December 2017 extra

There was a festive spirit in the air for our final Memory CafĂ© of 2017. Seasonal music greeted our visitors and they quickly settled down to have a go at a Christmas wordsearch, or to have a look through the latest edition of the Bowgie-sponsored ‘Sparkle’ magazine.

Our special guest for the afternoon was Jonathan Hayter, an artist and teacher, who spread out on the tables a very long roll of paper. He then encouraged us to discover our inner-creative talents with the aid of a range of chalks, pastels and paints in bright colours!

Soon a variety of styles, colours, pictures and patterns emerged, stretching almost from one end of the room to the other as we surprised not only Jonathan but ourselves as well with our work!

Tea-time soon approached and everyone moved to our festively-dressed tables, complete with Christmas crackers, to enjoy some tasty refreshments. There was time for a chat and an exchange of corny cracker jokes and a welcome cup of tea!

To end the afternoon there was a Crantock version of ‘pass the parcel’ which involved passing and unwrapping two big snowballs to the accompaniment of some Christmas music which gave everyone a chance to sing along and have a laugh. Gifts were distributed to all our visitors who duly thanked all our organisers and helpers for their efforts throughout the year.

We look forward to meeting up again on 8th January and, as always, we welcome anyone with memory loss, together with their carers, to join us for a relaxed and enjoyable afternoon at Crantock Village Hall.

December 2017

Our first cafe in December took place on Monday 4th, and with a theme of ‘Christmas Past’ it was clear that the festive spirit was here with the Village Hall beautifully decorated which added to the atmosphere!
On arrival, our visitors were greeted with a display of ‘vintage’ Christmas cards, books, tree decorations and even cake decorations which certainly evoked some memories.

After a chance to settle in, our visitors faced a ‘Christmas double challenge word-search’ which got everyone thinking. This was followed by a seasonal music-based game involving listening to familiar Christmas songs and carols from past decades and working out who was the singer - was it Bing Crosby or Dean Martin? Could that be Doris Day or was it Vera Lynn? This certainly required a bit of thought, but with a few clues and some friendly discussions around the tables, we soon worked most of them out!
Next, pictorial conversation boards were distributed encouraging everyone to look back and share their memories of such topics as tree-decorating, parties, carol-singing, Christmas presents and a range of other seasonal activities. The nostalgic hour passed quickly, and soon it was time for tea and the opportunity to stretch our legs and view the display or go and chat with friends.
Meanwhile, our friends ‘Cameo’ from St Columb Minor had arrived looking very sparkly and festive, and as refreshments were cleared away everyone settled down to be entertained with songs and verses – and a little bit of dancing too! Most of the songs were familiar with plenty of opportunities to sing along, and the warm round of applause they received at the end was fully deserved.
 As usual it was a most enjoyable and entertaining way to spend the afternoon and to begin our Christmas celebrations. We look forward to meeting up again in two weeks time on Monday 18th December at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm and we are always pleased to welcome new visitors. Should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544, or Joan on 01637 831347

November 2017 Extra

Music was to the fore again for our second cafe of November as we welcomed back our local shanty singers ‘Fiddle me Timbers’.

As ever we were treated to a selection of jolly and interesting ditties, this time presented by an extended line-up of musicians including two fiddle players and a guitarist! The programme was enhanced by appropriate pirate headgear and accessories! There was a wide repertoire of songs with plenty of interaction and audience participation and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.

Meanwhile, Richard had distributed a word puzzle and quiz to keep everyone amused whilst we enjoyed our afternoon tea.  Our ‘Bowgie’ sponsored ‘Sparkle’ magazines were also passed around, and together with cake, tea and friendly chatter, time passed quickly.
As our lovely tea ladies cleared away, Joan introduced us to a new variation of one of our favourite games – ‘Cat Bingo’.
Joan and Richard were adept as our callers and before long everyone was busy covering lines of moggies and winning chocolate. It was soon time to gather our booty and ‘Sparkle’ magazine and head for home.

We will meet again on Monday 4th December from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall. We are always pleased to welcome new members and should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at .

November 2017

There was a ‘double bill’ of entertainment and interest for the many visitors to the Memory Cafe on November 6th. On arrival, there was a a chance to have a look at a fire-based display which comprised a selection of illustrations, each one involving the word ‘fire’ – but what were the words?

