I was born in Porthcurno, and we lived in two houses in the village before moving to Penzance when I was ten. We spent much of our time building camps and racing down the wooded valley slopes on rusty corrugated iron sheets, on tracks also made of corrugated iron – often with various of the Lidiard brothers. Somehow none of us lost any fingers.
- St. Levan School
- Picture sent by Ian Lidiard. I don’t know why I’m not in this picture, but two of my siblings are.
- Cable & Wireless
- My father worked for Cable & Wireless. We had no idea what went on in The Tunnel, but we’ve been able to visit it now that it’s a museum.
- The Minack Theatre
- When I was nine I used to deliver newspapers to Rowena Cade, the lady in the wheelbarrow, at Minack House.
- The Vert Prarial, Porthcurno, 1956
- This French trawler was wrecked under the cliffs by the Minack Theater, just a couple of hundred yards from where I was born the next day. Sadly, nobody knew about the wreck until it was too late, and seventeen sailors died. This web page is in French, but if you right-click it your browser should have a link to translate it. Some of the comments are from the children of the lost sailors.
- The Jean Gougy, Lands End, 1962
- I remember being at school the day after this wreck – several of the other kids’ fathers were involved with the coastguard or the lifeboat stations, and were talking about what had happened. My father took my brother and me to Lands End at the weekend, and we looked over the cliff at the wreck lying on its side, wedged in the rocks. I remember crowds of people walking along the cliffs that day. The dramatic pictures of this wreck and the breeches-buoy rescue operation have become classics.
- The Torrey Canyon, Seven Stones Reef, 1967
- We lived in Penzance at the time, and there was major activity all around the area, mostly by army personnel helping with cleanup activities. I have a strong memory of the black smoke plume after the bombing runs.
My brother Andy and I started at Truro School in 1969, when our family moved to Kenya.