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.
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.