December 2018 Extra

Our final café for the year was on December 17th and with Christmas Day so close, there was, of course, a festive theme!
Our guests arrived to find the tables seasonally decorated, a ‘Sparkle’ magazine to peruse and a Christmas-themed puzzle ready for them to tackle. We were then entertained by our friends ‘Cameo’ from St Columb Minor, who had toes tapping and smiles on faces with their selection of Christmas songs and readings, before a festive feast was served with sandwiches, delicious cakes and meringues, homemade mince pies and, of course, Christmas crackers!

After tea, Richard and Joan introduced family members who were visiting from Australia. First son-in-law Dougie demonstrated his creative skills with balloons before giving everyone the opportunity to make a ‘balloon dog’. This was quite challenging but after a few pops and bangs, a lot of laughter and much support from our tutor most of us succeeded, although there were some very strange creatures to show for our efforts!
Next we met the family’s two delightful granddaughters and their friend who entertained us with a song and dance to music from ‘Mama Mia’. It was lovely to have some young visitors and the talented trio followed up with a beautifully performed song which had us all mesmerised.
To round the afternoon off there was a chance to join in with some favourite carols before it was time to give everyone a small gift and card from the café as they set off for home.
It was a most enjoyable end to an action-packed year for the Memory Café and we look forward to meeting up again for our first café of 2019 on Monday 7th January at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. New guests are always welcome and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

December 2018

December 3rd saw the Memory Café beginning to ‘warm up’ for the festive season.
The tables were dressed with pots of red berries and ivy, whilst the displays took everyone back to Christmases long past, with toys and games from the early twentieth century through to the 1950s and up to the 1980s.
The theme continued in our word-search and an ‘A-Z’ of games and toys, and most of our guests were soon puzzling over these, whilst others brought in their own contributions to share on the display. We were thrilled to see some early tin toys and a 1920s Hornby train set, a collection of well-loved games, a lovely wooden Noah’s Ark and much more!

Many memories were stirred by the selection of dolls, a 1950s dolls’ house, toy cars and garage, farm animals and a farm, building bricks and there was even a rocking horse!

There was plenty of time for our guests to have a good look and reminisce about toys they had in their childhood, before David distributed a light-hearted quiz based around our theme. Background music of favourite children’s song from the past added to the atmosphere and there was plenty of chatter and laughter all round as almost everyone was on their feet having a closer look.

It seemed no time at all before a lovely afternoon tea was served, and David ran through the answers to the quiz before introducing our visiting entertainers the ‘Perran Rebells’. The two ladies brought along a selection of handbells which were distributed around the tables. With the minimum of instruction they had everyone playing and singing a selection of Christmas carols, with considerable success!  It was great fun and a good way to begin our celebrations for the festive season, which will continue when we meet up again in two weeks time.
Thanks were given to our visitors as well as to all our guests who took the trouble to venture into their attics and cupboards to rediscover their wonderful old playthings.
We are looking forward to meeting up again for our next café on Monday 17th December at Crantock Village Hall from 2–4pm. Anyone who has a degree of memory loss, with their carers are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

November 2018 Extra

At our memory café we always try to combine familiar activities which we know our guests enjoy with something new and interesting to capture the imagination or think about!
For our mid-November café, our visitors had time to settle in and chat, and to have a look at the latest ‘Sparkle’ magazine and accompanying quiz sponsored by the Bowgie Inn, or to puzzle out an ever-popular word-search based around ‘Local Birds’ (of the feathered variety!)
Our guest speaker for the afternoon was well-known wildlife photographer David Chapman and we were delighted to learn that he was to give an illustrated talk entitled ‘Wild About Cornwall.’ David looked resplendent in his hand-knitted ‘pheasant’ tank-top which had us all smiling from the start.

In less than an hour, and with the aid of his superb photographs he took us on a journey around the Cornish coast and moors and through the changing seasons, exploring birds, animals, insects, flowers and glorious scenery. David’s illustrated talk was both enjoyable and informative and gave everyone the chance to look at wildlife through the eyes of an expert and to appreciate the beautiful part of the country we are lucky to live in.

