Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
we are very excited to announce a new member of the museum team.Hannah, our office mananger, and her husband Lee had a baby girl yesterday morning. Baby Lucy was a couple of weeks early and weighed in at 5lb 1oz, She is very healthy and brother Ewan is very proud of his new sister. Photos when available.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
On the first weekend of December every year the Friends of the Museum hold a meeting in Boscastle and we've just finished yet another successful gathering. It's a social occasion for people to meet old friends and catch up with the latest information about the museum.
We had two speakers this year. Jo O'Clereigh, a man with a great deal of both historical and magical knowledge, spoke on his work as an artist on archaelogical digs in Egypt. The photos and stories of his work and the people he met from the 1960s up until this year were a fascinating insight into this aspect of Egypt, its ancient gods & goddesses, and the wonderful people he met along the way.
Julian Vayne, a well known speaker on Chaos Magic and related topics, spoke on the use of drugs in magic, their ritual use, and their use in the society we live in today. He's always a lively speaker and his talk prompted much discussion.
It was a much warmer venue this year as it was held upstairs in the restaurant of the Wellington Hotel. Normally we're freezing to death in a village hall or a Youth Hostel but we thought we'd go a bit more upmarket this year. Thanks to Susie & the staff at the Wellie for looking after everyone so well.
There was also a special "Friends" prelaunch of The Occult Art Company which received great feedback from everyone there. More on that as we get closer to the actual launch. A website is under construction so if you want a sneak preview you can check it out on theoccultartcompany.co.uk and watch the progress.
Sunday morning featured a round walk up through the woods to Joan Wytte's burial marker, Minster Church, then back through thupper village. A great way to blow the previous nights alcohol fuelled cobwebs away.
We hope to see even more people attending next year.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Well it's a snow covered Boscastle I'm writing from today. Roger the local potter said it's around 10 years since he's seen it like this. Very pretty but very cold and the roads are horrendous. Graham & the Coastguard team have been called out to the massive pile up of cars on Bodmin Moor to help with communications as hundreds of people have been stranded in their cars. Not the sort of weather one expects down this way.
On a different note, a new alarm system has been installed in the museum as an extra security measure. A fair amount of disruption with carpets being pulled up and and workmen around the place but it looks very discreet and we believe worth it in the end.
I'm now off to warm my fingers by the fire as my computer room is freezing. More news soon.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The web news may not be updated as frequently as normal and "Herb of the Week" will be put on hold over the winter break but will be back when the museum opens. I am working on an interesting project which will be announced on the site shortly.
As for the village, most of the shops are closed except for Cornish Goodies & the Clovelly Clothing Company. The pubs are open as usual for food & bevvies. The building work has started on the last couple of buildings to be rebuilt i.e. Things & the one opposite the museum. The Harbour restaurant has been bought by the National Trust & will be turned into the new Visitors' Centre next year. Hopefully this should resolve the lack of Public Toilets in the harbour area.
Friday, November 04, 2005
just as I reported that the museum was closing for winter, I am now reporting that the museum is experimenting with not quite closing for winter!
The season has been unusually busy in the last few weeks so Graham has decided to open on reduced hours up until Xmas as a bit of an experiment.
The reduced hours are:
Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun from 11 30AM to 4 30PM
these are subject to change dependent on staff availabity and holidays but if you are in the area at any of these times please pop in.
For our Australian readers, the latest, and sadly the last, Witchcraft magazine has the interview with Graham about the museum in it. I think it's the Sept/Oct issue. Unfortunately we've been informed the magazine will no longer be produced so we wish good luck to all who worked on the magazine in their future endeavours.
I've finally managed to get some photos of the halloween party at the Wellington Hotel downloaded so I've attached them for your perusal. The children looked great in their spooky costumes, sadly the parents just looked a bit scary.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Work has started on rebuilding "Things" the gift shop & the building opposite the museum will be rebuilt over winter. The Spinning Wheel has now shut for winter after a very busy season.
Graham will be doing some ongoing refurbishments to the museum while it is closed as he does each winter but is hoping to get away for a well deserved break soon.
Today we finished photographing Doreen Valiente's first batch of scrapboooks. What a mammoth task! I think we'll have to add more memory to the computer for the next batch. Very interesting stuff there. A great social commentary on the way the media portrayed the occult from the early 60s through to the 80s.
The Wellington Hotel had a great Halloween party last Friday and I'll be adding some photos later on. The kids looked great in their little spooky costumes, as did some of the grown ups.
I'll be continuing the blog during winter when interesting things happen so keep checking the website.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
We seem to have acquired a new booth assistant over the past few days. Eric, the potter's cat from across the river, has been gracing us with his presence in the afternoons, much to the joy of our resident cat lover, Joyce. Eric, not normally known for his friendly demeanor, has been welcoming visitors to the museum and hoovering the post lunch fish scraps off the floor. Here he is with his rather spooky eyes, checking out the suitability of an unsuspecting customer.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Greetings again. The wrist is feeling a little unpleasant at the moment as I have been spending the last few days photographing, cataloguing, and digitally correcting dozens of images.
Firstly, there is a large collection of Black Pullet silks and cross stitch charts that have been in the store room for years. Luckily they survived the flood because I brought them upstairs to try to sort them out last year. The Black Pullet tapestries are on display upstairs in the museum and we have some written pages of the magic attributed to each of them as well as the silks and charts. They depict 20 magic talismans and rings from a pyramid in Egypt. These are all now photographed and collated in 3 box files and, as with the books in the library, are now available, by appointment, for perusal by anyone with an interest in the subject.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Visitors just keep coming to Boscastle. The season seems to be extending and many of the hotels are booked up for October. The inaugural Boscastle Food and Art Fair is happening next weekend - Oct 8 & 9. There will be displays by local artists in the school and other venues around the village and food stalls will be dotted around. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
In the museum , the collection of fortune telling cups continues to grow with some rather attractive new acquisitions. I'm beginning to to think Graham is developing an addiction to the these lovely old cups.
