LOOKING FOR A CORNISH CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA 2022? THEN REMEMBER TO SNAP UP THE CORNWALL MEMORY GAME FOR THE CHILDREN OR ADULTS IN YOUR LIFE WHO JUST LOVE THE DUCHY AND ITS FASCINATING HISTORY AND CULTURE…
Did you know that St Michael’s Mount was once surrounded by trees and not water? And did you also know that the beautiful uniqueness of the human fingerprint was once the subject of an internationally crucial experiment that starred the villagers of Polperro? Plus, did you know, well, anything about Mary Kelynack’s ‘Polka’ piece of music?
Whether you know anything about the above or not, you can discover all the facts about the mount, the villagers, Mary Kelynack and much more in the Cornwall Memory Game. This is a game that’s aimed at both kids and adults in the Duchy who want to have fun while also learning all about Cornwall and its vibrantly storied past.
Merryn Threadgould, an author and TV producer who is based in Lostwithiel, created the game in time for Christmas 2022. She calls it a ‘very challenging pairs game’ where players turn all the cards face down and then turn over two at a time as they try to remember where the pairs are hiding. Sounds like all you need is a deck of playing cards instead of this game, then? Well, no. Threadgould says that what makes this game unique is ‘that it is only about Cornish people, things and places’. She says that each picture represents ‘a fascinating story’, which is told in the game’s accompanying booklet.
Threadgould says: “It is a patchwork quilt of history. The 1970’s ‘Pasties and Cream’ album cover by Brenda Wootton. John the Fish is in there alongside the giant Cormoran. The Carn Brea mine as depicted on a Cornish Match Company matchbox. A fossil fish from Bude. Modern and medieval graffiti. The Polperro fingerprint experiment and the inspiring 81-year-old fishwife Mary Kelynack are just some of the images you will find in the box.”
Name: CORNWALL MEMORY GAME
Type: ‘Pairs’ style memory card game
Suitable for: Children mainly but adults will enjoy too
The local hook: Every fact and story in the game is Cornish and usually fascinating
The game was born out of successive COVID-19 lockdowns. Threadgould believed in her idea and undertook what she calls ‘a mighty piece of research’ before it was finally produced and is now selling like hot mince pies. “I’ve been helped by museums, bards and artists,” she says, “and the result is a unique game. No other place in Britain has anything like this. It’s made in Penryn by Booths and the whole thing is proper Cornish to its bones.“
There are 60 sets of cards in the game, as well as some blanks so that players can create their own piece of the Cornish past and add a drawing, photo or some words. Threadgould says she hopes that the game inspires particularly children in the Duchy to learn more about the ‘millions of years of fascinating history they’ve inherited’ in Cornwall. She also calls the game a ‘documentary in a box’.
“It’s challenge for every age,” says Threadgould. “Inside is a free booklet containing fascinating stories and intriguing facts behind the images and memories from the Isles of Scilly to Launceston to Land’s End.” She adds that she has started holding ‘memory talks’ which are ‘illustrated with pictures from the game and other old photos and new videos’ for the ‘grown ups’.
To buy the Cornwall Memory Game for £30 as a gift (or just for yourself!), purchase it online from the official website at www.cornwallmemorygame.co.uk or from one of the selected retailers in Cornwall, like the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro, Wheal Martyn near St Austell or the Museum of Cornish Life in Helston.