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Fisherman’s Friends the movie is in cinemas from March 15th 2019

Fisherman’s Friends the movie is in cinemas fnext week. It is inspired by the unlikely story of the local 8-piece Cornish singing group Fisherman’s Friends, who were based just a few miles down the coast in Port Isaac.  

They signed a major record deal in 2010 and their album “Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends” went Gold as they became the first traditional folk act to land a UK top ten album.

Movie Synopsis:

A fast-living, cynical London music executive (Danny Mays) heads to a remote Cornish village on a stag weekend where he’s pranked by his boss (Noel Clarke) into trying to sign a group of shanty singing fishermen (led by James Purefoy).

He becomes the ultimate ‘fish out of water’ as he struggles to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band and their families (including Tuppence Middleton) who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. As he’s drawn deeper into the traditional way of life he’s forced to re-evaluate his own integrity and ultimately question what success really means.

Starring Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, Tuppence Middleton, David Hayman, Dave Johns, and Noel Clarke, FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS was shot on location in Cornwall and comes from director Chris Foggin (KIDS IN LOVE) with a screenplay by Nick Moorcroft (FINDING YOUR FEET), Meg Leonard (FINDING YOUR FEET) and Piers Ashworth (ST. TRINIANS).

Behind the wit, warmth and energy promised in the film, lie the stark facts of a tragedy that threatened to rob the real band of Cornish singers of their good spirits for ever.

In 2013, on the last day of a small national tour, the 10-strong group’s outstanding tenor soloist, Trevor Grills, and the band’s promoter, Paul McMullen, were both killed in a backstage accident.

The group’s second album, One And All, had been recorded a few weeks before the accident, but its release was put on hold, as was early talk of a film charting their meteoric rise. Remaining band members turned down a chance to tour America.

A year after the accident Nicholas, the accordion player, said that none of them had felt like singing together or accepting gigs for a long while.  But a year to the day after the accident, Fisherman’s Friends reunited to sing again at the Royal Albert Hall, receiving a standing ovation.

The story is about the events leading up to their fame and about their effect on other people, so it does not cover the tradgedy or how they eventually bounced back.

80s Madness comes to Cornwall this spring!

Two of the biggest pop acts of the 1980s are headlining a beach festival in Cornwall over the May bank holiday weekend in 2019.

Madness and Bananarama will top the bill on successive nights at Tunes In The Dunes in Perranporth on May 24 to 26. A third headliner is yet to be revealed.

Madness – or the Nutty Boys to give them their ever-popular nickname – are the most successful ska band to hail from England. One of the great British singles bands, over 42 years they have had a string of classic hits including Our House, Baggy Trousers, House of Fun and It Must Be Love.

They’re still vital as their last album Can’t Touch Us now demonstrated. Their last show in Cornwall – at the Eden Sessions in the summer of 2017 – was an outstanding show.  No doubt it will be again this year!

Rosamunde Pilcher, famed for her dramas set in Cornwall, has passed away this week

Each year, a quarter of a million Germans come to Cornwall, lured by the books of a British author largely unknown in her own country – and the gorgeous locations shown in German TV adaptations of her work

Rosamunde Pilcher who passed away this week, was born in 1924, close to the village of Lelant, in Cornwall's storm-battered, rugged west. After marrying in 1946 she left for Scotland, where she went on to become a writer. Pilcher never came back to live in Cornwall, but many of her stories are set in the rough landscape of her childhood home.

Her international breakthrough came late, in 1987, when The Shell Seekers entered the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for 48 weeks. She went on to sell more than 60m books and amassed a fortune thought to exceed £100m.

Although Pilcher continued to write prolifically, none of her novels and stories since has matched the huge success of that one. In the UK, she remained relatively unknown, however, in Germany, it is a different story. Pilcher is a household name because for 20 years she has been a firm fixture in the TV schedules. In Germany, Sunday night is Rosamunde Pilcher night and millions tune in to one of her dramas.

The movies feature mostly German actors, but they're filmed on location in England, usually in Cornwall, and each show typically contains long stretches of scenic footage.  Cornwall’s tourist industry owes Rosamunde Pilcher a great deal.

Skywatchers await 'super blood wolf moon' tonight!

Skywatchers are gearing up for a lunar eclipse, which some are referring to as a "super blood wolf moon".  During the spectacular event, the Earth's natural satellite turns a striking shade of red.  The entire eclipse will be visible from North and South America, as well as parts of western Europe (including the UK) and north Africa.

What is a total lunar eclipse?
This kind of eclipse occurs when the Earth passes precisely between the Sun and the Moon.  In this situation, the Sun is behind the Earth, and the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow.

Will the moon appear red?
Yes. Some commentators are referring to the event as a "super blood wolf moon". The "super" part comes from the fact that the Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth - when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than usual. The "wolf" part comes from the name given to full moons in January - "wolf moons".

