Latest News

2022 AGM REPORT

Lostwithiel Musuem Association's 51st AGM was held in the Church Rooms on 16th November 2022


TRIBUTE: The meeting started with a tribute to John Pegg whose untimely death has shocked and saddened our community. John was a volunteer at the museum for many years during which he excelled as a Town Heritage Guide. A man of many parts, John’s gentle and compassionate nature, his mischievous sense of humour, his loyalty and steadfastness - will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with John’s family.


ELECTION OF COMMITTEE: The newly elected Committee comprises: Christine Walton (Chair), Helen Rogers (Secretary), Chris Burrough (Treasurer), Michael Furminger (Curator), Maggie Lancaster (Stewards Co-ordinator), Mary Mitchell ( Window Display Co-ordinator). Committee members received special acknowledgments for their individual contributions.


OVERALL THANK YOU: Sincere thanks were given to museum volunteers and supporters comprising Committee members and Trustees, Stewards, Town Walks Guides, ‘Behind the Scenes’ helpers, members of the Lostwithiel Museum Association.


ADDITIONAL KEY ROLES: Those in key positions outside the formal committee structure also received special thanks: Ian Gillett (Editor Museum Matters magazine); Alison Hurst and Richard Young (MM Editorial Team); Shelley Barratt (Town Heritage Walks Co-ordinator); Town Heritage Walks’ Guides (Sue Andrews, Pat Beasley, Geoff Barratt, Derrick Hines); Keith Southgate (Webmaster / social media); Anita Roberts, Sue Andrews and Will Jones (curatorial assistance); Gill Parsons (Family History research)


ADDITIONAL SUPPORT: Additional thanks to Paul Sweet (Auditor), Palace Printers (printing requirements), Julia Parfitt (floral displays), Debenie Morse and her team (Lostwithiel Newsletter), Q Street Cafe (hospitality).


MUSEUM PROFESSIONALS: Acknowledgements were paid to museum professionals for their support and advice: Stephanie Clemens (Museum Development Officer), Dr Joanna Mattingly (Accreditation Mentor), Helena Jaeschke (Conservation Development Officer), Jo Moore (Curator Wheal Martyn Museum).


UPDATES: Information about the following was included: the award of Full Accreditation by the Arts Council (for the 4th time); Financial Report; Curatorial issues and artefacts; Town Heritage Walks; Window Displays; IT and social media; Museum Matters magazine and other publications; LMA membership; membership of the Mid-Cornwall Museums Group, the South East Cornwall Museums Forum, the Lostwithiel Business Group and the Town Team; SECMF Family History Day; presentation to u3a Open Meeting.


VISITORS / VOLUNTEERS: Given the constraints experienced in recent years the steady rise of visitor numbers has been encouraging. In comparison to some other museums in Cornwall we have opened Monday to Friday (Monday to Saturday in October) for a full season - whilst some other museums have struggled to open part-time, mainly due to lack of volunteers. Congratulations to all our volunteers for helping to make this a successful season - without our front of house stewards we wouldn’t be able to welcome visitors.


CONTINUED SUPPORT: We have lots of ideas for further improvements so with your continued support we believe that Lostwithiel Museum can look forward to a bright future.


UPDATE EARLY NOVEMBER 2022

JOHN PEGG:
It is with great sadness that we record the untimely death of John Pegg. Passionate about local history, John had volunteered at the Museum for many years as a Heritage Walks Guide, an activity he excelled at. With his vast knowledge, John very much enjoyed sharing stories of Lostwithiel’s fascinating heritage, and with his natural exuberance often left his audiences eager for more. We will miss John’s gentle and compassionate nature, his mischievous sense of humour, his loyalty and steadfastness.

John made a massive contribution to the life of this town, and had so much more to give. He will be remembered by us for many different reasons, not least the positive impact he had on those who were fortunate to have known him. Our thoughts are very much with John’s family at this sad time.

We are delighted that John Pegg was recently able to write an article on Beating the Bounds for the current issue (13) - and relieved that he had the opportunity to see himself in print shortly before he died.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

We are looking for:

1. STEWARDS’ CO-ORDINATOR: Maggie Lancaster will be stepping down from this essential role at the AGM in November. The Co-ordinator supports the Stewards and ensures that from early April to the end of October the Museum can open daily. For further information please contact Maggie on 01208 873 093 or Christine Walton on 01208 871 456.


