HELSTON\’S HUMOROUS TANK TRAPS

Helston, Cornwall, is a pretty little town which is mainly famous for its Furry Day Dance  in May every year. The rest of the time it\’s fairly quiet and would probably like to attract more tourists.
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Note to town council: this won\’t happen until you do something about the tank-traps on Coinagehall Street.
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You see, in Cornwall the gutters tend to be quite heroic in proportions. I remember when we first moved to Cornwall, I looked at the street drains in Truro and thought \”Hm, I wonder why they\’re so big?\” Well, I found out why. It\’s because of the random monsoons we get here.
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Helston has humorous ones. They\’re big, with a square ditch and deep enough that if you, say, accidentally back your car into one, the rear wheel is spinning out of contact with the ground. So the car can\’t drive back out again, even if you get lots of smoke coming off your tyres and helpful good Samaritan Helstonians trying to push you out of the tank trap and commenting that the same thing happened to someone the night before.
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They\’re humorous because they\’re alongside designated half hour parking spaces with no indication at all that they exist – no signposts, no paint, not even a raised kerb – so if you don\’t know Helston and back into the space, say, you\’re really quite likely to go into one.
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Ho ho ho.

Mounting costs

One thing I didn\’t mention yesterday was the boat trip we took from Marazion to St Michael\’s Mount – the extraordinary rock in the ocean near Penzance. One legend has
St Michael the Archangel appearing to some fishermen there in 495 AD, another tells of a giant called Cormoran being defeated by a lad called (naturally) Jack. There\’s an interesting historic castle and chuch at the top.
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The tide was in so we took the little ferryboat, walked up and around to the gate where we had to pay to get in.
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Accountants of the National Trust, take note of this: thirteen mixed young urbanites and neo-hippies gasped when told that it would cost £7 to get in. No, there weren\’t any discounts for groups. And so they all said \”too expensive\” and turned away. We had much less expensive tea at the very friendly café next to the gate so it wasn\’t a dead loss for the NT. I expect some of them could have afforded the entrance price, but some couldn\’t. So none of them went.
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I asked while we were chatting over tea – what would they have been willing to pay? Around £5 each, they said.
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So in pusuit of £91, the National Trust lost £65. Sad, isn\’t it?

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