St Agnes Museum Trust’s 36th AGM

St Agnes Museum Trust’s 36th Annual General Meeting will take place on 19 February at 7:30pm at St Agnes Methodist Church Hall, where there is ample parking.

After the business and refreshments, John Branfield, who curated the Museum’s hugely successful Tony Giles exhibition, will give an illustrated talk, “Tony Giles – Painter of Cornwall’s Man-made Landscape”.

Visitors will be most welcome for whom there will be a small charge of £1.

St Agnes Beacon by Tony Giles

From Aircraft to Attic

Mystery surrounds the third book published by St Agnes author and Museum Steward, Neil Roberts, From Aircraft to Attic, as the two photo albums from which the photos are taken were found in the loft of the late Bill Morrison’s St Agnes home.

Bill was a founding member of the Museum and contributed so much to its early development. The photos were collected by the late Reginald Bernard Ivey of Penzance, but how they got to the loft is unknown. Mr Ivey acquired the images while serving at RAF Yatesbury, Wiltshire, during the Great War.

From Aircraft to Attic
From Aircraft to Attic

Neil Roberts selected 72 of the 184 photographs, giving a glimpse of the newly created RAF. Aircraft pictured include the Bristol fighter, the Sopwith Pup and seaplanes.

Copies of the book can be obtained from the Museum when it reopens, or meanwhile, from the Museum Shop.

It costs £9.95, plus p/p where necessary, and Neil will be selling copies at the Museum AGM.

Museum purchases local art

The Museum has bought on eBay a most unusual new acquisition. It is a large pebble from Trevaunance Cove, delicately painted with an image of Driftwood Spars, complete with its wooden veranda which no longer exists. It was painted by the late Ron Preedy in 1989. Some Members may remember Ron, who served with the Royal Marines and settled in the village on his retirement. His parents ran the Peterville Inn during his childhood.

Pebble painted by Ron Preedy
Pebble painted by Ron Preedy

In 1984, Ron Preedy, then aged 48, set out from Trevaunance Cove on Lifeboat Day, 2 August, in his 26ft glassfibre sloop, Miss Fidget, on a double crossing of the Atlantic. The signal for him to set sail was a gun salute carried out by a team from the 29 Commando Light Regiment from Plymouth, commanded by Ron until 1977.

He sailed in several stages to the West Indies in time for Christmas and then, also in stages, to Norfolk, Virginia, from where he sailed back to St Agnes, arriving at the end of June 1985.

Winter Coffee Morning

Despite the wintry weather our Winter Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Saturday 16 November was very well attended with many people enjoying a coffee and browsing the stalls which included a raffle, cakes, new items from the highly successful Museum Shop, and a tempting selection of Cornish and Maritime books. Shown here is part of the magnificent range of items donated for the raffle.

Winter Coffee Morning raffle prizes

£465 was raised for Museum funds, while our Membership Secretary took £400 in membership subscriptions.

The Museum is very grateful for such support.

A look back on the 2019 season

Having looked through the Museum’s Visitors’ Book, some interesting figures and comments have been extracted. The figures need to be taken with a pinch of salt as not every visitor signs the book and sometimes only one member of a family signs, but it will hopefully give a reasonably accurate idea, particularly of our overseas visitor numbers.

St Agnes Museum

We had 5318 visitors in all – a wonderful total – with many British visitors from all over the United Kingdom, and a great many Cornish visitors too. One St Agnes visitor wrote: “Lived here for 65 years, my first visit!”

All the visitors wrote of the friendliness and helpfulness of the Stewards and of being made welcome. Many commented on how well laid out the Museum was and the professionalism of the displays. The new Tony Giles exhibition was singled out for praise and, of course, mining and maritime history, and the Turtle were, as usual, appreciated. Children enjoyed the Cuckoo Hunt as mush as ever. Here is a selection of the comments:

  • Magnificent morning in a fascinating museum, with enchanting history and super informative, friendly staff. Thank you so much.
  • Fabulous artwork
  • We enjoyed learning about Tony Giles and went to visit his house and spotted his railway in the garden
  • Fun time had by little ones, searching for cuckoos
  • Been a few times – so good that displays change
  • My favourite artist of all times. Lovely to catch up with this new exhibition.
  • Very interesting, especially after Roger Radcliffe’s superb talk
  • Lots of mining history, which is one of my reasons for visiting
  • The mining display is superb (from an ex miner)
  • Interested in Hurling Ball (a visitor from Northern Ireland)
  • A calm spot in a crazy world
  • Lots of cool rubbings
  • Wi-fi would be great (an Australian visitor)
  • Well done to QAFVS winners
  • Would like to know who the WWI sketch artist is. Great sketches.

Our overseas visitors came from 20 different countries. This year we have listed them all, with the numbers of visitors.

  • Australia 58
  • USA 51
  • Germany 49
  • France 22
  • The Netherlands 18
  • Canada 15
  • New Zealand 9
  • Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden 5
  • Ireland 4
  • Turkey 3
  • Denmark, Russia, Malta, Italy 2
  • Antigua, Botswana, China 1