As you may already know, our studios overlook Falmouth Bay and across to St. Anthony’s Lighthouse. It’s this beautiful view which inspires us every day.
|Dotted along our coastline, lighthouses are often seen as iconic Cornish landmarks. They’re so iconic in fact that they regularly feature on our Jute Bags, Greetings Cards and Tea Towels.Trinity House, one of the key authorities for looking after lighthouses, tends to over 60 lighthouses situated throughout the British Isles. Eight of these working lighthouses can be found around Cornwall, with a further three on the Isles of Scilly.|
“…heave away, haul away / Haul away, you’ll hear me sing…”
We had an amazing time at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival this weekend. We’ve still got shanties ringing in our ears, and we’re all dancing our way around the studio.
The rugged Cornish coastline presents a hazard today for many, but in the 17th Century (even before Poldark’s day!) it presented a particular hazard for any large ship looking to dock in Cornwall’s little harbours. The solution was found in a small, wooden rowing boat that could be swiftly and expertly navigated to the ship, along with the harbour pilot to safely guide the ship in.
Jobs went to the first pilot that arrived on board, so this craft needed to be lightweight, built for speed, manoeuvrability and with plenty of room for pilots or trade. Where other harbour pilots around the UK used sails, the Cornish used pure, hard-core manpower because this was proven to be the fastest way to head into prevailing winds off the South West coast.
With gig builders racing to build the best gigs, it was William Peters of St Mawes who gained a reputation for building the fastest and most seaworthy of crafts. In 1838, it was his gig, the ‘Treffry’, which became the standard specification by which all other gigs followed. In fact, the original ‘Treffry’ is still actively rowed today by the Newquay Rowing Club!
With the introduction of the motor boat, pilot gigs became disserved, but plenty of men continued to race them for fun. There are now over 100 gig and rowing clubs around the world that use Cornish Pilot Gigs, including as far afield as Australia and Canada, and many hold major events that attract hundreds and thousands of spectators. One such event is happening this Sunday in Devon. On Sunday 31st May, the Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club will be hosting the Salcombe Rowing and Gig Regatta. The club continues to use three Cornish Pilot Gigs: the ‘Bolt’, the ‘Cadmus’ and the ‘Wolf’. For details visit: http://www.salcomberowing.co.uk/
Why not pop into our Seasalt Salcombe shop while you’re in town and shop the rowing look? Oars at the ready everyone!
This weekend our friends at the Family Holiday Association will be pulling on their wellies, packing their cameras and making their way from Chy Morvah in St Ives, along the coast to Carbis Bay to take part in an exciting new event, Seaside Walk Week! This great initiative is raising funds to help struggling families get a break away from some of the toughest challenges in life.
The week starts on Saturday and includes a series of nine guided walks at picturesque locations across the UK including St Ives in Cornwall, Lulworth Cove in Dorset and Southend-on-Sea in Essex (we wish we could take part in them all!). You can enjoy a leisurely 2- 4 mile short walk, or if you fancy something a little more challenging, there’s the option to take part in a longer 10 mile walk.
With our Design Studios overlooking Falmouth Bay, the sea is always at the heart of what we do, so Seaside Walk Week is an ideal way for us to celebrate our beautiful coastline and villages.
To sign up to a walk, or for more information please visit: SeasideWalkWeek.org.uk
If you’re taking part in the St Ives or Lulworth Cove walk, make sure you pick up your Seasalt Jute to pop your walking gear in, we hope to see you there.
Living in an area with dramatic coastlines and open moorland means there is a wide variety of animals making their homes here. Cornish wildlife is very important to us here at Seasalt and is a common source of inspiration for our designers and Seasalt Artists alike.
You may have noticed a theme running through our SS15 collection. Whether it’s our Magpie Cardigan, Raven Dress, Little Grebe Smock or Nut Hatch Cardigan, our latest arrivals are peppered with pretty bird prints and products named after our favourite avian creatures.
Below are just a couple of our favourites accompanied by beautiful sketches by our talented Seasalt Artists.
Our Turnstone Scarf is named after the crustacean loving sea bird of the same name. With brown or black upper plumage, white belly and orange legs the turnstone can be found in many coastal areas, often trying to peck at a crab or two!
The small, plump sanderling lends its name to our new leaf print cardigan. This amusing little sea bird likes long sandy beaches and can be seen running away from incoming waves while it tries to feast on small marine worms and molluscs at the shoreline.
Even our prints this season feature our feathered friends. The Cornish Chough has a print all to itself, puffins adorn our tea towels and blue tits, finches, siskins and thrushes make up the beautiful Cornish Birds print.
