Cornwall, with Caroline Quentin (2012) s01e05 Episode Script

Episode 5

Cornwall, an awe-inspiring canvas of natural beauty.
It is the best part of the British Isles.
Absolutely stunning.
I'll stay here for ever.
It's like being on holiday every day, because it doesn't feel real.
But it's the people and communities that really give this county its endearing qualities.
I'm Cornish, not English.
That's the way it goes with me, I'm afraid.
(Laughs) I just love living here so much and it means so much to me.
It's awesome, isn't it? Look at it all.
I'm Caroline Quentin and I'm proud to have family roots in this beautiful part of the British Isles.
This summer I'm heading back to join the throng of tourists and meet the local folk - Welcome to St Michael's Mount.
- Thank you, darling.
I'm so pleased to be here.
I've looked at postcards of this all my life.
as I explore this enchanting county.
It'll take your breath away.
So come with me as I head west on my Cornish adventure.
Tasting wine at half-past nine.
Other people are still commuting or still on the Tube.
Good health.
Cornwall.
A lovely sunny day like today, get out on the water, peace and quiet, beautiful.
Priceless.
There's so much I want you to see.
Come on! Welcome to the Cornish countryside.
This county is peppered with wonderful historic houses.
This is my favourite, Prideaux Place.
Prideaux's lucky enough to have its own herd of deer, who have been wandering this estate since 485AD.
That is a long time, so even the Cornish, who are a bit precious about their roots, couldn't complain about this herd being truly local.
Over the course of this series, I've come to know this county and its people.
But I also know that Cornwall is a place that's steeped in history, too, and I'm going to be exploring some of that history this week.
Coming up, Robert Hocking delves into 10 generations of family history.
There's some interesting characters, the odd pirate or two chucked in there and, I'm sure, several smugglers.
And one tour group gets a surprising welcome from a rather eccentric guide.
Welcome to Prideaux Place.
The most important thing is, please enjoy yourself.
(Laughter) There's something enchanting about watching these deer roam the land here at Prideaux Place.
They seem so unperturbed by our presence.
They're beautiful, aren't they? They're so beautiful.
These are fallow deer, distinctive because of their white mottled markings.
But that's not all that's distinctive about them.
I didn't realise quite how wonderful their faces are.
- Beautiful, they are, they really are.
- They've got eye markings and a beautiful profile.
They're really beautiful, aren't they? I think they're a much more beautiful deer than the red deer.
It's very important because you know the legend is that if the deer die out, so do the Prideaux family.
- You've got to look after them! - In 1926 they got down to six and weren't breeding.
I don't believe the legend, but everyone was worried and even George V sent a buck from Windsor to help - Reinvigorate the - Yeah, the stock.
And the gamekeeper went out to shoot the elderly buck the next morning, and he shot the King's buck by accident.
I don't know whether that's treason or lese-majesty or MAN: Or a bad shot.
This is the family home of Peter Prideaux-Brune and his wife Elisabeth.
The family acquired the land in 1535, but in the spirit of the Cornish way of doing things "dreckly", this magnificent house was built 53 years later.
Over the centuries, these walls must have witnessed some fascinating scenes.
It's very, very beautiful.
Is it a lovely house to live in? It's heaven, absolute heaven, because it's a very liveable-in house.
It's not like a huge Palladian PETER: Everyone who comes here says how friendly it is.
Uh-huh, uh-huh.
I can see that.
- There aren't many ghosts.
- Is there a ghost? - I've seen both of them.
- (Gasps) Really? Really? I went up to bed and got into bed and suddenly the traditional lady in white walked through the bedroom and went into the bathroom.
She was very friendly.
I think she was just checking me out.
- Do you feel nervous in the house at all? - Not at all, and if he's away, I'm fine.
It is incredibly warm and friendly, cos you have a lot of visitors, don't you? It's what keeps the roof on the house.
With 81 rooms there's an awful lot of roof to keep on.
It doesn't feel huge, does it? 81 rooms is a lot of rooms.
