Cornwall

Domesday Reloaded - 25 years on

In 1986 the BBC launched an ambitious project to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK for future generations.

A million volunteers took part, including people throughout Cornwall.

Now a quarter of a century later you can look at the world of the mid 1980's through the eyes of Cornish children and families from that decade.

The BBC has launched the new Domesday Reloaded website which has lots of memories from 25 years ago.

It provides a fascinating insight into Cornwall in the recent past, provided by youngsters living in the county at the time.

In 1986 schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community.

This was about documenting everyday life - the ordinary rather than the extraordinary.

Writing about the Glynn Valley near Liskeard in south east Cornwall, the 1st Dobwalls Scouts said:

"The Glynn Valley is a ribbon of woodland that gives pleasure to the travellers, russet hues of autumn leaves, tinted sunlight in summer and woodland daffodils and blue bells.

"A public house and an out-of-town shopping centre are the only public establishments in the valley."

Image caption This picture of a Cob House near Tresillian was submitted in 1986

One youngster from Tresillian near Truro wrote about a typical school day in 1986:

"I get up at 7.15, dress and go downstairs for my breakfast. I have Fruit and Fibre.

"Then I get my bag, call for my friend and walk to the end of the lane to catch the bus at 8.00.

"We arrive at school between 25 to 9 and a quarter to 9.

"Our first lesson starts at 9.25, but on Wednesday and Thursday we have assembly from 9.00 until 9.20. We leave school at 3.35.

"At night I do my homework - worst luck! Then I have my tea (pizza with luck).

"In the evening I usually watch television or play games or play on the computer."

Writing about a school trip to a Cornish farm one child wrote:

"Some of the class and I went and visited Trerice near Newlyn East.

"The farm is owned by Mr Burt who got it because Trerice Manor had a lot of land which was sold because of financial problems.

"Most was sold to demobbed soldiers, so Mr Burt's father bought it off a soldier and Mr Burt inherited it.

The children of 1986 also chose to write about the villages they lived in. One child from St Dennis in mid Cornwall wrote:

"St Dennis Village and parish area are on the edge of a china clay area in mid Cornwall, on a hillside facing NW. St Dennis is a large village of 2,000 inhabitants with three Methodist chapels and an Anglican church which is 1000 ft (304m) above sea level.

"Besides the village, there are two hamlets; Enniscaven and Trerice. Most men work in china clay production."

In 1986 school girl Sarah Pye wrote about a surprise day out:

"I live in Summercourt and go to Ladock School.

"I live with my dad, Grandma and my 2 sisters.

"On my sister, Karen's birthday, for a birthday treat we were going ice skating but she didn't know.

"When I woke up, I ran to the lounge and put her present on the T.V.

"I went into the bathroom, had a wash and put on my best jeans and a blue T-shirt.

"Nicola, my other sister, took her roller skates, because she thought we were going roller skating. When we got to the ice skating rink we had great fun.

"We ate tea and Karen's birthday cake. I watched T.V till 10pm then we all went to bed."

Transport in 1986 was also written about:

At Ladock there are two different kinds of coaches, Harris Coaches and Cornwall Busways. Cornwall Busways link Ladock with the East and West of the county.

"They go through at the same time each day 10.00am and 2.15pm. Harris coaches go through Ladock to Truro from Summercourt four times on Wednesdays and Saturdays and twice on other days.

Image caption Back in 1986, resident Mr Best took this picture of Automobilia in St Stephen. The museum is no longer open in the village

"Children pay 25p and adults pay 45p for a single fare."

Popular sport in the village of St Stephen near St Austell was written about too in the 1986 project:

"Cornish wrestling has always been in the area. The object is to get your opponent onto the floor. Wrestlers wear sacking tops & shorts.

"An annual competition is held in St Stephen with competitors from all over Cornwall.

"A record of the winners is on view at the "Queen's Arms'" public house in the village.

"Bowling is particularly popular among the older villagers.

"The club has been going since 1929 and there is keen competition with other village clubs.

"Successful players win their Cornwall badge and get to play for the county."

Revisiting 1986

On Monday 16 May, BBC Radio Cornwall will go back in time featuring music and news from 1986.

Listeners will also be invited to share their memories and photos from 25 years ago.

Got a photo and memories of Cornwall in 1986? Visit the Domesday Reloaded to find out how you can get involved.

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