The time passed quickly, and everyone was soon looking forward to the second very familiar part of the afternoon – tea and cakes! As usual there was a delicious selection of refreshments and everyone tucked in. There was just time to have a closer look at some of David Chapman’s wonderful books and cards before we settled down to a game of ‘Bird Bingo,’ which seemed most appropriate as part of our wildlife-themed café.
Richard gave us the answers to the ‘Sparkle’ quiz and then the session drew to a close.
We look forward to meeting up again for our next café on Monday 3rd December at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. New guests are always welcome and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

November 2018

Our guests arrived for the first café in November to discover they were in for a creative afternoon!
We were delighted to welcome members of the Crantock ‘Arty Crafty Group’ who had brought along not only their expertise but also plenty of materials and equipment for everyone to have a go at making Christmas, birthday or special occasion cards and gift tags using, or as we say today ‘recycling’ cards which had been sent in the past and were just too attractive to throw away!
Artist, Salli Blackford, introduced her team of Glenis, Sonia, Maureen and Jeni, and briefly talked about what could be achieved with paper, scissors and glue and explained how we could go about making our own creations. With the aid of the ‘Arty Crafters’ and memory café helpers everyone soon got ‘stuck in’!  There were different craft options available and everyone was encouraged to try a range of activities and skills and to make full use of the wonderful range of materials which had been provided.

For those who were less keen on the practical sessions there was a thoughtful display to remind us that at this time of year ‘Remembrance’ is in everyone’s mind, especially in this centenary year of the end of the First World War. In addition to items of militaria from the First and Second World Wars, there were photographs, including some of the 15000 knitted poppies at present displayed on a bridge in Truro. Samples of moving poetry from the First World War poets were also on view, along with the Memory Café’s poppy wreath which will be laid at the village Memorial Hall on Armistice Day.
Also on show were colourful ‘vintage’ Christmas cards from across the years, reminding us how fashions and styles of greeting cards have changed over time. A selection of cleverly made ‘3D’ cards also drew much attention. The cards provoked talk about whether the tradition of sending Christmas cards would continue much longer with the increasing use of the internet to exchange greetings, plus the rising cost of postage!
One thing missing this month were our usual word puzzles, as it was clear that there really wouldn’t be room on the tables for people to do them. Instead there was a ‘communal word-wheel’ on display where everyone could add their contribution to seeing how many words could be made out of the word ‘fireworks’. Linked with the puzzle was a thought-provoking display board with ‘conversation starters’, photographs and questions based around the date of our café – November 5th.

After a delicious tea there was a chance to continue working with our ‘Arty Crafty’ friends, explore the displays or chat with friends before we rounded off the afternoon with some rousing singing of a selection of well-known songs.
It was a busy and action-packed café, but much enjoyed by all, with the added bonus of having made some early and very individual preparations for the coming festive season! David thanked Salli and her team before we said our goodbyes; looking forward to meeting up again for our next café on Monday 19th November at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. Anyone who has a degree of memory loss, with their carers are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

October 2018 Extra

Visitors to our mid-October café were fortunate to be treated to two interesting and thought-provoking short talks on very different topics. But before these got underway, there was time to tackle a word-search based on the National Health Service and a ‘Sparkle’ magazine to have a look at!

Our National Health Service is something we all rely on, and perhaps take for granted, so it was with great interest that everyone settled down to listen to Richard, one of our organisers, who spoke about ‘The NHS at 70’. In addition to giving us a brief history of the NHS from its inception in 1948 led by Aneurin Bevan to the present day, Richard was able to present us with a personal ‘insider’s perspective of recent developments and the state of the health service in the 21st century.

Richard trained as a doctor and spent his earlier years in London hospitals and Cardiff before finally taking up a very senior post in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.  He worked here for 30 years up to his retirement, with his special expertise being in the treatment of diabetes. Richard’s talk was both enlightening and thought-provoking and led to much discussion.As tea and cakes were brought to the tables there was a chance to catch up with local news. We were delighted to welcome some new visitors as well as old friends, and there was much chatter about the recent royal wedding.
In the second half of the afternoon we were treated to an illustrated talk on ‘California’ given by David and Jenny Norman. David’s spectacular photographs of a journey up the coast to San Francisco were mesmerising: from coastal scenery and national parks to Randolph Hearst’s castle and the Golden Gate at San Francisco we were given a real ‘feel’ for a beautiful part of the American continent.
It was certainly an interesting and varied afternoon and thanks were given to our speakers before it was time to pack up and make our way home. We meet again in three weeks’ time on Monday 5th November at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. Anyone who has a degree of memory loss, with their carers are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

