The Japanese Strawberry Tree
This tree is in Penzance, in Penlee Park, (which I will write lots more about in other posts.)
Some of the tree’s nearest neighbours:
It is dwarfed by the Scots pine sheltering it. You can see from this picture how it is leaning towards the light.
Also nearby are palms, very common in this part of Cornwall. Can anyone help with identification of these? I’m not well up on palms, but I think the glorious large one is a Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) .
A view from under the big palm. I’m not sure what the granite stone is there for (very useful to sit on for a rest in the shade). But there is another stone nearby, with a memorial plaque on it.
The ship was built in 1929/1930 at Devonport. She was the sole armed escort to a convoy sailing from Nova Scotia to the UK in 1940, carrying vital supplies of lumber, pit props, iron ore, steel and grain. The convoy was attacked by a U-boat south of Greenland, and HMS Penzance was sunk with a tragic loss of life. Two of the merchant ships were also lost, though many of their sailors were saved.
The badge of HMS Penzance has the head of St John the Baptist on it, which is also the emblem of the town of Penzance, and was part of the coat of arms until they changed them in 1934.
It might seem a bit gruesome, but it is a visual pun on the name of Penzance, which comes from Pen Sans or holy headland. So the town emblem is a holy head.
The current HMS Penzance is the fourth; she is a Sandown class minehunter and finished a refit early in 2019. She is based in Scotland when not deployed in the Middle East or wherever needed, but still finds time to visit Penzance now and then, and welcomes visitors on board. Although I hate the idea we need warships, it is interesting to see inside one, and I have great respect for the men and women who risk their lives in the Royal Navy.
There’s a nice story about when the ship returned from the Middle East to Faslane in January 2017. One of the company, Petty Officer Mark Titman, organised a banner asking his partner Laura to marry him as they sailed into harbour.
Unfortunately the Royal Navy report omits to let us know if she said yes!
(I think she did!)