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Moving to St Stephen in Cornwall. Any insight would help

(21 Posts)
Keri1980 Sun 01-May-16 16:53:02

Firstly Hello, this is my first ever post. Mums net has been an invaluable source of information for me from things like thyroid issues to using a Rayburn cooker. So where else would I turn for honest , unbiased advice when it comes to an impending and major house move.
We currently live in Sussex, and have made the decision to move to Cornwall. We've found the house we love and is ideal for our needs, our offer is accepted. But we don't know the area very well and it's giving me sleepless nights. It's me my OH and my mum too (we've a house with an annexe). So Im dreading dragging us all there from a nice area to somewhere that isn't quite so ....
The spot is St Stephen in brannel, 3 miles from at Austell. I know it's on the edges of clay mining and isn't the most "chocolate box picturesque " of areas in Cornwall
I should be excited, but I'm panicking. We know not a soul down there, so if anyone knows the area and could tell me what to expect ( people, friendliness, crime..... Anything) I would be really gratefulflowers. It isn't too late to back out
We can't have children so the schooling side of things isn't relevant to us

sunflowersusan Sun 01-May-16 18:24:49

HI, this is my first ever post too, but had to reply as I had the same problem last year in moving to Devon.
I searched for a Private investigator to check out the area and found this company
www.focusinvestigations.co.uk/index.html
Don't think they would go as far as Cornwall but try searching for similar companies who do neighbourhood checks . The report I got cost about £350 and covered their own observations (parking in the area on a Saturday night and another day time visit, also talking to local shopkeepers and phoning local estate agents), crime figures, even the neighbours!
I thought the money was worth it for peace of mind (although obviously couldn't tell you absolutely everything)

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Sun 01-May-16 18:31:07

Can't help as I don't know the area. But just wanted to say, congratulations OP,

I love Cornwall, it's my ancestral home, and would love to be able to move there eventually. envysmile

Pigeonpost Sun 01-May-16 20:17:06

We moved to about 7 miles outside St Austell last year. It was a 300+ mile total lifestyle change move . St Austell itself is a shithole but the town we live in is lovely. There are so many wonderful places to go and do things I can't see how we'll ever tire of it (apart from when the DC turn 18 and want to branch out a bit). People were SO welcoming to me and although I did force myself to get out there and 'network' in a way not natural to me it worked and we have a much better social life and feeling of community than ever before. You do have to get used to a slightly more laid back way of life, the Cornish do things 'dreckly' and this can be a pain in the ass with tradesmen etc if you are used to faster paid city life. We haven't regretted it for a minute though, feel free to PM me if you want to chat in more detail.

Andbabymakesthree Sun 01-May-16 20:25:39

I wouldn't describe St Austell as a shithole. Its failed over recent years because people have shunned it due to its poor reputation. However we still go in once a week or so into the actual town to buy stuff. It has a mix of independents and high street retailers. The independents are struggling and need our support.

The local politics within the town and areas developments means so much squabbling and not much action.
Our MP is a joke too. A local man who has forgotten common decency.

Andbabymakesthree Sun 01-May-16 20:28:34

As for St Stephen its a nice village. The clays as they are known aren't as industrial as they once were.
The secondary school used to be awful but now its supposedly one of the best with facilities to match.
Primary school mixed reviews but tbh no schools in Cornwall are that bad- even those in special measures.

Andbabymakesthree Sun 01-May-16 20:30:42

Im so sorry i missed the children side of things.

Its still relevant though as St Stephen is a busy village due to the secondary school.

Owllady Sun 01-May-16 20:33:18

Relax and enjoy it smile

Flipflop22 Tue 03-May-16 16:30:04

Thanks so much for the replies
I'll consider a investigator, after forking out £700 for a building survey the cost of checking out the area may be money well spent
But then, after hearing nothing to worry about here.....
I've been to St Austell town a fair few times, while its not as smart as Truro, it's a helluva lot nicer that my nearest town (Crawley).
I've posted on yahoo questions and was told I'll be ok as long as I don't try and "change the Cornish way". I've no intention of going there and doing anything such, but I am curious to know exactly ..... What is the way of the Cornish?🤔
If it's the slower pace, great that's one of the draws
Any ways, I am feeling more excited again rather that scared. As it should be😊

Pigeonpost Tue 03-May-16 17:52:13

I can't see what an investigator will achieve. Sounds like a waste of money to me.

As for "the Cornish way" that'll be the doing things 'dreckly' way. Ie in their own good time, at their own pace and probably to their own criteria. I have an excellent builder though (who isn't Cornish and therefore subscribes to a more standard work pace!) should you ever need one! So yes, slower pace. Inability to cope with crowds. The 'winter wonderland' with fake snow in Truro last year had people up in arms about "safety". It was nowhere near as bad as the London Underground at rush hour by comparison.

BUT, the Cornish people have an enormous pride in the beautiful place where they live and the amazing things that happen here. Eden is obviously just round the corner is a major pull and an incredible thing to have on your doorstep. More beautiful beaches than you could ever need. Incredible local produce and fabulous places to eat. Have you got a dog? We got one after we moved here and Cornwall is super dog friendly which helps.

There isn't really any crime. Not on a 'normal' scale. Some people where I live leave their front doors open all day! Work can be tricky. My husband works remotely so didn't need to change his job when we moved but average earnings are low down here and people tend to have their fingers in lots of pies. So Bob might work as a carpenter during the day but he'll also have a share in a local cider company and help his mate run a bike hire place as well. Tourism is obviously A Big Thing down here so things can be quite seasonal. Traffic is dreadful on the A30 in the summer so we tend to go exploring out of season which is still lovely. We have started doing Airbnb. I never imagined I'd be going into the hospitality industry but I've really enjoyed it. You just have to learn to think a bit differently and adapt.

Oh and one thing I have learnt having been down here about 18 months now is that you do need to get out of Cornwall sometimes. As beautiful as it is, it is healthy to remember that there is the rest of the country out there. Where they have motorways. And Waitrose. And crowds.

Good luck! smile

TheTeaFairy Wed 04-May-16 10:31:58

Pigeonpost I've PM-ed you smile

CharlW1 Wed 04-May-16 10:49:29

My parents live just outside of St Austell in Carlyon Bay and it's gorgeous. They moved there about 15 years a go and have not looked back.
Yes it's definitely laid back and relaxed but people are friendly.
St Austell has been regenerated a fair bit and has a lovely local cinema, independent shops and high street shops - it's definitely much better than it was when my parents moved down and they go in around once a week too.
There are lots if lively local pubs and lots to see and do.
Enjoy the move - it sounds like it's a great move for you.

CharlW1 Wed 04-May-16 10:50:03

*should say lovely rather than lively local pubs smile

Pigeonpost Wed 04-May-16 11:46:10

LOVE Carlyon Bay. Crinnis Beach is my fave and I can't wait until Sam's at the Bay re-opens. I go into St Austell about twice a week by necessity (Aldi, Tesco, Asda, hairdressers, baby groups, B&Q, Wilko etc). I guess it does what it needs to do as we've been here almost 18 months and I've only been over to Truro once! I suspect some local pubs are lively Charl smile

kernowgal Wed 04-May-16 13:00:58

Another local to St Austell here - it has been totally failed by the town planners and is actually a handsome place if you look above the shop fronts. Shite River Place is a concrete carbuncle of a windtunnel though (cinema's OK however).

I have no idea why you would hire a private investigator to check out St Stephen, it's a village in clay country, not Mexico City. It has easy access to the A30 and both the north and south coasts, so a good base for getting around. Regular buses too from what I remember. Several friends live there and are very happy.

Cornwall is very dreckly but you get used to it and adapt to the pace. It is friendly and beautiful and I love it. But as PigeonPost says, it is very easy to get stuck down here and forget that anywhere exists beyond the Tamar. Jobs are tricky depending on what you do - I am looking around at the moment but there's never a great deal about and wages are low compared to the rest of the country. The six weeks of summer holidays are a nightmare but the compensation is having Cornwall to ourselves for the rest of the year - shoulder season either side of the summer hols is the best time of year, especially right now, as the beaches are quiet but the weather's nicer and it's looking stunning.

I'm hoping Sam's at the Bay is coming back - heard a rumour that they weren't, then another mate said they were, but further up the beach. So fingers crossed!

Pigeonpost Thu 05-May-16 23:04:47

Link re crime rate

Sam's at the Bay is due back this month, yes further up the beach. Yippee'n

scaryteacher Fri 06-May-16 16:36:02

Pigeonpost We have Waitrose at Saltash, which is still the right side of the Tamar! I was in it last week when I went home briefly before schlepping back to Brussels (where we can also get Waitrose stuff, but it costs more).

Andbabymakesthree Fri 06-May-16 17:51:07

Truro waitrose opens mid June.

UmbongoUnchained Fri 06-May-16 17:57:03

You'll either love it or hate it. I personally hate it and can't wait to leave but that's more the people here rather than the actual place. The actually place is beautiful.

Pigeonpost Fri 06-May-16 18:09:44

I haven't yet got my head around the accepted Cornish tradition of driving for 45 mins to get a shop/supermarket. I moved from a city with everything on the doorstep. I've only been to Truro once in almost 18 months and then only bought a pair of jeans.

Flipflop22 Fri 06-May-16 22:20:20

Blimey pigeonpost, I've been to Truro more often than you and I'm 6 hours away
That said, I only bought a Starbucks coffee
From what I've seen, the ratio of lovely folk to not so nice peeps far outweighs the percentages here

Thanks to everyone, I'm getting excited. Fretting over kitchen sinks and paint now (happy fret)

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