Monday 1 April 2024

A Reformed Messenger? 

 The resignation of St Ives Town Council’s Mr Kenneth Messenger as a Conservative councillor on February 15 is a blow to the council. 

The next step for Mr Messenger is surely clear: to join Reform UK and, indeed, contemplate standing as that party’s parliamentary candidate for the St Ives Constituency at the upcoming general election.

The populist party founded by Nigel Farage is the perfect home for disgruntled Conservatives like Mr Messenger. 

Monday 11 September 2023

It’s Linda again

 • CORNWALL council leader Linda Taylor and chief executive Kate Kennally have won cross-party condemnation for a failed attempt to impose an elected mayor on the unitary authority. There was widespread opposition to their attempts to bulldoze through a devolution deal that hinged on the creation of a mayor.

The pair are now accused of a cover-up for withholding all but 17 pages of documents out of 1,700 initially identified in a freedom of information request from county councillors hoping to shed light on the fiasco. Had the plan gone ahead, objectors maintain that the new mayor would have had almost unparalleled power. A two-thirds majority of councillors would have been required to overrule mayoral decisions and, with no district councils to stand in their way any more, democracy in the Duchy would effectively have been ended.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Although I welcome Jane Griffiths’ attempt, if rather excitable, to help me discover the identity of the Cornish Edna Welthorpe (T&E, last week), her claim to know that identity and of a book of Edna’s letters is a puzzle.

First, the Edna letters to this paper are so few they would barely fill the pages of a book of postage stamps. Second, they are so lacking in wit and so devoid of style (apologies, Editor), no publisher would touch them.

Another Edna Welthorpe?  Or fake (literary) news?

More importantly, I can tentatively reveal that our own Edna appears to be a Peter Jay Carlsen- Pinnell. More information (with the Editor’s permission and forbearance), next time.

I do hope the legendary Mr Guppy has arranged for St Ives Parish Church to sound at least one Bong! at 11pm on January 31 to mark Brexit and all the goodies we’re about to receive outside the EU. The £350m a week for the NHS, the wonderful global trade deals far superior to EU deals. Oh, and on Mr Guppy’s sunlit uplands we’ll no longer have to eat straight bananas. Nice!

I’ll be marking January 31 with a few bottles of excellent German, Spanish and Italian wines and some fine French and Dutch cheeses. 


Pauline V Conrad (Mrs).
St Just 

17 January 

Sunday 19 January 2020

Readers of the St Ives Times & Echo have in recent weeks been treated to letters to the paper's correspondence pages from a Mrs Pauline V Conrad. This lady claims to have evidence that letters to the paper sent over several years and signed Edna Welthorpe - the alter ego of the playwright Joe Orton - are from a St Ives resident.

The most recent letter from Edna Welthorpe to the T&E  dated 1-12-2019 and headed "It's a bit puzzling', says:

I'm really grateful to all these people in your letters column - that nice Mr Bland from Penzance,  a Conservative gentlemen, various retired doctors, telling me who to vote for - though it's a bit puzzling when Mrs Swinson says my Common Market vote didn't matter.

Never mind, it'll all be over in a week's time and they can have a happy Christmas and keep their abuse to themselves. Yours truly, EDNA WELTHORPE (Mrs)

 Mrs Conrad appears to have made it her mission to discover the identity of this person.

The St Ivean has an interest in this because several years ago the blog pointed a finger at the person we believed to be the culprit, an allegation that was never challenged.

For the moment we will allow Mrs Conrad to pursue her investigations without interference. Her letters so far - witty, informed,  humorous and a huge improvement on the letters from the the St Ives Welthorpe - are printed below and we will add any further as they appear in the paper.

The right track?

Last week you published a slight letter signed ‘Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’.

This was a pseudonym used by the deceased playwright Joe Orton. 

But I’m wondering if in fact there’s another person of the same name living in St Ives? 

Is it possible?

So far my research has led me to the Park Avenue area of St Ives and the possibility that Mrs Welthorpe is  - a man!  

Am I on the right track?

I’ll keep readers informed of my progress in solving this intriguing mystery.

Paul Conrad 

Joe Orton dead? Well not in spirit at least...Ed

Tears of joy 

I recently revealed that the writer of a letter to these pages signed ‘Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’ appeared to be using the alter ego of playwright Joe Orton; but I also said that there might well be a real person of that name in St Ives. 

Stranger things have happened this side of the Tamar! 

My research has so far uncovered some interesting pointers to that possibility which - with the Editor’s permission - I will share with you next month. Meanwhile, please disregard anyone in these pages claiming to be ‘Edna’.  Fake news!

But I must digress a little to take this opportunity to congratulate Derek Thomas on being re-elected as our Conservative MP. What a talent!  I witnessed people in the streets shedding tears - presumably  of joy?  - when the result was announced.

If Derek doesn’t one day take over from the wonderful Mr Johnson, I’ll be flabbergasted. Again, what a talent! 

But would Derek have pulled it off without the formidable weight behind him in these same pages of the equally multi-talented Mr ‘Kenny’? 

I very much doubt it!

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all  - including ‘Edna’ (whoever she/he might be). 

Pauline V Conrad (Mrs).

Moderately entertaining

Readers will be delighted to learn that I have made progress in my mission to reveal the identity of the person writing over several years to this paper using the alter ego of the playwright Joe Orton: Edna Welthorpe (Mrs). 

I’ve discovered that the person has a history, in the best St Ives tradition, of artistic ambition, but due to a profound lack of artistic talent, failed miserably as a painter. 

Ooooh! isn’t that nice Conservative Mr Kenny quite a card!  Always keen to embrace trivia, last week he was going on again about a missing ‘e’ - but it’s true! - from a name. Breathtaking in its sheer pointlessness but moderately entertaining.

I’ve long been baffled why Mr K is a Conservative - aside from forelock-tugging - until I realised he’s a member of what Mr Marx (Karl, not Groucho) categorised as the class lumpenproletariat (Google it). 

‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ goes the aphorism, but I do think in Mr K’s case it would be but a great kindness to him - and certainly to the rest of us!

Next time I put pen to paper, I hope, with the Editor’s permission, to reveal the person behind our Edna! Watch this space and ignore any other claims to knowledge of her/his identity.  Fake fake news!

Pauline V Conrad (Mrs).


Saturday 18 January 2020

The St Ivean  - founded in 2003 - is about to reappear. Watch this space!

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Three art initiatives that put Tate St Ives to shame

John Kampfner, who is the chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, writes in last week's Financial Times Weekend (2/3 September), that director of Hull's year as City of Culture Martin Green's 'proudest stat is that, according to audience surveys, in 2017 alone nine out of 10 residents of the city have experienced art of some sort'.

 Mr Kempfner also says that Margate's Turner Contemporary gallery (which he chaired and help found) 'has transformed the town'. The same can be said of Folkestone's contemporary art triennial.

 Can Tate St Ives claim to come anyway near these three wonderful examples of art enhancing locality. I think not.