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Little book of memories, Heamoor.


Staff member
This little book of memories has been compiled with the kind help of older and younger villagers and former inhabitants of Heamoor and although Heamoor is now an expanding village, fortunately, there are still buildings which reflect the scene of a century ago and I have tried to trace back over the years the customs and villagers of the past.

My father and mother came to live in Heamoor in the 1930's. Father was a builder and traded under the name of R.J. Salmon and, after building five houses in Rosparvah Gardens for a Mr. Tatthill, he and Mr. Henry James (brother-in-law) decided that they would buy a plot of land each. It was then that Nos. 25 and 26 Rosparvah Gardens were built. Being a determined man, my father could not rest until he had built No. 27 (in the garden of our house at No. 26). This ambition was finally fulfilled and we moved into the new house in 1938.

My earliest recollections of Heamoor reflect back to the small Kindergarten School Iattended when Iwas four. This was run by the two Miss Rescorlas at Spring Park, just opposite the late Bible Christian Chapel.

I remember how excited I used to be at the end of term when the oldest Miss Rescorla always placed some of her little treasures in front of us and from the oldest to the youngest child each was allowed to choose which present they would like. I still have the little wooden box, painted with pansies, which I chose. The School was then moved to "The Retreat," just below St. Thomas Church. I remember sitting next to Peter Noy (Keens Farm) who sadly died young. Amongst others there were the two White families (Merry Meeting and Polmennor Farm), the Christophers, Pauline Semmens, Peggy Rich, also the Edyveans. Apparently, the Rescorlas were cousins to Parson Lemon of St. Hilary Church. The first owner of "Springfield," so I have been told was Joseph Ruberry (Boat builder).

After leaving the Kindergarten School, I then went to Heamoor School. I think most of us went there, what times we had, what changes in teachers (due to the 1939 War). There were so many children; children from the village and those from Treneere and the evacuees. Each child had to practice wearing their gas mask; this was part of the school routine. My! How quickly they became steamed up. Rummaging around recently, I found I still have mine!

I recall being in Miss Osborne's class. It seems incredible that she died in 1986, aged 90. A very remarkable lady. I remember when I first went to Heamoor School my form teacher was a Mr. Cyril Donnithorne, who was very popular with the youngsters, as he made his arithmetic lessons seem like a game to us. At that time, Mr. Alfred Beckerleg was Head Master, he being a very popular person. He used to take the boys gardening while the girls were taught how to knit balaclavas, socks etc., by the female staff. Some of the pupils at Heamoor School in my time were:- Dorothy Nicholls, Jean and Joyce Banfield, Bernice Tippitt, Margaret Stanley, Maureen Bennetts, Sylvia Gamble, Sylvia Wallis, Gerald Ley, Hazel Henwood, Gerald Ley, Leslie and Philip Williams, Frankie Maddern, Nancy and Douglas Shephard, Alfred Nicholls, John White, Ben Brooking, Norman Paddy and Francis Carne. Frankie Maddern joined the Bermuda Police and Philip Williams became a Minister at St. Just.

The schools at Heamoor and Bosullow were, so I have been told, supported by Government Grant and school fees.

The Scouts movement was very active in Heamoor and this was run by Major and Mrs. Yenning, who lived at Trannack. The village children used to be invited to a Christmas party each year until; unfortunately, the building was destroyed by a German bomb. Iremember how a Mrs. MacDonald used to deliver Christmas goodies to the children.

Speaking of the War, I feel I must mention how an unknown British pilot gave his life to save the villagers when he avoided the village and crash-landed his bomber in the then fields at the rear of Parc Letta. That memory stays in my mind because I was at my friend's house at Parc Letta when that happened.

As children, we played at "The Picnics." This was a marshy area "below the now Mount's Bay School and one elderly Heamoor resident recalled how there used to be a large pond there, which was used as a boating pool. This was before the main area of houses was built behind Parc Letta. At one time, there we allotments at Parc Letta, where the green is now. This Crescent of houses was built by T.K. Tonkin just before the 1939 war.

A blacksmith's shop stood at the top of the lane running beside our house and this was run by Mr. Eddy and his sons. A middle building (now private dwellings) was used by Mr. Cyril Eddy as a coal store and above this were stores used by a Mr. Giles and my father. The horse trough where the horses stopped for their drink is still attached to our wall, the stream flowing from near the Reservoir. There used to be a thoroughfare for cars at the back of Poltair Terrace running down the lane by our house and I used to hear Mr. Stevens, who lived at No. 2 Poltair Terrace, leaving for work on his motor cycle, to travel to Geevor Mine, during the early hours of the morning.