October 2018

For our first café in October we decided to take as our theme one of everybody’s favourite topics of conversation. Three guesses? Yes, ‘The Weather’!
Following a chance to have a look at a weather-based word-search there was time to explore a display to stimulate thoughts on how weather impacts upon our lives – especially the extremes of snow, drought and floods!
From a different angle there were examples of weather through the eyes of artists and poets, folklore and weather sayings and even an ‘identify the weather presenters on our television screens’ challenge!

Our afternoon entertainment was provided by the ever-popular ‘Oll an Gwella’ an a capella group who, as usual, quickly brought smiles to everyone’s faces! A selection of Cornish songs and sea shanties gave us a chance to join in with clapping, singing and actions and the adapted words to some of the verses caused much laughter!  We were very impressed and appreciative that some members of the group had learnt a new song especially to complement our ‘weather’ theme and their performance ended with a rousing rendering of ‘Lamorna’ which culminated in well-deserved applause and a standing ovation! 

Choir members then joined us for tea and cakes after which we all enjoyed music from another source – a light-hearted quiz which involved listening to instrumental versions of songs about the weather and guessing the titles: ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘A Foggy Day in London Town’, ‘Bring me Sunshine’ and many more. Of course, when the answers were revealed, we knew them all!
It was a relaxed and entertaining afternoon and after thanks were given to our guests it was time to make our way home – checking what the weather was like outside first, of course!
We will be meeting up again on 15th October at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. New members are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at


September 2018 Extra

Guests braved strong winds to enjoy a meeting focusing on the 1960’s. Most people had fond memories of this extraordinary decade. The popular myth that “if you can remember the 60’s you probably weren’t there” is clearly untrue, at least for these residents of the Crantock area.

After our usual word search and ‘Sparkle’ quiz, Richard introduced the session by showing a film based on Pathe and TV news clips plus contemporary advertisements. This reminded us of the high and low points of the decade, starting with the wedding of Princess Margaret, followed by the space flight of Yuri Gagarin, the Berlin Wall, the Cuba Missile Crisis, Marilyn Monroe, the assassination of President Kennedy, the death of Winston Churchill, the Aberfan disaster and the murder of Martin Luther King. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom.  There were fond memories of England winning the world cup, Beatlemania, and the distinctive fashions of the time led by Mary Quant and Carnaby Street and topped off by some unusual hairstyles.

After a break for tea and homemade cakes, Joan led an enjoyable session of Musical Bingo, with singing along to the music. The meeting ended with Richard giving the answers to our ‘This Week in History’ quiz.
The next meeting will be on Monday October 1st at 2pm in Crantock Village Hall.


Crantock Bale Push

After recent rain, Friday evening was dry and there was a good turnout for this annual event. For several hours teams of enthusiastic, mostly young, people trundled huge hay bales around the village as quickly as possible, trying not to mow down onlookers or run over themselves.

As in previous years the Memory Café had a stall with a display of café activities and, this time, a ‘Lucky Dip’. Joan, Richard, Roz, Diana and Val helped man the stall. There was a lot of interest from passers by and almost £50 was raised. We are very grateful to the Bale Push committee for their continuing support.

September 2018

The Café opened its doors once again on September 3rd and after settling down with some word puzzles or the chance of a chat we welcomed our musical entertainer, Beryl Jukes. Beryl is well-known in folk music and dancing circles within the county and for many years has performed with her piano accordion and as a ‘caller’ at country dance and barn dancing groups. She had recently returned from a busy time at the renowned Sidmouth Folk Festival.  Everyone was fascinated to hear about the variety of skills needed to play the accordion, and Beryl was soon demonstrating her expertise! We were keen to sing along and with the help of our conductor, we also joined in with percussion instruments – it’s not easy to conduct whilst playing an instrument but Beryl soon had us accompanying in two, three and finally four parts. It was great fun and much enjoyed.
A delicious tea was served, as usual, by our lively ‘refreshments team’ before David introduced the second part of the afternoon which was based around a theme of ‘Fashion and Style’. There was a wonderful display of outfits from across the decades from the 1940s to the present day plus the opportunity to try on a range of hats, scarves, jewellery and more. For the gents there was also a range of head-gear, plus ties, bow ties, shirts and even a string vest (but no-one tried that one on!).

