It was the focus of the last Newlyn Archive Open Day of 2016, the topic puzzled some and enthralled others, ‘They Came, they Stayed and they Left’. 130 visitors came to the exhibition at Trinity Centre and stayed to look at exhibits about some of the people who have visited Newlyn but not stayed, like the marauding Spaniards who burnt the village down in 1595, the Belgian fishermen who kept the fish trade in Newlyn going when the Newlyn fleet was commandeered by the Navy for war duties in world war two, and that old rugby enemy, Penzance who were often beaten into the sea on the sloping field that the Newlyn players knew so well.
There were also famous individuals who passed through: poets like Dylan Thomas, infamous individuals like the mystic and black magician Aleister Crowley, and of course artists like Laura and Harold Knight and Henry Scott Tuke. The latter’s visits to Newlyn from 1879-1884 were the subject of archivist Pam Lomax’s talk on the Friday evening, which was attended by 31 Friends, just about filling the Wheal Betsy room.
The exhibition showed some of the places that have been and gone, such as the old first world war seaplane base in Sandy Cove, captured in archive pictures like the wonderful iconic picture of one of the earliest WAAF’s, Mary Bone Nicholls in her overalls with the propellers of the seaplane she had been working on immediately behind her.
There was also some information from the archive about buildings in Newlyn that once served a completely different purpose to that of today. Most important amongst these must be the place that will house the Newlyn Archive before the end of the year. This was built as a Coastguards’ Boathouse by the Admiralty, in 1900, became the centre of the village as the Newlyn Post Office in 1925, and as the future home of the Newlyn Archive will take its old name of Admiralty Boathouse before the end of 2016. Keep up with news about the move on the website here. We will be celebrating with an official opening early next year.
It has been a momentous year. We have had 715 visitors to our four Open Days and recently the 320th person signed up as a Friend of the archive which includes twelve Life Friends. This will all be celebrated at the AGM which will take place at the Newlyn Art Gallery at 6pm on Saturday November 12 2016. We hope that Friends of the Archive will attend the meeting and stay on at the Gallery for an entertainment (starting at 7pm) masterminded by our chairman David Tredinnick.
And next year? Please download the programme of the four Open Days which will be at Trinity Centre in 2017. There will also be other events both in our new home the Admiralty Boathouse and elsewhere which will be advertised in due course.