News March 2016

What little news there is, is all good – apart from the wet stuff falling relentlessly from our skies. But lighter mornings and evenings are a great joy, as are the marvellously sunny days we are currently enjoying. Sunday services continue to be well-attended, as was the last soup lunch – an all-time record with 31 of us there! Do come and join us for the last one on Monday 7th March. (By then we’ll have celebrated the first of the new-look Veryan markets on the morning of Saturday 5th, and St Piran’s evening on the 6th – always a treat, especially on Mothering Sunday! A reminder about the Women’s World Day of Prayer to be held here in Portloe on Friday 4th March at 2 pm. This year the service has been prepared by women in Cuba. Looking to Easter, apart from the church services listed, there is as usual the wonderful Sunrise Service on the beach at Pendower at 6.30 am on Easter Day. Also as usual Annie and Trounce are planning to follow the service with a feast of loaves and fishes. Come and join the celebration!


News February 2016

Christmas seems such a long time ago, doesn’t it? Suffice it to say that our ‘Celebration’ went wondrously well and the collection raised £220 for St Petroc’s. Midnight Worship was a truly memorable service, again with the Revd Aubin de Gruchy. It was good to send £100 to Children’s Hospice South West. Bishop Tim enjoyed the ‘wonderful calendar which I can assure you will find a good place at Lis Escop’. He also added his thanks to the community for all that it is doing and continues to do. The amount raised from the sale of calendars has now reached its target of £7,000 for Mind – isn’t that splendid! After Christmas and New year indulgences a bowl of home-made soup was obviously just the ticket, there being a full house for the January soup lunch. It was good to get together again, and we’ll hope to see you on Monday 1 February, 12.30ish.


The Hera

On the night of the 31 January-1 February 1914, the “Hera” was wrecked on the outer stones of Gull Rock just off Nare Head in Veryan Parish.
Only five of the crew of 24 survived. Fifteen bodies were eventually recovered and are buried in the churchyard of St Symphorian’s Church, Veryan. The Captain, whose body was sent back to Germany for burial, and the three men whose bodies were never found are commemorated on the memorial stone that marks what is reputed to be the longest marked grave in the country.
Hera at sea

Originally the Richard Wagner, the 1994 ton Hera was owned by Rhederei Aktien of Hamburg. On that February night the Hera was 91 days out of Pisaqua loaded with Chilien nitrates, and closing the Lizard. The weather was rough with a gale blowing, and Captain Lorentz was unsure as to his exact position. He thought to sail slowly into Falmouth bay and pick up the flash of either St. Anthony’s light or the Lizard. As dusk fell the weather steadily worsened and as the hours passed they still saw no shore lights. At about midnight the second mate reported land ahead. Captain Lorentz ordered the Hera put about, but the ship was slow to answer the helm and seconds later the Hera was impaled on Gull Rock.

You can read more about the Hera and the events of the night of 31 January/1 February 1914 by clicking on the link below.

The Hera

The Hera Photos

The Centenary Weekend 1-2 February 2014

On the weekend of 1-2 February 2014 the loss of the Hera and her crew, and also the part played by those involved in the rescue was commemorated in Veryan Church with a Requiem Mass and the re-dedication of the grave. On Saturday 1st February there was an exhibition of artefacts, photos and reports which was opened by Bishop Chris Goldsmith (Bishop of St Germans) & Revd Steven Wild (Chairman of Cornwall Methodist District).  One of the most amazing events in that memorable ’Hera’ weekend was the visit by Mrs Kathleen Benney (neé Frost) who was the baby in her mother’s arms in the photograph taken in 1914 at the graveside. Mrs Benney came to see the display in the church and was photographed, appropriately, beside her own infant image. That evening there was an evening of song and story to commemorate and remember, with Du Hag Owr, Philleigh Shout, Trounce Guy and Charles Fox.

The Requiem Mass took place on Sunday 2 February at 11 am with Revd Jon Robertshaw preaching and the re-dedication of the memorials by Canon Doug, Ven Roger Bush (Dean of Truro Cathedral) and Revd Mark Dunn-Wilson took place at 3 pm that afternoon with the German Honorary Consul (Plymouth) Mrs Angela Spatz in attendance.

Photos of the weekend can be seen here: Hera Commemoration Weekend 2014

The Wreck Today

In 1959, a group of divers explored the wreck having been taken to the site in the fishing boat of Les Johns and William Arthur Blamey. Among the items recovered were some of the ship’s portholes. A group of divers from the sub-aqua club of RAF St Mawgan began to investigate the wreck in 1970. After many dives they located the wreck and brought up a number of artefacts including links of chain, pulley blocks and lumps of coal stamped with a crown and “Cardiff”. some of these items, along with photographs, were presented to the then landlord of the “New Inn” Veryan for permanent display in the bar. Since the early dives, the wreck has been visited several times with more artifacts recovered.

