December 2014

As our December cafe fell on the first of the month we conjured up some early Christmas spirit and spent a happy couple of hours looking back, and forward to celebrating the festive season.

Friends arrived to find the room and tables appropriately dressed to get everyone in the mood, and all were soon busy doing Christmas word games and puzzles, or happily chatting about events during the month since we last met. David drew everyone together to listen to a humorous seasonal poem, and we then enjoyed playing traditional games – ‘Kim’s game’ tested everyone’s memories as seasonal objects were removed from a tray one-by-one, and pass the parcel played to a background of Christmas music was enjoyed by all.

Di then amused us all with a ‘Christmas Alphabet’ – it’s amazing how many words we could all think of associated with this time of year!

Meanwhile, our invaluable kitchen team were busy at work boiling the kettles and loading plates with a delicious selection for our Christmas tea – the ‘cherry on the cake’ – almost literally – was a beautiful Christmas cake which went down well with a cup of tea.

We were then pleased to welcome back Barry, and his accordion, who had provided entertainment at our very first cafe meeting last January. This time he gave us the chance to choose and sing a selection of Christmas songs and carols which he interspersed with amusing jokes and stories –we hope he was impressed with our singing – we certainly did our best!

We then had another unexpected visitor, when Santa made an appearance, and with the help of Joan distributed gifts to all our friends – and we were delighted that he didn’t forget our indispensible ladies in the kitchen.

We were so pleased he managed to fit us into his busy schedule -  perhaps it was lucky that the cafe was right at the beginning of December, although there was something about him which did look very familiar ......!

Altogether it was a lovely afternoon- as usual, the relaxed, friendly atmosphere meant that no-one felt left out or unable to take part, and hopefully it left everyone feeling ‘set up’ for the busy month ahead.

Crantock Memory Cafe hopes that everyone in the local area has a very happy Christmas and we would like to send our best wishes to all for 2015. 

Our next gathering will be on Monday 5th January 2015 – our first anniversary!

November 2014

There was a real ‘buzz’ in the cafe on Monday 3rd November when friends gathered in the Village Hall for an afternoon with a creative theme. We were delighted to welcome local artist Elaine who demonstrated how to create a wonderful coastal picture using collage techniques and then invited everyone to have a go!

After some initial hesitation, we decided ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ with some truly impressive results: paper, card, glue and scissors and all the artistic flair we could muster were put to good use, and within an hour we had an interesting display of our handiwork framed and ready to hang on the wall. Our thanks to Elaine – we hope she’ll come back again!

Whilst we enjoyed our tea we were treated to the work of a second talented artist – our very own Brian, who had brought in several of his wonderful paintings for us to see. Brian’s paintings of trains, fishing boats, planes and cars are works of detailed perfection and we were privileged to be able to look at them at close quarters and hear about Brian’s painting methods.

After tea we were able to relax and chat – with Autumn in mind, there were word and pictorial puzzles to do, and an intriguing box full of Autumn leaves in which to delve and discover conkers, pine cones, pumpkins and other seasonal items.

As the afternoon drew to a close, we had a surprise visitor – Denise arrived with Darcey, her delightful retriever puppy, who charmed us all – hopefully we’ll meet her again as she grows into a beautiful dog.

One final exciting development – as we now have our own webpage you can even email us on .

Our next gathering will be on Monday 1st December from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall.

October 2014

Song and dance was the order of the day at Crantock Memory Cafe this month, as members welcomed musical group ‘Cameo’ for an hour of music, dance, poetry and reminiscence. The ladies from St Columb Minor thoroughly entertained everyone with music from the First World War through to the 1950s and memory cafe members were soon singing along and tapping their feet! The girls provided us with a most enjoyable show – as far as we were all concerned, they were certainly the ‘Perfect Ladies’ which the name of their performance promised.

Following a delicious afternoon tea brought to us another group of ‘perfect ladies’ – our kitchen helpers, we were pleased to welcome Tracey Sillis, Care Support Worker from the Cornwall Carers Service, who was able to provide some useful information and advice for the carers in our group.
The afternoon concluded with some animated discussions stimulated by a number of interesting articles displayed in the room – a stone hot water bottle, a flat iron, old sewing and D-I-Y equipment and games from the 1940s and 1950s were amongst numerous items which sparked many memories and anecdotes and proved a source of much laughter and chatter – a great way to end an enjoyable afternoon!

