November 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News


Above: David Tredinnick, Chairman of the Newlyn Archive with film-maker Shauna Osborne-Dowle at the launch of the film 'Boathouse Diary' at the recent Open Day.

The last Open Day of 2017 has gone with a flourish and the only significant item on the Archive Agenda before Christmas is the 8th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Newlyn Archive which will be held on Saturday 18 2017 at 6pm in the Newlyn Art Gallery. The papers for this event have already been circulated to Friends of the Archive.

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Above: Liza Harman next to the board depicting her dressed as a Newlyn Fishwife.

The Open Day 'Newlyn in Uniform' was held on a day with one of the worst weather forecasts of the year and consequently the number of visitors was down. Despite the weather, 77 people managed to get to the show which contained two remarkable events.

The first event was the launch of a short film, made by Shauna Osborne-Dowle about the move of Newlyn Archive to its new permanent home in the Admiralty Boathouse at 23 The Strand, Newlyn in the heart of the village. In the film, Newlyn Archive members tell the story of the Boathouse, it's history, it's former use as a post office and of the renovations which have made the Boathouse what it is today, an easily accessible, cultural facility and community hub. The film was made because of the Archive being one of five members of the Cornish Archive Network to win a competition 'Five Archive Films' offered by Medial Productions, Kresen Kernow and Azook. The Newlyn Archive was selected because of the quality and relevance of the story that is told in the film.

The second major event of the Open Day was the launch of the latest Archive Book, 'The Story of Newlyn Harbour' edited by Archivist Pam Lomax and Committee Member Linda Holmes. The book tells the story of Newlyn Harbour from the days before the South and North Piers were built until the building of the Mary Williams Pier and the Fish Market. There are many anecdotes about the men and women who worked around the harbour and there is an index of family names for people who want to trace their family history. There is an order form on this website so do put the book on your Christmas list and support the Archive.

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Report on the Open Day

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News


Christopher Laughton took this wonderful photo of the Archive Open day at Trinity on Saturday 6th September. 114 visitors visited the exhibition which was about 'The people who made the harbour'.

Sue Roach, who organised the rota, reported that 'the day was busy and lively and the boards were full of interesting records of events and people from the earliest times to the opening of the present-day fish market by Princess Diana in the 1980s. A more poignant board told of the loss of the fishing boat Jane, which lead eventually to the building of the South Pier, the first extension of the original Harbour deemed to be the oldest structure now in Newlyn. Visitors were very impressed by the exhibition generally and comments such as 'excellent as usual' 'great: very interesting' and 'extremely impressive' featured in the comments book'.

Our opening at the Boathouse, Tuesday- Friday mornings 9.30-12, has also been very successful. We have had many visitors and added a considerable amount of new information to the archive. Many people have also become new Friends of the Archive. It seems that being in the centre of Newlyn has been a great boost to the Archive and if you have not made a visit yet, please call in.




At the Boathouse, August 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News


Above: A morning at the archive. Visitors with Maurice Bishop, Dave Barron and Sean Perrott.

So much has happened since the last posting in June. The Boathouse is now open to the public Tuesday-Friday (four mornings) from 9.30-12 o'clock, thanks to our generous landlords the Newlyn Harbour Commissioners. We opened with a beautiful new carpet, a suitable blue for the Admiralty Boathouse, provided courtesy of Alfred Smith, Penzance who gave us the carpet and sent a wonderful team to fit and lay it. Our opening events have been successful, thanks to the generosity of Heritage Lottery.

Since we opened our committed team of archive volunteers have provided a super service to old Friends of the Archive and newcomers many of whom have become Friends of the Archive. We still have a lot of work to do. When the chimney is sorted at the back of the room we can move the rest of the archive cabinets down. When we have got a water supply and drain working under the stairs we can be more generous in offering tea and coffee. But progress has been miraculous.


Most recently, Frank Iddiols came to the Boathouse (on Wednesday 23 August 2017 at 12 noon) to present the Ordnance Survey Flush Bracket that he has mounted for the Archive (see picture above). It is now placed inside the front door of the Boathouse about 2' off the ground, as is appropriate. He will now inform Ordnance Survey and update the bench mark database. David Tredinnick presented this bench mark to the archive and it represents 100 years of Newlyn history. Do come and have a look at the bench mark.

As well as opening on our usual mornings we will be open on Bank Holiday Monday from 9.30 until 4 o'clock to coincide with the Newlyn Fish Festival. The entrance to the Fish Festival is just past the Boathouse. Do drop in to see us before enjoying the excitement of the Fish Festival.