Today the Hera lies well broken up and scattered on a rock and sandy bottom in about fifty feet of water. It is a very pretty dive with most of the metal spars and plating covered in beautiful plumose anemones. There is plenty here to see and lots of fish life especially large Pollack and a rather large orange coloured starfish.
On 16 March 2014 a commemorative plaque was placed on the wreck.

Visiting Us

Portloe Map

Visitor Information
Our Church can be found in the centre of the village and is normally open during the day. There is a car park at the east end of the village.

Within the village is a hotel and a pub.

lugger hotel

The Lugger Hotel

ship innThe Ship Inn

The Lugger, Portloe

Looking down towards the harbour.

The coastal village of Portloe must surely be one of the prettiest in Cornwall. It is situated on the Roseland Peninsula roughly midway between St. Mawes and Mevagissey. Derived from the Cornish Porth Logh meaning cove pool, the village’s naturally sheltered position meant it was a busy pilchard fishing port in the 17th and 18th centuries – crabs and lobster are now the main catches of the day.

It lies at the seaward end of a steep sided valley, its seclusion halting too much over- commercialisation. Like many other coves in Cornwall, Portloe has been home to its fair share of smugglers and free-traders over the years, especially where brandy is concerned.

The village has been a popular film location over the years. In 1935 Portloe doubled as the Mediterranean in “Forever England” starring Sir John Mills. Disney filmed parts of “Treasure Island” here in 1949 and in 1991 Channel 4’s “The Camomile Lawn” was filmed in the village and at nearby Broom Parc House. More recently, the village was the location for the BBC comedy series Wild West, which starred Dawn French and Catherine Tate. Portloe was also the location where Irish Jam was filmed, starring Eddie Griffin. In 2013 Sir Tony Robinson visited the village as part of his “Walking Through History” series for Channel Four.

The picturesque coves of West and East Portholland, with Caerhays Castle and Porthluney beach are only a ten minute drive to the east.

To the west lies the villages of Veryan, Gerrans, Portscatho, St Just in Roseland and St Mawes

Who’s Who

Priest in Charge

Church Stewards
Mr Trounce Guy
Pengelly Farm
West Portholland
[01872 501471]

Hon. Secretary
Mrs Jeanne Hitchings
End Cottage, Portloe
[01872 501114]

Hon. Treasurer
Mrs Joyce Gilbert
Pendower Road
[01872 501365]

January 2016 News

For this year’s annual get together of Veryan and Ruan’s PCCs and their other halves, Fr Doug hit upon the idea of a pre-Christmas supper to coincide with Bishop Tim’s second visit within a week to our benefice. Portloe church was the venue and Fr Doug prepared and cooked a truly wondrous feast. The icing on the cake, so to speak, was a yarn from Trounce about vicars – featuring you-know-who. It was a great evening, appreciated and enjoyed by everyone, especially it seemed Bishop Tim. Too late, we realised that we hadn’t shown him the Portloe calendar, so I’ve sent him a copy. That should enliven his mail no end! On the soup lunch front, it’s business as usual at the very first opportunity in 2016 – Monday 4 January, to be precise. We’ll look forward to seeing you here, 12,30-ish.


About Us

Our charming little building was originally a lifeboat house, built in 1870 for £169
The thirty-three foot ten-oared lifeboat cost £500 and was paid for by a legacy to the RNLI by Jacob Gorfenkle, a Liverpool businessman. Unfortunately, the crew had great difficulty in getting the vessel out of its house for launching. Once, on a practice run, the carriage breaking failed and the launch crew was unable to prevent it crashing into a small shop opposite.
A new lifeboat house was built in 1877 just above high-water mark against the cliff opposite what is now the Lugger Hotel. The lfeboat was never launched from there in an emergency and it was withdrawn in 1887.
In 1896 our building was extensively altered and a bell turret were added. It was dedicated as All Saints Mission Church, Portloe, in the parish of Veryan and the Diocese of Truro. The church bell was originally a ship’s bell from the Dundela, a merchantman bound for Hull which was driven on the rocks at Straythe, about a mile westwards along the coast from here, during the Great Blizzard on 9 March 1891.
By the 1990s the congregations of Portloe’s church and chapel were finding it difficult to maintain the fabric of both buildings and to gather more than a handful of people together for regular worship. After much thought and discussion, the Methodist chapel in the village was sold and an agreement was reached between the two congregations for the joint use of the Anglican Church building in an innovative ecumenical partnership. The building would also provide a much needed community centre for the village. On 17 May 1992, the building began its new life.
Following the closure of their own places of worship, the congregations of the Methodist chapels at Trewartha, Portholland and Ruan have since joined us and there is quiet confidence and optimism for the future of Portloe United Church and its place in the village community.
The re-ordering of the church has made it extremely flexible and it is very much the centre of this small community. During the summer cream teas are provided (from 2.30pm-ish) every Tuesday. In the Winter, a “Soup Lunch” takes place on the first Monday of the month.
The church anniversary is celebrated in some style on the 3rd Sunday in May with a Blessing of the Sea service on the following Monday evening at 7pm culminating in an anniversary supper with entertainments.