Cornwall Living 2018

News & views

Breaking the mould

It’s a quarter to four on a Tuesday afternoon and there’s an undercurrent of excitement as a group of girls gather outside an apparently unremarkable wooden shed at school. This is actually the headquarters of the Truro High School Greenpower Engineering Team – one that is at the forefront of work to redress the gender balance in the world of engineering.

At Truro High School, the girls learn the basics of computer programming with bumblebee shaped robots at the age of four. By seven, they’re building their own Greenpower Goblin race-cars and by ten, they’re racing them competitively on the track!

Indeed, while the atmosphere may be warm and nurturing, the girls are driven, and nowhere else is this indomitable spirit more obvious than behind the doors of that wooden shed – soon to be replaced with a state-of-the-art engineering facility.

Head of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Jon Dean, explains: “Our Greenpower Engineering Team is symbolic of what we do here at Truro High. We set the girls running with an idea, we give them help and support and challenges along the way, and then we watch with pride as they learn from their mistakes and begin to get better and better.”

It may not come as a surprise that Truro High is listed in the top 1% of schools nationally for value added at A Level. This year, 82% of A level passes were A* to B, and almost half of all GCSE passes A* or A!

For more information call 01872 272830 or visit

Heal with the seasons

Located in 65 acres of gardens and woodland by the Helford river, the Natural Health Spa at Budock Vean Hotel recently launched its new range of seasonal treatments, ensuring the wellbeing of mind, body and soul via ingredients and scents that give your body exactly what it craves at this time of year. Devised by new Spa Manager, Martina Crkonova, these great value treatments include the Gold Facial, Fall’s Gold & Fig Body Journey and the Cleansing Body Shot. These can be stand alone treatments or booked as part of a great value spa day.

But it’s not just spa treatments that can be enjoyed here. Take time out of your day and enjoy a leisurely lunch, before exploring the grounds and drinking in the calm, riverside tranquillity that feels a world away from the noise of everyday life.

For more information call 01326 252101 or visit

Cornwall Hospice Care’s new window to the world

“It’s our virtual reception desk,” says Cornwall Hospice Care volunteer Trustee David Renwick as the Cornish charity launches a brand new website. “We want to be accessible to everyone, whether they have a clinical question, want details of a fundraising event or to find their local Cornwall Hospice Care shop,” explains David who’s a member of the board that governs the charity. “We wanted to ensure our core messages about the care we provide in a number of settings, from our hospices to our new Neighbourhood Hubs in Wadebridge and Penzance, comes across clearly. We also want to introduce our facilities, our staff and volunteers and our day-to-day work. So now you can go on a video tour of our hospices, meet our teams and learn about the many ways in which we support people in Cornwall with terminal illnesses. Please take a look and let us know what you think. We’d welcome your feedback as our charity is your charity and at the heart of your local communities.”

For more information visit

Writing your will – the risks of DIY

When it comes to ensuring your family is taken care of, writing your own will can be tempting. Unfortunately, unless your wishes are simple and your financial and personal situations are uncomplicated, while you may save money up front compared with using a professional service, if you get anything wrong, you could be burdening your children, family and friends with increased costs after you’ve died.

If you use a will template, the company that supplies it won’t take any responsibility for it being incorrect and, if mistakes are made, there won’t be any legal comeback at all. Get it badly wrong and it could mean your will is invalid, at which point the law will decide who your money and property should go to. Fortunately, Sampson Solicitors offers professional advice that’s tailored to your unique circumstances, meaning you needn’t run the risk.

For more information, call Gemma Sampson on 01288 353542 or visit

North Cornwall’s close-knit community

For visitors to north Cornwall, sheep are just part of the scenery but for Cornish GranKnits they are invaluable suppliers of raw materials. This genuine cottage industry uses 100% Cornish wool from sheep on Cathy Mayes’ family’s farm (a white Dorset flock but this year with darker wools from the Zwarble and grey-faced Dartmoors kept by the grandchildren). Cornish GranKnits offers a range of hand-knitted garments in colours that are inspired by, and are produced in, the varied landscape of the area close to the north coast. The range includes sweaters, cardigans, ponchos, hats scarves and snoods. Garments are available readymade or can be commissioned from Cathy – with the invaluable help of her grandchildren, of course!

