Tourists caught in rip-tide ordeal

By Stephen Ivall

TWO holidaymakers had to be rescued from the sea off Maenporth on Sunday after a ferocious rip current took them 200 yards off shore and way out of their depth.

It was the worst rip current seen by members of the Falmouth Surf Life Saving Club this summer and there could be more to come as the shape of the beach continues to change.

At the same time, as more and more people take to the beaches at the peak oft he summer and the popularity in surf sports continues to grow, they are advised to take extra care.

Sunday's incident happened in a flash. The two people were caught close to shore and in two minutes were way off out of their depth. Only the alertness of the volunteer life-savers on the beach prevented a serious incident.

Giant lettuce 'could feed family of 12'

A GIANT iceberg might have been a hazard on the wartime convoys to Russia, but now one has surprised a local naval veteran in his own garden.

Mr William Richards, 81, of Penryn, has no explanation for the 6lb monster lettuce which has taken over his vegetable patch. "It's ordinary seed and I have not been using any special feed," he said.

"Several years ago I did grow a two-and-a-half pound carrot, but that was nothing special. I'm looking for a family of about 12 to eat this lettuce because it will be rotten before we finish it."

In the past Mr Richards has won prizes for his flowers at the local RAOB show and a few years ago his superb garden with its goldfish pond and terrace won a prize. He and his wife Merlyn live in Trewarton Road. "There was just a bare field here when we moved in in 1956," he explained.

A journey from blacksmith to greenfingers is one description of Mr Richards' life. As a naval blacksmith on battleships Valiant and Vanguard he saw action at the battles of Oran and Matapan as well as the northern convoys. His job was to repair bomb and shell damage and he has vivid memories of the Stuka dive-bombers in the early days of the war.

After leaving the Navy in 1952, Mr Richards worked as a toolsmith at Falmouth Docks until retirement. Both he and his wife are Falmouth-born and bred. Mr Richards believes in the division of labour. "I'm not allowed to do any gardening," laughed his wife.

"This lettuce must just be a fluke," was Mr Richards considered verdict.

Mabe applies pressure

CORNWALL County Highways is coming under increasing pressure to sort out traffic problems in the sleepy village of Mabe once and for all. A six-month experimental "chicane parking" scheme for Antron Hill, put forward by the Highways Department and accepted by Kerrier Council two weeks ago, hopes to reduce the number of motorists using the village as a short cut off the new Penryn by-pass.

But angry residents attending a Mabe Parish Council meeting last Thursday say the proposed scheme just simply is not enough.

A village meeting has now been scheduled for July 28 to find out exactly what plans residents want introduced and a public meeting, which representatives of Cornwall Highways will be asked to attend, will be called after that.

Over 40 Mabe villagers, incensed by the Highways proposal to just paint yellow chicanes on the main village road, packed out the parish hall to join forces with their local councillors. Keith Bryant, chairman of the council, said in the three years he had attended meetings he had never seen so many people and despite public participation scheduled for 45 minutes feelings ran so high this was almost doubled.

Councillor Bryant said the parish had been trying for several years to get adequate traffic calming measures introduced but to no avail. These included road humps, which County Highways have turned down because, they say, they are unsafe, and alternatives such as a roundabout or stop signs, have also been vetoed.