Sainsbury’s and Local Buses

Taking up a suggestion from a friend, I have written to Mr Steve Moine, manager of the new Sainsbury’s store opening soon on the site of the former heliport just outside Penzance, inviting him to consider whether his company could sponsor one or more of the eight local bus services that are to be axed by operator Western Greyhound from November.

Western Greyhound bus 914 (reg. PL06 TFX), a 2006 Optare Solo M920 midibus, in St Ives Bus Station.

By Graham Richardson (Flickr: Western Greyhound 914 PL06TFX) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The bus routes serve small, isolated communities around Penzance, and the cessation of the services, resulting from Cornwall Council budget cuts, will have a severe impact on residents who do not have a car.

Local opinion has been sharply divided on the decision to allow Sainsbury’s to build a large store on a site near two existing supermarkets. If they took up this suggestion they might win over some of their detractors and gain some custom as well as performing a valuable service to the community.

South West Coast Path, Part Seven

This was to be the final leg of the route along the south coast of Cornwall, from Polruan to Cremyll.

Getting to Polruan involved a journey by train and bus to Fowey, then a ferry crossing of the River Fowey.

Fowey from Polruan

Looking over the housetops of Polruan across the River Fowey to Fowey

Although this coast has little of the rugged grandeur of the north Cornwall cliffs, the walk from Polruan to Polperro was quite punishing on the legs, with steep descents and ascents into and out of a succession of coves,

Pencarrow Head and Gribbin Head

Pencarrow Head and Gribbin Head

before arriving at Polperro.

PolperroBetween Polperro and Looe seaward views are dominated by St George’s (or Looe) Island.

Looe Bay and St George's IslandNow a nature reserve, the island was bought by two sisters in the mid 1960s and inhabited by them until their death.

Looe, with teeming beach complete with bouncy castle, was in stark contrast to the peaceful solitude of the preceding stretch of coast.

Entrance to Looe harbourOn a hot and hazy day I made my way from Looe towards Rame Head, skirting sections of the coast path still closed after the winter’s landslips. St George’s Island was still visible

Looe Baywhen looking back around the sweep of Looe Bay, while Rame Head loomed out of the haze at the end of Whitsand Bay.

Whitsand BayThe following day I returned to complete my trek along the south Cornwall coast.

Starting near Rame Head,

Rame HeadI soon reached Penlee Point,

View across Plymouth Sound from Penlee Point

View across Plymouth Sound from Penlee Point

which guards the entrance to Plymouth Sound.

After passing the adjoining villages of Cawsand and Kingsand I was on the home stretch through Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, before arriving at Cremyll and the ferry

Ferry arriving at Cremyllto Plymouth and the train home.




South West Coast Path, Part Six

I walked this stretch between October and December: fewer sunny days and the sun low in the sky, so the photographs may not be too good, but that is an excuse to come back in the summer.

It was quite a trek on the bus to Padstow on one of the first cold days of the autumn. I set off along the bank of the River Camel (no connection with humped animals; the Cornish name Dowr Camel means crooked river).

Rounding Stepper Point, I picked up the full force of the icy wind and Trevose Head came into view.

It was not until the following week that I reached Trevose Head. On a clearer day I would have been able to see Hartland Point (40 miles) in one direction and Pendeen Watch (35 miles) in the other.

Just beyond the head is Round Hole, a collapsed sea cave (I passed another last week near Trevone).

Nearing Porthcothan, the coastal scenery became more and more impressive.

Minnows Islands

Beyond Porthcothan at Bedruthan Steps the rocky scenery was again magnificent.

According to Wikipedia, ‘The name Bedruthan Steps is said to be taken from a mythological giant called ‘Bedruthan’ who used the rocks (stacks) on the beach as stepping stones, and seems to be a late nineteenth century invention for Victorian tourists.’

Beyond Watergate Bay I had to pass through the town of Newquay before reaching the relative peace of Towan Head.

A diversion inland to cross the River Gannel brought me to Crantock Beach

and the final stage of my walk from Padstow to Perranporth.

Beyond Holywell Bay the path skirted Penhale Camp with its ominous warning signs.

It was a relief to get past all that non-ionising radiation without getting fried and descend to Perran (or Penhale) Sands below the most extensive system of sand dunes in Cornwall

before hurrying into Perranporth for the bus home.

South West Coast Path, Part Five

I began the 43-mile section of the path from Place to Fowey on a glorious July day with my friend Duncan Pratt.

Opposite St Mawes looking towards Amsterdam Point

Opposite St Mawes looking towards Amsterdam Point

We walked around the St Anthony peninsula, passing Place House and St Anthony Head and lighthouse.

St Anthony Head

A few weeks later I continued alone past this delightful cottage

Cottage at Portscatho

at Portscatho and on to Nare Head and Portloe,


where I just managed to catch my bus and avoid a two-hour wait for the next one.

It was late September before I was able to get to the next stage from Portloe to Gorran Haven. Perhaps the most significant geographical feature of this section is Dodman Point,the highest headland on the south Cornish coast. The National Trust says,

Adding to the drama of Dodman Point is a large, granite cross erected in 1896 by Rev. G Martin as a navigational aid for seafarers. Visible from several miles away, it still helps sailors find their way along this stunning stretch of coastline.

Cross on Dodman Point

Perhaps Mr Martin had a further reason for erecting the cross. The base bears this inscription:

Inscription on cross on Dodman Point

The following Saturday I had a seven-mile tramp from where the bus dropped me at Bessybeneath to the start of the walk at Gorran Haven, so by the time I reached Mevagissey

Mevagissey outer harbour

I was flagging somewhat. Fortified by a Marmite sandwich, I pressed on along the slippery, muddy path and reached Pentewan in time for the first of three buses that would get me home.

My next walk was accompanied by the constant sound of a naval exercise in St Austell Bay

Ships in St Austell Bay

that seemed to involve multiple assaults by landing craft at Carlyon Bay. At the end of this stage at Charlestown were some ships of an earlier era.

'Square Sail' ship at Charlestown

After completing the short walk from Charlestown to Par I embarked on the final stage of this section of the South West Coast Path to Fowey. After recent rain the path was by now extremely muddy, but the beautiful scenery

Polruan and the entrance to Fowey harbour

Polruan and the entrance to Fowey harbour

provided ample compensation.