A book being written by a Helston historian up until his death, and completed in his memory, has gone on sale today, Wednesday.
Reg Jenkin one of Helston’s keenest minds with a vast knowledge of the town's business history, had been working on the book Helston Remembered with son John, pictured right, for around five years, and had set themselves a deadline of last Christmas to complete it. Sadly Reg did not live to see the book in printed form, but John continued with the project following his father's death.
It features Reg’s intricate, technical drawings of every business in the town during the 1920s and 30s, complete with its history, together with his memories of life growing up in Helston between 1920 and 1934.
They revolve around a self-sufficient Helston, when tailoring, shoe-making, tanning, butchery, grocery and numerous other trades supported the economic life of the town.
Reg recalls bake-houses often leaving their ovens going over the weekend so that people could cook their prepared meals and the placing of bark on the road outside of the house of someone terminally ill in order to reduce noise in the street.
His memories predate in-house toilet facilities, the arrival of plumbed-in running water, the introduction of electricity, radio and telephone, and he recounts the dramatic difference these innovations made on the lives of Helston’s townsfolk.
Speaking back in January, following completion of the book, John said: “It's such a unique record. There's no other town in Cornwall that is the subject of such drawings.”
The book is now available to buy from JJ News in Coinagehall Street and Helston Museum or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The 282 page volume is being sold at £25 and each copy will be numbered as one of a limited edition of 300.
There has already been a great deal of interest, including from an old Helstonian now living in Texas who saw the original Packet article online at thepacket.co.uk.
It is the second book from Reg, who co-authored The Book of Helston with Derek Carter, published in 2000 and reprinted in 2012.
His son John said: “This new posthumously published volume ensures that Reg Jenkin has left a considerable legacy to the town he loved so well.”