Latest News



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)


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.


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.


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.


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.