Annual General Meeting, 19 February 2020

Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, welcomed 46 Members of St Agnes Museum Trust to its 36th Annual General Meeting in the Methodist Church Hall on 19 February 2020.

Treasurer, David Teagle, reported a deficit of £825 over the year with receipts totalling £14011 and payments £14836. There had been repairs to the alarm system, a digital survey which had cost £1200, and a new computer purchased at a cost of £586. Shop sales had increased by 20% and Gift Aid was predicted to raise £2400. Changing to a new insurance company had resulted in savings of £402. Broadband would be installed in 2020, its cost subsidised by being part of the Wave Project. The Treasurer recommended that for 2021 Overseas Membership should rise to £20pa, but other subscriptions should remain unchanged.

In her Curator’s Report, Clare Murton, reported that written records of acquisitions in the “Blue Book” were up to date but computer records on “Modes” were slightly behind. She and Assistant Curator, Philip Mitchell, had been busily creating a space for the forthcoming Virtual Reality experience. The display on Tony Giles had proved popular and would continue, as would the surfing display which had one new board. A Museum App was being developed so that smart phone users could read or hear more information on items in a display. Among recent acquisitions were a Jill Vasey pottery tile of Stippy Stappy, a scale model of a mine engine in Thomas’ Shaft off Vicarage Road, the original of which is in the Science Museum, which was created by the late Ian Yarwood, and a mine plan for flooding the entire Chapel Porth valley to create power for mining machinery. Luckily this came to nothing.

Mary Wilson, Membership Secretary, reported 191 Members, including 4 new ones, and said what appreciative comments about the Journal and Newsletters she received when Members paid their subscriptions.  Sadly, no Under 18s had yet taken up the Museum’s offer of free Membership.

Roger Radcliffe, in his report, thanked many people for helping keep the Museum open and updated listeners on the Wave Project. He explained that a single granite block from the ruined St Agnes Harbour would be brought to the Museum and fitted in the corner where Family History had been.  Visitors would sit on this and through the magic of the VR headset would be transported to the Harbour in 1903 and watch one schooner being unloaded and a second loaded while the water lapped around them.  When the second vessel set sail she would be revealed as the Lady Agnes complete with figurehead.  The Forward Plan would concentrate on maximising the use of space in the building.

All officers were re-elected unanimously.  After many years of service, Isobel Burrows stepped down from the Committee.  She was replaced by Mary Wilson and the remaining Committee were re-elected en bloc.  Claire Morgan was re-appointed as Auditor.

After refreshments, John Branfield gave an illustrated talk on “Tony Giles – Painter of Cornwall’s Man-Made Landscape”.  He explained that Tony’s father had been an Engine Driver and the magic of travelling to Cornwall by train never left him.  Through his paintings, we travelled from Taunton to Penzance, via St Austell, Truro, Hugus and Redruth.  St Stephen’s Coombe was a favourite place to paint.  In 1961 he achieved his dream of living in Cornwall.  When he settled in Langley Cottage with Hilary, he created a unique garden, complete with a Campanile, an Italianate Temple, a pond and a railway that wound its way around the garden edge.

John was thanked by the Chairman for his fascinating talk.