Determined to explore more of unknown Cornwall this year I readily accepted the invitation to explore this valley with a small group of friends. It was indeed an hour and a quarter’s drive from here but it would be a great stop off for guests on their way down to stay at Boscrowan with a few hours to spare whilst we are busy beavering away on preparing the cottages for their visit as it is only a few minutes from the A30.
All I knew before I left home was that it was a beautiful wooded valley where you could walk across a viaduct. Little did I know of the amazing historical remains of industry in Cornwall in the late 1900’s that we were to see.
We parked at the Kings Arms at Luxulyan, studied a map and a guide book over coffee and then headed to the main part of the village and onto a footpath where we entered the woodland. Remains of bridges and sluice gates were an unexpected, unexplicable sight until later on the walk. The viaduct and aqueduct was well hidden in the trees and a sudden sight to behold.
Cut granite pillars and a curved wall at either end and evidence of a tramway, across which we walked, peeping down through the great granite quoins to see where water ran below in days gone by. Then through woodland the tramway continued
We then reached the remains of a mill with a water wheel, abandoned great cogs, more sluice gates and really we needed some information boards at this point to explain. A male in our group might have been useful because they would have just known, or sounded as though they knew, we declared!
Down a gentle incline under a beautiful bridge
Apparently water power – steam I presume pulled the trams up this incline. Down towards Ponts Mill and back along another tramway, past where they used to dry the clay, then alongside the most beautiful river where we spotted dippers on the boulders and then flying short distances upstream ahead of us. Magical!
Back to the viaduct, but this time below and here we came across an information board at last – maybe we hadn’t joined this circular walk at the normal spot?
And we returned to the pretty village of Luxulyan, past the church with some very elaborate crosses indeed
to enjoy a most splendid, beautifully presented lunch at the Kings Arms again. If you are inspired do look up this website www.luxulyanvalley.co.uk and you’ll find out much more about the valley and the industry
A full house of 10 participants in the morning and we were off to a flying start, fuelled with homemade cakes, biscuits and coffee. By lunchtime we had produced a delightful collection of coathangers and tissue boxes. A three course lunch with a spot of wine and we were ready and re-charged for the afternoon session of 5 new enthusiastic people (with a special mention to Nigel – the first man who has come on one of our workshops) and three ‘finisher offers’ from the morning session.
Some highlights of the day are shown below!
We raised over £800 for the Friends of the Jubilee Pool towards its restoration. A big thank you to all of those who supported us – without their incredible generosity we could never have achieved such a sum! The Friends of Jubilee Pool have raised over 85K to date towards the needed £160K for the restoration project so we feel we have made a reasonable contribution from the humble coathanger and fabric offcuts!
Plenty of delicious food, much laughter and many keen to return for more workshops and lunches in the future – what better way to spend a day!
Every so often I hold a workshop in the soft furnshings workroom here and often in aid of a charity. The next one will be February 6th 2015. On this occasion all the proceeds will be going to the Save Our Lido appeal which is for the restoration of the Jubilee Pool in Penzance which was battered by the storms of February 2014. It was opened in 1935 and is one of the few remaining art deco outdoor pools in the country. www.jubileepool.co.uk
In addition to the two holiday cottages we have a converted farm building here, where myself and several part time ladies make bespoke soft furnishings for clients local and further afield. www.finecurtains.co.uk
I have an ever increasing pile of small remnants of fabric left over from clients soft furnishings projects here in my workroom. So a very good friend and myself are holding another covered coathanger and tisuue box cover making day. So what does a bespoke covered coathanger look like you ask?
The photo below is one of our delighted participants the last time we held a similar event.
So, if you’re interested it’s Friday 6th Feb 2015. Lots of food, fun and laughter and you learn new skills. Every penny of the £35 per head will go to a good local cause too.
Morning session 10.30 coffee and cake, practical session – 1.00 then lunch
Afternoon session begin with 1.00 lunch then the practical session followed by tea and cake
So the two sessions are open to all and if participants feel that they lack the necessary ability then that’s a challenge we love, as we guide them through at every stage and there’s a delicious lunch too.
And if you really are too daunted by the prospect of threading a needle but would like to support the Lido then I am making some to sell @ £9 and again, all the proceeds to the appeal. Just send me an e mail to order!