Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Treasure those Memories … part 12 … St Ives in overview …

 

My mother’s family are from St Ives, and though I don’t specifically know, from their occupation I would hazard a guess they had been there for a few centuries … they were fishing, shipping and town administration folk …


Carbis Bay Hotel, where the 
G47 Summit will be held
… all of St Ives would be linked to the early trades fishermen and shipwrights, before the advent of steam and the change of direction as necessitated by events of time in the 1800s and onwards …

 

 

We so easily forget how far our history goes back … and today where we came from can be traced … whether I go back as far as being a Phoenician is rather a matter of unnecessary conjecture …


 

Fish, Tin and Copper - the
three main industries of Cornwall
… the Phoenicians (eastern Mediterranean) were serious maritime traders … coming to prominence in the Late Bronze Age (c 1150 – 600 BCE) – we know they traded for tin – Cornwall’s surface seams could be ‘easily’ mined …

 

There was settlement from pre-Roman times … Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age … then the Romans visited this western peninsula – both on land, and via the sea routes …


 

Men-an-Tol standing stones near
Madron, Penzance
(from the late Neolithic or
early Bronze Age era)
So we know Cornwall was occupied with early peoples, traded and barbarically enslaved, some stayed and settled … our early history is spread along the coasts, the stories that have sprung up through the centuries ...

 


 

Society of Genealogists
(established 1911)
Fortunately recorded history has already reminded us about significant events … with the leading characters … in 1538 Henry VIII issued an injunction requiring each parish to maintain a Parish Register to hold details of all baptisms, marriages and burials. 

 


Domesday Book - completed 1088
The Domesday Book of William the Conqueror’s time (1066 and all that) had recorded in detail the land surveyed, as well as how it was occupied, but without the general population’s names.  (Part 7)  Fortunately the Parish Registers in part overcame that …




West Penwith: St Ives to the north,
Falmouth harbour to the south-west

St Ives harbour has always been a shelter from the storms … during the Spanish Armada in 1597, Sir Walter Raleigh captured two Spanish ships, who had hoped to shelter in the Bay from the same storm.  Apparently vital information was learnt from the prisoners.

 

 

St Ives was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1639 … copies of King Charles I’s Letter of Thanks to the Cornish People are to be seen in a number of Cornish churches – St Uny’s on the Lelant towans being one – Part 5.


 "We are so highly sensible of the extraordinary merit of Our County of Cornwall, of their zeale for the Defence of Our Person, and the just Rights of Our Crown, of their great and eminent Courage and Patience."  (part of King Charles I's Letter of Thanks to the Cornish People).


 

From the Knavocks to
Godrevy Point
Part 7 describes the loss of Charles’ goods andchattels, on the ship wrecked by the Stones Reef, out of which Virginia Woolf’s famous lighthouse, Godrevy, arises … and the coincidence of the ship’s loss on the same day he was executed.

 


 

Knill's Steeple
We have John Knill (1733 – 1811), mayor of St Ives, with his extraordinary quintennial disbursements … still being administered to this day … see part 3


 

Barnoon Cemetery
Our family records go back to the late 1700s and onwards … but there’s no-one I know who’s taken an interest … Barnoon Cemetery was opened in 1857 – by then the graveyards would have been full …

  

 

St Ives from a distance
Now to my time in St Ives … we would go fairly often when on holiday … my great uncle and his wife lived high on the hill with these views … 



Family photo on beach c mid
1920s (as a young man my great
uncle must be here somewhere)
... the highlights being turned upside down by my uncle, giggling furiously, but unable to get away … playing tennis … walking down and then up?! to the beach …

 



Rodda's - established 1890
… coming back to wonderful thunder and lightning teas … here shown on bread … we would always have home-made scones … Cornish cream and treacle …

 

 

Wheal Trenwith
120 years ago or so, whether you elected to come in to St Ives by road, the fields or the high moors, you couldn’t fail to notice the vast Trenwith Mine above Stennack, where (surprisingly) they (were) searching for radium.  Bearing in mind that it had only been discovered by the Curies in 1898 …

 

 

Bernard Leach by
Ryusei Kishida (1913)


The mine is now a car-park and part of the settlement high above the town … interestingly Bernard Leach (regarded as the “Father of British studio pottery”) established his Leach Pottery in 1920, next to the Stennack river … where it is to this day.

