St Agnes Museum’s Annual General Meeting 2024

St Agnes Harbour by Mabel Keighley

22 February 2024

St Agnes Museum Trust held its 40th Annual General Meeting at the Methodist Church Hall on 22 February. Welcomed by the Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, Members were given an update on the Constitution, explaining that the Museum had joined the Co-op Bank, and the Bank required the status of the Trustees to be clarified, as follows. He explained that the Committee of twelve were Managing Trustees, and that there were also Holding Trustees who signed the Lease and whose numbers the Museum wished to increase from 5 to 7 in order to satisfy the Bank. The additional Holding Trustees are Nicholas Roberts, Philip Mitchell, Rozen Whitworth and Tom Whitworth. Members were overwhelmingly in favour.

Treasurer, David Teagle, reported total receipts of £20,513, total payments of £20,876, giving a negative balance of £362. The Museum started the year with a bank balance of £38,357, ending with £37,994. The new Lease required payment of £723 to Pullen Davies, Solicitors. £10,500 had been set aside as a fighting fund for roof repairs. Gift Aid had raised £1,815. Subscriptions will remain the same from January 2025 although the cost of the Journal has doubled.

Curator, Clare Murton, said that our Accreditation with the Arts Council remained valid. We were 80% ready for it when it needed to be renewed. She had received much help throughout the year, particularly from Tracy Dumper and Duke of Edinburgh participant, Luke Jones. Recording the headstones on one side of the cemetery had been completed – a great help for those seeking information on their ancestors. Next season there would be an enlarged mining display with mineral specimens. She hoped to update the touchscreen in the long term. The Museum’s two John Opie paintings are currently being restored and will be returned for the Museum’s reopening. Among gifts received were two framed paintings of St Agnes Harbour, an oil painting by Boscastle-born Mabel Keighley, better known as a miniaturist, and a watercolour by Richard H Carter of Truro, a pair of bloomers, and two signed prints by Jo Pollock.

Membership Secretary, Mary Wilson, announced 287 Members, 19 more than last year.

The Chairman thanked the whole Committee, Rota Organiser, John Oaksford, and volunteer Tracy Dumper. He said that priorities were to begin a new 30-year Lease, opening up possibilities of grant aid. He urged everyone to consider volunteering.

The following were re-elected as Officers: Chairman, Roger Radcliffe; Vice Chairman, Clive Benney; Treasurer, David Teagle and Secretary, Jackie Cotton, and the following Committee Members were re-elected en bloc: Colin Harris, Nicholas Roberts, Mary Wilson, Peter Thomas, Steve Roberts, Liz Thompson, Mike Furness and Clare Murton. Claire Morgan, FMAAT, of Champion Accountancy was reappointed as Auditor.

After refreshments and a chance to browse the pop-up Museum Shop, Neil Roberts gave a thoroughly researched and detailed illustrated talk on the St Agnes Home Guard 1940-45. He recalled Anthony Eden’s radio broadcast on 14 May 1940 calling for men aged 17-65 to register for the Local Defence Volunteers. Initially there were no uniforms, no equipment, no service weapons and no organisation. Army combat dress became available in 1940/41. Fourteen battalions were raised across Cornwall. St Agnes Parish was designated “E Company of the 11th (Newquay) Battalion with 5 platoons and over 200 men overall. The headquarters of the 11th (Newquay) Battalion was at Trerice. E Company had a chough as its emblem with the motto “Eyes Everywhere”. Among their headquarters were the former Parish Rooms in Churchtown, Cannonball Farm in Beacon Road and the Trevellas Men’s Institute. The observation post for 25 Platoon in St Agnes Village was St Agnes Castle above Cleaderscroft. At one time the Miners’ & Mechanics’ Institute was used to store arms.

Thanking Neil, Chairman, Roger Radcliffe, said “the level of detail gives an indication of his research”.