On The Hill is a podcast about cemeteries. Each season tells the story of one cemetery and each episode tells the true story of someone buried there. We reassemble their lives and examine what this tells us about our human history and experience. We respond to them with original creative writing. Learn more at weareonthehill.podbean.com.
S01 Episode 11: Roy Coote and Boxing with Adrian Markle
In the 1920s and 1930s the town of Penryn, Conrwall, was renowned for its boxing scene. A young local boy, Roy Coote, pursued his interest in the sport to help support his family. He would go on to fight on over 70 contests and secure a life as a tugboat skipper and competitive sailor for his family in Falmouth. What were the 1920s in this part of Cornwall? How did the Open Spaces Act of 1906 affect Falmouth’s cemeteries? And how does a young Cornish man straddle the need for security with the demands of life in this time?
S01 Episode 10: Maritime Painter Charles Napier Hemy RA with Sarah Cave
On May 1841 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Charles Napier Hemy is born. He would spend his early life trying to decide if his calling was in the church, at sea or in the service of art. By the time that he commits to painting, the British School was exploring nature and its evocative power, and gaining prominence across Europe. A renowned Falmouthian, Napier Hemy settles in the town and spends a lifetime capturing life by the coast and the sea. In this episode, we tell his story and weave the work of poet Sarah Cave through it, inspired by Charles Napier Hemy, his process and his art. We also examine the regulations of Falmouth Cemetery a little further.
S01 Episode 09: George Kerswell Sheaff and the HMS Ganges with Amy Lilwall
On November 1899, a man jumps off a yacht to save someone who has fallen into the water. His name was George Kerswell Sheaff, from Portwrinkle, Cornwall, and he had led a quiet, devout life with a long career in the navy. The last ship his served in was the HMS Ganges, which spent decades in moored in Mylor, training young men. What can we learn from the story of George Sheaff? What do we know of the HMS Ganges? And how did Falmouth Cemetery secure the consecration of part of its land?
S01 Episode 08: Miśko Molnár the First Czechoslovak Sailor in Poland with Sherezade Garcia Rangel
On September 1933, the legendary Polish frigate Dar Pomorza left Gdynia on its winter trip to check on Polish colonies with shores on the Atlantic. All but one of its 56 cadets would return home, though. Miśko Molnár, the first Czechoslovak sailor in Poland, died before the end of the trip. What can we learn about Cornwall and the world by looking at the story of one ship? And how has Falmouth kept up with the demand for more space on its Victorian cemetery?
S01 Episode 07: William Bilkie the last mail coach guard with Jennifer Young
In the mid-1850s, William Stevens Bilkie was working as a mail coach guard from Falmouth to Plymouth. The arrival of the train to Cornwall in 1859 would bring an end to his job, but William continued to reinvent himself and to actively participate in Falmouth. A renown storyteller and floriculturist, he left behind a legacy that it still around today. What was the mail coach era like? How did the people of Cornwall deal with the arrival of the railway from Plymouth? And how did Falmouth Cemetery kept up with a town outgrowing its boundaries?
S01 Episode 06: Countess Ellen Odette Cuffe or 'The Weeping Widow' and Amy Lilwall
Legend has it that Irish Jewish Countess Ellen Odette Cuffe requested that her hand was joined with her husband’s when she was buried in Falmouth Cemetery in 1933. Is there truth in the myth? What about the woman herself, who commissioned this cemetery’s most unique gravestone? Did she get involved in the revival of Irish identity? What was her role in the Jewish community? And how did Falmouth Cemetery’s regulations allow for such a remarkable gravestone?
I love this podcast!
The recreation of the past is approached with sensitivity and in a celebratory sense - I love how lives once lived are remembered in such a special way.
A great new find
I love this podcast. It so cleverly weaves together with fascinating insights about Falmouth mixed with wider historical insights. Always an enjoyable listen. Cornwall Woman
Excellent look into Falmouth’s history
I really enjoy this podcast’s format. Not only you get to listen to amazing creative stories of people who ended up in Falmouth cemetery but you also learn about the town’s history at the time of those stories. Quite interesting to see how the episodes tie in together this way. Looking forward to listen to more episodes!