It’s not every day that HRH Prince of Wales, Dolly Pentreath, Kernow King and Richard Trevithick are involved with the launch of a new website, however this is exactly what happened last Friday at Truro College when the new Cornwall For Ever (Kernow Bys Vyken) website was launched.
The project to digitize the Millennium book and create a unique website for Cornwall was celebrated with a launch event held at Truro College and hosted by Cornwall Heritage Trust. Col Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and President of Cornwall Heritage Trust read out a message from HRH Prince of Wales (Patron of CHT) in which he congratulated all those involved on the new website and reflected on the changes Cornwall has seen since the book was published in 2000.
Those present were then treated to a performance by Ed Rowe (Kernow King) in which he entwined elements of his critically acclaimed play “Trevithick!” with appearances by some of Cornwall’s historic figures; which included Dolly Pentreath, John Couch-Adams and Humphry Davy as well as Richard Trevithick of course!
Mr Michael Galsworthy (Chairman of the Steering Group) introduced the project to the invited guests, who included pupils of Richard Lander, Newquay Tretherras and Gwinear Schools, and explained that the project was the culmination of four years of work. The website was then launched by Tristan, a pupil from Gwinear School, and officially handed over to the children of Cornwall as a free resource.
The children were all delighted to meet Cornish sporting heroes Ed Coode, Jack Galsworthy and Tassy Swallow who, along with Ed Rowe, presented them with commemorative booklets which introduced them to the new website.
Called “Cornwall For Ever!” the website (www.cornwallforever.co.uk) explores the people, places, history and celebrations which make Cornwall unique. It has been developed through a strong partnership between the Cornwall Heritage Trust, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Lieutenancy, and whilst being presented as a gift to the young people of Cornwall, the website will also appeal to anyone with an interest in Cornish culture and heritage.
The inspiration for the website was ‘The Millennium Book for Cornwall’, produced by the Cornwall Heritage Trust and launched in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales. 17,000 copies of the Book were given freely to schoolchildren in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Lt Col Philip Hills, Chairman of the Cornwall Heritage Trust, said: “The Millennium Book introduced a whole generation of young people to Cornish history. However, we know that young people today learn in different ways, particularly online, and we wanted to create a resource that could help with that learning”.
One of the ground-breaking features of the website is the inclusion of digitised copies of historic documents, such as the original Duchy of Cornwall Charter of 1337. Project Manager Ian Saltern said: “As far as we know, this is the first free access website in Cornwall specifically aimed at young people which includes digitised copies of primary historical sources. Young people will be able to see the actual documents which record their Cornish history”. Also included on the website is a digitised copy of a letter dating from around 1595, written by Tristram Winslade to the King of Spain, encouraging him to invade Britain. The original document is housed in the US Library of Congress.
Michael Galsworthy, Deputy Lieutenant and Project Chairman said: “This exciting website brings Cornish history to life and makes learning an engaging experience for all. It explores Cornwall’s distinctive history and culture. The website will also eventually complement the services to be offered by Kresen Kernow, Cornwall’s new archive centre. I would particularly like to thank all of the members of the project board, whose collective efforts have ensured a first-rate end result”.
Commenting for Cornwall Council, Councillor Bert Biscoe said: “Increasing numbers of young people in Cornwall are self-identifying as Cornish, and in 2014 Cornish people, like the Scots, Welsh and Irish, were recognised as a national minority in the UK. However, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Cornwall does not enjoy its own school curriculum. This website will start to address that oversight and present history from a Cornish perspective”.
To visit the new website click here