'When the Lights went Out' November 8, 2014

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events

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The photo was taken by George Stevenson Curnow (b1887) and shows naval personnel enjoying a tug of war on Newlyn Green during a respite from combat duties. This is one of many fascinating pictures on display at the next Newlyn Archive Open Day on Saturday November 8 2014 from 9.30-3.00 at Trinity Centre Newlyn. The postcards showing Fleets of Peace and War in Mounts Bay before WW1 indicate the strategic importance of Newlyn and its coast during times of war. The Royal Flying Corps had a base at Sandy Cove during WW1 and there are photos of the ancient aircraft and their personnel from that time.

Women played their part. The Women Volunteer Motor Drivers (WVMD) was started in 1918 to enhance members' driving skills to the standard where they would be acceptable to the Red Cross and other branches of national service. Phyllis Maureen Doherty, the daughter of the artists Thomas and Caroline Gotch (later the Marquise de Verdieres) started the movement. Another woman who played a key role was Charlotte Douglas Lockhart McGrigor whose sister's memorial stands at the top off the Norrad slip.

The artists played their part during WW1, the older ones forming the Artists Rifles as part of the home guard.

There were also conscientious objectors who were often given a hard time by villagers whose sons were dying in the trenches.

With Remembrance Sunday the following day, 'When the Lights went Out' is a timely display of wartime Newlyn. In WW2 Belgian fishermen kept the fishing going when the Newlyn fishermen and their boats were requisitioned for the war effort. During this time Newlyn acted host to the French and Belgians under the watchful eye of the French Consular Agent.

At home the women, children and older men suffered bombs, blackouts and shortages of war-time and were equally heroic.

The Open Day will conclude with an AGM at 3pm. In the evening there will be a talk by Andrew Gordon entitled 'Sending Saffron to Tommy' about the sights and sounds of war, the arrival of the military and how it changed lives. This will be held at Newlyn Art Gallery which will be open for drinks from 6pm with the lecture starting promptly at 7pm. The lecture is free to friends of the archive but others will have to pay £5 and become friend in order to attend.

Do download the poster!

pdfPoster_1.pdf02/11/2014, 17:08



When Newlyners Walked To Lamorna Cove 3-4 October 2014

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events


Above: Alan Shears and four friends on the Good Friday walk to Lamorna in 1954

The next Newlyn Archive Open Day is a two-day event on Friday and Saturday 3-4 October 2014 at Trinity Centre, Newlyn. There are extended opening times on Friday when the exhibition is open 10.00 am-7.00 pm. On Saturday it is open 10.00 am-3.00 pm.

The open day is the culmination of the project to expand the Archive to include material about Lamorna and its historic community, a project that has emerged from an active collaboration between the Newlyn Archive and the Lamorna Society. The event in the title, which metaphorically celebrates the merging of the two archives, is the annual pilgrimage made by people from Penzance, Mousehole and Newlyn to Lamorna on Good Friday, originally a family event involving people with affiliations to church and chapel. Later the Good Friday walk became an occasion when young men and women could meet each other informally, and by the 1960s became associated with the much wilder youth culture of the time.

The Open Day also explores the religious festivals that have defined Newlyners' leisure in times past and the many Galas held by Church and Chapel on these 'days of rest'. Second only to this allegiance to church and chapel in characterising leisure was the focus on the sea and the traditional work of fishing which gave rise to the early regattas when the fishermen who raced their luggers to and from the fishing grounds were equal to the best sailors in the world. To celebrate these events, the people on the shore indulged in other activities, young people took part in the harbour sports which included swimming and rowing, and women and girls put their energies into devising amazing floats for the carnivals.

Other historic leisure activities that form part of the Exhibition include rugby, singing and the great Newlyn tradition of amateur dramatics which stretches from the performances of the Newlyn Artists Dramatic Society at the end of the nineteenth century to St Peter's Players, formed in 1962 and active today.

These leisure events form the basis of the new Archive book, Newlyn at Play 1850-1950, which is launched at this Open Day and will be on sale for £8.

Download the poster for the archive open day by clicking on the PDF file below.

pdfOpen_Day.pdf22/09/2014, 07:19


Belonging to be… July 19 2014

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events


Above: The workers in the photo belonged to be at Penlee Quarry in the 1960s. They are Al Cadman, Sam Munkley, Bob Symons, Jack Harvey, David 'Mullane' Botto, Peter Davey and an unnamed young man. (Photo courtesy Adrian Nicholas).

You belong to be at Trinity Centre for the Newlyn Archive Open Day on Saturday July 19 2014 from 9.00-3.30. The expression 'belong to be' is part of Newlyn speech today. We found it used a number of times by Daphne Du Maurier in her book Jamaica Inn.