The back of the house is literally as the American Army left for D-Day.
These rooms have been untouched since 1944, when soldiers of a US combat battalion left for their day of reckoning.
Recently, Elisabeth made a poignant discovery when she unearthed letters from the mother of soldier John Fontaine.
It was quite moving, really, reading them all, because he's no longer with us.
Had you not seen them before? She's very good at rootling around.
I spend my whole life You're a rootler, too! I love a rootle! Is that why your dog's called Rummage? - Yeah, a rootle and a rummage.
- A rootle and a rummage.
You know this house so well, presumably.
- You grew up here.
- I was born here.
- In the house or - I was born in the bedroom up there.
How wonderful.
And as long as the deer are alive and kicking and well, so shall you remain in this beautiful house.
Well, the deer look very well and they're very well fed.
(Laughter) What a privilege to have met Peter and Elisabeth, and we'll uncover more secrets from within the walls of this beautiful house later.
Robert Hocking is one of the county's top veg suppliers and he's passionate about his produce.
Ooh, look, that's a beauty.
That's got a real shine on it, hasn't it? A proud Cornishman, he's never moved away from the county, growing up in the fishing village of Looe and now putting his roots down on a prime spot within the beautiful Port Eliot estate.
That seat there is where I sit, January, February, on a nice warm day, preferably a Sunday morning.
Cup of coffee, Sunday papers.
You can't beat it, yeah? Robert loves the busy Cornish summertime, but when he's not cutting tomatoes, he's cutting film.
This is Looe, Looe seafront, in 1963, and these are some of the Redwings which were racing then.
You can see they're early boats.
This is my Uncle Norman and my brother Derek.
Those two raced together during this championship and I think they won the championship.
Handsome bugger, isn't he? Robert enjoys documenting Cornish history.
His latest project is looking at an old sailing tradition that's native to Looe village and has featured several members of his family throughout the years.
It's very timely, because the annual Redwing championships are taking place in just a week's time.
I think that my family have won the championship maybe 30% of the whole time.
So they're pretty good, pretty good at what they do, and they are ridiculously competitive, you know? That's what put me off totally.
That's not for Robert.
A landlubber, he prefers to gather stories and tell tales.
When he does head into Looe, the nearest he gets to the water is a spot of fishing, and a catch-up with some distant relatives.
Big one here, boys.
- Have you got him? - No! (Laughs) You've got to put the hooks in the water.
You won't catch them out like that.
These gents look like they could help you in a crisis at sea.
I can't swim, so if you goes over you're all on your own.
Or not! He can't swim, either.
Father didn't swim, grandfather didn't swim.
- Prolongs the agony.
- Yeah.
During the war we used to come out and we'd spend every Sunday when it was fine, out here.
Bloody wonderful.
It must be fascinating to explore such a strong family tree and build memories for generations to come.
It's enabled me to understand my own history and culture.
My family have been fishing in Looe for three, four, five, maybe more, hundred years and so I started to delve a bit and it's been absolutely fascinating.
There's some interesting characters.
The odd pirate or two chucked in there and, I'm sure, several smugglers.
From the past to the present.
Robert is interested in this year's Redwing championships.
His nephew Des is competing and, for the first time, Des's daughter Florence will be, too, and they're hoping to keep some of the silverware in the family.
We'll find out how they fare later on in the programme.
All over the Cornish landscape you'll find these, magnificent engine houses, and these are pretty much all that's left of Cornwall's once tremendous mining past.
It's hard to imagine now, but at one time over half the tin in the world was mined right here in this county.
Now mining is all but dead in Cornwall but, thankfully, there is one Cornish tradition that still remains, the pasty.
And I know this is a traditional pasty because this pastry is crimped round here and that's because underground the miners would have eaten it like this, so their grubby fingers would have been on this pastry here and they'd pull that crimped pastry off and throw it away.
And there's something else you might not know about pasties, and that is, on one side it is steak and potatoes.
And on the other side apple, in this case, and a bit of blackberry.
