I have just read your wonderful article of Beatrix Potter visiting Cornwall.

This time last year my sisters and I visited St Mawes from Australia.

Two years, previously we had made contact with Barry West after seeing a photo of him online sitting in front of a headstone of my great aunt and her brother that had been killed on the Somme.

Falmouth Packet: The photo of Beatrix Potter and Barry West with his granddaughter in the same locationThe photo of Beatrix Potter and Barry West with his granddaughter in the same location (Image: Barry West)

We wondered why the headstone was there in Place churchyard, as they had been born and lived in New Zealand.

As it turned out my great grandfather returned often to his birthplace, Bohurrow Farm, Bohortha.

And on one visit in 1908 Louisa, his daughter had died here from tuberculosis after caring for her mother, who had died the previous year from TB in New Zealand.

Barry met us at The Ship and Castle, St Mawes and spent two days ( Coronation weekend) showing us around and giving us a fantastic time of learning about our roots. He was certainly passionate about an unsolved story of Cornish connections.

He had brought up where Beatrix Potter had met a Miss Emmett, and suggested, could she be related to us.

We reconstructed the ringing of the bell in Place Church, that Beatrix did on Miss Emmett's instruction. (We didn't actually ring it) I have recently since found that the Miss Emmett was indeed related to us, being my great grandfather's cousin, Amelia Emmett, School Mistress, Bohortha.

It's lovely to hear of Beatrix Potter's admiration of the area that my ancestors lived and worked on.

We, too, found it to be a place where we felt at home. The ferry rides were lovely to St Anthony by small boat approaching the manor by the rustic pier, as well as a return day trip to Falmouth.


Deborah Kelly