Does this float your boat? Self-sufficient Fal cafe planned

Plans to open a floating river café similar to those in World War One, have been postponed due to environmental concerns.

The FalRiver Company are proposing to open a floating café on the Fal River, initial plans propose that the café will be moored at the south end of King Harry Reach along the river Fal.

The directors hoped that the business would be open by Easter this year, however plans have now been put on hold due to environmental disputes.

The café will have no shore connections meaning the new venue will be completely self-sufficient and self-contained.

A spokesperson from The FalRiver Company, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The café is now more likely to open in spring 2018 due to disputes regarding the affects the café could have on surrounding environment. We can’t say much else about our current plans at the moment.”

Concerns have been expressed by The Environment Agency, regarding water pollution and waste produced by the café. Additional environmental impacts such as potential damage to local mussel beds, which grow in the proposed location, have also been discussed.

Peter Brooke, a local resident and fish monger, said: “I think it would struggle commercially, I can’t see how it would be a good business plan from a commercial point of view.

“There is already a café in Trelissick Gardens itself and on the boat trips they have their own refreshments on board for passengers. I would also be a bit concerned of waste products produced by the café.”

The café will be anchored down to the seabed in order to stop the structure going adrift. It is rumoured that the local environment agency has said that this could potentially affect the growing mussel beds.

The FalRiver Company are proposing to provide transport to the café, leaving from The Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth.

The structure will be around 200 Meters Square in size with plans for an additional pontoon, current plans propose that the café will be open for eight months of the year and is expected to seat up to 100 people.

The Alba Floating Tea Rooms was a novelty café operating before and during World War One. Local boatmen would take customers for day trips, where clients could purchase a cup of tea and a piece of cake for one shilling a head.

The new planned floating cafe aims to replica this historic business, by bringing some of its traditional customs back to life in a contemporary setting.

FalRiver hopes that the café will provide a good day out for locals and tourists alike. While also giving people the opportunity to see some of the natural beauty spots surrounding Falmouth.

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Warning: ink envy. Tattoo art exhibition at Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has a major new temporary exhibition for 2017: Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed.

The exhibition will be running from the 17th March 2017 to 7th January 2018.

The exhibition offers visitors a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing, featuring cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors to tell a story that challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age.

At the same time the display aims to give a voice to the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing as an art form in the UK.

The iconic image used for the promotion of the exhibition

Derryth Ridge, fellow Curator of the exhibition, said: “We feel this is a really important story that is an important part of our social history. I feel this is the perfect place to tell that story.

“One of the myths we are trying to bust through the exhibition is that tattooing is not gender or era specific and women have been tattooed throughout the years. I really like tattoos, sometimes its just because I like the look of them, sometimes its because of the meaning behind them.”

It is estimated that about one in five people in the UK have a tattoo. However, many still believe tattoos remain a taboo subject for many people. Whilst the visibility of tattooing in contemporary culture may feel like something new, tattoos and tattoo art have always held a significant place in Britain’s history.

The exhibition explores this rich history in depth and shows that while the word tattoo may have come into the English language following Captain Cook’s voyage, this was not the start of the story of British tattooing.

Fredrick, volunteer at the Maritime Museum, said: “I’m slightly biased because I have a tattoo myself, of a butterfly. I haven’t seen all of the exhibition yet but I think it’s excellent and it’s been really popular.”

While showcasing the heritage of tattoos, the exhibition also shows how people from all areas of society have tattooed using different technique. From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout British history as a means of expressing both individual and group identity.

The exhibition provides a fantastic insight into a part of British history, which has had little coverage. To find out more follow #notjustforsailors or visit the National Maritime museum website for ticket prices

Ocean therapy: Surf Action helps veterans with PTSD

Produced by Emily Furness   Presenter and contributing writer: Amy Wall

Produced for: Surf Action 

A Cornish charity helps servicemen battle the waves at Tolcarne beach every Saturday – no matter what the weather.

Established in 2009, Surf Action is a leading Cornish based charity, which strives to help military personnel suffering from physical and physiological injuries, including Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The charity aims to reintegrate members of the Armed Forces back into civilian life through the many benefits of surfing.

Alan Reynolds, a 57 year old veteran and clinic participant, said: “There are an increasing number of older veterans coming forward from legacy conflicts such as the Falklands and Northern Ireland because knowledge of, and attitudes towards have changed massively. I tried to commit suicide two and a half years ago.”

Alan hitting the water for some ocean therapy

“I turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and I don’t really sleep. Thanks to the charity I have a formal diagnosis and know a lot more about PTSD and how to control it. By going surfing every week I have something I can rely on, so even if I’ve had a rubbish week.”

Alan also describes how even simplest things, such as wearing a surf cap over his ears to keep warm, can trigger claustrophobia and unease.

Officially recognised in the 1980’s, PTSD is described as an anxiety disorder, which often follows witnessing a violence or traumatic event. Symptoms include insomnia, flash backs and extreme anxiety.

The affects of PTSD on the body

The charity recognises that surfing, as a vigorous activity, uses up any excesses in the body similarly as we would by running away or fighting, leading to a more positive and calmer outlook.

Joel Hewitt, a volunteer for Surf Action said that he believes it helps to talk to someone who isn’t from the military.

