On Friday March 24 2017, the Newlyn Archive celebrated the launch of its project ‘Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage’ at its future home, The Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn TR18 5HL. The project aims to make the old Coastguard’s Boathouse and more recent Newlyn Post Office the centre of Heritage in Newlyn by locating the Newlyn Archive, The Lamorna Archive and the West Cornwall Art Archive there.
The Friday Launch at the Boathouse was attended by invited local dignitaries, friends of the archive who have been involved in renovating the building to its present state, and representatives of the press. David Tredinnick, chairman of the Archive Committee welcomed the guests who included the Mayor of Penzance and others who generously had written letters of recommendation for our HLF grant. Rob Wing (chairman), spoke for the Harbour Commissioners, who have been so supportive of this project and are making the Boathouse available to the Archive at a peppercorn rent (Photo 1). Ron Hogg, who has masterminded the work already achieved to renovate the Boathouse, explained what needed to be done before we could move the archive physically there. Rob Parsons, Newlyn Harbour Master ended the proceedings with a presentation to retiring Dave Barron, whose historic wooden newsagents shop next to the Boathouse is due to be removed as part of the Harbour Authorities plans to make a more spacious area around the Boathouse.
The project has been generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (www.hlf.org.uk.) whose grant of £3000 will help to unlock our hidden local heritage. ‘The grant will be used to provide the digital equipment we need to enable visitors to explore the archive more efficiently’, said committee member Denny Harvey who looks after this side of the archive. ‘We are planning another book about the harbour, and the grant is contributing to this and the major exhibition we will hold at Trinity Centre in September’, said committee member Linda Holmes who is listing the content of the great collection of historic harbour logs given to the Archive by the Harbour Authority. ‘We hope that using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will make a lasting difference for heritage here, as it helps other people and communities across the UK to build a resilient heritage economy’ said Pam Lomax, archivist.
On Saturday March 25 2017 the Boathouse was open to Friends of the Archive so that they could have a good look at the location that would house the treasures that many of them have donated to the archive in the past. Friends of the Archive have been incredibly generous with donations towards the work being undertaken at the Boathouse. The Boathouse was open from 10am until 4pm and there were light refreshments available, generously supplied by the Newlyn Co-op. We had eight new boards on legs (bought with a grant from Cornwall Council) that contained information and photographs about the history of the Boathouse and the history of the Harbour. The day was a great success and many Friends of the Archive signed the new visitor’s book that will commemorate our first opening at the Boathouse.
On Monday 27 2017 we welcomed our first party of school children from Newlyn School with their teacher Jo Fitzgerald, and seconded committee member and ex-primary school headteacher, Margaret Follows who takes charge of school liaison for the Archive. We wanted the Newlyn School children to feel some ownership of the archive in its new premises from the beginning. They have contributed to the archive in the past and we were delighted with the interest they showed in the building and in the displays. One feature that captured their imagination was the small glass inserts at the top of the old post office counter which contain interesting historic material (photo 3). They were fascinated with the homeguard epaulets from WW2 and the notebook containing secret codes in the first insert, then there was the pen that Princess Anne used at the opening ceremony for the statue to fishermen lost at sea in the second insert. But what fascinated them most was the collection of wooden net needles and original twine used by Mary Harvey Hoare to make camouflage nets during WW2 in the third insert. Well done Ron Hogg for inventing these useful display areas.