Tony White - our Special Correspondent - and Village Postmaster, Polperro Tony White's
Bits & Pieces
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Tony is the Village Postmaster and knows everything which goes on in the village. This, we are reliably informed (by Tony) is not because he comes in to work extra early and steams open all the letters, but because he is such a nice guy everybody tells him everything. To contact Tony - click here

Ryder Lifeboat and Polperro envelope stickers - help promote Polperro and restore/maintain this historic lifeboat - full details
  The Loo with a view
What fine piece of real estate will £29,950 buy you in Polperro these days ?
Loo sold for £29,950 in Polperro   Well how about an 18 foot by 12 foot “derelict bog”. Maybe not everyone's idea of paradise, but the old toilet block along the Warren was recently sold at auction to purchasers, believed to be from London.

The guide price was £12 to £15,000 with suggested use as maybe an artist's studio or a bed sit, depending on obtaining planning consent.

At auction, the actual selling price was £29,950 - plus, of course, the auctioneer's commission.

Loo sold for £29,950 in PolperroThe sad thing is that there is need for a toilet on the Warren side of the village. During the summer especially, we get a lot of people using the coastal path from Looe and Talland for whom this was often their first “port of call”.

Unfortunately, some of the more moronic youths of the village trashed it, Caradon Council refurbished it, only to have trashed yet again.

This time it was not refurbished, so after lying idle for several years it has been sold for re-development. Whatever its future use will be, it has a very fine view over the harbour. In the mean time walkers from the east will have to keep their legs crossed a bit longer, the nearest loo is now on the other side of the harbour!

27 September 2006
   
 
From The Harbour side

Some of the more interesting conversations that have been heard this year:

Visitor to Jackie “How long is the half hour boat trip then?” They seemed pleased with the answer” “An hour and five minutes!”

Two elderly ladies viewing the harbour :-
“Well I don’t know what they have done to the harbour”
“What do you mean dear?”
“Well last time I came here there was water in the harbour”
(Unfortunately due to the very high water charges inflicted upon us by South West Water, the Trustees at Polperro and the Commissioners at Looe have come to an agreement to cut costs by sharing the water in the harbours !!).


Visitor looking at Roman Bridge, (at the head of the harbour, by the House On Props) "I wonder how they get those big boats out under that bridge" Two other visitors looking at Roman Bridge. "When the tide goes out it goes out under that bridge" ( Yea well O.K. if you say so!).

A gentleman going up Talland Hill complete with all his fishing gear, asked if this was the way to the harbour. ( Ok , but you need a very long line to fish from the top!! )

19 September 2006

The One That Got Away - and the limitations of in-car navigation systems:
Several weeks ago a stalwart resident in Talland Street was surprised to hear what sounded like a car outside her house late one Saturday evening, so went outside to have a look. She was very surprised to find that she was looking down on the roof of a POLICE CAR. Two, new to the area policemen, had got their Ford Focus as far as the “House On Props“. She was now very impressed as they negotiated the corner over Roman Bridge and escaped back down Lansallos street without so much as a scratch on the car! Sadly we only have a picture of a very blood shot eye as she had her camera the wrong way round. . . . Well I did say it was late on a Saturday Night --- probably just as well for our two intrepid purveyors of justice. Hell, the photo would have been priceless!!
Not long afterwards County Highways painted “No Entry” on the road , could the two incidents be related?

Elsewhere in the village the intrepid Brits continue to try and outdo last year's Frenchman down the Warren!. In the early hours of one morning someone driving a "Chelsea Tractor" and towing a caravan, tried to get down Talland Hill, why we know not! They of course got stuck, burnt out the clutch on the car and had to wait several hours to be towed out. More recently a delivery driver came down Landaviddy Lane in a long wheel based Mercedes, but couldn’t get round the corner by Couches Restaurant, as you can’t, and ended up with a burnt out clutch, blocking the road and waiting several hours awaiting rescue. Two cars have also tried, unsuccessfully, to go up Mill Hill.

Apart from providing a little light entertainment for residents, which we always appreciate, there is a more serious side to both these incidents. All these vehicles were fitted with a GPS systems, which told them the route they were on was the shortest way into the village, they all ignored warning signs advising of the narrow roads, but of course as we all know in this enlighten era we live in a piece of electronic gizmo is always right. Well it ain’t ! I believe that the GPS systems do only tell you of the shortest route, not that you are able to pass safely on it. I wonder how many other small villages are kept entertained because of this ? If you are coming to visit Cornwall, we want you to enjoy your holiday, not have the frustration and expense of a burnt out clutch, so please do take heed of notices, they are there to protect you from electronic gizmos.
July 2005
  Tsunami Appeal
    In common with the rest of the country, the people of Polperro were moved by the scenes of destruction in Asia on Boxing Day and have raised money for the disaster appeal.
    The congregation of the Methodist Chapel have passed on £1350, the proceeds of two collections and their annual Gift Day. They also acted as a collection point for blankets, suitable clothing and several tents, which amounted to a complete Transit van load, which was passed on the local Lions Club for distribution.
    Thanks to their loyal drinkers, the Blue Peter raised £150 from a collection box on the bar. A collecting box at Polperro News raised £460 and with money from a table top sale in the Post Office, a cheque for £600 has been passed on to the Cornish “ShelterBox Trust”. This trust was set up some four years ago by the Helston-Lizard Rotary Club and is linked to other rotary clubs world wide.    Like most good ideas its concept is simple. A watertight box contains immediate shelter, heating and cooking equipment, and within 24 hours they have been set up and in use. Each box costs £490. Stock is kept ready for immediate distribution, and they have been sent to numerous other disaster areas around the world. They have their own web site on www.shelterbox.org.
February 2005
  A Bijou Residence Sold
    This desirable residence is situated in the idyllic Cornish fishing village of Polperro, and is suitable for a single resident, measuring only 15feet in depth by 10feet at the front and 15 feet across the rear.
    It is situated in the Coombes adjacent to the lovely river Pol, in easy walking distance of the centre of the village and the Crumplehorn Inn. Needs mains services and a makeover by any passing TV programme.

