A Cornish Crumpet – A Village Childhood by Ruth Tremayne Netter

A poem by Ruth Tremayne Netter a Quintrell Downs’ “Maid”, as presented at the Toronto Cornish Association meeting of May 2012.
There is a huge coincidence because Ruth and Terry Harry once worked together in Barclays Bank Trust Company. Back in the last century.
They had not spoken, seen each other or been in contact in anyway for more than 50 years.Then out of the blue, this poem arrived in Terry’s email inbox sent by her brother in law John who lives in Toronto..
She has not changed one little bit, luckily because Ruth is now back living in her native Cornwall having lived in New York for 27 years, and is close friends with Terry.

This is Ruth’s wonderful poem, which are some of her recollections of Quintrell Downs, Newquay her home in the 1960’s

Surfboards and sunsets
And pasties for lunch
With mackerel and ice cream
And flowers by the bunch

The hedges were high
And morals to match
Roosters and chickens
With eggs that would hatch

There were horses and rabbits
And sermons galore
With milkmen and grocers
Bringing food to your door

The steam train arrived
As my alarm every day
Then the bread man drove up
Saffron buns on display

The Methodist Chapel
Was the big focal point
But the village youth club
Was a seedier joint

We’d meet on the Green
To hang out with the boys
And climb sycamore trees
To escape family noise

With gymkhanas and whist drives
The Parish Council would meet
My Mum was the clerk
That was quite the hot seat

Grass track racing at night
The roar filled the air
We tasted the thrill
There was danger to share

Fish and chips in a van
At last heaven had come
But it exploded in flames
Before the cooking was done

Sunday School Anniversary
Was the height of the year
I would practice my solo
The lesson was clear

You had better conform
For God’s in command
My Dad’s on the organ
Does he understand?

There’s a farm on the corner
And a Pub by the Green
But that’s a place to avoid
Just make sure you’re not seen

Crossing gates were the heart
Of the small village lanes
Sleeman’s coal yard next door
But we’re the Tremayne’s

The garden show was the chance
For the locals to shine
There were carrots and beans
Grown to perfection on time

The farmers would triumph
They were best in the show
They had secrets not shared
How to make seedlings grow

With miniature gardens
The children compete
This creative pursuit
Kept the kids off the street

But with veggies and flowers
It was all based on size
The biggest and best
Would win the first prize

An idyllic time
Such an innocent life
I couldn’t wait to escape
The fate of being a wife

A village childhood
Was one I’ll never forget
And this Cornish adventure
Is not over yet

An aerial view of Quintrell Downs taken in the 1960s
when The Tremaynes were a very strong part of the community,