A fantastic week in Cornwall helped by all but two days of great weather. I’ve compiled an online album of the few grounds visited over the past seven days (Truro City, Falmouth Town, Mullion AFC, St Mawes AFC, Helston Athletic) although there are of course many more that escaped our attentions. For now at least. With Junior now living in England’s most south-westerly county there is a ready excuse to go back on a regular basis.
The album can be found here.
Ignoring the early morning drizzle today (we were later rewarded with nice sunny spells) we set off on a four mile (three hour) circular walk starting at Poldhu Cove on the western side of the Lizard Peninsula.
One of many haunts for surfers and swimmers alike during the summer, the cove, with large sandy beach and dunes, was virtually empty today. The footpath takes you past a rather imposing residential home that overlooks the cove and then up and away from the sea towards Mullion village.
The largest village on the peninsula Mullion is largely unremarkable although quite by chance we came across the picturesque home of Cornish Combination League side Mullion AFC. Mrs. Extremegroundhopping demanded recompense for my fifteen minute photo stop with a break for coffee and cake at the Mullion Meadows Chocolate Factory. Then it was down again towards Mullion Cove where we were on Sunday. Fantastic views all the way.
Continuing along the coastal path to Polurrian Cove – another beach that we had to ourselves except for two young kids on horseback – and then along a hair-raising cliff path towards the Marconi Monument and back to the car at Poldhu Cove.
The Marconi Monument is close to where the Poldhu Wireless Station operated between 1900 and 1933 and where the very first ever signal was conveyed across the Atlantic Ocean, by wireless telegraphy, back in 1901. As a one time employee of Marconi Communications Systems Ltd this was of particular interest to yours truly.
More pictures of Mullion AFC will appear in a summary post at the end of the week.
With Cornwall bathed in sunshine we headed out to the Lizard peninsula, first taking in Mullion Cove, and what a stunning place its is. A superlative that I suspect will be repeated numerous times as I report back on our week down in the south west. On the western side of the peninsular the cove is around six miles from Helston and a mile down a fairly steep road from Mullion Village.
It has two seal walls which date from the late eighteen hundreds. These were constructed to protect the local pilchard boats from the ferocious winter storms that pound the Cornish coast, although the image of waves crashing against the harbour walls is a difficult one to conjure up as we wandered along its walls in shirt sleeves in the late summer sun and a gentle breeze.
This is a nasty stretch of coast for shipping with nine wrecks reported along the immediate coastline from 1867 to 1873. The rocky cliffs and outcrops, which today are picture postcard stuff, must have been the perfect place for smugglers to bring ashore their goods undetected by the authorities.
We then headed eastward across Goonhilly Downs, past the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, and onto the fishing village of Coverack. Not quite as stunning as Mullion Cove the village also boasts of past links with smuggling. The harbour wall here was built in 1724 and a number of the cottages that it protects are said to have secret cellars for the hiding of contraband.
Last stop of the day was on the edge of Helston and Kellaway Park the home of Helston Athletic FC. At last a football related post I hear you say. This is ground one of several that I hope to get to this coming week. Given the beautiful scenery we’d been privileged to take in earlier this was bound to be a disappointment, and so it proved to be.
There is an air of neglect about the place not least the pebble dashed concrete club house, which looks to be missing various bits of roofing. The neglect is echoed in the official website which hasn’t been updated since 2008. But after the delights of Mullion Cove perhaps I’m being too hard on the Cornwall Combination side.
I’ll include a few more pictures of Helston Athletic FC in a summary post at the end of the week.