19th century post-chaise re-enactment in Perranwell plaque unveiling ceremony for The Trafalgar Way


Perranwell, Cornwall, 17th November 2018  

Villagers in Perranwell Station in Cornwall today welcomed a visit from a perfect replica 19th-century post-chaise carriage. The bright yellow period carriage, pulled by two horses with a postilion rider, carried Midshipman Ben Cunningham from RN College Dartmouth and actor Tom Blyth, playing the part of Lt John Richards Lapenotiere, who was Captain of HMS Pickle, one of the 27 ships present at Trafalgar in 1805. It was Lapenotiere who was selected by Vice Admiral Collingwood after the famous sea battle to carry home the official dispatches from the coast of Spain to the Admiralty in London. His report advised that a great victory had been won, but also announced the tragic death of Admiral Lord Nelson. Lapenotiere's instructions were to lose no time in taking the news home and to guard the despatches closely.
After nine difficult days at sea in the schooner Pickle, Lapenotiere landed at Falmouth and continued his journey over land, covering the 271 miles in just 37 hours, changing horses and post-chaise carriage at least 21 times. On his way from Falmouth to Truro, where he changed horses for the first time, he would have travelled through Perranarworthal parish and passed directly by the Royal Oak in Perranwell Station, which was the site of today's ceremony.
A new plaque marking Lapenotiere's historic journey was unveiled by Cornwall's Lord Lieutenant, Colonel Edward Bolitho, witnessed by local constituency MP Sarah Newton, local councillors and village residents and schoolchildren. A guard was provided by Falmouth and Penryn Sea Cadet Unit, and a bugler was on hand with a fanfare.
Director of The Trafalgar Way, Kathy Brown, said "We were alerted to Perranwell's role in the historic journey of Lt Lapenotiere by local resident Stuart Douglas, who had spotted an old road strip map hanging in the pub showing distances from Hyde Park Corner. A tiny village today, Perranwell was clearly depicted as the main route out of Falmouth in those days and a regional coaching junction in its own right. It was the very great pleasure of The Trafalgar Way, which is an initiative of heritage charity The 1805 Club, to work with Perranwell to procure the plaque and put together today's 19th century re-enactment ceremony." The plaque will be affixed to the front of the Royal Oak public house to provide information to visitors and travellers keen to explore away from the main A39 trunk road.
For more details and to be kept informed about The Trafalgar Way, visit www.thetrafalgarway.org/ 
Notes for Editors:     A selection of high-resolution photographs from the event is available at https://dguk.xyz/Perranwell171118

Information about The Trafalgar Way

The Trafalgar Way, which runs from Falmouth in Cornwall to the Admiralty in central London, was created in 2005 to commemorate the journey over land made by Lt John Richards Lapenotiere who carried the momentous news of victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson.
Today, a series of 39 bronze plaques located along The Trafalgar Way remembers Lapenotiere's historic journey.  A coaching, rather than a walking route, The Trafalgar Way's path traverses some of Britain's most beautiful countryside and through picturesque villages, towns and cities.  Along its 271 miles, it passes through eight counties (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Greater London). Historic towns and cities along the way include Truro, Bodmin, Launceston, Okehampton, Exeter, Honiton, Axminster, Bridport, Dorchester, Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke, Camberley, Bagshot, Egham, Staines, Hounslow and Kensington.
The idea to create The Trafalgar Way originated from a group of historians and retired naval personnel working to celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar's bicentenary in 2005. The group set up the New Trafalgar Dispatch to co-ordinate special events for the route's inauguration that year. After 2005, the New Trafalgar Dispatch disbanded, but The Trafalgar Way remains under the custodianship of The 1805 Club.
In 2017, The 1805 Club successfully applied for a grant from HM Treasury's LIBOR fund, set up especially for military charities. This grant allows for significant reinvestment in The Trafalgar Way to ensure the legacy continues for the present and future.
Issued on behalf of The Trafalgar Way by Kathy Brown, email: thetrafalgarway@1805club.org  Telephone 07817 401403