The True Tale of a Cornish Giant - Words and photographs by Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt

News from Kernow Matters To Us:

Abigail's words have spread across social media and have captured the spirit of the crowds and atmosphere during the Man Engine tour. 

With the uncaring Westminster Government cruelly keeping OUR tax money from us, money intended for our Cornish language and culture despite all the promises made in 2002, promises now cast maliciously aside, and now with them up there intent on destroying our ancient border and imposing an unwanted cross-border 'Devonwall' Constituency on us, we cannot but recall those heady, happy days when the Man Engine came to town and we all felt proud again. 

No distant Westminster MP or their strange parliament could ever begin to understand how passionately we feel for our Cornwall, how much we are part of our ancient land just as she is part of us. It is a mystery to them just as they and their ways are to us. For sure, we know the meaning of honour and decency and truth and true love.

I was recently in conversation with a 92 year old Cornish lady who came to my clinic and who said this: 'I have never voted in the big election my dear. Theym a wicked lot up there in their Houses of Parliament and they'll never quite understand us Cornish folk. But we'm been here a long time, longer than they. And when we do say somethin and do shake hands on it, well, thas that. Set in granite. Now, look at they up there on a Thursday. Would you trust them the same, cos I never would.'

Wise words indeed, because I believe we also understand that with age comes wisdom.

Enjoy Abigail's words as I have.


Chair - KMTU

The True Tale of a Cornish Giant

Words and photographs by Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt

'Puppets don't do it for me,' she posted. 
'Size doesn't really enter into it.'
And I have to admit, when I read her comment,
I was pretty much inclined to agree. 
Not since Punch and Judy on the sea front at Southend 
had I felt much inclination towards puppetry;
even then, had it not been for the ice cream cone,
most likely I would not have been drawn in.


Still, come the day, the sun was shining
and the town had that holiday feeling:
there were flag ands stalls and street entertainers,
hot potatoes and home-made lemonade;
huge cauldrons of paella steamed under awnings,
tanned young women plaited hair and painted faces;
in Market Jew Street, all the warm day long,
the great Man Engine drowsed and dreamed.


Come four o'clock, though, the atmosphere changed:
the people were arriving in earnest.
They sweated on the pavements with their melting 
ice creams and their bottles of lukewarm water;
crammed every balcony and overlooking window,
filled up shop doorways and sprawled with their take-away 
picnics over the towns many steps.
And the people KEPT coming and they pushed 
against the barrier in defiance of exasperated marshals,
trying to get closer, closer, even closer, 
to where the big beast slept.


From the top of the town the crowd flowed down,
a bright and seething river of humanity:
pushchairs and skateboards, 
children's scooters and wheelchairs 
were all of them caught in the colourful press;
and, from the top of Market Jew Street, 
Humphrey Davey looked down 
to the bottom where the great puppet slumbered;
and between the two a great ocean of people
waited to rouse him from his rest.


Mothers looked anxious as small children whined
and fretted to be lifted onto shoulders;
fathers, obliging, heaved them up high
while older siblings said it wasn't fair;
babies screamed in the afternoon heat;
and when one man, quite elderly, fainted,
they carried him off into Barclays Bank 
and deposited him - in a chair.


But all in all much fun was had 
and the Man Engine turned out a triumph.
When the people sang 'Trelawney' his great heart lurched 
and he came wheezing and puffing and hissing steam
and crawling like a giant up the hill.
And high on his head, among the white, tufted clouds,
he sported his tin miner's helmet;
and hearts were lifted and people were proud
that HERE was the spirit that was Kernow still.



This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of