The early morning rain stopped in time for the Museum’s Winter Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Saturday 18 November. It was very busy with visitors enjoying a coffee and the stalls which included homemade cakes, the Museum Shop stall (ideal for Christmas presents), an extensive Cornish bookstall, amongst which was a rare first edition edition of Maurice Bizley’s “Friendly Retreat”, a toy stall and a raffle.
The raffle made £140, the Museum Shop an amazing £212 and the toy stall £152. The total raised was a very pleasing £1032 including Membership subscriptions of £265. Five new Members joined.
The Museum is very grateful to everyone who came or who helped in any way.
On Saturday 4 November, 28 of the Stewards, who had kept the Museum open seven days a week for seven months, were warmly welcomed by Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, and Shop Manager, Mike Furness, to a “Thank You” Coffee Morning at St Agnes Museum. It was a chance for Stewards to meet and chat.
Mike Furness thanked all the Stewards for such a good season, with very few problems and many positive comments from visitors. The new shop has really improved the Museum’s look. Visitor numbers (4,954) were up about 300 on last year.
The most visitors welcomed – 851 – were by the Monday Marvels, and the best sales day was on 10 August when the Thursday Titans sold £174.35 worth of goods. The busiest day for visitors was 9 August when 77 visitors were welcomed.
Sales in the Shop totalled £9,675, online sales £497, the Coffee Mornings £193 and Sunday sales £262. This gave a total of £10,627, including £795 in donations and Membership fees. This was down about £1,300 on last year but the difference relates almost exactly to the drop in income while the online shop was closed. This gave a profit towards Museum funds of approximately £4,000 – or half the Museum’s electricity bill!
Among the Museum stock, the best sellers were Blue Hills tin, with Tormark Books in second place and local author Clive Benney’s books in third. The Museum had 46 different suppliers, all but four of them Cornish.
The light-hearted team placings were as follows:
• Bronze position with sales of £1494 – the Friday Fireballs
• Silver position with sales of £1626 – the Wednesday Wonders
• Gold position with sales of £1753 – the Thursday Titans.
There was an appreciative round of applause for Mike Furness.
Membership Secretary, Mary Wilson, organised the refreshments which were much appreciated.
St Agnes Museum welcomed 4,954 visitors in 2023, a 7.5% increase on last year’s total of 4,610. This was very pleasing, especially since there were fewer visitors to Cornwall this year. Perhaps we were helped by the poor weather and the fact that admission is free. One of the abiding memories of visitors’ comments was their universal praise for our Stewards.
Visitors came from all over the United Kingdom, with many local visitors, some saying that they had lived in St Agnes for many years but had not visited before. A good number were repeat visitors. They had learned of the Museum in many different ways, but a common theme was the signs at the gate.
The Museum was like a mini United Nations with visitors from 25 different countries signing the Visitors’ Book. Sometimes there was only one visitor, as in the case of Chile (someone searching for his Gripe ancestor) and Hungary, but there were many more in the most represented countries; Australia (37 signatures), the USA (43) and most of all, Germany (52). Seventeen States were represented in the USA with California having the most visitors (12), while most Australians came from Melbourne, one tracing his Tonkin family ancestor.
The comments in the Visitors’ Book were so appreciative of so many aspects of the Museum. Here is just a small sample:-
St Agnes Museum is an absolute gem.
A wonderful and informative visit, researching Family Tree.
Loved the surfboards and cuckoo hunt.
Love the turtle and the olden days body boards (a young visitor).
Wanted to find out more about Rosemundy House where I was born in
Full of fascinating exhibits displayed with skill, enthusiasm and
creativity. An example to other museums.
Great for the kids. They loved the cuckoo trail.
We loved the VR. Going to look back in time was amazing.
Interesting to see the Opie paintings.
Always a pleasure. A real asset to Cornwall and the World Heritage
Good to see the local GPs contribution acknowledged.
Stellar exhibits, wonderful conversation.
Not only did we benefit from visitors in person, we had an outstanding response to a submission to the World Heritage Site Facebook page. When it was posted on the site on 19 July there were 3,450 viewings. Our submission had highlighted the Cuckoo Hunt and the surfboard display in particular.
St Agnes Museum is most grateful to St Agnes Local Improvement Committee which recently awarded the Museum a very generous grant of £900 to reinstate its online shop. It agreed to pay £600 for the initial set up, the first year’s annual maintenance fee (£150) together with the VAT.
The online shop has always been a valuable resource for the Museum, especially when the Museum is closed. Visitors to the shop can become Museum Members or make a donation, as well as purchasing items from the tempting selection offered.
It is so delighted to be able to restore the shop after Cornwall Museums Partnership discontinued its facility. The Committee paid tribute to Curator, Clare Murton, for all her hard work in re-creating the facility.