Read the latest informative newsletter from the Cornwall Council Historic Cornwall Advisory Group by clicking on this link
Details of the measures which the European Parliament voted to support can be seen here
Western Morning News Report
Monday, September 16, 2013
SUPPORTERS of Cornwall's ancient tongue have welcomed a vote in the European Parliament which calls on member governments to do more to promote and preserve regional languages.
The debate and subsequent vote in Strasbourg followed a report by the United Nations' cultural body Unesco, which described the Cornish language as "endangered".
There are now more fluent speakers than at any time since Cornish – or Kernewek – ceased to be spoken as a first language during the 18th century. Campaigners, teachers, scholars and those concerned with the preservation of Cornwall's distinctive culture argue that the idiom is a key element of the region's future economic and social success.
Language champion Sir Graham Watson, who represents Cornwall in the European Parliament, said: "Protecting our regional culture and diversity is vital – and protecting our ancient language is just as important as protecting our regional food, drink and geography."
Sir Graham said he was keen to support Unesco's recommendations, adding that he would like to see more people take up another language, and particularly Kernewek.
"As a linguist by training, I understand the importance of languages," he said. "Even with the spread of English as a language of communication, it is still dwarfed as a mother tongue by Mandarin and still less widely used than Spanish.
"Languages less widely used than these three often need active support. Language shapes thought and linguistic diversity provides diverse forms of intelligence. Artefacts such as sculpture or scripture can be saved when a culture becomes extinct – a language cannot. It lives and dies with the people who speak it. We must do all we can to preserve our languages."
Since 2002, Kernewek has been recognised by the British Government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Central funding enabled the opening of a Cornish language office in 2005 and this is based at County Hall in Truro.
North Cornwall Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson said he was delighted the European Parliament had voted to "recognise the importance of protecting cultural heritage". "Sir Graham Watson's support has been unwavering," said Mr Rogerson. "It is my belief that the Cornish language is intrinsically worth supporting and encouraging – but it also brings benefits to the region in terms of cultural tourism and raising the status of Cornwall."
Armed with the result of the European Parliament vote, language campaigners now plan to lobby MPs for greater financial backing to fund initiatives aimed at promoting Kernewek in schools.
Ray Chubb, chairman of Agan Tavas (Our Language), which works to encourage the growth of Cornish as a spoken language, said: "It is clear that a large number of people in Cornwall think Cornish should be taught in Cornwall's schools."
Mr Chubb said he would like Cornwall Council to follow the example of the Scottish Parliament in actively supporting the teaching of its ancient tongue. "The devolved Scottish Parliament appears to have grasped the nettle as far as Gaelic is concerned," he said. "The Standards in Scotland's Schools Act contains a clause which requires education authorities to report annually on the ways in which Gaelic education will be provided.
"This seems to point the way forward for us in Cornwall. It would not be unreasonable for the Government to require every primary and secondary school in Cornwall to state in their prospectus what their policy is towards the Cornish language."
The European Parliament report will now be passed to the Council of Ministers and the European Commission for their approval and could form part of future legislation.
Read more: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Euro-vote-gives-hope-Cornish-language/story-19800915-detail/story.html#ixzz2fSlsaRA5
Excavation may reveal secret of the Hurlers
By Simon Parker, Western Morning News
Saturday, September 14, 2013
A Bronze Age crystal pavement described as "unique" by archaeologists is to be uncovered for the first time since the 1930s.
The monument, at the Hurlers stone circle on Bodmin Moor, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the British Isles. Scientists and historians hope that by studying it they will gain a better understanding of early civilisations.
Organised by the Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project, "Mapping the Sun" will be led by a team from Cornwall Council's Historic Environment department. Archaeologists will be setting up at the site close to the village of Minions this weekend and the excavation will be open to the public between Tuesday and Saturday.
Described as a community archaeology project, a range of activities will take place throughout the week. These will include astronomy workshops with Brian Sheen from Roseland Observatory, a sunrise equinox walk, a geophysical survey, a display of Bronze Age artefacts and an exhibition of archive photographs. There will also be opportunities to actually lend a hand in the delicate task of excavating the pavement.
