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September 22nd 2018

The Players will be showing two one-act comedies on 12th and 13th April next year, and rehearsals start after Christmas. If you are interested in taking part, please come along to the auditions being held in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 18th October.

One of the plays, The Bathroom Door, will be directed by Richard Halliday. The other play is What's for Pudding? and will be directed by Annie Singer. The rehearsals will not overlap, so nothing prevents you from auditioning for both plays if you would like to.

We look forward to seeing you on the 18th October.

Ann Henderson

Boconnoc - one thousand years of history

September 22nd 2018

The large and beautiful Boconnoc estate is always a topic of interest in Lerryn – not least because several local people live there. So when the WI, as always, opened its doors to all comers to hear the talk after its monthly meeting, nobody was surprised that an unusually large number of people turned up to hear what speaker Pat Ward could tell them about it.

Pat’s summary of the life and times of the Boconnoc Estate began with quotations from historian A. L. Rouse, setting the house in the context of the Civil War.

However, the estate goes much further back than that, Pat assured us. It features in the Domesday Book as having “land for eight ploughs”, which would have meant about 400 acres, but it existed well before the Conquest, and possibly before the Saxons; the Celtic cross above the parish church which forms part of the estate is eighth century, and the church itself was rededicated in 1321, so the original dedication must have been very much earlier.  Bronze Age barrows nearby indicate occupation 3000 years ago.

Despite the calm and beauty of its current ambience, the estate has lived through ‘interesting times’.

An early line of ownership was disrupted by Henry the Eighth, who executed Henry Courtenay, the owner. The property passed to the Duchy and thence to John Russell and his descendants.

In 1579, Frances Russell sold it off to the Mohun family, who owned it at the time when Charles the First spent a night there in hiding from the Roundheads. The Mohuns were still there when Charles the Second stayed there – his name is on a fishing licence granted him at the time – while he was in process of hunting down and killing every man whose name was on his father’s death warrant.

The last Mohun to own the estate was Charles, allegedly ‘the greatest bully of the age’, who was killed in a duel. The man he was fighting also died, and the estate passed to Mohun’s wife, who sold it to Thomas ‘Diamond’ Pitt in exchange for the famous Pitt Diamond. Boconnoc then remained for several generations in the hands of the Pitt dynasty – which included William Pitt the Elder, the original ‘Earl of Chatham’.

The last of the Pitts, the second Lord Camelford, known as ‘the half mad lord’, was killed in a duel and his sister, who inherited Boconnoc, preferred to remain on her own estates in Berkshire, so she left the property to George Matthew Fortescue, the first Fortescue at Boconnoc.

The estate passed in 1967 to John Desmond Fortescue, but by then the house was barely recognizable. American troops who had occupied the building as an ammunition dump during the Second World War had completely stripped it when they left. Water had entered through holes in the roof, rotting the wood and destroying much of the elaborate plasterwork.

Anthony Desmond Grenville Fortescue, in 1995, inherited a ruin.

 He and his wife together then spent more than 12 years and a lot of money – all of it their own – on restoring the house. Anthony was by profession a furniture restorer and well aware of the standards to be aimed for, but he also knew the practical and financial challenges they faced.

He was determined that their commitment to the house should not damage the viability of the estate, a going concern on which many other people’s homes and livelihoods depended. Although the house was beautifully restored, it was always clear that it would have to earn its keep. One of the lovely ground-floor rooms is fully furnished as a family drawing room, but the rest of the rooms have to be adaptable to the various functions required of them by hirers. These include film and television companies as well as commercial concerns and wedding parties.

Despite these pressures, the integrity of the estate remains. The 100 fallow deer form the largest herd in the country – and the cricket club still plays in the middle of the deer park, as it has done for 160 years; the gardens first designed in the eighteenth century by Thomas Pitt the Fourth, the first Lord Camelford, still delight, and the managed woodlands contain some of the oldest trees in the county.

As they have done for many hundreds of years, the house, church and stableyard once again stand together, fronted by gardens and ringed by woodland, a tribute to the vision and determination of the late Anthony Fortescue.