For more information visit

Dreaming of a green Christmas

As we gear up for Christmas, our diaries soon fill up with the promise of festivals and fayres, the sounds of carols and the smells of spices filling the air. It’s the most wonderful time of year, when we fill up on rich goodies, pick up gifts for loved ones and join in the merriment. One of our favourite events is the Padstow Christmas Festival, returning bigger and better for the tenth year running, from 7th to 10th December. Expect foodie demonstrations from some of the country’s top chefs, the popular Christmas market, the Santa fun run and, of course, the fireworks on Friday night!

If you’re looking for a cosy retreat from the bustling craft fair and cookery demonstrations, we’ve discovered the perfect haven in Greens of Padstow on North Quay. It’s open throughout the day and evening with a whole host of delicious festive treats to delight the taste buds as you catch up with friends or family. Warm up over a mug of hot chocolate or glass of mulled wine. What’s more it’s the perfect spot for watching the fireworks display. Greens has a ‘grandstand’ view of the whole proceedings on the terrace looking out upon the harbour wall. Whatever the weather is doing, make this your destination at the Padstow Christmas Festival.

For more information visit

Add some spice to your life

Reeds Pharmacy in Truro is known to many as their local independent pharmacy. But you may not be aware of its specialism in selling spices: Divers Spices. For many years Reeds sold spices imported by London-based Geoff Logsdon. When Mr Logsdon retired, Reeds bought the business and gave it a new name, a phrase found in The Voyages and Travels of Marco Polo. Specialising in Spanish saffron and various types of vanilla, Reeds sells to individual customers while Divers Spices looks after trade sales. Stockholdings are kept lean to ensure freshness and a range of sizes is available.

“There were plenty of saffron and vanilla products in the market,” says Pharmacist Graham Brack, “but it seemed to us that some were very poor quality – and those weren’t always the cheapest. We believe that when people try ours, they appreciate the difference. As a successful pharmacy, we can spread overheads and keep the price reasonable.”

“The Cornish are big users of saffron,” Gillian Brack adds. “Where better for an importer to be?”

For more information visit

Every dog has its day

Cornwall is the perfect place to own a dog, with beautiful scenery to explore at every turn. But sometimes, our beloved four-legged friends need a little help to point them in the right direction. This is where dog training with Bark Busters comes in. The company draws upon almost three decades of experience in helping dogs and their owners enjoy a happy, safe and stress-free life together. Ben Jordan is Cornwall’s dog training and behavioural therapist. A dog lover through and through himself, he’ll often be found walking the great Cornish countryside with his springer spaniel, Raffa.

Aggression, anti-social behaviour, barking, destruction, recall problems, jumping up – these are just some of the common issues that many dog owners face daily. But this needn’t be the case. Simply give Ben a call to arrange a one-to-one session. With a very impressive success rate, doggie behavioural problems could be a thing of the past. If you’re thinking of getting a new puppy, a session with Ben is also a great way of starting the way you mean to go on, so you can get out and enjoy the great outdoors in confidence.

For more information call 0808 1004071 or visit

New tooth straightening system at Cathedral Dental Practice

Would you like to bring the confidence back to your smile? If you are feeling unhappy with the alignment of your teeth, then the team at Cathedral Dental Practice in Truro are on hand to help you achieve the smile that you’ve been dreaming of.

Alex Willmore and Fergus Brown of the popular dental practice will each be offering patients the system known as Invisalign Go. Invisalign is the world leader in clear aligner technology – an alternative to conventional wire and bracket-fixed braces.

The aim of the treatment is to provide patients with the smile they’ve always desired, using minimally invasive techniques. Not only does this provide cosmetic benefits; it’s likely to make your daily oral hygiene much more effective, increasing your ability to keep your teeth clean and free of stains.

The real beauty is that the clear aligners are removable, comfortable and nearly invisible, allowing you to conduct your daily routine with minimum interference – something brace users have long been crying out for!

For more information or to book your complimentary Invisalign consultation call 01872 261999 or visit


This month’s features