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 Mark 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!

New Edition of Newlyn at War

Newlyn at War
Picture from Louise Hancock.

The Archive has re-published with some corrections and minor alterations its very successful first publication, Newlyn at War. The price has risen since the first edition, but it is still only £8 and would make a wonderful Christmas present in this year devoted to remembering the horrors of war.

A new picture in the book shows Sid and Bert Perrott with Mary and Amy Hichens on Newlyn Green Beach with the barbed wire fence of wartime clearly visible behind. Seymour Cooke who joined the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and helped construct the beach defences, claimed that the longest run of barbed wire was from Newlyn Harbour to Marazion.

Download the Order Form War

Archive benefits from Co-op funding

Friends of the Archive in the Penzance Co-op. Photo by Christopher Laughton

On Saturday 24 November 2018 the Community Fund Team from our local Co-op invited members of the Archive to join them to celebrate receiving the final payment raised for the Archive. This amount is the Archive's share of the fund sponsored by the Co-op. The money is raised by the Co-op giving 1% of the amount their members spend.

The Archive very much appreciates having been chosen as a beneficiary of the fund. The final amount is a remarkable £9,639.80. The money is being used to enable us to share our resources with the local community.

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »


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

Read More »

Events in June 2014

Thomas Cooper Gotch, A Night in June, 1910. Gotch described this painting as ‘a nightpiece, a lawn with dining table lit by shaded candles, two

Read More »