Great Voyages that started at Newlyn

The next Open Day is at the Trinity Centre, Chywoone Hill on September 21, 2019

Great voyages that started at Newlyn include the voyage of John Pollard of Newlyn who kept a Journal from 1794-1795, when his voyage aboard The Lark was rudely interrupted by the 44 gun Permoney and he was taken prisoner by the French. Henry Kelynack also kept a personal log of his voyage, on the schooner Queen of the West, from Penzance to Buenos Aires In 1851-1852. Only two years later in 1854, the  Mystery left Newlyn for Australia, reaching Melbourne on 14 March 1855 after a journey of 11,800 nautical miles. More recently, the Rosebud made her remarkable journey to Westminster to deliver a petition to stop the Newlyn Clearances. There are also the many voyages to distant fishing grounds of Newlyn’s famous fishing fleet.

However, 2020 will be the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America in 1620. Did she stop at Newlyn to pick up fresh water because there was cholera at Plymouth? There is a plaque at Newlyn to say that she  did. In memory of this event children at Newlyn School and Mousehole School have done some amazing artwork which can be seen at the Open Day.

Poster for Open Day Download here

Great Honour for Friend of the Newlyn Archive

Photo by Michael Porter


The Newlyn Archive was set up in 2009 and Ron Hogg was a founder member and has been the Treasurer since then. Friends of the Archive will know what a tremendous job he has done in many respects, particularly supervising the renovation of the Boathouse to hold the Newlyn Archive. On Saturday 8th September 2019, he was honoured by being made a Bard of the Cornish Gorseth ‘Gorsedh Kernow’ at St Just in their ancient circle.
His bardic name is Crambler Alsyow, Climber of Cliffs


In Memory of Linda

A ceremony to erect a copper plaque in memory of Linda Holmes was held at the Boathouse on Friday, 16th August 2019. A large number of her friends from the Newlyn Archive were in attendance along with her daughter Sara and son Matt and their families, and Anne and David Badcock and Morvah Stubbings. Linda’s family had just returned from a trip on the lifeboat to scatter Linda’s ashes near the Low Lee Buoy. She had arranged this (a teacher as ever) so that the grandchildren would have the opportunity to go to sea. The four grandchildren Will, Nellie, Rachel and Joe took it in turns to a fix an engraved copper plate to the counter of the Boathouse which had been made by Malcolm Pilcher on copper provided by Michael Johnson. David Tredinnick was master of ceremony and spoke of Linda’s inspiring energy and enthusiasm for the archive. We will all miss her greatly.

Open Day Saturday 15th June 2019: Shops that have Come and Gone

150 visitors came to enjoy, reminisce and share ideas about the shops that used to be part of the community of Newlyn many years ago and those that still are today. The exhibition was made easy to follow by a colour coding system and resembled a virtual tour of Newlyn. It was fascinating to see the profound changes that had taken place. Basket makers, boatbuilders, potters and coopers were all represented together with a wide range of shops selling quality clothing, antiques, oilskins, meat, fish, farm produce and ice cream. Lloyds bank, a chemist, Vi’s hairdresser and the wonderful Gaiety cinema were talked about and remembered with interest and affection.

Quotations from the visitors book:  "A wonderful exhibition "; "excellent to reminisce".

Thanks to Diane for arranging the meet and greet team; to Pam Lomax and Sue Newton for their professional and informative boards; to Brian Newton for the media component and to the archive committee for making the open day such a success.

The Laura Knight Visit 16th May 2019

Above: Members of the Laura Knight Society on the Cliff, Newlyn
     The Newlyn Archive hosted a group of 32 members of Dame Laura Knight Society from Malvern, on Thursday 16/5/2019. The Society wanted to visit the houses of artists associated with Laura Knight and three stalwart Friends of the Archive (Ron Hogg, Andrew Gordon and Richard Cockram) led three walks that took off at 15 minute intervals from Wheal Betsy.
     Wheal Betsy was an appropriate place to start. Built by Thomas and Caroline Gotch in 1910 the Knights had moved into the Gotches’ previous home at Trewarveneth when the latter moved to Wheal Betsy. Both families had come to Newlyn in 1906 and Phyllis Gotch and Laura Knight became close friends, being of a similar age. Pam Lomax made the introductions and was able to wet appetites by reading a letter written by Phyllis Gotch to Laura Knight in July 1906, which described a dinner that was held at Penzer House where Mrs Beer was landlady.
Left: Two groups cross on their walk to the Artists' houses
Fortunately it was a down-hill walk. 13 Artists Houses were identified: Wheal Betsy, La Pietra, Malt House, Orchard Cottage, Mount Vernon, Boase Castle,  Penzer House, Myrtle Cottage, Meadow Studios, North Corner, Rue de Beaux Arts, Joel and Keel Alley. From there, the groups walked to the Boathouse.
    Ron, Andrew and Richard shared some of the knowledge we have in the West Cornwall Art Archive about artists’ houses. Richard reported ‘my group asked plenty of questions, some of which I could answer thanks to Ron’s notes’. Ron said that he had recounted Laura Knight’s story of coming home to Penzer and finding Alfred Munnings comfortably settled in one of the armchairs. Munnings had said, ‘Mrs Beer has let me a bedroom and says I can share your sitting room and have meals with you’. Apparently, Harold Knight was not amused!
In the Meadow all the groups were invited into the studio of artist Virginia ‘Ginnie’ Bounds, who is currently resident in Stanhope Forbes Anchor Studio, which once house the Forbes School of painting and is said to have the original anchor from Forbes famous painting outside.
     The walk ended at the Admiralty Boathouse where Sean Perrott and Helen Burnham and their team of Friends were waiting. Brian Newton had made a short film with extracts from different films about Laura Knight held in the archive. Sean and Helen said that ‘the Boathouse became alive with the arrival of the first group of the Laura Knight Society members. More arrived later, some a little tired after their walk, but all interested in looking through the folders or enjoying the excellent film show. There were plenty of questions, not only relating to the collections, but also to the restoration of the Boathouse. A great many signed our Boathouse Diary. It was a very enjoyable morning.’

