25 years ago

October 8, 1998

A complete revamp of Launceston Leisure Centre is expected to include a change of name. The centre, which will undergo major works this month, has found positive promotion and marketing difficult due to the name, North Cornwall District Council’s housing and environmental services members heard on Tuesday.

The antics of staff at a Launceston greengrocers are expected to raise in excess of £500 towards a new special unit at St Stephen’s Primary School.

Dropping in for a pint? Bungee came to the Wilsey Down last week with participants falling from a great height above the pub. First to jump was Tony Harvey from North Petherwin.

Ruth Sleeman, the Launceston Carnival Queen of 50 years ago, crowned Sophia Hall, this year’s Carnival Queen who was accompanied by her attendants Leanne Mounce, Jane Betland and flower princess Cassandra Bosdet.

October 15, 1998

Mrs Jean Smithers was the organiser on October 10 for the annual Cancer Bazaar which was held in the village hall, this being the 36th year of this event. On the Thursday evening previous, tables were erected by Alan Smithers, Martin Webb and Nigel Fullbrook, so they were all in place for the ladies.

Parents and members of the PTA at Bridegrule School raised £1,000 to purchase a new computer for the newly created third classroom. Pictured in the Post with headteacher Lucina Swain and the new computer were Stephanie Glanville (teacher), Gill Paul, Jackie Crocker, Shirley Fanson, Chris Hearn, Carol Palmer, Gill Weghofer and Sue Bowden.

MEP Robin Teverson was at the Ginsters factory in Callington as part of his campaign to keep goods made in Cornwall labelled ‘Cornish’.

Mandy Goddard of Launceston is now the proud owner of a brand new car after buying a £1 draw ticket from a team of local men raising money for Cancer Research.

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40 years ago

October 8, 1983

A painting found in a pile of junk in a garage has fetched £3,200 at a North Devon auction sale. The picture, a watercolour entitled ‘Nudes Bathing in River’ bore the signature Norman Lindsay, and the date 1939.

Launceston Athletic Club were the recipients of starting blocks and a quartz stop-watch from the National Westminster Bank. At the ceremony were Sarah Bere, Owen Slater (club leader), Angela Harris (club captain), Mr John Hake (manager, Nat-West, Launceston), Joanne Martin and Bernadette Farrelly.

WI members of the Lesnewth Craft Area have recently undertaken a joint project with patients attending St Mary’s Hospital Day Unit, Launceston. A beautiful patchwork quilt has been completed and is now being raffled in aid of St Mary’s Hospital.

October 15, 1983

Mr and Mrs Bert Prouse, together with three sons, two grandsons and two daughters-in-law, ring the bells at Bridgerule Church — an excellent example of a family “pulling together”.

Members of the Special Constabulary from Bude and Launceston received their long service medals. They included Force Commandant Roy Acton, Spec Con Mike Jefferey (Launceston), Ch Supt Peter March, Section Offr David Smith (Bude) and Div Commandant Ed Smith.

Mrs M Tuley presented the Bude Central Methodist Youth Club ‘Member of the Year’ award to Kevin Sissons, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A Sissons, Manor Road, Bude.

Kidney patient Robert Hill of Camelford was presented with a cheque for £770 by local man Les Dawe, who organised various events to raise the funds. The money will be used to provide comforts for Robert during his times on the dialysis machine.

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50 years ago

October 6, 1973

Launceston pantomime star Michael Moss, who is 6ft 5ins tall, was called upon to re-enact one of his roles when he opened the ‘giant’ bazaar organised by Launceston Pre-School Playgroup.

At Tregadillett Methodist Church centenary celebrations, the door was unlocked by Mr E J Bridgman, a former member of the church and Sunday School superintendent.

Lt Col W E Almond of St Breward, an authority on birds in the county, will be among those giving lectures about the natural history of Bodmin Moor at Launceston College.

Mr E R A Barriball, was re-elected chairman of Launceston Magistrates for the 22nd consecutive year. Re-elected vice-chairman were Mrs W G Steer and Mr J A Perry.

John Yeo, the Carlyon Bay golf professional and formerly of Bude, lost his Cornwall open championship in a play-off with Nigel Bicknell of Newquay. In very poor light they halved the first extra hole but at the second Bicknell found his ball on the fairway but Yeo’s was missing so he conceded the match.

October 13, 1973

On Friday evening a cloudburst flooded the lounge bar of the White Hart Hotel, Launceston. The cause of the leak was found later by Mr John Henning, an insurance broker, who climbed onto the roof and removed a lump of newspaper which had blocked the gutter.