A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth. This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it."

Where and when can I see it?
The eclipse begins at 02:35 GMT on Monday and ends at 07:49 GMT, but the point of greatest eclipse occurs at 05:12 GMT.

In the UK, the Moon will be above the horizon throughout the eclipse, though from the extreme south-east of England the Sun will have risen as it comes to an end.
This eclipse will also be visible in north-western France, north-western Spain, Portugal, a small part of west Africa, almost the whole of North and South America, the eastern Pacific, and the north-eastern tip of Russia.

Is it safe to look at?
While solar eclipses are dangerous to view directly, the light from lunar eclipses is much fainter and so is completely safe to view without special equipment.

Why is it significant?
The event is the last chance for skywatchers in the UK to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety until 2029 - weather permitting.

Winter fun things to do and days out for all of the family in Cornwall

Come rain or sunshine, Cornwall has plenty of fun things to do and days out for all of the family. Here are just ten ideas to inspire you:

Discover all the gardens at the Eden Project

The famous biomes are one of Cornwall’s biggest attractions – but there are also 15 hectares of gardens to explore outside the rainforest and Mediterranean biomes. Wander outside and discover wildflowers
There are many specific garden areas, among them the RHS Chelsea award winner Garden of Cornish Memories and wildflower gardens.

Visit: eden.org.uk

Find your balance with SUP Yoga

If you really want to build your core strength try a sun salutation on a gently lapping stand-up paddle board. There are beach yoga sessions popping up at a coast venue near you, but to really test yourself head to Falmouth’s Gylly Beach for a SUP yoga session.  Don’t worry about falling off, it’s all part of the fun.

Visit: wesup.co.uk/yoga-fit-falmouth/yoga-fit

Sea swimming

Forget doing laps at your luxury spa and don a winter wetsuits for a dip in the ocean. Sea swimming is becoming hugely popular with clubs and events happening throughout the year. Swimmers generally need to be strong and confident swimmers and are advised to join clubs and swim together to stay safe to avoid known danger spots and riptides.

Visit: seaswimcornwall.co.uk

Finish the South West Coast Path

At 300-ish miles, Cornwall has the longest and (dare we write) most beautiful stretch of the South West Coast Path and each year tens of thousands of us pledge to walk this walk of a lifetime around our incredible and varied coastline. If that sounds too easy – check out the full 630 miles (1,014 km) route, running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall and finishing at Poole Harbour in Dorset.

Visit: southwestcoastpath.org.uk

Get close to Cornwall’s wildlife

Cornwall has plenty of wildlife adventures on offer – from Newquay Zoo’s famous penguins to hand-feeding the famous foxes of Feadon Farm at Gwel an Mor near Portreath. Getting up close and personal to Cornwall’s wildlife – whether native or adopted – is a once in a lifetime experience.

Visit: gwelanmor.com / newquayzoo.org.uk

Go flying with Hang Loose zipwire

You may have seen the Eden Project both inside and out, but try it from a new angle from the Hang Loose zipwire. This is the longest and fastest zipwire in England. Ages range from eight years to 96 years (its oldest flyer so far). And there’s a new Skytrek course opening in February.

Visit: thanglooseadventure.com

Love your lakes

Cornwall has plenty of great spots for water activities – and they are not all by the coast. Head to Siblyback Lake on the edge of Bodmin Moor for a day’s adventure including climbing a 30ft high rope course, canoes and paddle boarding. At Stithians Lake near Falmouth you can try sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Visit: swlakestrust.org.uk

Go coasteering

Part-climbing part-swimming, coasteering is like going back to your childhood seaside holidays (but without your parents screaming in terror as you hang off a granite rock 10 feet above the sea). Coasteering combines cliff jumping, swimming and scrambling over rocks to explore caves and coves. As always these adventures are best enjoyed safely with others and run by professionals.

Visit: xtremecoasteering.co.uk/Cornwall

Make Cornwall’s beaches beautiful

Put away the surf board and beach towel (just for a while) and get out the rubbish sack and join a beach clean. Nothing beats the feel-good factor of cleaning up one Cornwall’s stunning beaches – and there are regular events organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Surfers Against Sewage – among others that turn it into a real social event.

Visit: sas.org.uk/our-work/beach-cleans / cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/events

Explore Britain’s subtropical tip at the Isles of Scilly

The stunning islands sitting just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall are always worth a visit whether you are a first-timer or reacquainting yourself after a long absence. The Isles of Scilly is made up of around 140 islands and rocky islets – with only five actually inhabited; this is the perfect place to find a quiet spot – or enjoy a packed calendar of events – from the Walk Scilly, to food and art.

Visit: visitislesofscilly.com

6 Wonderful walks in Cornwall that are even better in the winter

Walk off some of that festive food and drink with a bracing walk. Here are some highly recommended winter walks to explore in Cornwall.

