26th for distribution to the needy.

Another explanation for Boxing Day dates back to when sailing ships set off to discover far away lands. They would take with them a sealed box full of money as a good luck talisman, to help keep them safe on their voyages. When they returned safely a church service of thanks would be held and the box was presented to the vicar or priest.

This box would be kept until Christmas Day when the contents would be shared with the poor.

Anyway, I digress! I was in St.Austell today, thus the photo at the top of the page and the photo below.

The flower photo is art work in the new section of St.Austell town.

St.Austell, Cornwall town centre mural

The weather is very mixed, one minute a rainbow and then showers. The building below - a block of flats (apartments) - is the only high rise housing in Cornwall, as far as I know.

Block of flats and rainbow, St.Austell, Cornwall

On Christmas Day, in the evening, we headed for a walk at Charlestown with my son and his family. It was very cold, dark and not really a good time to snap photos - but all was peaceful.

Night time in Charlestown, Cornwall

The final photo is messing with some software, it's the same picture as the one above.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.


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  2. Just mixed up Charlestown with Princetown, never mind. Interesting to hear how "Boxing Day" originated.

    1. Hello David - thanks. Hope you had a pleasant Christmas.

  3. I’ve enjoyed this post a great deal. After a busy and joyful Christmas Day, our daughters agreed to move heavy bookshelves and about 1000 books upstairs because the sunlight was beginning to fade them. Among them are 3 volumes, Pepys’ diaries. So being curious, I have found the entry you have referenced and read it with interest! I love the line, “Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’s box against Christmas.”
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with thanks for the inspiration to revisit an old book!

    1. Hello Ann. That's a lot of books to move! The computer age is exciting but there is something special about holding and reading a book, especially an old one.
      Trust you had a lovely Christmas with your daughters. We are having a family meal on Monday - 10 of us, so should be interesting!




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