The Flagstaff is The Lamorna Society Magazine and is published twice a year, in June and December. It features important new research, anecdotes of life in Lamorna in past years, reviews of books and exhibitions of interest, an assessment of what interesting paintings and other material has come onto the market recently, as well as accounts of the visits organised by the Society during the year and its annual gathering in West Penwith each Autumn. The Honorary Editor is David Tovey.
Without Austin Wormleighton, there would be no Lamorna society, for it was the gathering together, at the 1997 major Lamorna Birch Retrospective Exhibition at Falmouth Art Gallery, of the contacts that Austin had made during his extensive research into the artist's life that led directly to the formation of the Society.
Accordingly, as we mourn his death, it seems only appropriate that a Special Issue of The Flagstaff should be devoted to a celebration not only of his input and influence upon the Society, but also of his life and his careers as both journalist and art historian and of the special qualities that made him the most personable and humane of men.
This Issue draws on the tributes paid at Austin's memorable and moving funeral service, which was held at Salisbury Crematorium, and reminiscences from a range of people who were touched by Austin in different aspects of his life, as well as those of a number of our members.
Austin Wormleighton (2 September 1937 - 31 March 2019)
Personal Reminiscences of Austin by Lamorna society Members
Lamorna Society Events- Birch Anniversary Summer Weekend 7-9 June 2019
The Lamorna Archive - The Austin Wormleighton Collection, Pam Lomax, Helen Burnham & Sue Newton
Austin's 1999 Classic Angling Article - The Artist who was Skues' Companion
It was a considerable shock for all members to learn of the death, aged 81, of our President, Austin Wormleighton, on 31 March at Taunton Hospital. Without Austin, there would be no Lamorna society, for it was his extensive research into the life and career of Samuel John Lamorna Birch that brought together the founder members.
Rosemary Wing contacted the Society. Her husband, David, was the great grandson of John Jeffrey, the only fisherman in the Cove during Birch's time, and her account of John's life and his inter-reaction with the artists is of great interest.
There has been considerable publicity this year concerning the exhibition of Alfred Munnings' war paintings, done for the Canadians during 1918, which was first held at the National Army Museum, London and then at Munnings Art Museum at Dedham.
The Lamorna Society Spring Weekend visited Dedham, where members saw the Exhibition in the special setting of Munnings' own home.
John Jeffery - Fisherman of Lamorna
The Extraordinary story of Annie Dodd of Borah Fruit Farm
Alfred Munnings: War Artist 1918 - National Army Museum EXhibition
Lamorna Society Events - Spring Weekend - Dedham, Essex
Laura Knight Daughters of the Sun
Lamorna and the War
Ben Jeffery's War
Fryn Tennyson Jesse's War
Crosbie Garstin's War - Part 5 - Demolishing 'The Hairies' and More Mudlarks
Tales from the Newspapers
3. Some Further quarry Stories
The major Lamorna Birch retrospective at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, with which our President, Austin Wormleighton, was intimately involved, has been the highlight of the last six months and a Society event in West Penwith was organised to coincide with its opening in JUne. We also enjoyed a very busy schedule over our AGM weekend at the end of September, during which one of the highlights was a visit to the fascinating Mousehole studio of royal Academician, Ken Howard, who gave a very entertaining talk. Accounts of all our activities over these two weekends have resulted in an extra large edition on this occasion.
Given that Pamela Lomax, our Archivist and my predecessor as Editor, lives in, and often generously entertains us in ' Wheal Betsy', the home built by Thomas Gotch. When I learned that recently joined member, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, had decided to part with his own extensive collection of Gotch Paintings and studies, there
was, accordingly, no more appropriate person than Pam to write about the importance of this collection and how the pair had worked together whilst Pam had been researching her Gotch biography.
John Beresford, whose entertaining lecture on local farms was another special occasion during the AGM weekend.
