So Who exactly IS Jack?
For us, it’s a name that uniquely evokes Cornishness and is more poetic than literal. That said, there are some Jacks we’d like to tip our cap to, including a Jack who led to me being born and growing up down here.
Cousin Jacks - far flung Cornish men.
When tin mining started to decline in Cornwall and the New World opened up, many Cornish men sought more prosperous times abroad. Travelling by sail to places including the Americas, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, they traded on their hard-earned skills underground to participate in the Gold Rush, silver and gem stone mining, prospecting and panning. A second mass migration took place later when copper mining also stopped in Cornwall.
The voyages they took to far flung shores and an uncertain future were long and perilous. Collectively these brave souls were affectionately referred to as ‘Cousin Jacks’ - which some believe came from Cornishmen looking for work to ‘send money home to their Cousin Jack’. However it came about, they certainly left their mark culturally across the globe…
Some say Mexican Empanadas and Pastes were inspired by the Cornish pasty. The name Jenna, popular in the USA, is Cornish for Jane. And we’ve heard tell that the greeting ‘Yo!’ in America originates in the old Cornish greeting ‘You!’.
While not strictly involving mining, Jamaica also shares the Cornish connection through Governor Edward Trelawny, colonial administrator of the island in the early 18th Century. A lot of place names on the island have a Cornish origin and many say Jamaican patties where inspired by the introduction of the Cornish pasty.
Here’s Show Of Hands with their song Cousin Jack, written by Steve Knightley…
We also love the version performed by friend of Jack’s Kombucha, Martha Tilston.
Jack Bawden - Portreath Harbour Master.
Post-war Britain. Megan (a friend of my Dad’s in his teen years) accompanied her father on an ambitious and long motorcycle tour which brought them all the way from bombed-out Bolton, to Portreath - in those days, still a working harbour.
Riding down the hill into the village, a cable snapped! Megan’s dad managed to coast down to the bottom and there they were - stranded.
They asked around for somewhere to stay the night and for help fixing the bike. Villagers pointed them in Jack’s direction. He was a fisherman, all round great chap and Harbour Master, living in a row of cottages at the foot of Lighthouse Hill.
Jack and family kindly took them in and helped mend the bike. That was Jack all over.
The next summer, my dad and Megan came down on holiday to Portreath - by train this time - to stay with Jack. And so began my dad’s love affair with Cornwall. He returned many times, spending time with Jack, fishing for lobsters on Jack’s boat 'The Two Sisters' and enjoying the peaceful surroundings and eased pace of life. He must have gone home to Bolton full of inspiring stories because soon after, several generations of my family left the battle scarred north and started a new life down here.
My dad and mum settled in Helston where I grew up. My Aunty Gwen and my granny both settled in Portreath and I, my sister and brother stayed with them in school holidays. So I grew up familiar with the stunning view from the top of Lighthouse Hill where my aunty lived, Gull Rock and the ‘Pepper Pot’ - a daymark used for marine navigation very near her house.
And here’s the funny thing - Jack’s Kombucha fellow founder, Tim Orr, spent many a summer in Portreath as a child. So it could well be that Tim and I may have played together on the beach, only to then meet many years later - get this - through a mutual love of motorcycling. We’ve been firm friends ever since.
So thanks to Jack Bawden for being an important link in the chain of events that led to me growing up here and now the formation of Jack’s Kombucha with Tim, Billy and Lotta.
Young Master Jack.
This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that according to Tim’s son Jack, of course the company and our products are named after him.
Who are we to contradict young Master Jack?
|Written by Greg, Jack's head of marketing. When he's not doing that, you can find him walking cliff paths, catching the occasional wave, performing live music, or windsurfing at a few favourite local spots.|