Coverack... A New Dawn
A village out of the holiday
season is not as
quiet as it seems. Just because the car parks have
spaces, a few dogs and their owners walk along
the empty beach, dodging the foaming tideline,
and the pub is the only place open to sit and pass
the time of day; don't be fooled...there's much
going on in the resident community.
There are a number of motivated
up of locals, giving their time and expertise to
examine ways in which we can improve and meet the
needs of the general good of the community. The
most challenging, the Neighbourhood Development
Plan, is focussing on a strategy for the economic,
social and environmental future of the parish.
And secondly, is campaign to raise funds to save
our village hall.
The Neighbourhood Development
Plan is a
glimmer of positive news as individual parishes
can influence the future planning for their community
and decide a policy to protect green spaces, schools,
GP surgeries, and the kind of housing required.
Provided this isn't a ploy to placate 'objectors',
it is a powerful opportunity to plan for the future.
Parish councils are being encouraged to promote
the scheme to genuinely reflect their community's
needs. A number have already submitted
their plans and I'm delighted to say that St. Keverne
is in early stages of their project. We are desperate
for affordable housing and it will be a priority
of the enthusiastic, volunteer committee to identify
sites for genuine local needs, not to be used by
Looking across the bay
towards the harbour, apart
from the pub lights, there are few signs of life.
The reason for this is simply; 60% are empty because
they're second homes or holiday lets. It's become
increasingly difficult for ordinary families to
live in the village in which they grew up. Cornwall
has one of the biggest differentials between house
prices and income. House prices have risen while
earnings remained fairly stable. It stands to reason
that families on low, or even modest income are
squeezed out of the housing market while prices
escalate and the right kind of housing stock fails
to grow. Bizarrely, the perpetrators of this situation
are the planners and idiosyncratic policies that
allow properties to be built as 'in fill'. These
properties are unaffordable and superfluous.
Saving Coverack's village
hall has been a notional
intention, to the point of whimsy, for years. We
have a charming word that sums up a Cornish approach
to getting things done; d'reckly. If we were Spanish,
mañana means the same... it will be done, but
in the indefinite future. The village hall has
been threatening to slide down a grassy bank into
the sea for years as there are serious problems
with the foundations. The interior has become tired
after years of use and updating and refurbishing
is needed. However, the new energetic, pro-active
committee is determined to make the village hall
a place to be proud of. But to do this, £15,000
is needed and the committee is asking for donations
through a Crowdfunding appeal www.lambeagehall.org.uk.
The land on which the hall
was built is known
as the Battery or the Lambeage, was purchased for
£75 from the Ellis family. The funds to buy the
green were raised by a village committee in January
1919; the land was a public open space, where local
ladies dried their washing, children played and
the church held its summer Tea Treat. The hall
was opened in 1922, as a tribute and meeting place
for men of the armed forces who'd served their
country; originally Coverack Branch of the Comrades
of the Great War, and later, Royal British Legion.
The hall has been a vibrant hub for local clubs,
parties, dances and entertainment; but time and
constant hammering from storms and gales means
the hall is showing its age and there's a risk
that the building will became unsafe. Here we are
in 2019, a century to date, and another village
committee is raising funds to secure Lambeage's
future.... nothing changes, does it?
My personal connection is
through the Horticultural Show; the first Show
was held there in 1954; I should point out I'm
not THAT old! But I love the way the old, wooden
hall is brought to life on Show day with chatter
and gossip over the clink of tea cups, set against
a backdrop of colourful flowers, the smell of freshly
baked bread and amazing vegetables. A truly village
affair, connecting the past with the present, in
an much loved place.
So what does lie beneath the
slumbering of a village in the quiet times?
We're not hibernating, so don't be misled by the
empty houses... it's an exciting time for a forward-
looking community. Just like tender buds, sleeping
under cold ground, we take a while to wake up,
but when we do...well, wait and see!
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