Constantine Cornwall

It’s been a challenging year at the Mullion & Constantine practice, with lots of changes and new ways of working. It’s also been inspiring to see people helping each other to overcome the difficulties of the pandemic.

At the surgery we have seen people keen to help with deliveries of medicines to people who are isolating. We have also benefited from the help of the “Friends of Constantine Surgery” charity, who have purchased the “COVID cabin” which helps us to see patients while minimising the risk of infection to the staff or other patients. We are gradually starting to open the surgery again bit by bit.

This is possible as more and more of the vulnerable patient groups are vaccinated and pro- tected against the COVID virus. In the coming months we hope that we will be able to open the premises more fully, but this will be a gradual process.

Meanwhile, the practice is doing well with the COVID vaccine rollout with about 97% of people in the top four patient risk groups having been vaccinated with their first dose, and about 50% of people in all the patient risk groups having been vaccinated with their first dose (at the time of writing).

As a practice, we would like to thank you all for continuing to work with us, and our special thanks to the Friends of Constantine Surgery who are continuing to support us with improving the Surgery to cope with COVID.

Dr David Roberts

The last year…
What a year we have all had! With the temporary closure of the Pre-School last year in lockdown #1 and reduced opening hours from January, Kate and the team have tirelessly offered support to our children and families throughout this time. They provided story-time recordings, toy library deliveries, useful links for activities and support and arranged one-to-one visits. We are so fortunate to have a dedicated, passionate team who care deeply about their roles and the children.

What’s going on…
With hope of the times ahead, the team excitedly welcomed back all children on 8th March, along with some new starters who we hope will settle in well in the coming weeks.

This half term the children are investigating the signs of Spring and the new beginnings it brings. They will be planting up the Pre-School garden and vegetable patch and using their role play market stall to sell their produce to their peers!

The team and children are excited to be returning to the woods, for weekly Forest School sessions from the end of March, which we find are invaluable to children’s development and emotional wellbeing (and they’re just super fun!).

We need your help!
Like many charities the impact of the numerous national lockdowns has greatly affected the financial support for our little Pre-School. Our kit that is used for our weekly Forest School sessions is becoming very tired and desperately needs replacing. If you are able to support our cause, we would hugely appreciate any donations through our Gofundme page (gofund.me/ ed7aaa34).

We are incredibly grateful for donations received so far this year and would like to share our appreciation to OTS (running the Bus services through Constantine to Falmouth and Helston) who very kindly made a generous contribution earlier in the year.

Whatever you can spare will make a big difference and will allow the children to continue to fully immerse themselves in the wonderful world on their doorsteps.

If you would like to get in touch to know more about the Pre-School, please contact committee@constantine-preschool.co.uk.

Transition Constantine Update
Chris Hussey

The Church Hall is owned by the Diocese of Truro, along with the car park, the fields below, and the Glebe Garden. Now that the Church has given up its lease on the Church Hall, the Diocese is considering what should happen to it.

In mid-March the Parish Council received copies of documents sent to Cornwall Council planning department that form a ‘pre-application’ submission. In other words, the Diocese will be seeking planning permission to re-develop the Church Hall as residential property, and has submitted an outline of the proposal to prompt comment from the planners. There are various options presented, showing the Hall being converted into one, two, or three residences. All involve the current walled car park being taken into the exterior space of the residence(s), with the further car park by the green being extended into the field below.

Early in 2020 the Parish Council suc- cessfully nominated the Church Hall as an ‘Asset of Community Value’. The consequence of this is that should the Diocese put the Church Hall up for sale, there is a requirement for the sale to be delayed by six months if there is community interest in buying the Hall. There is no preferential treatment – the required delay is simply to allow a community group to raise funds. They would then compete in an open market with others interested in the property.

At the time of writing it is unclear what the Diocese’s intentions are. It is possible, but perhaps unlikely, that it will retain ownership of the Hall. Should planning permission be granted, there seem three possibilities. The Diocese could:

  • sell the Hall as-is with planning permission in place;
  • redevelop the Hall and let the properties(in which case no sale would take place, and the ‘community right to bid’ would not be relevant;
  • redevelop the Hall and sell the properties. The next scheduled meeting of Constantine Parish Council is on Tuesday 15 April 2021, and the proposed redevelopment of the Church Hall will undoubtedly be discussed then. These meetings are open to the public to attend, and there is always provision for public questions before the meeting begins. In any case, I am sure Parish Councillors will welcome public views on the proposed redevelopment in advance of the meeting.

Transition Constantine Update
Caitlin DeSilvey

Thanks to the support and patience of the CEC board, we now have agreement on a final version of the lease that will allow for community stewardship of the Glebe Woodland. Our hoped for start date has been delayed slightly as we wait for South West Water to finish their work expanding the holding capacity of the pumping station at the entrance to the woods. The understanding is that once the work is completed the area will be restored to something like the condition it was in prior to the works starting, so it will likely be May or perhaps later before we can take up the lease (and begin our own works).

In February we sent a call-out to people who had pledged support over the last year to cover the necessary set-up expenses, insurance and annual lease payment, approximately £600. We’ve now raised about half of what is needed, and will be doing another appeal once we have the lease start date confirmed. If you would like to be included in updates, or offer a donation, please email me at c.desilvey@gmail.com.

These elections are at three levels: – Parish Council, Cornwall Council and the Devon and Cornwall Police Commissioner.

You may feel that you do not want to go out to vote in the present Covid situation, but you can do a postal vote from your home. To apply for a postal vote, go to the Cornwall Councill website and register to do so.

Statement from John Bastin

Dear Elector,
I am standing once again for election onto the Cornwall Council Unitary Authority, but this time in the new division of Constantine, Mabe and Mawnan in the hope you will re-elect me to continue the work I have carried out on your behalf.

