Residents of a small Cornish fishing community where Poldark is set fear its drunken fans are causing anti-social behaviour and turning it into a ‘British Ibiza’.
Angry locals in Charlestown say they’ve had the worst summer ever after their village was turned into a ‘party centre’, leaving many afraid to go out after dark.
The Cornish harbour, which is home to ancient tall ships and looks like a scene straight out of a by-gone era, is often used as a filming location for period dramas.
It was one of the main spots used in Poldark, the hit BBC drama featuring Aidan Turner, and in nearly every episode main characters Ross and Demelza visited at least once.
But the popularity has come at a price according to those who live there.
During the summer, thousands of people from across the world headed to the picturesque harbour to make the most of its renowned and very popular restaurants and boozers.
And locals claim that, after dark, the village changes and attracts drinkers, which often leads to antisocial behaviour.
Resident David Nicklin told a meeting: “Charlestown is a village of 480 households but has the largest concentration of bars and restaurants for a radius of 15 miles. “In recent years, due to the Poldark effect and the decline in the number of boozers and restaurants in St Austell, Charlestown has become the centre for the night-time economy.
“The quiet, world heritage, tall ships’ harbour which families visit during the day, changes after dark.
“We’re not yet Cornwall’s Ibiza, but without careful supervision or management we could be.
“We’ve reached the tipping point and we do not intend to go beyond this point.”
The concerns were brought up during a Cornwall Council licencing meeting over the future of the former Lusty Pirate restaurant in the village, with councillors agreeing that Charlestown’s ‘expanding drinking culture’ is becoming a serious issue. “The drinking culture we have now in Charlestown is at a level never before experienced,” Richard Hallows, a St Austell Bay parish councillor, said.
“We’ve become unwittingly the night-time entertainment centre for St Austell.”
According to Mr Hallows, there are now a total of 12 licensed premises in the village which, he said, is unsuitable for late-night drinking.
Another resident added that “Charlestown has become a drinkers’ paradise” and that the effect on locals is unacceptable. In September, a man was assaulted by drinking youngsters after he went to the former Lusty Pirate – which was hosting a DJ event – as a concerned resident.
He said: “It was not an isolated incident. Similar violence, similar trouble has been happening throughout the summer.
“This year has just become the worst year. We don’t feel safe in our village. Older people just refuse to go out after dark.”