Newsletter November 2014 Part 1

What a year it has been, with such glorious sunshine for such a long period of time, we surely cannot complain,, but I would also like to mention our webmaster, who, through no fault of his own, has been the guest, on more than one occasion, of the Treliske Hilton and has still not had his fill of the lovely nurses. At present the man is awaiting a new knee, or two, and we wish him all the very best the next time around and are very happy to see him dancing the keys again for us.

So what have we been doing this lovely Summer? We have set ourselves a mission, which we hope to achieve before our mortal coil is struck, to transcribe the William Veale diaries, all 50 of them! As we all know this is the Veale family of Trevayler manor, Gulval and these diaries have been written by two Williams, the first being Captain Veale of the Militia, who writes from 1782 until his death in 1789 and then afterward the Reverend Veale who carries on writing through until about 1845. At this time we have done two! Believe me getting it right is not an easy chore as we are having to learn about new words such as hellingstones and strike: the former, it would seem are stones used to cover a concealed place ie the slates of a roof, as in the old English language hell merely means a concealed place...the latter is a dry measurement equal to half a bushel, normally used for corn. There are endless pages of dining and supping and drinking tea where every guest is named and where every bout of gout is detailed, so much so that at times we could write the dinner guests names blindfold...but then you get the little nuggets, such as details of the building of a new cottage which we can identify today or we start to learn of Penwiths lack of hard lanes when the rest of the county were already upgrading. So many times he tells us how it is impossible to make Gulval church because of the rain, this is because the road along Trevayler was not surveyed or made hard until 1782, until this time Penwith was still wallowing in mud during the rains. The author does occasionally help ease our minds with a giggle or two, such as the sick cow, to which he sends two pints of beer to help it along, or to Dick Dismal, a name we soon realised covered the mans demeanour rather than his ancestry. If you would like to help and speed the diaries along then please get in touch. The process involves the photographing of the diary, then this is transcribed onto a laptop from paper copies and then the tough parts are worked at again until we are able to print it as complete. These are then going to be archived here as well as in County Records.

Thanks to such a good Summer, the group have been out and about as well. Work has been continuing at Boskednan “fougou”, with lots of digging and metal detecting. Though this has been interesting with the odd find it is still giving nothing definite with which to date its construction. The cobbled floor we are now sure was placed during the last hundred years or so due to the finding of several Victorian nails from beneath it, so discounting the previously found 16th and 17th century pottery. This pottery has not been found in any great quantity and at present the few sherds come from no more than two pots, hardly an industry! Another find was a small hand grinding tool, but again this cannot be used as it was on the threshold of the floor and the outside field. A portion of the field to the front of the structure has been detected over and nothing at all has come up, which at present is suggesting that top soil was brought in at some point to create good agricultural ground, bearing in mind this structure is no more than 20ft from a mine shaft. The so-called creep has never connected with the main structure and is turning up no finds of any age but interestingly the entrance to it is very similar in layout and dimensions to a structure found on the East Ding Dong site. Could this have been made at the instigation of a mine Captain for the mine, we know that one of the Captains of the East Ding Dong mine had formerly worked at Ding Dong, could this be the link? Work shall continue and I am hoping to arrange a visit with the landowner in the near future

Stuart Emmett