• Friends of the Archive

    Friends of the Archive elect a committee of volunteers that includes a chairman, treasurer, secretary, and six
    ordinary committee members, four of whom take responsibility for membership, local liaison, publicity and
    telephone contact. The archivist is an ex officio member of the committee.

    Here is treasurer, Ron Hogg outside the Fishermen’s Rest where the archive held its exhibition as part of theParty on the Pier in March 2012.

  • Newlyn Archive open days

    Partner institutions like the Newlyn Art Gallery and Penlee House Gallery have participated in Newlyn Archive Open Days.

    Here a member of the team at Newlyn Art Gallery works with a child on a project about Seaside Voices at the Open Day Faces of Newlyn held in January 2010.

  • Newlyn Archive activities

    A wide range of people including young people are involved in particular projects, both learning from and contributing to their community archive.

    Here the children from Newlyn School are accompanied by archive secretary Mary Ellery on a walk along the Tolcarne Stream as part of the Bygone Newlyn Project in 2011.

  • The Newlyn Archive is a collection of material about Newlyn.

    The purpose of the archive is to collect, preserve, store and share stories, documents, and pictures relating to the history of Newlyn from distant times until today.

    William Badcock was one of the crew of seven men who sailed the lugger Mystery to Australia in 1854. Here he is back in Newlyn with his wife Harriet.

  • Newlyn Archive open days

    Four annual Open Days, with free admission, focus on a chosen theme, and enable people to enjoy and learn from the archive holdings.

    Here are people at the Newlyn Family Open Day held in November 2011; they are engrossed with the old school photographs showing classes from the Wesleyan School, Newlyn Board School, Trewarveneth Infants andTolcarne School (now Newlyn School).

  • Jan Ruhrmund

    The Archive also provides exhibition material at annual public events held locally such as the Newlyn Fish Festival and the Party on the Pier (British Tourism) or at one‐off events such as the Passmore Edward Centenary that was held at Newlyn Art Gallery in 2011.

    Here is Jan Ruhrmund the Penzance Mayor signing the visitors book with Pam Lomax (seated) at the Newlyn Fish Festival, August 2010.

  • friends of the Newlyn Archive

    Amongst the Friends of the Archive, are a number of people who are willing to display and discuss their very
    considerable private archives at the Open Days.

    Here a small group of Friends listen to Jeff Richards (seated middle) as he shows his album of Newlyn
    postcards at the Open Day Fishing at Newlyn held in February 2010.

  • Become a Friend of the Newlyn Archive.

    Friends of the Newlyn Archive are actively involved in creating and fashioning the Newlyn Archive by participating in events, adding to the archive resources, or taking responsibility for research in particular areas of the archive.

    Linda Holmes is a Friend of the Archive whose Penwith family roots go back to the seventeenth century. Here she is with membership secretary Diane Tredinnick talking to a visitor at the June 2010 Open Day Newlyn at War.

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Lamorna Archive

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When the Quarry Guns Sounded July 18 2015

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events

5441 Website

We have called the next Newlyn Archive Open Day on Saturday 18 July 2015, 10am-3.00pm in the Main Hall, Trinity Centre, Chywoone Hill, 'When the Quarry Guns Sounded'. Local people remember the 'Quarry Guns' at I2 noon and 4.30pm signalling that blasting was about to begin at Penlee Quarry. The people on Skilly beach made a run to the shelter when the siren sounded and often saw stones fall into the sea.

Known originally as Gwavas Quarry, the quarry was opened in 1882 by James Runnalls (1837-1895) from Penzance and some of its stone would have been used for the new road from Tolcarne to Penzance for which Runnalls had the contract.

The photograph above was taken almost a hundred years later, on September 22, 1993 when Gerald Williams set out to record the final demolition of the old quarry buildings. The photo shows the end of one of the huge reinforced concrete silos, as the heavy hydraulic breaker smashes it to pieces.

In its day Penlee Quarry was a huge successful enterprise. Once the locomotive 'Penlee', known as 'Janner's Engine' after her driver J Maddern (who wore a bowler hat to work) pulled the huge containers full of stone from the Quarry to the South Pier where it was loaded into stone boats that had fancy bird names like SS Stork, SS Albatross and SS Guillemot or were part of the fleet of ships whose name ended in 'brook' like Londonbrook or Leicesterbrook or Caernarvonbrook.

In the 1960s, when the ships were loaded by the diesel locos that had taken over from Janner's engine, six locomotives were needed for operations, four higher powered ones on the main line and two lower powered ones shunting the empty tipper wagons through the two loading points. At this time the locos were named after people like TW Lewis and JW Jenkin shown in the poster.

In 1973, the railway ceased operations and was replaced by a belt conveyor system using the same route. Operations at the quarry then slowed throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s. By 1989 Penlee Quarry had closed down but the derelict buildings remained and although there was a petition to have the buildings along the Newlyn-Mousehole road removed, this did not happen until 1993.

