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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)

 

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Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage 8/1/2017

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

Most regular readers of this webpage will know that we are moving the Archive to the building vacated by Newlyn Post Office, which the Newlyn Harbour Commissioners have generously made available to us. The building was originally built as a coastguard boathouse for the Admiralty on land leased from Newlyn Harbour in 1900. In 1925 it became the Newlyn Post Office and was at the centre of the village until it moved last year.

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The fine detached granite-built structure with its pitched roof, appears in early photographs when it boasted a flagpole (not visible in this picture) and fish was being sold on the road in front. It has been officially renamed the Admiralty Boathouse and the Archive intend to make it the centre for Heritage in Newlyn.

There are many benefits to our new location. The whole archive will be together in one place for the first time. This will make it easier to manage, and therefore its storage, cataloguing and availability will be markedly improved.

There will be much more space at the Boathouse for visitors than was the case in the small room that Trinity Centre has so generously provided on Friday mornings for the last 7 years.

We intend to open the archive to the public regularly on more occasions (to be decided) than the present Friday morning opening at Trinity.

The new premises are much more accessible by public transport and there is parking in the area so that people from far afield will find it much easier to visit the archive.

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Before we can move into our new heritage centre, there is much work to be done. The Harbour Authority has begun by repairing the roof to stop leaks; they are also taking care of internal building work and will supply water and electricity.

Newlyn Archive volunteers with Ron Hogg as the foreman have already started to repair and decorate the space, and will be erecting shelving and moving filing cabinets soon.

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Their first task was to clear the space in front of the old post-office counter which had lots of cardboard boxes, bits of timber, metal and plastic shelving lying around.

David: I have been removing redundant electrical wiring and conduits, and unneeded wooden partitions and brackets... rubbing down paint work in preparation for repainting.

Ron: The V-grooving feature in the wooden panelling had to be scraped out to remove a soft plastic filling and thus highlight this feature when it is decorated. Then the panelling itself could be rubbed down prior to filling the holes left by the numerous screws and nails.

Sean: We've taken out so many screws and bolts and nails, I just hope the Admiralty Boathouse doesn't float away when it is finally launched.

Ron: The windows were all heavily barred presumably for safety reasons when the building was a Post Office. These were removed by Tony Fitt using his battery powered screwdriver, there being no power available in the Boathouse for powered tools.

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'Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage' is the title of our new project aimed at raising £5000 to cover the cost of refurbishing the interior of the old Boathouse, making the new space fit for purpose, and ensuring that the purpose is achieved.

The money will be used for decorating materials, additional shelving and floor covering. When the decorating is done, we will need comfortable and attractive furniture. We aim to buy a large round table and chairs for front of house for visitors to use, and a water heater so that visitors can be offered tea and coffee.

Much of the archive is digital so that we need new computing equipment to access the catalogue and digital materials. We need a printer so that we can print material for visitors, and a scanner to copy material that is brought in.

The Harbour authorities are putting a sign, 'Admiralty Boathouse' over the front door. We intend to erect a copper sign saying Newlyn Archive, based on a traditional style, in the place where the old post office sign hung. Michael Johnson in Newlyn will make the sign and donate half the cost as sponsorship from the Copper Works. We need to raise the rest.

We plan to launch the project at the Boathouse on Friday March 24 2017 for invited dignitaries, and Saturday March 25 2017 for Friends of the Archive. As part of the launch, the Admiralty Boathouse will be open Monday-Friday 9.30-12 o'clock for the public in the week starting March 27 2017

Please make a donation to this project. Send your donation to Ron Hogg, Treasurer, Newlyn Archive, The Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn TR18 5HL.

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Newlyn Archive November 2016

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

Website pic

It was the focus of the last Newlyn Archive Open Day of 2016, the topic puzzled some and enthralled others, 'They Came, they Stayed and they Left'. 130 visitors came to the exhibition at Trinity Centre and stayed to look at exhibits about some of the people who have visited Newlyn but not stayed, like the marauding Spaniards who burnt the village down in 1595, the Belgian fishermen who kept the fish trade in Newlyn going when the Newlyn fleet was commandeered by the Navy for war duties in world war two, and that old rugby enemy, Penzance who were often beaten into the sea on the sloping field that the Newlyn players knew so well.

