The talk at the June meeting of Edenbridge Meeting was given by our own member, Briar Blake. The subject was Scilly (or the Isles of Scilly but never the Scilly Isles), an area that she has known and loved for many years.
She firstly reminder us that the Isles of Scilly are located about 25 miles from the Southwest coast of Cornwall with a population of just over 2,000 and is the farthest west area of the British Isles. It is comprised of around 145 islands, 5 of them being inhabited – the largest being St Mary’s.
She advised that Scilly that with the sunniest climate in the UK and had proved to be a very popular “escape” for many people including Jude Law and Martin Clunes but perhaps Harold and Mary Wilson were the most famous and she showed us a photo of the very modest home that the Wilson’s owned.
Due to its westerly location many migratory birds land here having travelled miles across the Atlantic, finding Scilly as the first landing spot. Indeed it was in pursuit of these birds, some of them rare in the UK that brought Briar there many years ago. She spent most of her time on the island of St Agnes which is around 25 minutes by boat from St Mary’s. It has just one shop which doubles as the post office, one pub and a lighthouse but little else commercially with most of its residents taking on several jobs.