Just across the road, at Holly Terrace, next door to the grocery shop, lived Miss Janies, the village dressmaker, and her brother and, just around the comer, next door to the Post Office, could be found Bob Flamank, who had a boot and shoe shop. Mr. Flamank lived with his daughter, Hilda, and my childhood recollections recall him as a dumpy man with a large white apron, whose vocabulary always seemed to be, "Yes, Yes, Yes." Hilda had been a spinster for many years and had worked at a wool factory in Penzance until, suddenly, she married, but, unfortunately, her husband died after only a year or so, when she re-married. Albert and Mrs. Rich kept Heamoor Post Office for a while and amongst others who followed were, Mr. Spinks, Mr & Mrs Legg, Mr. & Miss Richards, Mr & Mrs Harry Hosken, until the present owners took over. The 1877 map records a post box being there and near the Sportsman's Inn a Smithy.

Mr. Hocking (of Carbis Bay) used to live in a small cottage at Carman's Square. On this cottage's foundations have since been built a large house, just above the "Sportsman's," and Mr. Hocking recalled how his father used to pay 2d. a pint for his beer.

A popular place for the older gents to visit and spend hours chatting about the old days, was at Archie's, the Hairdresser's, who lived near Jamaica Place. When father left home in the morning to have his hair cut we never knew what time he would be home and I was often sent to bring him home. Mrs. Curnow had a minah bird which had a wonderful laugh. I wonder who it copied!

A Mr. Bishop used to have a boot and shoe shop prior to Archie's Barber's Shop, also a Mr. Roseveare was a shoemaker there.

At Jamaica Place could be found Mr. Tabb the Monumental Mason, Mr. Hocking recalled how he worked for Messrs. Rodda & Corin, Butchers, at Market House, Penzance and used to travel by pony, and trap to Truro on Market Day and walked back with cattle (25 miles) to Hea Corner. Turning to Hea Corner, Mr. Hocking mentioned that Mr.Joe Stone was a village Shoemaker there from 1906 to 1914.

For many years, the Sportsman's Inn was run by Mr. Tommy Rich's mother and then by himself and his wife, Hetty, they had one daughter, Peggy. There used to be some fine singing after closing time when a group or locals sang their favourite tunes. The present lounge bar was part of the cottage’s dwelling quarters in the Rich’s time and was fronted by a small garden and just below was several cottages and two small shops (used at times as a butchers, vegetable shop, fish and chip shop and bicycle repair shop).

Mr. Francis Uren told me that there had been at least two farms at Hea Corner and at Sylverton, Rock Row and the Reens and from Hea to the Cemetery, this was also a tenement area and at the corner of Holly Terrace, where the old gents used to sit on their seat, was a small field and at the old Scouts Hall Lane there had been two farms. Mr. Uren also mentioned that at one time where Wesley Rock now stands there had been three different Chapels. Apparently, a mill pond was below St. Thomas' Church, which ran to the beach.

As a child, I attended Sunday school at Wesley Rock and was a member of the choir and also an infant’s teacher. Iremember being taught by Miss Leggo, Miss White, Miss Hitchens and Mr. Uren, Snr, and Mr. White (formerly of Merry Meeting) and Mr Remphrey were the Superintendents. We used to have a wonderful time in the summer when our Sunday school outings were held at Hayle Towans and I think the part most of us looked forward to was receiving our beautiful saffron bun. Returning to Hea Corner, just to say there used to be the Heamoor Cricket Field and the first house at Hea was used as a builder's store by ray father and underneath by Mr Nicholls from Madron who had his wood cutting business there.

At the end of Poltair Terrace, near Madron, lived the Bogle family and I think that most of us at one time or another used to attend the Bible classes held by Mrs. Bogle. A very kind lady, whose daughter, Miss Joyce Bogle, used to teach music. Miss Bogle (now Mrs. Sunderland) married a few years ago and now lives in Canada. (Happily, we have seen her several times when she has re-visited Heamoor).

Mrs Watson (formerly of Holly Terrace) once told me that when she and her husband moved to Nº 12 Holly Terrace there was a well in the kitchen, which had to be filled in. She thought that Nos. 1-14 was built about 125 years ago. Mrs. Watson recalled seeing the local band practice near the was Heamoor Garage (now starter homes behind the Sportmans) and she remembers a Cobblers Shop near the "Sportsmans" and a cottage opposite Tretorvic Terrace with roses over the door. Mrs. Watson had first visited Heamoor at the age of 13 and told me how the Girls Friendly Society used to sew and knit in the building of St. Thomas' Church. Her friend, Miss Lizzie Rundle and her parents lived opposite the Church, where part of the building was used by the Corin Bros, in their undertaking business.

