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]
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 the late John Parker, who founded theclass and passed it on to 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 daughter of Alec Walker of Crysede Silks fame, 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 with the Sons of the Thames Rowing Club. Sarah went on to become Women’s Captain and Mike, Club Secretary. After their son, Merryn, was born they moved back home to Cornwall in 1992.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.
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 in the English West Country, with Irish and Welsh ancestors, Wella moved to Penzance only in 2015. He has taught French in the past, and has learned some Breton on the way, so he thought it only polite to learn Cornish when he moved here.He has felt so welcomed that he wants to give as much as he can to Cornwall, and that includes passing on the excellent teaching he has received, mainly in Klass an Hay. He passed his fourth grade exams in the summer of 2019, and has been part of the team reading the news in Cornish on BBC Radio Cornwall since July of that year. He’s a member of Kesva an Taves Kernewek, the Cornish Language Board, and is keen to get UK recognition for our exams. He encourages as many students as possible to be in our class plays: when he was in his first year, he found it a brilliant way of getting some of the language in his head.
With a degree in Spanish and French, Yorkshireman David went into teaching, specialising in French for 14 years, and becoming Deputy Head of Bradford’s largest Middle School in the process. In 1976 he left for the pastoral and teaching ministry in his local church. That led him to a wider teaching role, which took him all over the world from Zambia to Siberia.Having married a Cornish girl, he visited Cornwall every year, and there was never any question about where they would retire to! They moved to Heamoor in 2013, and David, keen to get to grips with all things Cornish, joined Klass An Hay. But for coronavirus, he would have taken his Grade 4 exams in 2020.Meanwhile, his love of teaching continues unabated and he took on the Grade 2 group in September of that year. His other main interests are photography and singing in a local male voice choir.
Tony was brought up bilingually in Montreal before returning, aged 9, to Cornwall. He was a fisherman, a mechanic and a youth and community worker before gaining qualifications in ecology and teaching, from the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter respectively, in his late twenties. He has enjoyed 30 years of Primary teaching, half as a ‘teaching Head’, in village schools across west Cornwall. He both leads and delivers Cornish language school and community activities, particularly on trails and visits to heritage sites on the Penwith coast and moors, a place where he also completes weekly butterfly transects as a UKBMS monitor. (Tony is also the Cornwall species champion for the ‘small heath’ butterfly).Tony had hoped to complete his Grade 4 Cornish exams in 2020 but for coronavirus. However, he feels Klass an Hay plays and wearing a Cornish kilt are two equally acceptable alternatives! Currently, Tony is a Cornish Language and Culture Advisor for Keskowethyans Tirwedh Pennwydh (Penwith Landscape Partnership), the Education Lead for Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek (Cornish Language Fellowship) and sits on the Signage Panel of the Akademi Kernewek (Cornish Language Academy).