Sports that put Newlyn in the Limelight: Open Day 12th October 2019

65 people attended the Open Day at the Centre in Newlyn. The promise of poor weather didn’t help attendance and there was some competition from the Lifeboat station who were holding their official opening. Despite that some people came to both the Lifeboat Station and the Open Day; we were given a programme of the Lifeboat event for the archive.

As it is the 100th anniversary of the Penlee Bowling Club this year, we highlighted Bowling and were delighted that the Bowling Club lent us some of their very fine framed photos of special events and famous members. One member of the club presented the archive with the booklet ‘Penlee Bowling Club 1919-2000, a millennium souvenir history’, apparently the only extant copy.
Rugby was also highlighted with a history of the Newlyn Rugby Football Club. The boards featured photos and information about the teams that played from 1897 through to 1939. There were some familiar Newlyn family names in the teams - Jelbert, Kneebone, Nicholls, Peake and many others.
The film show celebrated some of the sporting activities in and around Newlyn, including Gig boat racing, the Newlyn to Penzance swim, and the Newlyn Raft Race. The Raft race film included footage of a Bowls match at the Bowling Club and Model Yachting on the boating pool. The Rugby films showed in particular Newlyn's very own Jack Nowells and there was footage of Helen Glover with the parade through Newlyn after her triumph at the Olympics. Other sports included Cornish Wrestling, Tug of War, Cricket, Lamorna Birch fishing and the now defunct Brixham Trawler Race.
What a wonderful team we have at the Archive to put this together and to provide such a friendly and informed welcome on the day.

The Sports that put Newlyn into the Limelight. The Next Open Day October 12, 2019 at Trinity Centre 10am to 3pm.

Newlyn is mainly associated with fishing. The regattas of old Newlyn were certainly important events for the fishermen. It is said that Newlyn Fishermen were the finest yachtsmen in the world, ordained by circumstances to be fishermen, but always racing in their luggers to and from the fishing grounds. These old Newlyn Regattas were tremendous affairs with great carnivals and fairs on shore. For example the 1933 Regatta Day was accompanied by the Super Tit Bits Entertainment (see photo below).

For boys, destined for the sea like their fathers, the Newlyn Harbour Sports enabled them to show their expertise as swimmers and rowers. There was also Rugby, which was played on St Goulders Field, a sloping field that definitely favoured the home team. Bowling became an important sport in 1916 when the Penlee Bowling Club opened, to become the home ground of many famous national Bowles players. There were also the lesser known sports that featured in the local festivals such as the 1871 Easter Monday donkey race at Paul which scores of people from Newlyn attended. Following the donkey race were all sorts of other sports such as wheelbarrow races.

Download the Open Day Poster here

Great Voyages that started in Newlyn: Open Day September 21st 2019

The exhibition highlighted three main journeys.

Photos by Ron Hogg

The display of the voyage of The Spirit of Mystery included a hair raising first person account by Pete Goss who revived the original journey to Australia in 1854 in a restored version of The Spirit of Mystery in 2008.
A fine model of The Rosebud and an account of its voyage to Westminster in 1937 was displayed. A petition signed by 1100 householders from Newlyn protesting against the proposed clearances was described in moving detail.
A rare early colour photograph of The Rosebud taken by Charles Hoyland was on show together with a reminder of how tucked away images in lofts and cellars might have significance today.

The board celebrating the journey of The Mayflower in 1620 was enhanced by creativework from both Newlyn and Mousehole primary schools. The children had created collages of boats on stormy seas and a timeline of the ship’s journey to the new world.

Ruan from Mousehole School was one of the children who contributed to the display with this delightful collage

The arrival of the Spanish fleet in Cornwall and the capture of The Lark and its crew together with boards depicting Master Mariners of Newlyn completed a very thought-provoking and lively exhibition.
We were pleased to welcome a display of significant voyages from The Mousehole Archive too.
Thanks are due to Sue Newton who liaised with the schools and created the Mayflower boards, to Pam Lomax for the boards on the voyages, and to all the volunteers who helped make the day a success.

Sue Roach

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.’

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