History of St Keverne Parish Council

Extracts from St Keverne Parish Council 1894 to 1994
a booklet compiled by Michael Wearne (then Chairman)

Bus Shelter at Traboe Cross.
In June 1958 the Clerk reported on a meeting with the Area Planning Officer at which they agreed on the siting of the shelter together with the need for a "pull-in" for an official bus stop. In July the lease agreement with Mr. M.P. Williams was before the Council as were tenders for construction ranging from £43-16-0 to £79-10-0; predictably the former was accepted. By October the shelter had been built but not yet coloured "in order to blend with the Surrounding Countryside". By December this had been done and the pull-in had been quoted for but not built.

There is now a large area of hard surface at Traboe Cross and the shelter is maintained by the Council.

Christmas Tree
In December 1955 the Clerk related that he had visited Mr. M.P. Williams at Lanarth asking for the gift of a Christmas Tree to be erected throughout the festive season in St. Keverne Square; Mr. Williams had kindly consented to provide one and arrangements had been made to transport, erect it and connect it to the electric lamps. SWEB would lend the coloured lamps. A hamper would collect gifts which would be passed to Dr. Barnado's Home at the conclusion of the Christmas period. There would be singing round the tree from December 21st to 25th.

The following year it was resolved to call a public meeting at which a Christmas Tree Committee with responsibility for the arrangements in subsequent years would be elected. The Council thereafter limited itself to giving a grant to supplement money raised by the Committee. Thus was started a tradition which has spread to Coverack and continues to this day in both villages.

Giant's Quoits
At the meeting in January 1966 it was reported that the Giant's Quoits at Manacles Point had collapsed, they had in fact been dislodged by an over-enthusiastic digger driver from the quarry. The Council supported a move to re-erect them provided there were no financial implications. A Giant's Quoits Re-Erection Committee was formed and by March 1968 could report that the work had been completed, though the site was not the original, that having been absorbed into the quarry. After paying for a slate plaque there was a credit balance of £3-16-11. The inscription on the plaque was (and is):-

Giant's Quoits.

These stood for hundreds of years at the Manacles Point
and were re-sited here because of expanding workings at the nearby quarry.

The Tithe Map
The tithe (or parish) map was drawn up in 1844 for, as its name indicates, the collection of the tithes for the Church. No doubt it will have been useful to the Overseers when they came to be responsible for the collection of the rates after 1894.

Emotion does not often come through the minutes, but mention of the map is accompanied by a sense of veneration, almost as if it is seen as the soul of the parish. It is important that the key to the map should be held by the clerk 97 in April 1913 there is concern that it was in the hands of Mr. Tripp, builder. In October, 1918 the locks of the map box had to be repaired and it was again insisted that the key should be in the possession of a councillor.

In December 1923 it was noted that the map was badly in need of repair, that Mr. P.D. Williams had offered £1 towards the cost and it was suggested that the Clerk might do the work. The latter promised to look at it to see if he could do anything with it. There is no record of the result of his examination but in September 1924 Mr. P. D. Williams wrote suggesting that the map should be fixed on a spring roller at the cost of eight guineas of which he was prepared to pay half. The Council approved but in December were faced with a quotation for repair from Siffon, Praed and Co. Ltd. of London for £12. They accepted it and Mr. Williams raised his contribution to £6. Eventually in March 1925 the map returned from London and was to be fixed on the wall opposite to that on which it had been previously, presumably in the older school building on School Hill.

From then on the key was supposed again to be in the hands of the Clerk and he was empowered to charge any stranger who wished to refer to the map the sum of 2/6d.

In June 1927 Cllr. James moved that if anyone removed the map without the council's consent he should be arrested by the police. Quite what dreadful happening occasioned this dire threat is not clear, but in the same minute the Council consented that the Clerk should be summoned to produce the map at the County Court provided his expenses were paid. This was in the case of the Penhallick-Ponsongath footpath related in detail in the chapter on Pathways. In June 1928, when the map was required in London at the climax of that case, the Council stipulated that the map could only be taken out of the Parish in the charge of the Clerk and that all his expenses would have to be paid.

In March 1933 a brusque minute says that the Clerk should get the map repaired again. There is no mention of any outcome.

For some years it was housed in the older school building on School Hill, but it later became peripatetic and moved to a garage, the Parish Hall and to a goathouse. Anyone who needed to could consult it and take tracings from it, no doubt the reason for the erosion of the more inhabited parts. In 1991 serious concern was expressed at its condition and Cllr. Englefield obtained an estimate for expert repair from the County Archives for £1,500. Grants were sought from the National Conservation Trust who suggested English Heritage who suggested the National Conservation Trust. The PC saw that it was on its own and decided to make it a project for the Centenary Year. To help with the cost the map was shown at both St. Keverne and Coverack; a total of £790 was raised. It is hoped that the map can be exhibited in all its splendour in 1994. *note - the map is now on display at St Keverne Parish Hall

The Lizard Peninsula Tourism Association.
In June 1986, Cllr. Peters inspired the Parish Council to call a meeting for the 11 councils in the Peninsula to see if together they could not do something to promote the area. Tremendous interest was reported in the formation of a Lizard Peninsula Tourism Association. In September Miss Gina Lazenby was engaged to look into short and long term advertising. She was paid £3,000 which, together with postage, stationery and initial advertising, was paid for by all the parishes precepting a 1/10 penny rate. Thereafter the brochure was to be paid for by those advertising in it.
So it continues up to the present day with more advertisers being attracted each year.

Summer Diary.
In the early 1970's Cllr. S.R. Retallack and the Clerk Courtenay Hocking produced a Summer Diary in order that local organisations could advertise their events free of charge. The Diary continues to be published and is very beneficial to the many visitors during the summer season.

The Parish Handbook.
At the January 1981 Council Meeting the Chairman had enquired from Members whether they were in favour of a Newsletter for the Parish and this was agreed to. A sub-committee was formed and at the February meeting a mock-up of the proposed booklet was produced, included were advertisements from local businesses, in formation on local organisations, bus time-tables, general information on the County and District Councils services and walks. The handbook was well received and in 1987 a second one was produced with an increased range of information.

Every year the Council precept Kerrier District Council for funding to administer the Council's finances and from these funds grants are made to local organisations within the Parish. Due to substantial grants being made the Parish now enjoys two very well equipped halls, St. Keverne Parish Hall being rebuilt in 1979 and extensions and renovations to Lambeage Hall, Coverack throughout the 1980's.

Grants are also made towards the upkeep of the churchyards at St. Keverne and Coverack and the parish playing field annually.

A Note on Planning.
The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 set up the basic national framework which has since been much refined. The Parish Council performs an important function because amongst its members there is at least one who has a detailed knowledge of every site in the parish; it is thus well placed to pass its recommendation on to the Planning Authority which is Kerrier District Council. Such recommendation must, of course, be in accordance with the County Structure Plan and various guidelines issued by Kerrier if they are to have any validity.

Although the Council spends as much time on this as on any other single topic and its observations assist decisions, those decisions are made and enforced (or not enforced) by others. Achievement and outcome are therefore irrelevant to this short history.