We will soon be distributing the poster for our next Open Day at Trinity Centre on Saturday September 2, 2017 10-3.00. Called 'The people who made the harbour at Newlyn' it traces the history of the harbour and its designers, builders, commissioners, harbour masters, fish dealers and fishermen from earliest times until the building of the Mary Williams Pier and the new Fish Market. Please put this date in your diary.



Open Day Review June 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

June 2017

On a very warm Saturday, June 16 2017, the archive held its most recent Open Day '100 Years Ago' at Trinity Centre, Newlyn. Much of the Exhibition centred on that year 1917 and the archive had on show material from all three of its archives on Newlyn, Lamorna and West Cornwall Art. The Mousehole Archive was also on hand and there was a board of information about the project to save and renovate the old Newlyn fishing lugger PS 134 Ocean Pride.

The Exhibition celebrated and brought to light the contribution made to World War I by the inhabitants of West Cornwall. The fascinating display included material from the 1917 Newlyn Harbour Log Books; pictures and cuttings of planes in Sandy Cove; the torpedoing of the Newlyn-based fishing boat The Try by a German U-boat; local men in the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry; and stories of local people and artists living in Newlyn and Lamorna in 1917. A particularly interesting item from the archive was a detailed record of Charles Simpson's service for Coastwatch during 1917. Friends of the Archive, Paula Chatsworthy and Jim Hill (who are helping to update the Simpson Archive), were also on hand to show some of their Simpson paintings.

The exhibition was bustling with 140 visitors enjoying the chance to explore events that took place 100 years ago. Our hard-working committee were in attendance helped by other Friends of the Archive on duty at the door to welcome visitors. Brian Newton, who has taken over from Denny Harvey, showed some fascinating archive film including footage of a local farmer and his wife working the land with the traditional plough and two horses as would have been the case 100 years ago. Diane Donohue was busy as ever helping people to identify their family history, and Diane and David Tredinnick and Tom Lodge were raising funds for the archive, the former with their sale of second hand books and the latter (who will be leaving the committee soon) with a very successful raffle for a wonderful framed print of Stanhope Forbes' Seine Boat kindly donated by Bill Royston.

In the morning, members of the Lamorna Society attended including Friend of the Archive David Tovey who has recently written a book about Crosbie Garstin (son of Norman) who was on active service in 1917. Ex-committee member Andrew Gordon was also there with copies of his new book about Alex Forbes (son of Stanhope), who died during WW1. These books can be found on line. As always local people were generous in contributing new material to the archive and we were particularly thrilled with the collection of old photographs that DW Harvey has given us to copy.

Pub June 2017



Reviews April 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

1892 JL

The photo shows the 34ft long Ripple SS 19 leading Rippling Wave SS 628 out of St Ives prior to World War I when fishing under sail. Ripple was built at St Ives and registered as SS 19 in 1896. During World War I, this 34ft sailing pilchard driver helped to feed the nation when the enemy blockade was in place and the steam drifters and trawlers had been requisitioned by the Navy.

Ripple SS 19 was moored behind the Old Quay at Newlyn for the Painting Day held there on Saturday 11 March. The Newlyn Archive supported the festivities for this third Painting Day, occupying the old Fishermen's Rest building on the land side of the medieval quay. This building originally provided an alternative meeting place for the local fishermen when they could no longer use rooms situated at the bottom of Church St. It was thanks mainly to the Rev Harold Hoskins that planning permission was granted retrospectively after it was built by volunteers, in stone provided by the Penlee Quarry in 1966. The two harmoniums inside would have been donated by St Peter's church in Newlyn thus affording the building a religious character. This year the building hosted display boards from the Archive depicting the history of the Newlyn fishing industry and celebrating the beautiful old Luggers that lie at the heart of the Painting Day festivities.

The tradition of Painting Days started in 2011 with the aim of celebrating the contribution made to the community by these former working vessels by inviting artists to spend time sketching and painting them in the context of the harbour. This would coincide with the annual restoration painting of the Luggers, Happy Return, Ripple and Barnabas by their owners and maintainers: a bringing together of the worlds of commerce and art. This year the Ripple and Happy Return were moored and ready to be painted; prime examples of vessels from the fleets that were the life blood of the local community in former times. Sketching and painting took place throughout the day and visitors enjoyed the displays and photographs from the Archive in the Fishermen's Rest building nearby. Friend of the Archive, John Lambourn was helpful in explaining how important it is to celebrate the heritage of these fine working boats which provided work for the entire community. Some would build and repair them; others made and mended the nets and sails; and women mainly would deal with and later cure the catch. Essentially the boats were the lifeblood of the community. The idea for the day grew originally from John's plan to bring the boats 'to life' by allowing artists to paint them in their iconic setting and so to celebrate their history and significance.

