The Cornish Buildings Group? Never Heard of Them!
"There are several threats that hang over Cornish buildings. The potential to demolish and develop is one that challenges us regularly as is the tardiness of an apathetic Cornwall Council towards issues of heritage protection."
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The Cornish Buildings Group says, "The most important message we can impart is to sit up and take notice of Cornish buildings, lets protect and reward what we hold dear."
The Cornish Buildings Group, never heard of them?
Well you have now.
School Census Results 2011-2013 - An Annual Increase in the Number of Schoolchildren Recorded as Cornish
The School Census, the annual statutory survey by schools of the ethnicity of schoolchildren shows that the number of children recorded as Cornish in Cornwall increased from 40.9% to 46% between 2011 and 2013 as follows:
Table: John Gillingham
The annual figures since the Cornish category was included in 2006 are:
More information about the School Census
Professor Philip Payton, Director of Cornish Studies based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, has been made an Honorary Fellow by the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
The decision was made at the Academy’s Annual General Meeting in November to honour the Professor of Cornish and Australian Studies; as one of the overseas academics in the humanities who has a close association with Australia. Professor Payton’s work leads the way in the study of Cornish emigration history and identity.
His work on the Cornish diaspora, especially in Australia has explored the many dimensions of Cornishness that have been translated to new lands and environments. The skills and experiences forged in Cornwall’s mines were consistently in demand following the globalisation of the hard-rock mining in the 19th century. Professor Payton’s book, Cornish Overseas: A History of Cornwall’s Great Emigration, remains the standard volume on the subject. His most recent, Regional Australia and the Great War:‘The Boys from Old Kio’, provides an in depth examination of the wartime experiences of one Cornish emigrant community.
The accolade marks the end of Professor Payton’s 22 years working at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Cornish Studies. During which time his research in the history and politics of modern Cornwall, broadly from the late 18th to the 21st century, has seen him emerge as a leading specialist in the field.
Speaking of his achievements, Professor Payton said:“I am extremely proud to have been awarded this prestigious honour by Australia's premier Humanities body. But, as I prepare to stand down as Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies after 22 years, I am especially delighted by what is international recognition for all we have achieved in Cornish Studies over the last two decades.”
Cornwall Council is considering plans to spend half a million pounds a year on developing the Cornish language.
The council believes the county has made “significant progress” with the Cornish language and is now “at a turning point”.
The council is putting together a bid for £400,000 a year of funding from central government with Cornwall Council putting in a further £100,000 a year.
The chairman of the committee that looked at the plans said the Cornish language was good for the economy and made Cornwall not “like Devon”.
The council report written by Jenefer Lowe stated: “After a decade of modest investment we have raised the awareness amongst the public, put in place a standard written form, supported the private sector to adopt elements of language in their marketing and increased the numbers of people learning, speaking and enjoying the language.”
The report also pointed to the “imbalance of investment in our language, as compared to other minority languages”.
In the next three-year programme the council would want to see more recognition of Cornish as a cultural asset and increased use of the language in the promotion of the county.
Other key aims would be more Cornish in education and an increase in the number of adults using the language.
Cornish language was recognised by the Government in 2003 which puts a responsibility on both national and local government to take action to promote Cornish.
Cornwall Council is the lead partner and accountable body for the Cornish Language Partnership which works to promote the language.
Tim Dwelly, the chairman of the economy and culture portfolio advisory committee that has approved the recommendation, said investment in the Cornish language would be good for the economy.
He said: “The more we capture the economic value of using the language the better. It’s money well spent on boosting the economy of Cornwall.”
Regarding the size of the spend, Mr Dwelly, Labour councillor for Penzance East, said: “Should we be turning down investment in Cornwall by the Government, of which there is far too little.
“For those who question this - are they saying we should refuse that amount of money being invested in Cornwall by central government?
“We feel it would not be wise to turn down that scale of investment in something that brands Cornwall and builds its economy.”
Mr Dwelly said the presence of the Cornish language was appealing to visitors and part of what makes Cornwall “a special place”.
“We don’t want to be just any old Westcountry place with English place names like Devon,” he said.
A decision on carrying the plans forward will now be taken by the Cornwall Council cabinet on a date to be decided.
