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I know it's Tintagel Web, but there has not been much on the site about Boscastle’s recovery of late. I’ve been going there for forty years so I have an interest in how it’s faring.
I was there a few weeks ago - things are looking a lot better, but the new National Trust Visitor centre was still not open – given it prominent position in the harbour, it one of the last signs of the devastation caused by the flood.
Pixie Cottage was nearly finished (I think it was due to re-open on 6th October as a tea room.) I was a bit disappointed with the final result - Not surprised though, they were never going to be able to recreate the roof. It's about twice a high as the old one. The overall effect is that it looks more like a chapel than anything else, which I guess, given the owner’s beliefs, was probably intentional. Still it's a darn sight better than most buildings.
The riverbank still looks a little scared, the lower bridge still broken. I believe the new bridge plans (as seen on Tintagelweb) are needed so the river can be widened and the bridge not provide a bottleneck in the event of a flood.
If I’m not mistaken, they have improved the steps up to the rocks at the western side of the harbour (they certainly look better than I remember). It always heartening to see that so many other people can, like me, derive pleasure from simply sitting on the rock and taking in the view.
Overall there is little obvious evidence of the flooding left.
The most lasting damage is what the new owners have done to the bar of the Wellington ...
Apart from such 'restoration', we are mostly back upright and there are a few things that look better than they did - Clovelly Clothing for a start. The Jordan valley, where they've put in the new floodgate/weir thing, isn't pretty but another couple of seasons and the sycamores will have covered it all. I don't know if it's because of the warmer weather through the year or because of all the trees they felled, but the owls have been a lot more rowdy than before. The other morning, I couldn't hear the alarm clock over the ruddy things.
Yes, all well and good cosmetically but somehow the soul has gone. It is like all the history emanating from those old slates and granites have been washed away and Boscastle has become sterile.
It all makes me very sad, although it looks like it did in the most part, it will never be the same again.
Boscastle has also become a "car crash" of a visitor attraction - a bit like Lynton and Lynmouth in the 1950s. People come to see where the flood happened - they couldn't really care less about all the fabulous and intrinsic people who had made it what it was over the years.
Perhaps - but I'd suggest if there was a soul, much of it went with the last great wave of emmigration in the early seventies. It's been incomer territory ever since.
Which is fine, I should point out: things change, and it should be so. It's hard for old lags like myself who miss what was, but it's very good for all that come after, since they can make the place their own and hopefully make it come alive again.
Still a shame about the Welly, mind.
hehe.Comments about Welly made me smile .Nice to see that other people feel the same.I had one pint for old times sake but wont be coming back to the Welly again.I still miss Victor sitting at the bar anyway.
By the way i dont think the spirit has been washed away.
The wonderful people I met are still the same and have ,for me, made boscastle even more special when i last had the privilege to visit
Well, thank you for your kind words.
I know under Victor's rule the place was pretty quiet, but that was fine - turning it into a characterless stripped-pine showroom wasn't the way to go.
But, as I wrote before things change, even here. We just have to be brave about it, have a good moan in the local manner and get on with it. As with all the costal villages that don't have a water-based industry to keep people there (fishing, to be obvious, or the like) there's really very very little to stay for if you have any ambition above selling plaster piskies to tourists. So the young tend to move away, and the old to retire there and this poulation churn has always meant that the 'feeling' of the village is sort of handed on, rather than continued.
So what you describe is something in the architecture and the location, and reflected in the people, rather than in the poeple. Or so it seems to me.
Is it bad taste to witter on about one's own village instead of Tintagel here? Apologies if it is ...
dear 48 Crash,
thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.
I can see what you mean about the problems people face.A lady I know owns a cafein north cornwall and has four kids, two of wich have now left cornwall in order to find work.I find that heartbraking.Anyway,you were right:its a tintagel site...
Am glad I found this site.Hope everyone had a lovely xmas
You're welcome - and a happy New Year to you too!
I was much the same; I couldn't wait to move east, to find out if the streets of London were paved with gold (OK, I was a bit optimistic there). Now I earn money in the east but live - about 60% of the time - back west, which is an interesting balancing act but it stops me going up the wall. But not everyone can do that; I got lucky. Your friends children will move out to find work, and to grow, but wouldn't you want your kids to be ambitious anyway?
Anyway, all the best.