 


 

View from high up above St Ives
From these high points we see a wonderful combination of blue sea, towering rocks, purple and yellow moors, nor come so near to the heart of prehistoric man … hovering above a tiny fishing harbour … holding sway to the memories of many early artists bewitched by the light, views, and ever changing beauty …



Fore Street, St Ives (2005)
tiny streets are the norm
On to the 1950s – my time … we’d visit from Carbis Bay when we were in Cornwall … times had changed … a Woolworths store had arrived in Fore Street, with a back entry onto the Wharf … where the Sloop Inn … originally from 1312 … is situated …


 

Sloop Inn, St Ives - on the Wharf
… Fish and chip shops, early ice-cream stalls, lots of seagulls’ eyes wide open for any inadvertent treat by tourist or fisherman …

 

 

Now this little part of Britain is being host to the 47th G7 Summit – an intergovernmental organisation – that is creating havoc for the locals …

 

Tregenna Castle Hotel
The main meetings I gather are being held at the Carbis Bay Hotel Carbis Bay – where we used to visit as kids … but other venues are the Tregenna Castle Hotel, where there’s a heliport, just below my great uncle and aunt’s house when they still lived in St Ives …


 

St Ives fishing fleet
by H I Babbage (1875 - 1916)
… while the media is being housed over in Falmouth (at the National Maritime Museum) … it is 28 miles away and might take 40 minutes to drive … but who knows what will happen when the Summit is on … there is the local train – but that involves probably two changes and takes considerably longer …

 


Steam train coming into Carbis Bay
with sailing boat in harbour


I wonder if posh boats will be used – there’s no pier off Carbis Bay … 




West Penwith logo


I’ve been ‘prevaricating’ or just brain wandering more likely and not getting on with things … but as always a co-incidence arises …

 

 

A company, 'Identity', in Eastbourne (where I now live) has been chosen as the Events Agency for the Summit … strange but true … goodness knows what it will all entail …


Cornwall c/o World-Guides
I feel for them all … it’s a tiny area … there are no alternative routes – unless you want to surf the Atlantic and find a way round … I can’t think Boris, Biden, Merkel, Macron et al would want to get their suits wet …

 

Life goes on doesn’t it … stay safe and enjoy some joys of Summer … I'm taking it slowly ... 

 

Bathing Beauty on
on Carbis Bay beach

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


42 comments:

Hels said...

I love this topic, thank you. Unless a family is rich, important or famous, the probability is that the record-keeping is going to be extremely limited. Assuming that great-grandpa was not mentioned in legal and national documents, our generation has the obligation of catching up on old records and photos, and preparing for future records. I am going to give everything about my side of the family to my children in the hope that they will continue to preserve my hard work and add to it.

Joe's grandparents, aunts and uncles were all killed in WW2, so there is no photo or record to be located. But we do have his parents' treasured records.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
A delightful meander through the timeline, Hilary! Also, neatly returned to the starter point re the summit... and I am guessing all the bigwigs will be arriving by helicopter, thus circumventing the wriggling roads and presenting dramatic entrance... YAM xx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting records of people who lived there started almost five hundred years ago.

Elephant's Child said...

The Domesday Book and parish records make for incredible resources don't they? I suspect however that both left out people who didn't fit easily (or willingly) into society. The travelling people would almost certainly have been ignored.
I hope that the G7 goes well and interrupts the life of the usual residents as little as possible.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels – it’s a pleasure … we must have been noted in the town (well the family were) … and we do have records … perhaps that’s the English way of doing things … back in the 1800s there were already links to London and Cardiff … the development of the shipping industry – links to coal and the mines etc
I have quite a lot of information – enough for my needs from both sides of my family … so consider myself lucky I haven’t needed to search.
I feel for you and Joe – so sad … but at least you have those treasured memories from Joe’s parents …

