2 May 2003


Old Folk Live In  Fear Of Art Attack

Ugly rumours abound that the Tate is threatening to extend its axis of artistic evil. Even uglier rumours [We're talking Vile Jelly standards of ugliness here - RT] abound that they are going to do so by deploying weapons of OAP destruction.

Widely reported in the press this week was a 'leaked' story that the Tat is currently conducting secret negotiations with Penwith Housing Association and Cornwall County Council to demolish the warden-controlled oldies' flats at Porthmeor to extend the gallery.

We suspect that this could be true because none of the local people, including the town council, know anything about it. However, a spokesman for PHA said, "CCC have assured me that if any of their proposals affect our tenants, PHA and its tenants will be first know of the details and will be fully consulted".

However No. 1, a county council spokesman refused to confirm whether or not the PHA flats were earmarked for destruction.

However No. 2, a Tate spokesfuhrer said that negotiations are at a critical stage, both architecturally and financially.

So, to misquote the old Lonnie Donnegan song:-

"My old man's a local

He's always lived like that

But he ain't  a modern artwork

So they've turfed him out his flat."

Not Waving But .....

Honestly, Watkin picked a good time to be away. Nothing happens for yonks and then as soon as he's out of bleeper range the lifeboat gets two shouts in as many days.

The first one ended happily when they helped some mechanically defective trawler limp back for repairs but they second time they picked up a stiff (or, given immersion in the sea, more probably a floppy), a suspected jumper who it is thought done the deed from the ironically named Hell's Mouth out past Gwinear.

How Bazaar

Well, it's the Mayday Bonk Holiday in case you hadn't noticed and so once more strangeness abounds. In particular, recent years have witnessed an attempt to revive some of the most inexplicable and improbable Mayday traditions of Old St. Ives.

Not content with reinstating the traditional Maypole dancing, the curious May Sticks and the, best not discussed before the watershed, May Horn, this year has seen the resurrection of the mysterious Peeweeps.

Imagine my shock to discover emblazoned all over the front page of the Times & Echo a photo of none other than former mayor, nautical ne'er-do-well, raconteur, Archdruid of the Knill Ceremony and, only very occasionally, estate agent, Harding Laity showing a cub scout how to play with his Peeweep.

I thought you could get arrested for doing that sort of thing!

Fortunately, closer examination of the picture revealed that, in fact, Peeweeps are small wind whistles made from sycamore twigs. Apparently, the making and deploying of these had long been a traditional Mayday activity for local sprogs. It had been feared that the art of making them had been lost but after an appeal from Brian Stevens, the Curious [sic] of the St. Ives Museum, up stepped Harding (pronounced 'Rd'n' if you're local) and two other St. Iveans, John Couch and Edward Rutter, who put on a demonstration for local Scouts and Guides in a workshop in the museum.

I'm going to be stuck in the Slave Pits all Bonk Holiday Monday so it won't bother me, so hopefully, the little blighters will be running around St. Ives Peeweeping in a very loud and annoying manner. Bwahahaha!

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