Chairman's Report - Jenny Williamson
Entranced by a Special Place - Austin Wormleighton
The Robin Hanbury-Tenison collection of Newlyn Paintings at Bearne's - Pam Lomax
Other Market News
Lamorna Society Gatherings
Summer WeekendAGM Weekend
Lamorna at War
The Adventures of Captain Denis Garstin MC DSO
Crosbie Garstin's War - Part 4 - A rewarding Finale
Tales from the Newspapers
The Owen Quarry at Lamorna
No art historian can write about the story of art in Newlyn or Lamorna without mentioning the name Fryn Tennyson Jesse, for her 'Intermittent Dairy is one of the best sources on the bohemian lifestyle of the artists in the two colonies in the Edwardian era. Susanne Forrest has written a full and truly excellent account of the life of this 'Golden Girl', which, despite its many achievements, included more than a fair share of angst.
Ken Hall, the Director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waihetu, New Zealand sent me through listings that he had made of the exhibits of local girl, Eleanor Hughes (and her husband Robert) in New Zealand and copies of reviews published locally of her exhibits in both New Zealand and England. This issue includes looks at the pre-1917 period, which throws considerable new light on the early career of this neglected Lamorna stalwart.
The 'Lamorna and the War' section looks at another different aspect of the conflict- the difficulties caused in the community by Harold Knight's pacifist stance.
A new section 'Tales from the Newspapers' is introduced. It is fascinating to hear how Lamorna made it into the newspapers during the 19th Century long before writers and artists though about settling there.
Due to the forthcoming major John Lamorna Birch retrospective at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance this summer, attention has been focussed on organising a weekend in West Penwith to coincide with the opening of this exhibition and the Archive Open Day.
Fryn Tennyson Jesse - The Golden Girl
Early New Zealand exhibits of Eleanor and Robert Hughes
Lamorna Homes 7 - 'Bodriggy''
Lamorna and War - 'Harold Knight's War '
Tales from the Newspapers - 1 Wrecks 1820 - 1870
In the initial Chairman's Reports in The Flagstaff, written by Angela Wheeler, you detect an element of surprise that membership numbers had not declined, as the initial enthusiasm waned, but had, in fact, increased. From the start, not only did members share an interest in the artistic and literary heritage, natural beauty and history of Lamorna Valley, but developed new and long-lasting friendships. That important aspect of the Society has continued and has been crucial in enabling the Society to reach the very commendable milestone of its twentieth anniversary. As I tried to record in the AGM lecture, the contributions that a wide variety of members have made during the Society's existence to a significantly greater knowledge of a vast array of Lamorna related topics has been remarkably impressive. We also owe a great debt to all those who have served on the Committee over the years, particularly those who drove miles to meetings in the early years. Our special anniversary finds the Society in fine fettle and there is no reason why the next twenty years should not be equally rewarding and enjoyable.
Chairman's Report - Anne Forrest & Jenny Williamson
John Armstrong: The Lamorna Years - in context - Jonathan Gibbs
6. Rosemerrin (aka Rosemerryn)
June Weekend in West Penwith- 16-18 June
20th Anniversary AGM Weekend
Lamorna and the War:
The First World War experiences and paintings of Sir Alfred Munnings- Bill Teatherredge
Laura Knight's War: The 1918 exhibition 'Camp Life and Other Pictures'
Dylan Thomas in Cornwall, with reference to Joe Martin's manuscript In the Dylan Days
On 24 March 2017, the Newlyn Archive celebrated the launch of its project Delivering the Admiralty Boathouse for Heritage at its future home, The Admiralty Boathouse, 23 The Strand, Newlyn TR18 5HL. The project aims to make the old Coastguard's Boathouse and more recent Newlyn Post Office the centre of Heritage in Newlyn by locating the Newlyn Archive/The West Cornwall Art Archive/The Lamorna Archive there. As part of the June weekend, members of the Society will be able to attend a reception at the new home of our Archive. The whole project is a tremendous achievement, with Pam Lomax and Ron Hogg very much to the fore.
Susanne Forrest has produced a fascinating article on Hannah Gluckstein (Gluck). It appears that others are beginning to look again at the life and career of this unusual character
Further obituary of Adam Kerr
Gluck - No prefix, No suffix, No quotes
The Widowhood of Bell Leader
Lamorna Homes 5 - Trewoofe Orchard
Lamorna Society Visits - Falmouth
Lamorna and The War - Crosbie Garstin's War Part 3, Front Line Action during 1917
Books to read
It was with considerable shock to hear news of the death of our Patron, Adam Kerr, the grandson of SJ Lamorna Birch. Childhood companions, David Evans and Angela Wheeler, record their memories of Adam's youth, whilst our President Austin Wormleighton, remembers the considerable support that he received from him during the completion of his biography of Adam's grandfather.
