On this Day 13th April 1889

Penny for the Pier, Mister?

All is not well at St Ives. The fishermen have been bringing good money into the town – their official returns for the year up £5,000 last year to £52,000. Money like this should – surely – bring a substantial voice.

The men have been putting their minds to the delay in completing the harbour works, and are determined to have their full 280 foot of pier extension, not the mere 200 feet recently proposed. They need the extra depth further out from the shore, especially when a heavy ground-sea is running, in order to anchor securely at all states of the tide. The men have negotiated long enough with the “obdurate” Harbour Commissioners, who are dragging their feet over the small matter of lending the money, and see no alternative but to go straight to the seat of power and influence: to the local MP – who, as one of the mighty Bolithos, is a man of more than usual influence.

Names are drawn up for the deputation. There is a Warren and a Williams on the list; a Care and a Bastian; harbourmaster Captain Samuel Barber: 13 men in all. They will meet their MP the following Thursday, and the Mayor and Edward Hain Junior will be adding their support. They rehearse their arguments: perhaps William Warren is tasked with ensuring that proper gratitude is shown for the work already done; maybe Captain Barber is to come forth when technical matters, such as the effects of the sluices in clearing sand from the harbour, are brought into play. Other salient points are noted – Bristol trawlers might be enticed to come and pay harbour dues to the borough, suggests William Warren, and stores the idea away for later use.

At the meeting, William Warren and Captain Barber will be the only members of the deputation who speak. There will be a great deal from Mr Bolitho MP, who will leave the meeting with his following swelled, his popularity enhanced and a good newspaper write-up assured, in return for his promise to guarantee the loan.

Cornishman 25th April 1889 page 7; Cornish Telegraph 25th April 1889 page 5


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"Growing Up in West Cornwall"

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