• 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.



Lamorna Archive


Archive Open Day February 2016

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events

418 Roger Clemence27 10 2004

The picture above shows high tide at Newlyn Harbour's North Pier, October 27 2004. Courtesy of Roger Clemence.

The first Newlyn Archive Open Day of 2016 on Saturday February 13, 2016 10-3.00 at Trinity Centre reminds us that there were many great storms in the past that certainly equalled the recent one of 2015. Here are two examples of many that we share at the Open Day.

The great storm of October 1880 flooded Newlyn and wrecked the fishing boats moored there, sending them to the bottom, stranding them on the shore, or wrecking them on the rocks. Even more tragically, it resulted in the loss of the Mousehole fishing boat PZ 26 Jane, a 2nd class lugger which went down just outside Penzance harbour. The crew of six men and a boy were drowned in full sight of their wives and children. The rocket apparatus was on the pier but the storm was too ferocious for it to be used. As with all disasters some good accrued later and the 1880 storm was a powerful argument in getting approval for the building of a South Pier at Newlyn; it was also key in leading to the construction of the new road on the Western Green, between Wherrytown and Newlyn.

There were many serious storms that followed. One storm was called the Blizzard in the West. Cornishman reporter Douglas Williams contributed the following account to the records of the storm that were collected and published a month after the blizzard.

'It was on Monday March 9, back in 1891 that the giant blizzard struck the county. The fine weather of the past weeks suddenly ended, the temperature dropped quickly, and snow began to fall as the wind increased in strength. There was tremendous damage to property in the next few days, trains were de-railed, many ships wrecked around the Cornish coast, and throughout the county there were stories of lives lost in snowdrifts...

On the railways in Cornwall and Devon some passengers were snowed up in a train for 36 hours... During this week the takings on the Great Western showed a drop of £12,980... A train that left Penzance at 6.25 pm that night arrived at Plymouth at 3 pm next day. There was a drift of snow 20 ft high at Grampound... When a gang of men arrived to clear the track the cold was so intense that the snow froze on the men's clothes, practically encasing them in ice...

Much of the damage on land could be repaired: at sea there was a different tale. During this week there were wrecks from Start Point to Falmouth resulting in the loss of over 50 lives. At Penare Point, near Helford River, the 2,282 tons Bay of Panama went aground. The captain, his wife, all but one of the six officers, four apprentices and six of the crew, were either frozen to death in the rigging or drowned... There was a serious collision, resulting in the loss of 22 lives, about 140 miles SW of the Isles of Scilly. Only two were saved of the crew of the Roxburgh Castle 'although their piteous cries for help were plainly heard on the British Peer.'

A hawker of wild flowers, Ambrose Matthews was found dead under three feet of snow at Newquay... One woman... found buried in the snow... had mistaken the gate of the field... for that of her own home, and entering the field had fallen exhausted... her basket with the provisions she had bought in the town was found lying beside her. Mining operations in the Camborne-Redruth area were interrupted. A boy named Wallace left his work at one local mine on the afternoon of the storm to walk to his home. Ten days afterwards his body was found in a snow-drift some 30-40 yards from his home.

The Archive Exhibition touches on most of the great storms that have hit Newlyn from the 1880 and 1891 storms to the Great Ash Wednesday Storm 1962, and other subsequent storms ending with the recent events of 2015.

Also contributing to the Exhibition will be the Mousehole Archive and the Lamorna Society Archive.

Let us hope all the storms on Saturday February 13, 2016 will be inside the main hall at Trinity Centre!

Do download the poster.

Click on the PDF file below and save it to your computer.

pdfPoster.pdf19/01/2016, 20:24







November News 2015

Posted in Newlyn Archive News


The amazing picture of St Mary's Church photographed by Vaughan T Paul after the thunderstorm of 4/8/1899 shows work in progress to replace over 100 small panes of glass in the five southern windows which were broken. The Great Storms is the title of the first Newlyn Archive Open Day in 2016 which will be held at Trinity Centre, Chywoone Hill on Saturday 13th February 2016. DO PUT THE DATE IN YOUR DIARY.

2015 was a tremendous year for the archive and we ended the year with the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Newlyn Archive on Saturday November 7th 2015 at 6pm followed by an evening entertainment held at the Newlyn Art Gallery who generously provided the accommodation. The following Friends were elected to the committee for 2015-2016: David Tredinnick (chairperson), Ron Hogg (treasurer), Amanda Thompson (secretary), Tom Lodge (deputy chairperson), Diane Tredinnick (membership secretary), Jay Coleman, Diane Donohue, Anne Forrest (to liase with the Lamorna Society), Andrew Gordon, Denny Harvey, Linda Holmes and Jean Lodge. Margaret Follows was co-opted for school liaison. The honorary archivist Pam Lomax remains an ex officio member of the Committee. Reports were received from the chairman, the treasurer and the honorary archivist.

At the end of the meeting Friend of the Archive John Lambourn talked about The Journal of Henry Kelynack which was amongst the material passed to the Archive by the Newlyn Harbour Master, Rob Parsons.

The journal covered a voyage Henry Kelynack made as a signed on crew member of the 'Queen of the West'. The voyage started at Penzance on June 2, 1851 and finished at Penzance on February 15, 1852. Henry Kelynack recorded details of the weather, sail changes, work activities, cargo handled, navigation aspects such as land seen, speed of the vessel and sights taken with sextants. From the journal it was possible to deduce that the 'Queen of the West' was a topsail schooner. The journal was a remarkable achievement on Henry Kelynack's part as he was only 18 at the time.

John Lambourn's research at Truro Records office revealed records of the 'Queen of the West' registered at Penzance as a two masted schooner, 79 feet in length, 13 feet breadth, 159 tons, square-sterned, with a female figurehead. It was built October 16, 1848 at Newport Monmouthshire and lost in the Mediterranean on November 10, 1860. In keeping with all registered vessels its ownership was in 64 shares which were held by: Thomas Roberts Iron founder (12 shares); Abraham Roberts Gentleman (12 shares); Stephen Tregarthen Master from the parish of Paul (16 shares); Mary Moore Spinster from Liverpool (8 shares); William Gambell Sailmaker from Liverpool (8 shares); John Young and John Cook Ship builders from Newport (8 shares).

The 'Queen of the West' loaded ballast for Cadiz where it was discharged into a barge and loaded salt and barrels of olives for Buenos Aires where this was discharged and a cargo of tallow, hides and bones was loaded for Penzance. This might seem an unlikely cargo but Penzance was very active in trading and manufacturing in the past. There were at least two tanneries in Penzance, one of them at Chyandour owned by the Bolithos. The bones were used to produce many things which we now make of plastic i.e. buttons, cutlery handles etc. The tallow was much needed as a lubricant and other things which our oil industry now provides. Every axle every cog needs lubricant. In the past there were traders known as tallow chandlers. Newlyn and Penzance had very industrious pasts, we tend to think it was all mining, fishing and farming but there was a lot more to it than that.

After the AGM the usual evening of entertainment titled Cark, Byes, Cags and Callamarks was provided for Friends of the Newlyn Archive. The entertainment and a quiz, which had been organised by Andrew Gordon, was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, not least because of Andrew's showmanship and sterling readings from David and Diane Tredinnick, Liz Harman, Dave Barron and Tom Lodge. A highlight of the evening was Jay
Coleman who played the guitar and sang three songs that told stories of Newlyn's past. If you are not a friend of the archive, it is worth joining just to get along to the annual entertainment!