It’s Honey Fair Week in Callington - and events are planned in tribute to the man whose generous spirit saw the fair revived in the 1970s.
While Honey Fair itself isn’t going ahead quite as normal, the Lions Club of Callington are staging a week of virtual and real-life activities including a mufti day, cream tea treat deliveries, an art contest, bee hive and beekeeper videos, and a musical competition. You can find out more by visiting the Lions Club of Callington Facebook page.
On Wednesday (October 6), Honey Fair day, town crier Tony Stentiford is due to make a special cry at 1pm, beckoning all to the Saltash Road recreation ground. There, a bench will be unveiled with a plaque as a lasting tribute to John Trevithick - without whom, the Honey Fair as we know it would not exist today.
After this event, an open invitation has been extended to all to a memorial for John Trevithick at his favourite pub, The Bull’s Head in Callington.
Callington Honey Fair was a tradition begun when Henry III granted a charter for a street market in the 13th century.
After taking the initiative to stage the first revived modern-day event in 1978, John passed the baton to the Callington Lions Club, but he remained a central part of the organisation – and the exuberance – of the day.
A familiar figure in his suit, Cornish tartan tie and bee-decorated hat, John was very proud of Honey Fair, which has become a defining event for Callington.
His dedication to the town saw itself out in a great many other roles, and was born from a strong sense of pride in his heritage.
He was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedh in the early 90s, with the fitting bardic name Map Kellywyk – son of Callington.
After John passed away in February, the lockdown rules meant that a large wake could not be held.
“We weren’t able to give him the send off we wanted – and it would have been a huge send off,” said landlady Vicki, who is also John’s daughter-in-law.
“We decided that with Honey Fair being a mainly virtual event this year, we would hold his memorial on the same day, October 6.
“It will be the wake that we were unable to have before.”
John had a natural knack for conversation and for putting people at ease, whoever they were, says Vicki.
“He was somebody who no matter what their age, people respected him and spoke to him, from teenage lads to elderly women.
“He was always full of stories and jokes. You don’t get people like that very often.
“On Honey Fair Day he was always to be found in the Bull’s Head or wandering through the town with his bee hat on.”
The memorial at The Bull’s Head next Wednesday will start from 2pm, says Vicki.
“It’s open for anybody to attend, to raise a glass and share their stories about John.”