@ Yam – I’m trying to remember I’m writing about Carbis Bay and the coming of the G7 Summit – which no-one in their right mind would have ever considered our grandparents’ home to be a part of … somewhat of a pity that no-one’s alive today to commentate … some conversations I can envisage!
I’m sure the bigwigs will come in via helicopter, while Newquay airport has been given government money to ‘tart itself up’ for some arrivals by plane. All the underlings will need to get down there somehow!
However getting from Tregenna to the Carbis Bay hotel is along tiny roads … but the police and army are shutting everything down – irritating the locals – especially as that road is really the main one in to St Ives itself.
It is a long post … but I wanted to bring it all together … and get someway to the G7 summit …

@ Alex – yes I wonder how far back the actual records go … it has been populated for over 2,500 years – the fishing history would be known.

@ EC – absolutely the Domesday Book is an extraordinary record for our country to have available to us … the Parish Records are interesting … as they started when the Church of England came into being.
Roman Catholic religious houses and parish priests had kept informal notes of the prominent local families and holy families. After the split from Rome the Catholics were discouraged from keeping records, out of the necessity for remaining hidden in a country now hostile to Catholicism.
Most definitely not everyone was recorded … as you mention – the travelling people.
Crumbs!! The G7 is interrupting everyone in the west Penwith area now … closures, identity checks etc etc – still seeing it unfold will be interesting.

Thanks to you four … you’ve asked some of the questions I didn’t put up in the post – this helps with the longevity of the post … all the best … Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

I always thought it seemed a crazy place to hold a big summit. We had a week in St Ives a few years ago and I recognise the Sloop Inn as one of the places we ate in.

Liz A. said...

I can't even imagine living in a place where you know your ancestors had been for generations. It's a completely different mindset for me. I'm sure there's a great comfort in it, though.

Mason Canyon said...

Such a rich history and the coming G7 Summit will add to that (hopefully in a good way). I can only image how things must be turned upside down (so to speak) getting ready for the event. The thunder and lightning teas sound like fun.

Unknown said...

Thankyou, Hilary for reminding me of Bernard Leach. Have just had a good trawl through some articles and pictures. Need to get down to Cornwall again.
Sue C

bazza said...

Wow, Carbis Bay is further from London than Manchester, Paris or Brussels! It looks like a fabulous place and St Ives is one of the most charming places in this country!

Joanne said...

Such a history - St.Ives, your family, the land and sea itself. All eyes upon you soon enough. I just think the leaders need to bond over some greasy fish and chips, sit on some rocks, and just ponder the sea. Don't muck things up - contemplate history and plan good, not evil. Meanwhile, good luck to you in the midst of traffic. Thanks for this post - so much to learn and admire.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel – I so agree … I was shocked! I wish my relatives were alive … I’d love to have some conversations. I’m glad you recognised the Sloop Inn – ancient history, but reasonable food I expect …

@ Liz – yes it’s fascinating to know that we can go back to find our ancestors … but so many living abroad can do so too … I’m sure you could trace yours back – presumably to Europe …
All our relatives have left Cornwall as circumstances have changed … but I know all of us love it still …

@ Mason – yes lots of history around us; I’m not sure the Summit will leave happy memories … some things half-done to impress … the rest will be left. The thunder and lightning teas were delicious … and still are when we have them occasionally. Fun memories though …

@ Sue – great I thought it was probably you … and after your thoughts on ceramics – I’m glad you enjoyed the Bernard Leach connection. The pottery studio is still there.
He designed the tiles for the gravestone to Alfred Wallace up in Barnoon cemetery …

@ Bazza – yes it’s miles away … well we’re used to travelling to that part of Cornwall … I used to get down as fast as I could. It is a fabulous place … just crawls with tourists!! St Ives has so much going for it … just not a G7 Summit!

@ Thanks Joanne – luckily or not we don’t live down there now … but it all resonates, as though I still did. I’m sure Boris would enjoy the greasy fish and chips, not sure about the others … can they sit still I wonder, let alone look at rocks … Merkel, yes as she’s a scientist– and yes it’d be great if some intelligent thinking, that considered everyone in all walks of life, could be had … we need leaders to be leaders.
I’m not down there – but do feel for everyone in a deprived county, where fishing hasn’t been helped in the Brexit exit. It’ll be interesting though …

Thanks everyone … my connectivity is just awful at the moment … I’ll be round as and when I can … sweet memories of 1950s St Ives … cheers - Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

What a fascinating post, so rich in history.
AND
That is a hotel??? Wow.