I intend to put to good use the experience I have acquired in local government matters when fac- ing the considerable challenges of the future. I want see that the proposals to rationalise and im- prove the efficiency of local services are implemented without increased taxation and cost.

I have been concerned that the current administration has increased taxation but the value of the services you have the right to receive, shows little, if any improvement. My focus is on improving essential services, cutting down on time wasting and bureaucracy.

I have a particular interest in the environment and the very real threat of Climate Change. We have an opportunity in the post-Covid era to make use of what the pandemic has taught us about the way we live and to ensure that local need is very much respected in our thinking.

I would like to reassure you that, whatever your political persuasion, my aim is to represent each one of you from Constantine, Mabe and Mawnan. I will listen to your views and represent your concerns to the best of my ability. And, as ever, I will continue taking an active interest in the life of your community.

I look forward to representing you and ask for your support on Thursday 6 May.

Yours sincerely
John Bastin

The premiere of Gweek Players’ The Village Hall Murder went off swimmingly on
1 March on YouTube. The actors and “backstage” crew did themselves proud by filming the scenes under strict Covid conditions. The play was organised and produced by the wonderful Mandy Rolleston and directed by the brilliant Emma Phillips, who spent literally hours and hours editing the videos she received from the cast, then adding music and drone footage to create The Village Hall Murder. We would like to thank the 1,183 viewers (as of 9 March) who have watched the murder mystery so far. It can still be seen on YouTube by registering on our website, gweekplayers.co.uk.

Another thank you goes to those viewers who helped raise £1200 in donations for the performing arts charity, Carn to Cove, who very much appreciated our initiative. We look forward to seeing a real live audience when we perform Blithe Spirit on 17- 20 November this year at Gweek Village Hall (fingers crossed!).

Tracey Clowes and the Christmas Lights Team

Very cautiously the Christmas Lights Team are beginning to plan for some of our popular fundraising events.

Last year we relied, as everyone did, on funds saved for a rainy day to put on the village Christmas lights display, now hopefully if the government road map goes to plan, we can look forward to holding some community events.

With that in mind we would like you to pop these dates in your diaries: From April 17 the Book Harbour will be back on my drive in Bridge every weekend. You can’t miss it as you drive or walk past. A huge thanks to so many of you have been donating books over the lockdown, meaning we have a fantastic selection to start off this new season.

Following on from this will be ‘Books at the Bus Stop’ May bank holiday Monday. Weather and road map per- mitting, we shall aim for May 3rd however should the weather be inclement we shall try for the second bank holiday May 31.

It has been 18 months since we last sat and drank tea together on the grass opposite the Church so we are extremely excited to think that fingers crossed, this August we shall be able to run ‘Teas Under the Trees’ every Wednesday from 2.00pm – 4.00pm. It will be fantastic to be together again eating cake and drinking tea.

As always, our events will be advertised by a notice board either on the railings near the Bus Stop or propped against the telegraph pole near the village carpark.

Please do come and join us.

What a strange year it has been so far for us all in schools, especially when we have spent most of the first term in lockdown. We have been open for the children of Key Workers and this was quite challenging as we had children in school and at home to educate. The learning curve for staff, children and parents was steep with getting to grips with different learning platforms mid lockdown, but we are delighted with how successful it was.

Now we are fully open again we are so happy to be back together where we all belong. Our school has come alive again and we’d love to bottle the excitement, enthusiasm and smiles we have been seeing every day since welcoming everyone back.

We are really hoping to see restrictions ease further as we move into the summer term. We’d love to be able to go on our camps, have our sports day, Tolmen Centre performances, and be able to look forward to the all the other long standing Constantine School traditions that occur at this time of year.

Science Week
Our whole school enjoyed National Engineering and Science Week and this year’s focus was on ‘Space’. If you have been checking out our Twitter feed (@ConstantineSch2) then you will have seen some of the fun investigating and learning we took part in. The quality of what was investigated, discussed and also produced was really impressive.

Here are a few images to let you in on the fun:

  • We have been investigating ways to transport tourists into space, help them travel on the Moon and also get back to Earth after their visit.
  • Immersed in STEM challenges to find a way to bring space tourists safely home. We used our learning powers of collaboration and questioning to design an experiment.
  • A fabulous day learning about the Earth, Sun and Moon. The children worked in small groups to use circular/ spherical objects to represent their ideas of the relative sizes of the Earth, moon and Sun. Afterwards we learned that the Sun is so huge that it could fit 1.3 million Earths inside it!

We are very excited to have recently heard that our school, along with all other schools in Kernow Learning Academy Trust, will become part of the Ogden Trust Partner- ship. This is a
charitable Trust to promote physics and science in primary schools and we can’t wait to get stuck in. This means funding, training, resources and exciting opportunities for us all over the next 4 years! We promise to share more about this journey with you as we go along.

International Women’s Day
The children enjoyed celebrating this special day and we read and heard about many inspirational women in the wider world and also those in our own lives.

Chateez
To help the children communicate and develop their skills in understanding their own and others feelings, all staff have undertaken Youth Sport Trust Chateez training. This added to our Trauma Informed and PACE (playful, listening, curious, empathetic) approach’s we already use.

The initiative behind this uses emojis for children to help them explain their thoughts in whole class, group or 1:1 situations. This has worked really well so far and has been enlightening also as some children don’t understand some feelings and may have never experienced them. Some have been able to tell us they are hungry and we have been able to provide extra fruit at break-times or even breakfast if it’s been a rushed morning at home. The children love the emojis and many games are played in PSHE using these cards also.

