London has been home to a large community of Cornish people or those with Cornish ancestry for several centuries, and next weekend sees a major summer event aimed at bringing together Cornish Exiles from the Home Counties on the banks of River Thames at Richmond.
‘Wreckers Wednesday’ is a monthly event in the capital which aims to bring the diaspora community, and indeed anyone with a love of Cornish culture together. Each evening comes complete with pasties brought up from the Homeland, singing, Cornish ales and the ever popular Meat Raffle. On Saturday 1st July, the group will be holding ‘Wreckers By The River’ at Richmond Boat House on the quay next to Richmond Bridge from 2:00pm to 8:00pm with a whole afternoon of Cornish entertainment planned. The London Cornish Shanty Singers will be making their debut appearance along with Hanterhir, the Cornish folk-rock band. Those coming along will also have the opportunity to learn some Cornish and go out on the Thames aboard a real Cornish pilot gig boat. As if this was not enough, there will be ‘proper Pasties’, Skinners ale and Cakey tea available.
Next Saturday’s arrangements are just the latest of a long series of events organised for the Cornish diaspora in London over the years. Historically, the most high profile group in the capital have been The London Cornish Association, who were formed back in 1898. Their foundation was influenced by a dinner in 1886 which had been organised by a group of men from Helston living in London to celebrate the expected election of Mr Walter Molesworth St Aubyn to Parliament. The election result didn’t exactly go to plan with their man failing to succeed, but they went ahead with the dinner regardless! It was such a success that it became an annual event.
It is hoped to see ‘One And All’ at Richmond next weekend and that news and photos from the day will appear in a future blog post.
For further information on cultural, political and social links between Cornwall and London, see the previous blog post entitled ‘Cornwall Connections Conference Review‘ dated 17th March 2016.