Constantine Cornwall

Neil Wiseman

21 January 1930 – 3 January 2020

Neil and Jean Wiseman arrived in Constantine in the summer of 1968 and in that September Neil assumed the post of the Headmaster of the School. One of his early pupils described him as firm but very fair: “every child respected him”.

His impact on the life of the community over the course of the next fifty years was to be immense. He joined the Cottage Garden Society and in turn become both Chairman and President (and minder-in-chief of the Annual Show marquee and fetcher-and-carrier of all the equipment necessary for the Show).

In June 1973 he was elected to Constantine Parish Council and, with a short interval, served on the Council for forty-five years until he resigned to care for Jean in November 2018. During that time, he was instrumental both in the development of further rental housing at Penbothidno and in the purchase and development of the Lawn Cemetery.

And then there were the Christmas lights. One of his band of merry helpers recalls “He used to visit the farm where the trees were grown some months before Christmas to secure and label the best trees for Constantine. Then, just before the festive period, he would organise a troop of ‘tree distribution experts’ who always managed to get his carefully drawn-up plans wrong.” and “He would spend many hours testing and repairing the tree lights for use by people on Fore Street. When I enquired about the lack of a test meter, he replied that he always used the two wet fingers technique!”

Together with Jean, Neil initiated and, for a number of years, ran the Meals on Wheels service. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Hospital Cars service and, here again, for some considerable time, drove local residents to their appointments in Falmouth and Truro. However, if Neil had a favourite baby it was The Friends of the Surgery. He was one of the founding members and, from the very first,

Neil acted as the Treasurer, a responsibility he willingly undertook until the day he left Constantine. To date, the Friends have raised in excess of £200,000 a huge sum of money from such a small community and one which is an enormous tribute to his enthusiasm.

Neil had the village very much at heart and in addition to all the above did further voluntary work without fuss and more often than not without recognition. He died on January 3, 2020 and the village lost a true friend.