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Archive Update

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

TheNewlynArchive

It is only five months into 2014 but the Archive can celebrate achieving our funding target for the project which we have called 'When Newlyners walked to Lamorna'. The photo was taken last Friday (May 23 2014) in the Mount's Bay Room at Trinity when a cheque for £500 was handed over to chairman David Tredinnick and treasurer Ron Hogg by Tamas Haydu. Tamas, who is the Development Director of the Cornwall Community Foundation of which the Cornwall 100 Club is part, took the photograph. The other three people in the photo are Scott Bentley who is one of the sponsors of the 100 club, and Friends of the Archive Pete Joseph and Richard Seville Barnes. The Cornwall 100 Club comprises 100 businesses that have come together to financially support Cornish communities, 'making a real, positive and measurable difference within our beautiful county'.

The £500 from the Cornwall 100 Club was part of £5000 for which we sought funding. We have been very fortunate to have also received £3000 from the Heritage Lottery, £500 from the Co-operative Membership Community Fund, £300 from Cornwall Council, £250 from the Q Fund, £250 from the Lamorna Society, £150 from Penzance auctioneers Lane & Sons, and £100 from Penzance Council. We are very grateful to our sponsors for making our very exciting project possible.

So what does the project involve?

First we are doing a great deal of work reorganising the archives. Two major archives have been joined to the Newlyn Archive recently (the West Cornwall Art Archive and the Lamorna Archive) and it has become very necessary to rationalise these in terms of cataloguing and displaying material so that it more easily accessible to our Friends, members and local communities. The new catalogues will not be up and running for a while yet but eventually there will be three distinct areas in the archive, each with its own catalogue. The Newlyn Catalogue will contain material about the history of Newlyn and its people, particularly its relationships with the sea and fishing. It will continue to keep information about PZ fishing boats and their crews. The Lamorna Catalogue will contain material about the history of the Lamorna Valley, its river and quay, and the history of the people (including artists, writers and visitors) who have lived there. It will also document the history of the Lamorna Society and its members and activities. The Art Catalogue will contain the huge collection of material about aspects of West Cornwall's Art History, past and present that was part of the West Cornwall Art Archive and add to this the unique collections of material previously held in the Newlyn Archive about the Newlyn Colony of Artists and in the Lamorna Archive about the Lamorna Colony of Artists.

Secondly, we have a number of new ventures aimed to improve our three collections. 1. We have been copying a number of historical tapes kindly provided by Douglas Williams into a digital form so that they can be transcribed. Once this is done, Douglas will be producing a book about them. 2. Pam Lomax is editing the third of our series of Archive books which is about Newlyn at Play. The book covers the period from the end of the nineteenth century until the immediate post war years and will include harbour sports and regattas,  carnivals, choirs, amateur dramatics and much else. The book will be available in October. We hope that anyone with stories or photographs that could be included will contact Pam. 3. Margaret Follows is liasing with teachers at Tolcarne School to give the children an opportunity to participate in a project on the theme of Newlyn at Play. 4. Anne Forrest (who is the current chair of the Lamorna Society as well as a Friend of the Newlyn Archive) is interviewing people in the community about The Good Friday Walk to Lamorna. She tells us that 'the origin of this old tradition is as obscure as it is fascinating'. Many of the ninety-year olds she has spoken to remember their parents and grandparents telling of travelling from Penzance, Paul, Mousehole, Newlyn and St Buryan to walk to Lamorna on this day, but no-one seems to know when it started. 'Was there a religious significance – the distance of the walk being similar to that of the Way of the Cross, the journey Christ took to Calvary? Was the possibility of finding a rare Lamorna Cross stone, too tempting to miss on this Holy Day? Was it just an opportunity for friends to congregate and enjoy each other's company on the one day the men would be off work, capitalising on a family day out? Or was it an eagerly awaited opportunity for boy to meet girl? It's thought that perhaps young ladies went to display their Easter bonnets and the young men to admire them... Maybe because Spring is heralded early in the little valley and as 'in the Spring a young man's fancy turn to love' what better place than Lamorna to enjoy Nature's reawakening...'

