"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 20 February 2009


This was one of the pictures in the Royal Academy Notes from 1888.

I had difficulty finding a definition for 'Heva' until I came across the Newquay website.

"Heva heva was a cry commonly heard on the headland above Newquay and indeed all along the Cornish coast up until about 200 years ago. For the cry, issued by the huer, signalled the arrival of huge shoals of Pilchards in mid-July, the fishing of which was once a very lucrative industry in Cornwall. The Huer's Hut high above the quay, is one of the finest examples in Cornwall and is well worth a look. Close your eyes and imagine the huer's excitement at spotting a huge shoal out in the blue Atlantic, meaning financial survival for the then small fishing community.

Fully laden boats would then return to harbour, fish would be gutted and carefully placed in huge piles (baulks) of layer upon layer of salt. Baulked for a month, the fish would then keep for at least a year. The fish could then be placed by hand usually by women into wooden hogshead barrels, each barrel holding up to 3000 fish and pressed to yield 8 or 9 gallons of surplus but valuable oil used to be used in lighting. In a good year up to 40,000 barrels were exported. "


  1. Pretty fascinating. I will have to look up a few of the terms though. A hogshead barrel?

  2. "...the cry, issued by the huer..."

    Depends on the pronunciation of course, but the usual cry of the huer in my experience is something along the lines of "Hello darling, looking for a good time?"

    Gordon Barlow