To-ing and Fro-ing
The photo of WJ Olds, Butcher in his horse-drawn cart outside the Kings Arms, Paul is just one of the many examples of T0-ING and FRO-ING in the exhibition at the next Newlyn Archive Open Day ‘To-ing and Fro-ing: getting there and getting back’ at Trinity Centre on Saturday July 16 2016, 10-3.00.
The Exhibition tells the story of transport through the ages as it affected the people who lived at Newlyn and round about Newlyn.
First and foremost, were the fishing boats like the lugger PE 233 Mystery that took seven men to Australia in 1854.
For speed and sea worthiness, Newlyn luggers could not be excelled. In 1885 a Newlyn lugger sailed from Scarborough in less than 72 hours. In 1890 three luggers sailed the 600 miles to Scarborough in 70 hours.
As the fishing industry prospered and the new piers were built there were ‘Bird’ boats with names like Auk, Albatross, Crane, Drake, Gannet, Guillemot, Mallard, Petrel, Philomel, Raven, and Stork that took pilchards from Newlyn to Genoa
From earliest times, fishing was the most important industry in Newlyn. Horse-drawn vehicles took fish from the fish auctions on the beach at Newlyn to Penzance station for dispatch to the London markets. Before the 1914 war most people at Newlyn relied on these carrier’s carts or on horse drawn wagonettes. Blanche Brown, who was born in 1906 explained that if a woman could afford 2d for a ride to market in the wagonette she would do so, but halfway up Morrab Road she had to get out and walk the steepest part, as the wagonette was pulled by a single horse. Once the wagonette got to the flat, the passengers could get in again; and coming home, they could board the wagon at the top of Morrab Road and ride straight through to the bridge in Newlyn.
Newlyn did not have its first motor bus until December 1919, run by the Hitchens family at Tolcarne. The bus ran from the First and Last Hotel in Penzance through Newlyn and on to Mousehole. The vehicle, registered AF2381, was named Porth Enys, the old name for Mousehole. In 1922 there was competition from the Harvey family of Mousehole who set up their own bus company, and in 1926 the Western National Omnibus Company set up its headquarters at Wherry Town.
There was to-ing and fro-ing below ground as many Newlyn men worked in the mines when fishing was bad. The off-shore Wherry Mine had a long timber trestle over the sea for access. In other mines on the North Coast, miners who worked deep down could have travelled on the reciprocating man engine, which sometimes took as long as 50 minutes to get to the bottom of the shaft, with the men stepping on and off at regular intervals. Below ground there might have been a tramway with wagons to load the tin and sometimes there would be donkeys to pull the heavy wheeled containers.
Janner Maddern to-ed and fro-ed as he drove the engine named after him from Penlee Quarry to Newlyn’s South Pier pulling wagons full of stone to load on to the ‘Brook’ stone boats, which had names like Caernarvonbrook, Chesterbrook, Clarebrook, Corkbrook, Cornishbrook, Dorsetbrook, Glenbrook, Somersetbrook, Stirlingbrook, Warwickbrook, Westminsterbrook, Winchesterbrook, and Worcesterbrook.
The Exhibition gives many other glimpses of ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ and there will be display books and film shows on the day so please ‘To and Fro’ to Trinity Centre on Saturday. You can downlaod the poster by clicking on the PDF file below.