There is a contribution from Marcia Whiting, on behalf of Munnings Art Museum, following the bequest to that Gallery by Igor Chroustchoff of a sletch by Alfred Munnings of Igor's mother, Phyllis Vipond-Crocker. Members may recall that Issue 24 (Winter 2009) contained an article by Igor on his mother's youth, which was illustrated by two paintings and a sketch of her by Laura Knight. These included the painting The Cornish Coast, owned by the National Museum of Wales. John Adams, Phyllis' nephew, has also supplied further images of paintings for which Phyllis modelled and copies of letters to her from Knight and Munnings.
The Lamorna homes selected for this issue is Vallensagia, the home of Cecily Sidgwick. This is the cottage that she called None-Go-By and described at length in her novel of that name, but what has not been appreciated previously is that its garden features in a number of charming illustrations by Winifred CAyley Robinson in Cecily's The Children's Book of Gardening, which she wrote jointly with Colonel Paynter's wife. In the Lamorna and The War series, the piece on Richard Weatherby is naturally very reliant on the research originally done by Davis Bradfield.
Memories of Adam Kerr (1933-2016)
Phyllis Vipond Crocker
The Streams of St Bride by Ithell Colquhoun: An Occult Neighbourhood Watch
Lamorna Homes 4: Vallensagia
Lamorna Society Visits- June Literary Weekend in West Penwith, AGM Weekend
Lamorna and The War - Richard Weatherby's War, Andrew Gordan's Talk on the centenary of Alec Forbes death
Books to read
The exhibition at Penlee House Gallery & Museum earlier this year, Ithell Colquhoun: Image and Imagination, was the first at a public gallery since her death in Lamorna in 1988. For most people it was their first introduction to her work, which combined naturalistic painting with experiments in surrealism and abstraction and often involved some unusual techniques such as decalcomania, frottage and fumage. However, member Frank Ruhrmund, knew her quite well and has produced a fascinating review of the show. The exhibition revealed what an extraordinarily interesting woman she was, and Angela Wheeler, founder member and past Chairman mentions Ithell's book The Living Stones as her favourite book of Lamorna.
The next Penlee exhibition, Fred Hall From Newlyn School to Caricature, was also an eye opener. Fred Hall has not received much coverage before, and the works by him that have generally been included previously in Newlyn School exhibitions have not really alerted one to his diverse talents not just as a social realist painter, but also as a landscape impressionist and a consummate animal and bird painter. Maryella Pigott has provided a fascinating piece on her home Trewoofe House, for this issue's Lamorna home slot. The Lamorna at War section includes pieces on Bengy Leader and Crosbie Garstin.
Ithell Coquhoun: Image and Imagination
The multi-talented Frank Hall
Lamorna Homes 3- Trewoofe House
Job Nixon in Lamorna
Lamorna Society Visit to Liverpool/Birkenhead
Lamorna and The War - Bengy Leader, Crosbie Garstin
Books to read
Welcome to another larger than normal issue. The award of 'Most Inspirational Archive and Heritage group of 2014' is a tremendous accolade for the combined Newlyn/Lamorna Archive and full credit is due to Pam Lomax, who has masterminded its development and its Open Days. Ann Forrest, our Chairman has contributed a number of articles to this issue. In addition, David Tovey's piece inspired by Elizabeth Forbes' article, An April Holiday, in which she recorded activities of her students in Lamorna in April 1907. The Lamorna at War series continues with an article on the author Cecily Sidgwick, whose strong German connections raised issues, whilst John Whittaker has also researched Algernon Newton's war. The Lamorna Homes series moves to Menwinnion, thanks to Hugh Bedford, whilst Brian Whitton has reviewed the recent Tunnard exhibition, and Adam Kerr has written a fascinating piece on his father's successful career as an author.