Jacqui Murray said...

Fun post. We too have no one in our family who's interested in our past. An Aunt was until she died and then no one picked it up. I'm interested but not enough to put that much of myself out there on the Internet.

'Prevaricating'--that's a wonderful word.

Keith's Ramblings said...

Another really interesting trip through time Hilary.
Cornwall has enough problems coping with hoards of tourists without the added pressure of the G7 Summit! I wish them well.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!
The views from your great uncle’s home on the hill were indeed inspiring! I’d love to visit the Godrevy lighthouse. No small wonder Virginia Woolf was enchanted ;-) I am too, just by reading this post. St. Ives being a ‘port in the storm’ adds to the charm of a place so beautiful it could easily be the atmospheric theme of many a fable.

Tregenna Castle is certainly majestic. Perhaps aesthetics, as well as seclusion, are essential for productive summits. According to Wikipedia, John Wood, The Younger was probably the architect. Probably? That made me smile even as I wondered who gets to choose what information is retained for posterity.

You, dear Hilary, are doing a fabulous job of chronicling your family history! As far as I know, only one family member is as curious about our family history as I am.

A fascinating, if chilling, history of the Domesday Book. I imagine it was as popular as every assessor’s office across America is today ;-)

The little bathing beauty is adorable!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

As someone who likes genealogy I found this post really interesting, going through photos my parents had there was many of people we didn't know

retirementreflections said...

Such a rich and interesting history. I always look forward to these posts -- and am never disappointed!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra – yes that is a hotel … and thanks I’m glad you obviously enjoyed it …

@ Jacqui – this side of the family hasn’t any children … but it’s possible other cousins have a lot of their information.
Perhaps a generation younger than you will at some stage enjoy the work your aunt’s done … I understand you not wanting to put yourself out there …

@ Keith – thanks so much … I know Cornwall really does have enough problems anyway – this will do what I’m not sure … but it’s interesting!

@Diedre – a great comment – thank you. It’d be great if you could get over … and you’re right St Ives could, and I’m sure still does provide many subjects to bring into books, let alone the colours and life of a village as a story and as a fable.
Tregenna Castle – I didn’t pay much attention to the architect … but it originally would have had some major connection to one of the big-whigs of the town – and I seem to remember reading something about it – I’ll try and find it and note it later on.
I’m lucky a lot of the work is out there and my father’s family has a lot of work written up about them. The history of St Ives is part of my mother’s early history. I’m just delighted I bring it to life for you.
The Domesday book has been a huge blessing to our history – William the Conqueror followed through on this project – however intrusive at that time it was.
The bathing beauty on Carbis Bay beach is as you can read still going strong!

@ Jo-Anne – I have photos from my mother’s time of people I don’t know … it’s part of life isn’t it … good luck with sorting your family photos out …

@ Donna – thanks … that’s so kind of you … it’s a lovely wander and reminder for me …

So pleased to see you all – and to realise you enjoy reading these … keep well and happy … see you soon – cheers Hilary

Pradeep Nair said...

Very interesting to read stories from the past. It's amazing how lives were lived in those days! How far we have come.

Inger said...

I love this, Hilary, wandering through time in your beloved Cornwall. It seems to me that places by the sea will always have the most interesting history. I've told you before that I'm sorry I never visited here when I could. Reading this makes up for it.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Esteemed Historian Hilary: And indeed it is a good morning after this charming ramble with you. It is actually quite rare today to find people with such deep roots in a community, who still live there and maintain the connection. In so many ways your childhood seemed idyllic with a gregarious family around you, trips to the beaches almost any time you wanted, and scones and clotted cream. Does it get any better? You also had treacle, so I suppose it did! I hope the upcoming gathering of politicians and their endless entourages does not in any way mar the nature of this charming corner of the world, but with politicians one can never be sure. Screwing things up is their raison d'être for living it seems! Stay well and be happy! Hugs from Ontario. David

Rhodesia said...