The exhibition contains photos and documents about people who 'belonged to be' at Newlyn from historic times until the post war period. We also have a display board about the old 'Lamorna Inn' (now the 'Wink') at Lamorna.

We hope that your find the exhibition enjoyable and instructive but the archive also needs your help to put names to the faces in the photos and to date and identify the events. We have named all the men in the photo above but the young man bottom right. Can you help with his name and the date of the photo which was taken some time in the 1960s? We also need your help to fill up the gaps in the archive. It is important to collect more recent history as well as that of the distant past so please bring your family papers and photos for us to scan. Pete Joseph will be manning his scanner and can copy your photos and documents so that your family 'belonging to be' in Newlyn or Lamorna will be on permanent record.

Alongside the display boards and albums we are very fortunate to have Diane Donohue and Denny Harvey whose expertise is available to help you explore your family history. Trinity's Ebb and Flow project team will also be inviting you to help 'Spread a little Newlyn sunshine' by recording your thoughts about Newlyn on the petals of their giant Sunflower.

pdfPoster_All.pdf07/07/2014, 13:49


Newlyn and the Sea, April 2014

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events


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The next Open Day NEWLYN and the SEA on Friday & Saturday April 11-12 2014, 10.00-3.00 at Trinity Centre Newlyn is a two-day event so we hope everyone can get there. The exhibition of old photos and historical memorabilia deals with the many facets of Newlyn's relationship with the sea.

We have done a lot of work getting together the story of the Lifeboats that served Newlyn, originally based at Penzance and Wherrytown, then at Newlyn for a short period (1907-1913) then at Penlee Point for 23 years and then back to Newlyn in 1983.

The old photo above shows where the Lifeboat was located at Wherrytown in the very early days. The coastguard station is on the left and the row of cottages on the right was sometimes called Coastguards Row. Below you can see the old Lifeboat 'Richard Lewis', which was stationed at Wherrytown 1865-1884 with the coastguard station behind.


The exhibition also contains items about the old Admiralty Boathouse at Newlyn which once housed the rocket wagon, the Newlyn Fishermen's Mission, famous boats like the Mystery and the Rosebud, the Stevenson fishing fleet, the homes of Newlyn's Master Mariners and many other things. Do put the date in your diary.

pdfPoster_All.pdf06/04/2014, 18:01



Those that Got Away: the Story of Newlyn’s Migrants, February 2014

Posted in Newlyn Archive Events

 3037 Bowls

The next open Day on Saturday 15 February 2014 10.00-3.00 tells the story of Newlyn's migrants. Some men left to make their fortune and did not get back, leaving behind grieving women and children; others were more successful and were joined by their families to make a better life in the new world; some returned much richer and named their homes after foreign places.

One such man was Joseph Johns Hichens (1866-1924) who built a double fronted granite house called Kenilworth on Buccas Pass, the new road between Newlyn Bridge and Jack Lane. (The photo shows JJ Hichens in later life playing the first wood on Penlee Bowling Green).

The house was named after a place in South Africa called Kenilworth, where Joseph Johns Hichens worked as a young man. As a boy, Joseph lived at Penguin House on St Peters Hill. He came from a long line of fishermen, being the second son of William Hichens, who was master and net owner of the fishing boat Dove. His middle name 'Johns' was his mother's maiden name.

He married Edith Richards from Chapel St in 1889 and some time after the birth of their second son, he joined the diamond rush to South Africa, alongside many other cousin Jacks and Jennies from Cornwall, and became tangled up in the Second Boer War.

He was at the diamond-mining town of Kimberley when it was besieged by the Boers from October 14, 1899 to February 15, 1900. There were at least three men from Newlyn in Kimberley during the siege. Joseph Hichens must have been fairly influential in Kimberley because he managed to send a post office telegram from Kimberley to local fish salesman, BJ Ridge, giving news that self, Harding and Wells had survived the Kimberley siege.

When Joseph returned to Newlyn he was full of the lucrative spoils of his South African adventure and this must have been used to purchase a substantial part of Chirgwin's Orchard, on both sides of the newly built Buccas Pass. He was engaged in a number of property deals leading in November 1905 to submitting plans for the substantial 8-room granite house in Buccas Pass. Hichens named it Kenilworth as a memorial to Cecil Rhodes who was instrumental in organizing the defence of Kimberley and during the long siege had opened his own house, named Kenilworth to his countrymen.

Do come and find out more about JJ Hichens and the many other Newlyners who sought their fortunes abroad.

pdfPoster_Front__Back.pdf26/01/2014, 15:41