Cornwall

Domesday Reloaded in Cornwall

Lydia, Joanne and Emily return to their old school
Image caption Lydia Thomas, Joanne Jackson and Emily Roberts contributed to the BBC project as children in 1986

The BBC's Domesday project was written mainly by schoolchildren throughout 1985 and 1986.

It reflects what they thought was important and how things have changed. Traffic congestion was a common theme.

In Wadebridge, one contributer wrote: "Every summer there are queues of traffic waiting to get into town. It can take more than an hour to travel less than a mile."

The Wadebridge bypass finally opened in 1991.

Another entry shows it was a similar story in Saltash: "Due to the increased traffic congestion in Saltash, local authorities have proposed building a road tunnel under Saltash, linking the Tamar Bridge with the main A38 just west of Saltash."

The Saltash tunnel opened the following year.

One of the main news stories of that era was a tragedy at Lands End. This is what one of the children at Sennen primary school had to say about it in the Domesday Project:

Image caption Youngsters from Sennen School wrote about a tragedy that happened in 1986

"The body of a child found at highwater mark at Sennen Cove on Saturday is almost certainly that of one of the schoolboys from Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, who was swept off rocks at Land's End in early May."

Nearly all of the children at Sennen primary school in 1985 and '86 contributed to the Domesday project - and three of them, Joanne Jackson, Lydia Thomas and Emily Roberts still live in the area. Joanne remembers the Lands End tragedy:

"I think we all remember the schoolboys drowning, actually, because it was an awful tragedy at the time. I think what I remember most about afterwards was the parents of the boys fundraising for the new lifeboat down in Sennen Cove."

Lydia Thomas said the tragedy found its way into the Domesday record because it had such far-reaching consequences.

"It made our parents much more cautious, I think. It was obviously a very big story at the time, and I think it just made everyone very wary about school trips, and it being so close was obviously very upsetting for the children, because we were all about the same age at the time."

The school friends had no idea how their lives would unfold over the next 25 years. "We were only ten at the time, and you can't really see that far into the future," said Lydia.

"We've all gone along the same lines I think - married with children, all local again, having moved away and come back, and my daughter's at the school now."

Emily Roberts said: "It's the same for me. I moved away for probably about 10 years and then came back - just needed to be back in Cornwall."

The original Domesday project was commissioned by William the conqueror in 1086. His scribes at least had to wait until their ink was dry before their work could be considered history.

Today's multi-media digital technology means the Domesday of the 21st century can be constantly updated - a living, social history of almost everything we do.

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

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