We also have friends in the village who would like us to become more involved in the Plastics Project and as a school we will certainly be wanting to get stuck in. This is being led by Vera an ex-pupil and Christo (Max and Ella’s dad). It’s great to have so many exciting projects and community links to look forward to.

Constantine School Local Advisory Board (Governors)
Our LAB are seeking a further member to join our team. If you would to become involved and feel you can offer our village school some of your time then do get in touch with our Chair of Governors Mrs Jude Carroll via school 01326340554. We are seeking parent and community representatives and we are always looking out for ways to continue and make further positive links with our community.

Judging from the number of photographs and local stories that have been offered so far, Sally Coot and I both feel encouraged to go ahead with a second history book of Con stantine. This will be quite a process, and having gauged enthusiasm for the project, an important task now is to raise sufficient funds enabling us to not only get the project off the ground but ultimately for us to go to print. 

With that in mind we are hoping to organise some small-scale community fundraising events when restrictions allow, such as a coffee morning or afternoon tea, to keep eve ryone up to date, giving you a chance to see how far we have come and to share even more of your stories and photographs. How ever, until that time, and just to set the ball rolling, Sally has agreed to have a small Bric a Brac stall to raise funds on her driveway (next door to the Recreation ground) for one month. We do have some lovely bits and pieces for the stall so keep your eyes open as you walk along Trebarvah Road. 

In the meantime, my task is to start to research grant options. If anyone has ever been down the route of writing and producing a book in the past and can offer any advice or support, or help us steer clear of any pitfalls, then I would welcome a chat. Although our main aim is to produce a book, we hope to collect and collate oral history accounts along the way, which will complement the contents of the book. We are also hoping, if funds and planning permission allows, to see a listening post installed somewhere within the village. 

You can help by keeping those photo graphs and stories coming in. Every day we are making history so please don’t think you have nothing to add because you haven’t lived in Constantine for several generations. 

Sally Coot can be contacted on her email – sallyandalfie@icloud.com.
I can be contacted on 340279. 

Tracey Clowes

Helston Local Food Hub is a new way of shopping each week for the finest fresh, local and seasonal produce that you can usually only buy once a month from a Farmers’ Market or by visiting lots of different farms and shops. Over 400 items of meat, vegetables, dairy, preserves, sweet and baked goods from a range of local producers are available to purchase from helstonlocalfoodhub.co.uk. It is a ‘click and collect’ service with pick-up from the Old Cattle Market in Helston and at collection points in Mullion and Porthallow in the early afternoon. 

We’ve had a lot of interest from Constantine and whilst we can’t make a delivery point there, one of our regular customers, Rosie North has offered to pick up any orders from Helston, bring them to her home where you can collect from her, saving a few journeys and a few less food miles. By shopping with us, you help strengthen and support your local food economy, and 80% of your spend goes directly to the producer. 

How it works 

Helston Local Food Hub is just like a ‘click and collect’ service that you might be familiar with at a supermarket. We sell delicious food items from a range of producers local to Helston. These include: Gear Farm Organic Vegetables (in season, not now) Treveador Farm cheese, Boscarnon Farm beef, Primrose Herd pork, Penny’s Pies, Boscadjack Mill Seasonal Produce, Gweal Mellin Cider, Ruby June’s Indian Kitchen and lots more.

  1. Visit www.helstonlocalfoodhub.co.uk to see the range of produce available to buy from our website on the Open Food Network. You can filter the items by producer or by product type, e.g. ‘Dairy’ or ‘Bread and Bak ing’. If you don’t have access to a computer or don’t like shopping online, give me a call on 07421 271106 and we can arrange a different way for you to shop for these products. We are also now offering a ‘subscription’ service so if you want a regular order you don’t need to remember to order each week (but you will need to remember to come and pick your order up!) 
  2. We work in order cycles, opening up the online shop each week until Thursday lunch time for you to shop from. We then assemble all the orders at the Old Cattle Market in Helston on Saturday morning and Rosie will deliver to Constantine – Staplehurst, Bowling Green, (the turning space and entrance to the doctors surgery) rosie.north16@gmail.com Tel: 07491658155 at 11.00. 
  3. Just click ‘Collection in Constantine’ at checkout and we’ll make sure your order arrives with her.
  4. Please bring shopping bags or boxes to take your food away in. 
  5. Rosie won’t always be able to offer this service, so there may be times when this ser vice is not available. Please talk to Rosie if you think you might be able to help out on days that she can’t get to Helston. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Let’s recycle our plastic right here in Constantine!

Everyone knows that climate change is a big problem, but sometimes it’s really hard to know what you can do to help. Precious Plastic Cornwall is something everyone can be a part of and it’s something we’re really excited to tell you about!

Recycling in Cornwall can be difficult. So it isn’t a surprise that the average home is throwing away more and more rubbish every month. In Spring 2018 the average Cornish home threw away 42kg of rubbish every month. By Autumn of last year, the most recent period that the Council has data for, this has grown to 45kg every single month. And in Cornwall we don’t use any landfills. We burn it instead, releasing a lot of CO2 and maybe other pollutants as well. This isn’t great!

Worse, the recycling isn’t increasing fast enough to make much of a difference. Yes it is increasing… and maybe it’s encouraging that the amount of household waste that is recycled is up 3 percentage points since Spring 2018. But that still means that only 22% of all household waste is actually recy- cled. All the rest gets burnt.

Precious Plastic Cornwall wants to make a dent in that. We’re taking advantage of the Precious Plastic global community (more than 80,000 strong) and we are setting up a community plastic recycling centre.

This means we can recycle the plastic here, more types than can be recycled via the kerbside collection, and it also gives us all a chance to learn about the problem, for other charities and schools and the community to be involved, and to benefit from it and to give something back (instead of shipping the plastic off to distant counties so others can recycle it and sell it back to us!).So it’s early days. There’s a small group of us who are now hard at work, but we will accept any help you can offer!