A Remarkable Archive Outing

On the first sunny day of Spring 60 Friends of the Archive and invited guests, varying in age from eight to eighty, enjoyed a rare visit to the Tidal Observatory on the South Pier. Four visits took place on the day, with only three or four people allowed inside at any one time, since this Grade II listed building is still fulfilling a vital scientific purpose after nearly 100 years of operation.

Originally built in 1915, and equipped to establish Mean Sea Level, the Observatory now provides one of the longest continuous records of sea levels in the world, essential for studies of climate change.

For much of its existence the Observatory was run and maintained by local people, though nowadays it is automatic. For the visitors, seeing the Observatory for themselves was a perfect complement to reading about it in the book published last year. An added bonus was that the tour guides were Richard Cockram and Ron Hogg, two of the authors of the book.

Open Day 23 March 2019 ‘From the Balcony to the Lighthouse’

Before the South Pier was built the area around Green Slip was used by the local boatbuilders and shipwrights such as Francis Hitchen. The two buildings at the bottom of the slip were known as the upper boathouse and the lower boathouse. In due course the upper and lower boathouse were used by the renowned  sail maker JH Francis.

Figure: 34 PZ in front of old boathouse on the Green Slip before the South Pier was built

The following letter to the editor of the Cornishman says it all.  

Sir, − Reading your paper I see a lot of old Cornish words and amongst them the ‘timmy noggy’ of a Mount’s Bay boat; a piece of wood with notches in it, for the ‘vargouard’ to rest on. This vargouard has been done without in some boats these 33 years. The boat New Tar, of Newlyn  belonging to Mr Trahair of Newlyn, was the first boat that had a sail cut by JH Francis, sail-maker. Mr JH Francis was the sail-maker who cut the first lug-sail, to set without a vargouard, in Mount’s Bay. Cornishmsn, June 5, 1879.

Download the poster here

St Peters Players disbanded

LIkeable rogues!

It was with great sadness that Patrons of St Peters Players learned that the motion ‘The St Peter's Players, Newlyn be formally disbanded’ was carried at the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 15 August 2018. The Newlyn Archive contains the papers, programmes and photos that document the history of this remarkable group which has entertained us for over 50 years. The players' very generous donation of almost £500 to the Archive will go to editing a book about the Players.

We asked Diane Tredinnick to remember a particularly remarkable play and she chose ‘My Three Angels’ in which Goff Johns made his directorial debut.

The numbers 4707, 6817 and 3011 were not attached to heavenly angels but to three likeable Rogues (Adam Bowkett, David Tredinnick, and Peter Byrne) incarcerated in a French penal colony in the early 1900s!

Open Day 16 June 2018

There were 138 visitors to this open day, ‘Getting There and Getting Back’, and it was very enthusiastically received. Many conversations could be heard of

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Happy New Year 2018

The collage above celebrates the final opening of the Boathouse in 2017, when Friends of the Archive provided light refreshments for visitors and there was

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November 2017

Above: David Tredinnick, Chairman of the Newlyn Archive with film-maker Shauna Osborne-Dowle at the launch of the film ‘Boathouse Diary’ at the recent Open Day.

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Report on the Open Day

Christopher Laughton took this wonderful photo of the Archive Open day at Trinity on Saturday 6th September. 114 visitors visited the exhibition which was about

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February 2017

We would like to share the first letter addressed to the archive at its new home in the Admiralty Boathouse, which appropriately was a Friend’s

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News for May 2016

We had another very successful open day last month. The Building of Newlyn Harbour was held at Trinity Centre on April 4 2016 and was

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March 2016 News

The photos were taken at the last Open Day ‘The Great Storms’ on Saturday February 13, 2016, when we had a record 272 people visiting

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Archive Open Day

The picture above shows high tide at Newlyn Harbour’s North Pier, October 27 2004. Courtesy of Roger Clemence. The first Newlyn Archive Open Day of

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November News 2015

The amazing picture of St Mary’s Church photographed by Vaughan T Paul after the thunderstorm of 4/8/1899 shows work in progress to replace over 100

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Archive Open Day

This is the earliest photograph of a wedding in the Newlyn Archive. It shows Joseph Carter and Harriet Badcock on their wedding day in 1871.

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Happy New Year 2015

(above) Fundraising group, 5/11/1953. The Smugglers Loft Club raised money for British Empire Cancer Fund by organising a massive November 5 Bonfire with a 12ft

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Carnivals became a regular feature of Newlyn life after the Perkin Warbeck Pageant of 1906, which was part of a wider set of seaside pageants

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