On a very warm Saturday, June 16 2017, the archive held its most recent Open Day ‘100 Years Ago’ at Trinity Centre, Newlyn. Much of the Exhibition centred on that year 1917 and the archive had on show material from all three of its archives on Newlyn, Lamorna and West Cornwall Art. The Mousehole Archive was also on hand and there was a board of information about the project to save and renovate the old Newlyn fishing lugger PS 134 Ocean Pride.
The Exhibition celebrated and brought to light the contribution made to World War I by the inhabitants of West Cornwall. The fascinating display included material from the 1917 Newlyn Harbour Log Books; pictures and cuttings of planes in Sandy Cove; the torpedoing of the Newlyn-based fishing boat The Try by a German U-boat; local men in the Duke of Cornwall’s light infantry; and stories of local people and artists living in Newlyn and Lamorna in 1917. A particularly interesting item from the archive was a detailed record of Charles Simpson’s service for Coastwatch during 1917. Friends of the Archive, Paula Chatsworthy and Jim Hill (who are helping to update the Simpson Archive), were also on hand to show some of their Simpson paintings.
The exhibition was bustling with 140 visitors enjoying the chance to explore events that took place 100 years ago. Our hard-working committee were in attendance helped by other Friends of the Archive on duty at the door to welcome visitors. Brian Newton, who has taken over from Denny Harvey, showed some fascinating archive film including footage of a local farmer and his wife working the land with the traditional plough and two horses as would have been the case 100 years ago. Diane Donohue was busy as ever helping people to identify their family history, and Diane and David Tredinnick and Tom Lodge were raising funds for the archive, the former with their sale of second hand books and the latter (who will be leaving the committee soon) with a very successful raffle for a wonderful framed print of Stanhope Forbes’ Seine Boat kindly donated by Bill Royston.
In the morning, members of the Lamorna Society attended including Friend of the Archive David Tovey who has recently written a book about Crosbie Garstin (son of Norman) who was on active service in 1917. Ex-committee member Andrew Gordon was also there with copies of his new book about Alex Forbes (son of Stanhope), who died during WW1. These books can be found on line. As always local people were generous in contributing new material to the archive and we were particularly thrilled with the collection of old photographs that DW Harvey has given us to copy.