There were also famous individuals who passed through: poets like Dylan Thomas, infamous individuals like the mystic and black magician Aleister Crowley, and of course artists like Laura and Harold Knight and Henry Scott Tuke. The latter's visits to Newlyn from 1879-1884 were the subject of archivist Pam Lomax's talk on the Friday evening, which was attended by 31 Friends, just about filling the Wheal Betsy room.

The exhibition showed some of the places that have been and gone, such as the old first world war seaplane base in Sandy Cove, captured in archive pictures like the wonderful iconic picture of one of the earliest WAAF's, Mary Bone Nicholls in her overalls with the propellers of the seaplane she had been working on immediately behind her.

There was also some information from the archive about buildings in Newlyn that once served a completely different purpose to that of today. Most important amongst these must be the place that will house the Newlyn Archive before the end of the year. This was built as a Coastguards' Boathouse by the Admiralty, in 1900, became the centre of the village as the Newlyn Post Office in 1925, and as the future home of the Newlyn Archive will take its old name of Admiralty Boathouse before the end of 2016. Keep up with news about the move on the website here. We will be celebrating with an official opening early next year.

It has been a momentous year. We have had 715 visitors to our four Open Days and recently the 320th person signed up as a Friend of the archive which includes twelve Life Friends. This will all be celebrated at the AGM which will take place at the Newlyn Art Gallery at 6pm on Saturday November 12 2016. We hope that Friends of the Archive will attend the meeting and stay on at the Gallery for an entertainment (starting at 7pm) masterminded by our chairman David Tredinnick.

And next year? Please download the programme of the four Open Days which will be at Trinity Centre in 2017. There will also be other events both in our new home the Admiralty Boathouse and elsewhere which will be advertised in due course.

pdfNewlyn_Archive_Open_Days_2017.pdf06/11/2016, 10:12

 

 

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At the Newlyn Fish Festival, 2016

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

 FF3 2016

The Newlyn Archive was present at the Newlyn Fish Festival this year in the Admiralty Boathouse (the old post office) with thanks to Rob Parsons the harbourmaster. We could only use the front part of the ground floor but showed some of the display that was part of the Open Day at Trinity Centre in July called To-ing and Fro-ing. There was also a television showing some old film and a number of display books for visitors to look at. We had a very busy day and there were some new faces so that we hope we have attracted some new friends to the archive.

FF1 2016

We hope  to make the Admiralty Boathouse our permanent home one day, but there is much work to do on the building before it will be ready. The Admiralty Boathouse was built on the 'Bank' at Street-an-Nowan in 1900 as a Boat and Watch House for the coastguard. Plans for the boathouse were submitted to the Public Work Loan Board at the same time that the harbour architect, Caldwell was submitting his plans for the nearby slipway.

On 14/6/1900 an indenture between the Public Works Loan Board and the Admiralty was signed which gave

'ALL that plot of ground situate at the Bank at Newlyn Harbour aforesaid to the West of the inner end of the North Pier and measuring in length from north west to South east forty feet and in width from South East to South West twenty five feet... unto the lessees from the first day of August one thousand nine hundred for the term of sixty years YIELDING therefore the yearly rent of ten pounds' and that 'WITHIN one year from the date hereof or from the first day of August one thousand nine hundred (whichever shall be the later date) to erect and build on the said plot of the best materials and in a workman like manner and in accordance with the plans and specifications already approved of by the Lessor a substantial boathouse with watch room and store over'.

Ad Boats

The original purpose of the building was to house a coastguard boat and the early drawing show a shore bank and slipway opposite for handy launching. There is no evidence that it was ever used as a boat house but a rocket wagon and rocket apparatus, were stored there. It became a post office in 1925.

 

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A Busy Period July-August 2016

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

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Above: Visitors at the Newlyn Archive Open Day

To-ing and Fro-ing

The third Open Day of the year, 'To-ing and Fro-ing', on July 16 2016, proved to be a great success, in spite of it being hot and sunny outside (perfect beach weather), and also with it being Lafrowda day at St Just.

141 people turned up to enjoy the exhibits, which included pictures of horse drawn carts and wagonettes, old motor cars at Lamorna and Newlyn buses, fishing boats and mine engines and people marching to-and-fro.

