2009 - a look back

Despite the gloom over the economy, St Teath's community spirit was undiminished and hundreds of activities took place in addition to weekly meetings of clubs and organisations. Take a look here for items taken from our monthly diary. Apologies if your organisation isn't listed - please go to contact if you would like it included.

The year brought two welcome new initiatives for young people. Messy Church provides a get-together time for families in the Church Hall followed by activities, a ten minute celebration in church and a free supper. Amanda Evans and her helpers are to be congratulated on the effort they put into these monthly events. In the spring a weekly Fun Club started in the Community Centre for 7 - 11s, providing activities, games, snooker, and crafts - usually against a background of lively music! The village has shown its support for these opportunities through fund-raising events.

Enjoying cakes after Messy Church BBQ
Fun Club - Planting daffodils on The Green

Dr Jekyll and the frightening Mr Hyde made an appearance the St Teath Drama Group's pantomime in February. The cast, backstage helpers and directors Jayne Stark and David Jasper proved that a quality production can be done in a small village. The story is one in which the personality of a near normal Dr Hyde (Elaine Fell) is transformed into an evil Mr Hyde (John Dunstan) by drinking a potion. Bob Fox played a blinder in his role as Lulu the washerwoman in Jekyll's hospital. The production entailed nineteen scene changes - very difficult to achieve on a small stage, but fortunately funding was obtained for an overhead projector to help with this task.

Dr Jekyll and the evil Mr Hyde
Photo: Adrian Jasper
Matron confronts Lulu
Photo: Adrian Jasper

In 2008 St Teath Parish Council began to find out what people thought about a wide range of local issues. A questionnaire was distributed parish-wide early in 2009 and followed up by two consultative public events in Delabole and St Teath, based on the results from the questionnaire. The results are summarised in the Parish Plan 2009 which you can read here(pdf). Two important concerns that emerged were the need for affordable housing and problems with parking and traffic speeds and congestion (see also our survey). Residents were however overwhelmingly positive about living in the parish.

Parish Plan
Parish Walk - on the cliffs at Tregardock

The Parish Walk, took place on an unseasonably cool and overcast day in May, but attracted an even larger number of walkers than last year. We walked from The Poldark Inn to Treligga, along the cliffs at Tregardock and returned via Tregragon Farm for refreshments. An excellent walk all within the parish bounds, organised by Gill Jones, Hester Warman and Jen Tidd.

Despite dreadful July weather (see below), the sun shone on St Teath for the annual Carnival on the 25th, organised by the Football Club, attracting enthusiastic and wide support from both participants and spectators. The Square was of course packed where the procession ended and prizes were awarded. As the organisation of carnivals becomes ever more demanding, the Football Club asked for a new team to take over. The baton has now been taken up by a new group which has already established its fund-raising credentials. We wish them every success.

St Teath Carnival Royalty
In The Square Photo: David Jasper

Visitors to the July Flower Festival in the Church were rewarded with an amazing display in the porch representing the Camel Trail - all part of a theme on Cornish Landscapes. Inside, time seemed to have been no object for people devising new ways of representing county-wide landscape from The Tamar Bridge to the Eden Project to Truro Cathedral to St Michael's Mount.

Flower Festival - The Church porch
Village Show
Trophies presented by Lorraine Jasper

The St Teath Village Show, was held in August. In the garden produce classes, exhibitors did their best to cope with the weather. A warm May and June gave crops a good start, but a very wet July and August where sunshine was in short supply didn't help, but remarkably entries in the fruit and vegetable section increased by more than double. Show president Lorraine Jasper presented the trophies.

The summer saw the departure of Rev Jem Thorold and his wife Sue to Menheniot after only two years in the village. In that time he, as Priest in Charge, and Sue had established a firm bond with the village with humour and dedication, taking an active part in many events. A special lunch was held to mark their departure

The Rembrance Day service in The Square was a poignant one because of the many deaths of service personnel that have occured in Afghanistan. Rev Deryn Roberts took the service and Les Mewton called the names of those from St Teath who gave their lives in previous conflicts.

Sue and Jem Thorold    Photo: Yvonne Tew
Remembrance Day service in The Square

Our somewhat downbeat view last year of the St Teath property market for 2009 suggesting more auctions and properties to rent was not really borne out. Houses continue to sell; up to September 2009, six properties in the village were sold at an average price of £230,000. This compares with 14 properties sold in 2008, a figure boosted by the lost cost homes in Bruallen Close, all of which have now been sold. There remain about 14 properties for sale in the area at an average asking price of £328,000.

Bruallen Close
More affordable housing needed
The Football Club's new stand
The roof was damaged in November gales

St Teath football team had another very good start to the season, currently being at the top of the Duchy League's Premier Division, having won 9 out of the 10 games they've played. The reserve team is in League division 4 and well down the table. A wet November and December played havoc with the fixtures because of waterlogged grounds.

The weather was a very topical issue in 2009. January was unseasonably cold with night time temperatures hovering around -5°C and this together with a keen easterly wind resulted in many burst pipes and grief for gardeners. However, snow didn't arrive in St Teath until 3nd February with a fall of about 2 inches. Luckily for most of us it didn't last long. June brought welcome sunshine and was a very dry month with temperatures at the end of the month commonly around 25°C. Garden produce had an excellent start, but July brought record monthly rainfall and little sunshine. August was no better - plenty of rain again and temperatures averaged a modest 19°C. All this while the east of England had a heatwave. Apart from the first week, September and early October proved very pleasant with little rain - an Indian Summer no less. Plenty of rain came in November and the year ended as it had started with low temperatures and very dangerous icy roads.

Snow in The Square
3rd February
It rained nearly every day in November
totalling 198 mm or nearly 8 inches

Fund raising during the year has enabled St Teath to get a most impressive set of Village Lights in The Square, which were switched on in grand style at the beginning of December.

Christmas lights and tree in The Square
Christmas lunch in the Church Hall

The Village Lunches continue to be very popular and in December the Christmas Lunches were enjoyed by over 250 people. Proceeds from these monthly lunches help to support the upkeep of the Church Hall and other good causes in the village.

Last year we commented on the take up of broadband in the village and the very slow download speeds. This issue has since been reviewed and users gave us the speeds they obtained which were generally very slow. We contacted our MP, Dan Rogerson, who elicited a letter from BT, which is not very hopeful of improvements in the near future. However, slow speeds do not deter approximately 100 people accessing the site every day.

It is difficult to relate speeds to location in the village, but anyone near the uninspiring pavement BT box in Trehannick Road (inset), might be assured of getting at least half of the Government's declared minimum (2 Mbps) by 2012

The popular free St Teath Timepiece newsletter continued to be a major source of information on events in the village. The editors always seem to find a new angle for their well written editorials and this year improved copy processes enabled photos to be included for the first time. You can read Timepiece online by clicking the link above.