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: