St Just rocks.
Yet for those who don’t know the place it can seem like a sleepy town at the far west of Cornwall, somehow hanging on to its good shops and galleries.
What unities St Just, making it such a great place to live, is Lafrowda.
The word itself comes from the ancient name of the church land that the two was built on, but today it’s a byword for the spirit of cooperation that binds the town.
It’s a town that was on its knees back in the late 80s and 90s after Geevor, Cornwall’s last tin mine, closed.
Today it doesn’t look a lot different, but its community of artistically focussed residents come together throughout the year to create the two week festival of Lafrowda.
It was only established in 1996, following the demise of the town’s carnival, but now performance arts, from music to theatre to good old fashioned carnival processions make July the most anticipated month of the year.
The big events – Lafrowda Day itself on the 18th, Lawforwda Eve, Dreckly Come Dancing make up the exciting public face of the festival. While the year round planning and fund raising pull everyone together.
Last October’s Lafrowda Oscars held at Cape School was a mad event where people struggled for breath as they laughed and hooted at each other’s Oscar film entires. This year the big event will be the MOJOs (Music of st Just Origin – with a silent S), the film festival, and a load of other things I’ve forgotten.
If you only come to St Just twice this year, come on 18th July and celebrate Lafrowda, and then again a few weeks later to realise that we’re all reasonably normal after all.