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May Update

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Hi everybody it’s been a while since I last spoke to you, but as you all know loads of things happen in my life, so here we go. Emma’s friend Taz has moved in with us at the stones and has brought another lodger with her, a black cat called Tilly, she’s getting on a bit. Cats are funny creatures they will do, what they want to do, so I have blessed the cat and hopes it will make the stones her home. She has already hissed at Roly but they will get used to each other over time.

 

Paintings

 

I took one of my paintings to an art shop in Padstow, the lady in the shop said that she would try to sell it for me, it was a painting that I call ‘Early Home from Tescos’, I gave her a copy of the story and the code and she put the picture in the window and valued it at 150 I haven’t been back yet, but a friend of mine said that it isn’t in the window any more, maybe it has been sold, you might think that 150 is a lot of money for a painting, well I can tell you that I spent well over that just putting it together. I have another painting that I call ‘The Competition’. Someone has offered me 200 for the original, but I will never sell it as it was like my first born, I look at it every day. I have a few paintings at the moment that I have painted.  These are ‘The Competition’, Home Early from Tescos’, ‘The Barcelona Bus’ and ‘Roly Ate the Chicken’. They all have a story with them.

 

Media

 

Last week there was a picture of me in The Sun newspaper all about my eccentric way, I had a phone call the next day from a guy who wanted to do a documentary on me and the Prynn family, but sadly there was one of the Prynn family that had the right to say no that they didn’t want to do it, so we had to cancel the whole lot, I was disappointed but sometimes things don’t come off.

 

I also had another guy ring me up and say that he would like to be my manager and help me in all my ventures, he said he would send a contract for me to look over, I will tell you more about that when I hear more.

 

I have been given an engraving machine by a man up north, my friend Paul is going to come over and work on the engraving and I will put his name up on the wall, also Paul has got a lot of slates to work on.

 

Trevithick Day

 

Emma, my step daughter, took me to Trevithick Day at Camborne. It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining. We in Cornwall say Richard Trevithick invented the first high pressure steam engine, people in Wales say that he invented the first steam engine absolute. There seems to be a lot of controversy over that. I think that Richard Trevithick was one of the greatest men to ever live

 

Trevithick built a full-size steam road locomotive in 1801 on a site near the present day Fore Street at Camborne, which was also known as Camborne Hill. He named the carriage 'Puffing Devil' and, on Christmas Eve that year, he demonstrated it by successfully carrying several men up Camborne Hill and then continuing on to the nearby village of Beacon with his cousin and associate, Andrew Vivian, steering. This event is believed by many to be the first demonstration of transportation by (steam) auto-motive power and it later inspired the popular Cornish folk song "Camborne Hill".

I love the engines all the noises they make and the smell it was wonderful, we were situated at what the locals call camborne hill and we have got a song in Cornwall about this and most Cornish people know it and it goes something like this

 

 

Camborne Hill

Going up Camborne Hill, coming down
Going 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
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
I knowed her old father old man
I knowed her old man:
He played in the band;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

I had her, I had her, I did
I had her, I had her, I did
I had her, I did:
It cost me a quid;
Going up Camborne Hill coming down

He heaved in the coal - 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

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

Apparently it isn’t called Camborne Hill by the council, they call it Tehidy Road but everybody knows it as Camborne Hill even the police.

There were about 10,000 people there, we waited as the precession went past, the small steam engines came first and then the bal maidens, that was the women dressed in black clothes with yellow aprons, the Bal Maidens worked at the top of the mines, helping to operate such things as the tin-stamps, which crushed the ore brought to the surface by the Miners.

Then came the Camborne youth band. Next came the steam cars these cars had 6 seats they were the old fashion people carriers, as they went up the hill they would give a couple of puffs, all the drivers dressed in chauffeurs clothes they looked smart.

 

As we waited we heard a big bang and then after 3 seconds another bang and another and at about 5 miles an hour this steam engine was coming up the hill, it was a replica of Trevithicks Puffing Devil, the men on it were dressed in old style boiler suits, as it reached us it seamed that it was labouring and 5 of the men jumped off and helped push it, it was like the spirit of Richard Trevithick returning it was emotional. Then the big engines came up maybe 20 or 30 0f them, what a sight and all the sirens, Claxton and whistles were going off it was fantastic and mixed with the puffing chuffing and hissing noises, all the engines moved past, the steam and the soot that they produced filled the road. As the steam rollers came past people threw money into the road to see if it would be flattened, I don’t think it did. It was a wonderful day, and the celebrations go on till the early hours of the morning, if I am still alive I would like to go again next year.

 

Cousin Garnet

 

My cousin Garnet came over from New Zealand and we had a day out at the Eden Project. Garnet travelled 12000 miles to see me, he said he would like to go to the Eden Project, he couldn’t believe in four years how much the plants had grown. It is like walking through a jungle.  I showed Garnet the big seed, it is 70 tons, we also met a Canadian woman, she didn’t know where the seed was, she was feeling very tired as she was a big lady so I took her to the lift and got her up to the top.

 

Cousin Garnets lady friend was called Carol, her ancestors came from Tywardreath (near St Austell), and they were called Thomas, I knew that we were connected to the Thomas’s from that area, so I said to cousin Garnet that he and she could be related, oh he said that means we cant see each other any more, don’t worry about that I said it doesn’t matter, but if we had DNA testing they might find something. We all laughed.

