The second episode takes a closer look at specifically how fishing, trade and ship building has contributed to Cornwall’s local distinctiveness and its sense of place – as well as their activities in smuggling.
Victoria Jenner first follows in the footsteps of some post-war authors, William Sydney Graham and Daphne Du Maurier, in search of how work and the sea has inspired their writing. A number of different perspectives bring sea-trade to life. From former fisherman, Robert Williams at Porthleven who discusses traditional fishing practices, to Dr Helen Doe, historian and honourary research fellow for the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, who discusses shipbuilding at Polruan’s Lanteglos church. Here is again another fascinating and unique link to Daphne’s Du Maurier’s novel The Loving Spirit, whose main characters were inspired by Helen’s boat-building ancestors.
This episode is especially moving in places which delves into people’s personal connections to their local maritime churches, and how in turn, these churches reflect their stories – either through their architecture (like St Anthony of Roseland’s upturned ship roof) or their decorative arts (St Bartholomew’s rood screen and carved benches). At the core of this episode is ultimately the celebration of Cornwall’s distinctiveness and the revival of the Cornish language, discussed by Dolly Pentreath’s memorial outside St Pol de Léon’s church at Paul.