1. Boscastle and the coast path
Boscastle is a great starting point for a variety of walks. A stroll along the north side of the harbour and along to Penally Point is packed with interest and wonderful coastal views. The only safe haven on the long and dangerous stretch of coast from Port Isaac to Bude, Boscastle’s tightly sheltered harbour once bustled with ketches and schooners. Navigation into the harbour’s narrow winding channel was (and remains) tricky, as can readily be appreciated from Penally Point or Penally Hill above. Larger vessels were ‘hobbled’ in by eight oared boats.
Nonetheless, cargoes from local ports, Bristol, South Wales and even North America were offloaded on the Elizabethan quay in considerable quantities – 200 vessels were recorded here in one year alone. Trade declined after the railway reached North Cornwall in 1893. Today, small fishing boats and pleasure craft predominate and safety is much improved with Willapark Lookout Station. Originally built as a summer house in the early 19th century, the building later served as a Coastguard lookout and then a folly, before it was leased to the National Coastwatch in 2002.

Returning to the harbour, there is much of interest, including the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Not to be missed, the National Trust’s Visitor Centre, has a fascinating video of the terrible 2004 Boscastle Flood. You may like to extend your walk by following the easy and scenic riverside path from the car park. Under normal conditions, the river Valency appears benign and keeps well within its banks. However… look up and see how the steep sided river valley could funnel huge quantities of water rapidly into Boscastle after heavy rain.

2. Padstow Harbour and Coast Path
Padstow’s lively, colourful harbour is packed with fishing boats and leisure craft and surrounded by a medley of historic warehouses, pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops. The walk can easily be extended along the Coast Path, with lovely views across the Camel estuary to Rock, Brea Hill and Doom Bar’s golden sands. Source of an estimated ten million tonnes of agricultural sand, the Bar has well earned its name, being the cause of 600 beachings, capsizes and shipwrecks over the past 200 years. Thus, there is ample justification for the RNLI’s lifeboat stations at Rock and Trevose Head, which liaise closely with the Coastguard station at Hawker Cove and the Coastwatch station at Stepper Point. 

3. Minions
A short walk from Minions to Stowe Hill is rewarded with a rich slice of Cornwall’s prehistoric past and recent industrial history. It could be accomplished in well under two hours, but is worth taking time over. Head north past the Hurlers, three Bronze Age stone circles. According to legend, these are men turned to stone as a punishment for hurling on the Sabbath.

Continue across the trackbed of the Liskeard and Caradon Railway (1844–1917) to the iconic 6m tall Cheesewring on Stowe Hill. So-called from its resemblance to a cheese press, the Cheesewring is a superb granite pile sculpted by nature. Nearby is Gumb’s Cave, where self-taught astronomer Daniel Gumb (1703–73) lived with his wife and nine children – though room must have been tight! Although Cheesewring Quarry, which supplied stone for London’s Westminster and Tower Bridges as well as many local buildings, took a massive chunk out of Stowe Hill the Neolithic enclosures (c4000–3,500 BC) on the summit survive and are worth exploring.
Follow the track south from Cheesewring Quarry for fine views to Phoenix United Mine, with the patchwork fields beyond stretching to the Tamar Valley, and Dartmoor on the horizon. Finally, call at Houseman’s Engine House (the Minions Heritage Centre), with its fascinating historical and geological displays and finds.

4. Upper Tamar Lake
This easy walk on the Devon border offers views of the beautiful Upper Tamar Lake and the pleasant rolling green fields beyond from all angles. It follows a broad, well surfaced and mainly level path, which is suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and bikes. Bring binoculars – it is a great place to watch a variety of waterfowl and woodland birds too. Allow at least 1 ¾ hours for the full circuit of the lake, 5.2km/3 ¼ miles.

The Tamar Lakes are signed from Kilkhampton on the A39. Start at the Upper Lake car park, with its helpful map and information plaques. Turn left and then right across the dam, signed ‘Lakeside Walk’. Turn left again ‘Lakeside Walk’ at the far side of the dam.

Navigation from this point could not be easier: simply follow the path around the lake for nearly 5km (3 miles). Just before reaching the boathouse, the path divides. Keep right as signed and follow the path behind the boathouse to the start.

5. Lerryn
This lovely riverbank and woodland walk from the pretty village of Lerryn offers fine views of the rivers Lerryn and Fowey. If your children are energetic, the walk may be extended by following the yellow arrows and blue circles to St Winnow, with its riverside church and farm museum and thence back to Lerryn by field paths – a total of 8km/5 miles.
Lerryn’s scenery helped inspire Kenneth Grahame write Wind in the Willows. His children’s classic began as letters to his son when Grahame was staying in Fowey, close to his friend, Sir Arthur Quiller Couch (aka ‘Q’), the model for the talkative Ratty in the book. Both Q and Ratty loved messing about in boats.