The answers to these questions may be revealed at the two-day Open Day at Trinity Centre on October 3-4 2014 which will mark the completion of the project.

BUT THERE ARE OTHER EVENTS AT THE ARCHIVE BEFORE THAT. Transcribing old tapes or talking to people who remember taking part in the Good Friday Walk has uncovered other reminiscences about the past from people who said that Newlyn or Lamorna was where they 'belong to be'. Belonging to Be is the title of the next Newlyn Archive Open Day on July 19 2014. Belonging to Be is about the places where we belong and the people that inhabit them.

Thanks to our sponsors for 2014:

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The Archive in May

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

Belonging to Be is the title of the next Newlyn Archive Open Day on July 19 2014. Belonging to Be is about the places where we belong and the people that inhabit them.

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Review of ‘Newlyn and the Sea’

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

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One of the delights of Newlyn Archive exhibitions is the willingness of visitors to contribute their own treasured memories and valuable information to the rich variety of displays. This happened at the latest two-day event, Newlyn and the Sea, held on Friday and Saturday 11-12 April 2014 at Trinity Centre in Newlyn. Poignant and evocative photographs prompted many of the 300 attendees to add their comments and family recollections to the developing fund of archive material already available.

The rich heritage of Newlyn's relationship with the sea was magnificently illustrated by fascinating photographic displays and informative captions. The lives of Newlyn's master mariners, the epic voyages of The Rosebud and The Mystery, the vital role played by the post war Stevenson' trawler fleet, the bravery of lifeboat crews and stories of shipwrecks and smuggling, captured the interest of viewers and, as ever, provoked animated discussion. A remarkable film record of the tragic loss of the Penlee lifeboat, along with an account of the vital role of The Fishermen's Mission provided a sad reminder of the sacrifice many have made in coming to the aid of our brave seamen.

A welcome addition to our numbers came from a well organised visit from the Cornwall Women's Institute. More than ninety of its members enjoyed tours of the town conducted by five Friends of the Archive. The visitors relished the opportunity to explore some of Newlyn's quaint streets and to discover more about the town's rich history. Pam Lomax gave an excellent lecture to the visitors on both afternoons. Many were prompted to plan further visits to explore the area at their leisure. Several wrote, 'I'll be back to explore more' and commented on 'lovely glimpses of the past'.

Alongside the exhibition there was a new and used book stall and a cake stall that offered some much appreciated temptations. (The mint cup cake rivalled its imitators at the National Gallery in London!) Saturday was a busy day for those who run the Centre and we were grateful for the support and refreshments provide by Jerry and his friendly assistants.

One visitor summed up the exhibition by commenting that it had whetted her appetite for further study. There can be no better measure of the success of an exhibition and it highlights one of the important roles of any archive. (Review from AG).

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Reviews and News

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

Forrest

Linda Holmes photo of the shore off Newlyn Green (above) shows what looks like a remnant of a petrified tree exposed by the storms of February 2014. James T Blight, writing in 1876, described a forest that may have extended along the coast to St Michael's Mount, which was 'a hoare rock in a wood' and five or six miles from the sea; the bay was said to have been a plain, formed into parishes, each having its church, and laid out in meadows, corn-fields, and woods'; Blight also recorded that some people thought that the story was 'monkish fable'. But the story remained embedded in local consciousness and in 1884, the Reverend Wladislaw Somerville Lach-Szyrma, also argued that there was evidence of a flood that had covered a forest and an ancient town.

The Last Open Day

Amanda

There was a buzz of activity at the last Open Day, 'Those that Got Away: Newlyn's Migrants', despite a much lower attendance than usual, only 69 people managed to get along. The problem was the horrendous weather and the storms of the previous few days. Despite this, visitors seem to have had an enjoyable experience and the archive had a very productive day with many people sharing new information. We aimed to raise money as part of matched funding towards a bid we are making to the Heritage Lottery for the new project we have called 'When Newlyners walked to Lamorna' which involves the integration of the Lamorna Archive with the Newlyn Archive. In raising money, Amanda Thompson's cake stall and David Tredinnick's book stall were very successful, the former raising £80 and the latter £37. If we are successful with the lottery bid, the project will start on May 1st.

