The usual school visit to our Museum involves a guided look around the collection, sometimes with a theme in mind, and a chance to do the ever-popular Cuckoo Hunt. But on Thursday 16th May St Agnes Year 2 came with a different purpose in mind.
This term’s project is to set up their own class museum and they were anxious to get some tips from the experts! They came armed with some searching questions which Liz and Carol did their best to answer, trying to avoid the subject of dinosaurs, although the grand old Leatherback Turtle made a good stand-in!
They were even invited into the inner-sanctum of “Peter’s Room”, the Curator’s office and artefact store, to see how precious and fragile pieces are stored in acid-free conditions, and were impressed to hear of the thousands of objects carefully catalogued of which only a small number can be displayed at any one time.
Both children and staff went away bursting with ideas for their own museum and have promised to invite our education officers to their grand opening! It was a very good example of St Agnes Museum’s valuable role in the local community.
In February St Agnes Museum’s Education team was invited to form a partnership with the National Maritime Museum Cornwall who had obtained funding to run their ”Cornish Voices” living history programme alongside smaller (and in our case, small!) museums in Cornwall.
After much planning, Year 1 of St Agnes Primary School visited the Museum on the morning of 30 April to study our maritime collection, including the voyages of the Lady Agnes, the much shorter voyages of our Pond Yacht, our harbour model and our Coastguard display, where the rocket used to fire the Breeches Buoy was especially popular!
In the afternoon, Y1 saw the performance of the “Voyage of the Mystery” (a voyage re-enacted by Pete Goss in 2008/9) in the School Hall. It was particularly appropriate for them as the “Voyage of the Mystery” is part of their History curriculum.
In the morning the same performance had been given to Reception and Year 2.
The whole day, subsidised by the Arts Council, was free for St Agnes School pupils and we are very grateful to Debbie Rogers, Education Officer at the NMMC, for organising such a fantastic opportunity.
Update: Sadly HRH The Duke of Kent was taken ill shortly before his planned visit to the Museum to meet volunteers in March, but we hope that he may be able to visit us in the future.
We are very exited to announce that HRH The Duke of Kent will visit the Museum on Monday 25 March to meet as many of our volunteers as possible, to look around our displays, and to “take tea”. Preparations are already underway for what will be a very busy month, with our Members’ Preview, our Spring Coffee Morning, and our 2013 opening on Good Friday 29 March, as well as our Royal Visit.
Red teapot from St Agnes Pottery
We have been given the generous gift of a teapot made by John Vasey of the St Agnes Pottery, found in Truro’s Oxfam shop. While we have several items of John’s work, we didn’t until now have a teapot. We have also been given this beautiful elegant pot, with “Wayside Pottery, St Agnes, Cornwall” imprinted on its base.
Both will be on view upstairs when we open, together with further works of art.
Pot from The Wayside Pottery
Liz Thompson and Carol Morgan recently spent an enjoyable morning with Year 4 of St Agnes School, taking them on a virtual tour of St Agnes with the help of old postcards.
The tour began at St Agnes Station and ended at Goonbell Halt, taking in the village centre, Peterville, Quay, Goonown, Goonbell and Chapel Porth.
We have bought at auction a set of six Indentures on vellum from the Manor of Tywarnhayle. Dating from 1825-1875, three relate to a house known as “Tinten” at the foot of Rosemundy Hill, while the others relate to a set of tin stamps in Trevellas Combe. They are an interesting addition to our collection.
Hilary Giles (left), with Clare Murton, Museum Curator, with the newly acquired watercolour
St Agnes Church Hall was a hive of activity on Saturday 3 November for St Agnes Museum’s Winter Coffee Morning. Liz Thompson, reports that the Committee was delighted with the generous support it received, with donations of tempting cakes, wonderful raffle prizes and gifts of all sorts, from snowmen to succulents.
“We were very busy serving coffee all morning, and a real bonus was that we could bring a beautiful watercolour of a cottage in Goonvrea by the late St Agnes artist, Tony Giles, for his widow, Hilary, to see. We had only bought it at auction on the Thursday, so it was a real surprise.”, said Liz.
We raised an amazing £479, while Membership Secretary, Beryl Thomas, took £335 in subscriptions. It was a wonderful effort.
Members enjoying a welcome coffee
St Agnes Museum welcomed Year 5 from St Agnes Primary School to the Museum as part of their studies into local mining and mass migration overseas. The students were deciding whether they would have emigrated from St Agnes when the tin price collapsed. Liz Thompson talked to them about some of her ancestors who had migrated with very different outcomes.
The following week Liz Thompson and Carol Morgan visited Year 5 at school to tell the story, written by Carol, of Eliza Cowling, Bal Maiden, and her first days at work. The children were very enthusiastic and had many questions to ask. They were a pleasure to be with.