2. MAINTENANCE TEAM: Could you spare some time to help with the following general maintenance tasks: vacuuming, dusting, emptying the dehumidifier, painting, fixing and mending? If so, please contact Michael Furminger (Curator) on 07715 546 026.


3. FACEBOOK: We are seeking someone to manage the Museum Facebook page. This involves regular reviewing, managing messages and uploading content received from our Webmaster (who manages the Museum website, Twitter and Instagram accounts). If you could help please contact Christine Walton.


4. FUNDRAISING: Ideas and practical help are needed for general fundraising for the Museum. Please contact Christine Walton on 01208 871 456 to discuss.

*******************************


UPDATE MAY 2022
NEW ACQUISITIONS :
For more than 50 years the museum has been collecting objects that have important links to Lostwithiel and it’s environs. Space to display is at a premium so some items have to be temporarily packed away in the archive store above the museum.

We recently accepted a number of special pieces which include the following: a single 1920s valve radio with a morse code tapper, possibly a Fowey radio, which belonged to the Martelli family who lived in the Dower House in Fore Street; an Indenture for Land Transfer (1691) between St Blazey and Luxulian (Luxulyan), involving the Hawkin and Cowle families, donated by Rosemary Rolls-King from Eastbourne; a complete set of the John Oliver and son family history documents and images, donated by Shirley Leach; metal detected items on plaques, discovered at Restormel Farm and, finally, a set of documents charting the history of Lostwithiel Town Forum.


We hope to provide you with more information about these items in the Autumn issue of Museum Matters (13), the in-house magazine Issue 12 is in the process of being distributed to members of Lostwithiel Museum Association, Museum volunteers and others who receive complimentary copies. Additional copies are on sale at the Museum and Watts Trading.

Issue 12 includes the story of Lostwithiel Twinning Association, which started exchange visits with Pleyber Christ in Brittany in 1979. Those who remember those early exchanges will enjoy the nostalgic photographs in Alison Hurst’s article. More nostalgia from Angie May, who recounts her fond memories of travelling to school on the Fowey Rattler train. Ian Gillett provides an interesting account of parts of Lostwithiel that were demolished to make way for redevelopment. Gillian Parsons and Ian Gillett have also been checking on the changes to some Lostwithiel road names – a fascinating exercise which you might be able to help with. We are always looking for writers for the magazine please contact Ian Gillett, the Editor, on 01208 872 040

*******************************



UPDATE APRIL 2022


MUSEUM MATTERS MAGAZINE:
Issue 12 is in the process of being distributed to members of Lostwithiel Museum Association, Museum volunteers and others who receive complimentary copies. Additional copies are on sale at the Museum and Watts Trading. We are pleased to welcome Richard Young, a volunteer Steward, who has offered to help with distribution. This issue includes the story of Lostwithiel Twinning Association, which started exchange visits with Pleyber Christ in Brittany in 1979. Those who remember those early exchanges will enjoy the nostalgic photographs in Alison Hurst’s article. More nostalgia from Angie May, who recounts her fond memories of travelling to school on the Fowey Rattler train. Ian Gillett provides an interesting account of parts of Lostwithiel that were demolished to make way for redevelopment. Gillian Parsons and Ian Gillett have also been checking on the changes to some Lostwithiel road names – a fascinating exercise which you might be able to help with. We are always looking for writers for the magazine please contact Ian Gillett, the Editor, on 01208 872 040



VOLUNTEERS:

We are delighted that so many of our volunteer Stewards are returning to the Museum for another season, and are also very pleased to welcome some new volunteers to ‘meet and greet’ our visitors. A warm welcome to Eve Christie, Victoria Nelson and Patrick Silvester, whom we hope will enjoy being part of our team. At time of writing we are looking forward to meeting all our volunteers for a social get-together before the new season starts. Due to the pandemic it hasn’t been possible to arrange this sort of event for the past two years. If you are interested in joining the Museum’s team of volunteers it’s never too late to contact Maggie Lancaster on 01208

Please contact Maggie Lancaster on 01208 873 093 or Christine Walton on 01208 871 456 for more information.

WINDOW DISPLAY:
We are pleased to host a window display for Lostwithiel Twinning Association, which happily coincides with an article about its history in Museum Matters. To quote from the article ‘’Friendship, camaraderie and sheer enjoyment characterise our twinning link with Pleyber Christ.’’ The display certainly does that and should hopefully attract many new members. For more information please contact Nick Warwick, Twinning Association Secretary, on 07528 641 380 or email nick.warwick@icloud.com



*******************************

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2022

LOOKING AHEAD

This time last year we had no idea when the museum would officially be allowed to reopen to visitors. It was a strange time but the enforced closure until the official permitted reopening for 17 May was also a bonus. The enforced closure helped to provide a valuable opportunity to make some major changes to how the exhibits are displayed and the various ways in which their stories are told. We believe these improvements have had a massive impact on how the museum is now perceived by both visitors and volunteers.

