The Wheal Alice engine house pictured above is in the parish of Lelant (or, according to some sources, the parish of Ludgvan – I suspect that may be historical rather than contemporary usage, but I’m not a churchgoer), not far from St. Ives, and very close to where I’ve lived since 2016. The engine house is commonly referred to as Wheal Sisters, and according to a book I saw recently, is also known locally as Fox’s Whim, though I’ve never heard that name locally or elsewhere. (Sorry, I don’t seem to have made a note of the book’s title or author.)

Wheal in Cornish means a place of work, though it’s most often encountered as a name for a mine. Unsurprisingly. ‘Where there’s a mine or a hole in the ground…’ (Cousin Jack – a song about the Cornish diaspora – by Steve Knightley for Show of Hands. A great song, but probably not one I’d feel comfortable singing as one of ‘the English [who] live in our houses’.)

This blog site came about in part because for a while now I’ve been running a blog-y version of Fliss Burke’s Sabrinaflu web site, “promoting folk music, song and dance, especially but not exclusively along the course of the river Severn (hence Sabrinaflu – Sabrina Flumen).” When my wife and I started spending much of our time in Cornwall, I naturally started to look for musical events down here. And Cornwall isn’t that far from the Bristol Channel. I’m afraid I’ve mostly stepped back from the Sabrinaflu site now: partly because I spend very little time in Shropshire now.

Here’s more about me, in case anyone cares.

David Harley

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