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.
Very early on the morning of 4 June, at low tide, a long-planned operation to retrieve a granite block from the harbour ruins at Trevaunance Cove, with the kind permission of the Duchy of Cornwall and the Blunsdon family, got underway.
Using a tele-handler from Acland Plant the block was scooped up and driven to the Museum, escorted by our Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, whose idea this was, and Vice Chairman, Clive Benney.
By 8 o’clock the block had been lifted into the Museum and was being rolled along the floor on short lengths of scaffolding pole. By 8.30 it was perfectly installed in our VR booth ready for visitors to sit on and be transported in comfort to the north wall of St Agnes harbour in 1904. We can’t wait to share it with visitors.
Shown, guiding the block, are Roger Radcliffe, Clive Benney and Peter Thomas, our Journal Editor.
The Museum is now scheduled to reopen on 19 July 2021.
To whet your appetite, we will have several new attractions to see including the exciting Virtual Reality corner showing ships loading and unloading at the harbour in 1904, our leatherback turtle using Artificial Intelligence to answer children’s random questions, (What do you eat? where were you born?), and our new Medals Cabinet allowing us to safely exhibit our complete medal collection.
We will also have done our best to meet our obligations to keep visitors safe, ranging through sanitiser, screens, masks, a one-way system around the Museum, and increased ventilation.
We really look forward to meeting you all again and would be grateful if you could tell all you meet about our reopening date, and the treats in store for visitors.