Nyns eus goon heb lagas, na ke heb scovarn

There is no down without an eye, nor hedge without an ear


Popular Penzance prostitute, Kelly Killigrew (39), whose acute commercial sense led her to develop an initiative, "the price ladder", which has subsequently been gratefully copied by hundreds of professional ladies from St Buryan to right up to Camborne, has decided to branch out into writing.

For those unfamiliar with the price ladder, Kelly - no slouch when to comes to bargains - quickly twigged than when you offer pensioners '70% off' and the unemployed '50% off', you can protect your earnings by not disclosing 'off what' and still coin in the full sum - or even more.

However, now still with almost half her own teeth and free from disease at the last check just 19 years ago, Kelly, thinking of the future, has decided that, with gravity now beginning to pull its not inconsiderable weight, it is now time to carve out and develop a new career.

She has thus turned to writing and has conceived of the idea of penning a history of Notable Courtesans of West Penwith.

Despite this new departure, as she says herself, "I aren't givin up the scrubbin' completely.  I duh still do it, but I duh do the writin' in between like."   Thus she can often be viewed pacing up and down Parade Street with a notebook in her hand, furiously scribbling away in between rushed visits to the bushes of nearby Morrab Gardens in the company of 'reg'lars'.

Billy Curnow Publications of Adelaide Street, Penzance has snapped up the chance to take on this new local author. Says proprietor, Billy Curnow, "I wuz persuaded by the regal prose o' this queenathu pros and by the 50% off she gimme fer 6 weeks!"   Clearly, he hadn't heard of the price ladder.

With Kelly's kind permission we are taking just a brief look at some of the historical local talent she is featuring in her book.

On the left are the legendary so-called 'Eight Sirens of Sennen'.

They are, from the left, Lizzie Kelynack (16), Seline Hichens (17), Gracie Beckerleg (19), Alice Chirgwin (22), Sarah Jago (21), Aggie Curnow (27), Lavinia Lutey (24), and their captain and surprisingly agile yet one-legged star, Liza Cargeeg (29).

Known by Policeman Carne as 'the scourge of the cove', these young ladies busily worked the streets of Sennen Cove in the 1920s.  Dressed in a home-made uniform, they tended to stand out because of their unorthodox gait as they practised their eye-catching 'walk in formation'.  For more, get the book.

The beauty on the left was the famous Jane Hosking of Chypraze, pictured here at the age of 32.  A young lady of a fiercely intellectual and literary turn of mind, her stunning looks bewitched many a young man until she was finally successfully wooed and won by the 97-year-old shellfish billionaire, Abnego Baragwaneth

Although the latter was married, he was so smitten with the young temptress that he set her up in a sumptuous lovenest in Botallack on a fabulous daily allowance of 2/6d a day, excluding food. An accomplished and pioneering writer of the Cornish novella and a prolific poetess, all of the manuscripts of this noted but sadly unpublished writer were consumed by the chip fire that took her life in 1924.

Kelly tells the story of many another local fair maid but we will mention here only one more and that is the Newlyn nymph that was Priscilla "Pilchards" Polkinghorne, captured here on her 29th birthday.

At an early age, Prissy's keen intelligence shone brightly  at Newlyn Board School, where she displayed an easy facility and mastery of pure maths, nuclear physics, bio-chemistry and applied sandpit activities.

Known as "Pilchards" because of the the sharp smell her body emitted, she later grew into a ravishing beauty, much sought after at the tennis club and at Penzance swimming pool, where hundreds of local boys would congregate just to catch a glimpse of her breathtaking figure.

All the dashing swains from far around would pursue her - to no avail.  At the age of 17 she had lost her heart to a 77-year-old unhappily married dairy farmer from Tremethick Cross, whom she rapidly proceeded to make most happy.

In all weathers, she faithfully cycled up to see him for half an hour each evening at 7.30 , when he was out with the cows.  This went on for 40 years, when he sadly expired.  Consumed with grief, she followed him just two weeks after.

Hungry for more?  The book will be available from Billy Curnow Publications and at all good bookshops from next Wednesday at a price of just £749.99 each (or £3,500 for four copies!).