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Cornwall from the Coast Path

November 13th 2017

A reminder of our talk this month which is on Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm at the Trenython Manor Hotel.
It is a talk by Mike Kent entitled 'Cornwall from the Coast Path' 
In 2007, Mike Kent fulfilled a long-standing ambition to walk the whole of the coast path of his Cornish homeland, from Marsland to Cremyll. During the 16-day journey, walking for up to 14 hours each day, and occasionally camping wild on remote and rugged cliffs, Mike recorded his thoughts and observations about various things Cornish. On his return, Mike and Merryn Kent dug deeper to uncover more about the places and people, landscapes and wildlife that caught his imagination along the way. Some are as world famous as Tintagel Castle and the tin mines of Levant. Others, like the cliffside hut built by poet and playwright Robert Duncan, are equally fascinating but barely known. Handsomely illustrated with many photographs and maps, this book aims to capture the authors' shared passion for Cornwall's rich coastal heritage.

WI trip to Plymouth

November 10th 2017

Lerryn WI trip to Plymouth to visit the Synagogue, lunch at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and Plymouth gin distillery tour on Wednesday 20th September 2017

Thanks to the Lerryn minibus, driven wonderfully by Annie Singer, we arrived in Plymouth ahead of schedule.  Which was just as well as it took a while to work out how to undo the gate to get in to the synagogue!! However, once in Jerry Sibley, who is the Custodian of the Synagogue, warmly welcomed us.  After an explanation of the history of Catherine Street (it dates back to Catherine of Aragon) Jerry explained that the order of buildings is very important to the Jewish faith. First comes the bathhouse because cleanliness is next to Godliness, then the school room (the teaching of Hebrew is essential to be able to read the Torah) and finally a place of worship, the synagogue.  Before you can build a synagogue,  you need to have a minyan and this is a minimum of 10 males over the age of 13, as you need this number of males to be assembled together before the scrolls can be read.

The current bathhouse is in the adjacent building to the synagogue and looked incredibly uncomfortable and not somewhere any of us wanted to linger. Refreshments were provided while Jerry talked generally about his role as Custodian. He explained that he isn’t Jewish as he needs to be able to work on the Sabbath and if you’re Jewish, that’s not possible.  The snacks were all Kosher, including Kit Kats!  We also met Dexter, perhaps the largest cat I’ve ever met!! And I don’t just mean large, I mean HUGE!!!!

The synagogue still stands on the original site in Catherine Street in the heart of the city.  The building itself is very discreet, from the street there is nothing to indicate what the building is, or how incredibly beautiful it is inside.  Built in 1762, the Georgian building is Grade II* listed and is surprisingly small. Amazingly it is the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the English-speaking world.


Of particular interest were the tiny boxes attached to all of the doorposts, called mezuzah. Each one contains a parchment inscribed with specific Hebrew texts from the Torah.  



They are angled to point inwards on the doorpost as an indication that Jewish people are inside and that the Angel of Death should pass over; it acts as a reminder that God is always with them and traditionally Jewish people kiss their fingertips and touch the mezuzah when entering a room.




In the synagogue the painting and pictures were all dated using the Jewish calendar. Jerry explained about the Jewish calendar and the dates shown were AM – anno mundi meaning the year after creation, rather than anno domini, the year of the Lord. So 2017 is 5778 in the Jewish calendar.


The main body of the synagogue has a display of old maps showing how the city of Plymouth has grown over the centuries, starting with the 3 towns of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse. In 1914 the three towns merged to become Plymouth and in 1928 became the City of Plymouth.  Despite not having a cathedral, city status was granted by Royal Charter due to the size of the population.

The naval influence on the construction of the synagogue is very clear. The woodwork is typical of naval construction of the period and the Bimah (the central platform) resembles the naval cockpit of an old sailing ship.  It has been adorned with brass acorns, Georgian pomegranates containing bells and is the inner sanctum where the High Priest reads from the Torah.

On the eastern wall is the Holy Ark that contains the Scrolls. Its ornate white and gold decoration is in stark contrast to the plain wood of the rest of the building. Although it looks like marble it is in fact made from wood and plaster and then has been highly decorated.  The stained glass windows are magnificent, each one telling a story of a family (including the ancestors of Wallace Simpson, future wife of King Edward VIII!)