A few weeks earlier, the organising committee set up an information stall at the Crantock Bale Push. Many people took time out of an exciting evening to come and talk to us and see the range of activities and resources that we freely offer to our members. Everyone seemed genuinely interested to learn about the problems and difficulties of living daily with memory loss and appreciated our aim to help by providing support and respite for sufferers and their carers. Following on from this, we were thrilled to receive a donation of £400 from the Bale Push Committee towards our running costs. As an independent organisation which receives minimal financial support compared to similar memory cafes in larger towns, we were very grateful for this and will be able continue to provide whatever practical help we can within the local community.

Our next meeting will be held in Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm on Monday 3rd November and new members will be most welcome.

September 2014

Our September gathering took place, as normal, on the first Monday afternoon of the month in Crantock Village Hall. We spent the first hour as usual, with games, puzzles and chatter, accompanied by a cup of tea. We were all delighted when one of our members showed us photos of some of his paintings.  He told us that for many years he had painted and sold his pictures of steam trains, vintage aeroplanes and scenic views, as well as commissioned portraits of people and pets.  The quality of his work was amazing – we had no idea that we had such a talented artist amongst us and look forward to seeing some of his original works of art the next time he joins us.
A new feature, at the request of some of our members, was introduced this month, namely news items that had featured in our local and national papers since we last met. A display of newspaper articles and photographs led to a very lively discussion on items ranging from local bus services and mobile library cuts to the cleaning of Big Ben and the tourist season. Hopefully this will be a regular feature of future cafe meetings.
Just before three o’clock we ‘decamped’ to the Cosy Nook Tearooms in the village where we all enjoyed a delicious cream tea.  It was good to have a change of scenery and to give our friends who are usually busy in the kitchen a chance to come and join us for another hour of lively and happy talk. Altogether another interesting and enjoyable afternoon for all!
Crantock Memory Cafe is an independent, local and non-denominational organization which aims to provide a relaxing and interesting social afternoon for those experiencing some memory loss, with their carers.  We are especially pleased to welcome anyone from Crantock, Cubert, St Newlyn East and the surrounding areas on the first Monday afternoon of every month at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm.  Our next session is on Monday 6th October and new members will be most welcome.

August 2014

On Monday 4th August, Crantock remembered the start of World War One and those from our community who lost their lives in the conflict.  As the centenary fell on the first Monday of the month it coincided with our monthly gathering, and members and helpers were pleased to be invited to join the commemorations in the village.

We met as usual in the Village hall and talked about the Memorial hall in Crantock with its names around the door and the significance of the occasion, before joining locals and visitors for the short service outside the memorial hall. We then strolled over to the church rooms to look at the very interesting display of photographs and artefacts, which was followed by lively chatter over the delicious refreshments that were provided.
We were particularly moved by the poems which were read and felt we had spent an afternoon which had given us much to think about and ponder over.
Some of our members who travel to us from Cubert and Newlyn East were expecting to participate in the commemorations in their own communities, but we will all remember the sunny afternoon of August 4th 2014 in Crantock.
Crantock Memory Cafe meets in Crantock Village Hall on the first Monday of each month from 2pm – 4pm. We welcome all those suffering from memory loss, with their carers, for a relaxed, friendly and interesting afternoon, accompanied by tea and homemade cakes.

July 2014

Our July get-together was, as they say ‘a game of two halves’! When members had settled in and had a refreshing cup of tea, we talked of gardening and last month’s visit to David and Brenda Eyles’ wonderful garden at West Pentire. Members recollected gardens of their childhood, compared favourite flowers and their associated memories, and discussed  methods of vegetable gardening and their current gardens. All this was accompanied by a quiz about flowers in songs, which inevitably led to a bit of singing!
Whilst tea was being prepared by our indispensible volunteers in the kitchen, members were able to stretch their legs and have ten minutes of gentle (sitting down!) exercise. You could easily pick out members who had hand-jiving experience!
Following refreshments we moved on to a ‘Summer Holiday’ theme and with the aid of photographs, posters, holiday brochures and postcards, not to mention the sandcastle table decorations, we spent a pleasant hour talking of journeys, picnics, holiday clothes and much more – the memories came flooding back. Once again, music played a part and we all enjoyed singing along with Cliff Richard, Morecambe and Wise and Max Bygraves – can you guess which songs we sang?

Our Memory Cafe meets on the first Monday of each month from 2pm – 4pm in Crantock Village Hall. We aim to provide a friendly, relaxed social afternoon for those suffering from memory loss, and their carers. We welcome members from Crantock, Cubert, Newlyn East and all surrounding areas. The cafe is free, although donations are welcomed towards our expenses.

