OK, first of all let’s get this out of the way. OK, I have lived in Berkshire most of my life. The last time I lived in Cornwall in any sense of the word, was when I was seventeen. A long time ago.
I am Cornish. I was born in Bude. Yes, actually in Bude, not a hospital in Devon. And I have actually bothered to trace my family tree on my surname’s side back to Henry Walter whose baptism is recorded on the first page of the first volume of the Kilkhampton Parish Register in 1550, the same year as Cardinal Wolsey decreed that parishes should have a register of baptisms, funerals and weddings.
But, OK, I know more about Berkshire than Cornwall and if I was really Cornish I’d live there wouldn’t I? Right?
So, that’s got that out of the way.
So now a rather detached view. I have looked at the “Keep Cornwall Whole” website.
I have to say that there is an aura of ridiculous hysteria about the campaign against the “Devonwall” seat. It is interesting that most of it is coming from the Cornwall end. Remember, half of the seat involves Devon being stuck in Cornwall. There is triumph of Devon/England over Cornwall here – it’s halfy-halfy chaps.
What I am about to say is going to make me very unpopular. So be it. Or “Sod it” as they say.
All that is proposed is that an MP will represent places such as Bude, Tintagel and Launceston as well as place such as Holsworthy, Bradworthy and Bideford.
Cornwall remains as Cornwall. The border will not change. How the hell could they change the border? It’s the Tamar. How the hell can you redivert a river without spending the entire UK national wealth for the next century on the project?
People in Bude have more in common with people in Holsworthy than folks in Padstow or even Camelford.
For two centuries the local newspaper of much of that northern part of Cornwall has been the “Cornish and Devon Post” – does that not give you some clue that there is a natural cross-border community?
And the writer of Trelawny, which is known by some as the “national anthem” of Cornwall, Rev R.S.Hawker (Whisper it: He was born in Devon) was a Devonwall minister – he was the vicar of Morwenstow (Cornwall) and Welcome (Devon) at the same time.
OK, please make your views known to the Boundary Commission about this proposal. You can do so here. Local views may well sway them. Excellent.
But please let us accept two things:
1. If you live in Truro or places round about there, you tend to know absolutely diddly squat about the community patterns of North Cornwall. That’s a given.
2. The border isn’t changing. Land is not being “stolen” from Cornwall. To pretend otherwise is bovine scatology of the most round spherical order.
And one final plea to those who call themselves Cornish: Take that chip off your shoulder, check yourself for inferiority complexes and approach this proposal as informed, mature adults, please.
Thank you so much.
I have now submitted this comment to the boundary commission:
Re: Bude and Bideford seat.
There is, to an extent, a cross-border community within the proposed seat. For example, people from Bude see Holsworthy as their local market town. Also, the Cornish and Devon post series newspaper has, for two centuries, covered the area on both sides of the border. The A39 is an important link between the communities on both side of the border. Historically, the writer of what is known by some as the “Cornish National Anthem”, Rev R.S.Hawker, was the vicar of Morwenstow parish (Cornwall) and Welcome parish (Devon) at the same time. Indeed, the church tower of Welcome is represented on one of the chimneys at his vicarage at Morwenstow, Cornwall.
So I can see some sense in the proposal, which would be better than, for example, than a Torpoint/Saltash/West Plymouth seat.
However, there is a very strong passionate attachment to the entity of Conrwall from Cornish residents, and this would run counter to that. You should particularly consider that Launceston is of great historic significance as the ancient County Town of Cornwall.
One and all image credit: Some rights reserved by Leo Reynolds