Saturday, 29 June 2013

Cornwall 2013 - Charlestown & Mevagissey

First Port of call on Sunday morning was Charlestown formerly called West Polmear and named after local landowner Charles Rashleigh. The harbour itself is owned by Square Sail, a company that owns and sails a small fleet of tall ships. One or two of these can often be found at anchor in the harbour, and are frequently open for tours during the summer months. The best-known tall ship to regularly visit the port was the 'Maria Asumpta'. First launched in 1858 and the world's oldest working square rigger. Unfortunately the ship ran aground and broke up on the north Cornish coast in May 1995, with the loss of three of her sixteen crew. The harbour today has been used to shoot some well known films including; Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, The Curse of the Black Spot as well as an episode of Dr Who.
Next stop was another fishing harbour 'Mevagissey' lying 5 miles south of St Austell. Tourism seems to have taken over from the traditional fishing industry here judging by the buses and overflowing car parks. As luck would have it today was the first day of Feast Week, a week of fun, music, and floral dances through the streets; finally at the end of the week there is a carnival and a fireworks display. Not to mention some fine local Real Ales straight from the barrel at a very tempting £2.50 a pint!
Mevagissey village centre consists of narrow streets with many places to eat and shops aimed at the tourist trade.I really enjoyed 'The Lavender Pillow' very gothic and everything you need for the budding witch or satanist.
I got chatting to a chap who wanted me to take his picture with a backdrop of the harbour. He told me that he was walking the south coast footpath and had started out a week or so ago in Bournemouth. He was aiming to finish in Minehead in Somerset a total journey of somethinh like 610 miles. He reckoned it would take him 38 days and camping in his tent. He looked a bit thin and I had doubts that he may not make it? He re-assured me that he was only 10 stones on his wedding day! Amazing what you find out isn't it.
Amongst the festivities was a regatta although deciphering the winner was a thankless task as there was some complex handicapping system in place. It didn't seem to matter and was more a question of which boat could display the most flags and advertising banners.

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