Hi Hilary, what a wonderful post, I loved reading every bit of it, family history is so involved. I started delving into my mother's family tree when we were in South Africa. At that time it was not easy and everything was handwritten letters and waiting for replies. Gosh, how easy it is now compared to then. Never the less I managed to go back to 1701 then on Mum's family. Since then I have had a go at my Dad's family tree(early 1500's) and Nigel's family (early 1700's). It's fascinating, but I have now lost the plot and given up, it just got far too complicated even with all the up to date info that one can find today. I spent quite a lot of time walking around High Halden in Kent where there is just so much history on my Mum's family. I met family still there and also went to see the house where my mother was born, it has not changed. Even the pub two houses down was still there (and hopefully still is) where Great grandfather used to escape when things got a bit stressed!!
I hope all is well with you, take care, Diane

A Cuban In London said...

Fascinating story. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's fascinating to read about all the history there is in the town where your family is from. And how much it's changed over time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pradeep – it is amazing how lives were lived back then … and as you say how far we’ve come …

@ Inger – thank you … I know you loved your time in this country, and despite not getting to Cornwall – you’ll have seen a fair amount, and at least understand our way of life! Well – yes – travel started via the sea … none of us would have existed if we couldn’t travel the vast seas … so strange to think about …

@ David – in fact we’re no longer there … my grandfather’s siblings moved away – one for business to Wales and London as was necessitated back then, one married into a large inheritance - necessitating a move up to Cumbria, one eventually went to Canada, and my mother and us scattered. My mother’s brother went off to Rhodesia as it was … her other brother had been killed in the war.
So we’ve always gone back … my Ma knew her roots were there and of course her mother lived there, drawing her back.
My childhood was in fact in Surrey … but we were lucky and had good upbringings … giving us depths to explore – which we all have. The cousins keep us together.
Who knows what’s going to happen in Carbis Bay in a few weeks’ time … and there’s still lots going on … we just hold our breath in these covid times …

@ Diane – thank you so much – just delighted it resonated with you. Interesting you’ve delved into the maternal side of your family tree – yes letter post – and letters that got through … the post in SA is ‘off’ I think. It’s certainly easy to use the internet, or the resources available to us … the Parish Records and the archives at Kew.
I see your connection to High Halden … which has lots of history, and I guess much must be available about its early residents – 1701 isn’t bad. I’m so pleased you’re still in touch with your maternal family in the area.
Your father’s going back to the 1500s … that’s far back. Then also Nigel’s family to the very early 1700s.
I agree – it could so easily get very complicated … thankfully most of ours were done for us – and as there are no children from my brothers or I – no-one’s felt the need to add to the basic knowledge. I’ve looked up odd things that interest me … but left it at that.
I’m so pleased you were able to see the house where your mother was born … and the pub – where your great-grandfather repaired to … to relax from the stresses of life.
All well here – thank you … things are opening up – but I think many of us are just not stressing ourselves about getting out and about too much – being of the age where we’ve done a great deal.

@ ACIL – it’s an interesting town to have originated from … it just has to survive the politics of 2021!

@ Natalie – thank you – yes history is fairly obvious here … but St Ives being a long way from anywhere hasn’t changed that much … and so retains to a point its ambience … but the tales of old can’t be forgotten.

Thanks so much to you all – I’ve enjoyed writing it up – and I guess could easily go off and look for other things … but for now I have the overview in my head.
Still mighty cold here – but when we see the sun … it is ‘warming up’. Stay safe - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Bewitching is a great word for Cornwall generally - St Ives and Falmouth both in particular. Though I don't know what the security details of the big shots will do to the places, a bit unnerving the thought.

I'm glad you are taking things slowly. Stay safe and well.

Steve said...

very interesting and historic post still have alot of readings and research following this post regards.

Sandra Cox said...

Good on Henry VIII for giving historical records a nudge.
Hope you are having a special one, Hils.

mail4rosey said...

