1854 saw the end of an era in Cornish territories, the tin mining industry, which had been responsible for creating a population of mining families and settlers from wider shores, were in a state of collapse. An exodus ensued, and the miners began to seek alternative sources of income. For one team of 7 ex-tin miners an adventure had begun at the Star Inn in Newlyn. The decision was to embark on a journey to seek fortunes mining gold in foreign territories.
The 114 day voyage would take the crew from Penzance in Cornwall to Melbourne in Australia aboard a Cornish Lugger called the Mystery. The Mystery was built in Newlyn for mackerel diving and her overall length was 36 feet, with 32 feet of keel, 11 feet beam, drawing 6 feet of water and tonnage 16. The Mystery was widely believed to be a fishing boat converted to a sailing yacht, the first voyage of it’s kind in an unorthodox vessel.
The famous voyage has recently been passaged by a British adventurer named Pete Goss together with his 14 year old son. After setting sail in November the crew arrived in Williamstown, Melbourne on 9th March 2009. Sailing in an exact replica of the Mystery, Pete Goss (an ex Royal Marine) took 116 days to complete the epic journey. At the end of the journey the four man crew were greeted in Williamstown with a Cold Beer and a Cornish Pasty !
St Piran is the Patron Saint of Tin Miners and is also generally acknowledged as the National Saint for Cornwall, the Cornish flag which is a white cross on a black background is the St Pirans flag.
Legend: St. Piran lit a fire on his black hearthstone, which was evidently a slab of tin-bearing ore. The heat caused smelting to take place and tin rose to the top in the form of a white cross (thus the image on the flag).
Someone who is as ‘drunk as a Perraner’ is a description of a merry maker who has consumed large amounts of alcohol whilst celebrating St. Pirans Day, a traditional Cornish celebration adopted by the tin miners of Cornwall representing an official local holiday. The only real tradition associated with this celebration is the consumption of large amounts of alcohol and food, mainly locally produced Cornish Pasties in their thousands!
On occassion employers have treated this as an official bank holiday in acknowledgement and support of the historic date. The 6th of March is known to be another unofficial holiday due to the amount of sore heads that are being nursed after the merriment!
Further afield in the USA, St Pirans day is celebrated in similar style but with a twist, “Tossing the Pasty” is a St Pirans Day Pastie Olympics Event which involves a Cornish Pasty being flung at a St. Pirans Flag which is usually sited some 200 meters away on the ground, nearest the flag wins and the lucky local dogs get to enjoy the remaining crumbs! The best two out of three pastie tosses gets the trophy.
St Piran’s Day started as one of the many tinners’ holidays observed by the tin miners of Cornwall. Other miners’ holidays of a similar nature include Picrous Day and Chewidden Thursday. There is little description of specific traditions associated with this day. However, many observers noted the large consumption of alcohol and food during ‘Perrantide’. The day following the St Piran’s Day was known by many as ‘Mazey Day’, a term which has now been adopted by the revived Golowan festival in Penzance. The phrase ‘drunk as a perraner’ was used in 19th century Cornwall to describe people who had consumed large quantities of alcohol.
a wikipedia extract
What better Cornish Pasty to bring in the Spring time other than Chicken and Bacon! Filled with fresh Cornish farmed vegetables mixed with large pieces of diced white chicken breast and the best bacon cut in a creamy sauce. This meal in a pastry case delivers a real lunchtime fill.
The Chicken and Bacon Cornish Pasty is part of our “Speciality” pasty range and takes pride of place as our March pasty of the month.
A revival is a-happenin’ thanks to those Cornish Surfer crowds. The vintage VW Camper Van is hitting the scene around the World with a huge splash! Mostly associated with the surfing scene, the VW camper has long enjoyed peaceful retirement at the bottom of the garden or buried in the European scrap heaps…until now.
Some outstanding renovations of this iconic VW have delivered automobile real eye-candy around the globe and as a result they are commanding huge sums of money (comparitively speaking). The demand for second hand VW Campers and Camper parts has rocketed over the past three to five years and this former RV of the 70′s bohemian family really has risen to a cult status particularly in the surfing community.
As iconic as it is, with it’s association in surfing circles and Cornwall, the cornish pasty business owner also stakes his claim on the camper. There are businesses out there who have adopted this icon as their catering van for selling pasties from!
There is a long standing association with Cornwall and quality surfing, perhaps the UK’s foremost surfing attraction being that based in Newquay…the home of British Surfing and the British Surfing Association. The diversity that Newquays coast offers, extends to an all encompassing surfing experience, whether expert or novice!
Newquay offers many opportunities for the more challenging winds and swells to coastal areas. Surfers from across the globe congregate around the shores of Newquay to enjoy the diversity of surf. A resume of styles to surfing in and around Newquay is suggested below:-
Mawgan Porth is said to only be active during strong easterly winds.
Watergate Bay is sandy and flat and frequented by the novice surfer.
Whipsiderry is a sheltered area from the South Westerly winds.
Newquay Bay has 3 sandy beaches which are best avoided in summer.
Fistral is the most famous of the UKs surfing beaches, the best and most challenging!
Crantock Bay offers great surfing when the conditions are right.
Holywell is best experienced around low tide.
It is therefore not unusual to expect that the legendary cornish pasty also has a worldwide fellowship, the surfing community alone is strongly associated with the pasty and with a world wide surfing attraction, the aroma of the cornish pasty goes far beyond Cornwalls coastline!