Mrs. Watson related how before Mr. Arthur Bennetts kept his grocery store a. Mrs. White kept it previously. At one time, Mrs. Watson (whose husband, was Head Gardener of Morrab Gardens) lived at Jamaica Place where she recalled that a gate was "built across the access and which '.was closed at certain times of the year.

As a village, we were lucky to have the services of Mr. Dick Eddy (Rosparvah Gardens) who delivered mineral waters; Mr. Cyril Eddy (Holly Terrace) coalman; Mr. Chapel (opposite Church) fruiterer; Mr. Dick Matthews (Boscathnoe) milkman and Arthur Bennetts (Grocer) with their bread delivery boy, also the "horse and cart fish man."

My other friends, Mary and Barbara Richards, used to live at Holly Terrace. Their parents had settled in America but when the 1939 War broke out they were on holiday in England and Mr. Richards was called up, so during his service years Mrs. Richards and the two girls had to remain in England. I remember how Mrs. Richards used to make nets and usually had Land Girls lodging with her and one of her neighbours, Mrs. Newton, housed a number of evacuees.

At Carman's Square, Harry and Howard Carman had a Carpenters Shop and Mr. Dickie Reynolds worked there as a wheelwright. Mrs. Berriman kept a grocery shop at Jamaica Place and apparently a chip shop was there previously.

In later years, Mr. Waters had a shoe repair shop there, followed "by Miss Joan Berryman (milk retailer) and afterwards a grocery shop followed.

Many years ago, a Mr. and Mrs. Richards kept a grocers shop at No. 1 Poltair Terrace, with a grain store behind, followed by Mr. Dick Thomas (cycle and taxi proprietor) and Mr Joselin (T.V. shop).

One interesting item to mention is that each May Day, the late Mr. Care of Nevada Place, used to blow his May horn and, also on Bank Holiday Monday, we had the annual speed hill motor scramble at Trengwainton and parents and families usually made this a whole day event.

Mr. H. Miners kindly supplied me with names of people who used to live at Poltair Terrace; there was Mr. arid Mrs Rhodda (No. 15) who kept his pony and trap in a stone stable at the bottom of his garden. A Mr. Tonkin (N° 14\ who kept Bull Terriers). Mr. & Mrs. Trevenning and their family at N° 17 (Mr. Trevenning used to play cricket for Madron and shoot snipe in the school field). Mr. Miners advised me that Poltair means "Clear Pool." On fine Sundays some of the local men used to play quoits at the Trevennings. Mr. Romney Prowse (milkman also lived at Poltair as did Miss Trembath who was at one time Head Teacher at Heamoor Infants School; Mr. John Thomas lived at Nº 18, who, apparently, was a very strict Methodist and keen gardener.

Mr. Hugh Miners was born at "Bloemfontein", N° 20 Poltair Terrace). His father was in the G.P.O and he had also lived at N° 16 when he was about 10 years old. Mr. Miners remembered how his mother had told him that one year in the Spring thousands of frogs had crossed the road to the Reservoir at Boscathnoe (l also remember seeing frogs there in the Spring years later). Apparently, when Mr. Miners was at Boscathnoe with his father, they both saw an Airship over Mount's Bay (1918) and he further recalled how he used to take poultry down to a Mrs. Phillips (who lived in one of several cottages at Trannack Lane) to kill and pluck. The lady being rather thin, elderly and dressed in a black dress, white pinafore and a white lace cap.

It is interesting to note that in 1902 a terrace of houses had been planned in the vicinity of the fields near Spring Park Villa but, for some reason, these houses had never been built.

Mr. Coulson Paul has advised me that his great-grandfather, Mr. Sam Paul, built the houses at Wesley Street and he had one house for himself and one for each of his sons. Wesley Street was built on Hunters Field in the hereditament of Hea in the Parish of Madron, in 1892.

Mr. Hocking informed me that a Mr. William John Dale used to keep his wagonettes where Heamoor Garage was then (now a block of starter homes behind the Sportmans) and the floor above was occupied by a toymaker. Mr. Charlie Dale was Huntsman at Bolitho's. For many years, a Dairy was kept at Wesley Street by Mrs. Oxenham and the District Nurse, Miss Legg, also lived at Wesley Street.

Apparently, A. Mr. Peter Thomas (Richmond Street) kept a piggery near to the late Bible Christian Chapel and used to carry his pigs to Market in his pony and trap.