I love when you use the big vocab words. I guess it's the English teacher in me. ;) My cousin was the one in the family who was so interested in our family's genealogy. My oldest son was contacted once from someone in another country who was doing family research. Wonderful memories you shared too. And I laughed about the big wigs getting their suits wet. ;) Have a wonderful day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - yes ... I agree bewitched is a lovely word that we can apply to many things we love. I love the Penwith peninsula. The security peoples, I gather, are going to be housed on a ferry?! I have to find out more ...
Thanks for your thoughts ... yes slow but sure, while developments come about re the pandemic.

@ Steve - thanks for enjoying the post and excellent if you get a chance to read up more ...

@ Sandra - yes it's interesting where today's life is - to find that it started so far back in our history ...

@ Rosey - thank you - I just write and am always so pleased people appreciate the vocabulary etc. - especially if you're an English teacher!
My mother's family's knowledge I've only garnered through photos and the odd conversation ... enough, but not so much. My father's: there's a lot ... it's just not having children on this line of the family, there's been no need for me to explore further.
I'm pleased your son has some contact for the genealogy of your family.

I'm so pleased to read all your comments - and thank you for visiting ... all the best - Hilary

Susan Scott said...

While I was away last week, I responded to your post Hilary (Wed)and have just come by to see if it 'took' which it didn't - I'm not surprised, I had my ipad with me which meant logging on and a request for my login details and a change of password. Mike has now rectified it all. I remember saying what a rich history you were part of, and that the fish painting caught my eye. All best, Susan

Sandra Cox said...

Your great uncle and his wife had an amazing view, didn't they?
Take special care.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The thunder and lightning teas sound amazing! I've never heard of them. Gorgeous place and an interesting one...thanks for introducing me to it.

Sandra Cox said...

I think I'd like Thunder and Lightning Teas:)
Take special care, Hils.

Elsie Amata said...

I'm adopted so I don't know "my" family history. It's so cool when I hear about other people's. Fishermen have such a tough job. My friend's dad did it and it was no joke. Mmmm, homemade scones.

Elsie

Sandra Cox said...

From mine to car-park. I imagine the originators of the mine would be surprised about that.
YOU have a great one.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan – oh sorry … I hate trying to comment anywhere but from my computer … so completely understand – thanks for coming back over. Yes both my families have rich histories … I’m lucky – as it’s interesting to think on.
The fish, tin and copper is actually a sculpture … doesn’t show up so obviously. I just liked the connection to Cornwall’s three early trades …

@ Sandra – yes they had a wonderful house with those marvellous views … and you too would enjoy ‘thunder and lightning teas’ … it’s interesting that the mine was so prominent above the town … and now near a famous pottery, and the ubiquitous 20th C car park! I’m sure the early owners would be shocked to see it now …

@ Elizabeth – thunder and lightning teas – after a day out it was wonderful to get back to … I guzzled! Glad you enjoyed the history …

@ Elsie – oh being adopted certainly puts other aspects first – so I’m lucky to have had a happy family. Fishermen are hard-working … men of the sea. Homemade scones are so delicious … taking me back!

Thanks everyone – so great to see you all – cheers Hilary

DMS said...

One of my family members has been doing a ton of research into our family's past. They have been finding lots of interesting facts and information. Even without knowing our specific family history it does help to know the history of the places our family's lived. What an interesting post!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Jess ... yes having some of the details has really helped - now of course I'd love to ask more ... but it brings one's family to life. That's great to read that your family is being able to find out details of your own history ... cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

You have family records going back to the 1700s?! That is amazing! How lucky. Just a wee bit earlier and maybe there'd be a connection to Charles II or Charles I...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - thank you ... on both sides of the family too ... there's a lot of information available - I don't have it all, but we, my brothers and I, have no children ... so there's no need for us to worry.

Equally I wouldn't be surprised if the St Ives records go further back than 1700 - but I'd need to do some digging in the local records (church, parish etc) ... which I haven't done - nor have I been digging up the graveyards.

Too late now - most of the next generation up (older ones) have almost all gone, or are well on their way ... but you never know I might one day get to look ...

Cheers and thanks for your interest - Hilary