Trig or Trick

Categories Cornish Dialect1 Comment


Trevor Dalley brings us another tale featuring his colourful creations, Albert and Joey (you’ll probably remember them from A Darts Match at Tyacks).

Joining them we have, Harry, the landlord of the Shipwright Arms, and the unlikely involvement of Albert’s father who Trevor describes thus: “Albert’s fether, who was the provider of the Fool’s Gold in this story was in fact, my father who worked at Great Work and Wheal Reath Mines in the 1930s. He was the assistant to the surveyor and one Saturday morning he was taking samples from the very spot where water broke in that afternoon and three people were stranded in a stope.”


Albert and Joey heaved the dingy up onto the slipway. “That’ll do un” said Albert “e’l be out of the way of the tide ‘ere, come on pard, less ‘ave a pint.”

The Shipwright’s Arms’ was completely empty except for Harry, the landlord, who sat behind his bar staring morosely at a newspaper.

“Wass up boy?” rasped Joey, “like a bleddy morgue in ‘ere”.

“You don’t have to rub it in Joey; I hope with Easter this weekend things will improve.”

“You’ll be right on Friday wen e? spring low tide at ‘alf pass ten an all they trigging fer cockles. They always turn up on Good Friday on Helford beach.”

Photo: courtesy of the Barry West

“Except the sailing club have took out a special licence for a public barbecue at lunchtime, profits are going to the RNLI. We’ll be empty.”

“That aint so good is a boy?” said Joey.

They sat deep in thought for several minutes until suddenly Albert’s eyes gleamed. “Arry if’n I kin fill yur pub up on Friday morning can e fix me an’ Joey up with a few beers an’ a steak an chips?”

“Too right Albert!”

“But ow are e goin’ do thet, Albert?”

“Fether’ll ‘elp us out pard.” He said tapping his hairy nose.

“E bin dead years, ‘ows E goin’ ‘elp?”

“Fore he cum over ‘ere farming E used to work over at Greatwork Mine, Godolphin; I’ll say no more.” Albert said grinning.

Late on Thursday night found Albert and Joey on Helford beach frantically digging before the incoming tide washed away their work.

Photo: courtesy of the Barry West

Friday dawned a handsome day, and by ten o’clock Albert and Joey were seated at the bottom of the Shipwright’s beer garden overlooking the beach. By then there were about twenty stalwarts digging behind the retreating tide. All of a sudden one of them bent down and picked up something and furtively went to the water’s edge and washed it. He went back and started to dig some more, and once again repeated his actions. He then pulled out a mobile phone and spoke animatedly into it.

But he was not the only one acting strangely, others on the beach were acting similarly.

“Ere we go pard,” said Albert, “go an’ ask ‘Arry if’n we kin ‘ave our pint now, I’m chacking”.

Photo: courtesy of Barry West

Soon, the foreshore was packed. Whole families and friends were taking up positions and frantically guarding their pitches. Those sitting in their cars in the car park overlooking the beach had also been phoning and the place was soon heaving with people. Harry came running down the garden shouting, “Radio Cornwall just put out a special announcement that gold’s been discovered on the Helford! How’ve you managed that, Albert?”

Albert reached in his pocket and a sparkling stone spun onto the table. “There you are pard a bit o’ copper pyrites or fool’s gold from Greatwork mine, compliments of me fether.”


Trevor Dalley, taken in the Directors Carriage of the electric train that goes from Palma to Soller, Majorca.

I was born at Praze (see Coronation Cottages on YouTube by Sarah Chapman), went to Crowan Primary School, Helston Grammar School, and left at 16 to work with my father in his greengrocery business. I started my own business at 21 and was self-employed until I retired at the age of 69. I founded Camborne Trevithick Day in 1983 and was chairman of the organising committee for twenty years. I was made a Cornish Bard in 1994. I took over the chairmanship of Trevithick Day in 2014 but have now retired and made an Honorary Life President. I was a member of the Camborne Town Council for several years and presently a member of The Camborne Town Deal Board. I began creative writing about fourteen years ago and when the West Briton had a real editor I had a monthly column.



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