Why we sponsored the Discovery Map
Having been in existence since 1925, St. Austell Old Cornwall Society is one of the oldest such societies in the county. The Discovery Map is a glorious way in which to promote St. Austell and its environs and an opportunity for our society to have an input in reminding and informing residents and visitors of the heritage and culture of this most important Mid-Cornwall town. The preservation of our heritage is the main aim of the Old Cornwall Movement.
The Old Cornwall Movement began in the early twentieth century when there was a strong realisation that the distinctiveness of Cornwall – its language, culture, history, dialect and folklore – was in danger of being lost forever.
Henry Jenner was the mainstay of the Movement and he and his friends started the first Old Cornwall Society at St. Ives in 1920. By the time of his death in 1934, societies had been formed all over Cornwall.
The name “Old Cornwall” was chosen to reflect the past culture of our county and the Movement welcomes everyone who has an interest in Cornwall. There are individual societies throughout the county, all affiliated to the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies whose motto “Gather up the fragments that are left, that nothing be lost” signifies its aims. Each society has a Recorder or Recorders who collect numerous facts under the categories of Archaeology, Dialect, Folk Songs and Music and Place Names. Photographs are taken by Recorders to provide a record of buildings that are likely to be demolished or altered. Collected material is sent to the Federation’s own Recorders.
During the winter, societies arrange monthly indoor meetings when talks, usually illustrated, are presented on a variety of Cornish subjects. In the summer, “pilgrimages” are made to places of Cornish interest.
The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies organises an annual Winter Festival, and a Summer Festival is hosted by an individual society, thereby providing a different venue each year. Each society has its own colourful banner designed to portray significant features of the locality of that society and the banners are proudly paraded at these events. Society members are also encouraged to support local customs, such as “Crying the Neck”, Mid-Summer Bonfires, Hurling and Festivals such as May Day at Padstow and Furry Day at Helston.
St. Austell Old Cornwall Society is one of the oldest societies and was formed on the 14th December, 1925. Today, it is still flourishing and membership, which now stands at 105, is increasing year on year.
Its programme of events, contacts and other information relating to the Movement and its work can be accessed by using the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies’ most informative website [http://www.oldcornwall.org www.oldcornwall.org]
David Stark, Chairman of St Austell Old Cornwall Society, 2009