By Guest Blogger - Rachel Gerred-Hart
The sky is crystal blue in colour a few light airy clouds sit motionless in the sky. It’s hot. The sun beats down on my skin. I am 3 years old, and my bunches tied with red ribbons, dance about my ears. I am skipping down the road chatting about making buns and eggy bread whilst holding my mothers hand. We walk past the old steep clock tower of the town hall and I look up…it’s so high! Past the kings towards the little park where I will sit on the short grass and make daisy chains as my mother watches me. I feel serene. I feel safe. It’s the moment I fell in love with Penryn, my Town, my home.
I don’t have a family home as such my family are new to the town in terms of generations. I was the first one born here at 1 commercial Road in 1976 and we moved around the town. One day at the age of 6 I awoke, I was sore and in pain, confused and unsure of my surroundings. Over the coming days I learned there had been a fire and I had been pulled from the burning building of 68 Market Street. My life had been spared by the efforts of Penryn and Falmouth fire crews. To some these were tragic times. It was 1982, the UK had recession and strikes. The mines were closing, but to me moving to Glasney Place was the start of my childhood when the magic was to begin!
My head is filled with stories, adventures and tales of woods churchyards and the riverbank. Digging for marble from the Collegiate Church ruins in the cold sticky mud, making figures from the clay under the soil of Glasney Valley. Building dams at Black Pipe near College Ope, we loved that moment when the water finally poured over the top of the pipe and our efforts had not been wasted. Me and my, ‘Glasney Crew’, young free wild and restless in our tatty flared jeans and wellie boots, Mum would say, ’don’t you come home with wet feet Rachel’, ‘NO MUM I’ll be home before its dark’ I would say and return with wellies filled with cold river water, socks squelching around my toes.
Leaving my past to my minds eye I am back in the present. I lost my sister here in this town. I was the first one born here and she was the first one to die here. Her name was Nikki. She was killed in another fire 11 years ago in the town. My family has made its mark here now mainly through two well-known tragedies. Now I have children of my own, they are, ‘Rynners’ and enjoy the same things I did as a child and are making their own memories?
My family Penryn history began with me and one day I shall lay in the churchyard where I danced around the graves as a little girl with the sun reflected off my cropped hair, Father Nicholls laughing at me and my cheek. I can think of no better place to be. I am this town and this town is me.
Rachel has recently brought together the tragic story of Linda Vine who was murdered in Penryn, 1918. She is also the founder of, Penryn Legends and has supported the Town’s museum by creating the group, Legendary Penryn History that is regularly updated by the volunteer museum staff.