St Tudy History Group
Welcome to St Tudy Historical Society
Known locally as ‘St Tudy History Group’, the Society was formed in January 2014 when its founder, Mr Chris Selby, asked interested villagers to help research the identities of those young men named on the War Memorial.
Their findings revitalised the annual Remembrance Day Service and led to special commemorations held to mark the centenary of each man’s death during the Great War. In 2017 there will be six short ceremonies held at the War Memorial to mark the brave sacrifice of the young men and their families. You can read more of their lives by clicking on the left-hand panel.
Filled with enthusiasm by these initial discoveries, the group has gone from strength to strength more than doubling its numbers to 40 in less than three years. Its intention is to discover, preserve and disseminate the history of the Parish of St Tudy while also fostering an interest in Cornish history.
This has resulted in the republication of a beautifully handwritten and drawn manuscript compiled by the ladies of St Tudy Women’s Institute in 1951. Known as the WI Scrapbook, it details many of the principal buildings as well as providing a fascinating social history of the village. A handful of books and CD copies are available at £15 including p&p with the proceeds shared between the WI and the History Group. Please contact us via the Feedback page if you would like a copy.
On-going projects include mapping the graves in the Churchyard, compiling a history of the buildings in Churchtown to create a Village Trail, revising the guidebook to St Tudy Parish Church and creating a Village Archive. The latter is a priority for 2017 to provide secure storage to conserve the increasing number of documents and artefacts the Society is collecting.
St Tudy Historical Society usually meets in the upper room of Clink at 7:30pm on the last Thursday of each month (except August and December). A variety of external speakers are arranged with occasional visits to places of interest while members are encouraged to share the results of their own studies during Members’ Interest meetings. This year’s programme can be viewed by clicking the left-hand panel.
Previous speakers have given fascinating accounts of the prehistory of St Tudy and its locality; who would have thought that Iron Age St Tudyites probably sat in the same spot as the Clink 3000 years ago? The Clink itself came under the microscope during a discussion on Church Houses - was it a Church House or not? That debate continues. The rebellious Cornish, including Trelawney, were under the spotlight of several speakers while there was a definite theme on local buildings with a visit to Wetherham, talks on Michael’s Cottage followed by a contrasting lecture on the Country Houses of Cornwall plus the first meander around the developing village trail. And that was just last year!
In 2015 we uncovered some fascinating facts including the discovery of several unknown ancient milestones and bridge markers in and around the village, a visit by Oliver Cromwell and his Roundhead soldiers and St Tudy's contribution to the Cornish national anthem. Members also enjoyed a guided tour of the Cornwall Record Office where they were able to handle some ancient texts and historic maps of the village. Members' interest meetings taught us about the history of St Tudy School, Col Toots Williams' amazing trek across Italy escaping from captivity during the Second World War.
The new programme begins on Thursday 26 January at 7:30pm upstairs in the Clink with the AGM followed by Joy Knight giving a St Tudy perspective to the De Lank Quarry. Annual subscriptions are due then and remain at £10.
Other speakers this year will regale us with stories of the Bligh family, outline the unusual shaping of the watery boundaries of St Tudy Parish, describe the working practices of bygone villagers employed at Stannon Clay works and Wenford Dries and the strange practices their ancestors adopted to protect their homes and families from witches. A group visit to Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum is a highlight of the summer followed by three Members’ Interests talks on The Bells of St Tudy, St Tudy and the Royal Navy and Pencarrow House next Autumn.
Although most meetings are on the final Thursday of each month it is important to check the dates in the programme as there are several changes this year.
New members are always welcome so why not come and join us
The Binding Stone Book
Memories of St Tudy 1900 - 2000
Compiled by Mavis Kingdon and Sue Dibble as part of the St Tudy WI Millenium Project.
It is best to download and save the file first before using pdf viewing software.
The book is available here
In Memory of Chris Selby 1943-2016
It is with very great sadness that we record the death of our Founder and Chairman, Chris Selby who passed away in October 2016.
Without his vision and commitment the group would not have been created. His home overlooked the War Memorial which was a constant reminder to him of how little we knew about the brave men who sacrificed their lives in the two World Wars. He booked the Clink, called a meeting and was amazed that so many others shared his concern. He set everyone a research brief and within three months the lives of those men and their families were being brought back to life. You can now read some of their stories by clicking on the left hand panel.
Under his leadership and guidance the group has more than doubled in size to 40 members in a village of little more than 600 residents. He has enthused many members to undertake their own researches, the results of which continue to fascinate those attending their talks. His instinct in selecting visiting speakers was infallible and frequently led to surprising revelations about the parish previously unknown to local residents. He set the bar high and St Tudy History Group strives to maintain and extend that vision and dedication in his memory.
Chris Selby was an inspiration to us all and is sorely missed.