Thursday, August 16, 2007



Memories were jogged as Portreath turned back the clock to mark its industrial heritage.Villagers searched their homes and dusted off hundreds of pictures and artefacts from a bygone age as part of a celebration of the mineral tramways dotted around former mining communities.
The memorabilia was displayed at Millennium Hall, Portreath, during a special three-day exhibition that ended on Sunday.
While several of the old photographs evoked an era when the harbour was packed with sailing ships, one conjured up memories of a familiar sight during the late mining years.
Taken in the 1950s, it captured the Isleman, the last Portreath boat to sail out of the harbour with stocks of tin and copper.
At the weekend, its former captain, Gordon Greenslade, now in his mid-90s, attended the exhibition to remember his time on the Bain-owned vessel.
Groups including King Edward Mine and the Trevithick Society lent various items to the parish council, which ran the display and a festival of other events.
The exhibition also featured 150-year-old canon balls that once formed part of the village's armoury against invaders at its former gun battery.
They were discovered by Robert Hamer after he bought Battery House, the turreted, hill-top property that overlooks Gull Rock out at sea.
Doug Coates, one of the festival's organisers, said one collection of old photographs had certainly got tongues wagging.
Mr Coates said: "Kate Shaw's father, John Martin, had collected pictures of the characters and people of Portreath - and they created a huge amount of interest. Former and present residents of the villages were fascinated."
The appeal for photographic slices of village history first went out 12 months ago, with the final two pictures donated on the opening day of the exhibition.
In the run-up to the event, Portreath staged a series of mining demonstrations and workshops, including two run by West Briton photographer Colin Higgs.
Mr Coates said he and his fellow organisers were delighted to have seen up to 400 visitors at the three-day exhibition. "The village has given us absolutely tremendous cooperation. We now have World Heritage status which is a boost for tourism. This was a fantastic way of getting the story over."


09:00 - 16 August 2007

Portreath's biggest club is throwing its support behind £28 million plans to expand a holiday village.As planners prepare to determine the proposals for Gwel an Mor, surf life-savers said they believed the project would boost fortunes for the holiday village.
The planning application earmarks a dry ski slope, a major new conference facility, a nine-hole golf course, an equestrian centre and more holiday lodges.
Bill Haslam, who owns Gwel an Mor, joked that a few local opponents had described the proposed development as "hell and more" when the master plan was unveiled earlier this year.
Now Portreath Surf Life Saving Club has countered the concerns by formally writing to Kerrier Council in favour of the scheme, with chairman Rob Phillips collecting supporting signatures from the club's 300-plus members.
"We like to think we are as much at the heart of the Portreath community as anybody and we are absolutely convinced that the opponents are a very small number indeed," said Mr Phillips.
"I cannot recall speaking to anyone who is actually against it.
"We have studied this scheme very closely and have had extensive talks with Bill Haslam and we feel certain that it will be a major boost for the area in so many ways.
"The range and quality of the facilities proposed are way beyond whatever we are likely to have proposed for Portreath by anyone else, and I would say 95% of the village is right behind it.
"We are a fast developing club and we are very confident that we can continue to grow in tandem with Gwel an Mor."
Mr Phillips said residents of the holiday village would soon be able to log on to scenes of the beach as part of a web-cam initiative that aims to promote Portreath on the Internet.
Mr Haslam says his development would create up to 120 new jobs and provide a £3 million boost for the local economy.
The first phase of Gwel an Mor, including 28 holiday lodges and club house, opened last year. A further 32 lodges are being built.
In June, Portreath Parish Council supported the latest expansion proposals, subject to various conditions.
At its meeting, a handful of local residents said they believed the planned development would blight the appearance of the village.
Mr Haslam said: "I am hoping for early planning approval so that we can start work on the project by the end of the year and be up and running by 2010. It involves a range of all-year-round facilities that will offer something for everyone - with a tremendous boost to the local community and its economy."
The plans are expected to be considered by Kerrier Council next month.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Retreat for sale!

High levels of interest are expected in a cafe in a sought-after Cornish beachside village.The Retreat Cafe in Portreath occupies a detached property which has been subject to high level investments and improvements throughout the vendor's ownership.

From the front a customer entrance leads into a cafe area offering 34 covers with breathtaking sea views.

An archway leads to a further cafe area for 44 covers, toilet facilities and office space.

To the side of the café is a doorway leading into a recently fitted commercial kitchen.

The cafe also offers a further 32 covers outside and provides a fish and chip take-away service.

Above the business is a two-bedroom flat which has an allocated parking space.

The vendors have owned and operated the business since 2004 and now wish to move back to Australia.

They have run it as a husband and wife team with the assistance of 25 casual part-time staff.

The business is seasonal, operating from March to November Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm and Saturday to Sundays 8.30am to 7pm, with increased opening hours during the summer peak season.

There is a premises license in place which entitles the owners to serve alcohol from noon to midnight, seven days a week.

The business is held on a 999-year lease providing a peppercorn rent to the freeholder. We are advised that the current net turnover is in order of £190,000 with a gross profit of 61 per cent.

The ground floor lock-up is being offered on a 999-year lease with a peppercorn rent for £425,000 or the freehold at £655,000.

Michael Fredriksson, head of retail department at Peninsula Commercial, said: "We expect high levels of interest, particularly from someone who is looking for a seasonal business in a stunning location."

For further details contact Peninsula Commercial on 01392 848484 or visit