Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

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Wadebridge Old Cornwall Society



PRESIDENT:  David Bartlett   01208 816307




SECRETARY:  Mrs Margaret Bartlett   01208 816307


TREASURER:  Miss Jane Menhinick  


RECORDER:  Mr David Bartlett




At present we do not have an email contact
























































































We began our year by exploring the history of Mausoleums - including several in Cornwall - with John Hooper, a previous secretary of this Society.  Moving house usually involves bringing all our goods and chattels along to the new abode, but one lady went further than most in the 1700’s by having her husband’s body exhumed for re-interment in a Cornish grave near her new home!  The Christmas entertainment was accompanied as usual with mince pies and cream provided by members and in January we enjoyed Cornish folk music and traditions when Merv and Alison Davey visited.  Frank Argall told the story of his family’s pioneering work in photography around the county.  Some of their early picture postcards showed the full extent of Cornish industries, especially in the Falmouth area.  Members had a few examples of their own on display too.  Chris Knight gave a fascinating history of St Austell Brewery and how the women of the family kept the business running during WWI.  Careful acquisition of rival businesses gave them a firm base and a lot of pubs.  Samples of various brews were enjoyed afterwards!

Jean Charman arrived in April to tell the explosive story of the dynamite industry at Hayle Towans through war and peacetime.  Little now remains of the huts, but one hill in the vicinity was artificially created for part of the manufacture of cordite.  There were several fatal accidents.  Jean also showed filmed interviews with workers made some years ago after their retirements, showing the importance of recording the past while we can.  Margaret Thompson took us on another tour of Cornwall with her slides and David Naylor gave us the history of Uranium or yellow glass, so beloved by Queen Victoria and many of her subjects.  Cornwall supplied most of the uranium for the glass manufacture and also for Marie Curie’s radiation experiments.  St Ives top car park was the site of one of the biggest uranium mines.  

Tony Mansell left us in no doubt about the uniqueness of Cornish history and tradition, with an enthusiastic journey around the county in slides.  Last month Kingsley Rickard covered the story of Harvey’s of Hayle – another Cornish industrial success - and in November Ivor Bowditch will talk about the Great Families of Cornwall and their connections to the mining industry.

Other activities include two successful Coffee Mornings, visits to the Winter and Summer Federation Festivals by several members and in June some of us joined in the St Columb Midsummer Bonfire celebrations.  Unfortunately we were not able to organise our own Crying of the Neck in September, but several went to the St Columb Society’s event.  Sadly the trip organised to Trelissick Gardens was cancelled due to lack of interest.  Hopefully Group Travel will organise some suitable ones we can join, in 2020.

From this month there will be a change to distribution of the Old Cornwall Journal as the Federation Committee have decided each member will receive a copy twice a year.  For us this will be weighty problem with such a big membership, but we hope you will enjoy the journals.  The position will be reviewed in due course and your opinions will be welcomed, so please tell Andrew Langdon or the Secretary.

Thanks must go to all the members who so generously support our events and provide the delicious cakes for coffee mornings.  Finally a big thank you to the Town Hall staff who look after us so well and make sure everything is arranged as requested at meetings and events.

                                                        Margaret Bartlett




Margaret Bartlett ~ Secretary













































































Founded: 1932


Colours: Argent & Azure

Wadebridge wadebridge

Molesworth Street 2012 (Photo: Terry Knight)...

Wadebridge Programme 2019-20 Wadebridge Other Events 2020 Wadebridge photos