 

I’m going back to Lourdes in a few weeks time I am really looking forward to it every since I went there at Christmas I wanted to go back and now I am.

 

We are going to Madron Well, it is a healing well in Cornwall, I shouldn’t say this but its on par with Lourdes,  and we are going to take some film, and it will be on the web site.

 

Mathew Prynn and I have spent some time on the crane, well he done the work I just handed over the spanners.

 

Padstow May Day

 

No one joined me this year for May Day; Ross from Sheffield is selling her house and moving back to Durham so sadly she couldn’t be with me this year, even so it was a great May Day, it was showery but in between the showers the sun came out and it warmed up. as usual I watched the blue oss in the morning, I don’t know why but there weren’t many people at May Day this year whether it was to do with it being in the middle of the week or people saved themselves for the Bank holiday but it reminded me of the old May Days the ones just after the war and when there weren’t a lot of followers, just the locals. I have said it before even if no one turned up the Padstow the people would still carry on and they would still have a great time. I followed them till lunch time, at 1 o’clock Emma came to get me and took me home

 

I came back in the afternoon and seen the old oss come out from its stable at the Golden Lion and followed it up to the top of town, they went to cobbler Roberts house and went in and played in his garden. Then I met a gentle man that took me in his garden and showed me his fish pond, it must have been 20 feet long, 15 foot wide and 6 feet deep, it was full of carp and a big sturgeon. The sturgeon came up for food and the gentleman said would you like to touch it, I said I would, I put my hand down slowly and touched him on the back then he swam on his way. I left the oss there and headed for the club I was about 3 o clock and it got a bit showery, but on the way I met 2 ladies called Pat and Anne and they got a little poodle dog, she said would you like to come in for a cup of tea yes I said as it was raining,  we talked about the old times and how it has changed, one thing they told me was that a lot of Padstow men now are marrying Padstow women, this can only be a good thing, its good to have local stock in the town so that the real tradition of Mayday wont die out.

Emma came to fetch me and I went home I was cold and wet.

 

Catherine and Sharon came down from Wales, Catherine is a stone mason and they came to show me how to work the engraving machine, they had their tent with a big awning, down in John Dennis’s field also with them was their new dog a Jack Russell I had something to eat down there it was a really nice end to may day. Christopher, the boys, big Dick Hoskin all had a good mayday they didn’t come home early and they all went back the next day for a sing and dance around the may pole for the final dance.

 

I might have told you this before but over at St Eval we have got a dog called jenny she is a lovely dog, she had a accident many years ago, and she lost 1 of her back legs, it never seemed to bother her and she got along fine, she would greet all the men as they came into work, every one loved her, she learnt how to open the men’s Crib boxes and one man we had working there called Colin Simpson, one day jenny opened his crib box and ate his pasty someone had made for him, after that we told every one to hang their bags up.

 

One day I seen her come up the field with a big pheasant In her mouth, she only had 3 legs but she was quick, there used to be 100s of pheasants at St Eval but they all seemed to disappear you don’t hear them call no more with in a mile jenny had every pheasant going.  Another time she had a hare between her front legs. I think she must have given it a heart attack when it came out the gorse. Another time now she brought a rat for me to see, didn’t kill it, she showed me then she let it go, and off it ran, another time she had 40 chicken from a neighbours land we thought it was Mr fox but it was jenny. The Jenny, Roly and Lou were involved in killing some sheep. St Eval recycling had to pay 150 to the farmer for the sheep they killed; the farmer said Jenny was the ring leader. As the years went on Jenny would go into Padstow with us all when we dug sand, at that time there was a crane driver called Andrew and Jenny loved him, when he was working Jenny used to lie under the crane and rest, all the holiday makers would say do you know your dog is under there, Andrew knew it and when it was time to move the crane he was very gentle and out Jenny would trot. She would ride in the JCB with us, all the men loved her one driver we had called Dave from Falmouth even brought her in a Christmas card and sweets.

 

One day as she was walking back to the hut a loading shovel dislodged some stone and a boulder rolled down and hit her and broke her front leg. She just lay on the ground; we had to make a stretcher out of a coat and took her to the office. She was Christopher’s dog and he took her off to the vet. The vet did there work on her and told us that it was a 50/50 chance of making it. 6 weeks it took in the vets to get better her front leg was all plastered up, it was quite comical to see, a dog with 3 legs. One of them broke. When she came back to St Eval she needed to be nursed, all the men took turns in walking her and feeding her, and with patience she got better she was a courageous dog.

But just before mayday she was taken ill, she was put in the office with blankets and the fire on. I knew in my heart that this was her time. I knelt down beside her and told her I loved her and what a good life she had even with the leg I said my goodbye’s and kissed her. When we got back after mayday we decided to take her to the vet, the vet said that their wasn’t anything he could do and had to put her down. We brought her back to St Eval Christopher said that I was in charge of the burial we dug a grave with the swing shovel and laid her in, then a loading shovel brought down fine earth, to back fill the grave, I looked at her one more time and then we filled the grave. She would be at rest down in the far field over looking bedruthan steps. I know that death angels come for us humans, I also think that they come for dogs as well, and jenny would be in the great hunting ground in the sky where she could chase all the rabbits, hares, pheasants and chickens that she wanted, good bye Jenny you were a wonderful dog, and we will all miss you.

Rest in Peace