Begin at Lerryn’s riverside car park. If the tide is out, cross the river Lerryn by stepping stones. Otherwise, use the medieval bridge. After crossing the river, turn left and follow the lane and later track parallel to the bank and into Ethy Woods – possibly the model for Grahame’s Wild Wood. Stay on the path as it bends right. Bear left at a waymark. Cross the creek by a footbridge. Continue on the signed path and forest tracks, keeping close to the river at any junctions. At St Winnow Point the Lerryn joins the river Fowey and the path turns north-west towards St Winnow.

6. Godrevy: to the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf spent much of her childhood in St Ives, from where the house her family rented offered a wonderful view to Godrevy lighthouse, the focal point of this easy and pleasant coastal walk. She visited Godrevy in 1892 and was later inspired her novel To the Lighthouse (1927) – though she set the story in the Hebrides. Start from one of the two National Trust car parks (free to members) signed for Godrevy, 1km north of Gwithian on the B3301. If you use the lower car park, there is a 1km (¾ mile) walk to Godrevy Point with fine views, whilst the upper car park brings you much closer to the Point and the 26m (86ft) tall lighthouse. This marks the Stones Reef, where many ships came to grief before the lighthouse was built in 1859. Trinity House maintain the lighthouse as a daymark for shipping, although Godrevy’s light was discontinued in 2012 and replaced by an LED light mounted on the rocks nearby.

Single-use plastics ban approved by European Parliament

The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.

MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.  The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups.

The European Commission proposed a ban in May, following a surge in public support attributed to documentaries such as David Attenborough's BBC Blue Planet series.  The measure still has to clear some procedural hurdles, but is expected to go through. The EU hopes it will go into effect across the bloc by 2021.

The UK will also have to incorporate the rules into national law if the ban becomes a fully-fledged directive before the end of a Brexit transition period.

After the Parliament vote was backed by 571-53, the MEP responsible for the bill, Frédérique Ries, said it was "a victory for our oceans, for the environment and for future generations."

Several countries are already considering proposals to target disposable plastic products - including the UK.

What's being banned?
The directive targets some of the most common ocean-polluting plastics.
The list of banned items such as cutlery and cotton buds was chosen because there are readily available alternatives, such as paper straws and cardboard containers.

Other items, "where no alternative exists" will still have to be reduced by 25% in each country by 2025. Examples given include burger boxes and sandwich wrappers.

What’s causing the problem and how long does it take to biodegrade?
Marine litter on EU beaches is made up of 49% single use plastics, fishing gear plastics 27%, other plastics 6% and non-plastics 18%.

The estimated time to biodegrade a Styrofoam cup is 50 years, a plastic bottle or nappy 450 years, and fishing line 600 years.

MEPs also tacked on amendments to the plans for cigarette filters, a plastic pollutant that is common litter on beaches. Cigarette makers will have to reduce the plastic by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

Another ambitious target is to ensure 90% of all plastic drinks bottles are collected for recycling by 2025. Currently, bottles and their lids account for about 20% of all the sea plastic, the European Parliament report said.

Manufacturers will also have to take more responsibility for what happens to their plastic products and packaging.

How big is the problem?
The EU's research on the topic says about 150,000 tonnes of plastic are tossed into European waters every year.

That is only a small contributor to the global problem, with an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic entering the world's oceans annually. And once there, plastic can travel great distances on ocean currents.

When plastic debris breaks down from wear and tear, it does not decompose the way other products like wood do - but instead breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming "microplastic".  These tiny fragments often end up in fish and can then be passed on to humans.

Large volumes of plastic waste wash up on beaches, where they can be eaten by sea birds and other animals and kill them.

Rare catbird spotted in Cornwall

Hundreds of twitchers have flocked to Treeve Moor near Land's End in Cornwall to catch a glimpse of a rare bird from America.  The grey catbird, which is about 20cm (7.8in) long and grey in colour, is so named because of its distinctive "meowing" sound.

It is only the second time it has been seen here - the first sighting in Britain was in Anglesey in 2001, according to the British Birds Rarities Committee.

Mark Grantham, chairman of the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society, said he thought the bird, which was first seen on Monday, had been brought across the Atlantic on low pressure systems following the recent US storms.  He said: "Birds heading south get carried out to sea on weather systems and then can follow the Gulf Stream before making landfall at the first opportunity."

News of the grey catbird spread on Twitter, and birdwatchers started arriving, with a local farmer opening a field for parking, taking charity donations in return.

Mr Grantham added: "Cornwall is used to seeing its fair share of rare birds, but American birds certainly provide extra excitement.  "To see [the grey catbird] flitting along a Cornish hedge is always going to be extra special."
 

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Updated on January 27th, 2013

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