Finding ways of improving the visitor experience has continued to be a major focus during the current winter closure period in readiness for the new season which is due to start on 4 April.

We very much look forward to reopening our doors and welcoming you to the ‘Biggest Little Museum in Cornwall.’


VOLUNTEERS
This small independent museum is totally reliant on volunteers without whom we wouldn’t exist. From experience we know that you can never have too many volunteers, and that we owe our success to these very special people who generously give their time and skills to help support their local museum.

We are currently in the process of contacting all our volunteers to check on their availability and willingness to continue supporting the museum during the forthcoming season.
We are also looking for additional volunteers to: ‘meet and greet’ visitors in the museum and help them to get to know more about Lostwithiel; help to care for the exhibits; contribute to Museum Matters, the in-house magazine; help with fundraising and social events; be involved in individual projects and one-off events, and help with behind the scenes projects.

Please contact Maggie Lancaster on 01208 873 093 or Christine Walton on 01208 871 456 for more information.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE LOSTWITHIEL MUSEUM ASSOCIATION
This is a reminder that if you haven’t paid your £7 membership fee to LMA [per household] your renewal for 2022 is well overdue. The renewal form was inserted in Issue 11 of the Museum Matters magazine which was distributed during September 2021. If you’ve mislaid the Renewal Form or if you’re not sure whether you’ve renewed your membership then please contact the Membership Secretary via the museum in Fore Street or the museum website. Thank you to all those who promptly renewed their membership, especially to those of you who added a donation and/or completed the Gift Aid form. Gift Aid is important as it enables the museum which is a charity, to claim an additional 25p for every £1 paid.

INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS OF LOSTWITHIEL MUSEUM ASSOCIATION
if you are interested in local history and also want to be involved in supporting your local museum then joining the Lostwithiel Museum Association is the way forward.

Membership for the entire household remains at £7 per annum. This modest fee entitles you to receive 2 complimentary copies of Museum Matters in-house magazine, and an invitation to an annual social event and talk [Covid permitting].

By also completing a Gift Aid form you will be giving the museum which has charitable status, your valuable additional financial support. To join please contact the Membership Secretary
via the museum website or phone Christine Walton [Chair] for more information.

Christine Walton (Chairman)



*******************************

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2021

REPORT FROM 50th AGM OF LOSTWITHIEL MUSEUM

Thank you to those who attended Lostwithiel Museum Association’s 50th AGM held in the Church Hall on 17 November. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic we were not able to hold an AGM in 2020. The UK Government introduced temporary legislation that allowed charities like ours to postpone their AGMs. Consequently the AGM held this November included accounts and reports of activities for both 2020 and 2021.


ELECTION OF COMMITTEE: The newly elected committee comprises: Christine Walton (Chairman), Helen Rogers (Secretary), Chris Burrough (Treasurer), Michael Furminger (Curator), Maggie Lancaster (Steward’s Co-ordinator). Committee members received special acknowledgements for their individual contributions.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Tributes were paid to Tremar Menendez who resigned from his role as a committee member and trustee. Also to John Smith who resigned from his position as Treasurer, committee member and trustee, and to Peter Best who resigned from his role as Editor of Museum Matters magazine and committee member.


OVERALL THANK YOU: Sincere thanks were given to museum volunteers and supporters comprising: individual committee members and trustees; Stewards and Town Heritage Walks’ Guides; ‘behind the scenes’ volunteers; sponsors from the local business community, and members of the Lostwithiel Museum Association.


ADDITIONAL KEY ROLES: Special thanks was also given to individuals who hold key positions outside the formal committee structure: Ian Gillett (Editor of Museum Matters magazine), Shelley Barratt (Town Heritage Walks Co-ordinator), Town Heritage Walks’ Guides (John Pegg, Derrick Hines, Geoff Barratt, Sue Andrews), Keith Southgate (Webmaster/Social Media), Gill Parsons (Family History researcher), Mary Mitchell (Window Display Co-ordinator), Alison Hurst (Museum Matters Editorial Team), Caroline Surgey (support for Stewards).


