Ambushed in a Cornish village

Four Lanes is a village on the higher land south of Redruth, straddling the road to Helston. As people rush through it on their way to school, work or shops they probably give little thought to the place, a rather nondescript and uninspiring ribbon development. Their main preoccupation will be to find their elusive brake pedals to avoid the cars parked along the main road.

You might have been less blasé back in 1868. On Tuesday October 27th in that year a letter was posted to the West Briton newspaper from Four Lanes. It reported on dangerous doings in the village.

Four Lanes around 1900

‘On any person passing by, a party of uncultivated, uncivilised people will sally forth from their favourite place of resort, the public house, and detain him until he has given them money, or carry him off to their den to pay for their beer … I suggest that a missionary should be sent among these uncivilised people.’

Don’t try this now or you’ll get mown down by the relentless traffic.

One thought on “Ambushed in a Cornish village

  1. How interesting that a call to missionaries rather than law enforcement is made. That speaks to a belief in the reforming zeal of Methodism. My great-grandparents were Primitive Methodists, with my great grandmother Effie being particularly ardent. My great grandfather Thomas Wolstenholme (father to Kenneth of “They think it’s all over” football commentator fame) used to hold what he presumably hoped were inspiring talks about the benefits of teetotalism in Manchester at working men’s clubs. His daughter was called Edna (my gran) and when she became engaged to my grandfather (Reg Farnworth) Thomas enthusiastically roped in Reg to provide rousing cheers from the back of the room at certain key points!!!

    Incidentally those are damn fine houses and a very neat and clean road, too (swept for the photographer?). It is a shame that so many villages in Cornwall swoosh by in the rear mirror of the hasty driver.


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