September 2019 Extra

Some of our volunteers had a busy time in between our two September cafes!  The main and much anticipated event of this month in Crantock is always the ‘Bale Push’ when hundreds of people descend on the village to watch teams of 4 push huge round bales of hay around the village at break-neck speed.  As usual, the Memory Cafe was given a table to promote our twice-monthly gatherings and in addition to talking to interested visitors and locals about the cafe we were able to raise some funds by running a ‘lucky dip’ for passing children!
It was a great evening, and at our cafe on the following Monday we were delighted to welcome a new visitor who had learnt about us at the Bale Push.
At our mid-month cafe we welcomed back Adrian Davis and his guitar, who provided a selection of well-known songs which we sang along to and accompanied on our selection of percussion instruments.

As usual there were copies of our Bowgie-sponsored ‘Sparkle’ reminiscence magazine to browse, and an accompanying quiz devised by Richard. Today’s wordsearch had an autumnal theme and a new challenge for those of us with a more mathematically-orientated brain was a sudoku puzzle to tackle.
With delicious refreshments to enjoy mid-afternoon it was the usual friendly and entertaining session and soon it was time for Richard to solve the mysteries of the quiz before we packed away with many thanks given to our visiting troubadour!
We meet up again on 7th and 21st October at Crantock Village Hall from 2pm – 4pm. New members 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

September 2019

We always aim to give our visitors some special moments during the afternoon, but this month we went one stage further and gave them some ‘magic moments’!  This was the theme of the afternoon’s word-search puzzle, and our table ‘brain teasers’ also included a quiz based around famous magicians and the world of magic!

Our display was themed around ‘The Magic of Books’ and included autograph books, a miniature bible, scrapbooks, recipe books and books given as prizes for school work and success at an Eisteddfod, as well as favourite or special books brought along by our guests and helpers. As usual the display stimulated much interest and discussion and formed a talking point throughout the rest of the afternoon.  A book-based quiz which included exploring the display meant that everyone had time for a really close look.
A recording of Perry Como singing ‘Magic Moments’ then set the scene as David introduced us to our guest entertainer, magician ‘Xander Cards’ who circulated around the tables amusing and confusing everyone with his magical close-up card tricks. Everyone was fascinated by Xander’s amazing feats using just a pack of playing cards.  Although he was only inches away it was impossible to tell how he managed to name a card selected by a memory cafe member, or to produce from his wallet a card which one of us had just slipped into a pack on the table. Further tricks using a Rubik’s Cube took our breath away!
Before we knew it, teatime had arrived and as usual everyone tucked in. There was chance for all to chat about Xander’s mysterious tricks and how on earth he did them – it had to be magic!!
After tea our guest provided further entertainment and amazement as he presented more tricks to the entire room and had us all in rapt attention.
Finally David gave out the answers to the quizzes - everyone proved to be very knowledgeable about book titles and authors, and had obviously thoroughly enjoyed perusing the books on display which brought back many memories.
Many thanks were given to Xander for a very different and entertaining afternoon and we left for home determined to search for a pack of cards and have a go for ourselves!  We will report back about our success, or otherwise, when we meet again on 16th September 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

August 2019 Extra

As ever, a good number of friends joined us for our mid-August café.  Everyone settled in for a chat, and there was a chance to have a look at the latest edition of our Bowgie-sponsored ‘Sparkle’ magazine and perhaps tackle the associated quiz or a word-search, which is always popular.
Richard then introduced Michaela Smith, a new face at the Crantock cafe, who had brought along her guitar to entertain us.  She soon struck a chord with our guests and with her clear and tuneful voice, a selection of percussion instruments and some familiar songs we soon found ourselves singing along, tapping rhythms and doing the actions when required.  We also discovered some previously unknown talents amongst our guests – some great whistlers came to the fore, as did those who could do an excellent imitation of a flock of clucking hens!  Some lively renditions of songs from the musicals and spirituals were much enjoyed and Michaela’s beautiful performance of ‘Over the Rainbow’ brought her delightful programme to a close.