Surf Action members meet in Newquay on a weekly basis, with several uncompromising members not being swayed by the winter elements.

Mel Murphy, Surf Action Coordinator and RAF servicewoman, said: “I’ve been involved with Surf Action for around 4 years now. The charity aims to get all the family involved bringing the family back together, as well as focusing on the physical benefits that surfing and being in the outdoors brings.”

  • Surfing has been introduced to many veterans suffering with PTSD because;
    • It introduces you to a close knit group/tribe which the human brain works best with and in some ways replicates service life
    • By surfing in the natural environment it naturally boosts the body’s production of endorphins such as Serotonin which gives a feeling of happiness.
    • Surfing burns up the body’s stress chemicals such as Cortisol.
    • It aids the conversion of Serotonin into Melatonin in the evening which aids sleep.
    • The natural noises of the ocean provide a sound barrier from the many land based sounds which can sometimes trigger a flashback and intrusive thoughts.
    • Surfing is a natural form of mindfulness and mindfulness is very important in dealing with the symptoms of PTSD.
    • Surfing with others is a laugh and laughter stimulates the rate of flow through the lymph system and this strengthens your immune system.
    • Surfing is just fun!
    • Surfing is not a cure but it is an effective therapy which can be easily accessed throughout the year.

Volunteers hit the beach to seek and destroy mermaid’s tears

Forty people attended the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) autumn beach clean at Porthtowan last weekend. The beach clean is one of two hundred and fifty going on across the nation.

Surfers Against Sewage is a UK environmental charity based in St Agnes. Its mission is to protect UK oceans for all to enjoy safely.

Niki Willows, SAS representative for Porthtowan, said:“The sea is my home. When we first moved down here I kept picking up rubbish off the beach, when you notice one bit you notice it all. When you read the statistics of fish and birds eating it and getting tangled up in it it’s awful.

“Its not that people are horrible it’s just that people don’t really think about things. Even if everyone picks up 5 things, that’s 5 things less that goes back into the sea.”

A lot of SAS’s work relies heavily on community projects and an army of volunteers from across the UK.

Mermaid’s tears also known as resin pellets or nurdles have been identified as one of the main sources of pollution on UK beaches. The small balls of plastic are used in the manufacturing of plastic products.

They are thought to enter marine eco systems through factory storm drains.

SAS is now urging companies to take responsibility to ensure they are kept away from marine environments.

Nancy Mappley, a volunteer at Surfer Against Sewage, said: “I volunteer at the SAS head office, it’s something I feel really strongly and passionate about. Plastic litter is the most common, we’re finding lots of small bits called mermaid tears which fish and mammals eat and it gets stuck in their system and kills them.

“The amount of rubbish found is seasonal; it depends on the weather and tides. After a storm it brings in all sorts of things, it can be clean one day and filthy the next day.”

Battling to dominate the waves

Women engage in the sport but not the competitions

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The British Surfing  Association (BSA) claim, “the number of amateur female surfers has gone up by more than 300% since 2002, and public interest in female surfing is increasing.” However, there is still a shortage of women competing in watersports competitions, as evident at  Legends of the Bay, held at Watergate Bay in Cornwall, with just three women entering in total compared to the full mens category .

Cornish watersports competition

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The competition is split into two categories; kite surfing and paddle boarding, each one has a men and women’s sub-category within it. Shockingly, NO women entered the kite surf category and just four entered the paddle boarding. In comparison to the male entries for both categories which were at full capacity. Nonetheless, everyone entered the water, despite challenging conditions of eight foot waves that started to roll in around midday.

Pro woman surfer speaks up

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Tina Beresford, 29,  a sponsored short boarder and paddle boarder, competed in the paddle-boarding category at Watergate Bay. She admits, that the turn out of women entries for the event was poor. She also expressed that the media may be partly to blame for the lack of women competing within the surf industry.

“I think the way in which the media portray it (surfing) is just with people who’ve been surfing since they were like five…. you think they must have had loads of coaching and you’re made to think that they’re just amazing; you just see them in the clean waves, you don’t see them in the white water struggling to get out back like anyone else would, because you know, we’re all human.”

The effect of the media making women feel inadequate in the surfing industry almost played upon Tina’s confidence as she expressed that; “Last year I didn’t compete, because I think I’m a bit of a perfectionist and if I don’t think I’m good enough then I won’t do it, but then I thought life’s too short.”

Listen to her full interview here  

 Education may influence 

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Anton Roburb, 44, surfer and commentator for the competition said; “I think that women’s sports… fail very miserably here (England), because of the schooling, from the age of six no longer do you compete at a sports day to win, it’s all about participation, how can you have that feeling of winning or losing that makes you want to win again?  If you take that mentality away from a young age, how are you meant to develop that or sports as a general?”

Not equal

However, looking beyond Watergate in Cornwall, it appears that some of the biggest competitions such as the World Champion League for Surfing have imbalances between men and women in other forms. Offering more prize money to men is one of them, “the women’s WCT carries a first prize of £5,500, with a total purse of £35,750….the men’s WCT is divided into 12 events, each with prizes totalling £150,000 and a first prize of £16,500.”

However, the prizes for the Legend of The Bay competition, were not of an unbalanced value between the mens category and the women’s. Unlike, the amount of entries between them!

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