New Project, 2014

The new project aims to enhance archive facilities and broaden the community that makes use of these facilities by integrating a new dimension into the existing Newlyn Archive. The new dimension is about the Lamorna Valley and its artists, many of the latter with strong associations with Newlyn. The project will start on May 1st and concludes with a two-day event to be held in October 2014 at Trinity Centre. The two–day event will focus on the links between Newlyn and Lamorna, particularly those involving the Newlyn and Lamorna Colonies of Artists that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and in the first part of the twentieth century. We hope to involve many groups in the community including school children and we will be recording oral histories from those with good memories.

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Another Successful Open Day

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

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The Photograph shows Jean Lodge with new member Bob Mason and archivist Pam Lomax looking at some of the duplicate archive material being offered to Friends in exchange for a donation. The Open Day 'Newlyn Art Industries' attracted 152 people and was a huge success. Apart from the usual informative display of text and photographs telling the story of Newlyn's art industries there were also some private collections on display including Newlyn Copper from Betty and Goff Johns, and from Mike Richards, jewellery and enamel from Red Simpson, and pottery from Ann Pilcher.

Chairman's Report

David Tredinnick, Newlyn Archive chairman gave his report to Friends at the Newlyn Archive AGM, held on Saturday after the Open Day. He noted the increase of archive holding over the year and welcomed the increased coverage made available by the new Lamorna section of the archive. He reported that the four open days held in 2013 had made the archive available to 697 visitors. The Open Days had been very popular, he said, and explained that there are no charges for admission, so that it is available to anyone who might want to come. 'We prefer to rely for funds on the people who become Friends of the Archive at £5 per year, and on the sale of our books, Newlyn at War (of which there are only a few left) and Newlyn at School. We will be producing another book next year, Newlyn at Play and we hope that everyone will buy a copy of this.' He ended his report by asking Friends if they had any cine film or video material of events at Newlyn or Lamorna, for the archive to copy as it now had a technical officer whose skills enabled the transfer of audio tape to CD, and old films and videos to DVD. David ended by thanking other committee members for all their hard work, Jerry and his staff at the Centre for their support and all Friends of the Archive for their crucial annual £5 and for their donations of material that made the archive so interesting and worthwhile.

Saturday Night Out

'The tales captivated the audience, whose appreciation was reflected in a steady stream of laughter and rapturous applause'. This is what Andrew Gordon said in his review of the annual Newlyn Archive entertainment that took place at the Newlyn Art Gallery on the Saturday evening of the Open Day. Members of Lowen Group entertained Friends of the Archive with dramatised readings of two Cornish stories written by Randle Hurley, adapted by Goff Johns, and introduced by Les Bailey.

CWOP was a delightfully amusing tale exploring the social etiquette surrounding the prospect of earning a 'divi' at the local Co op. The expectations of new customer Jacka (David Tredinnick) egged-on by his wife (Betty Johns) and aunt (Liz Harman) were soon dashed when Jacka failed to use the correct membership number and his divi was paid into the account of his snobbish neighbour (Diane Tredinnick). Cwop shop staff included butcher (Jerry Drew) and cashier (Margaret Williams).

In Romance the challenges of pursuing a courtship were highlighted when an aging spinster (Liz Harman), aided by her friend and confidante (Betty Johns) set out to trap a 'good' man (Jerry Drew), aided by his close friend (David Tredinnick).

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New Material for Archive

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

3831

Cynthia 'Mary' Llewellyn (1936-2013) had been living in Australia for 55 years when she made contact with the Newlyn Archive in 2012. She attended Tolcarne School and was able to contribute to the book Newlyn at School. We began to correspond. She said that she would send us the family bible which is particularly interesting because it begins with an entry from her grandmother who was Annie Eliza Webb née Warren (1864-1925). As a young woman Annie modelled for some of the most iconic of the Newlyn School paintings; she is the young woman leaning against the boat in Stanhope Forbes Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach and the young widow resting on her mothers lap in Frank Bramley's Hopeless Dawn.

