Open Day, October 13 2018: Families that were the Backbone of the Town.
The Basket Maker, June Hicks
It has been very difficult to select material to feature in this Newlyn Archive Open Day Exhibition because so many families have been the backbone of our towns, Newlyn and Lamorna. We have selected material from large collections that have been given to the archive about particular families. Thanks go to the donors of this material.
Alongside the exhibition there will be our collection of family files for you to look at and our family expert Diane Donohue to consult. You can also see the remarkable film sequences that Brian Newton has put together for this occasion about family life and community. Roger Nowel will feature along with the Le Grice family, a wedding in the Cornish language, and much more. You can also listen to some of the tapes we have in the archive made by people featured in the Exhibition. All this is possible because of the new equipment that the archive has been able to purchase through the generosity of the Cooperative Society who have raised a remarkable £2000+ for us.
At the top, we show June Hicks’ lovely picture of the basket maker because the Wallis Family of basket makers are one the families we have chosen to feature in the exhibition. Basket making was an important local industry until modern technologies replaced it in the 20th century.
A second family is the Batten family. There were five generations of Benjamin Green Battens. Originally, they were fishermen but later writers and poets. We have focused on Benjamin Green Batten (1890-1941) who was one of the crew of the Newlyn long-liner PZ 87 Rosebud that sailed to Westminster with a petition against the demolition of Newlyn houses, and died at sea in 1941, and also on his remarkable wife Phillis Glasson Richards (1891-1974).
The Lamorna Board highlights the Law and Humphrey families. Penny Law and her brother, the artist, Denys Law, regularly holidayed in Lamorna when they were children. When Penny was a young woman staying at the Green Bungalow, below the Lamorna Mill, she met Morgan Humphrey, Landlord of the Wink, and in 1936 they were married. As a child, their daughter Judy often visited Flagstaff Cottage where she was presented with three water-colour miniatures for her dolls’ house by Lamorna Birch. You can see copies of these at the Exhibition.
Finally we have the family links to those who sailed on the Mystery to Australia in 1854. The families are: Kelynack, Badcock, and Nicholls, and the families Rouffignac, Carter, Peake, Cotton and Harvey who interconnect by marriage and through the generations. Their descendants are with us today. The Captain of the Mystery was a Master Mariner and the trades of some of the interconnecting families show other mariners, boat builders and fishermen. There is also a connection with the artist Henry Scott Tuke in his paintings.
Please download the poster for the exhibition: