The Great Big Cornish Gig Project

The Great Big Cornish Gig Project has been set up to engage Armed Forces Wounded Injured and Sick Serving (WISS) Personnel and Veterans in the construction of a Cornish pilot gig.  They will be trained in boatbuilding skills, build a gig and ultimately row their gig to the Scillies where it will be donated to the “Help for Heroes” gig team to race in the 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships.

The project is funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant scheme and the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall and will help personnel make the transition from service life to civilian life.  Training is adapted to various levels of disability and the customised in-house programme means that many can achieve an NVQ vocational qualification.

The Great Big Cornish Gig Project

Construction of the gig is taking place in the National Maritime Museum workshop gallery with professional boat builder Andrew Nancarrow.  There are plenty of construction components and tasks to be undertaken and the project consists of three workshop days a week plus one day for a programme of offsite waterborne activity.


The "EPIC ROW" from Falmouth to St Marys on the Isles of Scilly will start in Falmouth in 2016 and visit many of Cornwall’s Gig clubs on their way around the coast before finally reaching their destination and donating the Gig to the “Help for Heroes” gig team.  The “Help for Heroes” team will race the gig in the World Pilot Gig Championships.

Currently, the project needs WISS beneficiaries to take part in the project – together with sponsors and supporters.  For more details, please contact MikeSelwood @

You can follow the progress of the project on Facebook.

Staff Member "Braves the Shave" for Macmillan

Christopher Rowe Limited staff member, Sandra Pascoe (Accounts Technician) has "braved the shave" for Macmillan Cancer Support. “Brave the Shave” is an initiative by Macmillan to raise much needed funds to support people with cancer:

By braving the shave you’ll be standing proudly alongside men and women with cancer whilst raising money so Macmillan Cancer Support can help people take control back from cancer.

We know that cancer can turn the world upside down and that’s especially true when it comes to appearance. Men and women with cancer go through hair loss and changes to their appearance that can affect everything from the way they look, to how they feel. So when they need someone to turn to, Macmillan is here. Right from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, we’re here to give people the energy and inspiration to take back control of their life.

Every penny you raise will help us give people with cancer and their families the specialised support they need, when they need it most.

The shave took place on Wednesday 19 August 2015 at “Beyond the Fringe”, Camelot Court, Penzance who kindly donated their services for free.

sandra before

sandra after

Sandra commented afterwards that “it’s fine…just a little bit nippy around the ears”. If you would like to donate then please visit:

Penzance Literary Festival – 8-11 July 2015

Penzance literary Festival takes place between the 8th and 11th of July 2015 at a variety of locations in Penzance, including the Acorn Theatre, Penlee House, Morrab Library and the Edge of the World bookshop.  This year’s festival theme is SPARKS and there really is a packed programme of events featuring authors and writers such as Tony Hawks, Patrick Gale, Ian Whybrow and Philip Marsden. 

There are author talks, children’s events, writers’ workshops, music and much more.  The full itinerary of events is at the Penzance Literary Festival website and highlights include:

Wednesday 8 July 2015: “Writing for Performance” – Paul Dodgson
Morrab Library
10.30am – 4pm
Price: £35.

Paul Dodgson is an award winning writer and producer who spent 18 months as part of the “Eastenders” writing team.  He wrote “Monsters We Met” for BBC 2 and has written numerous plays for BBC Radio 4.   This workshop explores the mechanics of writing for performance on stage, on screen or on the radio.  With exercises and examples, discover what happens when your words make the transition from page to stage.  You will develop ideas, work on scenes and create monologues that are be shared and performed by the group in a mutually supportive atmosphere.

Thursday 9 July 2015: “King Bruno: the orphan chimp who became a legend” – Paul Glynn
Redwing Gallery
12.45pm – 2.15pm
Price: £3.00

Author and filmmaker Paul Glynn discusses ‘King Bruno’, the astonishing true story of a chimpanzee raised by humans in the jungles of Sierra Leone.

