From the top of Carn Grey Rock it is possible to see for miles and miles in all directions… when it’s not foggy that is!
Last week we set out to record peoples’ memories of the landscape surrounding Carn Grey, taking small groups of people up to perch on the large granite Carn, gaze over the landscape and share their stories.
It all began on a typically grey day… “grey at Carn Grey,” with a low hanging fog that obscured the landscape. Still, we’re Cornish, and we’re used to weather, so we sat and chatted regardless. As the time went on the fog shifted and began to lift, revealing sections of the landscape in a mysterious light. The landscape was slowly unveiling itself, and with it came the stories.
It made a lovely change to be recording outdoors, and although the weather made it challenging, the inspiration provided by the vista in front of us led to some fantastic, funny and moving stories. The weather remained changeable over the 2 days, with one recording conducted whilst huddling under a large umbrella in the driving rain! After this we were, as Malcolm said, “streaming, leaking wet!”
It became apparent how layered the landscape is with stories. People have lived, worked and played here for hundreds of years. We were delighted by stories of mischievous boys “no health and safety then”, stories of long journeys as clay wagons transported China Clay to the coast and stories of picking earts to take home for dinner, to mention just a few.
These recordings will be woven into a film that will become part of an installation at Wheal Martyn Museum from September 9th 2016. We have some exciting ideas about interpreting the gathered stories, and also look forward to taking some of them into local primary schools to further explore the area’s heritage.
Thank you to everyone who came along and shared with us. We will be returning again soon for some last recordings, so if you know of anyone who might enjoy coming along them get in touch.
This work was part of the ‘Landmark Travels- Our past in a suitcase,’ with the Institute of Cornish Studies and Cornwall Heritage Trust. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cornwall Heritage Trust.