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Posted on: August 5th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice

I must apologise for not having put any information into the news column for several weeks, but I have had an operation on my right hand and have been out of action for a little while.

Anyway, I have a real treat for you now.  Last night, I went to see the ‘Man-Engine’ in Foundry Square at Hayle (along with 14,000 other people).  He is a 10 metre high mechanical ‘puppet’ who is visiting towns across the Cornish Mining Landscape, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cornish Mining being granted World Heritage status.  It is the largest puppet made in Britain and is really quite spectacular – there are several websites, facebook and twitter pages all dedicated to him, so if he is of interest to you just google ‘the man-engine, Cornwall’.

In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures of him.  He does move and I will try to get some moving pictures of him here next time.

The Man-Engine

The Man-Engine


 And by the way, I don’t know how true it is, but the word is that he is going to follow where the Cornish miners went all over the globe!  

Man Engine 1


Cornish Coastal Path

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice


I have set myself the challenge of walking the Cornish Coastal path.  It is just short of 300 miles to get from Morwenstow in the very north east of Cornwall to Cremyll in the south east.  I made a start a couple of months ago in March when I walked from Morwenstow to Bude which is just over 8 miles.   

The weather was dry with light cloud but it was quite a grey day and the wind was cold.  The temperature was around 7 degrees centigrade.

Very early into my walk a came across ‘Hawker’s Hut’ a small wooden hut built into the cliff.  This hut was built by the Reverend Hawker in approximately 1835, he used driftwood to build his retreat.  Reverend Hawker is famous for being credited with introducing the Harvest Festival to the church calendar.  See the picture of the hut and the view Hawker would have enjoyed.DSCF3532      DSCF3535  This leg of the coast does have a number of steep descents and ascents due to the nature of the high cliffs dipping down into valleys with streams. 

DSCF3559  DSCF3545  As I wondered along the cliff top path, I came across a flock of sheep – they were freely roaming the cliff.  It is true to say that until I got nearer Bude, the sheep were the only thing I met coming in the opposite direction.  Generally all walkers (and runners – yes runners!) were walking in the same direction – that is from east to west along the top of the north Cornish coast.

DSCF3556  Getting nearer Bude there was  much more favourable walking with open spaces and a gentle slope but then you get to Northcott Mouth – another descent.  All I can say is that I was relieved that I was going down this and not having to climb it.  I think this was probably the steepest incline of the walk with steps built into the cliff.

DSCF3560  A short walk on and you come to Summerleaze Beach, a bigger sandy beach and generally considered the most popular in Bude.

DSCF3570  Look out for details of the next stretch soon.


Helston Flora Day

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice

On Saturday the Cornish town of Helston celebrated its famous ancient festival – Flora Day.  For the people of Helston this is the most important day in the year with many returning to their home town to join in the celebrations.  This ancient festival is to celebrate the end of winter and mark the arrival of spring.  

There are four dances during the day at 7.00am, 10.00am, Midday and 5.00pm. 

The same group of people dance at 7.00am and at 5.00pm, these were traditionally the servants and workers of the town dancing at the beginning and end of the day. 

The 7.00am Dance     The 7.00am Dance.  


At 10.00am the Children’s Dance takes place.  Approximately 1000 children dance, they are aged from approx 7 to 18 years and represent each of Helston’s four schools.  They are all dressed in white, with their appropriate school ties for the boys and headdresses for the girls in their school colours.

The Children's Dance20160507_101422   The Children’s Dance


The Midday Dance is perhaps the highlight of the day, it was traditionally for the gentry of the town.  The men wear top hats and tails and the women are in beautiful dresses.


The Midday Dance

The Midday Dance

There is also a colourful pageant, the Hal an Tow, which tells the history of Helston with the participating characters singing about the challenge of the Spanish Armada, the English patron saint, St. George and the fight between St Michael and the devil.


The music is played by Helston Town Band.

In 1911 Katie Moss, a London composer visiting Helston observed the dance and on the train home she wrote the words and music of a song about her day out.  The song was called ‘The Floral Dance’ made famous latterly in the pop charts with versions by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band and another version by TV personality the late Terry Wogan.

Here is a short video so that you can sample the music and atmosphere of the day.

Millbrook, Maker and Trevithick Day

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice 1 Comment

Recently, whilst doing some family history research I have visited the locality of Millbrook and Maker, situated in the far south eastern corner of Cornwall on the Rame Peninsula. 

It’s location, off the beaten track, means that many people pass by and miss the beauty of this corner of Cornwall.  The main route out of Cornwall is the A38 trunk road which leads to the Tamar Bridge and even those that use the Torpoint Ferry to cross the river would miss this area unless they made a special detour.

On the water’s edge, Millbrook is a pretty village and then Maker Church stands tall overlooking the surrounding area and with very pleasant sea views.  The cemetery was particularly pretty with woodland and with a fine display of bluebells and wild flowers.


The headland stands at the entrance of Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar.   The river forms most of the border between the two counties of Devon and Cornwall.  Cornwall is almost an island with the source of the River Tamar rising less than four miles from the north coast of Cornwall, it runs for 61 miles down to the south coast to Plymouth Sound – Tamar is said to mean ‘Great Water’.

DSCF3616 The view from just in front of Maker Church, looking up the River Tamar.

For those of you reading this in Cornwall – make Maker a place to visit!

With the coming of Spring there are many festivals celebrated in Cornwall.

In the Millbrook area during the May Bank Holiday (which is this weekend), a procession of dancers and singers parade through Millbrook and the neighbouring villages of Kingsand and Cawsand stopping at various houses and inns along the way.  They carry a boat which is decorated with spring flowers.  In the evening the boat is launched into the water and there is much merriment and celebration.  This is called the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession and its purpose is to bid farewell to winter and welcome the spring and summer, whilst also hoping for a good harvest for both land and sea.

Also this weekend in the west of the County is Trevithick Day at Camborne.  Richard Trevithick was a celebrated engineer (1771-1833) who was born at Camborne.  He was an inventor at the time of the Industrial Revolution and invented the first steam driven vehicle.  The occasion brings lots of steam engines to the town in celebration of his origins and there will be choirs, brass bands, street entertainers, music and dancing.

For those of you familiar with the Cornish Song – ‘Going up Camborne Hill, Coming Down’ – this song celebrates Richard Trevithick’s historic steam engine ride up Camborne Hill on Christmas Eve 1801.

Welcome to the Cornish Cousins Blog

Posted on: April 21st, 2016 by Rachael Eustice 1 Comment

Good Morning from Rachael and welcome to the new blog facility on the Cornish Cousins Website.

The purpose of the blog is to try to keep you in touch with Cornwall, especially as many of you reading this will live overseas but have Cornish roots, and provide a bit more detail about the work we do here at Cornish Cousins.

Officially it is Spring. Although this weekend has presented all types of weather. We’ve had heavy rain, hail showers, gusty winds, brilliant sunshine and even snow on the moors! One thing that is missing is warmth – with temperatures still lingering around 7°c it is getting time for it to warm up at bit.

As the weeks goes by I will talk about the type of work that Cornish Cousins undertakes (in a general manner – specific cases will not be detailed) and with summer approaching there are so many things happening around Cornwall that I will comment on.

This summer I intend to get out and see more of this wonderful County of ours. It really does have a bit of everything – dramatic cliffs on the north coast, river estuaries and secluded coves on the south coast and beautiful countryside and moorland in between. They county is also well known for its many festivals and feast days.

Your company and input is welcome.