We need a location where we can put the machines. We are going to use the Precious Plastic tried-and-tested designs for a shredder and an injection moulder, but advice and help from everyone and other ideas are very welcome. We’re going to work with local businesses, local secondary schools and the local universities to help with injection mould dies and other matters. We have got some great support- ers in the council and we will be applying to them and others for help with funding.

We would love to have your help with any of these, and there are so many other things as well. If you’re interested and you’d like to know more or if you just have any questions then you can email us at preciousplasticcornwall@gmail.com

Thanks!

Vera & Cristo

Lockdown has had many disadvantages and difficulties but it has given me time to do some research into the history of our house. I had promised myself I would find out more about 61 Fore Street when I first saw the handwritten deeds from 1824 and 2020 has given me that opportunity. I have been able to follow a fascinating trail of local families, businesses and occupants.

61 Fore Street was built by John Reynolds, mason, after he obtained the lease in January of 1824. It was then owned and /or occupied by the Reynolds family for 122 years! The final family member being a Mrs Ada Vague, nee Reynolds who left in 1947. I discovered a wealth of detail about the Reynolds family and what went on here, but there were also other remarkable occupants.

The years moved on and in 1954 it was bought by Mr George Morrison Reid Henry and his wife Olive. He was a retired officer of the Ceylon Government Service and had been the Senior Entomologist of the Columbo Museum. He was a Baptist lay preacher, a falconer and a very well-regarded bird artist, with many scientific texts, books and book illustrations to his credit. I first came across his name on passenger lists of steamers going to India!

This explains a few things we had been told about previous occupants and a curi- ous fact about our floors! Some people in the village remember a ‘military’ type chap living here and that he had been in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and that he had a big aviary in the garden with an ‘eagle’ in it! When we first arrived and took up old carpets and lino we found that many of the solid floors, doorsteps etc. were deep red, not paint but some softer material. It was Cardinal red floor polish, very, very popular in Sri Lanka then and now. There are still adverts for it on YouTube!

Mr Henry, or ‘GM’ as he was known, retired to Constantine for the mild climate and luckily for us wrote his memoirs which were published under the title ‘From Pearls to Painting’.

He was born in 1891, one of eleven children, on the Goatfell Tea Estate, Kandapola, not far from where some of the Good Karma Hospital TV series is filmed when they go to the tea plantation at Wilehena. His father was a ‘planter’. Planters were employed by wealthy owners to manage everyday matters. GM never really went to school but was taught by his older sisters and the odd tutor. The family moved around various remote estates and they were strict Baptists so life was fairly austere. At one point they lived 12 miles away from the railway and 4 from a cart road ‘Isolated from european society’ but well- schooled in Scripture! Their father made them learn texts from the bible. Already a great lover of wildlife GM scoured the bible for zoological references and learnt ‘Deadflies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour’!

GM’s interest in wildlife prompted a neighbour, who collected moths, to set him up with nets, killing bottles etc. and he began to collect insects. He led a fairly free existence, foraging in the jungle, capturing ‘pets’ (sometimes snakes!) and falling in the estate waterhole. It all sounds like an eastern version of Gerald Durrell and ‘My family and other animals’!

The family suffered various trials over the years, moving to Columbo when his father was sacked for not making the ‘Coolies’ work on Sunday and there sadly his brother died of dysentery. At one point they were living off the charity of the Mission Home. So, at 16 he started his first job as draughtsman and lab assistant to the Ceylon Company of Pearl Fishers, the company did not last many years, but he had begun his scientific and artistic career.

In 1913 his talent for drawing was recognised when he became Assistant in Systematic Entomology at the Columbo Museum. He had some training in India but basically was self-taught. He made the post his own, reading, collecting, organising, displaying and writing, officially on insects and also, on his great love, birds.

He never found his career easy as without formal training the colonial British class system was unassailable but he resolutely pursued his talent and interests. At home he had an aviary, insect rearing cages and raised many species of chicks from eggs. He still had his pets, owls, vampire bats, a green pit viper and at one point kept a crocodile tethered in a zinc bath in the garden! This obviously explains the aviary in the yard here in Constantine!

When WW1 came along GM had to stay in Ceylon allowing him to continue his work. We shall hear more of his adventures in the east in the next edition of the Constant Times.

Lynda Gregory

‘Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issue, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them.’
National Geographic June 2019

Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five gar-bage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.

You could make a difference by collecting your hard colourful plastic waste, and giving it to Cornwall Cast: a new circular economy business in Constantine, making signs, memorials and smaller objects from recycled materials.

While single-use plastic is a massive worldwide problem, I am offering a solution to help my local community, to remove the excessive plastic waste already in the system.I have collection points in Penzance and Falmouth, but especially here in my own village. This enterprise has been developed over the last 3 years, working with many business advisory groups, and has received funding from TEVI, towards a Granulator (this shreds the plastic). I am currently working with Acceleration Through Innovation 2, to explore and research uses for plastic waste, alongside The Skills Hub and Cultivator Currently, I am accepting any hard colourful plastics to my home address; 14 Penwartha Close, Constantine TR11 5GB – there is a big yellow wheelie bin just inside my garden as a receptacle. Bottle tops, old plastic bowls, toys, tubs, anything that is hard, colourful and made of plastic, etc.

Kate Milan

Spring is well underway and we have hopefully been able to spend more time outdoors enjoying the birds singing, the bees buzzing and the flowers blooming. However, without our help these natural wonders will become steadily become poor imitations of themselves as across Cornwall and the UK they are facing alarming declines due to pollution, habitat loss and climate change. Perhaps you have already noticed that there are fewer sparrows and swallows around since you were younger, or less bees visiting your flowers? 