So, savoury, sweet.
Proper job.
The beautiful Cornish countryside is steeped in history.
Earlier, I had the privilege of meeting Peter and Elisabeth Prideaux-Brune at their magnificent 16th-Century home.
The Prideaux family have lived here for over 400 years.
Recently, Peter and Elisabeth have thrown open their doors, so that visitors can discover some of the fascinating secrets about this house.
I don't want more than a certain number of people here.
We have about 25-26,000 visitors a year, around.
Because it's first and foremost got to remain a home.
This beautiful house has been the setting for many a blockbuster film, which has made it extremely popular with German tourists.
But sometimes visitors can take the owners by surprise.
Welcome to Prideaux Place.
You will have to come and translate for me.
The most important thing is, please enjoy yourself.
This house has got to earn its living, but this is fun, and when the visitors come, it's fun for them and then they come back and back.
And there's a reason why they return so frequently.
Peter loves nothing better than roaming the rooms with the guests and giving them the personal tour, and there's a story behind every picture.
Right, now let's go up to the library, which is really one of my favourite rooms in the house.
That's my portrait and it was painted by Andrew Festing, who said would I wear my barrister's gown? So I said, well, as long as I can have my cigarette and my teddy bear.
Peter revealed to me earlier that there are some secret parts of this 81-roomed house that have been carefully preserved for their historical significance.
Off-limits to tourists, they house the memories of when American soldiers came to stay here during the Second World War, ahead of the D-Day landings.
It's got graffiti on the wall.
Someone called Bekelesly and we've actually traced his tomb in Normandy.
A lot of them were killed.
So we really keep it as a tribute to the American Army.
Investigating this fascinating period of the mansion's history has been revelatory for Elisabeth, too.
This is the box that was found.
Someone called John Fontaine, who was obviously one of the soldiers here.
And obviously he wasn't a very good correspondent, because all the ones from his mother say "I haven't heard from you in a while, John.
" And then, also, these were his pin-ups.
She's quite racy, I suppose, but when you consider nowadays what's in magazines, I think she's really quite tame.
It's incredible to imagine that a house as grand as this has been Peter's lifelong home.
Now, this is the Great Chamber.
In 1750 the room was divided into two bedrooms.
In fact, what was the bedroom there was the room I was born in and this was my playroom, which is a slightly bigger room.
And like all little boys, I was climbing through the attics and I found this wonderful ceiling.
It was in a bit of a state then.
20 years later I managed to persuade my mother to come and see it.
Anyway, now it's restored in all its glory.
But it's a wonderful, wonderful ceiling.
This place means everything to me.
Ghosts and all, I absolutely love it, because I personally think, I'm biased, it's the most beautiful house in England.
Hear, hear.
A very special place with so much to see and if you're tempted to pay a visit, you might just be lucky enough to find Peter in his jim-jams.
The Prideaux family home is a Cornish landmark, steeped in centuries of history.
Just a few miles away is a more modern-day attraction that's making its own place in records.
From the sun-kissed slopes of the Camel Valley Bob Lindo and his wife Annie and their son Sam tend to their vines at the county's most successful vineyard.
We're just a small part of the food and drink movement in Cornwall.
So I think it's good that there's a lot of different types of business that have all been successful and we're part of that.
So, we're definitely proud of being in Cornwall.
After such a glorious summer, the grapes are ripe for picking and Camel Valley is a hive of activity.
Annie, as ever, can be found in her very own vineyard, reaping the fruits of her labours.
It's not easy, growing grapes.
You're up against the elements, birds, wasps, rabbits, badgers.
There's always something to try and stop you having a fantastic crop.
So to get to this stage with a crop intact is an achievement in itself.
I think for the winemaker, this is the start of everything.
But for the grower, this is the end.
And the natural end for these grapes is in a glass.
Annie hates being dragged away from the routine of the vineyard, but today she has a special reason.
It's the launch of her Anniversary wine.
It's taking place in the exclusive surroundings of the nearby St Enodoc Hotel.