Years ago, entertainment was provided every Good Friday morning when the local men used to play marbles in the middle of Bolitho Road but, in my youth a crowd of us; Margaret Stanley, Peggy Rich, Audrey Davenport, Enid Eddy, Ruth Barley, Charle Grenfell, Kenneth Radford spent many happy hours playing Hopscotch and Bounders on the road leading to Parc Letta; then it was more or less car free.

It was nice when Royalty came to Penzance because we used to see them pass through the village e.g. Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Princess Alexandra, on their way to Trengwainton.

During the War, at Bone Valley, the G.I.’s had their Camps there and we also had the Land Girls working on the local farms and on Sundays most families used to go for long walks across the fields to Madron or Trevaylor, where you could find water cress but now one hardly sees anyone on walking trips.

Heamoor Institute used to have one of the best billiard and snooker teams; e.g. Harry and Howard Carmen, Albert Rich, Lewis Jeffery, Fred Jeffery, Peter Thomas and next door was a Hairdressing Shop, then a boot repair shop, followed by a Fish and Chip Shop. Mr. Little kept a shop where the Co-op once stood (now flats) and Mr. James kept a Grocery shop at the top of Main Street and Mr. Symons a Butchers shop and also Mr. Veal a Grocers shop.

To conclude, other items which may "be of interest are:-

Captain W.H. Webb lived at Rock Villa, there was a wall box at Jamaica Place, Miss Woolcock was the Mistress of a Private School of Miss Carne, Heamoor; Carpenter Jonathan Carman lived at Jamaica Place, as did John Richards, Shop Keeper. There was Rhodda Sampson & Son, farmers, Bone; William Tonkin, Carpenter, Jamaica Place; Martin Trewhella, Dairyman of Hea, William White, Farmer and Market Gardener, Merry Meeting; William Thomas White, Market Gardener, Boscathnoe, William Berryman, Lodging House, Wesley Place; Francis Craze, Farmer and Market Gardener, Polmennor and Crankan, Thomas Curnow, Beer Retailer and Market Gardener of Jamaica Place; Edwin Jenkin, Blacksmith, Jamaica Place; T.H. Pengelly, farmer and collector to the Local Board and Clerk to the School Board, Bone Farm; J.F. Quick, Market Gardener, Tremearne; T.W. Pengelly, Farmer and Water Miller, Treneere; George Daniel Read, Builder and Shop Keeper, Wesley Rock; John Bawden, Holly Terrace who worked at Heamoor Reservoir.

Cross at Hea.

Kelly's Directory 1883.

I leave you with a final reminiscence of the past of the mule track from Ding Dong Mine to Polmennor, transporting tin to Bolitho's Smelting Works at Chyandour and the old trough there, a relic of a bye-gone age.
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I very much enjoyed reading this. I too went to Heamoor CP School, though a little later: started in the infants at the bottom of the village opposite the Co-op in 1950, and went on to the girls' grammar school in 1956. I was also taught by Miss Osborne (there/their; to/two/too, etc.) and Mr Beckerleg (Alfie Beck) plus Mr Hill, Miss Jones and Miss Hosking.

Margaret Stanley and Gerald Ley mentioned above were our grown-up neighbours in Parc Letta. My contemporaries included Ann Allen, Stella Linfoot (her father kept Bridger's bookshop on Market Jew Street), David Gendall, Valerie Maddern, Hilary (?)Martin - and those of whom I can recall only the first name: 'Dinky', Rita, Albert, Freddie, Lorraine (from Treneere), Howard. (I was Susan Watson.)

My parents, Sid and Mollie Watson, bought their house in Parc Letta for £400 new built on Bolitho land in, I think, 1937. They farmed at Constantine during the war, but otherwise lived there until until the mid 1980s (when they sold the house for over £20,000 ....), moving to live with my brother Roger in Tregony. I remember some of the families living in Parc Letta: the Leys and Stanleys already mentioned, the Tucketts, the Toms, the Salmons, Mr and Mrs James (he kept the music shop at the bottom of Market Jew Street), The Rev Gill and his two sister, Miss Gill and Mrs Oldham, Mr and Mrs Hosking, the Squires, Mr and Mrs Tregarthen, the Windsors, the Greens (Mr Green was a policeman). None of the adults addressed one another by their first name, always Mr/Mrs/Miss. Some people 'took in paying guests' during Swindon week when the railway works closed and families came down to Pz on free trains.

