Hidden Places


Ponsharden Cemetery Falmouth, photos by Derek Frood

Last year, with my colleague Derek Frood, we made an audio trail within a hidden Jewish cemetery in Plymouth and we thought a handful of curious people would turn up. But…around 120 people arrived each day and those who didn’t have smart phones or their own headphones waited patiently for one of the 15 MP3s to become available.

Knowing there was the potential for further trails and realising there was a thirst for hidden stories in hidden places we decided to research and develop more stories across the south west, partnering with Kehillat Kernow, (the Jewish Council of Cornwall) and the Friends of Ponsharden Cemetery, for the Jewish & Dissenters cemetery in Falmouth.


In a couple of weeks we will go into a studio with sound technicians, the wonderful people at Stage Technical Services in Exeter and investigate different ways of recording our stories to make the finished trails.

Currently our Plymouth audio trail is uploaded onto an MP3 and each story is a different track meaning  you can be in charge of your own wanderings and move to whatever part of the graveyard you want to go to. Alternatively you can listen on a smartphone via Soundcloud; operating the trail on your own phone makes it easier to navigate for a lot of people.

The idea that people can wander around listening to a soundtrack means that the peace and stillness of the site remains, which is something we feel is important. In Plymouth as people waited they could take in the site and watch people making the tour but at the same time remain oblivious to the audio they were watching them listen to. This had a particular powerful affect on one audience member last year…

“The music and voices really made the people ‘come alive’ the particular reference about the physicality of the Stonehouse police suddenly jolted me into the realisation that I was standing on the remains of that particular body and I found that a very powerful moment. The other thing that impacted on me was noticing the other listeners. They were randomly dotted around the cemetery, solemn statues, heads bent down like they were watching over the dead; every so often they would slowly move to a new grave and take up their positions again. It’s difficult to put into words, but it felt like a strange transposition, the dead being brought to life by the stories while the living had become immobile listening to them”.

“… difficult to put into words”, I reckon they managed to do so very eloquently.

Over the next few months we will be updating our findings on our website here.

Hidden Stories: Hidden Places, Falmouth is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through Feast Cornwall, a programme that makes great art happen across Cornwall.

If you want to be kept informed of the project, dates we will be sharing work and audios, please email us at rippletheatreco@gmail.com or via the ‘contact’ page on the website and we will add you to our newsletter.


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Midsummer blues


A few days away from midsummers day and we are in a spell of hot hot weather resulting in blue blue skies and long long daylight. Him indoors loves a walk on the beach more than anything so because today is Fathers Day I have put together some photos of Whitsand Bay just as we like it. Have a great day and enjoy the weather!

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RWY festival

I’ve been busy taking trips to Falmouth on work matters so this inaugural Festival in the Royal William Yard passed me by until yesterday, when I was unable to go. A shame because I love the route to the Yard, it takes me right across Cornwall’s forgotten corner.


From the chalet I would link to the B3247 just right of Crafthole on the map above and head east towards Millbrook, in line with the bay. Then coming out of Millbrook I would bypass the villages of Kingsand and Cawsand and head north, taking me past Maker Heights and onto Mount Edgecombe to quite literally, the end of the road (the brown line on the sandy coloured bit, it takes me 10 minutes). This is Cremyll, here I would park and jump on a small foot ferry that would take me across the river to the other side (the pink bit) where the Royal William Yard is situated. This river separates Devon from Cornwall and there is a toll to pay, oh yes, to enter Devon from Cornwall across the river, be it on foot ferry (from Cremyll), car ferry (from Torpoint) or bridge (from Saltash) there is a charge. But it’s such a delightful way to travel and once on the other side you are happy that you’ve parked across the water and are not having to negotiate the parking that the Royal William Yard creates when there’s an event on.

Mind you had I taken that route on the Sunday I would have driven alongside Mount Edgecombe and noted that there was a Green Man weekend. Everything that goes alongside a spot of mythology and ancient culture like hog roasts and wood carving, music, dancing and beer…I mean whats not to like. If that had happened, I may never of made it across the water and would be better of for not paying my toll.


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A request from Avaaz

By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.

It’s shameful. Half of the plastic made we use just once and throw out, choking our seas and all the animals in it.

But in days, our governments can stem this tide when they meet at a historical summit to outline their clean ocean commitments. Public pressure just got #2 polluter Indonesia to commit to a 70% reduction in plastic waste! Now we need to go after the other top polluters.

If one million of us get behind a global call, the Head of the UN Environment Programme will announce our petition from the summit podium and work with us to push countries to ban single-use plastics and let our oceans breathe again. Add your name:


No matter where we live, each breath we take connects us to our oceans. Most of our oxygen is generated by them. They regulate our climate and weather, turn water into clouds that give us rain. And oceans provide a home for near 80% of all living things on earth. We can’t live without our oceans.

But now, our oceans can’t live without us.

Humans have destroyed ocean health and we need to fix it. The good news is, more than half the plastic trash in our oceans come from just five nations. If we focus global attention on the biggest polluters now, we can create global system-change for plastic-free seas. What’s missing is the motivation — and that’s where we come in.

Let’s build a massive call on our governments to stop suffocating our oceans. Once we reach a million signers, Avaaz will launch targeted campaigns on the top polluters to ramp up the pressure for them to act.


Our community has fought fiercely to protect magnificent rainforests and vast areas of our oceans. Now time is running out to kill plastic pollution before it kills us.

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cabin envy tearoom

If you are interested in all things recycled or up cycled then you will have heard about Baileys Home and Garden, the folks that strip everything back to the original plaster and floorboards and then leave it. They are now based in a farm, with lots of different buildings to play with and judging from their photographs they are less rough around the edges than they used to be. But the site includes an old tin tabernacle which are increasingly rare these days. This one homes a tearoom with the bare essentials, tables; chairs; tea and cakes.