June 2014

For our meeting on 2nd June we organised an outing for 20 guests, carers and volunteers to Arundell garden at West Pentire, where David and Brenda Eyles gave us a warm welcome. We were joined by Cllr. Lisa Shuttlewood for a tour of the garden where David gave a vivid account of its creation over 40 years. Thanks to his vision, energy and commitment he has created a tropical mini paradise in a most unpromising situation. In a headland location salt laden gales can destroy vulnerable plants but, by creating effective wind breaks with bamboo and other plants, David has created a wonderland of sheltered meandering paths, themed displays as well as finding space for ponds, waterfalls and a vegetable plot.

After the tour the party adjourned to the conservatory for tea, splits and cream and cakes and biscuits organised by Brenda and our volunteers. We thanked David and Brenda for a wonderful afternoon and also for arranging for the morning’s rain to stop just in time for our visit.

May 2014

Crantock Memory Cafe volunteers are always looking to widen their range of activities and topics in the hope of finding something to amuse and interest all those who come along. With this in mind the May meeting took the theme of ‘sport and exercise’. As usual the scene was set with puzzles and pictures on the tables, and our guests settled in with a cup of tea and a chat. A sports quiz, with multiple choice answers, then got everyone thinking and we were certainly impressed with the group’s knowledge of sports personalities and achievements through the years.
A ‘toss and talk’ ball game then tested our physical and mental ability, as we threw and caught (sometimes!) a large inflatable ball which was covered in topics and leading questions. Whoever held the ball when the music stopped read out the words under their thumbs which gave us a starting-point for thought and discussions. ‘Where was your first home?’, ‘What’s your favourite television programme?’ ‘Do you prefer cats or dogs?’ – just some of the questions which led to lively conversations and an amusing game!
Of course, after such exertion we were all ready for tea and cake, which magically appeared from the kitchen thanks to our able ‘catering team’.
Refreshments over, we welcomed Godfrey Ross who led us through a session of gentle exercises to help us keep our bodies flexible and active.  Godfrey was keen to emphasise that we must stop if our bodies told us we’d had had enough but we think and hope he was impressed with everybody’s willingness to ‘have a go!’
It was a very active afternoon, and when we all went home at 4pm it seemed likely that most of us were going to put our feet up for a late afternoon siesta – and that’s just the volunteers!
A few of our ‘regulars’ were missing this month through sickness and we do hope to see them again at our next session on Monday 2nd June from 2pm–4pm at Crantock Village Hall. We were, however, very pleased to welcome five new members and we look forward to seeing them again next month, when we promise a less strenuous afternoon!

The Memory Cafe meets on the first Monday of each month and is free for anyone with memory loss and their carers, although donations are welcomed towards our expenses.

April 2014

Our April meeting in the Village Hall at Crantock was the usual friendly, social gathering we have come to expect.  Although based in Crantock, our aim has always been to support those suffering from memory loss who live further afield, as well as in the village, and we have been delighted how far the news has spread since we opened for the first time in January.
Our usual selection of games, puzzles and ‘memory joggers’ to stimulate conversation were on offer, as well as a soothing hand massage!  After a delicious selection of home-made cakes and a cup of tea we played an amusing game of bingo based around bird names with winners rewarded with small, but delicious Easter eggs!
We were very pleased to welcome Lisa Shuttlewood, our local County Councillor. This was her second visit to us, as she had attended our opening session in January, and she has been actively supportive of our group ever since.  Lisa presented a projector to the Memory Cafe which was purchased with funds from her Cornwall Councillor’s Community Grant and this enabled us to then watch a short video about 1960’s domestic life.
If you, or anyone you know, are thinking of joining us for next month’s Memory Cafe please note that due to the May Bank Holiday we will be meeting one week later on Monday 12th May from 2pm to 4pm in Crantock Village Hall.  A warm and friendly welcome awaits you, and we are free to all those suffering from a degree of memory loss and their carers.

If you would like further information please ring Joan on 01637 831347 or Di on 01637 830544.

March 2014

Our Memory Café continues to grow – not only in numbers but in the distance from which people travel to join us for an interesting, enjoyable and varied afternoon.
This month, the first Monday fell two days before St Piran’s Day (5th March) so we had a good reason to centre our activities around all things Cornish.  We settled in with a cup of tea and caught up with friends, old and new, and what we’d been up to over the last four weeks – much talk about the weather and the hint of Spring!
A group based Cornish quiz followed which gave everyone a chance to share their knowledge about our county, and my, what a knowledgeable lot we proved to be!  With picture clues, questions ranging from places and history to food and legends and the inevitable extended chats across the group on their personal memories and preferences we had a lively session that was apparently enjoyed by all concerned.
This was followed by a hearty traditional Cornish tea. We had hot Crantock Bakery pasties (delicious) followed by saffron cake, fairings and sponges and Brenda’s wonderful homemade biscuits. This was topped off by mouth-watering scones made by Kate with a topping of strawberry jam and a generous topping of Rodda’s Cornish cream  - a veritable feast. Washed down by tea and coffee it was amazing that we went on to sing a range of traditional Cornish songs, including The White Rose, Lamorna, Camborne Hill and, of course, Trelawney. We even learnt “There’s something about a Pasty” and boy, can we sing!