The only time the 4,000-year-old causeway is thought to have been uncovered since it was originally laid took place 75 years ago, when workmen stabilised the site and re-erected a number of stones.
The existence of the quartz pavement only came to light again when Cornwall archaeologist Jacky Nowakowski was undertaking unrelated research at an English Heritage store in Gloucestershire. As she looked through files, Jacky came across an unpublished report and photographs from the Ministry of Works' excavation of the Hurlers in 1938.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I'd certainly not seen anything like it before. A feature such as this, which suggests a possible linking of the circles, is very unusual. The pavement is nationally unique as far as I know."
Internationally renowned for its line of three impressive stone circles, the Hurlers' original use has long been the subject of speculation and argument. Some believe its alignment mirrors the celestial bodies that make up Orion's Belt, while others claim it was used for religious purposes. Whatever the truth, there is no doubt that it was of major importance to the people who inhabited the moor 4,000 years ago.
The entire area around the Hurlers is peppered with archaeology. From a burial barrow, which contained the Rillaton Gold Cup, to Stowes Pound hill fort, Minions Mound to Long Tom, medieval streamworks to 19th century engine houses, the landscape is of enormous interest to historians. Jacky Nowakowski will explain many of the features when she leads a two-hour walk around the ancient monuments next Monday and Friday.
"I really hope the entire project and the series of linked events at this multi-faceted site will excite people," she said. "Our role will be to inform people about the site and to learn more about why it was built. Our other role is to help safeguard it for the future."
One important aspect of the dig will be to attempt to accurately date both the circle and pavement.
Jacky and her team have been given permission to excavate a portion of the original layer beneath the pavement in order to gauge whether it is contemporary with the circles. She said the discovery of pollen or other material will assist in dating the monument.
Mapping the Sun has been organised by Iain Rowe, of Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project. Iain, who had to obtain special permission from the Secretary of State for the Environment, said he was grateful to everyone involved in bringing it to fruition.
"We've had great support from the Duchy, which owns the site, English Heritage, which leases it, and Cornwall Heritage Trust, which manages it," he said. "We've also had a lot of help from commoners, graziers and local people.
"It promises to be a very interesting week because no-one is sure what will be revealed and what we may learn about the pavement's origins." The site would be backfilled and the ground fully restored following next week's excavation. "There will be no sign we have been there," he added.
For full details of the week's events, visit caradonhill.org.uk
ICONIC mining engine houses that once stood in the heart of the ‘richest square mile on earth’ in Wheal Maid Valley have been restored to their former glory.
The Taylor’s and Davey’s sites, near Crofthandy, St Day, have been preserved using £270,000 Natural England funding and support from Gwennap Parish Council.
The Wheal Maid Valley, and specifically Consolidated Mines, was described in the 19th century as ‘the richest square mile on earth’ for its copper riches, and also as the ‘copper kingdom’.
Few buildings survive on site today but the engine houses are among the oldest surviving examples within the World Heritage site (WHS).
Natural England invited Cornish Mining World Heritage Site research and information officer, Ainsley Cocks, and historic environment senior archaeologist, Ann Reynolds to identify potential sites which could benefit from its Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) funding.
HLS is a ten year agreement that includes options to protect historic and archaeological features.
Following discussions with the partners in 2010 the Taylor’s and Davey’s shaft sites were earmarked for funding.
The Truro based architectural conservation consultancy firm, pdp Green, were appointed as project managers and work started in January this year. The conservation builders Darrock and Brown Ltd replaced timber lintels, did extensive re-pointing, and limited reconstruction.
Ainsley Cocks said: “It is fantastic to see another important part of Cornwall’s internationally known mining heritage preserved. “The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site partnership extends its gratitude to Natural England in particular for making the much-needed funding available, and also to Gwennap Parish Council for giving so much support to the project.”
Kevin Furnish, chairman of Gwennap Parish Council, praised the scheme, saying: “The results are outstanding. The conservation work will last many years and provides a foundation upon which to continue to enhance the industrial heritage to be found in Gwennap parish”.
