Despite a very blustery day at St Agnes Sports Ground which resulted in tent pegs needing to be hammered in and stays tightened throughout the afternoon, the Museum was delighted to have a stall in support of St Agnes Cancer Research Group’s Fun Day on Saturday 4 June. Our stall sold items from the Museum shop, there was a rolling montage of photos, collated by Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, on a monitor, and, to make a conversation point for children, the Museum’s hip bath for them to try. They barely fitted in, as you can see!
The Museum’s total income for the day was £230, including a new single membership, a new family membership and a donation. Roger said: “It was good to take part in an event to mark the Jubilee and we thank Cancer Research for the opportunity.”
The Museum celebrated its Spring Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Saturday 14 May with the launch of a new book “Tony Giles, Painter of Man-Made Cornwall” by acclaimed local author John Branfield. John signed copies of his book beside the Museum’s fine Tony Giles painting “St Agnes, Beacon and Mines” which is illustrated in the book.
Helpers were kept busy with stalls, including a Raffle, Cake stall, Museum Shop stall, and a wonderful selection of second hand Cornish books. Old friends met up for a coffee, a slice of cake and a chat.
Although numbers were a little down the Committee was delighted to raise a fantastic £755 for Museum funds, including some Membership renewals. The Committee is so grateful to anyone who supported the Museum in any way.
The Museum has reopened and for the new season there is a colourful display of local pottery covering the last hundred years, starting with sisters Annette and Helen Bulkley in the 1920s and continuing until two current St Agnes potters, Valerie Kent at Goonbell and Anne Treleaven at Churchtown. Also in the cabinet are small paintings recently donated to the Museum, which have not previously been displayed.
A second new display celebrates the double centenary of the birth of Passmore Edwards, the “Cornish Carnegie” born at Blackwater.
Visitors can also enjoy the Virtual Reality experience taking them back to 1904 on St Agnes harbour wall watching the schooners being loaded and setting sail.
The shop has many Cornish souvenirs, postcards and books for sale. New for this season and just published is local author John Branfield’s comprehensive biography of St Agnes artist, Tony Giles, lavishly illustrated with his paintings and also photos of the unique garden built by Tony and his wife Hilary, including the “Temple of Venus” shown here. The book is available from the Museum Shop and online.
Some 50 members were welcomed by Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, to the 38th Annual General Meeting in St Agnes Methodist Hall on 24 February. Treasurer, David Teagle, reported a balance of £33,123 in the bank, as against £20,932 at the end of 2020. The Purchasing Fund stood at £737 and the Roof Fund at £10,500. The profit from the Shop was £3,341. These figures were excellent but he warned of the need for roof repairs and possible electricity price rises in the future.
Curator, Clare Murton, reported a very successful short season. In 2022 there would be a new Passmore Edwards exhibition and one on recently acquired pottery and paintings. The database was up to date. Two recent acquisitions were highlighted – a century-old miner’s hat found in old mine workings at Polberro, and a Common Prayer Book stamped “AA Camp St Agnes” from the wartime anti aircraft base. She thanked Philip Mitchell, Caroline Clifton, Luke Jones and Ann Oxley for all their help.
Membership Secretary, Mary Wilson, reported 195 Members, some single and some family, which is 7 more than last year. We had welcomed 10 new Members. There were 42 outstanding subscriptions. Many subscriptions came with a note of thanks to all the volunteers, and some enclosed a donation.
Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, said that, due to Covid, the Museum had relied more than ever on its Website and Twitter account and thanked Emily, Jessica and Charlotte Morgan for all their hard work in maintaining them. He also thank Mike Furness for organising the online Shop so well at this time – “It kept us afloat during Covid”. He admitted that it was daunting to reopen the Museum in 2021 after such a long break and paid tribute to Vice Chairman, Clive Benney, for helping prepare the Museum.
Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, Vice Chairman, Clive Benney, and Treasurer, David Teagle were all unanimously re-elected. Jackie Cotton was welcomed as the new Secretary, and the Committee was re-elected en bloc with Nicholas Roberts filling the single vacancy.
1950s & 60s St Agnes through the Lens of Ken Young
After refreshments Clive Benney gave a fascinating talk on “1950s & 60s St Agnes through the Lens of Ken Young, Photographer”. After thanking Ken’s widow, Doreen, who was in the audience, for all her help, Clive took the audience through Ken’s life, remarking on how many local organisations he had been associated with. The audience recognised themselves or old residents in many of the photos which included the train derailment of 1960, the very last train leaving the station in 1963, St Agnes School Sports Day at Goonown in 1966, when the awards were presented by Mary Rand, Maypole Dancing at the School (1954), many Flora Dances led by the Tennis Club, the Square Dance Club, the opening of the Catholic Church in 1958, the Seal Sanctuary, and many scenes of St Agnes in the snow.
Roger thanked Clive for his fascinating talk. Members now eagerly await Clive’s new book on Ken Young.
St Agnes Museum will hold its 2022 Annual General Meeting (the 2021 AGM was cancelled due to Covid) at 7:30pm on Thursday 24 February at St Agnes Methodist Church Hall, British Road.
After the business and time for refreshments, Vice Chairman, Clive Benney, will give an illustrated talk on “1950s & 1960s St Agnes through the Lens of Ken Young”. Ken Young was a well-known professional photographer at that time.
There is ample parking outside the Church. All are welcome and there is a £1 charge for non-Members.