Come and meet Billy in ‘MOVING HEAVEN AND EARTH – the making of Minack.
Billy Rawlings spent 40 years employed by Rowena Cade as gardener and handyman.
Rowena Cade wrote of him that he was quick, strong, courageous, and tenacious; once set on doing a thing he was hard to stop, even if it appeared to be becoming dangerous. From the 1920s onwards Billy took on the task of constructing the gardens and terraces, lawns and paths on the cliffs around Minack House; and later (1932) with the help of his brother-in-law (Charles Thomas Angove), building, with granite cut on the site, the simple grassed terrace and rings of seats for the start of the Minack Theatre.
For the rest of his working life he , alongside Miss Cade, armed only with drill and hammer, bar and barrow, his own will-power and inherited skills, added gradually a ring fence, a car park, an approach road and path from the cove.
She wrote: “Occasionally he had a man with him to blast rocks or move ‘grounders’, but he practically made the Minack Theatre single-handed, with only the aid of a tough, ageing woman, his employer and friend.”
From the memories of the family and people who knew him, local storyteller Mark Harandon has researched and re-created the character of Billy and will lead you
around the theatre telling stories and reminiscing about how the theatre was built.
Come along between 10am and 2pm and catch up with ‘Billy’ in the theatre to hear his stories.
Minack’s standard daytime entry prices apply. PRICES