St Piran’s Day offering from the Old Cornwall Society

From Helen Bartrop Hocking:

The Bude, Stratton & District is one of the forty-two branches that make up the great tree that is the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies.

Due to celebrate the centenary of its existence in January 2020, a call has gone out to the membership to acknowledge their shared milestone with enthusiasm.

From tip to toe, Cornwall has nurtured for close to one hundred years all those who respond to the plea of the OCS founders to ‘Gather the fragments, that none be lost’. Those fragments are the histories and culture of the people of Cornwall including their indigenous Celtic language brought back from the brink of mainstream extinction, yet forever alive within many a Cornish place-name, or person.

Local stories shared, walks and talks around and about, monthly ‘lectures’ on a Cornish connected topic of interest, a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and a twice-yearly journal are just some of the opportunities on offer. All are welcome. Young and old, Cornish or other, been living here five minutes or fifty years, the door is open to everyone with a love for Cornwall.

A plethora of archives was out on display at the end of the Society AGM in February. With Cornish Bard and society Archivist, Audrey Aylmer of Bude on hand to answer questions from visitors and members alike.

Folders full of photographs and relevant documentation of each subject matter, some meticulously researched, others very kindly donated for posterity, all readily available to peruse, left most wishing they had more time to enjoy them. As it was, the early part of the evening had been taken up with important duties such as ‘Nomination of Officers’ and the society Accounts.

It was with considerable sadness that Owen May (President) and Alan McIntosh (Chairman) stepped down from their posts, both having served their five-year tenure with professionalism and grace.

Only days later, a fair number of the Society braved a sharpening edge of spring storm ‘Freya’ and headed down the Atlantic highway looking to celebrate the life of St. Piran. This year’s service was held at St. Winwaloe’s Church in Poundstock and with the talents of organist Daffyd Thomas at the musical helm, it was in with the White Rose and out with the Floral Dance, as Rev.David Barnes conducted a beautiful service between them. Readings were given by Owen May, Hilary Kenny and Barry Smith, respectively. Prayers for the longevity of the ‘Old Cornwall Society’ and all the members past and present were shared, with special reference for those folk unable to attend in person.

The banner was presented by incoming Recorder, Alan McIntosh, accompanied by Dr Ian Barker and Mr Allen Rogers. Refreshments followed in the Gildhouse, a traditional Cornish cream tea that was delicious and thoroughly appreciated by one and all. Audrey presented the parish with a framed copy of a woodcut, as crafted by local artist, Jonathan Howlett, titled ‘The Full Moon Dance at the Gildhouse’ .

The historic building is the only one of its kind found in Cornwall,still used by many in the community today for revelry and religious purpose.

The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, ‘Summer Festival’ is to be held in St.Just this year. (Dha weles enna!)

The next OCS ‘talk’ at The Parkhouse Centre, 25th March at 7.30pm will be ‘The Grenville Estate- Pt2’ with newly elected President, Richard M. Heard, historian, author and Cornish Bard of Kilk.

Further information,  contact

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