Wednesday, 25 November 2015

As I Was Going To St Ives…

…I met a man with seven wives

poemNo I didn’t - I met my friends and colleagues on the Women’s World Day of Prayer Committee, so we could plan the service for March 2016 [yes, we prepare well in advance]

We stayed at the lovely Treloyhan Manor.

My first floor bedroom had a sea view over the trees [when it wasn’t dark or foggy]



Although we worked very hard most of the time, we did have some free time on Wednesday and so walked down the path to the beach and along into the town. We past the Huer’s House



The huer's job was to watch for the tell tale signs of pilchard shoals and then alert the townsfolk to their arrival. Upon spotting such a shoal the huer would alert the town with cries of 'Hevva, Hevva!' ('Here they are!') where upon the townsfolk would drop everything to rush down to the harbour to launch the fleet and prepare for to land the tons of fish.

Spotting the pilchards was not the end of the huer's duties - once the fishing boats were in position the huer would also direct the movement of the boats at sea. His semaphore-like signals made with two 'bushes' - originally small furze bushes covered with cloth - were clearly visible from the water. The bushes were sometimes used to signal news to local men on passing ships too, like the birth of a child to their wives! [hue means shout – as in hue and cry] I recall that they watched for the pilchards in Poldark [I hear there is a second series in production – due for broadcast next May/June. Various new characters, including Hugh Skinner from W1A]

Further on down the path, we saw a bench, with a plaque [with a superfluous apostrophe]



Sadly the Tate Gallery was closed for refurbishment, but we found a Barbara Hepworth Sculpture outside the Guildhall. I liked the red phonebox on the hill.P1020596P1020598

Such fun, looking out to sea – and looking down to the beach where the lifeboat was being towed along the sand.

I was sorry not to have longer to look round the town, it seemed a really interesting place – but we had to get back to Treloyhan Manor.

At least the rain stopped for our afternoon stroll!P1020601

Two signs inside Treloyhan Manor amused me-


Firstly this one – since when did ‘teabags’ count as ‘sanitary disposables’?

And the other thing that made me smile was the labelling on the sound system – Quiet, Normal, and Too Loud!P1020616

It is a shame that St Ives is such a long way away – I should love to go again sometime. Maybe I could combine it with a visit to the Eden Project and to my Cornish friends. Our menu did not include pilchards – but we did have Cornish butter, Cornish Ice Cream and [of course] Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream.


  1. You might be interested in this ( I saw on Nigel Slater's programme on cake that this quick to make cake was made when the wives heard the cry "Hewa!" because they knew their men would be home reasonably soon, needing sustenance! Maybe it's the old equivalent of wifey getting dinner ready when they got the mobile phone call "I'm on the train!!"

    1. Ooh that looks a good cake. Especially if running low on eggs. Thanks for the link

  2. Oh Ang, I would have rushed over to see you if I'd known!

    1. I nearly contacted you beforehand, but our timetable was so full, I was not sure when/if I would have free time. Another time, I hope...

  3. But why would you take your teabag into the toilet? I spent my birthday in St Ives agood few summers ago now. I loved the Tate, loved BH Garden, disliked the seagulls intensely. Also loved the girls' gold pumps that I had that summer. Sigh.


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