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.
Some light at the end of the tunnel, but I anticipate that many will still feel wary for quite some while of socialising indoors. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict at this juncture what shape our AGM weekend will take place this year. It was nice, though, to see many familiar faces again, when I gave my Zoom talks on Polperro earlier in the year. It was particularly good that Angela Wheeler could join us.
Last year I looked in more detail at the family of Phyllis Vipond Crocker, one of Laura Knight's most regular models, and was not at all prepared for the tragic story that unfolded. John and Peter Adams, Phyllis' nephews, and Natasha de Chroustchoff, half sister to Phyllis' son, Igor, have all been very generous in provision of information and images.
The appearance at auction of some of Laura Knight's boxing paintings has led John Croft to unearth some fascinating details about this aspect of Laura's career and about the fate of her work in a large Japanese collection.
Peter Crisp and Alan Case, both Crosbie Garstin fans, have been in touch having read my biography of him. IN addition to owning his War Medals, Alan has let me have sight if a letter written by Crosbie relating to the re-institution of the Lamorna Sports in 1928, which draws attention to the presence in Lamorna for a short period of the charlatan, Frederick Mitchell- Hedges.
John Shapcott, who previously wrote a piece for the magazine on Arnold Bennett in Lamorna, has written a review of Eden Philpott's Lying Prophets, which prompted me to obtain a copy, and I too can heartily recommend it. This Issue's short story is Charles Marriott's enchanting The Nineteen Merry Maidens, from his very difficult to find short story collection, Women and the West.
There is no space for a full Market News section. However, in April this year, an attractive oval picture frame in silver and enamel by Ella Naper was sold at David Lay's for £1,300. This was of particular interest as it contained a photo of Houghton Birch, Lamorna Birch's wife, (see inside back cover). Her work does seem to be in fashion at the moment as a silver pendant fetched £1,000 in 2019). In February a number of typical Robert Hughes landscapes came up at John Nicholson/s, whilst further examples appeared on eBay. The best by far was a colourful rendition of the Cove - see p.34. David Lay's May sale also included Mornie Birch's unusual pig guest Book (see back cover). I have also included ob p.36 a Simpson of the stream at Clapper Mill, which i missed when it sold for £7,000 in 2018.
Chairman's Statement & Message from your Chairman and Committee Members
The Tragic Tale of the Crocker Family
Laura Knight's Boxing Pictures
Crosbie Garstin - Our Very Own Vagabond
THe 1928 Lamorna sports - Crosbie Garstin & Frederick Mitchell-Hedges
Books to read - Eden Philpott's Lying Prophets
Polperro -Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - DT's Zoom Presentations
Lamorna Short Stories - 2. Charles Marriott's The Nineteen Merry Maidens
These strange times are lasting far longer than we all hoped and it will be nice when we can relax in each other's company and catch up on the news and gossip of the Lamorna Society and its members. The highlight has been the very generous bequests by Austin Wormleighton, not only the £5000, but also a mass of archival material.The lack of social activities this year means that The Flagstaff is a particularly important means of communication for members and articles represent the continuing on-line research. The 1911 Diary of Anna Hills, a student of John Noble Barlow, who went on to become a key figure in the Laguna Colony in California, is an unique document and is fascinating both for it does record and what it does not.
An attractively illustrated example of one of Crosby Garstin's Tally-Ho Ballads was digitalised by the British Newspaper Archive and is a colour reproduction is included
in this edition. Also the collection of images of Eleanor Hughes'etchings reveals what a distinctive contribution she made.
It has been puzzling how Harry Musgrave got a mention as an early Lamorna artist and the article how this occurred and and that it is a mistake. Arthur Musgrave, who, despite being dismissed by the Myrtage set went on to become successful in America.
It was planned to include some short stories by Lamorna writers, which have been hard to find. However, the first is Cecil Sidgwick's quietly amusing Coronation Day in our Parish. Andrew Gordon supplied me with a couple of letters by Stanhope Forbes, containing his critique of Newlyn Show Day in 1916. These contain some fascinating comments and reveal some tensions between the Newlyn and Lamorna groups!
The 1911 Lamorna Diary of Anna Althea Hills
Crosbie Garstin's Tally-Ho Ballad, Paddy Duveen
The Etchings of Eleanor Hughes
Harry and Arthur Musgrave
Lamorna Short Stories- 1. Coronation Day in our Parish by Cecily Sidgwick
Stanhope Forbes on Newlyn Show Day 19167
As you well know, it is an understatement to say that the past few months have been difficult, challenging and worrying times. Our hearts go out to the families of David Evans, our Patron, and of Keith Gardiner, another founder member, who, as you will have heard, have each passed away recently, albeit not as a result of the virus. One of our members who has had a real battle with Covid 19 is Robin Hanbury-Tenison, the celebrated explorer, who spoke at last year's AGM on his Cornish Art Collection.
The cover picture shows a fascinating painting by Gladys Hynes of a group of nude and semi-clad female bathers in a cove that had echoes of Lamorna. The artist was lesser known, but perhaps more superior, than the more lauded names of the St Hilary Church art ensemble. Liss Lewellyn, who is related to the artist agreed to write an article about the Hynes works she knows and, in particular, this work called Morning, which she dates to 1916. She is very keen to hear from any member who may have further knowledge about Hynes or the whereabouts of other paintings. Also included in this issue is the second part of the article by Roger Roskrow and myself on the two Dollys that modelled for Laura Knight. There is a piece on Ruth Adams, who fell off the cliffs at Lamorna, and whose body was never found.
The pandemic has meant that both the Spring trip to Falmouth and the JUne weekend in West Penwith have been cancelled, and the Laura Knight exhibition at Penlee House has been postponed to next year.
David Evans (1938-2020)
Keith Gardiner (1934-2020)
Gladys Hynes 'Morning' c. 1916
Laura Knight's Two Models called Dolly -Part Two - Dolly Henry
Ruth Adams - Redefining the 'The Victim'
Books to Read
Alfred Munnings and Laura Knight, once again are the principal focus in this issue. In Munnings' case, this is because Penlee House held the first exhibition devoted to his cornish experiences this Summer, and this proved a great success with visitors. In Laura Knight's case, it is because some fascinating research, by Roger Roskow, has led us on a trail in search of more information about two of Laura Knight's models, who were each called Dolly- Dolly Snell and Dolly Henry. In this issue we concentrate on Dolly Snell, who went on to marry Harold Knight's brother, Edgar, and settle in New Mexico, and we unveil fascinating new material as to her career as a dancer, both before and after her time as a model for a number of leading artists of the day. we also feel we have identified a number of paintings for which she modelled for the Knights.
Susanne also alerts us to another Laura Knight exhibition- this time at the royal Academy.
There are reports in this issue relating to the AGM weekend at the end of September, which was well attended and combined a range of interesting events, with time to socialise together.
The Lamorna and the War series comes to an end, with a long piece on the paintings of Ernest Proctor, who worked in the Lamorna Valley, as early as 1906 and who marries Dod Shaw, whose. family lived at 'Oakhill Cottage' for a number of years.
On becoming a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh
Munnings in Cornwall- Summer Exhibition at Penlee House
Royal Academy Exhibition: Laura knight - A Working Life
Laura Knight's Two Models called Dolly - Part 1
Prudence Staples -A London Model of Laura Knight from 1910
Lamorna society AGM Weekend
Lamorna and the War - Ernest Proctor's War
Books to Read
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