Top chef Nathan Outlaw is hosting the Lindos at his two Michelin-starred restaurant, along with some of the wine industry's leading lights.
Among them are presenter and writer Susy Atkins and world-renowned sparkling wine critic Tom Stevenson.
This was picked in 2009, which is 20 years from when we planted vines, and it's being released now, which is 20 years after we made our first wine.
So it's the 20th anniversary wine on all fronts.
Yes, yes.
Annie's Anniversary is lovely.
It's very refreshing.
It's got that high acid which I totally equate with the cool climate of English sparkling wines.
So it's ticking all the boxes for me.
TOM: This is from one particular site in the vineyard, from one grape variety, pruned by one person.
I think it's the first single pruned wine in the world.
It's just unbelievable.
It's almost magical.
There is that little sparkle there.
It doesn't matter how small an area you've got, if you put passion into it, you get a great result.
- To Annie.
- To Annie and her vineyard.
As time's gone on and we've made this special wine, got the special labels, got my name on it, so I'm beginning to think it is quite an important thing.
We have to apologise to Mum, because I think it's going to make her want to carry on pruning for another 20 years! - You might even get a kiss.
- Huh! So their passion for wine has paid off handsomely and it seems can only be matched by their passion for Cornwall.
I'd never leave here.
I don't know where I'd go.
It's fantastic, so, no, I would never leave.
I'll leave here in a box, that's the only way.
Back to a man who never has and never will move away from his beloved county.
And why would he, when he's greeted by views like this? On the south-east Cornish coast, the waters of the picturesque fishing village of Looe have been brought to life by a bright swathe of sails.
It's the week of the annual Redwing Sailing Championships, and vegetable grower Robert Hocking has taken some time away from his fields to support his family, who are taking part.
Desmond, my nephew, is sailing today with his daughter Florence.
Maybe she's got a chance of winning the Ladies' Cup.
I hope so.
Robert's Cornish heritage spans 10 generations, but he's one of the few members never to have gained his sea legs and race competitively.
For a history fanatic like Robert, though, it's a privilege to be taken out on a spectator boat with the man who built most of these beautiful Redwings, Clifford Adams.
Yeah, I've worked on much more than 50% of the total fleet, because I worked for two firms and then I started on my own, and I've built eight since I've retired.
Since their conception in the 1930s, there have been over 200 Redwing boats built, to suit the turbulent sailing conditions within Looe Bay.
Clifford is now the grand old age of 86 but he's still in demand in the world of boat building.
You would, Cliff, wouldn't you, build another Redwing? I had an enquiry the other day.
The design of these beautiful Redwings was so successful that in 1947 their use spread throughout the west of England.
But they still take centre stage here in Looe.
Des and Florence are competing in one of Clifford's originals.
And they're off! Desmond and Florence, 241, there they go.
Florence is well out on the trapeze.
But it's not long before Robert is baffled.
Very confusing, as far as I'm concerned! (Laughs) Lots of little red things going in different directions.
Keep up, Robert! It's good news.
So, Desmond's in the lead? Hey, that's good, isn't it? It's very exciting.
But just an hour into the race, Robert tries to cunningly convince the crew to quit while they're ahead.
I think, we've been out here and we've got cold and we've got wet, bloody wet all over, they're in the lead, we can still see quite well in there and get a pint while we're waiting.
- And the pasties are in there.
- And the pasties are in there! Florence, Robert's great-niece, has had a fantastic introduction to the championships.
Second in this race.
I'm not sure where we've come overall.
We'll find out later.
For Robert, despite being just a spectator, it's been an interesting diversion from his tomatoes.
As you know, I'm the black sailing sheep of the family.
I'm the only one of all these generations of the family who's never sailed.
I haven't got a bloody clue! And the Lady Crew is Florence Hocking! (Cheering) With trophies where they should rightfully be, and overall third place for Team Hocking, it's been a successful season for the family and for Robert, well, it's back to his own prize-winning tomatoes.
March 2017