Jerry is a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide and imparted so much information that it’s not really possible to tell you all about it in a few minutes. However some audience participation was required to act out the roles of the important people within the synagogue. To great amusement the President’s horn was blown, and various hats were worn including the big top hat worn by the treasurer and funeral director!

Our two-hour tour was over far too quickly and we all agreed that a follow-up visit is a must.


So, a bit late we had a very quick lunch at the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club before moving on to Plymouth Gin! By this stage the weather had turned and Annie kindly dropped us outside the distillery in monsoon conditions!

The building date back to the 1400s, and was a monastery before becoming the home of Plymouth Gin in 1793. The Black Friars distillery is the oldest working gin distillery in England.  And in 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night in England there before sailing to America.

Navy Gin is gin that is 57% alcohol compared to standard gin that is 37.5% alcohol. The problem was that when the Royal Navy took standard gin on their battles ships if it got spilt over the gunpowder, then the gunpowder was useless and couldn’t be used. So Plymouth Gin was asked to look at the problem and Navy gin was the result because 57% alcohol is the level at which spilt gin will not ruin gunpowder!

After looking at the copper stills we explored what goes into the gin to make it special.  We looked and smelled a range of botanicals that are used to make gin including juniper berries, coriander seed, citrus peels, green cardamom, angelica root and orrisroot. We got to taste the product too (gin and sloe gin).  As a gin-lover I’ll certainly go back but next time to do the Master Distillers Tour where you get to taste lots more and make your own gin!

We had hoped to go to the Hoe to see the memorial wave of poppies but by the time we left the distillery the weather was too wet and wild (but if you haven’t seen them, then it’s worth a trip but go in the evening as they’re lit up and look magnificent).

A wonderful day all round, and many thanks to our organisers and driver.

Julie Devine

Ladies Dining Club's outing to Cloisters

November 10th 2017

The Lerryn Ladies Dining Club dines out about three times a year and members take it in turn to organise the outing. 

Didn’t we have a lovely time the evening we went to Cloisters on Thursday 9th November!   Cloisters Restaurant is at Cornwall College in St. Austell, and once a month they serve a six course dinner under the heading “Fine Dining”.  We can confirm that the evening is well named.

We visited Cloisters on Thursday evening and from the moment we arrived and were greeted by smiling Sarah, we knew we were in for a treat.




The food was exciting and delicious; each course was beautifully presented and those of us who indulged in a dessert were well rewarded for our choice.  The Sea Salt Caramel Florentine Tarts will long be remembered.



We had an opportunity to have a chat with the very young supervisor who has landed a job with the person who organises Elton John’s parties and to the three young chefs in charge that evening:  they were all so enthusiastic about their work!  They talked with passion about the food they had prepped, cooked and served.


Many thanks to Rosemary and Sue for organising the evening and to Annie for driving the minibus.                                                                             

RNLI Autumn Coffee Morning tomorrow

November 10th 2017

http://www.cornwallcommunitynews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/RNLI-logo4.jpgThe Lostwithiel & District branch of the RNLI invites you its annual Autumn Coffee Morning on Saturday 11th November 2017 from 10.30am - 12.00pm in the Church Rooms, Lostwithiel. Tea/real coffee and homemade cakes.  Many stalls including cakes, books, guess the weight of the Christmas cake etc. raffle.  All proceeds go to the Fowey lifeboat.

November WI Talk - Cornwall Blood Bikers

November 8th 2017

Cornwall Blood Bikes

The story goes that a group of bikers were involved, late one night, in an accident that put one of their number in hospital and in need of an emergency blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the hospital did not have sufficient blood of the type needed and the NHS services that could have delivered some from another hospital do not operate at night, or any time at weekends.

Not surprisingly, the bikers got on their bikes and did the delivery themselves. Thanks to them, their friend survived the night and made a full recovery, but they were aware for the first time of a gap in NHS provision that could have serious implications for many other people.

Cornwall freewheelers, which changed its name in 2015 to Cornwall Blood Bikes, was set up to bridge this gap. They have at the moment seven bikes and one van, and with these they transport whole blood, pathology samples, medication, medical equipment, medical notes, frozen donated breast milk and even occasionally organs between NHS hospitals and hospices. They operate from 17.00 to 7.00 on weekdays and throughout the weekend, delivering things that cannot wait till tomorrow.

