Postponement of the Open Day

In view of the ongoing crisis involving the Coronavirus (Covid-19) we have postponed the Open Day that was due to take place on Saturday 28th March.
We will also be closing the Boathouse from Midday Friday 20th March until further notice.
We are sorry for any inconvenience and wish you well during this difficult time.

Open Day Saturday March 28 2020 – Postponed


Due to unforeseen events we have moved the Newlyn Archive Open Day from Saturday 21/3/2020 to Saturday 28/3/2020. The Open Day is at Trinity Centre from 9.30-3.00. We do hope you can attend.

The Exhibition about ‘Trades to do with Fishing’ will include a historical look at the trades that have operated from Newlyn. The Primary trade has always been fishing, in the past in the beautiful luggers for which Newlyn was justly famous, and post war the great Stevenson trawler fleet. Fishing could not have survived without the disposal of the fish, originally through the jousters and fishwives who hawked their ware from place to place, but as the harbour developed through the numerous fish dealers who operated around the harbour until the fish market was built. We look how the fish were once landed at the Trawl Quay, which was located right in front of where the Boathouse is today. We examine the building of the new Fish Market in 1988.
The Pilchard Industry has always been important to Newlyn although very early the seine boat owners were replaced by the pilchard dealers and Newlyn became a place of pilchard cellars where the pilchards were pressed and prepared for export to Italy on the colourfully named Bird Boats.
At the Open Day you will be able to see some of our vintage film and listen to taped interviews. Our usual archive experts will be available for consultation.
An extra treat for young children is that we have organised some children’s activities, including making a collage. There will be a children/family quiz and The Newlyn Film house has kindly donated a family ticket for the winner of the quiz.

Photo: Remember Shippams pilchard and tomato paste and the canning factory which occupied the distinctly shaped building on Newlyn sea front?

A Morning in the Boathouse

It is always rewarding when people visit the Archive in order to carry out research. Monday morning was a particularly busy day and here we see Rebecca Weeks with her son researching her family history. As time goes by, we have more and more documents and photos relating to different Newlyn families. Hayley Britten, with the help of her father, was involved in researching the history of Newlyn as part of her University course. Other visitors were interested in a particular place or event in Newlyn. We now have such a wealth of information that one thing leads to another and before you know it the morning is over.

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


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