It is only five months into 2014 but the Archive can celebrate achieving our funding target for the project which we have called ‘When Newlyners walked to Lamorna’. The photo was taken last Friday (May 23 2014) in the Mount’s Bay Room at Trinity when a cheque for £500 was handed over to chairman David Tredinnick and treasurer Ron Hogg by Tamas Haydu. Tamas, who is the Development Director of the Cornwall Community Foundation of which the Cornwall 100 Club is part, took the photograph. The other three people in the photo are Scott Bentley who is one of the sponsors of the 100 club, and Friends of the Archive Pete Joseph and Richard Seville Barnes. The Cornwall 100 Club comprises 100 businesses that have come together to financially support Cornish communities, ‘making a real, positive and measurable difference within our beautiful county’.
The £500 from the Cornwall 100 Club was part of £5000 for which we sought funding. We have been very fortunate to have also received £3000 from the Heritage Lottery, £500 from the Co-operative Membership Community Fund, £300 from Cornwall Council, £250 from the Q Fund, £250 from the Lamorna Society, £150 from Penzance auctioneers Lane & Sons, and £100 from Penzance Council. We are very grateful to our sponsors for making our very exciting project possible.
So what does the project involve?
First we are doing a great deal of work reorganising the archives. Two major archives have been joined to the Newlyn Archive recently (the West Cornwall Art Archive and the Lamorna Archive) and it has become very necessary to rationalise these in terms of cataloguing and displaying material so that it more easily accessible to our Friends, members and local communities. The new catalogues will not be up and running for a while yet but eventually there will be three distinct areas in the archive, each with its own catalogue. The Newlyn Catalogue will contain material about the history of Newlyn and its people, particularly its relationships with the sea and fishing. It will continue to keep information about PZ fishing boats and their crews. The Lamorna Catalogue will contain material about the history of the Lamorna Valley, its river and quay, and the history of the people (including artists, writers and visitors) who have lived there. It will also document the history of the Lamorna Society and its members and activities. The Art Catalogue will contain the huge collection of material about aspects of West Cornwall’s Art History, past and present that was part of the West Cornwall Art Archive and add to this the unique collections of material previously held in the Newlyn Archive about the Newlyn Colony of Artists and in the Lamorna Archive about the Lamorna Colony of Artists.
Secondly, we have a number of new ventures aimed to improve our three collections. 1. We have been copying a number of historical tapes kindly provided by Douglas Williams into a digital form so that they can be transcribed. Once this is done, Douglas will be producing a book about them. 2. Pam Lomax is editing the third of our series of Archive books which is about Newlyn at Play. The book covers the period from the end of the nineteenth century until the immediate post war years and will include harbour sports and regattas, carnivals, choirs, amateur dramatics and much else. The book will be available in October. We hope that anyone with stories or photographs that could be included will contact Pam. 3. Margaret Follows is liasing with teachers at Tolcarne School to give the children an opportunity to participate in a project on the theme of Newlyn at Play. 4. Anne Forrest (who is the current chair of the Lamorna Society as well as a Friend of the Newlyn Archive) is interviewing people in the community about The Good Friday Walk to Lamorna. She tells us that ‘the origin of this old tradition is as obscure as it is fascinating’. Many of the ninety-year olds she has spoken to remember their parents and grandparents telling of travelling from Penzance, Paul, Mousehole, Newlyn and St Buryan to walk to Lamorna on this day, but no-one seems to know when it started. ‘Was there a religious significance – the distance of the walk being similar to that of the Way of the Cross, the journey Christ took to Calvary? Was the possibility of finding a rare Lamorna Cross stone, too tempting to miss on this Holy Day? Was it just an opportunity for friends to congregate and enjoy each other’s company on the one day the men would be off work, capitalising on a family day out? Or was it an eagerly awaited opportunity for boy to meet girl? It’s thought that perhaps young ladies went to display their Easter bonnets and the young men to admire them… Maybe because Spring is heralded early in the little valley and as ‘in the Spring a young man’s fancy turn to love’ what better place than Lamorna to enjoy Nature’s reawakening…’
The answers to these questions may be revealed at the two-day Open Day at Trinity Centre on October 3-4 2014 which will mark the completion of the project.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER EVENTS AT THE ARCHIVE BEFORE THAT. Transcribing old tapes or talking to people who remember taking part in the Good Friday Walk has uncovered other reminiscences about the past from people who said that Newlyn or Lamorna was where they ‘belong to be’. Belonging to Be is the title of the next Newlyn Archive Open Day on July 19 2014. Belonging to Be is about the places where we belong and the people that inhabit them.
Thanks to our sponsors for 2014: