The Leat, Pendeen is an open area, with pond, that has just always been there, as a relative newcomer to the area. However, I am grateful to Arthur Matthews for bringing its history to me!
It started off a “wasteland – a quagmire of mud and silt with all good water draining away to adjacent fields and the roadway” (Outreach June, 1991). It was the local community that volunteered in the evenings and weekends to create the pond, plant it out and put the seating in place. As a ‘goodwill gesture’ to the community Penwith District Council agreed to maintain it in 1991. My fear is that as Government grants to Cornwall Council dwindle, the remaining limited funds will not stretch to ‘good will’ activities. I am already told that the standard of maintenance is inadequate but worry that raising this will just bring the end of the limited support there is, that much sooner!
When I went down there is was these words on a plaque that made me think: “Rural Voice: National Village Ventures Award 1982-3. In recognition of the innovation and initiative of the local community.” Would local people be willing to take on the upkeep of this area once again? I also spoke to Delia Webb, involved with the Pendeen Archive project, at the Centre of Pendeen as I felt that getting a more detailed record of the history would be good and she agreed!
So, whether you can shed some light and provide some photos about the history of the Leat from before 1977 to present day or you love visiting the area or you have the interest and skills to take the area into a ‘new beginnings’ phase then come along to chat with Delia and I on Tuesday 7 July at the Leat at 5 p.m. We can move to the Centre of Pendeen if weather not kind!
To read the whole article written in the Outreach by Denis Ayling in June 1991, detailing the history back to 1977, go to Memories