There was also a ‘Fire Safety Wordsearch’ and ‘Fireworks Alphabet Grid’ to tackle, before we welcomed Newquay’s own a capella group ‘Oll an Gwella’ who entertained us with their ever-popular songs and banter.

As usual the range of styles and songs performed by the group soon had everyone tapping their toes and joining in with much enthusiasm, even when we were doing the actions to a lively shanty! We were delighted that the members of ‘Oll an Gwella’ joined us for our homemade savouries, biscuits and cakes and mingled with our members around the room.

With winter approaching and colder days ahead, our theme of ‘fire’ led to the introduction of our second guest of the afternoon, Leigh-Anne Parfitt from the Cornwall Fire and Rescue service. With the aid of a power-point presentation, Leigh-Anne spoke about fire prevention in the home which was well received by our members and very thought-provoking. Leigh-Anne provided us with many practical tips to increase our personal safety and we appreciated the opportunity to arrange a free fire safety audit of our own homes.
There was time to ask questions and discuss matters arising from Leigh-Anne’s talk before the afternoon drew to a close. David thanked Leigh-Anne for an excellent presentation and then it was once again time to close up the cafe until we meet again at 2pm on Monday 20th November at Crantock Village Hall. Should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.

October 2017 Extra

Following on from our recent artistically-inspired cafes, we began our mid-October session with an art-themed wordsearch. Richard then welcomed Lorna Wiles – yet another of our talented ‘locals’ who came to tell us about her life and career as an artist and designer. Lorna, whose home and studio is just up the road in West Pentire, had enlisted the help of her husband Bob in bringing along and displaying a wonderful selection of her artwork and needlework. After studying at art colleges in Falmouth, Plymouth and Bristol, Lorna told us how she set up her first workshop in a cowshed in Crantock, and how her career led her to design and make fabrics for a surfing company, a toy-maker, Tate St Ives Art Gallery and Lakes Pottery at Truro, before creating clothing and fabrics for her own company at Wesley Yard in Newquay.
In recent years Lorna has focussed primarily on painting, using a variety of media, and embroidered textiles which she shows in her gallery at West Pentire, reflecting the beautiful area in which she lives.

We were all fascinated as Lorna demonstrated the unusual techniques used to create her distinctive and unique textured works of art, and we were delighted to be able to have a close look at her amazing range of pen and ink line drawings, paintings and embroidery.

As teatime approached, copies of the ‘Sparkle’ magazine were distributed together with a quiz based around articles in this week’s issue. Our usual tea and cakes were then devoured with enthusiasm before Joan led us in a game of ‘Dog Bingo’ and the afternoon concluded with Richard providing the answers to the quiz.
Everyone also heard about two up-coming events which will benefit our Memory Cafe. Firstly, Crantock Arty Crafty Group will be sharing some of the profits from their Arty Crafty Christmas Charity Tea Party which will be held on Saturday 11th November from 2pm to 4pm at Crantock Chapel. This is always a special occasion and well worth a visit. Then on Friday 24th November from 7.45pm, The Bowgie Inn at West Pentire is supporting us by hosting an evening of Cornish Songs and Sea Shanties to be performed by two local groups – Fiddle Me Timbers and the Newquay Rowing Club Singers - again, an event not to be missed!

Everyone left with plenty to talk and think about until our next Memory Cafe meeting at 2pm on Monday 6th November at Crantock Village Hall. Should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.

October 2017

The second day of the month saw the first of our two October Memory Cafes, and Autumn had definitely arrived!  Visitors received the usual warm welcome and soon settled down to chat with friends or tackle a seasonal word-search. A beautiful display of autumnal poems and pictures illustrated countryside scenes of woods, harvest-time, nuts and berries and this was complemented by a seasonal ‘nature table’ recalling woodland walks and primary school classroom displays!

Our activity for the afternoon was to create an Autumnal decoration, and we welcomed Margaret Shillaber from Camelford who demonstrated the simple but very effective creation of a seasonal table decoration or hanging wreath made with a wide selection of leaves, ferns, feathers, lichen and much more which were provided for everyone to ‘have a go’. 

