Sitting back in my little coffee shop, the Duchy, I am honored to have spent the day with the mayor, Gill Parsons. She walked me around town, sharing with and showing me the Mayor's Quarters with its ceremonial robes, safe and historical pictures of royal visits. She even invited me to sign the Visitor book which has also been signed by the Queen, and Prince Charles and Camilla. I am honored.
The Edgecombe House, which houses the mayor's office and the town clerk's office, was the site of the "Hoskin Family Grocery" shop which later became Hoskin Drapery and Fabrics shop at the beginning of the 20th century. Sitting In the Mayor's office on the mantlepiece was the original metal measuring rod used to measure fabric, its length being 45 inches with a special hook for the 36 inchyard. We also went by the Duchy Palace where all of the town's records were originally stored, plus where they weighed the tin and measured its quality. It is now re-owned by the monarchy and has gone under a million refurbishment and is now available for let. Gill grew up right next door to the Palace, inbetween it and the Debtor's Gaol (jail). Her father and grandfather were butchers, and the slaughterhouse was just down the road, and Gill remembers when blood would run in the street from the slaughtering of the cows. Such a different life even fifty years ago!
As we talked, we also discovered that Gill's cousin, James Martin, lives thirty minutes from me in Colorado, and that she has actually visited Boulder. We talked about the Cornish mining communities in Montana, Michigan and Wisconsin and how she was served the perfect pasty by another cousin's wife. Turns out that this woman was taught by Cornish women who had emigrated to Wisconsin for the mining opportunities.
I was impressed by the deep history of this town and the area, dating back to the 1100's, 1500's, 1800's - and even this past century.
I am still not sure what my personal connection is to this particular area, but I am aware that I like it here, and would love to explore and experience the area and this town more deeply and extensively. I wonder how this is possible?!
So, after my delicious fish pie for lunch, I am heading up to Restormel Castle for the afternoon. Most likely, I will then catch the train to Liskeard this afternoon and spend tomorrow walking from St. Neot to St. Cleer to complete my personal journey with the Mary Line. I will get to walk to the Hurlers and Cheesewring with Maureen, my friend whom I met last fall with my father. She is the Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd, whose mission is to bring the Cornish language back to life and use in Cornwall. We will spend Thursday walking and talking and exploring how I can learn and use Cornish even while I am in Colorado!