Ann Henderson

Lerryn WI

LAMA trip to Dartmoor

September 20th 2018

Most months, the Lerryn Area Minibus Association organises a Special Trip in addition to its regular trips to Bodmin, Truro and St Austell.  The September trip took us to Dartmoor with fifteen passengers taking part.  We set off on a very overcast and blustery day but the weather held up until 4.00pm when we were on our way home via Two Bridges and Princetown.  By then you could not see any of the wild and beautiful scenery that we had admired throughout the day.

We had planned to have morning coffee in a hotel near Two Bridges and lunch in one of the two pubs in Widecombe-in-the-Moor.  However, our plans had to be adjusted as an unexpected and unadvertised road closure in Gunnislake made us drive back to Callington and almost as far as Launceston before driving to Tavistock.  This long detour delayed us by 45 minutes.  All is well that ends well: we had a delicious lunch in the Two Bridges Hotel and a yummy afternoon tea in Widecombe-in-the-Moor.  There, we had time to walk around the village and visit places of interest including the church with its very tall bell tower, known as the Cathedral of the Moor.

The fifteen passengers agreed that they had had a most enjoyable day out.

Our last three Special Trips of the year are as follows:

  • Tavistock Farmers' Market on Saturday 27th October
  • Wadebridge and Trelawney Garden Centre on Friday 16th November
  • Mousehole Lights “Switch On” on Saturday 15th December (only 1 seat left)

To book a seat, contact Annie on 01208 871272


September 19th 2018

A lostwithiel person with a ticket can't now attend. Contact Ann Henderson for details. (01208 873428; Annh@mail.com)


Exhibition in the Red Store

September 19th 2018

Asian hornet sighting in Fowey

September 18th 2018

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Fowey area of south Cornwall.  On Wedesday 12th September,  two APHA bee inspectors were seen looking for hornet nests on the road between Couch's Mill and Lerryn.

This Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to identify any nests, which includes deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers and setting up monitoring traps.

Previous outbreaks of the Asian hornet have been successfully contained by APHA bee inspectors who promptly tracked down and destroyed the nests. The intention is to do the same in this instance.

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

While the Asian Hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to locate and investigate any nests in the south Cornwall areas following this confirmed sighting.

Following the successful containment of the Asian hornet incursion in North Devon last year and Tetbury previously, we have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.

We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.

Bee inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit have started carrying out surveillance and monitoring in a 1-2 km radius around the initial sighting.

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you can report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Identification guides and more information are available.


  • Members of the public can also report sightings by email to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk with a photo or on the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat website.

  • The Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat is a joint venture between Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government to tackle the threat of invasive species. More information can be found on their website.

  • For details on the appearance of an Asian hornet please can be found on Bee Base guide or the non-native species identification guide.

  • Photographs of the Asian hornet are available on our Flickr account

  • The cost of eradication on private land will be met by APHA.

LAMA Duck Race

September 13th 2018

Our annual duck race took place on Saturday 9th September.   We think that Andy Reid has the power to command the winds!   The ducks scooted obediently up the river, propelled by a very handy SW breeze, almost overwhelming Chicken Sue by arriving en masse at the stepping stones.  It was great fun!

Many thanks to Andy and Sue, who made heroic efforts both in and out of costume, to Robin for providing necessary equipment (including a klaxon that frightened some of us half to death!) and to all those who sold ducks, provided prizes and generally egged us on.

We raised £175 - a LOT more than we have normally accomplished.   All proceeds go to the Lerryn Area Minibus Association
For further pictures of the duck race, go to the Photo Gallery or click on the button below:

Fowey Valley Music

September 13th 2018


September 9th 2018

Tickets are on sale now for the Jazz Cafe evening in Lerryn Memorial Hall. Dino Baptise will be performing at 8.00pm on Friday 21st September. Tickets are £12 from the Cornish Riviera Box Office (01726 879500; crbo.co.uk/lostwithieljazzcafe). Doors open at 7.30pm.

In addition to the music - and probably dancing! - there will be a bar, a raffle and tasty things to eat. The minibus will bring people from and to Lostwithiel for £2 return. Just call the Booking Clerk on 871272.

Guided Visit to Restormel Estate

September 3rd 2018

A sneak peek of the Restormel Estate where the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall stayed during their recent visit to Fowey and Cornwall.

Meet: Restormel Estate, Lostwithiel SX106612

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