    Sale Price £43,000

A flat for a first time buyer ??
No this is a garage sold recently at auction in London !!    Even by to-days ridiculous property prices this has set a record for the village.
   Less then 10 years ago you could have bought a family 3 bedroomed semi-detached house on Carey Park for this amount. Isn’t progress a wonderful thing !!
February 2005
  Polperro Fireworks
   Probably one of the largest crowds we have had for several years gathered on an ideal evening to watch a spectacular display put on by “Bob the Carpet” and his merry band of pyromaniacs. Although only lasting about 15 minutes, this belies the hard work that goes on all year in the village to be able to put on this annual spectacle.    Commercially, this years display would have cost in the region of £4,000 to £4,500, but because “we” have our own firers, who are licensed by Fantastic Fireworks, (who also insure the event, and to anyone trying to get public liability cover these days, you will appreciate the value of this ) and the discount on the fireworks, they need to raise about £2,500 to £3,000 each year.
    Various events are hosted in the village during the year, a local collection is made and donations given, but the largest amount is usually raised on the night with the bucket rattle ( approximately £1,300 this year), so if you come to the display, please give generously, and our thanks to those who already have done so.
    As you can imagine, there is a considerable force behind most of the pyrotechnics that are let off, enough to cause very serious injury if anything went wrong, so all the firers have attended courses run by Fantastic Fireworks, to allow us to enjoy the display in safety. These courses vary in length and have to be paid for. Led by Bob, the other senior firers are Chris Sargent and John Gregory, ably assisted by “Joe 90”, Sean Williams, Richard Butfield, and Mark Redgrave. They are all “men of the night” and don’t like having their photographs taken in daylight, although it has been unkindly suggested that this is so that they don’t frighten the children and elderly of the village!!
    Thanks to them all, for what is arguably the best display each year in the district. Our thanks also to the Looe branch of St John Ambulance who have provided cover now for years and without which the event could not be held.
    The Polperro Rowing Club hosted an excellent Bar B Q on the night for club funds and the local children enjoyed the best dressed Guy competition. The cliff was not set on fire this year by the bonfire !!
    If you have never been to see a display before, come and join us, I am sure you will enjoy it.

December 2004
  The First One of 2005 ?
Date line: Downtown Polperro January 23rd
    Having put in few hours at the Museum we were walking in a westerly direction to an establishment know to us as “The Shipping Office” and to our wives as “ have you been to the bloody pub again” for a debrief, when we found our way blocked in Talland Street by a Euro-box that was trying to drive down to ---- well who knows where, he was lost!
    Apart from the driver who had quickly realised the error of his ways, there was his partner in the passenger seat with a map on her knees and an expression which indicated that it was nothing to do with her. In the back was a very large hound of a superior kind with a look on its face that indicated that a canine would not have made a mistake like this and he really did belong to these idiot humans !!
    Welcome to 2005 it looks as though it could be a good year!!

Polperro Christmas Lights
    Once again the village came to “light” at Christmas, thanks to the hard work put in by the lights committee and the local residents, who spent time and money to make the village look festive. This years switching on ceremony by the Lord Mayor , was arguably the best yet, due in the main to the expertise and enthusiasm of the Mount Charles Youth Band, who led the carol singing and then entertained whilst the whilst the assemble throng got stuck into the mulled wine and mince pies and enjoyed the fund raising stalls. It really was a good evening with a great atmosphere.
    It has been the Lights Committee’s intention to gradually expand the lights to the whole of the village in phased stages, over a period of several years. Sadly this year most of the money they had raised during the year has had to be spent replacing existing lights to meet yet another raft of Health and Safety regulations, and some existing lights could not be switched on because on non compliance. Like the money raised for the fireworks, the money for the lights is raised by events in the village throughout the year to make the village look festive over the Christmas period. Sadly in this over regulated, compensation culture society that we live in, if the insurance companies don’t clobber you then there are plenty of the other “industries” waiting in the wings to ensure that our traditional ways of life are threatened! How much longer I wonder before we all have to carry out a risk assessment and prove that we are insured, before we are allowed to get out of bed in the morning!! Come back George Orwell, all is forgiven.
    To ensure that we have lights for next year, apart from raising funds, the committee desperately need some new bodies on the committee, and extra volunteers to help put up and take down the lights. They would also be very grateful for any photographs that could be used for future publicity (like this web page), unfortunately it is rumoured that the official photographer had to many mulled wines on the night and forgot what he was there for!! If any one can help, please contact “Robert ( pills and potions a speciality, quack remedies cost more) the Chemist” on 272250.
December 2004
  Citroen Dyane jammed in the Warren - June 2004