Many fascinating photographs and facts were displayed in addition to books and magazines from the past and present to bring back memories of the way tastes in fashion have changed over the years. These were prompted by questions on the display boards as well as a light-hearted quiz to give us food for thought!

We were thrilled that a number of our guests brought along items to add to the display – a wonderful hat from Switzerland, a much-loved wedding tiara and veil, a beautiful hand-made child’s ‘nurses’ outfit, worn by many generations, christening robes and much more.  There were wedding photos showing fashions from the past and photos of our visitors as small children in their ‘Sunday best’.
Special mention has to be made of some spectacular ballroom dancing dresses, worn by one of our friends and hand-stitched by her husband – it really was a special afternoon.
There was just time for David to give the answers to the quiz before it was time to ‘clear the decks’ once more.
What an afternoon! We look forward to our next meeting on 1st and 15th October at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. New members are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.

August 2018 Extra

Our mid-month café took place on August 20th and guests arrived for our usual varied mix of puzzles, entertainment, games and refreshments – not to mention the chance to meet and chat with friends!
The theme of this week’s word-search was ‘Summer Sports’ and there was a chance to peruse the latest copy of ‘Sparkle’ magazine before having a go at the quiz based on its contents.
We welcomed two representatives from Newquay Day Centre who chatted to our visitors and told them about the facilities on offer at the centre which might be of interest.
Richard then introduced the ‘Evergreen Ladies’ Singing Group’ from the St Austell area who were visiting us for the first time.

We were entertained with a selection of well-known songs from the past and, as usual, we needed little encouragement to join in! The highlight had to be their lively accompaniment to one number which included a toy trumpet, descant recorder, tin drum, a horn and best of all a pair of saucepan lids!
The group’s performance was well received and we were delighted when the ladies joined us for refreshments. 
Following a delicious afternoon tea Joan led us in a game of ‘Bird Bingo’ before Richard enlightened us with the answers to the quiz and it was then time to bring the afternoon to a close.

Our next meeting takes place on Monday 3rd September from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall. New members, with their carers, are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347 x

August 2018

Our first August café had an intriguing theme of ‘Women’s World’. Our guests were greeted with a word-search based on ‘The Females of the Species’ and a quiz inviting them to name the feminine version of well-known nouns. Sounds complicated? Not really – for example, duke and ?, husband and ? Now you get the idea! As usual the tables were full and there was time to catch up with friends for a chat or to compare notes on the answers to the puzzles.
There was an interactive display relating to the ‘Suffragette’ movement and how women (or some at least) were finally given the right to vote a hundred years ago. In addition there were conversation-starting questions, photos and articles exploring how women have shaped the world and the role that strong women have played in our lives – from politicians and queens to mothers and grandmothers – all very thought provoking!  The display table was dressed in the suffragette colours of purple, green and white and this was matched by the colours in the floral decorations on each of our tables.

We then welcomed back ‘Cameo’ from St Columb Minor and were entertained and amused as usual by a cheery selection of songs, poems and stories. Many of the songs related to women or girls, or had originally been performed by female artistes – Vera Lynn, Alma Cogan, Marilyn Monroe, The Beverley Sisters and many more.  Everyone enjoyed joining in the choruses and it was impressive how we remembered the words.
After a reviving cup of tea and some tasty refreshments everyone enjoyed a quiz involving listening to instrumental versions of songs with a girl’s name in their title – the challenge was to name the song – Matilda? Daisy? Peggy-Sue? We all had a good laugh and a chance to recall well-known tunes from earlier days!  Finally, a ‘Women in History’ quiz challenged us to name notable females who have impacted on our lives – Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, Margaret Thatcher and many more. Clues were read out by Di and Margaret and chatting together in groups enabled us to puzzle most of them out!
David talked briefly about some of the many fascinating artifacts on the display table and thanks were given to our entertainers. All too soon, it was time to close the café once again and we look forward to our next meeting on 20th August at Crantock Village Hall. New members are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

