THERE were a few tears shed on what would have been the day of Callington Honey Fair on Wednesday last week when a bench was named in memory of a man who was truly ‘Mr Callington’.

The vandalproof bench in tribute to John Trevithick, paid for through contributions from Callington Town Council, looks out from the recreation ground towards Kit Hill – a view John loved.

John, who died in February aged 78, is well-known for his revival of Callington Honey Fair, a tradition begun when Henry III granted a charter for the street market in the 13th century.

Seeing its importance for the town, he brought it back in 1978, and it has been staged on the first Wednesday of October, barring covid, ever since.

While honey fair was vitual this year, run by the Lions, it is due to return next year.

At the ceremony, his wife June vowed to continue his legacy. She explained that John had lived in the town all his life, and had only ever lived at two addresses.

He and June were a big part of Rowlands Fair, held on the recreation ground. John had travelled with the fairs on the weekends from the age of 11 and had also spent longer periods on the road in his retirement with June.

‘He was proud of his town, proud of the fair, proud of his family and proud of the town,’ said June.

‘He said to me, you carry on where I left off and that it what I hope to do. He would have been proud of people and what they have done.’

June was accompanied by sons Paul and Richard and other members of their family, wearing the Cornish tartan associated with the Trevithick family, who can trace their lineage back to steam engine inventor Richard Trevithick.

Callington town cryer Tony Stentiford gave a tribute to John in the form of a ‘cry’.

‘John was a true son of Cornwall, always happy to see you and greet you with a smile and firm handshake. He took great pride in Callington, was a family man, a retained firefighter and a Bard of Cornwall and fair man.

‘John reintroduced Honey Fair to the town in 1978 to pull the town together and give it a sense of community.

‘He was a true Cornishman who loved Callington and Cornwall and his family and he will be greatly missed. God bless you John.’

Callington deputy portreeve Suz Tolman also gave a tribute.

‘I’ve known John all my life and I’m proud to call him my friend. When I first joined the council the person who gave me the best advice was John. When John died, the heart went out of Callington, it died with him. This bench is just a small part of ongoing memories of a wonderful man.’ After the ceremony, everyone present went onto the Bull’s Head pub in Callington to raise a glass in memory of John.

John’s widow June expained she was putting money behind the bar for a wake in John’s memory just as he had asked her to do. ‘It will carry on until the money runs out,’ she said.