ADDITIONAL SUPPORT: Additional thanks to Paul Sweet (Auditor), Julia Parfitt (for tending the plant trough), Palace Printers (for printing requirements), Debenie Morse and her team (production of Lostwithiel Newsletter).


MUSEUM PROFESSIONALS: Acknowledgements were paid to the museum professionals for their invaluable advice and support. These included: Bryony Robins (outgoing Museum Development Officer), Stephanie Clemens (Museum Development Officer), Dr Joanna Mattingly (Museum Mentor), Helena Jaeschke (Conservation Development Officer), Jo Moore (Curator Wheal Martyn Museum).


TRIBUTES: Special tributes were paid to Kitty Chanter-Menendez and Peter Leeson-Smith, both of whom made a significant contribution to the museum, who sadly died during 2020 and 2021.


UPDATES: Information about the following was included: the museum’s Accreditation status; the 50th Anniversary of the museum; the Cornwall Heritage Awards scheme; membership of the Heritage Buildings Committee and the Lostwithiel Business Group.


VISITOR NUMBERS: On a high note visitor numbers have steadily risen with a 6% increase this year even though the season was a shorter one-far higher than could have been expected at the outset.

Compared to some other museums in Cornwall, which either haven’t been able to open at all or have only opened part-time, Lostwithiel Museum has done remarkably well. Congratulations to all the volunteers for helping to make this a successful season during such a challenging time.


CONTINUED SUPPORT: With lots of ideas for further improvements Lostwithiel Museum can look forward to a bright future. Thank you for your continuing interest, support and involvement.

Christine Walton (Chairman)


*******************************

UPDATE AUGUST 2021

50th ANNIVERSARY OF LOSTWITHIEL MUSEUM: On the 21st August 1971 the museum was officially opened by the Earl and Countess of Mount Edgcumbe. During the 1960s the Lostwithiel Old Cornwall Society started to acquire items related to the town’s history. This led to an intensive search for suitable premises in which to establish a local museum and eventually the Town Council offered the old fire station where the museum is currently located. It was then to take many more months of preparation before the museum was finally ready to open to visitors in 1972.


COMMEMORATIVE BOOKLET: In recognition of the hard work and dedication of a group of enthusiasts, a booklet has been compiled to record a history of events spanning the last 50 years of Lostwithiel Museum. We are indebted to the many hundreds of volunteers who have shared their vision ,their time and their skills over the years. Their various contributions have helped to make the museum the success it is today, paving the way to a positive future. The 50th Anniversary booklet will be launched in late-August.

UPDATE JULY 2021

TOWN VITALITY FUND: It is excellent news that Lostwithiel has been successful in its bid for funding to help address the town’s transport infrastructure, alongside development of the three heritage buildings owned by the Town Council. This project is essential to the rejuvenation of the town centre whilst complementing the town’s existing offerings and helping to celebrate Lostwithiel’s ancient heritage. Congratulations to everyone involved in this vital project.

UPDATE MAY 2021

VOLUNTEERS: Lostwithiel Museum relies entirely on volunteers and without this special group of people we simply wouldn’t exist. We are currently living in perhaps the most challenging period since the Museum started 50 years ago so the importance of attracting volunteers has possibly never been greater.


Without volunteers it has been estimated that 50% of Museums would have to close. We never want to be in this position but we are well aware of the fragility of our situation. One thing is certain, you can never safely say that we will have sufficient numbers of volunteers to cover every aspect of running a Museum.


As lockdown eases you might be thinking about how to spend some of your spare time. All we need is two hours a week to help meet and greet visitors. Previous experience is not essential as training will be provided.


To enable the Museum to open from Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 4.30pm until the end of October, requires a minimum of 15 Stewards per week, each one covering a 2hr slot. In addition we also need a team of ‘occasional’ Stewards to cover for unforeseen absences. We very much look forward to welcoming those of you who’ve previously acted as Stewards and those of you who are new to the role. For further information about joining our team, please contact Maggie Lancaster on 01208 873093 or Christine Walton on 01208 871456.

UPDATE MARCH 2021

MUSEUM IMPROVEMENTS: There has been a lot of activity behind the scenes to ensure that a future visit to the Museum will offer you a much improved and very different experience. These improvements include: a timeline to highlight 1000 years of Lostwithiel's history; changes to a display depicting local people and their links with the emergency services; a touch screen facility to help you browse archive information and photographs; a video loop displaying film footage and archive photographs with captions........and there's more to come ! We look forward to seeing you soon.