Food bank
Donovan Gardner


Perranwell Meeting November 1st 2017

At our meeting Don Gardner introduced us to the work of CPR Foodbank, an organisation which gives support to those in need in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth areas. It provides care through local churches and the Salvation Army. The Food Bank, which supplies some 10,000 meals a month, acts as a Community Hub with access links to the professional sector in 22 areas, including law, enabling on- going help. This year it was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The group involves local schools with ‘Bring a Tin to School Days’ and in school holidays provides 2000 free school meals. At Christmas, through their Santa Meal Appeal, over a thousand Christmas lunch boxes are delivered.  CPR Foodbank’s support activities include a drop-in for IT help and lunch provision.

The organisation works with Parliament’s Select Committee ‘Feeding Britain’ programme to reduce food wastage and has close links with local shops. It also has a team of evening street pastors caring for vulnerable people during the night economy of our towns.

Through personal stories Don illustrated how a wide variety people can find that they are temporarily unable to feed their families, or can become homeless, and the way in which his organisation can help them

at difficult times.

This well-presented and illustrated talk resulted in many questions and interesting discussion.

Perranwell monthly meeting – 4th October.
Due to the Perranwell Centre being unavailable we all adjourned to Carnon  Downs Methodist C.H for a once only meeting. We are back to Perranwell Centre in November.
Helen Ellis discussed the business of the day and then introduced our guest speaker Paul Smith.
Paul explained that he was a school teacher in Bristol and worked in a special needs school teaching children at key stage 3 & 4 level. A government initiative during Tony Blair’s administration designed to enhance teaching practice both personal and within the school gave Paul the chance to apply for funding (which to his surprise was granted), and gave him the opportunity to work in a remote village in Cameroon. He had previously visited the village after an invite from a friend working for one of the Aid Organisations to spend time in the area.
Paul was determined to return and attempt to make a difference in the village and help the local school.
With the help of a film made by Paul he explained and we viewed the very basic living standards in the village. With no electricity, no running water, and a long way from the nearest town medical facilities were of the most basic kind. It is a very communal existence where the main task is farming, especially cocoa, and the women and children work in and around the village. The children help with domestic duties before and after school. Paul spent time in the school helping to organise and assist with lessons. The film not only showed the harsh living conditions but also the enjoyment the villagers found in celebrations and their great love of games and football.
Paul went on to explain that on his return to Bristol his school continued to support the village  with financial donations and equipment.
I believe our members found the talk not only educational and thought provoking, but also enjoyable.


At the Perranwell meeting on September 6th, Tim Brown gave us an excellent illustrated talk entitled "Seventy Years of Culdrose".  Early flying machines were tried out over that area as far back as 1910. During the first World War there were three airship bases in the region, one at Mullion. It was decided to develop an air base on the present Culdrose site during the second World War. Negotiations started in 1941 and the air base was finally commissioned in April 1947. At first it was used for fixed wing aircraft and became a big training centre. Then it became mainly a helicopter base although jets were using it during the Korean war. The helicopters there operated an air sea rescue service, with a particularly dramatic rescue by a Dragonfly helicopter from nearby rocks in 1952. Over the years Culdrose helicopters helped to save 16000 lives. Prince Andrew was stationed there around the time of the Falkland War. At present the base houses Merlin helicopters and it remains a busy training centre.

At our Perranwell Meeting on July 5th, David Pollard gave a good talk about "Richard Trevithick", a very underrated inventor, whose memory is mainly kept alive in Cornwall. His main invention was the high pressure steam engine. He was also responsible for the very first steam powered vehicle to run on a road. It made the four mile journey between Camborne and Redruth in 1801. He also used steam power to move vehicles along tramways, but these early steam trains were not very successful because the metal tracks were of poor quality and could not take the weight of the engines. The first steam trains came some years later when the quality of the metal tracks improved. Later in life Trevithick worked for some years in South American mines. When he returned to Britain he attempted a tunnel under the Thames but this was not a success.


David Pollard
David Pollard



Perran-ar-Worthal Village Hall:

This is the largest of the halls which we use on the first Wednesday each month, that can accommodate over one hundred people without difficulty. We generally commence from 10.00 am with Tea, Coffee and Networking between friends, served before the main meeting commences promptly at 10.30am.

Ian Barclay
Professor Ian Barclay


On Wednesday 3rd May Professor Ian Barclay gave us a very interesting talk on the History of Cartoons, an extensive subject. Their purpose is to get a point across.  It is considered an art form. The earliest cartoons were found in Egypt, possibly 5 thousand years old, thought to have been used to illustrate children’s stories. Ian then went on to explain how these, and later wall paintings, were achieved. The first use of the written word in cartoons was in the form of bands on stained glass. The speech balloons we know today appeared during the Civil War. There were fascinating illustrations to go with all the dates and facts. We heard about Hogarth joining the campaign against the Gin trade. 7 thousand gin shops in London at the time and it’s estimated that 14 gallons of gin was consumed per person per year! Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1928 and the first full length cartoon in 1935. Disney are now fully digital and we saw how this is done. There has been an X rated cartoon (1972)Fritz the Cat. The Americans spend more on cartoon comics and books than the school budget for the entire country and the Japanese spend £2.5 BILLION a year on their Manga books. Towards the end of the talk we were asked to supply captions for some cartoons which was a fun way to finish a most enjoyable talk.
Helen Chiverton


keith sparrow
The speaker on March 1st was Keith Sparrow.



The speaker at the meeting on February 1st was Alan Cox with photographs representing "Light Hearted Cornwall."

Alan Cox


Report on the meeting held 2nd November, 2016

nikki cheetham


Life and work in the world of television.
Today we had a very entertaining talk by Nikki Cheetham who told us about her thirty
 years in the television industry.
She began by telling us of her background where at Oxford she met Rowan Atkinson and Helen Fielding of Bridget Jones fame. Her first job was in advertising, but she was soon attracted to the male dominated world of research for Look North in Leeds.  Here her work put her in touch with the London Newsroom where she produced 1 minute documentaries for Nationwide. She became friends with a camera man who helped her by introducing her to producers and editors.  She went on to make 90 short documentary films in her first year.
She moved back to London where she was soon involved at a senior level with such gems as, "All our working lives" and "Crimewatch".
She moved to work with an independent group where she was involved with producing a 40 minute live television news programme daily! As the leisure based game shows genre took off Nikki was very influential in the production of Groundforce, Ready, Steady, Cook, and Strictly come dancing.  
She is immensely proud of working on the series Restoration with Griff Rees Jones, which had the support of Prince Charles. The final was held at The Tower of London, which in itself was a terrific achievement as television cameras had never been allowed before.
Throughout the morning we were given insights into the behind the scenes life of production teams in live television. A thoroughly fascinating talk.


Jill Joyce

Gill Joyce’s talk was entitled ‘Memories of my Island Home’ and she enthralled us with tales of life on St Michael’s Mount where her father was Butler to Lord and Lady St Levan.
When she was 11 living in Scotland with the family, her father was asked by the then Lord St Levan to take up the post of Butler on St Michael’s Mount.  Gill described to us the family move to Cornwall and how she had to learn to respect the tides, not the snow as in her previous existence.  She talked about herself as a ‘tomboy’ so her father found holiday jobs for her on the island such as serving in the café, cleaning brass and as a housemaid cleaning toilets!
Her father retired after 53 years in service having jointly written a book entitled, ‘Butler’s Notes’ with Fiona St Levan.
A fascinating morning for one and all with anecdotes from the audience as well.

Speaker on Music Therapy- Robin Bates

Robin Bates






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Pat Harrod & Wendy MorrisGroups coordinator