 
Citroen Dyane jammed in the Warren - June 2004

See also our "Jammed" page for more examples of vehicles coming to grips with the dimensions of Polperro's streets

  Vive La France!
Until this year the record of “How far can a visitor get up the Warren in a car” was firmly held by the Brits! On the morning of June 15th this all changed when an intrepid Frenchman driving a Citroen Dyane, with an adrenaline rush (they had beaten us at “footie” that weekend) or more likely, too much Stella Artois, smashed the record by getting as far as the corner by Bay Tree Cottage. Here he was halted by John Gilbert, who with true British grit, stood four square across the road and stopped him in his tracks. There then ensued an “in depth discussion” (in French and Welsh), before the disgruntled driver threw the car into reverse and tried to go astern down the Warren. Unfortunately reversing was not one of his better skills, causing damage to the car and properties, before he grounded the car on a step. He was then persuaded to let the locals push him back out before more damage was caused. By the time he reached Fore Street, the car looked like the Peugeot in the TV advert apart from the fact that we didn’t have an elephant available that day to sit on the bonnet!! It is reliably reported “by a man who was there” that there was an open road map on the drivers seat during this assault!!
    One can feel a certain sympathy for the driver, he had negotiated the most difficult part where the mini got stuck and once around the corner at Bay Tree he would have been able to get out to Rubens Walk and who knows, with such devastating map reading skills, even have tried the coastal footpath to Talland Bay!!  By contrast we Brits have not done so well this year, Two Vauxhall Astras as far as The House On Props, a Ford Focus in Talland Street and a BMW stuck in Mill Hill !! ( He managed to get another 100 yards up the Warren from where these pictures were taken).
  Looe Trawler Race
    Congratulations to Dave Cowan (“Pickles” ) for upholding the honour of Polperro by winning the Looe Trawler Race in his boat “Cazadora”. Last year he suffered the disappointment of his engine blowing up when he was in the lead. Given the friendly rivalry between the two ports there is a certain satisfaction in a Polperro boat winning the Looe race.
    Rumour has it, that by way of retribution when Dave ventured even unto Looe to claim his prize, he was set upon by scoundrels of the very worst sort, who held him captive in taverns of ill repute, (of which there are many), until his “summer marks” were submerged, whence he was cast adrift!
  The Cazadora - winner of the Looe trawler race 2004
  Couches Great House Restaurant
   Richard McGowan, the new owner comes with an impressive pedigree. Only 21 he has worked with Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey of Hells Kitchen fame, and Raymond Blanc, before becoming the proud owner of his own restaurant. He offers his own distinctive style of cuisine to complement the other excellent restaurants in the village.

 
Polperro Bakery
   After a major building works (probably only rivalled by the building of the Saltash Tunnel !) the bakery has re-opened combining the old shop and the fruit shop next door, into one light and modern shop.
    The baking is now carried out in the new premises, which also offers a larger sales area with a small café facility. The new doors and windows enhance the look of the building and Alan and his gang have made an excellent job of the conversion.
  A New Business Venture To Open In Polperro:
   Rumour has it that “Big Andrew” is not content with being a partner in the new fish stall on the quay, but is now considering forming his own company “Andrews Aquatic Enterprises”.
    He will specialise in nautical etiquette (how to fall out of small boats with dignity), swimming towing a boat, diving and basic first aid. (how to remove the contents of your stomach when contaminated with sea water).
    This new enterprise follows an alleged incident on the Saturday night of the proms, when he was seen swimming in the harbour, brought about by the fish quay moving away from him as he stepped ashore from his boat.
    The Trustees have agreed to keep a close eye on the quay in case there should be any further movement by it.
   He was attended by the rescue boat, coast guard, paramedics, and St John personnel, who had all had a quiet night and were eager to show off their skills. When asked by the combined might ranged ashore as to why he had been swimming in the dark in the harbour, he announced with great pride “that in Polperro we do it different, we jump in and tow the boat behind” . It has to be said that getting in a boat and rowing ashore is a bit “nancy” compared to this sort of skill! Having wished his would be rescuers a pleasant evening!! he squelched his way into the Legion to dilute the harbour water with good hops, where he stood dripping, to be asked very sweetly by his wife, if it was raining outside !! Sadly my lack of skill in writing down basic Anglo-Saxon precludes me from printing his reply !
    For further information on enrolling on a course he can be contacted on E-mail at:- bigandrew_drunkasasunk@pissedinpolperro.wet.
 

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