As refreshment time approached everyone looked forward to tea and cakes and, as ever, we weren’t disappointed.  We’re always grateful to our supporters in the village who regularly supply us with delicious home-made cakes and biscuits, and to our kitchen helpers who make the tea and coffee and wash the dishes -  always with smiles on their faces!
After tea, things became a bit fishy as it was ‘eyes down’ for a game of ‘Ocean Bingo’.  This was a new version of the ever-popular game and proved a great success – we also learnt a lot about creatures to be found under the sea, as well as accumulating a selection of chocolates won by completing ‘a line’!
Everyone enjoyed a varied and entertaining afternoon and after Richard enlightened us with the answers to the quiz it was then time to bring the afternoon to a close.
Our next meeting takes place on Monday 2nd 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, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at


August 2019

In August 1939 – 80 years ago at the time of writing – Britain was on the brink of war and families all over the country were preparing themselves for the second time in a century to say goodbye to their young men as they got ready for the forthcoming battle.  Preparations on the ‘home front’ were equally important – for the country as a whole, and for communities and individuals whose ways of life were to change forever, and it is this aspect of war-time Britain which we chose to explore in our first August cafe.

David and Margaret opened the afternoon by reading a poem recalling wartime experiences and this really set the scene. Many of our members have vivid memories of these times, or could recall stories from their parents’ generation, and there was great interest in the display which greeted them at the cafe.  Photographs, books and artefacts related to the many aspects of life at the time – evacuation, rationing, civil defence and the many roles taken up by women sparked memories of personal experiences for our older visitors, whilst the ‘youngsters’ amongst us were reminded that it affected us too, with a look at the post-war Britain, and a reminder that rationing continued until 1954!

Our guests also had the chance to tackle a word-search themed around ‘The War Years and Beyond’ as well as a word grid based on the letters of ‘Home Guard’.
Stimulated by the displays, over the next three quarters of an hour many memories were exchanged between our guests: we heard about the number of evacuees who were sent to local villages such as St Dennis and Tresillian, American servicemen based at St Eval, the girl who was evacuated twice because she didn’t like her first billet, and another of our friends who, as an eight year old, was holidaying in a converted bus at Porth when war was declared.  The recollections were so clear it was hard to believe they harked back eighty years! Some were keen to try on the wartime police helmet and there were some telling comments on how much healthier the restrictions of a rationed diet were than our sugar-laden foods of today.
It was soon time for tea and our refreshments kept us in touch with our war-time theme with the inclusion of some items reminiscent of those times – spam sandwiches, economy bacon and egg tart bulked out with breadcrumbs, cheese biscuits and rock buns were all sampled, along with the more ‘luxurious’ cakes and biscuits we’ve all come to expect!  One thing hadn’t changed since the war – a good old cup of tea!

For the last part of the afternoon everyone enjoyed a good ‘sing-song’ of familiar numbers from the past and we shared a laugh as David went through the possible answers to the word grid.  There was a last chance to look at the displays before it was time to ‘clear the decks’ once again.
We look forward to our next meeting on 19th 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 2019 Extra

When visitors come to our Memory Cafe they can be sure that in addition to an entertaining and social afternoon they will be treated to a tasty afternoon tea with home-made refreshments provided by generous supporters from in and around Crantock.
However, on a warm and sunny mid-July afternoon a special treat was in store: an outing to nearby Callestick to include a cream tea and a chance to find out how ‘Callestick ice-cream’ is made. On arrival, many of us took the opportunity to sample the ices, the only problem being to decide which of the delicious flavours to try with so many on offer!

 With tables reserved for us, inside or out, there was a chance to relax and plenty of time for a chat and our usual word-search and quiz to tackle, as well as copies of ‘Sparkle’ magazine to peruse. Meanwhile, groups were able to go upstairs to a viewing platform where, in addition to watching ice-cream tubs being filled and boxed on the production floor below, they could read about the history and development of the company since it began in 1989.

Fresh scones with jam and clotted cream were served at the tables with a welcome cup of tea and it was soon time for Richard to reveal the answers to the quiz, although it has to be said that in between eating, drinking and chatting quite a few hadn’t got around to tackling it!

