Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Homeword bound

First off a shot of the pier and town clock. The clock is quite traditional in that it is hand wound once a week. My best friend winds it, having inherited the job from his grandfather.

The clock is built on the site of what was once a thatched pub called The Fisherman's Arms. Life went from the sublime to the tragic here, on Sundays church services were held in a backroom. It has been recorded that it got so busy people would sit in the rafters. The tragedy was when a customs officer was shot there.

Life was hard in the 19th & earlier centuries, many people saw no harm in affording small luxuries, if not a living, avoiding taxes on things such as rum, brandy, tobacco, tea amongst other things, by smuggling.

Along with smuggling there was a violent activity known as wrecking, where ships were deliberately lured onto rocks so the wrecks could be plundered. On the pier is a green light that would be lit and, when aligned with one further in to the harbour, used by ships to see how they can enter the harbour at night or in fog, (the harbour is surrounded by rocks). Wreckers would put out the light on the pier and raise one furfher along, so that ships would line up the lights and head onto the rocks.

Onto more pleasant things. There is a tradition known as "taking a turn", that is linked with the pier. This is a tradition that has fascinated me for years. Just as in the countries around the mediteranean, whole families would take a stroll through the town on an evening. The strollers would travel up one side of the pier, always the left, across the end and down the opposite side.

Well, the train is nearly at the terminus. l shall halt at this point and post this up.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who is getting an inkling of what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for the NHS. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]