Back in 1916, the tide gauge in the Tidal Observatory on the South Pier began to send readings of the tide levels in Newlyn to the Ordnance Survey in Southampton. Five years later, in 1921, these were averaged to determine Mean Sea Level – this remains the basis for all height measurements around mainland Great Britain after 100 years.
The Centenary of MSL this year has caught the attention of the Ordnance Survey and the national media. Rick Stein’s Cornwall filmed in and around the Observatory recently for a broadcast next January, while Countryfile will be filming in Newlyn in early October. Later in the year, the Ordnance Survey will visit us to make a presentation to commemorate the role of Newlyn in their work over the past century.
All this is excellent publicity for Newlyn in general and our Archive in particular. Our contact at the Ordnance Survey has said that he learned more about the history of the OS from reading our book ‘Newlyn Tidal Observatory’ than he did in his previous ten years of employment there.