Friday 31 December 2021

The New Year, Lanhydrock House and Long Life

We had quite a luxurious spread over the Christmas and New Year period. Thank goodness our servants were fit and able.
Okay I fibbed a bit, the photos are of Lanhydrock House in Cornwall - well other than the photo above.  The gentleman on the ground is my grandfather!

I never knew him as he died long before I was born. He was considerably older than my grandmother. When they married she was very young and he was a widower. I have written about him previously, see my post: My Grandad, Vintage Coincidence & Reincarnation. Though I never knew him I feel a strong connection with him.

Anyway, lets wander around Lanhydrock House. Lots of pots and pans for the cook.

I guess this is where the crocks got washed, not quite so posh below stairs.

Ah! A bedroom at Lanhydrock House, a bit too fussy for my taste.

The bathroom adjoining the bedroom.

Let's take a look outdoors. This is the gatehouse dating way back to 1651.

And, obviously, there just had to be a driveway leading up to the gatehouse.

There's lots of elbow room in the grounds. I believe this stretches to well over 800 acres.

That's it, a brief look at Lanhydrock House which is managed by the National Trust.

Nearly forgot, I haven't wished everyone a Happy New Year as yet, so Happy New Year!

Wonder what 2022 will bring? Hopefully Long Life and Happiness.

Writing that reminded me of of my Grandmother, the wife of of my grandfather whom I mentioned earlier in this post - she definitely had long life, as she lived to 103!

She had great strength of character. When a mere 83 she had an accident when trying to hang some new curtains in her bedroom - while standing on a wobbly chair.

She fell to the ground and was on her own for nearly eight hours. Her hip was broken and she had pneumonia. Eventually she was rushed to hospital. Doctors suggested that her family should visit her, as she wasn't expected to live.

Grandmother proved them wrong and was soon out of hospital. She went on to live for another twenty years! 

Character and strength of mind do seem to be essential for long life.

The picture below is of the telegram sent by the Queen to my grandmother on her 100th birthday. I remember she wasn't that impressed!

Anyway, mustn't ramble on - thanks for visiting my blog. All good wishes ~ Mike.

Friday 24 December 2021

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Christmas display of flowers.

Christmas for me is a season of differing emotions. There's the smiling, expectant, happy grandchildren, but there are also memories of Christmases past and thinking of my wonderful mother and father. There would be a stocking full of gifts, when I woke up, with a larger present under the tree from Father Christmas. I remember such love, joy and excitement.

An old Christmas Tree.

That's part of my tree in the photo above. Our adult children make fun of it. They ask, "Why don't you get a new one? A real tree perhaps?"

The thing is though,  this has been a family tree since I was a child. I won't say how many years that is, but it's quite a while! So there are happy memories from my childhood Christmases and also those of our own children when they were small and growing up. 

Somehow the tree has survived many moves and ups and downs.

Christmas tree ornaments

My wife is also happy with the tree, as long as we have her German childhood decorations hanging from the branches. That's one of them above.

She remembers her childhood Christmases in Germany and how presents were distributed on Christmas Eve. Sadly her mother and father are now longer with us.

Christmas decorations

Anyway, enough waffling on. I hope you have a magical Christmas - happy and peaceful.

All good wishes ~ Mike

Friday 17 December 2021

Visiting Camborne, St. Austell and Lots of Trees

We had a fleeting visit to Camborne but, unfortunately, I only had time for five quick photos. Above is the Wesleyan Chapel and below some roadside art work.

Next is the Commercial Square, Camborne Town Centre.

I'm not sure what the next building actually is  ...

... or indeed the stone below, which was in its grounds. It looks old and interesting - but I couldn't find any info on the internet.

Camborne is somewhere I rarely visit. I guess it is probably most known as the centre of Cornwall's copper and mining industry, though this was at its peak in the 18th century and early 19th.

I always think of Richard Trevithick and his Puffing Devil when I think of Camborne. This was the world's first self propelled passenger vehicle. It was steam powered and made its first appearance on Christmas Eve way back in 1801. There is a traditional song to go along with Trevithick's ride up Camborne Hill ...

Goin' up Camborne Hill, coming down
Goin' up Camborne Hill, coming down
The horses stood still;
The wheels went around;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

White stockings, white stockings she wore (she wore)
White stockings, white stockings she wore
White stockings she wore:
The same as before;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

I knowed her old father old man (old man)
I knowed her old father old man
I knowed her old man:
He blawed in the band;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I did
I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I did
I 'ad 'er, I did:
It cost me a quid
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

He heaved in the coal, in the steam (the steam)
He heaved in the coal, in the steam
He heaved in the coal:
The steam hit the beam
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

Oh Please 'ave a baby by me
Oh Please 'ave a baby by me
I'm young and I'm strong:
Won't take very long
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

Goin' up Camborne Hill, coming down
Goin' up Camborne Hill, coming down
The horses stood still;
The wheels went around;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

With the song ringing in my ears I'll move on!