If you would like to explore what the archive holds about Penlee Quarry you should click on Archive Catalogue, then on Places. You can download the PDF file on Places by opening the PDF file and saving it on your computer. Information about Penlee Quarry is at the end of the list in pages 55-60.

If you want to download the poster for the Open Day, click on the PDF file below and when it opens either save it or print it.

pdfNewlyn_Poster.pdf11/07/2015, 14:31

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Updating the Archive, June 2015

Posted in Newlyn Archive News

3727.1 1956

Above: J Irving Thomas was one of the early conductors who led the choir to many county honours until his retirement in 1956 when he was presented with an FM radio, then a very new product. Front row: Mrs Thomas, J Irving Thomas, Leonard Hall, John White, Second row: Gordon Richards, Clarence Wallis, Andy Gendall, Bernard Hitchens, Cecil Weeks. Third row: Clive Nicholls, Jim Renfree, Roy Bersey, Harry Hosken, Ronald Whatley, Gordon Williams, Horton Bolitho, Louis Hunkin, Jimmy Harvey (out of picture). Top row: Leonard Hall, Leslie Sleeman, Dick Sleeman, Bill Simons, Phil Gendall, Dick McLary and Jack Rowe.

Newlyn Male Choir

The history of the choir until 1991 is well recorded in Ivan Balls' short history Buccas Song published in 1991. The choir had its beginning in Mr William Richards tailor's shop in narrow Church Street on the cliff above old Newlyn Harbour where a group of men met to sing together. More formally, it began with a Charity Concert in September 1920 organised by William Richards to raise funds for the family of the trammer William John Harvey, who had died in an accident at Penlee Quarry. This led in due course to a concert on 19/9/1921 at Trinity Methodist Schoolroom with William Richards conducting and W Norris Williams as the accompanist.

4730.1 MVC BadgeOver nearly a century the choir has left its mark on the history of Cornish male choirs. Its original logo, which is pictured on its badge (right), consisted of a shield with four quarters depicting a Mount's Bay lugger, St Piran's cross, Newlyn harbour lighthouse, and a lyre. Towards the end of 1950 this was modified when 'voice' was dropped from its name and the Newlyn Male Voice Choir became the Newlyn Male Choir.

The choir has been awarded numerous certificates to mark its success at the various Cornish Competitions and at times it was considered to be one of the best male choirs in Cornwall. Sadly, the choir disbanded in 2014 but its considerable archive which is part of the heritage of Newlyn, is safe. Here at the Newlyn Archive we have just finished sorting the vast collection of material that has been collected over 94 years and the catalogue is available for you to download as a PDF file from this website. What you need to do is click on 'Archive Catalogue'. Then click on 'Leisure' under the main archive. At the bottom click on the PDF link 'Leisure'. When the PDF opens click on 'save a copy'. If your family is from Newlyn no doubt your family name is somewhere in this file!

The physical archive includes two meticulously kept minute books dated 1935-1964 and 1965-1998 and a file of more recent minutes kept by Bryan Marshall who was secretary from 1998 until the choir's demise in 2014. There are 10 files of letters listed by year and sorted by date and 7 files of photos, programmes and other memorabilia that document in detail the story of the choir. There are a number of miscellaneous items including the NMC Banner 'Deurnes Mannenkoor' dated 8/1/1975 and embroidered by Mrs Barbara Hosking. There are also a number of cassettes and videos which we hope to get transferred to CDs and DVDs so that they can be accessed by future generations.

This valuable collection of photos, letters and documents links well with other material in the Newlyn Archive. For example, a letter to the choir from Job Morris at Sentinel Recording Studios dated 3/4/1989 announces the end of Sentinel Records (Cornwall). This venture originated in Newlyn with premises in the Strand (see Place in Catalogue). John Henry 'Harry' Matthews (1895-1954), who was one of the founder members of the Newlyn Male Voice Choir, and one of its first conductors was awarded the Medaille Reconnaissance Française for work at Newlyn during the war (see War in Catalogue). Brenda Wooton who was the soloist with the choir for the 11th Inter-Celtic Festival in L'Orient, Brittany in 1981 worked in Peter Ellery's Tremaen Pottery on the Norrad Slip (see Art Archive: Arts and Crafts in Catalogue). More generally, through the years many of the venues have been Methodist chapels confirming the relation between Methodism and singing (see Organisations in the Catalogue).

The archive holds an amazing record of the choir but there are gaps in its material. We do not have copies of all the programmes or stories for all the events. If you have a collection of material about the choir, why not lodge it in the archive for safe-keeping? We would also like to hold an open day about the choir in 2016 but for this we will have to find funding so please become a friend of the archive (£5 per annum) or send us a donation towards the 2016 event. The Treasurer is Ron Hogg, Wheal Betsy, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn TR18 5AP.