As usual time flew by and Richard thanked our Callestick hosts for providing us with the ingredients for 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 5th August from 2pm.
Crantock Memory Cafe is run for the benefit of residents of Crantock and the surrounding areas and anyone who has a degree of memory loss, with their carers, are always welcome. Should you require further information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

July 2019

Following on from our recent successful cafes based on the themes of ‘Radio’ and ‘Television’, our first get-together in July led us to the big screen with ‘The World of Cinema’ as the focus to spark our memories.
Visitors arrived to find wide-ranging displays of films and film-stars whilst on the cafe tables were a ‘World of Cinema’ word-search and film based quizzes to get them ‘in the mood’!  Before we delved into our favourite films any further, however, we welcomed back our friends ‘Oll an Gwella’ the brilliant a capella group from Newquay who entertained us with familiar songs and banter until tea-time.
We were very impressed with a number of familiar songs sung in the Cornish language as well as the talented musicians on swanee whistles who added their expertise to a performance of ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’!  As usual there were opportunities for everyone to join in, singing choruses and doing actions, whilst for the choristers themselves the most exciting moment seemed to be meeting up with their favourite film-star, Marilyn Monroe!

Refreshed by our usual cakes, biscuits and tea, and having had time for a chat and a closer look at the displays, the familiar strains of Gene Kelly performing ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ from one of the best-loved films of all times drew us back to the task in hand as individuals and groups shared their memories of film-going past and present and had a go at a ‘Movie Quiz’. Photos, books and cigarette cards reminded everyone of favourite films and film-stars from past decades as well as recalling the excitement of visits to the cinema in times gone by; one of our guests revealed a hidden talent – she knew how to ‘splice’ cinema film and load the projector, as it was her father’s job to service and check the machines!
Our selection of songs from well-known musical films continued to play in the background, and soon everyone was singing or humming along before answers to the puzzles and quizzes were shared.
It was a great afternoon which brought back many happy memories for everyone; whether it was going to the ‘flicks’ on a Saturday morning or snuggling up to a beau in the back stalls sharing ice-cream or popcorn!
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 on Monday 15th 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, Joan on 01637 831347 or visit our website at

June 2019 extra

The theme for our second cafe in June was ‘Poetry’. The meeting was generously supported by Literature Works, an organisation based at Plymouth University, as part of a project called National Memory Day.

On arrival guests undertook a word-search containing the names of well-known poets. Then our speaker, Anne Taylor, gave a fascinating reading of a variety of poems, many familiar such as those by Rupert Brooke, Shakespeare and even the Bible (1 Corinthians Ch. 13).  She also read some more contemporary works e.g. Philip Larkin’s provocative poem about parenthood and W H Auden’s sad poem about time (Stop all the Clocks) which featured in the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’.

After her reading Anne led a discussion about what poetry meant to our guests. Responses included inspiring, moving, emotional, melancholic, amusing and awakening memories.  Then she persuaded our Chair, Joan, to recite one of her favourites, ‘The Traveller’ by Walter De La Mare.

After tea we played a new Music Bingo game which went down very well as did the chocolates given as prizes!

The next meeting of the Crantock Memory Café will be on Monday July 1st at 2 pm.

June 2019

Last month’s cafe based around our memories of radio programmes from the past was so well received that it was decided to follow on this month with a theme of ‘The World of Television’. As visitors arrived they were able to take a first look at an extensive display of television programmes from across the decades or to tackle an appropriately themed word-search.
However, before we settled down to thinking about our own favourite programmes, David welcomed our friends ‘Cameo’ from St Columb Minor who had come along to amuse and entertain us with their latest selections of words and music. Dressed in cheery matching sunshine yellow outfits, the girls quickly had everyone smiling with their selection of well-known songs from earlier decades.  Soon we were all clapping and singing along and some even joined in with the dancing!  As usual there were some amusing poems to listen to and a couple of beautiful solo pieces.

