Most regular readers of this webpage will know that we are moving the Archive to the building vacated by Newlyn Post Office, which the Newlyn Harbour Commissioners have generously made available to us. The building was originally built as a coastguard boathouse for the Admiralty on land leased from Newlyn Harbour in 1900. In 1925 it became the Newlyn Post Office and was at the centre of the village until it moved last year.
The fine detached granite-built structure with its pitched roof, appears in early photographs when it boasted a flagpole (not visible in this picture) and fish was being sold on the road in front. It has been officially renamed the Admiralty Boathouse and the Archive intend to make it the centre for Heritage in Newlyn.
There are many benefits to our new location. The whole archive will be together in one place for the first time. This will make it easier to manage, and therefore its storage, cataloguing and availability will be markedly improved.
There will be much more space at the Boathouse for visitors than was the case in the small room that Trinity Centre has so generously provided on Friday mornings for the last 7 years.
We intend to open the archive to the public regularly on more occasions (to be decided) than the present Friday morning opening at Trinity.
The new premises are much more accessible by public transport and there is parking in the area so that people from far afield will find it much easier to visit the archive.
Before we can move into our new heritage centre, there is much work to be done. The Harbour Authority has begun by repairing the roof to stop leaks; they are also taking care of internal building work and will supply water and electricity.
Newlyn Archive volunteers with Ron Hogg as the foreman have already started to repair and decorate the space, and will be erecting shelving and moving filing cabinets soon.
Their first task was to clear the space in front of the old post-office counter which had lots of cardboard boxes, bits of timber, metal and plastic shelving lying around.
David: I have been removing redundant electrical wiring and conduits, and unneeded wooden partitions and brackets… rubbing down paint work in preparation for repainting.
Ron: The V-grooving feature in the wooden panelling had to be scraped out to remove a soft plastic filling and thus highlight this feature when it is decorated. Then the panelling itself could be rubbed down prior to filling the holes left by the numerous screws and nails.
Sean: We’ve taken out so many screws and bolts and nails, I just hope the Admiralty Boathouse doesn’t float away when it is finally launched.
Ron: The windows were all heavily barred presumably for safety reasons when the building was a Post Office. These were removed by Tony Fitt using his battery powered screwdriver, there being no power available in the Boathouse for powered tools.
‘Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage’ is the title of our new project aimed at raising £5000 to cover the cost of refurbishing the interior of the old Boathouse, making the new space fit for purpose, and ensuring that the purpose is achieved.
The money will be used for decorating materials, additional shelving and floor covering. When the decorating is done, we will need comfortable and attractive furniture. We aim to buy a large round table and chairs for front of house for visitors to use, and a water heater so that visitors can be offered tea and coffee.
Much of the archive is digital so that we need new computing equipment to access the catalogue and digital materials. We need a printer so that we can print material for visitors, and a scanner to copy material that is brought in.
The Harbour authorities are putting a sign, ‘Admiralty Boathouse’ over the front door. We intend to erect a copper sign saying Newlyn Archive, based on a traditional style, in the place where the old post office sign hung. Michael Johnson in Newlyn will make the sign and donate half the cost as sponsorship from the Copper Works. We need to raise the rest.
We plan to launch the project at the Boathouse on Friday March 24 2017 for invited dignitaries, and Saturday March 25 2017 for Friends of the Archive. As part of the launch, the Admiralty Boathouse will be open Monday-Friday 9.30-12 o’clock for the public in the week starting March 27 2017
Please make a donation to this project. Send your donation to Ron Hogg, Treasurer, Newlyn Archive, The Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn TR18 5HL.