Our gardens have the potential to be mini nature reserves – by just making a few simple changes, they can become places where wildlife thrives. Food, water and shelter are the top priorities. Here are some top tips for creating a wildlife friendly garden of any size. 

Provide water – Water is one of the most important resources you can offer, it will be gratefully used by birds, insects and even amphibians. If you have space, dig a pond and even if you have a very small space, an old washing up bowl filled with rainwater will soon attract visitors like pond skaters and damselflies. 

Make a deadwood pile – Dead and decaying wood is almost as important to wildlife as living wood. It provides shelter for amphibians and reptiles. If in sun, logs provide nesting habitat for some types of solitary bee, while if in shade and partially buried, dead wood pro- vides nesting habitat for some types of beetle. 

Plant for pollinators – Fortunately, there is a great variety of beautiful flowers and shrubs which provide much needed nectar for bees and butterflies. Nectar rich varieties will attract colourful displays and reward your efforts. Try to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides as these are particularly harmful to bees. 

Other ideas include building a bat or bird box, opening up a gap in your fence for hedgehogs, leaving areas of long grass and of course feeding the birds. There are no rules, simply do as much as you want and have room for. Gardens take up more space than all of our nature reserves put together, so whatever you do will make a difference! 

Antonia Mullaly, Transition

Trees for the planet 

Transition Constantine has been part of a group in Falmouth which raised money to save thousands of new oak saplings from being mulched. 

We are now offering these to people in the Parish for free. Anyone who has room in their garden, or on their land, for a tree or for a few trees, please contact Sandra Boreham, 01326 341493 as soon as possible. It would be good to get them in the ground as soon as we can. 

After the disappointment of having to cancel Martha Tilston’s New Year show, we are keeping all our fingers firmly crossed for our first live event in nearly a year. On Saturday May 29th Kitty Macfarlane will be playing to an audience limited to 50% of our usual capacity. Kitty is a young singer-songwriter from the Somerset levels, and this is what the Guardian had to say about her:

“Her remarkably accomplished debut album, Namer Of Clouds, beguiles with its poetry and tenderness, and her eye for detail, vivid imagination and bright vocals make it a captivating listen. She is a talent to watch”. Tickets on sale shortly, and we hope to welcome back as many people as are allowed.

From June 21st, if all goes well, we should be able to open to full audiences, and we already have bookings in the pipeline for a wide range of musicians including Martha Tilston, and The Blackheart Orchestra, both in June/ July, with The Odd Folk, Daoiri Farrell, the Budapest Cafe Orchestra and Thomas Gabriel in the autumn. Watch this space!

Dougal Jeffries

As we emerge from what seems a long dark winter, I think we are all feeling a sense of expectation that 2021 will continue to improve and a belief that some form of normality may return. As more Covid vaccinations are administered and the roadmap out of lockdown revealed, as a society I am optimistic that we can start to make tentative preparations for garden society meetings towards the end of the year. Unfortunately until the all clear has been given we must be cautious with any preparations or decisions made.

With this in mind, I have to report that the 2021 Garden Society Show in July will not take place. As mentioned in the last magazine entry, we will be having the Constantine Village, best front garden and hanging basket award. The properties that will be judged will mainly focus on those along Fore Street. The judges will start by Constantine School and walk Down towards Penbothidno taking in streets either side. This will be judged in July, by 3 society members, who will chosen at a later date. The award will be presented soon after the judging has taken place. I’m sure that after 3 lockdowns and the amount of time that some people have spent planning, preparing and improving their gardens we will have some great gardens to see. So please if you are resident within that area, get planning, preparing and planting. Good luck to you all.

I personally am hopeful that the old English proverb, ‘In like a Lion out like a Lamb’ will hold true this year. I will be glad to see the back of these frosts and cold easterly winds. As I sit here writing this, the wind is howling and sleet hitting the windows, I can’t wait for Spring to arrive. I have lost a few plants this winter to the frost and am currently working overtime to protect the new shoots that are coming through in the garden and all the seedlings that are growing under lights and those in the greenhouse.

Peter Wilson

HOLIDAY HOMES
Guidance is clear, you are not allowed to go on holiday, or to visit second homes, except in exceptional circumstances. Full guidelines on the Government Covid-19 website.

If you have concerns re the abuse of this restriction which is now law. You can contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1231 118.

SHIELDED RESIDENTS
Those deemed to be clinically extremely vul- nerable and are employed are asked to work from home, while all are advised to go outside once a day for exercise when possible.

The Government should have written to all those who previously shielded to offer the latest advice. Anyone who needs support should contact our Cornwall Council dedi- cated support email address at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

MEETING WITH OTHERS
You can meet with one person from another household to exercise outdoors, and children under school age can attend those meetings.

Adults living alone are now allowed to form a support bubble with another similar household, meaning they can visit each other’s homes, stay overnight and meet in outdoor spaces.

Important Cornwall Council links
All coronavirus-related enquiries or issues should go to our dedicated Cornwall Council email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. This email address is monitored throughout normal business hours.

Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing 01872 266988 or visiting volunteercornwall.org.uk.

Find out more about the support available for businesses on the Cornwall Council website – Business Rate Support, Council Tax Support and Growth Hub. Other useful numbers:

  • Samaritans 116123
  • Domestic Abuse UK 0808 2000 247
  • Domestic Violence UK 0808 2000 247
  • Child Abuse Helpline 0800 111
  • Young Person’s Mental Health 0800 068 4141

Constantine Parish Council elections take place every four years and are due to be held this May when all eleven seats on the Council are up for election. The current Council members are:

  • P. Carter (Chairman)
  • J. Andrew
  • A. Carter
  • H. Bolt
  • Mrs S.Dunstan
  • E.Nicholls
  • Mrs T. Thomson
  • Mrs P. Bradley-Davis
  • R. Wickins
  • C. Painter.