I have vivid memories of the blacksmith's forge of my Uncle Bill Eddy, watching him shoe horses - it's the smell I recall most! My cousin now lives at The Old Smithy which was built on the site. Bill and my Aunt Elizabeth lived at 1 Holly Terrace. Cyril Eddy's wife, Sibyl, helped the housekeeper at Trengwainton when there were big 'dos'; her sister, Daisy was a neighbour in Parc Letta. My grandparents, Ernie and Mabel Lawrence, lived at 21 Rosparvah Gardens.

Besides the Co-op (always quote the number for the divi), the shops I remember were Kitty and Jack's newsagents just across the road near the fish and chip shop, Warrens bakers on Bolitho Road, Miss Bennett on Poltair Terrace and Mrs Berryman up near the school - with a stable door, top and bottom halves opening separately. I remember Mr and Mrs Legge at the post office - the first people in the village to have television - Stella and I were invited in to behold this wondrous sight - a tiny flickering screen - possibly in about 1955; there had been no reception in that part of Cornwall until then so we missed the Coronation in 1953! And, of course, Archie's, where my great uncle Wesley who lived with us was a customer - Wesley became one of the old chaps on the bench at the bottom of Holly Terrace (I have a photo). My parents rented their first television set from Mr Joselin in the 1960s. I was delighted to meet Mr Joselin at my aunt and uncle's platinum wedding party at the Queen's in 2014.

I also went to Wesley Rock Sunday School and have a wonderful photo of the enormous cast of a concert in the late 1940s - everyone as a nursery rhyme character. My cousins, Carolyn and Jennifer, and I were the three little kittens (who'd lost their mittens). I also remember the outings and tea treat buns - including the ones we were give (together with a commemorative mug) on the school field on Coronation Day in 1953.

The Mrs Watson mentioned above was my step grandmother, Ruby. Grandfather Watson was a remarkable man - self taught and fascinated by history and genealogy. He was one of the founder members of the Gorsedd and spoke Cornish to Breton fisherman at Newlyn.

It was good to hear news of Miss Bogle; my father, who was a painter and decorator, did a lot of work for her over the years.

My mother and aunt were active in the WI which organised a 'children's day' of competitions in crafts (including a miniature garden in a soup plate!) on display during the day and performances in the evening. I wasn't musical but remember winning one year by reciting 'Matilda told such dreadful lies ...'

Several girls went to a little dancing school run by Mrs Thomas at her house by the brook next to St Thomas's Church; I have a photo of us in her garden, toes beautifully pointed.

It was a privilege to be a child living in Parc Letta in the 1950s - we could play outdoors for hours on the green in safety - only a couple of people from the 40 houses had cars and they were gone all day. Our mothers knew when delivery vans were due and would keep an eye on us; fresh fish was delivered by horse and cart. By the time my own children were visiting their grandparents there in the 1970s, we couldn't let them play out unsupervised as the road was choked with vehicles. I have photos of a carnival float some of us were on as characters from Peter Pan.

I left Heamoor to go to university in 1964 and after that only went home of holidays. I drove round the village in 2014 - so much has changed, but the 'hooks' are still there to hang memories on.


Staff member
What a fascinating insight to the village Sue, and thanks for sharing it with us.
We are going to be launching a memory and photo project and arrange to call on residents in Heamoor village to see what life memories we can collect for the site. Heamoor is still very much a community as long as you are in the heart of the village. It has expended vastly over the years and that has had a share in the fragmentation of the community.
Sounds terrific - I will look out my photos in readiness! I now live in East Anglia but hope to come down to Cornwall this coming summer. I wasn't clear who wrote the first memory-provoking account, but thanks to them (I feel it's her, on no evidence whatsoever).


Staff member
Sounds great looking forward to seeing those precious photos. The little book of memories was published many years ago and sold in Jacks in the village. It was added to and changed by the residents and the final edit (the one we published) was put together by Mrs Bennetts who use to live at 27 Rosparvah Gardens. Her claim was that her husband helped build the Sportsmans pub.


Staff member
You are welcome to copy the article above or if you give me a few days to find the original (typewriter version) I'll post that up for you.
Oh, I see, there are several people in the first post. That's fine, don't bother to do anything else. I wonder who spoke to Ruby Watson?


Staff member
Offer still stands if you would like a copy of the original. I'm fine with that :)
I have enjoyed reading this account, and my interest was piqued by a mention on Ruby Watson. I am researching the Watson/Hocking tree and wondered if Susan Griffin would contact me about her relationship with Ruby and William Charles Dunstan Watson? Many thanks.....my email address is epjames2001@yahoo.co.uk. Elanear James (Family researcher)