STUART HODGES  1933 – 2010

The Gentle Giant

Stuart was born in Port Navas, son of Sydney and Iris Hodges and the youngest of 1 brother, 4 sisters and 7 half sisters and brothers. He lived in Chestnut Cottage in the centre of Port Navas, a former pub called the ‘Jolly Sailor’. His elder brother Leonard was, just as grandfather and father before, manager of the Oyster Farm so Stuart joined him where he learnt how to dredge and cultivate native Helford oysters.

Having gained carpentry skills by spending time with a carpenter in Port Navas, Stuart used these skills to renovate two cottages in Well Lane, Constantine which he and his wife Jill bought after their marriage in 1965. He made the two cottages into one and stayed there with Jill and their two sons, Lee and Adrian until 1975.  He left the oyster farm and they all went to Falmouth where they bought and ran Wentworth Guest House for 13 years.

Stuart loved the sea and was proud of the boats they owned, 18ft gaff rigged sloop, 16ft oyster punt and a 12ft rowing boat, all clinker built and moored in Port Navas.

After retirement Stuart developed his skill of painting. His love of the sea and the Cornish countryside is featured in all his paintings. He made authentic stone engine houses, the smallest of which measured 12 inches by 10 inches.  They were built of local stone and slate.  Stuart had cards printed from his paintings and together with these, his paintings and engine houses, he took them to local craft fairs where he sold many.  So his memory lives on.

Towards the end of his life he decided to draft an account of some of his early life and oyster farming. The subject of oyster farming is now dying out and he wanted the methods used to be preserved, but sadly he could not finish the project.

SEE Stuart’s collection

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