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Cornwall History

November 15, 1987

Re Stan Delaplane's "Bit of Cornwall History" (Oct. 25). His article amused me, as a 63-year-old Californian who lives in Cornwall for five months each year. Using self-service gas pumps in Cornwall, as well as in California, I find there is no difference in their basic operation. They all have automatic cut-off features to protect against overfilling. But more important, as Delaplane's rented car held 10 imperial gallons, he had 250 miles available in the tank. Cornwall is 70 miles long from the Devon (Tamar River) border to Land's End, and 20 miles across at midpoint. With one tank of petrol you can drive all of Cornwall.

Much of the article describes Plymouth, which is in the county of Devon, not Cornwall.

"St. Austell beer comes from a hand pump," he said, but so does most other good beer, pumped up from cool cellars beneath pubs all over England.

"Fishermen in striped jerseys and Greek caps sit around waiting for the sea to calm." Cornish sailors wear black caps, as do Bretons, Germans, Norwegians and Greeks, all with slightly different braiding. But in Cornwall we call them sailing caps, not "Greek" caps.

Tintagel is by the Celtic Sea, not the Cornish sea. Ireland, Wales and Cornwall (all Celtic lands) lay claim to what used to be called the Irish Sea.

"Cornwall is not a county," he said. Cornwall is a county as well as a duchy. It has its county seat and all other county functions.

Cornwall will provide rewards worth the effort, not the least of which is when you receive the Cornish response of, "Thank 'ee, m'luv." They are warm, solid and contented people who love their land and want to share it with you.

D. B. PRELL

Sherman Oaks

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