19 March 2004


The Cruel Sea

The appalling weather of the recent weeks claimed yet another victim when a crewman of a Newlyn fishing vessel was pronounced missing presumed drowned after the boat was swamped by heavy seas off The Lizard on Saturday night. Off the top of my head I think that that is three sinkings in as many months.

The two other crewmen managed to make it into an inflatable life and survived for 12 hours before the RNLI were able to fish them out. Incredibly, one of the survivors had already had been on three previous boats lost at sea.

So, next time you're stuffing your fat faces with Cornish fish stuff some the contents of your over-inflated wallet into the RNLI box. The price of local fish may be cheap but the cost isn't.

The Last Resort

[You'll have to have heard and understood the Eagles song to get it].

Good news for the Winwaloes seeking cheap, affordable second homes. The last undeveloped bit of coastal land between St. Ives and Lelant has been snapped up by a development company. For those who bothered following it, it's the spot where the Balloonatics set up their base of operations for the great non-events of the altitude record attempts.

A spokesmen for the developers said that they had no firm plans for the land. Yeah! Like they've just blown a huge wodge of cash so they can enjoy looking at grass in peace!

Getting Down To Brass Tax!

Tempers frayed and much bickering ensued at a recent St. Ives Town Council when the ugly issue of second homes was brought up. This was sparked by a recent letter from Crantock which is being sent to all councils in Cornwall. The letter from Crantock Parish Council revealed that 25% of housing stock in Crantock was now being used as second homes. It also broached the radical concept introduced by some councils in the Scottish Highlands charged second home owners 300% the normal council tax charge!

Cue much verbal scuffling. The Town Clerk revealed that 17.3% of St. Ives housing stock was second homes. Councillor Andrew Mitchell adopted an 'over my dead body' position and proposed that the town be able to charge 500% the normal rate and Councillor Bob Ford adopted an 'over my dead bank balance' position and pointed out that it was a free country. To which Mr. Mitchell pointed out it was only if you were rich. 'Just because someone has got the money to ride rough shod over the local people does not make it right,' quoth he.

Anyway, bugger all came out of it. St. Ives Town Council refused to support the Crantock proposals of charging higher council tax rates or changing the planning permission requirements for second homes. However, they did propose that second home owners be charged the full council tax rate, having previously enjoyed 50% and now 10% discounts.

One suspects that this issue is not going to go away, given the strong reactions it has produced so far.

Getting Away With Daylight Buggery

Oh, look. It hasn't!

According to the chairman of Penwith planners, 'St. Ives is full of the get rich brigade'.

During a meeting to discuss the long-running and controversial application to demolish the old Hendra's Hotel in Carbis Bay and replace it with a block of flats, Terry Tonkin said, "This is another move to ensure they capitalise on massive profits as opposed to local community life. As a scheme it is unsuitable and from my point of view it has been over-development from day one."

"We are groaning at the seams in St. Ives with the get rich brigade who don't give a jot about the locals."

A spokesflunky for the get rich brigade said, 'Just because you are the democratically elected representatives of the people who live here does not give you the right to stop us making a fast buck and leaving the mess for everyone else to live with'.

Cornish Rebellion

Still, it's hardly surprising that there is so much resistance from locals to people coming in and exploiting Cornish resources for their own benefit. As reported in the Daily Torygraph no less:-

"Cornishmen are the most independent in the land"

Apparently a survey has found that 44% of Cornwall's residents regard themselves as Cornish rather than English, British or European. Thus, Cornwall is rated as having the highest level of local patriotism in the UK. The lowest scorers were the people of Cambridgeshire (Cambridgeshites?) who got a whopping 4%! Even so-called hotbeds of nationalism Scotland and Wales only scored 14% and 9% respectively.

No wonder the people down here get so stroppy over the 'furriners'!

Hatching Evil Plans!

And talking of stroppiness .....

Revealed at last, the secret of Lucy the Lobster's stroppiness. Not, as first thought, due to the corrosive effects of feminism but, in fact, because she's Cornish!

Quite how she ended up in East Angular has yet to be explained, although the fact that Big Mac and Helling raided the Sharp's Brewery in Rock during one of their Cornish expeditions is suggestive.

Y'see, Rock is on the other side of the estuary (that which contains the original Doom Bar) from Padster .....

lobster.jpg (52476 bytes)

"It was a dark and stormy night when BM & H spotted a small shape scuttle out of the back of Rick Stein's transport cafe and make a break for it ..."

Let It R.I.P.

And so to the end ..... literally, metaphorically, metaphysically, met a gruesome end, etc.

The Sloop Inn is no more

It's still there but there's not much point going to it.

Yes, you can get a beer there, you can get a meal there ..... but you can get them elsewhere too. What you won't get is any atmosphere, local ambience, Cornish characters or traditions. All gone.

The legendary Tony Thomas has quit and gone off to seek his fortunes elsewhere. I know for a fact that other long-standing members of the staff will be out of there in the next couple of weeks. As far as I am aware the only Sloop 'regular' left is John Stevens, so there is really no point having the Sloop feature in SSI. Have one last look if you want to remember how things used to be, it will be gone at the next update (provided I remember and can re-cobble the HTML together).

You won't get any more luck on the other side of the bar. Derek is selling up and going. The other Derek's dead. Watkin's talking of going. I haven't seen Tripey or Manic Martin for months. Other locals I (briefly) got to know have either gone or gone elsewhere to drink.

I don't doubt that I'll still pop in to the old place now and then but it's just another pub now. Adequately appointed but no different from the Buck I' Th' Vine in Ormskirk, the Creg-Ny-Baa on the Isle of Man or (pre-exploded) Sinclairs in Manchester in that respect.

I certainly doubt if I'll spend much time in the Sloop over Easter. It's probably going to be full of Winwaloes trying to impress the Iraqi bar staff with their knowledge of Cornish trivia!

tony1.jpg (62811 bytes)

G'dbye and g'luck, Tony.

Place won't be the same without the Cornish cow-catching, sportsman-crushing, St. Agnes stallion running it .

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