Annual General Meeting, 19 February 2020

Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, welcomed 46 Members of St Agnes Museum Trust to its 36th Annual General Meeting in the Methodist Church Hall on 19 February 2020.

Treasurer, David Teagle, reported a deficit of £825 over the year with receipts totalling £14011 and payments £14836. There had been repairs to the alarm system, a digital survey which had cost £1200, and a new computer purchased at a cost of £586. Shop sales had increased by 20% and Gift Aid was predicted to raise £2400. Changing to a new insurance company had resulted in savings of £402. Broadband would be installed in 2020, its cost subsidised by being part of the Wave Project. The Treasurer recommended that for 2021 Overseas Membership should rise to £20pa, but other subscriptions should remain unchanged.

In her Curator’s Report, Clare Murton, reported that written records of acquisitions in the “Blue Book” were up to date but computer records on “Modes” were slightly behind. She and Assistant Curator, Philip Mitchell, had been busily creating a space for the forthcoming Virtual Reality experience. The display on Tony Giles had proved popular and would continue, as would the surfing display which had one new board. A Museum App was being developed so that smart phone users could read or hear more information on items in a display. Among recent acquisitions were a Jill Vasey pottery tile of Stippy Stappy, a scale model of a mine engine in Thomas’ Shaft off Vicarage Road, the original of which is in the Science Museum, which was created by the late Ian Yarwood, and a mine plan for flooding the entire Chapel Porth valley to create power for mining machinery. Luckily this came to nothing.

Mary Wilson, Membership Secretary, reported 191 Members, including 4 new ones, and said what appreciative comments about the Journal and Newsletters she received when Members paid their subscriptions.  Sadly, no Under 18s had yet taken up the Museum’s offer of free Membership.

Roger Radcliffe, in his report, thanked many people for helping keep the Museum open and updated listeners on the Wave Project. He explained that a single granite block from the ruined St Agnes Harbour would be brought to the Museum and fitted in the corner where Family History had been.  Visitors would sit on this and through the magic of the VR headset would be transported to the Harbour in 1903 and watch one schooner being unloaded and a second loaded while the water lapped around them.  When the second vessel set sail she would be revealed as the Lady Agnes complete with figurehead.  The Forward Plan would concentrate on maximising the use of space in the building.

All officers were re-elected unanimously.  After many years of service, Isobel Burrows stepped down from the Committee.  She was replaced by Mary Wilson and the remaining Committee were re-elected en bloc.  Claire Morgan was re-appointed as Auditor.

After refreshments, John Branfield gave an illustrated talk on “Tony Giles – Painter of Cornwall’s Man-Made Landscape”.  He explained that Tony’s father had been an Engine Driver and the magic of travelling to Cornwall by train never left him.  Through his paintings, we travelled from Taunton to Penzance, via St Austell, Truro, Hugus and Redruth.  St Stephen’s Coombe was a favourite place to paint.  In 1961 he achieved his dream of living in Cornwall.  When he settled in Langley Cottage with Hilary, he created a unique garden, complete with a Campanile, an Italianate Temple, a pond and a railway that wound its way around the garden edge.

John was thanked by the Chairman for his fascinating talk.

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.