On this Day 2nd October 1938

Peace and Plenty in Penwith

Mr Chamberlain has returned successful, to the relief of all. There will be no second Great War; no anxious watching of the skies; no village lads decked out in muddy uniforms, slogging along the roads of France as their fathers remember doing less than 20 years ago. And today, in the villages and the towns, people have come to church – braving thunderstorms - to offer up their thanks, and to celebrate the gifts of peace and plenty.

Headline from The Cornishman 6th October 1938 (Morrab Library)Canon Jennings, preaching at Madron, said that “every mother in Europe… must be thinking of their sons of military age almost as though they were brought back from the dead”. And here indeed, he reminded us, we may see the power of prayer revealed. At Gulval, there was an appeal for Czechoslovakia alongside a “deeper spirit of gratitude” following the “relaxation of tension”. The children had given freely, and their little offerings “reached record proportions”.

For Newlyn, today has been an unofficial “thanksgiving day in connection with international crisis”, with special prayers at “both the Centenary Methodist Church and also Trinity Methodist Church….. Both places of worship were well attended, and the services were of a most impressive character. Special prayers were offered in St. Peter's Church on Sunday, both morning and evening”.

Elsewhere, of course, it is the season of harvest festivals. Now, we may indeed give thanks that all is safely gathered in. Over at Botallack, you never saw so much fruit – not to mention corn and flowers. The sale tomorrow will be a bumper occasion, and that’s for sure. Young Dennis Maddern – who had already given voice at Carnyorth in the afternoon - got up again, and sang “Immortal, Invisible” and then, striking a different notes, “Songs My Mother Used to Sing”.

St Just did itself proud as always. At Queen Street Methodists, “the decorations were very choice”. Mrs Veal’s choir raised song, and this morning the Lafrowda Buffs were out, led by the town band.

And finally, to Paul. The congregation were not alarmed when the lights went out, the electricity failing all over the Mousehole area, due no doubt to the thundery weather. They turned to, with their oil lamps and candles. As Britishers do, when the lights go out.


Cornishman 6th October 1938. Gulval, St Just, page 2; Madron, page 3; other references page 10

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Penwith Local History Group
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Growing Up in West Cornwall. A Publication by the Penwith Local History Group

"Growing Up in West Cornwall"

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