When Newlyners Walked To Lamorna Cove

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