this is july


'Trelawny' - the reason why!

At many gatherings in Cornwall, you will be sure to hear the adopted anthem, known colloquially as 'Trelawny'. being belted out with pride and passion; it contains the immortalised lines, 'And shall Trelawny live, or shall Trelawny die, here's twenty thousand Cornishmen will know the reason why!'.

Written and composed as "The Song of the Western Men" by the Rev. Robert Hawker in 1825, it refers to a Pelynt born, Bishop Trelawny, who in 1687, petitioned against James II's Declaration of indulgence granting religious tolerance to Catholics. He was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London for seditious libel, held for three weeks, tried and acquitted before the Cornish rebels had reached Bristol. On the accession of Protestant, William of Orange, Trelawny was appointed Bishop of Exeter; there was no question of 'shall Trelawny live or shall Trelawny die', as he did quite well out of his protest. Unlike the heroic Michael Josef An Gof, a blacksmith from St. Keverne, who with Thomas Flamanck, led a march to London in 1497 to protest against unfair taxation of the poor (I wonder if Andrew George reads this?) and was hung, drawn and quartered for his defiance.

However questionable the accuracy of the lyrics, my interpretation, for what it's worth, is that the essence of the song defines nation, an identity, a united spirit, a subtlety beyond definition founded in the depth and sense of community instilled through generations. And the joy is that in 2010, the spirit remains.

relay for life relay for cancer research copyriting for property development specially made cakes teddy looks on kitchen and  bedrooms

For the past year, a group of local people have given weeks of their time to organise a 24 hour Relay For Life to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. My role was plugging it in the local press, radio and TV. All of whom responded. The interview on Radio Cornwall was fine, just a straight phone chat, however, our local commercial station, Pirate FM, had the idea that to promote it we would enter a team (me, John and anyone I could press-gang) in a 'War Of The Works' quiz, each weekday, against a firm in Falmouth that make boat winches. The intention was to answer as many questions as possible in 30 seconds, live and on-air, and promote the event at the same time.

Signals in the village haven't moved on significantly since bonfires relayed messages around cliff tops to warn of the Spanish Armada. The tele-communications revolution is something that hasn't reached here; we haven't a mobile phone signal, digital terrestrial TV or a decent radio I discovered five minutes before the broadcast! The only place in our home with reception, (which was akin to the muffled, crackly radio in ' 'Allo, 'Allo') and was close to a phone, was on my bed. So, my team - including a neighbour, his mum and sister who were down on holiday, had to sit on my bed and answer questions - I was so nervous and it was so quick, I don't think I'll be entering 'Mastermind'!.

The Relay was an overwhelming success and has raised in excess of £30,000 - that's right, I haven't typed too many zeros!. I'm staggered at where the money has come from; it's a combination of generosity, the event itself and the tireless energy and creativity of the hardworking teams, culminating in walking around a track for a whole day! This money will all be donated to Cancer Research UK as it is vital that the research continues. There were many moving moments throughout the 24 hours, summed up for me, by one individual's experience of the human story behind every case of heartbreak - one of the walkers kept on the track, with the support of his family for the entire 24hrs... he did this in for his father, who died from cancer last year.

The hope, love and bravery was encapsulated in the closing moments by a band of singers performing "Trelawny', there were many tears of tiredness and emotion, but at that moment, Cornishmen, and those who have made this place their home, knew the real reason why!

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