All were soon busy and an impressive range of creations soon appeared on the tables. We were shown how this simple idea could be adapted for different occasions – Easter, Christmas and more, and how by using materials collected ourselves, such as seashells, the decorations could provide personal recollections of special times , creating a ‘memory ring’.
Once anyone had finished their rings, or perhaps weren’t too keen to have a try, there were alternatives such as making a card or picture using leaves, or doing some artistic colouring.

As usual, time passed quickly and it was soon time to clear a space for afternoon tea – delicious as ever.
We then welcomed our second visitors for the afternoon, Celtic Chords, a ladies barbershop choir who entertained everyone with some delightful a capella singing for the remainder of the afternoon.  There were many familiar songs to tap our feet to, and as usual where music is concerned, we were keen to join in and sing along!

It was a busy and interesting afternoon and thanks were given to all our contributors and helpers for providing us with another entertaining and creative Memory Cafe to enjoy.
Our next meetings will be held on Monday 16th October and Monday 6th November from 2pm at Crantock Village Hall. If you wish to learn more about our Memory Cafe please phone Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347. 

September 2017 Extra

Our second Memory Cafe of the month took place on Monday 18th September and as usual, a good number of visitors arrived and were either chatting or having a go a word-search or a quiz based around this week’s ‘Sparkle’ magazine which we distribute to all of our members, courtesy of generous sponsorship from ‘The Bowgie’ at West Pentire.
Whilst we know everyone always enjoys these familiar games, we are keen to explore new ideas and activities, and today was no exception! Richard introduced us to Trevor Hawkins, artist and teacher, who soon engaged everyone’s attention as he spoke of the enjoyment and creativity of modelling with clay. Basic modelling tools were distributed around the tables and Trevor explained that we could all ‘have a go’ using modroc – a special clay which hardens without the need to fire it in a kiln.

After some brief tuition on building with clay and fixing components together it was ‘all systems go’ as we got stuck in! Trevor showed us some examples of what could be achieved and was on hand to give advice where needed, and very soon our creative juices were working overtime as an amazing mixture of fruit, trees, mushrooms, items of clothing and pots, not to mention a menagerie of animals, birds and sea creatures began to appear on the tables.  Memories of playing with plasticine in the classroom were revived, and there was chat about using ‘playdough’ with our children and grandchildren.

At the end of a very enjoyable hour we all had works of art to take home with us and after quickly wiping down the tables and giving our hands a scrub we were ready for the tea and cakes brought around by our refreshments team.  Thanks and applause were given to Trevor before we moved into the final part of the afternoon with a game of Musical Bingo – always a popular activity, especially with the added bonus of a chocolate for anyone completing a line!
Richard then gave us the answers to the quiz we had tackled earlier, before it was time to pack away at the end of a most enjoyable Memory Cafe.
Our next Memory Cafe meeting takes place on Monday 2nd October at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm. New members with their carers are always welcome and should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.

September 2017

After our expedition to Crantock Church to see the wonderful Flower Festival last month, for our first cafe of September we were back in the familiar surroundings of the Village Hall.  Visitors were greeted by a ‘word-search’ based on apples and sausages, and the room was soon buzzing with friendly chatter as the tables filled up – but what was the theme for the afternoon?
All was revealed when we were introduced to our guest speaker, Robert Bond from Perranporth, whose topic was ‘Anecdotes from a Working Life’.  Robert was looking very dapper with his white shirt and bow tie, and he was soon amusing us with the story of how he acquired his distinctive jacket. Moving on we learned that he was brought up on his family’s farm in Somerset, where dairy farming was supplemented by cider-making, and he had many stories to tell about the strange powers over those who visited his father’s cider shed! On leaving home, Robert worked in the offices of a well-known sausage and pork pie maker before moving on to the motor trade , and then into the media where he worked for the BBC in radio and television. Currently Robert is a speech-writer for an MP at Westminster and a popular after-dinner speaker. He was a most entertaining and amusing speaker, and with tea-time fast approaching he still had many more tales to tell on what will hopefully be a return visit.

At teatime it was back to those sausages and apples, with time to sample some apple juice and test our taste buds with five different flavoured sausages which our faithful catering team had been busy cooking in the kitchen!  There was also, of course, a cup of tea and the usual delicious selection of refreshments – this time, of course, including sausage rolls, Jane’s apple cake and some bite-sized apple pies – what a feast! There was also the opportunity to look at a display based around sausages and sausage making, and apples and cider making. A range of very tempting apples were on show thanks to a selection kindly donated by Morrisons and there was a chance to have a taste and compare different varieties.