The role of the Parish Council is to:

  • give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
  • undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
  • work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
  • alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
  • help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities

If you believe you could help to look after and improve facilities for the community and might consider standing for election to the Parish Council, find out more at constantinecornwall.com/parish-council/becoming-a-councillor/ and at askyourcouncil.uk.

Editor’s note: Standing Council Members were invited by The Constant Times to say something about themselves and their aims if re-elected, but have not yet done so. However, there will be another opportunity in the April/May issue, when other prospective candidates will also be invited to submit statements.

Tracey Clowes, Hon. Chair, Constantine Enterprises Company

A month shy of two years since we launched our Tolmen ‘Love Me Restore Me’ Campaign, the roof
work is complete. The final section of scaffolding came down mid-January and the slated slopes are looking fantastic! The guttering has been replaced along with the downpipes to the two side elevations, and bat slates have been put in place on the north-west slope of the roof in consultation with the bat specialist.

If the amount of guano is anything to go by, the seagulls are also well pleased with their new perching spot! The timberwork to the roof is generally sound, timber treatment has been carried out and insulation installed in the roof void. Thanks go to all involved in the co-ordination of this phase of our project, with special thanks to Richard Thomas, Marc Lothian, Andy, Phil and all the crew at Landstone Construction who have worked in some very inhospitable conditions at times to get the roofing complete.

So, what next? As I write we have a plasterer in situ completing internal plaster repairs around the large upstairs arched window and the kitchen/café walls. This damage arose due to water ingress from the failing roof and downpipes over many years. We also have a minor area of audi- torium ceiling to repair, not an uncommon problem in a building dating from the late Victorian period. Once we can be sure all the dust has settled and Covid restrictions allow, we shall be back into the building for a thorough clean.

On to phase three of the project – the 22 windows, most requiring some attention either repair/restoration and 1 total replacement. Constantine Enterprises Company would like to thank Constantine Parish Council who in December generously donated £2000 to assist with this phase of the project, recognising the importance of keeping such a wonderful village building in good order for the future. We also have ringfenced £4000 from an earlier Garfield Weston Grant. So, for now, we shall draw breath before hopefully in the Spring beginning this part of the project, window by window.

We are so looking forward to a time (maybe now with vaccinations, in the not too distant future) when we can invite you back to the Tolmen Centre and to say in person a huge thank you for ‘keeping the faith’ both financially and on a very personal level which is enabling this vital vil- lage project to progress. We could not have done this without your support.

With the new restrictions coming in just before it was due, we had to cancel Martha Tilston’s eagerly awaited gig on January 2 – a decision made all the more inevitable when a small section of ceiling fell onto the stage a day or two earlier! We hope to rebook Martha later in the year, and would like to thank her and her band, and all those who bought tickets for the event, for their support.

IF (that’s what’s technically called a big ‘if’) conditions allow, we hope to be able to re-open in the spring.

tolmencentre.co.uk

By John Hawes, our very own voluntary ‘litter warden’

I write this piece on the first day of the new lockdown. I live with my wife in Ponjeravah, or as a good friend calls it “the swamps of the village”. I am an octogenarian.

Of course, the long haul since last March has depressed me from time to time. It was alright in the spring and the summer. It was a novelty at the time and I was happy to spend long hours outdoors. The autumn was not too bad but the shortening days of the last two months of the year and the endless succession of wet and windy days have not been good for my morale. And then there is the cumulative effect. Surely, now is the time to look on the bright side?

Yesterday, it was still quite light at 4.30 pm. Slowly, the days are lengthening. In a month or so the birds will be tuning up, certainly the blackbirds and very likely a mistle thrush. Positive points for all of us but we have different problems.

A fair number of our fellow villagers live alone; some are house-bound through lack of mobility or other reasons. There are young families with children now at home and living in restricted space. There will be teenagers worried about their GCSE’s or their A levels and desperately missing their friends. Lots of us have poor Broadband reception which is particularly difficult when working from home and studying on line. And not everybody has enough computer hardware. There are people who are unwell, not with Covid but are hesitant to seek treatment for fear of Covid . Some people have lost their jobs, have used up their savings and are now finding it very difficult to make ends meet. All these scenarios are present in our village and are common all over the United Kingdom. However, without discounting an ounce of sympathy for our fellow citizens throughout the country, I think that we should concentrate our thoughts on our village and its inhabitants.

As I wrote above our difficulties are varied, however we members of the Constantine community have our advantages in common. They are firstly of people and secondly of place. I walk up to the village several times a week and I often meet walkers down at Ponjeravah who are taking their daily exercise. They are invariably so friendly maybe brought closer together by a common enemy. We exchange a few words with each other and feel just a little bit brighter. This year, my wife, Eleanor and I have learned how to live more locally. We now appreciate the excellent service from Kevin and his team at the Spar shop. Dominique from Trebarvah farm has just delivered some of her excellent Dexter beef. Later in the week we will have the freshest fish home supplied from the Lizard fishing cooperative, Kernowsashimi. And then there is the personal side, certainly we are ‘phoning each other more often than in the past. For some life is less busy and they enjoy more time to care. For others there is perhaps more time to think and then to contact those who may be lonely.

