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RNLI Fish Supper

October 13th 2018

The RNLI Lostwithiel & District Branch

In partnership with The Royal Oak Inn, Lostwithiel

and Fish for Thought, Bodmin

Invites you to its week-long fundraising event

 “The RNLI Fish Supper”

Tuesday 9th October – Saturday 13th October 2018 (NOT Wednesday)

The pub will donate money to the RNLI for every fish dish bought during that time

Tables must be booked for evening meals (01208 872552)


Licensed raffle with great prizes generously donated by local businesses will be drawn on

13th October at 9.30pm


All proceeds to the Fowey Lifeboat

Flying Scotsman comes to Cornwall

October 7th 2018


The "Flying Scotsman" coupled with "Black 5" passing through Lostwithiel on Saturday evening


October 3rd 2018

These organisations have been targeting patients from local surgeries, inviting them to take up a free service for the delivery of prescription drugs.

Many recipients have simply put such material straight into the recycling bag, but some have been unsure what do do, because Lostwithiel Surgery is named on the pamphlets. 

If you are in any doubt at all about this, just contact the surgery. Staff there will be very happy to advise you.

Tuesday Club's visit to Looe Valley Vineyard

October 2nd 2018

Our 2018-2019 programme of events started on Tuesday 25th September with a visit to Looe Valley Vineyard in St Keyne. About twenty members of the group made their way to the vineyard either by car or with the Lerryn Area Minibus on a dry and sunny evening.

Looe Valley Vineyard was established in 2008 on a sunny site in the East Looe Valley in South East Cornwall by owners Charles Boney and Sue Brownlow.  Their aim was simple – to create high quality local artisan wines.  The initial planting of Riesling-style white grape varieties Bacchus and Schönburger and red Frühburgunder (early Pinot Noir) was followed in 2010 with the new white grape Solaris which has Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat parentage.  5.500 vines are now established on around 4 acres.  They made a very small trial batch of wine with the Solaris first crop in 2013.  In 2014 they produced around 1000 litres of wine which is now on sale either at the winery or at several local retailers and restaurants.  Production continues to develop each year with a new red introduced in 2016.


We were treated to a very informative evening.  Charlie used to be a teacher and it showed.  It is not an easy task to keep the ladies of the Tuesday Club in order but he managed it beautifully through a very interactive talk which was in three parts:

  • in the vineyard where we learned much about planting vines and summer and winter pruning
  • in the winery where we learned the process of wine making down to the bottling process
  • in their house where we learned the different steps of wine tasting

Our next visit is on Tuesday 29th October when we will visit a company in Par that transforms containers into living and working environments. 

If you are a lady living in Lerryn who would like to join the Tuesday Club, please do not hesitate to contact Penny on 01208 873169.

UK Fungus Day

September 25th 2018

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.

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