Tintagel Orpheus Male Voice Choir gave a concert at Lawhitton Church in aid of church restoration funds. The soloist was Mrs Nancy Sleeman; recitals were by Mr Michael Sleep; conductor, Mr Neville H Rowe; and accompanist, Mrs S Flower.

Mr Horace Hunn, of Albaston, Gunnislake, is retiring as education welfare officer for North Cornwall district after 35 years. He started in 1938 when Mr H Spencer-Toy was headmaster of Launceston College, and Mr C E Leese was headmaster of Sir James Smith’s School, Camelford.

An innovation for the winter season in Launceston and District is the formation of a euchre league. The idea for forming the league was put forward by Mr Norman Willcocks, of the Conservative Club. Mr Bert Downes is secretary/treasurer.

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60 years ago

October 12, 1963

The library sub-committee of Cornwall County Council is recommending a figure of £24,725 for the site, building and equipment of a new county branch library at Launceston, to be included in the 1964-65 estimates being submitted to the finance committee.

Mr E R A Barriball, was reappointed chairman of Launceston magistrates at the annual business meeting on Monday, Mrs W G Steer was re-appointed vice-chairman, and Mrs R J Healey, as representatives of the county probation committee.

Mr and Mrs William Dale, of Muckworthy Chapel Farm, near Ashwater, left their home on Saturday night to visit their daughter in Kilkhampton. When they returned home their home was burnt to the ground and only parts of the four walls were standing. Hatherleigh and Holsworthy firemen went to the farmhouse. They were unable to save the farm, as the fire had too strong a hold, but they prevented it spreading to a couple of nearby outhouses. The two brigades fought the blaze for five-and-a-half hours and it is believed that the blaze started from a beam which was alight in the chimney.

It comes as no surprise to see in the advertisement columns of the ‘Post and Weekly News’ that a Railway Circle is to be formed at Launceston, writes our Railway Correspondent. Railway enthusiasm in Launceston has never been higher than at present, in spite of Dr Beeching’s plan, to withdraw railway facilities at Launceston.

October 19, 1963

Damage estimated was at least £4,000 caused by a fire which broke out at Mr K Barriball’s Coombe Keale Farm, Egloskerry, on Sunday afternoon. The outbreak occurred in a Dutch barn which contained more than 100 tons of hay and straw, 50 tons of corn, two trailers, baler, tractor and a muck spreader. Using three jets with water from the river, Launceston firemen prevented the flames from spreading to adjoining buildings containing hay.

Launceston’s main streets will be gaily illuminated with coloured lights once again during the forthcoming festive season. This was decided at a meeting of traders convened at the White Hart Hotel, on Tuesday, by Launceston Chamber of Trade.

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70 years ago

October 10, 1953

Mr Dingle Foot informed North Cornwall Liberal Association that he wished to withdraw as prospective Liberal candidate for North Cornwall.

A ballot will be held on the subject of Sunday film shows at Bude. A requisition demanding a poll of electors has been signed by the necessary 100 people. This follows last week’s public meeting when 269-170 voted in favour of Sunday films.

Launceston branch of Cornwall Farmers’ Union, at their meeting on Tuesday, decided to send a letter of protest to Launceston Town Council, who, it was alleged, has “absolutely ignored the Union” on the question of TT markets at Launceston.

District Coroner (Mr G L Andrew, Bude) suggested pillion riders should wear steal helmets or some other form of head protection at an inquest into the death of Miss Winifred Gladys Mary Smale, ages 18, of Hollacombe, Holsworthy, who died from injuries sustained through a motor-cycling accident at Dutson, Launceston, last Sunday.

October 17, 1953

Troops, including frogmen to drag the deep pools of the River Tamar, joined the estate workers and villagers, in an intensive search of the thousands of acres, much of it heavily wooded, of the Endsleigh Estate last weekend, after the Duke of Bedford had been reported missing. Eventually, the Duke’s body was found in rhododendron bushes, half a mile from Endsleigh Cottage, with gunshot wounds in the head. An inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The death occurred suddenly on Monday at his home, Bella Vista, Dutson Road, of Alderman William Henry Gilbert, who had been Mayor of Launceston on two occasions.

For the first time in the history of the Stratton agricultural competitions, a woman took part in the ploughing matches. She was Mrs Joyce Maclean-Walker, of Great Beer Farm, Marhamchurch.