There is less motor traffic therefore less noise and less air pollution and even the fewer overflying planes must contribute. I am told that wildlife is thriving from reduced human interference. As a village litter-picker I can confirm that there is much less about. But where we are all most fortunate, under my sub heading of place is in living in Constantine, the village, the parish, in West Cornwall. We are not restricted to exercising in a crowded local park, we have lovely country all around us, it is healthier in every way. Very soon the primroses will be in flower, we will hear the Chiffchaff by mid March and then in April the bluebells will carpet Bosahan woods. We are luckier than many. I have read this very day on the Surgery website that the first vac- cines will be delivered within a few days. By late spring most of us should have received our jabs and by June we should all be partying in the streets. Perhaps, I am being too optimistic but that is definitely better than the other way round. It will be some weeks before what I write today will be read by you all. Let us hope that my optimism is justified.

Helford Marine Conservation Group

Due to Covid 19 everyone missed the boat with the cancellation of this year’s annual cruise up the river with the Helford Marine Conservation Group. But at the Group’s annual meeting via zoom the new Chairman Dave Thomson assured members that the cruise will return in 2021.

There was also news that the Group’s popular monthly talks will go ahead on zoom. Members will have free access to these while for everyone else over 18 there will be a charge of £4 per meeting. Against this it is just £10 to become a member for a year. For more details contact Sue Scott at coordinator@helfordvmca.co.uk

The annual meeting not only saw the appointment of Dave Thomson as the new chairman, following the retirement of David Muirhead, but also a new vice chairman, Jackie Whibley. Coordinator Sue Scott said: “They bring many strengths to the Group. Jackie is a serving Mawnan Smith parish councillor and is actively involved in local affairs as they impact the environment. She is an active volunteer with the National Trust, the Women’s Institute and Plastic Free Helford.”

“Dave Thomson, formerly the vicechairman of the group’s advisory committee, has held a number of posts within the Group. Both he and Jackie love the Helford and the surrounding area and recognise that its natural and historic value needs to be cared for and protected for future generations to enjoy.”

This theme was emphasised by guest speaker wildlife photographer David Chapman, who gave an illustrated talk on zoom on where to watch wildlife in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

All that was missing was the cake!

Tracey Clowes

In the last Constant Times I wrote with plans for compiling a ‘Second History Book of Constantine’. With Zoom, Facebook, WhatsApp, good old emails and of course the telephone, despite Covid we are still able to connect with anyone who has memories and photographs to share. Sally Coot is happy to receive information via her email address: sallyandalfie@icloud.com, or to me via my landline 01326 340279.

Not giving any secrets away, we have already received several photographs which neither Sally or I have seen before, and for one local family, contact has been made with a cousin in Australia who is helping to gather information. I also have a book with notes taken by one of the original owners of a cottage in Fore Street from where a business ran many years ago. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch so far.

If you have memories or photos please do get in touch. We can’t guarantee that everything will make the final copy but our plan is to have a local exhibition of all photos and stories which have been shared and are also hoping that some of the stories can be recorded for a Podcast, and for a listening post (if planning allows) located at a central point in the village.

Gweek Players have not been idle these past few months, putting skits, poems and songs on YouTube as well as demonstrations of favourite recipes. Their next venture is an online murder mystery – The Village Hall Murder – written by our very own David Ivall. It will be premiered online on Monday, 1st March.

The story so far:
Petra Lyttleton, the overbearing Hall Bookings Secretary, upsets or falls out with a number of people in the village. She is then found dead on the stage. Speculation runs rife. There are many people with a possible motive but, since the hall door lock had recently been changed, very few people have keys and all of them have an alibi! Or do they? Can those under suspicion discover the identity of the true murderer?

BUT NOT EVEN THE CAST KNOW WHODUNNIT YET! And they won’t know until the final cut!

(We are only going to tell the murderer and their scene co-actor) The action will be recorded on Zoom but filmed by the cast themselves to comply with the latest lockdown restrictions. It will include all the attention to detail of an onstage Gweek Players’ production thanks to our Creative team, who will consult and liaise with the cast to source costumes, sets, props, sound effects and lighting within their own bubble.

The Village Hall Murder will be directed by Emma Phillips and produced by Mandy Rolleston, our artistic and technical duo!

To register to watch our online drama, please email info@gweekplayers.co.uk

Dougie Down

2020 turned out to be a very difficult and strange year for us and many others having to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.

After a very busy Christmas 2019 period the Band took a short break before resuming practice again. We managed to hold our Annual General Meeting on 2 February, but then had to go into total lockdown in March. This left us with no rehearsals and no indication of when we might be able to resume. We also were obliged to cancel all our bookings for the year, including Brass on Grass, Port Navas Regatta and our usual Christmas commitments for 2020.

Whilst all this was going on we had to remove all our band equipment and instruments normally stored in the Church Hall in exchange for a donation due to the Church giving up the lease on the building. This left us with a headache finding alternative temporary storage. Consequently, our equipment and instruments are currently spread all over the village! In the longer term we are hoping to replace our old rusted and leaky container with a new one so that all our stuff can be stored safely and securely in one place again.

Once again, we wish to thank the Constantine Social Club for all the help they give us over the year, for without them we would be in a very difficult place. Many thanks for all your support.

Like everyone, we wait to see what the future holds. Hopefully 2021 will be a better year for us all. In the meantime, Constantine Silver Band wishes all its supporters a happy and healthy New Year.

Over the past year we have lost three large oak trees at Goongillings – all in close proximity to our wildlife pond down by the creek.

We don’t really understand what has caused this – it could have been prolonged dry spells (yes we did have some in 2018 and 2019!) or it could have been prolonged wet spells in late 2019 and 2020.

The two biggest trees which must be at least 100 years old – fell from opposite sides of the pond towards the water, and left a large number of branches hanging over the pond surface.

During the summer, I managed to trim a good number of these and devised a system of cutting branches so they fell into the water and then using a long rope to haul them across the pond and out onto the bank to be cut into lengths.

