The Cornwall Workshop

Newlyn Fishing Industry – Stories of Extraction

For early risers this field trip starts at 7am with a visit to the fish auction at Newlyn, Penzance’s neighbour on Mounts Bay, followed by breakfast at the Fishermen’s Mission. Delegates who are going on to participate in other field trips are welcome to join this part of the tour, and those who just can’t get up for 7am can join the field trip after 9am.

The field trip is led by Iain Boal who has studied the ebb and flow of the fishing industry in California and Nick Howell, owner of The Pilchard Works, who has worked in the fishing industry in Newlyn since the early 1970s. They will be joined by a number of knowledgeable local residents who will shed light on aspects of life in this part of the world.

Nick anticipates a good catch this day (yes – it depends on moon and tides!) and a lively harbour, and the group will spend the morning on a walk and talk around the quays discussing the business and social patterns of the industry and its influence on the community of Newlyn. The morning will end at the Old Quay to visit the Ripple, a restored Cornish lugger, the traditional fishing vessel that was the mainstay of the fishing industry for 300 years.

There are two pubs above the harbour where lunch will be found.

After lunch the group will walk to the coastal village of Mousehole, taking in Penlee Quarry which is in the local news for its immediate plans to extract ‘rock armour’ grade granite and future plans to be redeveloped as a luxury marina. The walk passes Penlee Lifeboat Station with its memorial to the Solomon Browne disaster. Mousehole itself is a pretty village, which until the sixteenth century was a principal port on Mounts Bay and is renowned for its atmospheric harbour. But in the last few decades the village has seen a dramatic rise in second home ownership and a corresponding decline in its resident population and so forms a location for a discussion about the positive and negative impacts of tourism.

7am meeting point:  meet Nick Howell by the Seaman’s Mission, round the back of the green painted newsagents shed and the War Memorial.

9am meeting point: to be announced.