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Update on Pamela Colman-Smith
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Researching an enigma is fascinating, for not only do I have to read about her, I also have to read very much around Pamela Colman-Smith. Yet along the way, I am enjoying a range of experience from discussions with academics to people on Twitter sharing photos like this one. Thanks so much, Darren Jones.  Darren said: I bought a copy of The Russian Ballet from...

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Fascinating insight into Bude’s history by the Old Cornwall Society
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Sent by Helen Hocking of the Old Cornwall Society (so glad to see people writing for the site): Once again, The Parkhouse Centre was a picture of community warmth and friendship, as the Bude, Stratton &  District branch of the ‘Old Cornwall Society’ gathered for their monthly talk. The events schedule is always full of  ‘Speakers’ from near and far, each with a subject...

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A Stratton Smallholder
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More from Dawn’s interview With John Going, aged 94: I sold my Stratton smallholding to a neighbour and then he split it up. It was in a ring fence, at the Town’s End side of Stratton. Stratton was a nice little place. That’s one of the things that attracted me to it. When I came here, the sun was shining, the grass was green,...

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The first cattle artificial insemination in Stratton…
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nickers103 / Pixabay More from my interview with John Going, 94, of Widemouth, who was the first smallholder in the area to use artificial insemination on his cows: The War changed things. When the War had finished, my father wasn’t in very good health  and we were looking for a change. We decided we’d like a smallholding and one of the places that turned...

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Working at Bude Sea Pool
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Talking to John Going, 94, of Widemouth, Dawn Robinson was interested to hear of his work on the terraces of the Bude Sea Pool in the 1960s: “I worked on the walls and terraces of the sea pool. I was out of work at the time, so I asked what (work) was in. There was only one job available and that was it. I...

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The night they dug up the Bude railway tracks…
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Story told to Dawn Robinson by John Going, 94,  of Widemouth Bay. Sadly, I understand this dear man is now in hospital. He was very ill when I chatted with him late last year, so I wish him and his family well. It was a privilege to meet John, and to hear his tales. Here’s the first part of his memories of Bude, where...

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Rowena Cade at the Minack
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While not about Bude, most people who live in Bude will know of  the Minack Theatre, so here goes… You may not have heard of Rowena Cade. Born in Derbyshire, she was the amazing woman whose legacy stops me in my tracks every time I visit the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. A granite construction, with concrete seats, perched on the edge of the cliffs...

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The Thorns – Bude’s Pioneer Photographers
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THORN PHOTOGRAPHERS OF BUDE – 1850s to 1932 £24.99 from Spencer Thorn Jewellers or Spencer Thorn Bookshop Signed Copies from Spencer Thorn Jewellers The Thorn photographers were pioneers of the art in Bude. This book celebrates their enormous contribution to Cornish history. Over 250 fantastic images taken from their original glass negatives, many never before published, showing the landscape, seascape and shipwrecks, of North...

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Russian Children at The Castle, Bude
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Here follows some info from a chat with a lovely Bude lady called Barbara who recalls the presence of Russian children at The Castle. If anyone else has any information, please get in touch! Dawn, author of Secret Bude and two other Bude books,  is happy to interview anyone who has some interesting oral history to provide. In the 1930s, according to Barbara (born...

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Secret Bude – Something of a Labour of Love
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Bude & Beyond community website owner and one of the trio involved in Bude Past & Present, Dawn Robinson, is pleased to announce the publication of her third and latest book on Bude. The book, Secret Bude was published last week by Amberley Publishing. It breaks away from the previous two books commissioned by the publishers, Bude in Old Postcards and Bude Through Time....

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Bude Mystery Woman – Pamela Coleman-Smith (aka Colman)
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Pamela Colman Smith is something of a mystery, which is maybe part of her enduring appeal to her followers. It was only when investigating the history of Bude for my forthcoming book, Secret Bude, that I came across her, for she died in the town. Part of the mystery is where she is buried, or whether she was cremated. We all like a grave...

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Swimming in Bude
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This slideshow requires JavaScript. Talking to a Plymouth College of Art student recently, I discovered that Bude Sea Pool is unique in the UK for being the only outdoor pool which is actually built into the landscape. Certainly, it is one of the last remaining tidal lidos in the country. She felt this, therefore, creates a unique sense of space because, while the sea...