This left the large – very large – main parts of the trees lying on the bank of the pond, too big for me to deal with. It needs someone able to deal with big hunks of tree and with some use for what is a huge quantity of oak timber – some suitable for firewood, and some, maybe, able to be made into useable building wood.

If any Constant Times reader knows anyone who might want to have a project to get all this wood taken away, they can have it for free as long as the site is left tidy afterwards.

The location is away from the public access and is fairly easy to get to across the fields – but as they are on the bank of a large pond getting the wood moved won’t be easy. It will take lots of chain-sawing and dragging the timber to where it can be either cut up small or loaded onto trailers to take away.

I can be contacted on 01326 340630 or 07799777730 and will happily show anyone interested where the trees are (but please don’t set off looking for them without contacting me first).

By Eleanor Hawes

There are different kinds of walks to benefit our health and well-being, the brisk and speedy and the slow and observing, even tree-hugging if need be. Each is good for us.

I was walking slowly back home, down the lane, when I encountered a worm, crossing very slowly, lugging all of eleven inches behind it!!!

Since my brother loved chasing me with worms when we were children, I have not been over fond of them, but over the years have come to appreciate their value. All gardeners would agree with that, so I watched and waited until it made its way to safety, into the mud and leaves of the verge.

Did I say safety ? Many more dangers lie ahead I.e. moles, badgers, birds , cars. Two cars went by a few minutes later and I wondered what they would say if I told them what I had been doing, protecting a worm from being flattened! They would have shaken their heads and said ‘utter nutter’ or something! Or something !!

Saint Francis would have picked it up and put it in a safe place. Nothing was too yucky for him, not even slugs! Nothing that God has made was ugly or yucky in his eyes. He was overwhelmed with wonder at God’s Creation and how it all works together for good.

We probably squish, squash and flatten many a bug as we walk through our lovely woods, completely unintentionally. We look at dead tree trunks as they appear to break down and rot BUT they are rich with stuff for all sorts of creatures to feed on, to carry on the circle of life.

So let’s keep walking, watching and wondering , knowing that it will help us through these strange times and in between times, stay home, stay safe , stay well.

Gags Glbert, Head of School

What a strange start to the school year it has been with a full school in one day, closed the next following Boris’ announcement and then open again on Wednesday with Remote Learning also in full swing. Our staff, pupils and parents responded so well to the changes and we had no prior warning, finding out by listening to the news at 8pm along with most of the nation on Monday 4 January.

MORE

Who would have thought as we sat in the February 2020 Farmers Market that we were about to be thrown into a world more akin to a Science Fiction drama?

Cornwall Council responded to the ensuing first lockdown with a fast reorganisation that saw both Staff and Councillors working from home. With the second and third wave this is still the situation but now a normal programme of meetings carries on in the virtual world of Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Although strange at first, there are now clear protocols to allow democracy to be seen to be done. That said however, this method of communication does put pressure on all participants to be open and transparent just as they would be in a face-to-face situation.

All these council meetings are live streamed so that anyone in the public can watch what is said and voted on. Voting takes place by means of a ‘roll call’ where each committee member responds with a For, Against or Abstain.

My role has had its challenges locally, the main difficulty is meeting with people, (my wife is on the Shielding list) however the use of the telephone and e-mail has still provided a clear pathway for communication. Interestingly this is also the case with Council officers who as previously mentioned are working from home. I have nothing but praise for the help and support I still get even though it may take just that little bit longer.

I have also been able to work with the Parish Council and offer support where needed.

Praise is also needed for the village and surrounding area itself, so many have risen to the challenge of social isolation, and loneliness. The way which people took up the challenge and made food and medication deliveries to those who were forced to ‘isolate’ because they were vulnerable, was beyond belief. I did put some money from my community chest into these groups to help make these efforts easier. I still have some Covid support money available, all you have do is ask.

We are now in a third Lockdown, if we are to ever return to whatever a new normal looks like it is vital that we all “play the game” and follow government and local advice.

The promise of a vaccine does a least offer hope but even then, I do not think we will see much evidence of infection reduction until around Easter.

So, what of the future?

It is difficult to say how long this pandemic will go on, even with the hope of a vaccine. The so called ‘New Normal’ does however offer us the opportunity to rethink how we do things and at the same time remember that the challenge of Climate Change has not gone away. Climate Change has sadly been eclipsed by our current situation but still has the potential to offer greater global devastation than the CV-19 pandemic.

Cornwall Council is reviewing the way it works, it has been realised that locally driven action works best for local people. It has been also realised that Council staff working in their own localities have an incredibly significant impact on the Council’s Carbon Footprint.

Please remember that I am always willing to help you where I can.

My contact number is 01326 368455 or e-mail john.bastin@cornwallcouncillors.org.uk

Best wishes for a Happier New Year.

John Bastin Cornwall Councillor

A recent tally of heat pumps installed in Constantine came up with a figure of somewhere between 25 and 30, being a combination of air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

At the moment there are two funding mechanisms to support the purchase of heat pumps for homes. There is the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi/about-domesticrhi) and the Green Homes Grant. (greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk) The Transition Constantine RHI is a tariff based scheme requiring an upfront capital cost, with a guaranteed payment for all the heat generated by the unit for seven years. The Green Homes Grant provides an up-front capital grant. The RHI scheme is currently due to end in March 2022.

This is an opportunity to see more heat pumps installed in at least some of the suitable properties in the parish. If you would like to speak to someone in the village who already has a heat pump operating, send an email to tmconstantine@btinternet.com. Alternatively, you can contact a suitably qualified and experienced local installer.

Even if you don’t go with the heat pump solution, the Green Homes Grant provides support for other energy efficiency measure in homes. You may have to be patient – there is considerable interest in this scheme and installers are very busy!