President: Julian Williams
Secretary: Ms Susan Fox Schovell, Cliff Road, Goran Haven, St Austell 01726 842873
Hilary Thompson will be giving a talk to St. Goran OCS on the History of Portscatho at the Community Rooms, Gorran on Monday 2nd October, starting at 2 p.m.
The chairman of St. Goran Old Cornwall Society, Dr. James Whetter, led a guided walk around Gorran Haven for members of St. Gerrans and Portscatho Old Cornwall Society on Wednesday evening. He pointed out the former grist mill, the pump which was the source of the villagers’ water in former days, the old customs house which is believed to have been the base for revenue officers in the early 19th century. He said with the names “Rice” and “Canton” some people wondered if the place had an oriental connection but “Rice” is from Cornish language “res”, a ford, and “Canton” the name of the house in the middle of the village, given it by a well-travelled former inhabitant. He pointed out the site of Dick Pill’s boat building yard in the early 20th century, now a fish and chip shop. The party numbering about 20 then went on to the limekiln and saw the lovely view of the bay from there. The tide was up and with a strong east wind blowing there were mounds of seaweed at the top of the beach. He said in former days farmers with horses and carts would come down and carry it off and put it on their fields. Now, he supposed the council would have to remove it. Dr. Whetter gave details of the history of the quay and the rock in the middle of the bay, the Gwineas, believed to be from “gwyn enys”, “holy island”, being the habitation of the saint of the village, St. Just, in the first millennium when with sea levels lower it would have been suitable for that. He showed them the building that was formerly the village pub, the Ship Inn, now the Mermaid café. Then the party went and had a look at the church, built by Henry Bodrugan in the 15th century which was restored in the late 19th century and finally to Cliff Road to see the Coastguard Station built in 1868. Returning to their cars they then went to Gorran Churchtown and had a look around the church. It being bell ringing practice night, they had a nice musical end to their visit which they all seemed to enjoy.