The Minack Chronicles

Derek & Jeannie Tangye

The Story of 
         The Minack Chronicles

Prior  to  Derek  and  Jeannie  Tangye’s  move  to  Dorminack  they  had very demanding,  stress laden  roles;  Derek  as  an  MI5  Officer  and  Jeannie  as Publicity  Officer  at  the  Savoy  Hotel  in London.  Their  lives  were glamorous  to  say  the  least!  Mixing  with  the  stars  and  politicians of that era, such as Danny Kaye, George Brown and Gertrude Lawrence.

For  several  years  they  pursued  their  careers  in  this  fashionable  London  lifestyle  until  came the  realisation,  as  has  been  the  case  for so many  in  the  ensuing  years,  that  this  form  of existence  was  just  that, an  existence;  one  that  felt  both  shallow  and  unfulfilled. A  need  had surfaced  to  find  one's  own  way;  to  enjoy  the  more  natural  things  that could  be  offered  by a  slower  pace  of  life;  one  in  which  you  can  feel part  of  your  surroundings;  where material things were not important.

This image is from Woman's Weekly magazine

Glendorgal is to the right, counting 6 windows from the right,  with the  chimneys. The extension to the left forms the rest of the hotel, although now self catering. Steps led down from the top of the cliff to the small bay area where they would play.

Derek's  family  originated  from  Cornwall  and  he  had  spent  a  number of  his  childhood years  at  the  family  home  at  Glendorgal,  near Newquay;  hence,  he  and  Jeannie  came  to spend  their  holidays  in Cornwall.  In  doing  so  it  had  led  them  to  think  Cornwall  would  be the  ideal  place  to  live.  They  had  been  staying  at  Lamorna  Cove  on one such  holiday  and  it was  whilst  walking  the  cliff  path,  arriving  at  a spot called  Carn  Barges,  that  Jeannie  cried out  'There  it  is'!  Far  away  to their  right  was  a  small  cottage hiding  in  the  woods;  tucked away out of the fiercest of westerly winds, called Dorminack.

It  may  have  been  the  hardships  that   often  come  with  such  rural dreams  which  most likely  prompted  their  writing  careers.  With  Derek’s early  career  as  a  journalist,  he  was already  a  published  writer.  For  Jeannie  with  her  glamorous  role  at  The  Savoy,  it  was  a relatively  easy step  for them  both  to use  their  experiences  for  the  basis  of  their books.  In Derek  Tangye's  series  of  19  autobiographical  books, which  fondly  became  known as,  'The  Minack  Chronicles',  he  tells  us  of  their  day  to  day  life,  the  events  that  occur  with the  donkeys,  the cats and  the  wildlife  that  share their  life. Told in a  simply  inspiring  and emotional  way  that  draws  us  in  and  fascinates  us;  of  their unwavering  love  of  wild animals; the countryside and their unfaltering belief in the value of solitude.