Unfortunately Mary died earlier this year but true to her promise she willed the family bible and many other family papers and photographs to the Newlyn Archive. We received them at the beginning of August and what a treasure the parcels contained.

The photograph at the top is a picture of her grandmother Annie Eliza with her 4 children Eliza Jane, Mary Annie, Beatrice Theodora and Elizabeth Ivy, that was taken c1904. Annie had grown up in Newlyn living 'out the Green' at Factory Row until she married 'Jack' Webb (1849-1910) a miner on February 21 1897 and went to live in Camborne. Times were hard and Jack became a migrant worker and had joined the gold rush in South Africa when the photo was taken. It is a poignant reminder of the emotions felt by the wives left at home that the space between Annie and Eliza Jane in the photo was for her husband to fill on his return.

In those days, there was little contact between people who were geographically apart as many people were unable to write. Annie Eliza could write, but not fluently (there is a letter from Annie to daughter Elizabeth Ivy in Australia, dated 20/4/1925, just four days before she died). Husband Jack must have been in touch as Annie had a photograph of him at a mine in South Africa, taken soon after he had left Cornwall.

By 1907, Annie was back in Newlyn, needing the support of her family. She had lost contact with Jack and the Rev Fagan at St Peter's Church wrote to the manager of the French Rand Gold Mining Co Ltd, where Jack had worked and learned from him (in a letter dated 16/12/1907), that Jack was no longer there. Although a good worker, Jack had turned to alcohol and died in South Africa in 1910 although Annie Eliza did not learn of this until much later.

Mary Llewellyn's archive contains fascinating letters and photographs about Annie Eliza Warren's descendents. Mary's mother was Annie's daughter Beatrice Theodora who married John Charles Llewellyn. The latter was a stone cutter before becoming a gardener for the Bolitho family at Trewidden. Mary was born at nearby Tregavarah. Her father was a literate man and has left his diary, a 162-page manuscript about his family and life, which includes an account of the bombing of Tregavarah Chapel during WW2.

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Event at the Acorn

Written by archive. Posted in Newlyn Archive News

3868It might not have been quite the standard of the NADS (Newlyn Artists Dramatic Society) but the team of Friends from the Newlyn Archive who entertained an audience of 24 people at the Acorn Theatre from 3.00-4.00 pm on Wednesday July 17 2013 as part of the Penzance Literary Festival got as much enjoyment from the event as did the audience.

It was Ron Hogg's first public performance. 'I have never taken part in a public poetry reading before, standing on a stage, with the spotlight on me and seven other readers. Each of us taking turns to read our various poems, the audience hidden in the outer darkness. One of my poems was by a fishing boat skipper, who told the story of his fishing boat being sunk, his descent into despair and heavy drinking, followed by his re-emergence and triumph of going to sea again and returning with a record catch. Uniquely, our readings were accompanied by pictures from the Archive arranged to illustrate the poems being read. At the finish we were given enthusiastic feedback by members of the audience, including an invitation to perform to a local history group being formed on the Lizard, so "as to show them what can be done".

Andrew Gordon has performed before but he found reading the works of a renowned local poet in his presence was not easy and was reassured to receive his approval after the performance. 'It was a pleasure to present a celebration of Newlyn's past to such an appreciative audience', says Andrew. 'The combination of nostalgic and comic verse created by local poets, and the wonderful Newlyn dialect of some of the team of readers (David and Diane Tredinnick, Goff Johns and Liz Harman) created a magic atmosphere, which was enhanced by the pictures that were projected. It was particularly pleasing to hear some of our members unfamiliar with the joys and pressures of performing under the glare of stage lighting (Jean and Tom Lodge, and Ron Hogg) reading poems with such care and clarity. Readers and listeners enjoyed the afternoon and that is the only measure of success which really matters'.