The Museum is very excited to have acquired its first example of St Agnes potter Annette Bulkley’s work, thanks to Tom Thompson’s purchase of this little vase on eBay.
The Bulkley sisters, Annette (b.1868) and Helen (b.1870), had moved permanently to St Agnes in about 1922, making pottery and founding their studio at Wayside, which continued until at least 1937.
The Museum has several examples of Helen’s work, in its characteristic chunky style and vibrant turquoise colour (obtained from local copper which she sought out herself) but had no examples of Annette’s work until now. Possibly her output was less as she became very involved in caring for the countryside around St Agnes. She was a Committee Member of the St Agnes Countryside Protection and the Old Cornwall Society, and in 1934 was one of the honorary secretaries when the Council for the Preservation of Rural England fought to prevent housing being built on open spaces nearby, including at the iconic St Agnes Head.
Annette’s vase shares the same turquoise lustre as seen in her sister’s work but is finer and more delicate.
Annette died in 1944 and Helen in 1955. They gave Wayside and their two cottages to the National Trust who continues to own them to this day.
The Museum held a record breaking Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Saturday morning 17 November when £665 was raised for Museum funds and a further £380 taken in subscriptions giving a record total of £1045.
Stallholders were enjoyably busy all morning with the stall selling new items from the Museum Shop, taking an astonishing £230, including some of these locally produced cards.
The Museum is so grateful to everyone who supported the event in any way.
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, St Agnes Parish Council has funded and erected a granite headstone on the unmarked grave of Henry Jennings DCM, his sisters and his mother in St Agnes Cemetery. The stone symbolically commemorates all those servicemen and women of St Agnes Parish, including Henry, who returned from the Great War and resumed their civilian lives, some like Henry decorated for their gallantry, and recovered from their wounds.
On Saturday 10 November Henry’s two nephews, Joseph Sawle (89) and his brother Martin (86), together with other members of the family, travelled to St Agnes to lay a wreath at the headstone in the presence of the Chair of St Agnes Parish Council, Jinny Clark, and several members of Museum Committee who had become involved in research into the life and war record of Henry Jennings, and tracing his descendants. Philip Mitchell laid flowers on behalf of the Museum. Joseph’s grandson, Scott Turnbull, read Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen.
Henry was the subject of a short Cornish-made documentary film called Cornish Tommies being widely shown locally around the time of the Armistice. Part of the film was shot at the Museum with volunteers Joan Bunt and Philip Mitchell taking part.
After the ceremony the group returned to the Museum for refreshments. Roger Radcliffe thanked everyone for coming and paid tribute to the determined research of Museum Curator, Clare Murton.
Fifty-nine Year 6 pupils and nine adults from Threemilestone School were given a private viewing at St Agnes Museum on Thursday 8 November to add a local dimension to their study of the Great War.
They visited St Agnes War Memorial and the Methodist Church, the local cemetery and the Museum itself, to piece together some stories of the men and women of St Agnes who had contributed to the war effort.
One of the stories featured was that of St Agnes mining engineer, Harold Llewellyn Twite who led a team of Cornish miners from the 183rd (Tunnelling Company) of the Royal Engineers to successfully detonate an explosion under enemy lines only to be killed along with nine other men hours later in an explosion.
Another story told of Nurse Ada Garland and her miraculous escape when the hospital ship on which she was tending the wounded was sunk in enemy action.
The children also learned how two local horses were hidden underground to prevent them being requisitioned by the army.
Returning to school full of stories, the children will long remember their visit to St Agnes Museum.
Despite several other events happening in St Agnes, many St Agnes Museum Stewards enjoyed their private Coffee Morning at the Museum on Saturday 3 November to celebrate another successful season. Thanked by Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, for their hard work and enthusiasm, it was their first opportunity to view the portrait of Tony Giles by Ken Symonds recently bought for the Museum collection.
Shop Manager, Mike Furness, recalled a stunning year with record overall sales of £7232 and the best ever month for sales with £1402 raised in September. Sales are already £861 ahead of last year with the Winter Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Saturday 17 November still to come. In the light-hearted contest between Stewards, the Wednesday Wonders were in Bronze position with £995 of sales, the Saturday Supershots in Silver with £1075 and the Friday Fireballs in Gold with £1186.