Tea-time gave everyone time for a chat as we enjoyed our usual ‘cuppa and cakes’. There was also time for a closer look at our display, which was full of photos and books illustrating a wide range of television programmes past and present, along with thought-provoking questions about comedies, dramas, documentaries, ‘soaps’ and much more.
Some fascinating ‘behind the scenes’ photos gave us an insight into the technical side of TV, thanks to our friend Jean, whose late husband John was for many years a BBC cameraman, working on numerous outside broadcasts of sporting events and state occasions. Jean told us a little of her husband’s career and gave us a taste of some of the well-known productions on which he had worked from dramas such as ‘The Pallisers’ to documentaries about Concorde and filming Winston Churchill’s funeral.
Following tea everyone settled down to a ‘Television Quiz’, after which answers were revealed – with the aid of a little teamwork – it was amazing what we were able to recall and gave us all food for thought about the role TV programmes have played in our lives over the years.
A new idea at the cafe has been to ask our guests if they have any favourite songs or pieces of music which we can play at some time during the afternoon. Today we were able to squeeze in a couple of items - ‘Three Little Maids from School’ was the choice of one of our visitors, whilst for another two we played ‘Baby Love’ by the Supremes!
Thanks were given to ‘Cameo’ before it was time to head for home once again with plenty to think and talk about before our next café on June 17th at Crantock Village Hall.
New members, who have a degree of memory loss, are always welcome to come along with their carers, and should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.

May 2019 extra

It was a warm and sunny afternoon when our Memory Cafe opened its doors again for our mid-May meeting.  Guests arrived to find tables prepared with a word puzzle and a quiz, which are always popular, as well as the latest edition of ‘Sparkle’ magazine to peruse.  There was plenty of chatter, and sounds from the kitchen told us that the ‘refreshments team’ were already preparing afternoon tea for later!

Before that we had an interesting activity to enjoy.  Richard introduced Yvonne and Geoff who had come along to entertain us with their ‘story-telling’ skills. The friends, who belong to a story-telling club in Liskeard, took turns to engage us with a selection of interesting and amusing tales, some based around Cornish mines and mining whilst others were humorous ‘cautionary tales’ which had everyone laughing!  We were encouraged to become involved in the stories and the concentration was such that you could ‘hear a pin drop’ - most unusual at our cafe!

It was certainly a new experience for the Memory Cafe and a most enjoyable one.  We were delighted that Yvonne and Geoff were able to join us for tea and that they had time to chat with some of our members.

We were soon tucking into the usual delicious selection of sweet and savoury refreshments and as cups and plate were cleared away, Joan and Richard organised a game of ‘musical Bingo’ which is always popular and gives everyone a chance to exercise their vocal chords and show off their musical knowledge! With chocolates distributed as prizes no wonder we were all keen to join in!

As the cafe drew to a close Richard thanked our guests for an interesting and entertaining afternoon and revealed the answers to the quiz before we all set off back out into the sunshine.

We will be meeting again on Monday 3rd June and Monday 17th June at Crantock Village Hall. Anyone, who has a degree of memory loss, is welcome to come along with their carers, and should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544, or Joan on 01637 831347.

May 2019

On the 6th May we invited our members to ‘turn on and tune in’ for an afternoon of radio nostalgia!
We began with time to chat or have a go at a ‘Tuning into Newquay’ wordsearch, before David introduced Chris Blount, a well-known ‘local boy’ who worked for the BBC for many years and was a familiar voice on Radio Cornwall. He now broadcasts on Radio Newquay as well as writing a weekly article in the ‘Newquay Voice’. We also discovered that Chris is a train-driver at Lappa Valley Railway and a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd – a very busy chap!
Chris gave an interesting talk about his early life in Newquay and how his career in radio developed as a result of his grandad's love of the ‘wireless’. His acquisition of an early tape recorder gave him the opportunity to record the voices of interesting characters and events from Newquay's past, which brought back memories for those of us who grew up in or around the town, whilst giving an insight of earlier times to those who have come from other parts of the country.  Chris also recalled visiting Crantock as a boy, and of local families who manned the Gannel ferries and revived the interest in Cornish gig racing.
Everyone was fascinated by Chris’s talk, and we were reminded of the importance of recording our own memories for future generations to enjoy.
Revived by the usual delicious selection of home-made cakes and biscuits there was a chance to view a display relating to the early days of radios and radio broadcasting and to reminisce about our favourite radio programmes and stars of the past. There were also some early holiday souvenirs, guide books and illustrations of ‘Old Newquay’ to talk about. We were delighted that Chris joined us for tea and several guests took the opportunity to chat with him about their memories.

