I’m most chuffed to see that my programme on the delights of St Ives in Cornwall has been made Pick of the Day in the Radio Times, The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Observer and the Independent on Saturday.
My connection with the seaside town began before I was born, when my aunt and uncle spent their honeymoon there. I was later taken on holidays with my family as a child. I loved it so much that I lived there for two years as a teenager, dragging my best friend along. Denise fell under its spell and didn’t go back home for months, working as a hotel chambermaid and for the legendary (in my mind) Mr Peggotty’s discotheque. That’s a story that’s been repeated in various forms down the years.
In St Ives and Me, I wanted not only to share my love of the place but to explore why it is such a powerful draw for artists and bohemians. It was vital in my spiritual and creative development, and still is, especially in the way the various events stimulate, showcase and encourage poets, musicians, performers and writers.
The arts are democratised in St Ives, class differences dissolved, human potential realised. Money and privilege don’t get you as far as talent and enthusiasm. But they do buy you a niche down there. The bankers and second home owners are pushing out the locals. We may be witnessing the end of a golden age if they push out the creatives, in which case we may end up with just another pretty coastal town.
St Ives and Me: BBC Radio 4 11:30 Thursday 1st December
Produced by Chris Eldon Lee for Culture Wise
A few photos from my September visit when I recorded St Ives & Me for BBC Radio 4. Plus more from past visits. Click on pix for full size versions.:
All pix copyright Anna Chen