The Cornish Americans & The ‘Great Miner’s Migration’.
Photographer Robert Herron blogs:
"This year I will be making a documentary story on the ‘Great Migration’ of Cornish miners to the U.S over the 19th and 20th century. I plan to shed light on the reasons for the migration and travel to areas of U.S in the new year to document present day Cornish Americans and the reinvention of Cornish culture."
Grass Valley, California prepares to celebrate its annual Cornish Christmas:
"Attend the 46th annual Cornish Christmas festival in the historic California Gold Rush town of Grass Valley. It is from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays Nov. 29 through Dec. 20. Return to a Christmas celebration of more than 200 years ago. Recapture the spirit of Christmas past with vendors dressed in Cornish attire all set in the charming surroundings of the historic downtown.
The shops, restaurants and tasting rooms are open late to help you find the perfect gift on your list, enjoy a variety of culinary delights or sip a glass of local wine at more than five downtown wine tasting rooms.
Mill and W. Main Streets are closed to traffic and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas; hand-crafted vendors. Satisfy your sweet tooth with an old-fashioned treat from one of our food vendors, entertain your family by stopping at one of four stages filled with carolers and musicians.
The Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir will be appearing nightly on the Union Steps at 6:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Many local hotels and historic Bed and Breakfast Inns await."
Ester Pink, a history student at Newcastle University visited Mexico as part of her research into Cornish identity in Mexico and gave a
a special public lecture at Newcastle University:
Examining the role of women and the legacy of the Cornish mining community in Pachuca, Mexico
"Since the 1820s the village of Real Del Monte and neighbouring Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, have been home to significant Cornish community. This expedition set out to analyse how Cornish culture evolved, assimilated or was preserved, and how this identity was transmitted to the newer generations born in Mexico. We focused especially on the role of women in key areas of Cornish influence such as food history (the Cornish pasty, now known as “paste”, features heavily in local cuisine in a variety of flavours, and Real del Monte is home to the only Paste Museum in the world) and education history (the oldest schools in Pachuca were founded by/for the Cornish community, and many of the teachers were Cornish women). The study combined historical and anthropological methods, and was mainly based on interviews with descendants of Cornish families."
Newcastle University press release:
"Cornish pasties might be a traditional British staple but one student discovered they are also thriving thousands of miles away in Mexico. A legacy of the Cornish miners who went over in the 1800s, these North American hybrids known as ‘paste’ now come in many different guises, most commonly refried beans and chorizo.
History student Ester Pink will be presenting her research into how Cornish identity has been preserved and handed down the generations at a special public lecture at Newcastle University tomorrow (Wednesday 20 Nov 2013).
This summer, supported by Newcastle University Expedition funding, she traced the steps of the original Cornish miners in 1824 who endured months of arduous travelling over sea and land to work in the Mexican silver mines.
“Back then, Cornwall was to the mining world what Silicon Valley is to the digital age,” she explained. “Cornish miners, or Cousin Jacks as they were known, had an excellent reputation – if you wanted the best miners, that’s where you got them from.
“A lot of them didn’t last long though, once they realised Mexico wasn’t the Eldorado they’d been promised.
“Many of the women made beautiful gowns before they left, hoping to impress Mexican high society when in fact they were in a tiny village miles from anywhere.”
For the first few years, the mining families lived on company land in Real de Monte, near Pachuca, but they gradually moved out into the community, with many of the miners marrying Mexican women.
Their wives soon learned how to make Cornish pasties, which is when they began to evolve – chilli was added, they became more potato than meat, and a new version using refried beans and mashed up chorizo emerged.
The original recipe had to be adapted quite a bit as there was no lard or shortening to be found in the local markets and also a lack of variety in available vegetables – cactus was the local staple. However, as the miners were paid up to 20 times what the locals earned, they were gradually able to obtain some of the necessary ingredients which would have been beyond the reach of most of the villagers.
Over the last few years, pasties have been made commercially for the tourist market, with new flavours such as cheese, ham and pineapple being developed, but the old family recipes still remain a closely guarded secret.
“Everyone has a different way of making pasties and a lot of work goes into it,” says Ester. “They are fiercely protective of their recipes.