Geoff Crocker, speaking to Lerryn WI and their guests, spoke very simply but with obvious pride of the organisation of which he is a part – as a volunteer biker and also, more recently, helping with fundraising and speaking.

There are 80 members, 74 of them riders, all of them volunteers. There is also a team of co-ordinators and a team of fundraisers. Again, all are volunteers. There is no office; no employed staff. The co-ordinator who receives requests from the NHS and mobilises resources as necessary to ensure the need is met does it from her/his own home, on their own phone line.

There is no culture of generous expense allowances. Riders are supplied with the familiar high-vis jacket with ‘BLOOD’ on the back, together with a bag to hold the blood/samples and insulated containers for frozen materials. If they need anything else, they buy it themselves. If there is no available bike and they use their own vehicle to do a job, they can claim a modest mileage allowance for petrol costs. Generally, anybody who claims it does so in order to give the same amount as a donation – and add Gift Aid.

Everybody involved with the charity is aware of the need for money. Quite apart from the capital cost of purchasing bikes – second-hand ones, quite often – it costs £6000 to keep one bike on the road for one year. Funding bodies are becoming aware of the value of what the Blood Bikes accomplish, and a recent generous grant from the Masons bought them one new bike and two used ones, but the bikes do such very high mileages that they become too expensive to maintain when they get old, so the need to replace is a constant one. Last year they covered 90,000 miles doing 2000 jobs and saved the NHS at least £175,000.

Needless to say, our payment to Geoff for his fascinating talk went straight into the kitty.

Ann Henderson

Lerryn WI

Tuesday Club - textiles workshop

November 5th 2017

The Tuesday Club meets on the last Tuesday of every month and every year we put on a varied programme of monthly events.  On Tuesday 30th October, we had invited one of our members Rachel, who is a talented local textiles artist, to lead a workshop for us.  We made brooches in the shape of birds e.g. hens, pheasants etc.  Rachel provided the templates, all the materials and simple instructions for us to follow.  She was at hand to help us and the two brooches that she had made herself were a source of inspiration.  The concentration was palpable!  We normally finish our sessions at 9.00pm but at 9.30pm some members were still hard at work finishing their brooches.


The results were interesting:  although we had been given the same brief, we had all created very different items we could all be proud to take home!


Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 28th November when Sue Miller will be organising a Christmas quiz. Everybody will bring a small plate of food.

We welcome new members.  If you are a lady who lives in Lerryn and who would like to join the Tuesday Club, contact Penny on 01028 873169

For more photos go to the Photo Gallery or click on the button below:

Red Store Charity Event - TOMORROW

November 3rd 2017

Upcoming Events for St Winnow Parish Church

October 30th 2017



St Veep Church Jazz Evening

October 24th 2017

The bell committee at St Veep Church felt that they wanted to thank the community for their great support for the bell project.
We decided to hold a jazz concert in the church, free of charge, and arranged for the excellent Penny Royal Jazz Band to play.
The only slight problem we had was that the concert coincided with the arrival of “Storm Bob” and it was a very wet and windy evening.
Nevertheless 60 to 70 brave souls came along and, despite a short power cut which plunged us in darkness for a while, we all enjoyed a most convivial evening.
Many thanks as always to the ladies of the Supporters of St. Veep for arranging both the food and the wine.

A huge THANK YOU from the RNLI

October 22nd 2017


A huge THANK YOU from the Lostwithiel & District Branch of the RNLI

To everybody who supported our recent week long fundraising event at the Royal Oak.  You have helped us raise an incredible amount of money for the Fowey Lifeboat:

  • Raffle:  £725
  • Donations:  £32
  • Fish Supper – cheque from the Royal Oak:  £125

A special HUGE thank you to Graham and Simon at the Royal Oak who hosted the Fish Supper for five nights and donated £1 for every fish supper sold. We could not have done it without them and their friendly staff, including the chef – the food was excellent.

Our fundraising does not stop and we look forward to seeing you in the Church Rooms from 10.30am until 12.00pm for our annual coffee morning on Saturday 11th November.


Annie Singer - Chair

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