“If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentleman go by”.
~ Rudyard Kipling A Smuggler’s Song
A week or so ago Mark and I were invited to stay a few days with friends who had rented a house in Polperro in Cornwall. Polperro is a harbour town in the far south west of England. It is a tourist trap in the Summer, full of holiday makers and unfortunately many of the houses and cottages are holiday homes, very few locals live by the water a sign of the times in this part of the world where unemployment is high and very seasonal.
Polperro has a long history – it dates back to the 13th century and certainly smuggling took place in the 18th century when duty on many goods were increased due to war with Britain’s neighbours.
In 1798 a Polperro boat called the Lottery was involved in an incident in which a Customs Officer was killed. One of the crew, Tom Potter, was later tried for murder at the Old Bailey and executed. As a result, the smuggling trade that had once thrived in Polperro began to diminish as Revenue officials determined to put a stop to it.
The houses are tightly packed and visitors are no longer permitted to take cars into the village and have to leave them in the main car park to the north of the village and walk the half mile length of the village to the harbour. I can speak from experience that the streets are so steep and narrow that we had to pull our wing mirrors in to drive down to the house.
Commercial fishing still takes place with twelve boats regularly operating looking to catch scallops, crabs and so on.
I had great fun walking along the harbour to get some shots of a working harbour.
The noise from the gulls was deafening !
From the house we could look down on the harbour – a very privileged position.
Of course there was plenty of this when the weather wasn’t good !
It was a photographer’s dream. I loved it there and next time maybe we will stay somewhere else – I would love St.Ives…
Joining up with Helen on her Weekend Walk.