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The Museum has just been given this unusual but heavyweight donation – a manhole cover made for St Agnes builders’ merchant, and cast with his name, E W Friston. Mr Friston had a shop in Peterville at the junction with Water Lane, and lived at Polberro. There is a photo of the shop in Clive Benney’s book “Down to Dirty Pool”.
As well as the three generous donations recently received (Jean Blunsdon painting, Nancy Homer bowl and John and Sue Sneddon jug), the Museum dipped into its New Acquisitions Fund and bought this oil painting by Gwen Clay of Higher Bal painted from Hill Head by the entrance to Vineyard Lane and looking down towards the village. It is an unusual subject for Gwen and in very muted, misty shades. It will make a most interesting contrast with the Museum’s “The Road to Higher Bal” by Phyllis Chubb, from the other direction.
Without the generous donations to our New Acquisitions Fund we would not be able to buy something like this. Thank you.
We are delighted to have been given this large oil painting by Jean Blunsdon of the upper buildings of Wheal Coates. It was found in a Truro Charity Shop and donated to the Museum.
Jean, a very well known figure in St Agnes is a long-term member of St Agnes Art Group and regularly exhibited at its Summer Art Exhibitions. The Museum currently has on display upstairs Jean’s early wooden surfboard made for her by her father, Mr Mitchell.
We have also been given this mustard coloured small bowl by Nancy Homer, the second potter who, with her family, occupied Wayside Pottery. It carries her impressed mark. We are glad to add to our small collection on Nancy Homer pottery.
A third recent donation – some things come in threes – is this rare blue tobacco spit jug by John and Sue Sneddon, the third tenants of Wayside Pottery. It was their son, also John, in a chance encounter at the Museum with our Curator, Clare Murton, who kindly donated the jug.
On 12 August the Committee of St Agnes Museum Trust invited members of St Agnes Parish Council and their staff to the Museum for a private view to show them what the Museum had achieved during the pandemic when the Museum was closed for 20 months.
Parish Council members and staff, including Chair, Diana Rodda, very much enjoyed trying the Virtual Reality Experience and being transported to St Agnes Harbour in 1904 where they watched ships being loaded and unloaded and setting sail, while sitting on a block retrieved from the harbour itself.
They also admired the new museum quality Medals’ cabinet and the improved Family History Corner.
Although the Museum wasn’t due to reopen until 19 July – a date everyone was really looking forward to – it was delighted to welcome, for a private visit, descendants of Captain John Williams, Captain of the Lady Agnes between 1907 and 1918.
The descendant was his grandson, John Davies of Lincolnshire, who came with his wife Elizabeth and twin grandsons, Archie and Joe (16), from Aberdeen, Scotland. The family was holidaying in north Devon so this was a rare chance for them to see the figurehead from their grandfather and great-great-grandfather’s ship.
Welcomed by Museum Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, the family was able to view the model of St Agnes harbour, and experience our new Virtual Reality display of the Lady Agnes leaving the harbour in 1904.
After purchasing copies of Roger’s book, The Search for the Lady Agnes, the family left to view the remains of the harbour at Trevaunance Cove.