He's also mananged to finally purchase a copy of a book he's been after for a long time - the trial pamphlets of Joan Wenham of Hertfordshire, the last known instance in which a witch was convicted in England (1713). She was later pardoned.
Those of you who have visited the upstairs gallery will probably remember the dulcit tones of Aleister Crowley chanting one of his poems. We thought that this may be a little intrusive so Graham has set up some 1930s telephone earpieces so that people who wish to listen can do so without interrupting others who prefer a quieter ambience. I took a photo (shown here) of Justin, one of today's visitors, modelling the usage of the aforementioned earphone.
Historian Phillip Heselton has been visiting the library this week to do more research on his upcoming biography of Gerald Gardner. There is quite a lot of correspondence between Gerald and Cecil Williamson in the library archive which hopefully will prove useful in Phillip's research. I foolishly did not get a photo for you to check out.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
The season has continued to be very busy with more bookings than usual being reported in the hotels for October. We've had quite a few interesting visitors lately, most notably the author R.J. Stewart dropped in with a lovely group of American visitors last weekend. Graham was extremely pleased to meet him as he shares a passion for traditional folk music as well. Unfortunately I wasn't on the ball enough to take a photo for the website so you'll just have to believe me.
We also had a visit from a wonderful Swiss woman called Wicca (yes it is her real name) who had been collecting for the museum at her shop in Switzerland. She personally delivered the £300 (approx) they had gathered. She is the writer and publisher of the only Wicca/Witchcraft magazine in Switzerland, Germany & Austria. I think her shop is in Fislisbach so check it out if you are in the area. Thanks Wicca!!
Steve Patterson, the man who does some of the wood carvings and the copper athames which we sell, has started a course on Magik & folklore for people in the village and surrounding areas. I missed the first week but went along last night. I believe the course is going to be extremely interesting and Steve has such a relaxed and enthusiastic presentation style. He mainly does courses around Cornwall so if you are interested and see any advertised it would be a good idea to check them out.
Tinker's Bag, a group of traditional folk musicians and singers, entertained the people of Boscastle at the Village Hall last Saturday night with their show 'The Labourer's Year', featuring songs that reflect the changing seasons. Bob & Jill Berry (the ringleaders for this event) are friends of Graham's from his folky past and wanted to do something just for the villagers to cheer us up after a pretty heavy year. It was a great night with drinks at the Welly afterwards. Judging by the number of hangovers the next day we must have all had a great time. I had a couple of friends, Bernadette & Chrissy, over from Australia who were convinced we'd put the spectacle on just for them!
Herb of the week will be later this week as I seem to have lost the photos in the ether. Keep posted.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Yarrow - "Thou pretty herb of Venus tree, thy true name it is yarrow.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
As for Boscastle, things have started to quieten down again after a very hectic August. The good weather and publicity regarding the flood anniversary helped to ensure we ended the month on a high, so we are now feeling more financially secure after a slow start to the year.
We've had an interesting donation of another Pan figure which is similar to one we have on display upstairs (see Herb of the Week-7 for an image of the donation). Strangely, this week we've had an enquiry from America regarding the same item. Coincidence?....hmmmmm. If anyone knows anything about the artefact please let us know.
A new computer has arrived to replace the old one in the main office which was outdated and very sluggish. In Graham's excitement to set up the transfer of documents to CD as a back up he managed to wipe out his entire "My Documents" folder. Unfortunately, when he checked the CD it had not copied anything so all was lost. Luckily things had been backed up fairly recently so it wasn't a total disaster but lots of recent stuff has gone.
Just had news that "Things" shop has had the go ahead to rebuild as of tomorrow so that will leave only one building to go; the Harbour Lights opposite the museum. More later.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
The Beltane Alternative Border Morris side were dancing outside the museum and around the harbour today which has kept the crowds entertained. We were very impressed by their tight "sticking" technique. Crisp clacking is always a must when it comes to Morris Dancing!
I've been asked to put a bit on the blog about car parking & general Boscastle "need to know" stuff for those thinking of visiting. The car park is fully open and the National Trust are allowing the council to use an extra bit at the end when it's busy, so you could say the car park is slightly larger than it was pre flood. There is also a park & ride scheme running on busy days which is located up on the Tintagel Road. I think it's around 50 pence for the ride so it's cheaper than the main car park.
All the B & Bs and hotels are fully reopened except for the Youth Hostel which will be reopened next year after extensive rebuilding work. The Riverside Hotel is now fully opened including the restaurant. The Spinning Wheel is extremely busy during the day as is the Bakery. There are only 2 buildings left to be rebuilt; The Harbour Lights, and Things. Clovelly Clothing rebuilt & opened on the anniversary of the flood August 16 2005.
The Wreck Shield, which was awarded to the Boscastle, Bude, and Port Isaac Coast Guard Teams, is proudly sitting in the window of the museum attracting almost as many positive comments as Graham's Landrover.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
On Tuesday night Graham was presented with the Coastguard award for his prompt actions during the flood which saved many lives! The Boscastle, Bude, & Port Isaac teams were all awarded the Wreck Shield for their services during the flood. Congratulations to you all, it is well deserved!! The Awards were presented by John Astbury, the UK's Chief Coastguard and a very pleasant chap.
Business has certainly picked up over the last few days with all this media attention. Boscastle is buzzing with some lovely people with very positive messages. Many find it hard to believe just how much has been done so far with the refurbishment of the village.