“There’s now a local pasty makers guild, an international pasty festival every October and the world’s only pasty museum where you can learn how to make them.”
The focus of Ester’s expedition was how migrant communities adapt while maintaining their own identity. “The written history of the time is rather dry and technical, with very little about the stories behind the miners’ families who settled here, especially the Cornish women, so I wanted to bring this to life,” she explains.
“They weren’t just making pasties – they took it upon themselves to educate the children and set up a school which records suggest has always been run by women - one of them served as the school’s director for 74 years.”
Over the years the Cornish identity has remained strong in the region - as well as pasties, the first football match in Mexico was played in Real del Monte, where the miners settled; an English school was set up which still teaches bi-lingual classes today; and there is a British Cemetery, which is the first overseas site to join the Cornish Mining World Heritage Association.
You get this in Cornwall sometimes.........
Historian Craig Weatherhill reports that the Men-an-Tol is at risk of sustained damage and asks people to raise awareness of this by contacting the Press, MPs and Cornwall Council:
"Following previous instances of heritage damage, the Penwith Moors 'Higher Level Stewardship' programme instigated and instructed by Natural "England" has now achieved the degradation of a much-loved and world-famous site, the Men-an-Tol.
In early September, after the best summer and most visitors we've had in years, CASPN went to the Men-an-Tol with tab to fill the hollows on either side of the holed stone that usually result. A week later, a herd of Red Devon cattle were turned out there under NE's scheme and, with the rains that followed, the result was an appalling mess that not only totally undid all of CASPN's good work, but reduced the entire monument to a dung-spattered morass, deeply poached in and indented by cloven hooves.
The approach path from Men-an-Tol lane - a public footpath, was rendered virtually impassible by the cattle who, as elsewhere, were looking for areas under grass (as the monument is), and where convenient scratching posts in the form of the monument's stones could be had as well. Ian McNeil Cooke, who lives at the Men-an-Tol Studio close by, said that in 35 years, he had never seen the site in such an appalling state. SPM wrote to "English" Heritage about this on October 8. It took SEVEN weeks for them to respond.
The absurd verdict of "English" Heritage, NE's sister quango? "People-pressure". Totally ignoring the fact that all signs of people-pressure (no greater than in any other year) had been neatly repaired by CASPN, and strangely ignorant of the fact that people do not have cloven hoofs, do not liberally splatter dung everywhere, nor reduce public footpaths to impassable swamps.
Photos taken by CASPN members on the afternoon they carried out the repairs, and visible on their Facebook page, clearly show the monument and its surroundings to have been in excellent condition on that day. Despite the good summer and increased number of annual visitors, attendance at the Men-an-Tol seems to have reduced this year. (At the Tregeseal stone circle - serially damaged by NE's activities in the last 5 years - visitor numbers have decreased since the start of HLS by up to 70%). A local business, close to the Men-an-Tol has, for this summer, reported a downturn in trade.
Natural England's scheme is proving to be not only harmful to our natural and historic environments, but also to local businesses and to the wider local economy."
Cornwall’s natural environment to be interpreted in Cornish
Natural England and MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership, have signed a Statement of Intent which will see Natural England incorporating more of the Cornish language into its nature conservation interpretation materials within Cornwall.
This agreement sets out the intention to use Kernewek (Cornish) in new and different ways to enhance nature conservation work in Cornwall for the future.
At the signing which took place in the County Hall in Truro on 21 November 2013, Paul Lambert, Executive Director for Natural England, said: “I’m delighted to sign this Statement of Intent on behalf of Natural England to celebrate the link between the Cornish language and how we can use it to increase people’s understanding of Cornwall’s beautiful landscape and diverse wildlife.”
He continued: “This new commitment of working together will first manifest itself in bilingual interpretation signs on The Lizard National Nature Reserve – home to that emblematic symbol of Cornwall, the chough. The Cornish language is a cultural asset which Natural England is proud to support to further raise awareness of Cornwall’s wonderful natural heritage.”
The agreement was signed for MAGA by Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Edwina Hannaford, who said: “The Cornish language is an important part of Cornwall’s unique culture and heritage. I am pleased that more and more organisations and businesses are embracing the use of Cornish as a mark of local origin and distinctiveness.”
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