Fortunately this book is short. The branch left the main line a little west of Chacewater Station on a curving right hand embankment and crossed the road at the west end of Blackwater. Kelly’s Directory (or more formally, the Kelly’s, Post Office and Harrod & Co Directory) was a trade directory that listed all businesses and tradespeople in a particular city or town, as well as a general directory of postal addresses of local gentry, landowners, charities, and other facilities. This novel focuses on a family and friends brought together by impending death. The three women - sister, mother and grandmother find out about Declan's preference and his illness all at once and try to deal with the facts each in her own way. It might have been better, she felt, if there had never been people, if this turning of the world, and the glistening sea, and the morning breeze happened without witnesses, without anyone feeling, or remembering, or dying, or trying to love. “Poddler’s Plosh” to the left and in the distance is the railway embankment and the bridge over the A30 road (Photo: Argall – courtesy Clive Benney with notes added by Tony Mansell). The year I started in 1955 there were children still there aged 14 as they hadn’t passed their 11+ to go to Grammar Schools at Redruth and Truro. Mr C Hancock of St Agnes designed the new Blackwater School and construction commenced in 1877 by W Gilbert of Wheal Rose and J Symons of Blackwater using stone from a demolished engine house of Gump Mine. It was about 100 yards from the main road and was worked from Knight’s Shaft which was 220 yards north east by east of the Spread Eagle, a public house lost when the railway embankment was formed in 1902. Learn how your comment data is processed. Mithian Church School opened on the 2nd February 1863 and Mrs Joseph Boyd of Probus was engaged as schoolmistress at a salary of £35 per year. Though the characters are all stubborn in their own ways and the coast itself is veiled in mists, the novel is anything but willfully evasive and challenges our ability to empathize and forgive. As we had no playing field we used to join with Chacewater for a sports day on theirs. Poverty was extensive and an extra pair of working hands was always welcome. North Wheal Busy was a copper mine, also known as “Blue Burrow” or “Poddler’s Plosh”. Women often ran such schools but in this case the tutor was James Blackney, a crippled ex-miner, who came to Blackwater in the 1840s. As a daughter and a mother of sons, all I can do is cry at the end of this book and know that life is pain, and love also. The children from the various schools along its route were given a free ride on the first trip and some of the tickets have survived the 100 years since then. Two lighthouses once stood within view of the house. His short story collections are ‘Mothers and Sons’ (2006, winner of the Edge Hill Prize) and ‘The Empty Family (2010). The fourth slopes away from the village, to the south and takes you under the road by-pass and the 1850s main-line railway viaduct and on into the neighbouring village of Chacewater. Tony Mansell is the author of a number of books on aspects of Cornish history. After Brooklyn and Testament of Mary, Toibin is at the top of my list of feminist writers. For the children there was Midsummer Eve when darkness fell and bonfires would blaze on burrows and mine dumps. His gay friends visit and more-or-less live-in while they care for him. John Passmore Edwards is rightly remembered as a Cornishman who did a huge amount of good work for his fellow man. The non-conformist tea treat was one of the big events on the village calendar and an entry in Harrod’s Rural County Directory of Cornwall of 1878 states that in Blackwater, “A fair is held annually on Midsummer’s Day”. I have the book of a Blackwater and Threeburrows . Mrs Solomon went on to say that the Sunday school treat on Midsummer Day opened in glory with banners and the procession led by a brass band. In my research of the history of brass bands I have not come across much information about them but can recall that their bass drum was being stored in the roof of Wards’ Garage in Blackwater during the 1950s.

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