After tea, there was time to do a crossword based on ‘occupations’ and ‘conversation boards’ were distributed around the tables. These displayed a fascinating selection of photographs illustrating occupations and questions to stimulate thoughts about our own working lives: Did you have a ‘dream job’ to which you aspired as a child?  What was your first experience of the world of work?  Did you have a holiday or Saturday job?

There were also boards showing photographs of job-related TV shows to identify from across the decades, ranging from ‘Dr Finlay’s Casebook’ to the ‘Are You Being Served’ – not as easy as it seems!
It was a busy and interesting afternoon and thanks were given to Robert for his most interesting talk which stimulated a most entertaining Memory Cafe for us all!  

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from ‘The Bowgie’ at West Pentire, copies of ‘Sparkle’ magazine were distributed to give everyone something to read, and puzzles to do at home, before our next meeting on Monday 18th September from 2pm at Crantock Village Hall.   

August 2017 Extra

Memory Cafe friends and helpers were ‘out and about’ for their August mid-month meeting.  We were fortunate to have chosen a beautifully warm and sunny afternoon to pay a visit to Crantock Church Flower Festival, which this year was entitled ‘Curtain Up’. The church was a feast for the eyes and noses, full of thirty wonderful arrangements, each one based on the title of a well-known theatrical or musical production.  There was much to admire – both in the highly creative floral displays and the setting of the lovely church itself. 

For many Memory Cafe members it was either a first time visit or perhaps a return to the church after a number of years.  Some had a go at the quiz based around the titles of the displays, whilst others were happy just to enjoy the sights and scents, and perhaps spend time sitting outside in the sunshine.
After a pleasant hour we strolled around the corner for a delicious cream tea at the Cosy Nook Tea Garden, where there was plenty of time for a chat and a laugh.

Thanks must go to Sue Dennett and members of Crantock Church, the staff of the Cosy Nook for a most enjoyable afternoon, and also to Kathleen at 'The Cornishman' for allowing us to use their car parking facilities, which made access for our visit so much easier.

The next Memory Cafe meetings will on Monday 4th September and Monday 18th September at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm. Should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347.

August 2017

The cafe opened again on Monday 7th August – the year seems to be rushing by so fast, and it’s surprising to think back on the range of activities and entertainment we’ve experienced since January!
This month we welcomed husband and wife John and Gret Woodason, who talked to us about the Newquay University of the Third Age or ‘U3A’ as it’s usually known.  To get us ‘in the groove’ cafe visitors were given a U3A-based wordsearch to puzzle over, and a display of some of the many U3A activities to have a look at.

Gret and John then gave us a most interesting illustrated talk explaining the role of the organisation in providing leisure, social and learning opportunities for the retired and semi-retired in our community. Everyone was surprised by the range of activities on offer, many of which could be enjoyed by cafe members and their families – walking, reading, dancing, antiques, languages and table-tennis to name just a few! There was even a chance to sample the ‘singing for fun’ activity as Gret and John led us in a lively rendition of ‘There’s a Hole in my Bucket’!  The talk was illustrated by some beautiful shots taken by the ‘Photography Group’ as well as interesting information about the formation and aims of the U3A to ‘learn, laugh and live’ as their slogan puts it. Leaflets about the U3A were available for our visitors to take away and there was plenty of time to ask questions and chat about opportunities on offer and it certainly gave everyone food for thought!
Before tea there was just time to have a go at a couple of word puzzles – one based around the word ‘Dancers’ and another which gave us a line from a well-known song and then challenged us to remember the words which came next – not as easy as you might think, but much easier if you sang the words rather than spoke them – yet another opportunity for a laugh!

After a delicious tea with a wonderful selection of homemade savouries, cakes and biscuits ‘Memories Packs’ were distributed around the tables. These contained all manner of interesting items from the past including newspapers, vintage greetings cards, adverts, postage stamps, knitting patterns, photos and more.  Much conversation and interest was generated by these fascinating items and there was a chance to move between the tables to have a look at different selections.  It was a most enjoyable activity which sent everyone home with plenty to talk and think about until our next Memory Cafe Extra meeting at 2pm on Monday 21st August at Crantock Village Hall. Should you need further information please ring Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347.