Experiencing Cornish Hospitality.
Our morning begins with a drive into Bude for a day of exploration and a meeting with the keepers of the local archives. It seems that each time we leave Broomhill Manor (We say Broom Hill…the locals say Brumuhl) the local road crews come out and switch all the roads around just to confuse us when we go to return in the evening. Cathy and Peter head off to find the archivist in the Castle Bude. The official lady is sick but it doesn’t take long for a group of 5 volunteers to assemble and with eager ears listen to the story of Mimi and her life at Broomhill around 1900. They are overjoyed to share their knowledge and receive the hand written will from Cathy’s great great grandmother. They have accreditation with the British Museum and are thus able to store this will in an acid free, temperature and humidity controlled room. A far cry from folded in a plastic bin in our bedroom in Saskatoon. Cathy has generously given the will to them for historical purposes and they are overjoyed to receive it.
We explore Bude and find the Falcon Hotel that relatives of Mimi owned many years ago. We discover that Rupert Brendon is the current owner and would be a third cousin of Cathy and her brothers. It is spine tingling to see on the wall of the hotel pictures that include the same pictures that Cathy has in her possession. We have made arrangements to have tea with Rupert in a couple of days.
This is a picture of Elizabeth Jane Mason Brendon. She is Cathy, John and Peter’s great, great grandmother. We donated her handwritten will to the archives.
The next exciting event is meeting Roger Higgs a local geologist who gives tours designed to excite and convert everyone into a lover of rocks. He is animated, knowledgeable and humorous, just what you need in a tour guide. A couple from Scotland join us and we head off to learn about the geology of Bude. Our first stop is the Castle where Roger explains types of rocks and encourages us to examine his samples with a magnifying lens.
Roger did his PhD on the sedimentary rocks of the Bude formation and his knowledge spills over and does its’ best to penetrate my granite like brain. He takes us to the coastal hills and points out features of the ancient upheaval that produced the deposits of shale and sandstone in the angled layers we visualize.
These next two pictures show an interesting feature where ripples of sand were preserved as megatons of pressure squeezed the lake-bed sand and turned it into shale.
To complete this fully packed day we head home on roads that have once again been modified by local road crews determined to confuse our directional sense. We then cook our supper and head back into Bude to attend a lecture. Malcolm, a local Cornish-man that we met earlier has invited us to attend the local chapter of the ‘Old Cornwall Societies’. This group has arranged a talk on the wreck of the Tory Canyon. This was the worst shipping disaster in the UK where thousands upon thousands of barrels of oil spilled into the sea when the ship hit ground.
The talk was excellent and professionally presented. The icing on the cake was the chance to chat with locals and gain information about the local history. We lucked out with Allan Macintosh who knew lots of history of the Brendons and Broomhill Manor. A consistent delight in all of our travels is taking the chance to attend local events in small communities where you get to see the ‘real world of the local people.’
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