John was born and brought up in Penzance but spent most of his working life in various parts of England. He began to study Kernewek after returning to West Cornwall in 2009 and was initiated as a Language Bard in 2014. He has been teaching at the Heamoor class since 2013. His academic qualifications include a B.A. in English and an M.A. in American Literature. After university, John worked for several years as a teacher of English at Northamption and Leeds grammar schools. However, his main career was as a technical writer, programmer and editor at computer company, IBM. John is a member of the small team that writes the scripts of the weekly Radio Cornwall programme, An Nowodhow. He has published a bilingual book of short stories, Hwedhlow a Flogholeth ha Yowynkneth. John is a keen rugby fan and supporter of the Cornish Pirates.
Steve Penhaligon [Class Co-ordinator]
Steve says: ‘Born in Truro and brought up in Penzance, I spent my working life in the South East and only started to learn Cornish when I returned to Cornwall in 2009. My first lesson was in Gulval Village Hall with John Parker, who founded this class and who is still teaching with us. I passed the four Cornish Language Board exams and was made a bard at Torpoint in 2014. I started teaching as soon as I finished the exams and for the last few years I have acted as class co-ordinator for our group. After graduating in French, I did a PGCE course but, instead of teaching, spent my working life in the Civil Service and in the IT departments of various large companies in the Thames Valley. As well as teaching Cornish, I sing in a couple of choirs including Keur Heb Hanow, which sings only in Cornish and draws its membership largely from teachers and students in this class. Let me know if you’re interested!’
Sarah was born in London to Welsh parents and then adopted by a family in Newlyn, so she was raised and educated in the Penzance area. She met her husband, Mike, at Cornwall College, or Camborne Tech as it was known then. After completing their studies they moved to London where, missing the sea, they took up rowing on the Thames. Mike became Club Secretary and Sarah became pregnant so they moved back to Cornwall in 2003 to bring up their son here. Sarah soon began learning Cornish in John Parker’s class in Gulval, passed all her exams under his expert tutelage and became a Language Bard in 2009. Sarah has a lovely singing voice and set up our little choir Keur Heb Hanow which sings only in Cornish.She now specialises in teaching those taking their first steps in the language. She says, ‘There are so many facets to being part of a language group. It is never dull’.
Roz has a Geography MA, a PGCE and, as a result of her lifelong interest in languages, a TEFL diploma as well. She taught in a comprehensive school on Tyneside before working in Singapore for 20 years with her husband. She has lived in Penzance for nearly 14 years now and started learning Cornish in 2009 in a class in Marazion. On her way to passing The Grade 4 exam in 2014 she attended classes in Heamoor, St. Ives and Camborne, and was barded in 2015 in St. Austell. She also sings in Keur Heb Hanow alongside other Heamoor class members.As well as teaching at the Heamoor class, she also runs Cornish language club activities for primary school students. She has twice won the Gorsedh Kernow cup for spoken Cornish at the Truro Music Festival, and has been a reader at Cornish Language church services throughout Cornwall.
Born a Londoner, John went to school in Croydon, but circumstances sent him to the LSE to study economics and Social Anthropology. His PGCE course was funded by the Colonial Office and he worked for five years in Kenya as a teacher, teacher trainer and administrator in the field before he returned to England.He moved to Penzance in 1994 and began to study Cornish under Jori Ansell and Ray Edwards, becoming a language bard in 1998. Ray asked him to join the KDL team as a teacher, and in 2002 he set up his own class in Gulval, which was the origin of the present class in Heamoor. He has written a number of books whose subject matter includes maths, Latin, Cornish, and his work in Kenya. He has translated Winnie-the-Pooh into Cornish and has written a number of short stories for the Gorsedh and Esedhvos competitions, as well as books of pantomimes and of conversations in Cornish.