Did you know that there are only three original West Cornish double ended (sharp sterned) fishing luggers known about today, the Barnabas SS 634 at Penzance, the Ripple SS 19 at Newlyn and the Rosalind (ex-Susan SS 185) in Maine, USA?

John Lambourn was responsible for bringing the Ripple to Newlyn and undertaking her renovation so that now she is a sea-worthy vessel. One of his missions is to preserve old luggers. At Newlyn, there is a site, the knowledge, the experience, the skills and the enthusiasm to give them a new lease of life as sailing luggers, perhaps making Newlyn the centre for these historic old vessels. John's latest exploit is to rescue and preserve a Cornish relic now languishing at Chesapeake Bay USA awaiting the chain saw if nothing is done, the double ended St Ives sailing fishing lugger, Rosalind.

Rosalind was built as SS 185 Susan by the renowned William Paynter at his boatyard near the Customs House, St Ives and registered as a lugger in 1903 for owner-skipper William Jennings. Her keel was 36.3 feet long and her overall length 39.4 feet with a beam of 12.5 feet, depth of 5.8 feet and tonnage of 19.37. At just under 40 feet long she was very like the Barnabas. She had different owners and changes of name before becoming Rosalind FY 26 in 1919 when she was sold to skipper John Behenna of Mevagissey. In 1921 and 1922 Rosalind was listed among the huge fishing fleet at Newlyn. When war came, she fished at Mevagissey. Changing owners several times, she was converted to a leisure vessel in 1992 and rigged as a gaff schooner yacht for Richard Griffiths on the East Coast of the USA.

With the death of her owner, the boat is threatened with demolition, and plans are in hand to bring her home to Cornwall. John Lambourn has started an appeal to raise £12,000 towards the cost of transporting the lugger to Newlyn. The transport would be in three stages, by road to Baltimore, shipping in a container to Southampton and a final road transport leg to Newlyn.

If you can help, please be generous. Donations should be made to: The Rosalind Rescue Appeal, c/o West Cornwall Lugger Industry Trust Ltd, Barclays Bank, sort code 20-67-19 a/c 00498092. For more information call 01736 366 868.

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The photo was taken at our most recent Open Day, On the Other Side, which took place in The Centre from 10am until 3pm on Saturday, 1st April 2017. It shows Diane Tredinnick selling second-hand books, and raising an amazing £77.80 for the Archive. Behind her is our family history expert Diane Donohue. In the distance, Denny Harvey is showing fascinating films, including dramatic footage of the Torrey Canyon bombing and coastal devastation at the time. Films of smuggling and the Newlyn riots were also enjoyed and a Time Team programme about a prehistoric Fogou near St Buryan.

There were 131 visitors keen to read the display boards and study the filed resources of letters and photographs available. A raffle previously started in The Boathouse raised £63 and was won by a resident from Tolcarne. The prize was a handsome wooden board depicting a map of Great Britain together with the sea areas of the Shipping Forecast handcrafted by the late Mike 'Butts' Buttery of Mousehole.

Some visitors had expected the exhibition to be held at The Boathouse. The Boathouse is not large enough for a major exhibition, so even when we occupy the Boathouse (hopefully in May) we will still be holding four major exhibitions each year at Trinity Centre.

Please put the next exhibition dates at Trinity in your diary.

Saturday June 17, 2017 10-3.00. A Hundred Years Ago

Saturday September 2, 2017 10-3.00. The People who made the Harbour at Newlyn: Designers, builders, harbour masters and fishermen

Saturday October 21, 2017 10-3.00. Newlyn in uniform: the armed forces, nurses, scouts and many others.



Boathouse Launch March 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News


On Friday March 24 2017, the Newlyn Archive celebrated the launch of its project 'Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage' at its future home, The Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn TR18 5HL. The project aims to make the old Coastguard's Boathouse and more recent Newlyn Post Office the centre of Heritage in Newlyn by locating the Newlyn Archive, The Lamorna Archive and the West Cornwall Art Archive there.


The Friday Launch at the Boathouse was attended by invited local dignitaries, friends of the archive who have been involved in renovating the building to its present state, and representatives of the press. David Tredinnick, chairman of the Archive Committee welcomed the guests who included the Mayor of Penzance and others who generously had written letters of recommendation for our HLF grant. Rob Wing (chairman), spoke for the Harbour Commissioners, who have been so supportive of this project and are making the Boathouse available to the Archive at a peppercorn rent (Photo 1). Ron Hogg, who has masterminded the work already achieved to renovate the Boathouse, explained what needed to be done before we could move the archive physically there. Rob Parsons, Newlyn Harbour Master ended the proceedings with a presentation to retiring Dave Barron, whose historic wooden newsagents shop next to the Boathouse is due to be removed as part of the Harbour Authorities plans to make a more spacious area around the Boathouse.

