On 1st April fifty volunteers and supporters gathered at St Agnes Museum, decorated with its own “Queen’s Award” bunting, to welcome HRH The Duke of Kent who had asked to visit the Museum and to meet as many volunteers as possible. Before the visit volunteers had given the Museum a spring clean and prepared the new exhibitions for 2014 and everything looked wonderful.
Despite being delayed by fog, the Duke, who was welcomed by Museum Chairman Roger Radcliffe, took time to meet volunteers and discuss the running of the museum, including our use of social media, as well as examining the exhibits. He was especially interested in the new exhibition commemorating the 1914-18 War and in the booklet containing detailed research on the dead honoured on the Parish war memorials at St Agnes, Mount Hawke, Mithian and Blackwater.
Having just visited Trevaunance Cove, the Duke was intrigued by in the model of St Agnes Harbour in its 19th century heyday and the figurehead of the Lady Agnes, a schooner built on the beach at Trevaunance.
On the touchscreen we were able to show the Duke photos of his 1977 visit to St Agnes Lifeboat Station when he presented Roger Radcliffe with a letter on vellum for his part, as a lifeboat crew member, in a dangerous rescue.
Before leaving, the Duke signed the Visitors’ Book and was presented with a basket of local produce – including a family of chocolate leatherback turtles in homage to the Museum’s leatherback turtle – by four pupils, Sarah, Lily, Nat and Aaron, from St Agnes Primary School.
Roger Radcliffe summed up the views of all involved when he said: “It is truly remarkable that the success of our collective effort in volunteering should have prompted a visit from such a public figure as the Duke of Kent.”