The film show was very pertinent with the opportunity to view the locality from an old car being driven around West Cornwall, or seeing the amazing machine called the Dreckly Express that travels underground in a tunnel to take goods to the top of St Michael's Mount.

The display books were very popular with many people engrossed in their content throughout the day. A solid core of regulars attended, but there were quite number of new faces (including young people) and the committee were kept busy answering queries about family history and other things. It was great to see groups of people standing around discussing the exhibits, and sitting at the tables drinking coffee and having a good old chat. (David Tredinnick reporting).

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Above: Brian Newton waits for visiitors at the Newlyn Archive Tent

Marazion Carnival

On July 31 2016, on a very sunny Sunday morning, members of Newlyn Archive set off to Marazion Annual Carnival. The transport was loaded up with tables, chairs, display boards and a large gazebo to arrive at 0900. On arrival we were given our pitch and local volunteers assisted in the setting up of our gazebo and tables. I would like to thank the Marazion Carnival Committee for allowing the Archive to have the pitch free of charge (normally £35-£45).

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Above: Denny Harvey and Pam Lomax at the Newlyn Archive Tent 

It was a beautifully sunny day and the carnival was extremely busy with many thousands of visitors and local families. The Newlyn Archive display was active with visitors from as early as 10.30 even though the festivities didn't really start until 12 o'clock. There was a steady flow of visitors throughout the day with people from as far as Mexico, Holland and various places around the United Kingdom. We had local people eager to talk about the material on the display boards including a gentleman who worked at Levant and Geevor mines who incidentally worked with my grandfather many years ago. He told us many tales of mining and the old smuggler tunnels that exist around Pendeen. A local Marazion man told a story of a man from Newlyn who used to sell fish in Marazion when he was growing up. He used to come over by horse and cart and dip the fish in Red River to freshen them up before selling them to the locals.

The day was a great success for the Archive, promoting its work to the other side of Mount's Bay. A lot of local people said they would look at our web site for details of the next exhibition. Many thanks to all that helped on the day. (Denny Harvey reporting).

 

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News for May 2016

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

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We had another very successful open day last month. The Building of Newlyn Harbour was held at Trinity Centre on April 4 2016 and was attended by 172 people. We were very pleased to see Frank and Jan Ruhrmund in the crowd and managed to take a good photograph (at the top).

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As well as the archive providing information and photographs about the harbour and the people who made it happen, visitors to the Open Day also brought in some interesting items, such as the medal struck for the opening of the South Pier in 1888, which was brought along by Patsy Plumbridge.

Friends of the Archive, particularly Anne Forrest and Pauline Hope, have been busy this year trying to list and catalogue all the material we hold on West Country Artists. This work is nearing completion and we will soon have the updated catalogue list on line. The artists include the important early artists of the Newlyn and Lamorna Colonies but also artists from other parts of West Cornwall.

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There is also a growing collection of material about living artists, some of whom have donated important archives of their work to the West Country Art Collection. One of these is Eric Ward, from St Ives (see his self portrait). Some of his most beautiful paintings depict maritime scenes around the coast, not surprising because before he gave his career to art full time he was a helmsman of the inshore lifeboat, coxswain of the all weather lifeboat and one-time St Ives Harbour master.

 

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March 2016 News

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

 

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The photos were taken at the last Open Day 'The Great Storms' on Saturday February 13, 2016, when we had a record 272 people visiting the exhibition. The photo on the left suggests we have an appeal to the very young. One wonders what important notes little Nuala is making and whether coming to the Open Day will influence her future interest in local history. On the right, a group of people give their full attention to the amazing footage that Denny Harvey found about local storms.

The Open Day had a wide appeal and we received some very complimentary comments in the visitor's book. Not only did we show pictures and text about the great Newlyn Storms, we also focused on storms at Lamorna and had some very exciting input from the Mousehole Archive at the start of what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial collaboration.

This first Open Day of 2016 has given us a wonderful start to the New Year and we hope that Friends of the Archive will continue their support for the next four Open Days planned. If you have anything to contribute to the next Open Day, now is the time to send it to us.

The next Open Day, 'The Building of Newlyn Harbour', will take place on Saturday April 9 2016 10-3.00 at Trinity Centre Newlyn. We hope you will join us.