The afternoon ended with the usual mix of conversation and laughter and there were notes on the legend of St Piran and pieces of slate with his flag painted on (black background with a white cross) for anyone to take home to help celebrate St Piran’s Day.
We’re now looking forward to our next Memory Café which will be on Monday 7th April from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall.  We know there will be plenty to do and talk about; and of course more tea and cake ! 
We’re delighted that we now have guests joining us from Cubert, Newquay and St Newlyn East and would welcome more. All our guests are warmly welcomed at the door by our friendly helpers who do their best to ensure that everyone is made to feel at ease.

All those with concerns about their memory, and carers too, are welcome to join us. The Café is free of charge, although donations towards our running costs are welcomed.

February 2014

When we opened our doors for the second meeting of the Memory Café on 3rd February, we felt that all the odds were against us.  Several members of our organising team were unwell, and the weather was appalling, with high winds and lashing rain (no surprise there!).  However, our back-up team of helpers stepped into the breach, and we were delighted when guests began to arrive. We were very pleased that Crantock friends, who had attended our January gathering, had ventured out to see what was on offer again, and delighted to welcome newcomers from Cubert, Newlyn East and Newquay – news of us is spreading!
After a welcome ‘cuppa’, we talked about childhood memories, aided by puzzles, toys and photos and as we have come to expect, the room was soon filled with laughter and chatter.  At this point we wondered whether we were disturbing the peace, especially when Caroline, our local Police Community Support Officer appeared at the door!  We breathed a sigh of relief to discover she had simply heard of our gathering and had come to see how things were going: we quickly plied her with a cup of tea and sat her down to join in!
Following a welcome break to catch our breath, during which tea and homemade cakes were served by Brenda and Pat, our able helpers in the kitchen, we settled down for a game of ‘Musical Bingo’.  It’s not until you start listening to music that you realise just how many songs you know – and can sing along with!
The time just flew by – what a great way to spend a dull, wet winter’s afternoon.  We’re now looking forward to our next Memory Café which will be on Monday 3rd March from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall.  Plans are at an early stage as this is written but we know there will be plenty to do and talk about; and of course more tea and cake!

All those with concerns about their memory, and carers too, are welcome to join us. The Café is free of charge, although donations towards our running costs are welcomed.

January 2014

On the afternoon of Monday 6th January, Crantock Memory Cafe opened its doors for the first time. The volunteers held their breath – after several months of meeting, planning and training, would anyone come along to see what we had to offer?  We didn’t have to wait long for our answer! Even before our official opening time of 2.00 p.m. guests, male and female, were starting to arrive, some on their own and others with family or carers. Some were already friends or acquaintances, whilst others began the afternoon as complete strangers – but not for long!  All were welcomed with a smile and a cup of tea and soon the Village Hall was full of lively chatter and laughter.

After a brief welcome from Joan, the Chairwoman of our organising committee, and words of introduction by Sue McDermott from the Cornwall Rural Community Council, we began to get to know each other better by sharing memories and experiences, and having a go at various activities.  A number of our guests and carers took the opportunity of having a relaxing hand massage offered by Di – this proved to be a great success and will be on offer each month.

After another ‘cuppa’, this time with a range of delicious homemade cakes and biscuits, we were entertained by Barry and Evelyn who with the aid of keyboard and accordion soon had us laughing, singing along and tapping our feet!!

The two hours passed very quickly, and we very much hope that all those who came along and enjoyed the afternoon will come again to our next session on Monday 3rd February from 2.00 – 4.00pm in Crantock Village Hall.

If you, or someone you know might benefit from attending our sessions please do come along. It is easy to fit in as each session is made up of a range of activities (next month is based on ‘Pancakes’) and, as we’ve already discovered, there is plenty of chat and laughter. Our main aim is to provide a time and place where people can relax, be themselves, make new friends and have a good time.

If you were unable to come to our first meeting don’t worry – we’ll be meeting at the same time on the first Monday of every month and a warm welcome will await you whenever you can come. Please note that there is ample car parking at the Hall and disabled access.