The Landscape Of My Childhood (Rock)

Rock is a village in North Cornwall located just round the first bend in the estuary mouth on the North-Eastern bank of the River Camel, adjacent to the harbour port of Padstow. The name Rock is thought to have originated from the rock quarry, which was used as a source of ballast for sailing boats that had off loaded their cargo at Padstow Harbour.

The quarry is now a car park.

As a youngster I spent many a summers day across the water at Rock, exploring the dunes, hills, paths and hunting for lost balls on St Enodoc golf course. We were dropped off by my granddad, who, in the 60s and 70s ran the Padstow to Rock ferry. We were dropped off and picked up several trips later, other times my uncle would pick us up in his speedboat. Always looked forward to the bumpy ride home.

Then, in the 80s when we were in our late teens we would make the most of the Rock Inns upper deck, where more than a few pints were drunk.

I haven’t really been to Rock much since then but over the past 7 weeks while my youngest daughter has been going to sailing club, I took the opportunity to explore the same dunes, paths and golf course as I did when I was younger. I also sank a pint or two at the Rock Inn.

Visually, so much has changed since I wandered the beach and dunes,  but the sound of the wind knocking the wires against the sailing boat masts will never change.

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