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Hectic Old Stratton
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This slideshow requires JavaScript. Try to conjure a picture in your mind of Stratton as it was in the approach to the nineteenth century. Some of these images will help a little, but you need to imagine lots of people, a veritable throng, which made Stratton thriving and bustling, a hive of activity. Stratton was, according to John Wordens in 1584 “a market towne...

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The #Blanchminster Trust Lands
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The Blanchminster Trust, according to a booklet by Kathleen Beswetherick (no date given) is probably named after a Knight Templar from the age of Edward I. He was called Blankminster. His effigy can be seen in a window embrasure in the wall of St Andrew’s Church in Stratton. There are links with the Binhamy area of Stratton, too. Whatever its origins, the Blanchminster Trust...

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The Bencoolen
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The Bencoolen

Jul 30, 2015 by

This slideshow requires JavaScript. The Bencoolen is a name etched into the annals of Bude history. We have Bencoolen Road, the Bencoolen Bridge,  the Bencoolen Inn, and even the shanty singers, the Bencoolen Wreckers. Information about the Bencoolen wreck, from which all this emanates, is in the Castle Heritage Centre, Bude, originally built by Gurney. It also contains the figurehead of the ship. Many...

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#Bude Watercolour Mystery
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Firstly, it’s great to know that people in France also check out our website, so my many thanks indeed to David Wheeler, who has sent us a copy of a watercolour he has of a warehouse along the Bude Canal,  an artwork which is a little perplexing. Understandably, David would like more information about the painting. Does anyone know who it is by? Was...

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Sir Goldsworthy Gurney
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One of Bude’s most distinguished – and multi-faceted –  historical figures was Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, born on St Valentine’s Day, 1793. It’s an unusual first name, which he allegedly earned from his godmother, daughter of General Goldsworthy, who was maid of honour to Queen Charlotte. He was actually born in Treator, near Padstow, in 1793, and educated at Truro Grammar School, where he was...

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Was It Really a Wreckers Coast?
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Cai Waggett’s now annual ‘Cruel and Curious Sea’ exhibition at Stowe Barton pays testimony to the tempestuous waters around Bude, which has a reputation for its treacherous coast. Nautically, north Cornwall is a rocky lee shore, which means boats will drift into it by prevailing south-westerly winds. The Padstow to Hartland Point stretch  – of around 40 miles – which incorporates Bude (despite the...

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Murder at Poundstock Church
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Well, you’ve all heard of murder in the cathedral, but who’d have thought Bude area might have a story to rival it? Chatting to a local the other day, I hadn’t realised quite how bloody a history Poundstock had in the fourteenth century, when it was reckoned to be pretty much outside the rule of law. That might apply to much of old Cornwall!...

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Who Owned #Bude?
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Almost all of the built-up part of Bude and Stratton was owned by two families: the Arundels of Trerice and the Grenvilles, families who were largely always on good terms, and who indeed, inter-married. Sir Richard Grenville bought Binhamy Manor in 1576, and owned one side of the river bank. The other side was owned by Lady Gertrude Arundel. Bude Bridge, now known as...

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The Battle of Stamford Hill
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It’s funny how the Battle of Stamford Hill tends to be underplayed in Stratton. This year, it wasn’t celebrated by the Town Council after poor attendance at the usual Sealed Knot re-enaction the previous year, when it rained, but it was a key event in the Civil War down in the SW. The late Dudley Stamp and Bere, in their book, The Book of...

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The #Morwenstow Maverick
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Anything ever said about Reverend Stephen Hawker is potentially controversial. So here goes…with an article I  first wrote some time ago… As the crows caw and screech a warning of my approach from their nests in the higher reaches of the churchyard trees (why do graveyards always have crows?) you can begin to see why life at the little Cornish village of Morwenstow might have attracted...

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Why Is #Bude Called Bude?
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Well, why is it? It’s a strange old name for a town. I’m lucky enough to have a (very strange-smelling limited edition) copy of “The Book of Bude and Stratton” by Rennie Bere and Brian Dudley Stamp, dedicated to their respective fathers, Sir Laurence Dudley Stamp (a noble sounding name) and Montague Acland Bere (even more noble sounding). As the book is no longer...

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