A quiz about ‘vintage’ radio programmes and their musical signature themes followed, and when the answers had been shared there was just time for a quick ‘singalong’ before we all set off for home once again.
We look forward to meeting up again from 2pm – 4pm on Monday 20th May and Monday 3rd June at Crantock Village Hall. New members, who have a degree of memory loss, are always welcome to come along with their carers, and should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or see our website (


April 2019 Extra

Having cleaned up after the gardening session at the beginning of the month, visitors arrived at our mid-month cafe to be greeted by the latest edition of the Bowgie Inn sponsored ‘Sparkle’ magazine with accompanying quiz and a wordsearch based around the National Trust.
Richard then introduced our guest speaker for the afternoon, Mike Simmonds, Lead Ranger for the National Trust covering the area from Holywell Bay up to Tintagel.
Crantock is fortunate to be almost surrounded by beautiful coast and countryside protected by the Trust, from unspoilt beaches and fields of wild flowers to the ‘Round Garden’ in the centre of the village.  We were therefore most interested to hear about the many different aspects of the National Trust’s work in Cornwall before focussing on our own area of coastline around Crantock and West Pentire.  Mike illustrated his talk with photographs of the wildlife and wide variety of flowers to be seen on the cliffs as well as telling us of field systems and of the fascinating history of Vugga Cove, with the aid of old maps and aerial photographs.

As usual we all enjoyed afternoon tea, which today included some Easter delights!
This was followed by a game of bird bingo which provided an entertaining end to the afternoon.
Richard enlightened us with the answers to the quiz before we set off for home once again.
New members, who have a degree of memory loss, are always welcome to come along with their carers. We meet up again from 2pm – 4pm on Monday 6th May and Monday 20th May at Crantock Village Hall. Should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or see our website:

April 2019

On April 1st Spring had sprung at the cafe!  Visitors arrived to find a theme of ‘Gardens and Gardening’ in the room and with an ‘Anything Gardening’ word-search and a ‘Find the Hidden Flowers’ quiz to tackle they soon proved they were no April Fools!

After time for a chat everyone listened with amusement to a topical poem by Pam Ayres, before David introduced our friend Margaret Shillaber from Camelford, making a return visit. She had come along to show us how to make decorative ‘collars’ for plant pots, before helping everyone to get ‘stuck in’ planting up a selection of seasonal flowering plants.  There was a choice of violas, forget-me-nots, french marigolds, pansies and nasturtiums, as well as some strawberries.
Small groups moved to the ‘planting table’ which was well equipped with compost, seeds and pots generously provided by Lisa from the Newquay Garden Centre at Quintrell Downs. Everyone enjoyed a practical gardening experience and the results were some attractive pots of plants ready to take home.
Meanwhile others continued to work on their ‘pot collars‘, or had time to view a garden-themed display which included garden tools and trugs, seeds and pots, garden books and magazines, and even a scarecrow! ‘Conversation starter’ boards covered topics such as ‘flower shows’, ‘garden tools’, and ‘favourite flowers’, all of which revived memories of garden and gardening experiences, past and present.
After a welcome break for tea and cakes there was time for a ‘Flowers in Songs’ quiz and a ‘Flowers and Herbs’ cryptic quiz before it was time to compare thoughts and answers, and to collect our pots to take home,
It was a busy and enjoyable afternoon for all and many thanks were given to Margaret before the cafe closed its doors once again.
We look forward to meeting up again from 2pm – 4pm on Monday 15th April and Monday 6th May  at Crantock Village Hall. New members, who have a degree of memory loss, are always welcome to come along with their carers, and should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or see our website:

March 2019 Extra

On arrival our guests tackled a Word Search based on the names of Cornish saints, of which there are many, and a quiz based partly on ‘This Week in the Past’. Then our guest entertainer, Caroline Schanche, presented a lively song and dance session, although the dancing was mainly chair-based for the audience.