Look who I saw on a house roof. I wondered why the seagulls were squawking and behaving strangely.

I like trees in winter, the branches and trunks have a chance to take centre stage. The new style house below has such a lovely display of winter trees at the back of the property.

An early morning walk at Charlestown showed a perfect silhouette of trees on the distant skyline.

A few trees in the church grounds at Tywardreath.

Small birds enjoying the branches.

As we cling on to life some leaves are also clinging on, and trying not to fall.

Winter trees alongside the beach at Carlyon Bay - and there's a blue sky too.

Signs pointing the way near St. Austell Trinity church.

A fancy signpost in St. Austell pointing the way: left is to the Eden Project (4.5 miles) and Bodmin (10 miles). Look right for Heligan (4 miles) and Mevagissey (6.5 miles). Must say that I'm not too sure about this sign's accuracy. 

While in St. Austell I was near the building below. This is all that remains of the once extensive Pentewan Railway Terminus. This was operational from 1828 to1918. The building itself dates back to circa 1860.

The building was originally 200+ feet long and was used for the storage of china clay This was carted here by horse drawn wagons. The clay was later transported by railway wagons to Pentewan Harbour. There is a 1900 photo of the harbour on my blog post here.

That's all for this week - all good wishes ~ Mike.

Friday 10 December 2021

The Dark Side of Bodmin Jail

I was, perchance, searching for a certain something about Bodmin when I came across the website of the Bodmin Jail Hotel. Strewth, I thought, it looks somewhat different to when I last visited the jail several years ago.

I remember walking around the actual cells, with just my wife for company. I only took a few photos as on this post. It was all very creepy.

The Jail was built way back in the reign of George III in 1777. So has lots of tales to tell.

It is said that over fifty prisoners were executed - hanged in other words. The final awful deed was carried out in 1909.

Women were also hanged, like Sarah Polgrean, in the early 1800s. She is said to have murdered her husband. At the time the judge also sentenced her to dissection - for the furtherance of the medical profession.

With such horrors, it is no wonder the ghosts walk in Bodmin Jail. Also see Bodmin Jail and a Hanging Watched by 25,000 People

The final hanging, in Bodmin Jail, was in 1909.

Though not very clear to read, the following is a record of some of the prisoners hanged. For example, in the second column from the right, details are entered describing the prisoner's neck i.e. strong neck, muscular neck etc.

A final look at the exterior of Bodmin Jail

I sort of think that it's best not to dwell too much on such photos and themes. I tend to believe that what we focus on becomes part of us. So, here's a typical Cornwall south coast scene to finish the post - a cleanser, if you like.  There is so much beauty and goodness in the world on which to dwell - that is if we have time to stand and stare.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

William Henry Davies 

Thanks for visiting my blog, hope you have a happy week. All good wishes ~ Mike.

Friday 3 December 2021

A Wander Around the City of Truro, Cornwall

It was a bit of a grey day but my wife had a dentist appointment in Truro. I took the opportunity to walk around the City.

Not a particularly good day for photos but I wandered about. 

The photo below shows Truro's Coinage Hall which has a long history stretching back to the 1300's. Cornish tin was assayed here prior to being exported. The present building was built in 1848.

One of the numerous buses, in various colours, that service the Truro area

Next is Upper Lemon Street which has a long history. There's a photo of how the sreet looked back in1890 here

I wonder how many of these traditional phone boxes are used nowadays. When a teenager I remember phoning a girlfriend using such a phone box. I knew of a way to make free lengthy calls so could chat to her for ages. Anyway, had better move on quickly.

This is a newish part of Truro with a large Marks & Spencer shop at the far end.

Primark makes sure it is noticed by shoppers.

Nearly opposite to Primark is a more traditional building: the Market Inn.

Wandering back now towards where I started.

I nearly forgot to mention Truro's Cathedral with it's spires high above the shops and other buildings.

I have previously written posts on Truro Cathedral here.

More buses.

Here's a bit of an oddity near to the Cathedral. The pointed building below is/was St. Mary's church spire. According to what I have read, there had been a church here since the 13th century. 

In 1768 the church was altered and a 39 metre high spire was added to the building. In 1880 the church was demolished to make way for the Cathedral. In 2015 the spire was moved to it's present position - as seen below - which is by the Cathedral Green.

Finally a road, on the way out of the city - it has humps for 100 yards and a speed limit of 20 mph. Not much I can add to that!

I thought I'd better finish off the post with a photo of Truro Cathedral. I snapped this a while back, on a bright day. As you can see the Truro River tide was out - so it was feeding time for the birds. 

P.S. A few Autumn scenes.

This is a wild area nearish to where I live.

Looks quite interesting but, as there was quite a chill in the air, I didn't linger too long.

Many thanks for visiting my blog, take care, have a good week ~ Mike



  We had to make a short visit to Fowey so I snapped a few quick photos as we walked. The first two are views on the way from the Fowey car ...