Sylvia Ruth Simpson MBE


Ruth Simpson welcoming Elizabeth Bolitho to the Open Day ‘Fishing at Newlyn’, 11th February 2010

We are very sad to announce the death of Ruth Simpson, MBE, who was largely responsible for the formation of the Newlyn Archive. Having served as Penzance Mayor for the year 2002-2003, Ruth was asked to serve as chairman of the Newlyn Environment Group, part of the Newlyn Fishing Industry Forum. It was from this group that the Newlyn Archive grew. As chairman of the Environment Group Ruth led the project to map the port which led to the publication of a popular booklet, ‘Newlyn’s Water’, edited by Pamela Lomax and published in 2007. At the end of the project there was some original documentation about water features in Newlyn and a pot of unspent money. The decision was taken to establish a Newlyn Archive, and the money was spent on a laptop, software and other items. Pam Lomax was elected honorary archivist and a committee was elected.

From its foundation in 2009, Ruth was a staunch supporter of the Archive and people will remember her helpful and knowledgeable presence at the door of Trinity Main Hall for our Archive Open Days. She was very knowledgeable about Newlyn, particularly the events of recent years as she served as a Penzance town councillor, representing the south ward for nine years. She was also involved in getting the Fisherman’s statue on Newlyn Green. Ruth had much to offer when the Archive took over the West Cornwall Art Archive as she had been a founder member, with her husband Red, of the Sloop Craft Market in St Ives and for several years (the Simpsons had spent their working lives making and selling jewellery), Ruth chaired the Penlee House Friends Committee.

The Archive and all her friends there will sorely miss Ruth Simpson, born 17th May 1931