We’ve been excitingly welcoming in beautiful new Seasalt styles over the last couple of weeks, spring is on its way! One particular print has captivated us all. Laura Watson, one of our talented designers, has created a chirpy unique print called Kissing Choughs, featuring Cornwall’s most famous bird.
At Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain, choughs, which were absent for many years, can now happily be found in abundance. We think Seasalt designer, Laura, has captured their cheeky personalities perfectly in this print.
The chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) is a member of the crow family, sharing the same inky black plumage. However, unlike other crows the cheeky chough has a distinctive and easily identified bright red bill, legs and feet, and a loud, ringing call. It’s this distinct call that gives the chough it’s name. However, the bird’s Cornish name, Palores, means Digger, a reference no doubt to its habit of digging away at loose soil to find invertebrates.
It’s the national bird of Cornwall and features on the coat of arms, proudly sitting on top of the crest flanked by a tin miner and fisherman. It is widely used in Cornish heraldry showing the significance of the bird on Cornish history. One Cornish legend states that King Arthur did not die but was transformed into a red-billed chough, its red feet and bill signifying Arthur’s violent and bloody end.
Sadly the increase of trophy hunters and degradation of the chough’s preferred habitat towards the end of the 18th century meant a steady decline in numbers.
The year 1947 saw the last successful nesting attempt in Cornwall. An ageing pair of choughs lived near Newquay between 1960–1967 but one of the pair was found dead in March 1967. Its partner patrolled the cliffs alone until 1973 when it too, the last of the Cornish choughs, was seen no more.
For the next 28 years, choughs remained absent from Cornwall. But early in the spring of 2001, a group of three wild choughs took up residence on the Lizard and in 2002, two of the birds raised young, the first in Cornwall in more than 50 years! Happily, thanks to this pioneering duo, there are now 7 breeding pairs, and it is estimated that over 70 youngsters have fledged from Cornish nests.
In the autumn and winter months, flocks can be found performing fantastic acrobatic diving and swooping displays on the Lizard. Favourite chough nesting sites include sea caves, cliff crevices, old buildings, quarries and mine shafts – where they’re safely tucked away from the worst of the Cornish weather. So if you’re taking a stroll around the Lizard peninsula be sure to keep an eye out for the cheeky Cornish bird. If you are lucky enough to spot a chough or two you can report your sightings to the RSPB who are working to help protect them. To report your chough sightings, email email@example.com or call 01392 453775.
If you’d like to find out more about Cornwall’s favourite bird this website knows all there is to know about Cornish choughs http://www.cornishchoughs.org/choughs/
These beautiful watercolour choughs were painted by our in-house Seasalt Artist, Matt Johnson.
Heading back to work tomorrow? No one enjoys going back to the office after a fun-filled holiday, so to put a smile back on your face, we’ve made a list of our favourite activities for you to enjoy on the last day of the Christmas break.
- Treat yourself – chomp your way through the last remaining biscuits, chocolates and mince pies(after all the post-Christmas healthy eating can’t start while there’s still goodies in the cupboard)
- Grab your wellies – rather than spend your last day of freedom slouched on the sofa in front of the TV, brave the great outdoors and head to the woods, park or beach for a revitalising walk.
- Go sale shopping – there are still some amazing bargains to be had, so wrap up warm and hit the high-street.
- Cook – dust off those recipe books and make something delicious for tomorrow’s lunch. By packing yourself something scrummy you’ll have something to look forward to all morning.
- Get into gardening – whether you live in the city or countryside, it’s easy to get into gardening. Pop to your local garden centre, pick up some soil and a pretty pot, plant some seeds and wait for them to bloom.
- Craft – you could paint a mug with your favourite design to take to work, use fabrics to make a designer cover for your 2015 diary or customise a top to give it a revamp for the New Year!
Whatever you decide to do today, enjoy it!
Maritime life plays a huge part in who we are. We take our inspiration from the sea, from seaside towns and people who spend their lives on the coast. We can even see the sea from our Design Studio.
|Being based in Falmouth means we are heavily influenced by the boats in around the Fal. For hundreds of years Cornish families have made their living dredging oysters in the Fal, with many of the traditional boats being made here in Falmouth.|
Throughout the summer months many of the working boats can be seen racing through the waters, taking part in regattas around Cornwall and the rest of the country. It really is a spectacular sight to see the boats racing in full sail. Read the rest of this entry »
“Remember, remember, the 5th of November; gunpowder, treason and plot; I see no reason why gunpowder, treason; should ever be forgot.”
Bonfire Night was originally celebrated as a commemoration for foiling the grizzly plot to blow up King James I of England and other Parliament Members. Guy Fawkes, along with several others, had devised a plot to blow up the King and the Members of Parliament by setting light to gunpowder hidden beneath the Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »