May 2021

All of our lives have changed so much over the last year - first we've been restricted in what we could do and where we could go, and now, slowly but surely, our worlds are opening up with the promose of more to do and especially the chance to meet up with friends and family again - thank goodness!

However, in our desire to look at a brighter future let's not forget all the experiences we've had in the past. Here are some though-provoking 'have you ever...' questions to share and stimulate memories and bring back a few smiles!

April 2021

Special events throughout the year are always a good starting point for reviving memories for all of us and Easter is no exception.

Many traditions based around this festival are inevitably centred on the church and the Easter story, and sadly this year our celebrations will be curtailed. However, we can cast our minds back to the time when as children we made an Easter garden on a tray and attended special church services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Perhaps you were involved in community events such as attending a ‘sunrise service’, ‘egg rolling’, egg decorating, Easter egg hunts or creating an Easter bonnet! Maybe you made Easter cards at school or bought some like the ones shown below.

We will all have celebrated Easter in some way and many traditions still continue in villages across Cornwall, or perhaps within families.

Needless to say, as with many celebrations it’s food which continues to be the main source of our communal festivities – hot cross buns, chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies spring to mind, but let’s not forget the tradition of boiled eggs for breakfast on Easter morning, roast lamb for lunch, Easter biscuits and simnel cake – a fruit cake decorated with eleven marzipan balls representing eleven of the twelve apostles – minus Judas, of course.

Whatever your recollections of Easters gone by, we hope you enjoy this year’s celebrations as we look forward to Springtime which is now well on its way! 

March 2021

 Clean away the cobwebs, make light of dirt and grime
Wave high those feather dusters it’s now spring-cleaning time!
For Spring’s first day has broken and those windows must be cleaned
Cold winter’s grey has gone away replaced with fresher scenes
Ah! The joy of such spring-cleaning. Oh! The joy of household life.
Sometimes I am the paragon of a 1950s wife!

                        David Keig

It’s March at last and time to ‘Spring Clean’!  In years gone by housework was a full time occupation – blacking stoves, scrubbing doorsteps, beating carpets and boiling clothes. The photos on this page should bring back some memories of housework over the past decades and perhaps remind you of work done in the home by your parents or grandparents!

Today work around the house seems so much easier with our modern appliances, but perhaps you have special jobs which you save up for the Spring, especially this year when we’ve all spent so much time indoors.

Finally here are a few items to stir up some memories:


February 2021

This month we thought you might like to have a go at one of our puzzles.  We often look at and talk about everyday objects from the past and present, and these close-up photos are a challenge for you to identify familiar items from new perspectives.  Good luck!

January 2021


A ‘Happy New Year’ to you all!   This well-worn phrase has a special depth of sincerity and meaning this year, especially for our Memory Cafe members who are amongst many of us who will have found 2020 particularly worrying and challenging.  We all need to start looking forward now: New Year’s Eve always signifies new hope and beginnings and each year that comes gives us a chance to look forward and make new wishes for our loved ones, our friends, ourselves and our community.

Although we won’t have the chance to get together with friends and family in the usual way this year, there are many memories of New Year celebrations in times gone by to bring smiles to our faces.  Do you recall the excitement of being allowed to stay up until midnight when you were a child and linking arms and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’? Perhaps you greeted the new year by watching television – ‘The White Heather club’ with Andy Stewart and Moira Anderson was always popular, especially the Scottish reels, and then the countdown to the chimes of Big Ben at midnight!

Or you may have had a tradition of ‘First Footing’ with someone bringing in coal for a warm home, bread for enough food and money for wealth through the coming year. Many communities had their own traditions and Newquay was renowned for the fancy dress costumes worn by party-goers as they paraded through the town on New Year’s Eve.  A more recent tradition is the ‘New Year’s Day Swim’ which is now held around the country and can attract hundreds of brave souls to take the plunge into the freezing sea, many in fancy dress, and often raising funds for charity.

New Year’s Day has always been the time for new resolutions – usually soon broken, but can you recall any you made and kept?

Another tradition, long past now, was the delights of the ‘January Sales’ when keen bargain hunters would queue up outside the stores to beat the crowds or even sleep on the pavement overnight! ‘Black Friday’, internet shopping and the sales held leading up to Christmas itself has completely decimated that annual rush.

Whatever your memories let’s hope that there will be chances to raise our glasses and celebrate this year too – even if in a different way!

At the Memory Cafe our hopes and wishes are that it won’t be too many months before we can be up and running again and we look forward to meeting up with friends, old and new, in 2021. My, won’t we have a lot to talk about!!