Read more: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Iconic-mining-houses-near-St-Day-stood-8216/story-19788010-detail/story.html#ixzz2emWf4LCX
Dear Cultural Partners,
You will be aware that Cornwall Council is consulting the public over the next few weeks about where the cuts will fall in the next difficult funding round. They are consulting the public at a series of open meetings NOW all around Cornwall and online about what services you value. As a Cultural Partnership we need to be rallying our collective voices in advocacy for the amazing cultural offer which though a small part of the budget. Please encourage your audiences to respond online or at the meetings listed here below.
Cornwall Arts Centre Trust (Carn to Cove's parent) is a strategic client of Cornwall Council. We receive small but vital funding for our Carn to Cove project which supports rural performances in 85 communities across Cornwall see www.carntocove.co.uk Feast is another significant funded project which provides diverse community based great art across Cornwall commissioning a wide range of Cornish artists and groups each year. These are just two examples of the cultural patchwork which we value. Please inform your networks of these days and the need to speak up for arts and cultural organisations in Cornwall
Carn to Cove
Calling for short film entries made by young people in Cornwall for SCREEN ACTIONS 2013!
What is Screen Actions?
Screen Actions is the extraordinarily talent-rich youth bash that has sprung up beside its parent event, Cornwall Film Festival, and is run in partnership with Falmouth University's School of Film and Television. This young person's festival does what all the others try to.... it makes a school trip extremely cool. It's a full day of fun workshops and talks provided by professional filmmakers and animators, Falmouth's School of Film and Television plus input from Cornwall College and Truro College. We'll also have a film screening of shorts selected from our open submission - and that's where we need you! See more info about film submissions below.
Where and when?
This year Screen Actions will take place at the Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay on Thursday 7th November, 9:45am - 3.15pm, as part of the Cornwall Film Festival which starts on Friday 8th and goes on until Sunday 10th November.
Film Submission - we need you!
We are now inviting short film submissions from young people in Cornwall for the opportunity of seeing their creations on the big screen as part of the Screen Actions programme! We want to encourage young people to make films so whether you're experienced or not, whether you've made films with your phone or a camera, don't hesitate to make a film for the festival, submit one, or encourage your friends to do so!
- films have to be made by young people at primary and secondary school, or as part of an FE or A-level course, in Cornwall
- film length: under and up to 15 minutes
- films have to have been made in the last 2 years (from January 2011)
- All films have to be submitted by 5pm, Friday 4th October 2013
- Filmmakers will be informed by 18th October whether their submission was successful
How to submit:
- Submit your films though the Cornwall Film Festival website, click here for more info and access the online application form.
- All films selected will be part of a selection of shorts shown on 7th November 2013 at the Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay, as part of the Screen Actions day
- If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send us an email: email@example.com
All the forecasts and websites said "rain in Penryn on Saturday" – causing many to fear the 85th Cornish Gorseth of the modern era would be forced under cover. It did not rain. Indeed, for the great procession of bards, dignitaries and international guests from Penryn Methodist Church to Glasney Field, the sun shone. As bards wound through St Thomas Street and College Ope, many admired the quality of conservation which makes the town so beautiful and authentic. A crowd of people came to watch and participate.
The ceremony was held in secluded field which was the site of Glasney College until it was dissolved by Edward VI in 1548. Today, very little remains of this religious and educational centre, but its legacy was plain to hear in the abundance of Kernewek which was spoken ceremonially and informally throughout this very Cornish day when, as well as recognising achievements of all kinds, Gorseth Kernow reasserted her Celtic identity in filial accord with Wales and Brittany.
Following a perfect rendition of Inglis Gundry's fanfare, Entry of the Grand Bard to the Circle, Penryn mayor Beverley Hulme welcomed bards and spoke of the new link between the "town" and the "gown" of the university at Tremough.
In a substantial bilingual address, Grand Bard Maureen Fuller made a very strong case, stating: "Cornish children have the right to learn Cornish history in Cornish schools."
She then proclaimed to all Cornwall to hear the call of the Gorsedh, asking: "Eus kres?" (Is there peace?). To which the blue-robed circle replied: "Kres!" (Peace). A split sword, carried by Cornish and Breton bards, was joined and presented to Christine James, Archdruid of Wales, who held it aloft to signify the ancient and enduring bonds between the three nations.
The Flower Dance, performed by Penryn's Tanya Hardy School of Dance, was a prelude to the entry of the Lady of the Flowers. Invited by Sword Bearer Pol Hodge to enter the circle, Jess George offered "fruit of the world from the hearth of Cornwall". Deputy Grand Bard Merv Davey then called the names of bards passed away during the previous year, amongst whom were Lord St Levan and Barry Kinsman.
Eighteen men and women were then initiated as new bards. They were Delia Brotherton of St Ives, Mike Cawley of St Mawgan, Edwina Dorman of London, Richard Evans of Penzance, Nicholas Hart of St Neot, Pam Lomax of Newlyn, Simon Margetts of St Dennis, Robin Menneer of Sancreed, Roger Radcliffe of St Agnes, Anabelle Read of Newlyn, Angela Renshaw of Truro, Ani Saunders of Wales, Tassy Swallow of St Ives, Patricia Tremain of Launceston, David Trethewey of Truro, Heather West of Callington, June Whiffin of Australia, and Carlene Woolcock of Australia.
The Archdruid, with an eye on events elsewhere, eloquently said: "In a world where there is conflict, meetings such as Gorseth Kernow, which celebrate fraternity, culture and language, are important. Indeed, it is our responsibility to take care of such things."
There were awards for long service and to those who had excelled during the year, with the loudest cheer of the day reserved for Ed Buckingham, who became the first Cornishman to scale Mount Everest and raise a St Piran flag.
All bards then gathered around Bardh Mur to evoke the spirit of Arthur and to sing Bro Goth Agan Tasow.
The day concluded with the traditional bardic tea, at which guest of honour Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutentant of Cornwall, said: "I so strongly support what you all do. Our Celtic culture, history and traditions are such an important part of Cornish life and they help to shape and form the character of all who live here. As emigration and immigration, transport, the internet and other forms of communication all seem to make the world a smaller, yet more muddled up, place, it is even more important that our Cornish past is preserved, encouraged and developed."
Read more: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Bards-raise-peace-troubled-world/story-19773508-detail/story.html#ixzz2emTvBnct
Thursday, September 12, 2013
A CORNISH cultural project is one of the first in the UK to be awarded a new heritage grant.
Awen Productions has received £10,000 to put towards its new West Cornwall Walkabout app from the Lottery's new All Our Stories fund.
The organisation has been given the cash to produce a special archive app exploring Penwith's cultural and social history, and looks to "reveal cultural stories by mapping assets within west Cornwall's ancient landscape as a journey through time". The resource can be used on mobile phones and tablets.
Utilising modern technology to discover more of the past, the production team is hoping to give as many people as possible a greater insight into the most intriguing local happenings and developments.
It is the second to be made, with the first, Walkabout St Ives, seen as a great achievement.
This time the group is working alongside Penzance's Penlee House Gallery to draw on further knowledge and skills.
Barbara Santi, of the group, said: "We are thrilled to be making our second app and excited to be working with the wonderful Penlee Gallery, whose artefacts and collections give so much pleasure to people. We've been so impressed by the work of Penlee's volunteers.
"We hope that their incredible knowledge of the area becomes accessible to as many people as possible."
All Our Stories was launched in support of BBC Two's The Great British Story.
Presenter Michael Wood said: "It is really tremendous that the people of west Cornwall have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and dig deeper into their own past."
The localised initiative will also provide a chance for community groups in Penwith to engage in various activities, prompting people to work together to find out more.
Richard Bellamy, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund's South West branch, said there are lots of tales to tell. "We are a nation of storytellers, and that we want to explore, and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the Walkabout West Cornwall project as the participants embark on a real journey of discovery."
Read more: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Cornish-culture-project-awarded-new-grant/story-19785936-detail/story.html#ixzz2emUZz2lr
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