The project has been generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund ( whose grant of £3000 will help to unlock our hidden local heritage. 'The grant will be used to provide the digital equipment we need to enable visitors to explore the archive more efficiently', said committee member Denny Harvey who looks after this side of the archive. 'We are planning another book about the harbour, and the grant is contributing to this and the major exhibition we will hold at Trinity Centre in September', said committee member Linda Holmes who is listing the content of the great collection of historic harbour logs given to the Archive by the Harbour Authority. 'We hope that using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will make a lasting difference for heritage here, as it helps other people and communities across the UK to build a resilient heritage economy' said Pam Lomax, archivist.

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On Saturday March 25 2017 the Boathouse was open to Friends of the Archive so that they could have a good look at the location that would house the treasures that many of them have donated to the archive in the past. Friends of the Archive have been incredibly generous with donations towards the work being undertaken at the Boathouse. The Boathouse was open from 10am until 4pm and there were light refreshments available, generously supplied by the Newlyn Co-op. We had eight new boards on legs (bought with a grant from Cornwall Council) that contained information and photographs about the history of the Boathouse and the history of the Harbour. The day was a great success and many Friends of the Archive signed the new visitor's book that will commemorate our first opening at the Boathouse.

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On Monday 27 2017 we welcomed our first party of school children from Newlyn School with their teacher Jo Fitzgerald, and seconded committee member and ex-primary school headteacher, Margaret Follows who takes charge of school liaison for the Archive. We wanted the Newlyn School children to feel some ownership of the archive in its new premises from the beginning. They have contributed to the archive in the past and we were delighted with the interest they showed in the building and in the displays. One feature that captured their imagination was the small glass inserts at the top of the old post office counter which contain interesting historic material (photo 3). They were fascinated with the homeguard epaulets from WW2 and the notebook containing secret codes in the first insert, then there was the pen that Princess Anne used at the opening ceremony for the statue to fishermen lost at sea in the second insert. But what fascinated them most was the collection of wooden net needles and original twine used by Mary Harvey Hoare to make camouflage nets during WW2 in the third insert. Well done Ron Hogg for inventing these useful display areas.



February 2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

1 First letter

We would like to share the first letter addressed to the archive at its new home in the Admiralty Boathouse, which appropriately was a Friend's donation towards work on the Boathouse.

Our approach to the refurbishment of the Boathouse is to restore it to its original condition using existing coving and making skirting to match. Many boards nailed and screwed to the original panelling have been removed to reveal original panelling and coving beneath. New moulding has been used to replace old and damaged sections with a profile matching the original.

A great deal of rubble, timber and plastic trunking inside the building and rubbish that had accumulated outside the building was cleared by Volunteers. There was also an unwanted fridge, steel window bars, a steel security cabinet and a toilet which the Harbour Authorities removed.

4 Under stairs

The cupboard under the stairs was cleaned out and rubbish removed. This area will be scrubbed and painted. The plan is to have a sink and water heater for tea and coffee making here, which the Harbour Authorities will install. There is a convenient drain to connect to immediately outside.

The chamfered groove between each wall panel was cleaned out to emphasise this feature and the panelling rubbed down and cleaned off with sugar soap solution to remove old dirt and nicotine. Hundreds of nail and screw holes and surface damages were filled with wood filler. There were cuts and slots in the skirting boards and window sills and a start was made filling these with an epoxy resin wood filler. The East and West windows in the first room were stripped of paint using a heat gun and paint stripper, then rubbed down ready for primer and undercoat.

We have taken down damaged sections of the ceiling and installed laths to aid re-plastering which will be done by the Harbours Authorities. The removal of coving and a plasterboard panel from above the front door revealed a pull switch that is now working thanks to the Harbour electrician. At the other end of the room we took down two heavy wooden beams that had once held the dividing panelling to the old Messengers Room

3 Ceiling pic

The removal of another section of sagging ceiling revealed an old stove flue pipe stuffed with saturated newspaper and surrounded by very wet timbers.

We removed the sheet of plywood used to reinforce the bottom half of the front door to reveal the original panelling that matches the adjoining panels. The internal bolt was also removed.

The back door has four reed-patterned window panes in the top half of the door, one of these had been broken and covered with a sheet of hardboard and four planks screwed across the door on the outside. We removed the planks, the hardboard, and the broken glass (still in place) and fitted a new matching pane of reed-patterned glass. Further work will follow cleaning up and improving the door.

And so, January came to an end

Many thanks to our January volunteers: Tony Fitt, Ron Hogg, Tom Lodge, Brian Newton, Sean Perrott, Vaughan Williams who have worked so hard and to the Harbour Personnel for their help and encouragement.

Progress Report for January 2017 (Ron Hogg)