Images from remodelista.com

It does remind me of our own tin tearooms up on Maker Heights which serve some of the best breakfasts and cakes so although I am envious of the Tin Tabernacle, and will hopefully spend some time there if I am near Ross on Wye anytime, I feel that my ‘tin’ cabin envy can be fed by the Maker Canteen here on the Rame peninsula.

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East Cornwall events in the Plymouth History Festival


Andrew Butler https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/antony

I note that in the Plymouth History Festival that runs for the whole of May there are Open Days a stones throw from the Rame Peninsula. On May 17th both Mount Edgecombe House and Anthony House are opening their gardens for history and heritage talks and tours. Mount Edgecombe is open at 11.30-12.30 and Anthony is open 2.30-4pm, so it’s possible to make a day of it and do both events.

Mount Edgcumbe House, Cremyll, Cornwall PL10 1HZ
Wednesday 17 May, 11.30am-12.30pm
Discover all about the beautiful Earl’s Garden here at Mount Edgcumbe and what’s hidden away in all the nooks and crannies. Starting at 11.30am the talk will last approximately 1 hour.
£5 per person (includes entry to the House afterwards) / Advance booking essential via 01752 822236 or mt.edgcumbe@plymouth.gov.uk

Antony House, Torpoint PL11 2QA
Wednesday 17 May, 2.30pm-4pm
Walk and talk with the Antony House garden team. This event includes the rare opportunity to view the Bath House.
Free but standard admission to the venue applies / No need to book / 01752 812191 / antony@nationaltrust.org.uk

On Sunday May 21st there’s a family day at Maker Heights, live music, activities, crafts and a Wild About Maker trail from camp site to the beach discovering the wildlife, flowers and fauna

Maker Heights, Millbrook, Nr Torpoint, Cornwall PL10 1LA
Sunday 21 May, 12.30pm-5.30pm
Join the Maker Memories team and staff from Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery for a fun filled day of events, live music, crafts, activities and displays.  Share your memories of Maker Camp whilst reliving some of the fun activities that have taken place there over the years.  ‘Wild About Plymouth’ will also be there with fun natural history inspired activities (see event below) or you can learn to crochet with the Museum’s Traditional Craft Group. The day will have something for everyone. All ages welcome. Food and refreshments will be available.
Free / No need to book / Full programme and further details available at www.makermemories.org

Meet at south end of Barrack Block, Maker Heights, Millbrook, Nr Torpoint, Cornwall PL10 1LA
Sunday 21 May, 2pm – 4pm
Join staff from Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and Plymouth University for a Maker-inspired Wild About Plymouth event. Take a stroll from Maker Heights to the beach and back. Hunt for local bugs and wildlife and discover the amazing range of flowers and fauna. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a dolphin in Cawsand Bay.
Free / No need to book

My interest in the History Festival is partly because I am also involved. Last year I created an audio trail with my colleague Derek Frood. This trail is within an old Jewish Cemetery in Plymouth that was once someone’s garden and it is open every Sunday within the Festival. You can read about how we came to make it here.

The Old Jewish Cemetery, Lambhay Hill, Plymouth PL1 2NP
Sunday 7, 14, 21 and 28 May and 4 June, 11am-4pm (last entry at 3pm)
Tours take place at quarter past, half past, quarter to and on the hour
Located on Plymouth’s historic Hoe, in the shadow of The Citadel, lies a hidden secret: The Old Jewish Cemetery. Contained within high stone walls it has always remained hidden from public view. The only clue to its existence is an insignificant door. With the aid of funding from Vital Sparks and Drakes Foundation, recorded with Stage Technical Services and hosted by the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, an audio trail has been created in the garden cemetery by Ruth Mitchell and Derek Frood, aka Ripple. It brings to life the lives of those buried within this hidden gem. In 1740 this plot was a family garden; today it is a calm oasis that hides a wealth of history and culture.
Bring your smart phone and headphones or use the MP3 players that will be available on the day. Please note: The Cemetery includes entry and exit steps with uneven terrain throughout and therefore is not suitable for those with limited mobility. For those unable to attend the Cemetery, an opportunity to hear the audio trail at the Synagogue Vestry is available on Tuesday 23 May.
Free / Donations very welcome / Booking essential due to limited spaces via 07753 267616 or phccaretaker@yahoo.co.uk

Over the next few months we will be researching cemeteries in Exeter and Falmouth and we hope to have a similar outcome in both places, again see here for more information and images of Falmouth’s old Jewish and Dissenter’s graveyard. We will be sharing all our updates on this site.

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May Festivals

May day is always celebrated in Cornwall and celebrations kick off in the east of the county on April 29th in Saltash with their May Day celebrations www.facebook.com/SaltashMayFair.

Followed on the first of May, on the other side of the county, with the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss day where the streets are full of flags and flowers and the two ‘osses red and blue parade around the town. padstowobbyoss.wordpress.com

On the same day, in our neck of the woods we have the Black Prince Flower Boat procession which travels throughout the day to the villages of Millbrook, Kingsand and Cawsand on the Rame Peninsula. This parade includes Town Criers as well as music and Morris dancing.

On May 6th there’s Helston Flora Day where celebrations start at 7 am. This is an age old famous day (medieval in fact) and is where the Floral Dance tune originated in 1911.

Starting on the 6th for a week is the big festival of the month Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature, once known as all things Daphne Du Maurier it now has many writers marketing their latest books with lots of other events including walks and boat trips.


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