PLHG News, August 2016

News update from the Penwith Local History Group,
August 2016

Women of West Cornwall, the new publications from the PLHG, is now back from the printers and available for purchase. The book will be formally launched on 17 September 2016 at Morrab Library. For more information click here ........

Among the numerous Somme Commemorations to take place on 1 July was a unique piece of interactive theatre staged by Collective Arts at Levant Mine in St Just and based around research into the men of St Just who served in WW1. The research effort was led by PLHG member Ted Mole and identified 560 soldiers from St Just and Pendeen..... Video of the performances can be seen at:

New Research by Dawn Walker of the PLHG into the fall of St Michael's Mount to the parliamentary army during the English Civil War has raised interesting questions as why it succumbed precisely when it did after such a brief, not to say non-existent, defence. Guides on the Mount tell stories of a seaborne parliamentary attack but Dawn's research suggests that this may well be a myth. Watch this space for more on this story...............

During the Penzance Literary Festival PLHG members presented Under Sea, Under Stone, four papers on the Festival theme of "Going Underground". Switched at the last minute to the Acorn Theatre bar, the event played to a full house and covered 16th century copper mining at Botallack, a mysterious underground 'gravel' mine in the Cober valley, impressions of mining by literary figures from the 19th century and the St Michaels Mount tramway - the partly underground Dreckly Express.

Newlyn Archive held its third open day of 2016 on July 16th. The theme was "To-ing and Fro-ing" and despite hot summer beach weather over 140 people turned up to enjoy the exhibits and discuss 'matters Newlyn'. As an example of speedy to-ing, "Newlyn luggers could not be excelled. In 1885 a Newlyn lugger sailed from Scarborough in less than 72 hours. In 1890 three luggers sailed the 600 miles to Scarborough in 70 hours." (

Take a walk down Chapel Street in Penzance and you'll find a building site at number 14, a handsome red brick building which has seen better days. The building is being converted back into a family home modelled upon its original layout when it was built in the 1770s. The local significance of 14 Chapel Street is that it was the home of the first bank in Penzance, opened by a partnership of Batten, Carne and Oxnam in 1797 and run by the Batten family until their bankruptcy in 1849. An article on the building and the bank, written by Dawn Walker of PLHG, will shortly be published in the Journal of the Cornwall Association of Local Historians.

PLHG publications can be purchased online here or perused in the Morrab Library.

PLHG publications can be purchased online here or perused in the Morrab Library.

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Penwith Local History Group
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Growing Up in West Cornwall. A Publication by the Penwith Local History Group

"Growing Up in West Cornwall"

Edited by
Sally Corbet

price £10
plus p&p


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The Morrab Library showing the new extension
The Morrab Library showing the new extension.
Photo Glyn Richards
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