“Beacon” is included by kind permission of Rodney Grant, George Tallack’s great nephew
George Tallack (1883-1956) led a very active life and was an important member of the Mount Hawke community. From a young age he helped in the family business delivering coal and corn in the area around Mount Hawke. He also worked on the construction of the Chacewater to Newquay Railway which opened in 1903.
George Tallack with his horse and cart
He was a passionate chapel man: he sang in the choir, wrote music and could often be heard beating time on the back of the pew. He was not afraid to speak his mind on chapel matters and there is the story of his response to the Methodist minister who was trying to raise finance for the upkeep of the Manse. “That’s all very well Reverend, but the Manse is looking like Buckingham Palace while the chapels are like the stables what b’long to ’n.”
His hymn tune “Beacon” is one of many named after a Cornish location: in this case it relates to St Agnes Beacon, the view from his house. Perhaps, though, the word “view” is inappropriate because George lost his sight while a teenager. It did not, however, prevent him doing all the things that he wanted to do and as one of his friends recalled, “He could always get us home when it was foggy!”