July 2018 Extra

Our mid-month café took place on 16th July – a memorable date for anyone interested in space travel, for this was the 49th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, which was followed four days later by man’s first steps on the moon! In honour of this momentous event, our word-search had a ‘Moon Landing’ theme which together with the latest ‘Sparkle’ magazine kept our visitors occupied and entertained as they arrived.
Richard then introduced our two visitors for the afternoon, Celine and Christine, from the Royal Cornwall museum in Truro. The ladies brought with them four very special ‘memory boxes’ containing artefacts from the museum’s extensive collections to stimulate our interests and personal memories. Two boxes were based on a theme of ‘School Days’ and contained a wide range of artefacts, books and photographs, many stimulating memories of our own schooldays, whilst others went back to Victorian times. Ink bottles and pen nibs, wooden rulers, school bells, satchels and milk bottles, even the ‘nit nurse’s comb’ were amongst the selection of objects which were distributed around the tables, raising much chatter and amusement which was encouraged by our visitors and other memory café helpers.
The second pair of boxes contained photos of earlier working days in Cornwall – mining and fishing, wartime factories, cheese and butter makers and many more. There were florins, threepenny bits and other pre-decimal currency, a bowler hat, a police officer’s badge, a nurse’s watch, slide rules and even a plumb line. Once again, there was the chance to handle everything on show, and to exchange memories of first jobs and pay packets, working conditions and opportunities, journeys to work and work colleagues from years gone by.
As tea-time approached we heard the familiar rattle of the tea trolley and were soon enjoying the usual selection of delicious savouries and cakes before settling down again to explore Celine and Christine’s alternative topics to which ever we had looked at earlier.
As usual time flew by and Richard thanked our visitors for providing us with the ingredients of a lively and stimulating afternoon.
We made our way home with plenty to think and talk about before our next café at Crantock Village Hall on Monday 6th August from 2pm. Crantock Memory Cafe is run by trained volunteers and is for the benefit of residents of Crantock and the surrounding areas who have a degree of memory loss. New members (with their carers) are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, David on 01637 830617 or visit our website at

July 2018

Another action-packed café took place on July 2nd, and with summer well and truly upon us a theme of ‘Holidays and Outings’ was most appropriate!
Our guests were greeted with a brain-teasing word search based on ‘Outings’ and an A –Z suitcase packing quiz.  We then welcomed back our local celebrity speaker, David Eyles’ who engaged and amused us in equal measure with an illustrated presentation entitled ‘Holidays – home and abroad’. David began by entertaining us with memories from family holidays and some experiences from the ‘other side’ of the holiday fence, as hotelier at the Crantock Bay Hotel. We were then enthralled by a selection of photographs showing some of the wonderful holidays he and Brenda had taken over the years in such far-flung places as China, South America and the Galapagos Islands.
All too soon it was refreshment time, and there was an opportunity to peruse our holiday-based displays, which included photos, books and postcards, as well as a vintage picnic hamper, a much-travelled suitcase and a classic wooden surfboard and much more. There were also souvenirs and photos brought in by our guests which helped to bring back happy memories of holidays gone by. We even compiled a list of familiar comments made by adults and children travelling on a journey such as ‘Are we there yet?’ to ‘I feel sick!’

There was a lot to look at and talk about, as well as the usual selection of delicious cakes to sample.  We were delighted that David and Brenda were able to join us for tea, as were the group of ladies who were to entertain us for the remainder of the afternoon.
As cups and plates were cleared away we welcomed members of Newquay U3A’s ‘Singing for Fun’ group who led us in a selection of well-known songs, giving us a chance to accompany them with our percussion instruments – it certainly was fun!  We began with some appropriate holiday themed tunes before moving on to familiar songs from the first and second world wars.  Although word sheets had been handed around they really weren’t needed, giving everyone a chance to provide a noisy but very enjoyable accompaniment.
As usual the afternoon flew by and it was soon time to pull down the shutters on the café for another week.
Many thanks were given to all our visitors before everyone left for home with plenty to think and talk about before our next café at Crantock Village Hall on Monday 16th July. New members who have a degree of memory loss are always welcome, and should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, David on 01637 830617 or visit our website at