Last Saturday we welcomed back a large cast of our “workshopper” family for our 2019 Annual Gathering of Makers when we gather together for a surf and then an evening of food, drink, music, art and sharing stories back at the farm where it all began for us.
This year, for the first time ever, the September surf failed to arrive and we met at the car park above the beach to find sets struggling to reach shin high lapping on the shore. But, beach games saved the day (morning) and the twenty or so workshoppers who had joined us finished their coffees and enjoyed what became a rather competitive game of rounders on the beach, using bellyboards for bases. The surf did pick up to knee high as the tide dropped, and we washed the sand off with a swim and small bellyboard session. We even managed to get William in the sea for his first taste of the waves surrounded by love and warmth from everyone.
That evening around sixty former workshoppers, joined by their families and some of the friends who have helped us along our way over the years, gathered at Dunkirk Farm between St Agnes and Mount Hawke, just over the hill from our workshop. Our dear friends Jez and Ange are always such amazing hosts; their large barn had been cleared of animals and machinery and along with James’ sister Vicky they’d prepared an amazing spread of food sourced primarily from the farm – a largely vegan feast supplemented by roast pork from one of their own herd of Tamworth pigs, with liquid refreshment provided by the good folks at Skinner’s Brewery in the form of their Porthleven Pale Ale. Live music again came courtesy of the talented Nick Radford (aka Frootful) who provided two beautiful sets of smooth and soulful guitar sounds. You can listen to more of Nick’s music here.
As always our workshoppers, most of whom made their wooden surfboard alongside only one or two other people, bonded over their shared experiences and, in some cases, over their admiration of each others handiwork! It’s always so lovely seeing this broad group of lovely humans getting together and getting to know each other.
Our enormous thanks, as always, to Jez, Ange, Si and Vicky for hosting and feeding us so well at Dunkirk Farm; to Nick for entertaining us, to Ben for producing such a beautiful artwork, and to everyone who helped out in the lead up and on the day. We can’t wait to see you all again next year, whether a past workshopper… or perhaps a prospective workshopper?