'Most Inspirational Archive and Heritage Group of 2014'
Elizabeth Forbes sketching groups in Lamorna
Lamorna quarry - When the Quarry guns sounded
John Tunnard: Nature, Politics and Science at Durham University
Lamorna Homes 2: Menwinnion
Lamorna Society Events- June Weekend in West Penwith, Lamorna Society AGM weekend
Lamorna and the War -Cecily Sidgwick's War, Algernon Newton's War
Books to read
This issue includes the extraordinary work that Pam Lomax has been doing on the Newlyn Archive, and the interest that she has aroused through her Open Days that has also been a great boon to the Society and its archive. The archive is now housed in her annexe. Our chairman Anne Forrest has spent several weeks interviewing locals and getting precious new information and images for our records. Her piece on Estelle Fox, and the family's involvement with Kemyel Mills is just one example.
There is the second instalment to the 'Lamorna and the War' series and the first of a series of articles on 'Lamorna Homes', which is an account by Adam Kerr on the changes to Flagstaff Cottage.
Kemyel Mills, Lamorna
Australian artist who hailed Lamorna as 'a vista of fairyland'
The Milk Cart by Frank Heath
Other Market News
Lamoorna Society Visits - Nottingham 8-10 May
The Lamorna society Archive
'Friends of Lamorna
Lamorna and the War
Frank Heath's War
Crosbie Garstin's War (Part Two): The Blinded Mole
Books to Read
This is another bumper issue following contact with relatives of Benjamin Eastlake Leader, always known as Bengy, and his wife Bell Anderson. Their grand-daughter Rosemary Dick Cleveland lives happily with her husband in their former holiday home in a valley above Lake Bala in mid-Wales without mains water and electricity. Their collection of paintings by Bengy and Bell, and by Bengy's illustrious father, Benjamin Williams Leader RA had to be viewed by torchlight.
Bengy and Bell Leader in Pre-War Lamorna
Marlow Moss (1889-1958)- Lamorna's member of the avant-garde
The Lamorna Inn- The Wink and Childhood Memories in Lamorna
The Lamorna Society AGM Weekend
Lamorna and the FirstWorld War
Crosbie Garstin's War (Part One): 'Getting There'
In Memoriam - Joey Carter Wood (1884-1915)
Books to read
This issue has quite a Munnings slant, the items emanating from a wide variety of sources. David Tovey was contacted by Sara Alexander, the grand-daughter of Evelyn Hicks who was a model for both Munnings and Laura Knight. This led to the discovery that there were in fact two Munnings models called Evelyn!
A tale of two Lamorna models called Evelyn
T.P. & Edith Fielden: Continuing friendships with Newlyn painters
Lamorna Society Visits- The May weekend in Whitby and Staithes
Archive Open Day- The Good Friday Walk to Lamorna
Lamorna- A Memoir
Beyond Lamorna, Paul Feiler at Kerris
Books to Read, Trewoofe Manor as Crosbie Garstin's 'Bosula' or 'The Owl's House'
It is always exciting when completely new information about the Lamorna Colony comes to light, and this issue contains some important and fascinating new research.
TP& Edith Fielden: 20th century connections with Newlyn painters
The creative and caring spirits of the Yglesias sisters
The mystery of the Lamorna Cross solved
Jonathan Smith on ‘Summer in February’ at Malvern Theatre
Exhibition – From Newlyn to Lamorna, featuring works of Eric Ward
Lamorna Society AGM Weekend
Sheila Hale: An Appreciation
Death of Mary Bowring: champion of the Society
Beyond Lamorna: A Note on Mrs Katie Handyside
Books to Read: Cecily Sedgewick –In Other days (1915)
A bumper edition of Flagstaff, which celebrates the exhibition and film, Summer in February. Also it has been an exciting six months for lovers of Cornish art. Earlier this year, the Bulldog Trust hosted, at Two Temple Place, the exhibition - Amongst Heroes- The Artist in Working Cornwall – the first exhibition of representational Cornish art in London since 1979.
Lamorna’s Women’s Institute
Australia’s ‘Little Corot’ who called her home ‘Lamorna’
Algernon Newton (1880-1968) – Rediscovered
Memories of ‘Cliff Cottage’
Thomas Gotch and the Ruby Mystery
John Ernest Nash – Obituary
A 1930 Lamorna Gathering of possible historic interest?
Lamorna Visits – Two Temple Place & ‘Summer in February’ Weekend
Beyond Lamorna: Denis Mitchell & John Wells at Trewarveneth Studio
Books to Read: Jim Hosking – Cornish Connections
Christies – A Life with Art