Caroline introduced a program of popular songs from musical shows, including The King and I, My Fair Lady and Oklahoma. She led the singing and did the actual dancing. The rest of us sang along, waved our arms about and tapped our feet, mostly in tune and in time with the music. For some songs guests were provided with a variety of bells, rattles and streamers which added to the fun. We then stopped for our usual tea and delicious home-made cakes, kindly provided by a group of our volunteers.

After tea, we watched a film based on news reel items from 1968 and it seemed extraordinary that these events happened over 50 years ago because they were still so clear in our memories. The afternoon concluded with the answers to a quiz based on the film and, also, the latest edition of the reminiscence magazine ‘Sparkle ’which is kindly sponsored by the Bowgie Inn. For the very first time, one of our guests scored 20/20 and won a small prize.

Our next meeting will be in Crantock Village Hall from 2-4pm on Monday 1st April 2019. For more information contact Joan on 01637 831347 or Di on 01637 830544.

March 2019

Our friends who come to the Memory Cafe are always pleased to take part in familiar activities – word puzzles and quizzes, chat with friends, delicious home-made refreshments and interesting displays. They are also delighted by a variety of different topics and activities introduced to them by our visiting speakers and entertainers, and are always keen to try something new!
Our early March cafe had all these aspects on offer!  Puzzles were ready on the tables as guests arrived, along with some lovely seasonal flowers, reminding us that Spring was on the way and that the following day would be St Piran's Day. Our visitor for the afternoon, who happened to be a Cornish Bard, was Mr Eric Rabjohns from Carharrack who was to be our speaker and entertainer for the afternoon – what a versatile man!

‘Rab’ brought with him a selection from his bottle collection, which was enhanced by a range of bottles brought in by some of our helpers. Our visitor began by giving us a ‘potted history’ of bottle-making, illustrated by example from his extensive collection and enlarged photographs projected onto the screen. We learnt about bottle shapes and sizes, ways of sealing the top to keep the ‘fizz’ in, the reason for different coloured glass or stoneware and how individual breweries labelled their bottles. Particularly interesting and amazing was the huge number of breweries to be found in all parts of Cornwall in the nineteenth century, especially in areas where there were large numbers of thirsty miners!

Just when we thought we knew everything there was to know about the subject, Rab had everyone in fits of laughter as he demonstrated techniques for digging up bottles from long discarded rubbish tips.  Fully kitted-out in his ‘bottle-digger’ outfit of elderly trousers and jacket, woolly hat, wellington boots and gloves, and clutching a trowel he dived under the table and scrabbled about, convincing us all that we would never think of taking up bottle-hunting as a hobby!

We knew tea-time was fast approaching when we heard the tea trolley rattling down the corridor, and as usual everyone enjoyed a delicious range of refreshments and had time to recover from an informative and hilarious talk.
After time for a chat and a chance to have a look at the bottle display, our talented visitor produced a guitar, and everyone relaxed as we enjoyed listening to and joining in with a selection of familiar songs from the 1960s and 1970s.  Percussion instruments were passed around and we were soon tapping, shaking and banging as well as singing. All too soon it was time to round off the afternoon. We concluded our musical interlude with a hearty rendition of ‘Goin’ up Camborne Hill’ in recognition of the impending Cornish Saint’s Day before Rab was given a warm round of applause together with what else but a bottle – this time with wine in it!
We look forward to meeting up again from 2pm – 4pm on Monday March 18th and Monday 1st April at Crantock Village Hall. New members, who have a degree of memory loss, are always welcome to come along with their carers, and should you require more information please contact Di on 01637 830544, Joan on 01637 831347 or see our website: