Open Day Report: ‘Families that were the Backbone of Newlyn’, 13 October 2018

Ex-committee member Denny Harvey looks at the display case containing Wallis family medals and memorabilia

On the weekend that brought us Storm Callum, the Archive held its final Open Day of 2018, representing 15 families with varying histories and occupations. There were 91 visitors, many with connections to the families displayed including a couple from Marazion who came in to shelter from the rain to find the wife in one of the photos on display.

The display began with the story of the voyage of The Mystery and the mariners who sailed to Australia in 1854 with lots to learn about the Kelynack and Badcock families. There was next an exploration of a Huguenot connection with the Rouffignac family. A wonderful depiction of the basket making Wallis family told the story of father and son including a lovely transcript of an original interview and photos of their craft which eventually came to an end in 1975. A colourful series of boards highlighted the artists from Lamorna, the Birch/Kerr connection, and a description of the place being ‘almost something unworldly’. This was followed by an inspiring display featuring the philanthropic Bolitho family and next the Batten brothers who played rugby for Newlyn. Finally the blue-eyed Harveys, described as tall and handsome, featuring photos of Annie, grandmother of our own Linda Holmes brought the exhibition to a close.
The raffle of the print of ‘Ring a Roses’ by Elizabeth Forbes drew many participants and the winner, drawn by Julian Drew, was Peter Morgan. Wonderful archive films were being shown, courtesy of Brian Newton, covering subjects from the Voyage of The Mystery to the comedian Jethro relating anecdotes about his own family.

There was a moment’s excitement when John Chapman and his colleague showed the flag they have made for the forthcoming Mayflower celebrations

Thanks to David and Diane Tredinnick who were selling books on local topics and the ‘Meet and Greet’ team : Helen Burnham, Judith Porter and Maryla Perrot for helping monitor visitor numbers and enabling the whole event to run smoothly. Thanks also to Pam Lomax and Sue Newton for assembling such a comprehensive and fascinating display. And thanks finally to all those who worked together to create a successful Open Day.

Report by Sue Roach