Recollections of Roy Jewell

- collected by Frances Richards

Roy grew up in Marazion - his father being the local tailor. He became a police officer in the City of Plymouth force but later retired to Marazion.

Roy wrote:

My father was a tailor and outfitter with a good business. However when the 50 Shilling Tailor and then Burtons opened in Penzance he could not compete. His twelve staff were reduced to two who eventually worked for themselves from home.

The street above Calf's newsagents had several cottages where Egan the Shoemaker lived and had his shop at the top. Below him there were the two Miss Pearce's who sold sweets and biscuits from those large square tins, a few groceries and vinegar from a barrel. I used to like fetching this in a jug and sipping it on the way back. Mother would use the vinegar to marinade pilchards, which were plentiful. Then came two cottages in one of which George Hill lived, he went around lighting the oil street lamps.

Roy Jewell's memory of Marazion

I cannot remember when electricity came along but father had a small acetylene gasometer in the yard at the back of our house which lit the workshop at the back and by means of a pipe across the front also lit the front shop with a brilliant white light. Father had bought the house and the workshop from Colonel Mitchell for 400 pounds in the 1920's.

The chapel organist was Arthur Phillips and one Sunday my father said that he did not recognize the tune Arthur had played as we left the service. Arthur replied that he was not surprised, as he had left the music he intended to play at home, so he played the last hymn backwards instead!! Billy Baker pumped the organ and sometimes fell asleep so Arthur had to go behind to wake him up.

The Town Hall, then always referred to as St. Thomas Hall, was the setting for magic lantern shows and concert parties headed by Tom Reynolds who always played the comedian. I did not see the magic lantern shows because father exhibited placards outside the shop for the Savoy Cinema in Penance and the flea pit or was it the Cinedrome near the entrance to Morrab Gardens. These entitled us to two free passes a week, which were very useful when Winifred and I were courting.

I must mention Jim Mudge who, as far as I know, only had one gainful employment. That was shrimping. The summers always seemed warm then and he would wear a lightweight khaki suit with the legs rolled up and plimsolls. He could find shrimps where we failed and after cooking he would carry them in punnets on a large tray around to his regulars for a few pence a punnet. They were delicious.

A reminiscence project promoted by Marazion and District Forum and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund