Parish Councillors visit the Museum

On 11 April we were delighted to welcome members of St Agnes Parish Council, including its Chairman, to the Museum for a private visit.  Members were enthusiastic about recent improvements and tried out the new touchscreen. Our Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, explained to Councillors, who are the Museum’s landlords, the extent of building improvements undertaken by the Museum Trust which he calculated had cost £150,000 to date. He stressed that the Museum’s collection contained items from the whole Parish, not just from St Agnes.

It is hoped that the Parish Council’s Burial Records can be shared with the Museum.

R J Enraght-Moony

Thanks to several of our Members, we’ve recently discovered something of a largely forgotten Irish-born painter, Robert James Enraght-Moony, 1879-1946, who lived and had a studio in central Mount Hawke from 1927 to 1938.

In all, he exhibited 26 paintings at the Royal Academy and was also a member of the St Ives Society of Artists. One critic commenting on his work said: “He invests the most simple subject with a halo of romance and fairies dance in Cornish dells and along spray-swept Cornish sands.”

We’ve recently bought for the Museum Collection a copy of the 1915 edition of “The Golden Age” by Kenneth Grahame which has 19 full colour illustrations by R J Enraght-Moony.

Enraght-Moony painting
The Argonauts by Enraght-Moony

Christmas Coffee Morning raises £405 for Museum funds

Our Christmas Coffee Morning was held on 10 December when, despite many other attractions in our busy village that morning, we raised a staggering £405 for Museum funds.

You may like to see a breakdown of the figures. Cakes £88.55, Books £56.60, Bric-a-brac £57.43, Raffle £99.48, Coffee £52.80, Shop/cards £45.30, Donation £5.00, giving a total of £405.16. Since then, the sale of some Cornish magazines has raised a further £10 for the book stall.

In addition, our Membership Secretary, Beryl Thomas, was delighted to take £375 in subscriptions and to welcome two new Members to the Trust. New members are always welcome!

Winter coffee morning

As always, we are very grateful to everyone who supports us in any way, with magnificent raffle prizes, scrumptious cakes, additional books and bric-a-brac, or simply by coming, enjoying a coffee and a browse.

Our unlikely links to Warhorse

Local members may have heard our Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, on Radio Cornwall on Friday 27 January 2012 talking about two famous St Agnes heavy horses which were hidden in an adit and cave close to Chapel Porth to prevent them being requisitioned by the Army at the start of The Great War. Radio Cornwall’s interest was aroused by the success of the film Warhorse. Roger was able to tell listeners that one horse, Captain, was from Beacon Cottage Farm, and thus a farm horse, whilst the other, Albert, was the prized lead horse of a team of heavy horses that hauled machinery, often to and from the mines, around Cornwall for their owner Jimmy Thomas.

A later caller to Radio Cornwall, Mr Thomas’ grandson, Mr David Newton, added that Albert was a huge, dapple grey shire that understood twenty commands. He thought that Albert was eventually bought by the Army on a return visit and shipped to France. Apparently Mr Thomas lost twenty-six of his heavy horses to the Army on their first visit, so it is not surprising that he hid Albert.

According to Mr Newton, only six of the twenty-six horses survived the war, and were so shell-shocked on their return to Cornwall that it took several years for them to recover.