SNSBI 2009 Falmouth meeting (Greenbank Hotel, 27–30 March)

This meeting was organized by Oliver Padel. There is a report in Nomina 32, 157–159.

Friday 27 March

Saturday 28 March

Sunday 29 March


The Greenbank Hotel View from the window
The Greenbank Hotel View from the window of the lecture room
The lecture room
The lecture room
The boat at the quay On the boat
The boat at the quay On the boat
Looking across Falmouth harbour Padel giving his commentary
Looking across Falmouth harbour Oliver Padel giving his commentary
St Just Trelissick
St Just on the east bank of the river Trelissick house on the west bank of the river
King Harry Ferry Malpas
King Harry Ferry leaving west bank - Ships moored in river for storage Approaching Malpas. At the state of the tide, we could go no further
river by Malpas Malpas
looking up the east branch of the river towards Tresillian Oliver Padel tells us about Malpas
east bank of river St Mawes Castle
House on the the east bank of the river, just above the ferry St. Mawes Castle
Restaurant St Mawes
Inside the restaurant Re-embarking at St. Mawes


Fine Fishy Ferlies at Falmouth.
by Peter Kitson

Tune: Song of the Western Men.

When namers came to Falmouth Town,
Their exploits to pursue,
Their weather eyes were much perplexed:
It rained while sun gleamed through.
White yard-high letters marked the strand
Where their sojourn should be,
As if to call as guests to land
Corsairs from Barbary.
The landscape took historic hues,
Much green, some herring-red;
Young women tended transhumed ewes
In a one-person shed.

Two tradesmen to their workshop bench
Upon the morrow came.
The first watch singed the staff of life
With burning beacon-flame;
The second cloaked in teasing terms
Of angled ovals round
Half-buried boroughs' bulwark berets
In streets or parkland found.
Next Quietus Candidinius
Would set our fancies freer
To keep the tale that St. Jerome
Heard Celtic speech in Trier.

Big Brother's Glasgow acolyte
Damned cherry-picking styles,
Then Alabama's Wadhamite
Sought Adamnanic isles.
Swift streams of something not quite nice
Made runic riddles rank,
And England's treasure-givers dinged
Dire foes till down they sank.
With subtle doctrines pro and con
Were largely overset
Commandments graven late in stone
By the prophet Hunnisett.

The Poms in Scots beguiled the eve
With paradoxes rare;
Goscuthbert, Gillemichael's father,
Flourished at Traquhair.
Conciliar resourcefulness
Had stacks of things to teach
Of past and future pinnacles
That ev'n goats could not reach.
And when the Factoids were full-sung
And M had followed A,
The barside night might still be young
But Dogshanks fled away.

If saga heroes earnt their meed
Of praise in next day's rhyme,
It seems they must have done the deed
In saga flexi-time.
Preferring what Reformers call
Popish imaginings,
A killjoy lady would part all
Young women from their springs.
Then striking while the anvil's hot,
Via bush of hero-bands
A cunning West Kilkennite comes
To rest in hometown lands.
The energetic onomasts
Find space to draw their breath
Where Ireland's storied landscape's strewn
With beds of sudden death.
An ancient pair of standing stones
Or monumental heap
Will roving recent chieftains' bones
In part-asylum keep.
So we should honour polymaths
(This side-reflection means
That that is not what this year some
Historian(s) chose at Queen's).

Hying forth all then rejoiced to see,
With heaviest clothing on,
This was the single day of three
That the world-candle shone.
Uphill and down past open opes
They toil and they career
To board a collie-guarded boat
At a three-feathered pier.
To naturalists in half-high seas
Beneath a brisk clear heaven
The Black Rock was an open book
With seals one less than seven.

Thence sail was made up Carrick Roads
With rarities to port:
Autochthonous Trefusis and
Great woods of nasal sort.
They starboard tacked past Turnaware
And bishops' tall domains,
Where oaks bow down to water and
King Harry clanks his chains.
The corsair ships lay two by two
In neat mid-river line,
Discharged long since the rascal crews
To quaff their strengthened wine.

Navigation's limit, Malpas ford,
Yields a ferly to review:
A mad onomast mired to the knees
In the lesser stream of two.
Coasting down along the western bank,
Its topography acquaints
Us with churches by the waterside
Used by millstone-sailing saints.
Last we veer down through the outer zone
To take tea upon the shores
Of that stymier of good English ears,
The singular St. Mawes.

The closing service heard a man
Of minor orders preach
How Georgian mapping dated wrong
The loss of Cornish speech.
In parting converse, hints were caught
Of quests in future time,
How next year we should seek the fort
Of Merlin estuarine.
This year much thanks to Darwin's kin
For bardic memory
Of posthumous achievements of
King Arthur and St. Kea.