Newlyn’s fishing industry has always responded vigorously to changing economic, political and demographic demands. The first two-day Newlyn Archive exhibition on July 5-6 2013, gave visitors an opportunity to enjoy a display of the industry’s proud past. As ever, the collection of material provoked animated discussion. Photographs of individual boats were set alongside those of a harbour filled with the extensive fleet which regularly brought a rich harvest back to Newlyn. Images of the development of the fish market were reminders of the busy early mornings by the quay as auctioneers ‘rattled’ through the sales and market workers loaded carts and lorries in readiness for the long journey to London and beyond.
As well as the exhibition boards, visitors could marvel at the model fishing boats (including PZ 87 Rosebud) loaned by Raymond Peake, who has provided a great deal of information to the archive and visited the open day on Saturday. Many of the other 263 visitors that we
counted for this two-day event were able also to make valuable additions to the Archive’s records by adding or correcting information; not surprising given the background of some of our visitors who included fishermen and boat masters, the harbour master Andrew Munson, ‘Patch’ Harvey the current coxswain of the Penlee Lifeboat, Matt Harvey from W Harvey & Sons, Billie Stevenson (who knows more about Newlyn fishing boats than anyone else) and his daughter Elizabeth, both from W Stevenson & Sons.
We also had two very knowledgeable visiting experts taking part in the open day. Mike Buttery was on hand with his extensive lists of PZ Fishing Boats, his beautifully crafted plaques and some marvellous anecdotes concerning the pre-eminence of Mousehole’s fishing industry in times past! Maurice Bishop brought some of his collection of Newlyn Harbour photographs, taken over a period of 40 years and also his book of fishing boat Tallies, which was both envied and admired by many.
Other members of the Archive Committee were also on hand. Linda Holmes, who is compiling extensive records of PZ registered boats, was busy collecting additional information and anecdotes about the boats and their crews from people whose families had been associated with fishing for generations. Denton Harvey was available to receive old video material that he will copy to DVDs for the archive’s growing collection of film material. He was also able to show visitors some fascinating film clips of fishing boats at sea and the old ice works in operation. The rest of the archive committee helped with people’s enquiries, while the faithful group of Friends who help man the door at these events were kept extra busy, and on the Saturday Jerry Drew was helped by the Newlyn Guides in providing delicious pasties and much appreciated tea and coffee. (Andrew Gordon, 14/7/2013)
AN ENTERTAINMENT FROM THE NEWLYN ARCHIVE at The Acorn, Penzance Wednesday July 17 2013 3.00-4.00pm. Tickets £2 at the door. The Poetry is read alongside a slide show of old photographs and paintings from the Newlyn Archive and paintings by the Newlyn Colony of Artists
A Programme of Poems & Pictures
AW Rablan, Hurrah for the Lads of Newlyn. Liz Harman, My love is a blue-eyed Cornishman. Liz Harman, Departure. Liz Harman 1943. Frank Ruhrmund, Night. Fred Steele, Resurrection. AT Bond, Pilchards: a memory. Frank Ruhrmund, Brother John. Charles Kingsley, The Three Fishers. Ben ‘Benny’ Batten, Hopeless Dawn. Liz Harman, Moored Up. Anon, Newlyn Kaleidoscope. Frank Ruhrmund, This is my town. Frank Ruhrmund, Granny. Anon, Miss Phyllis. Anon, Song of a Newlyn Fisherman. Jolly Roger, A Ballad of Tolcarne Inn. Dave Barron, The Storm. Penny Lally, Ode to an ice-cream. Charles Parke, We’re 80 years old. Ben ‘Benny’ Batten, Buccas Computer. Ann Pilcher, The Housewife. Ann Pilcher, Home Kitchen. Liz Harman, ‘Eavy Cake. Ben Batten, Cornish Heaven.