Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

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The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies is a registered charity with the following objects:


A) To collect, record and publish information regarding Cornish prehistory, history, topography, place-names, folk-lore, traditions, dialect, music, industries and similar subjects.


B) To protect the natural beauty of Cornwall.


C) To encourage the study and use of the Cornish Language.


D) To preserve Cornish Antiquities and relics of the past.

The Federation


FOCS President


Priscilla Oates


Past Presidents


E Blight

Revd B Coombes

Mrs H M Derrington MBE

S G Howlett

Mrs N Glanville

Dr A K Hamilton Jenkin

R G Jenkin

H Jenner FSA

Revd B Kinsmen

T Knight

A J Lyne

F Michell

H Miners

R M Nance

Past Presidents


R Opie

A Pearson

Miss J Rendell MBE

J N Rosewarne

Dr W J Rowe

J A Shearme

A Spiller

W M Symons

M Tangye MBE

D A Trevanion

G Pawley White

R Woolcock

C Woolf

Duncan Paul Matthews

FOCS Constitution DSCF2243 PO 2

Priscilla's End of Year Report


Summer to Winter 2016


The months since the Summer Festival seem to have flown by and now The New Year is upon us. These last few months have been overshadowed by the serious injuries sustained by our Federation Secretary Ivor Corkell. Thankfully He is now on the road to recovery and making slow but recognisable progress. We all wish him and Lynette well.

However it has brought home to a number of us the need for a Deputy, or at least one other person who is involved in the planning of a specific event, to have up to date notes of arrangements being made and confirmed. The Winter Festival would have caused us a few difficulties had not Lynette been able to access Ivor’s computer. Thank you Lynette for finding the time under such difficult circumstances. I am sure that this would also be good practice within our Societies. Please give it some considered thought when writing your New Year’s Resolutions.

In September our Banner Bearers deserved yet another medal. This time for yet again getting soaked through at The Gorsedh, I did pass on our grateful thanks to Karen Richards and the St Keverne W.I. ladies for looking after us so well and providing us with tea and hot food as we dripped all over the Church Room floor afterwards.

The Winter Festival went well at Saltash, thanks to Ernie Reynolds, Martin Lister and their team from Saltash, with help from Terry and Anne Knight, Merv Davey, Barbara Seed, Tony Mansell, Rob Evans and Bill Roberts from The Federation. In past years it has often been that the Summer Festival has been organised by The local O.C.S. and the Winter one by the Federation with help from the  local Society. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this arrangement that they would like to share with me?  Sadly a previous commitment did not allow me to attend  Saltash’s  Anniversary celebrations. I understand it went well.

It was good to see so many of you at The Autumn Meeting and AGM at Lys Kernow at the beginning of October. This is the time when forth coming events, and ideas are proposed and is our main channel  of communication with The Old Cornwall Societies. We do ask that each Society should send two voting Representatives to the two general meetings each year. I’m not sure that this always happens, as the numbers do not tie up but it is good that a few Societies send more than two along.

Also at the beginning of October I was invited to attend  a meeting arranged by Gordedh Kernow at Lys Kernow regarding the lack of representation of Cornish Culture at The Royal Cornwall Show in recent years. Some promising suggestions came out of this meeting so watch this space!

Later in October I attended the Annual Dinner of The Bournemouth Cornish Association, and again mentioned the benefits of  “Up Country”  Cornish joining Us.  I  have to say that Bournemouth Cornish are always enthusiastic supporters of The Federation.

I’ve also had the pleasure of spending a few hours at St Ives Museum in the company of Brian and Margaret Stevens. This is an excellent Museum and I recommend a visit if you are ever in St. Ives. It is administered by St. Ives O.C.S., and contains a wealth of information. I even found extra material there to add to two of my talks.  Thank You St. Ives.

Late October also saw  a meeting of four members of The Executive, planning a Recorders Day for Saturday 11th March 2017. If your O.C.S. was represented at The Winter Festival, you will already have notice of the Day. If not, I will be contacting you during January. Meanwhile please keep the date free if you are a Recorder or interesting in the role of Recorder. Barbara Seed and I had several quick meetings during the Autumn when we tossed out a few ideas. We were joined by Andrew  Langdon and Rob Evans, to knock it into shape. If we are to continue to gather up the fragments we need to have good Recorders in each Society.

Callington O.C.S. kindly invited me to their November meeting. I always enjoy meeting members on their home turf and there were a large number present in spite of the weather.

To end the year on a party note, I was pleased to be invited to Porthleven.  As a result of financial restraints this year they put on an afternoon’s entertainment provided by their own members, together with a feast of homemade baking. There is much talent hiding among our members when they remind us of the fragments of times past. Thank you Porthleven.

The next evening I was at St. Gerrans and Portscatho  O.C.S. for their 40th. Anniversary celebrations Even though I was practically voiceless from singing too many Merritts over the previous week. I had a wonderful evening.  Again an excellent meal, A brief history of their Society given by President Hilary Thompson, and a demonstration by Dalla of Cornish Step Dancing, coupled   with an explanation of traditional dress with the varieties in Gook Bonnets varying from Village to Village and occupation to occupation. My thanks go to Peter Messer-Bennett for his clear directions. We may live on neighbouring Penisulas, but it was my first visit to St. Gerrans. I am now planning to go back and see them in the daylight!

Finally to complete the festive season, an invitation to join Bude-Stratton and District O.C.S. and Friends for their “Readings and Carols from the Stratton Hundred “, at The Cathedral with Dean Roger. This together with Readings from Reverend Hawker, given by Bert Biscoe, President of Truro O.C.S.. Another excellent evening, again a gathering up of the fragments by Audrey Aymer and her team.  Well done and thank you.

What great delights and talents are lurking in our Societies.  Thanks to you all and I look forward to visiting you in 2017. I know we have some big Anniversaries coming this year.

I hope you all had a peaceful, happy and blessed Christmas, and may I wish you all good health and happiness for the New Year.


All the best,