Damage estimated at £1,000 was caused in each case at two Devon farm fires on Monday at the same time, one at Blackbroom Farm, Bratton Clovelly, and Thrushelton Farm, near Lewdown.

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80 years ago

October 9, 1943

As a result of shooting which took place in the Square of a Cornish town, two American military policemen are in hospital and 21 American soldiers have been places under arrest — footnote: War-time security did not permit identification at the time but it was in fact Launceston. About 10pm on Sunday local people were startled to hear of shooting which went on for some minutes. All civilians made themselves scarce and none was injured. Bullet holes were subsequently found in several shop windows. The men arrested were held pending an investigation by the US Provost-Marshal. Several high ranking American officers including generals subsequently visited the town and conducted an investigation. A US officer called on the Mayor, expressed regret and promised to make good any damage.

The centenary of the foundation of modern harvest festivals by the Rev Robert Stephen Hawker at Morwenstow in 1843 was celebrated there on Sunday.

Mr Noel Coward, the playwright, attributed his recovery from serious illness to the wonderful air of Tintagel where he has been staying.

October 16, 1943

Holsworthy Urban Council have sealed their rate for the coming half year at 5s 6d.

A BBC recording van in the charge of Reginald Redman visited the Wellington Hotel, Boscastle, to make a permanent record of local carols and songs. The musicians and singers taking part led by Jack Collings, from Port Isaac, were Messrs Hocking (2), Dangar Cyril, Bob and Arthur Biddick, George Bone, Biscombe, Stratton, Burden, W H Tonkin, W Mutton and Mrs Philp.

Ald G E Trood has accepted the town council’s invitation to become the next Mayor of Launceston.

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90 years ago

October 14, 1933

Mr G Rich, Virginstow’s village postman for 12 years, is leaving Axminster. He was also the village boot repairer. Mr W Bryant Jewell, postman at St Gennys for many years, has been appointed full-time postman/driver at Camelford. He was a member of the Silver Band and a Sunday School teacher at Tremayna Church.

Miss M Letheran has been appointed a teacher at Delabole Council School in succession to Miss M Cranfield.

Improvements suggested for Launceston: for conversion of Kensey Vale into a river pleasance with lido; more seats in Castle Green; a later train from PLymouth and a public convenience for the Newport area.

Councillor W H Gilbert has accepted the invitation to become the next Mayor of Launceston, in succession to Counc G E Trood.

October 21, 1933

Mr Herbert John Davy, a native of Warbstow, will be the next Mayor of Saltash, where he is a successful butcher.

The cup at the Marhamchurch annual clay pigeon shoot, on Wednesday, was won by Mr Willis (Launceston) for the third time.

Mr W B Channings has consented to re-nomination as the Mayor of Okehampton for a second term of office.

At an auction at the Blue Cap Hotel, Callington, on Tuesday, Mr J H V Harris bought for £241, a freehold dwelling house No 11, Valentine Road, Callington, containing two bedrooms, sitting and dining room, kitchen, washhouse and garden.

Despite the fact that he had a broken arm in a sling, nine year old Guy Gilbard, of Altarnun, went to the aid of a dog which was caught in a rabbit trap. Although bitten on both arms and legs, he managed to set the frantic animal free.

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100 years ago

October 13, 1923

Mr Orlando Jewell, of Bude, with two other crew members was adrift in an open 15ft boat in the English Channel for two days last week, after the ketch “Lizzie” became waterlogged.

There was some lively heckling led by Lieut Williams and numerous interruptions at a meeting outside the Butter Market, Callington, on Wednesday, converted by the Fellowship of Freedom and Reform, which is opposed to Prohibition or Local Option.

October 20, 1923

According to the census now issued, Cornwall’s population has fallen from 328,093 in 1911 to 320,765 in 1921 (a fall of 2.3 per cent). Wadebridge shows a decline of 0.9 per cent but Stratton and Bude show the largest increase of 33 per cent. Launceston’s population is 3,924.

Sir W Joynson Hicks, Minister of Health, refuses to depart from his offer of 8s 6d per patient, under the Insurance Act and the panel of doctors have decided to strike on January 1, and to treat their patients as private patients.

Following their enquiry into the Boscastle controversy concerning the erection of a gate on a road leading to the harbour. Camelford Rural Councillors report they consider that a right of way exists on the right of the road, but exempting the Lord of the Manor’s erection of a gate over the remainder. Councillors Olde and Harris have threatened to resign their seats and a vote of confidence has been passed in the Boscastle members.