Cornwall Tourism Awards – Unsung Hero Award, Finalist, 2020/21

Cornwall Tourism Awards – Unsung Hero Award, Finalist, 2020/21

We are thrilled that Patrick Trembath, Gardener and Groundsman, at PK Porthcurno is a finalist in this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards!

The Unsung Hero Award recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry.

The subtropical gardens and grounds at PK Porthcurno are one of our greatest assets and are available free of charge to all visitors and residents of the valley, whether they visit the museum or not. The planting and maintenance of these gardens is the sole responsibility of Patrick Trembath (aka Paddy), who has been the keeper and custodian of these gardens for more than 20 years.

Described on a recent Facebook post by a local as ‘A Porthcurno Legend’, Patrick is a familiar and friendly face to anyone who visits Porthcurno regularly. He is usually found tending the borders and beds, mowing the lawns, tidying the picnic areas, picking up litter and emptying bins. Patrick will always pass the time of day with staff, residents, and visitors alike and can be relied on for a warm smile and cheerful exchange.

Photo of Paddy and Malcolm Williams, Caretaker, thanking some of our funders last year

Gardening during lockdown

During the first COVID-19 lockdown Patrick was the only permanent member of staff on site as without his constant attention, the gardens would have quickly fallen into disarray. While other staff were furloughed or working from home, Patrick came to work every day, and the gardens received as much attention as in any normal year.

If anything, they looked more beautiful than ever and locally people commented that Paddy had ‘excelled himself’. During lockdown, having them looking so attractive was hugely important for local morale and wellbeing and it meant a lot to residents who used the gardens and grounds for their daily exercise. In September, a formal thank you was made to Paddy by the Residents’ Association. Paddy continues to maintain the gardens during this most recent lockdown.


Last year we discovered that Patrick is an experienced beekeeper. When he asked to use a patch of ground away from the public to relocate a hive, we jumped at the opportunity, knowing how good this could be for biodiversity. Patrick offered to train other staff and volunteers in beekeeping and he now has a small team who help maintain and care for the bees. Today, PK has five hives, and we are now producing honey for the PK Shop. We couldn’t have done this without Patrick’s generosity of spirit and willingness to share his knowledge.

Despite his pride in the formal garden, he always has an eye for the insects, birds and animals too, which – as he says – have been here longer than he has and will still be here after he’s gone!

Julia Twomlow, Director, PK Porthcurno

The Cornwall Tourism Awards will take place virtually on Thursday 25 February 2021.

We congratulate all other nominees and wish everyone a great evening.

We will update this page once the winners are announced – but Paddy will always be a winner to us!

Cornwall Tourism Awards


Photo credit: Maeve Cushla

There was no overall winner in this category, as it was decided that each finalist was equally deserving and therefore will share the honour of the 2020/21 Unsung Hero Award – everyone was a winner! We are thrilled for Patrick, and extend our congratulations to the other Unsung Heroes who have each contributed so much to their communities and businesses in these ‘unprecedented’ times.

As Paddy said in his acceptance speech – “I’m just pleased that I was able to make people happy during a difficult time”. Well done Paddy – we love the bow tie!   

September 2021, Paddy was presented with his award at a special ceremony held at Paradise Park. Photo: Nick Williams
Cornwall Tourism Awards – Unsung Hero Award, Finalist, 2020/21
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