April 2016

It was another busy and enjoyable afternoon: we began by congratulating two of our friends on their 52nd wedding anniversary, and there was much to talk about, with last week’s visit to see the ‘Peter Pan’ ice show still fresh in our memories. The nautical theme was continued with a pirate and sailing ship display, and table decorations included treasures from the seashore, some chocolate ‘pieces of eight’ and even a message in a bottle!

The message revealed that our visiting entertainers were none other than Crantock’s own shanty singers ‘Fiddle me Timbers’ who, accompanied by Lamorna on the fiddle, sang a range of foot-tapping sea songs from around the world: there were plenty of opportunities to join in the choruses and the whole experience was enhanced by Ben’s explanations of the background and age of the songs.  The atmosphere in the room was fantastic, and we were able to thank the group for a donation they have made to the cafe following their recent successful ‘Praise the Roof’ performance at Crantock Church.

The first part of the afternoon concluded with a true story told by another of our supporters Hannah who visited us for the first time to see for herself what we get up to!  She told us that recently, whilst on her regular beach-cleaning walks, she found a genuine ‘message in a bottle’ on Crantock Beach which had been sent from Canada some 20 or so years ago. Hannah brought a copy of the letter, along with its accompanying Canadian flag, and she is at present waiting to hear back from the sender who was at the time a teenager but is now a man in his 30s. She promised she’d keep us informed of any developments.  

By three o’clock we were ready for refreshments and the usual selection of homemade cakes appeared as if by magic thanks to Pat with her team of dedicated kitchen helpers and the generous support of a number of villagers who regularly bake for us.
Meanwhile, a change in musical style was taking place, as a background CD of military band music hinted that something different was on the way!

As we finished our cups of tea, we welcomed Mr Bill Stoneman, or perhaps we should say Squadron Leader William Stoneman DFM, who joined us to talk of his wartime experiences flying in Halifax and Stirling aircraft as a ‘rear gunner’.  During the time of the D-Day manoeuvres, Squadron Leader Stoneman was involved in dropping supplies and decoy parachutes over France, and he held us spellbound, in his modest way, with his recollections of the bravery, comradeship and horrors of war. Everyone had the opportunity to look at a display of wartime photos and books as well as Mr Stoneman’s medals which included his DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) and also his recently awarded ‘Legion d’Honneur’ presented by the French government in recognition of the veterans bravery during the Normandy landings.
What an afternoon – everyone left with plenty to think about and remember, and we look forward to gathering again on Monday 18th April for Memory Cafe Extra in Crantock Village Hall from 2pm. New members are always welcome and we are open to anyone concerned about memory loss, with their carers.  For more information ring Di on 01637 830544 or Joan on 01637 831347.