The Minack Coast

Felicity Evans visits the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno, in the far west of Cornwall. Built into the rocky cliffs overlooking the sea, the theatre was planned, built and financed by one determined woman - Rowena Cade. Local storyteller Mark Harandon has researched and re-created the character of Billy Rawlings, Cade's gardener, who worked for her for 40 years and helped to build the theatre. Mark, as Billy, leads Felicity around the theatre telling stories collected from the family and people who knew him, and reminiscing about how the theatre was built.

Felicity explores the coast further, visiting the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, an area which was the hub of international cable communications from 1870-1970. In WWII secret tunnels were dug by Cornish miners to house an underground building and the entire telegraph operations. These bomb proof/gas proof tunnels provided 14 secure cables out of the UK to its allies.

Going east along the coast path from Porthcurno, near the village of Treen, stands The Logan Rock, a massive boulder perched on the edge of a cliff, and locally known as a rocking stone. Felicity hears how legend has it that it could be rocked with one finger, until it was rocked so much by a rowdy group of naval seamen 1824, that it was dislodged from its perch. This apparently upset local residents for whom the rock was a tourist attraction and source of income, who complained so much that the seamen were forced to restore it - at some effort!

Producer: Beatrice Fenton.

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25 minutes

Last on

Sat 18 May 2013 06:07