On Wednesday 25th March, another excellent Story Café took place in Crantock. The Cosy Nook Tea Rooms was packed with interested people eager to listen to Ben Dobson’s talk on Bohemian Crantock. Ben’s unique style of presenting a story had the audience fully engaged from the start – with many facts on how the village developed from a primarily farming area a tourist haven, the people who lived here and the factors which shaped the area. The GWR began to promote Newquay as a holiday destination because the revenue from transporting ore and china clay had declined significantly as Par docks expanded. However, Crantock remained isolated as the road from Newquay was tortuous and went through Treloggan before descending to Trevemper and thence on to Crantock. It was not until 1926 that the Gannel road was built that shortened the journey. This was a major development and was accompanied by the building of a new bridge at Trevemper. In 1939, an order was finally approved by Cornwall Quarter sessions at Bodmin, granting Cornwall County Council permission to close the old bridge. Three years after the Gannel road was opened, the telephone network was extended from Newquay to Crantock and West Pentire and in May 1935, new power cables were approved for installation along the same route. Crantock’s isolation was coming to an end!
It was interesting to learn about the events which took place in the village – the Gannel Regatta, the Tea Treats, Crantock Band and the people who had stayed in the village over the years – using it a base for writing, composing, painting and drawing or simply using it as a retreat from everyday life! Names such as William Prater, Arthur Wilde Parsons [brother of Crantock Vicar George Metford Parsons], the Nettleships and Johns were discussed, as were names of houses ie the White House, Vigornia, Kareena, and Lewannoc carefully woven into the story. Several people bought photos with them to share, and added memories of their own or tales which had been passed down through generations of their family.
With special thanks to Jon and Kerry for the Cosy Nook for allowing us to use the Tea Room, to Crantock Village Stores for the donation of the pasties, to David and Tony Eyles for the loan of technical equipment, to Cornwall Heritage Trust for their sponsorship and, of course, to the people of Crantock [and further afield] who came to support this unique event.
There are more Story Cafés in the pipeline and for those who missed it, Ben’s talk is being serialized in the Parish Magazine! We have also posted it below.