Friday 10 July 2015: “Once Upon a Time in the West… Country” – Tony Hawks
Acorn Theatre
7.30pm – 8.45pm
Price: £8

The comedian and author talks to Jak Stringer about his latest book, Once Upon a Time in the West … Country, a comic memoir of his attempts to get to grips with rural life after abandoning London and buying a cottage in Devon, where, not content with becoming chair of the village hall committee, he also accepts a challenge to pedal across the county carrying a miniature pig called Titch.

Saturday 11 July 2015: “The Big Lit Charity Quiz” – Patrick Gale
Acorn Theatre
7pm – 9pm
Price: £3 (£2 for concessions)

Fancy yourself as a Lit Quiz Whiz? Start sharpening those pencils and get ready to pit your Lit Wits against some fierce opposition. Chaired by Patrick Gale, the Big Lit Quiz is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever – with loads of fabulous spot prizes and a prize pot for the lucky winners. Find up to three other people to form a team – or make a team when you get here. Win or lose, a great night out is guaranteed. It’s in a good cause too. This year we shall be supporting the excellent work of the RNIB Library Service.

Be prepared for anything!

More details about the Festival can be found at Penzance Literary Festival website. Festival Programmes are in local shops and libraries now and event tickets can be purchased online here or by telephone via Cornish Riviera Box Office (CRBO) on 01726 879500 or in person at the following locations:

  • National Trust Welcome to West Cornwall Centre, Penzance,
  • St Ives TIC, The Guildhall, Street-an-Pol, St Ives
  • The Visitor Centre, Heartlands, Pool, Redruth
  • FalRiver VIC, Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth
  • Truro TIC, Boscawen Street, Truro
  • and other CRBO local box offices through Cornwall.

In Search of the Miraculous - Newlyn Art Gallery 27th June – 19th September 2015

In Search of Miraculous

In Search of the Miraculous is an exhibition of international artists, inspired by and marking the 40th anniversary of the voyage made by Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, who set sail alone in July 1975 in a 12½ foot dinghy Ocean Wave from Massachusetts to cross the Atlantic to Falmouth, Cornwall, disappearing en route.

In Search of the Miraculous includes artists who have not necessarily taken direct influence from Bas Jan Ader but have made works that have a yearning for the sublime, a playful pursuit for new experiences and journeys, or a romantic contemplation of the sea and what may lie beyond the horizon.

The exhibition is primarily photography and film and includes Francis Alys, Game Over, Chris Burden, Ghost Ship, Mat Collishaw, Blind Date, Simon Faithfull, 0.00 Navigation, Andrew Friend, Device for Experiencing Lightning Strike, Gunnar Jónsson, Hringsól, Antti Laitinen, Its My Island, Jessica Ramm, Listening Beyond The Horizon, and Guido van der Werve, Nummer Acht:Everything is going to be alright.

Matt Collishaw made a blindfolded trip from London to Madrid to view Velasquez’s painting Las Meninas for exactly three minutes, then returned blindfolded (Blind Date, 2000, video projection). Francis Alÿs made the decision to drive an old VW Beetle into a tree, commenting afterwards “... in that lapse of those final 65–50–35–20–10 feet, the absurdity of the human condition became so glaring to me, so absolute.” (Game Over, 2011, video). Jessica Ramm’s Listening Beyond the Horizon is a search for the unknown; a solitary figure perched in a gothic mountainscape, (2013, photo etching on zinc plate).

Simon Faithfull’s journey obsessively follows the meridian as the only possible path; fences climbed, properties crossed, streams waded, hedges crawled through till he re-enters the sea continuing north (0.00 Navigation, 2009, video), while Gunnar Jónsson directed a fishing boat to circle seemingly endlessly in the sea; utterly futile but mesmerizingly beautiful (Hringsól, 2012,video).

Guido van der Werve’s Nummer Acht: Everything is going to be alright (2007, 16mm to HD video) shows the artist striding ahead of an icebreaker like a 21st century version of Caspar David Friedrich’s intrepid explorers in the painting The Sea of Ice (Das Eismeer). Andrew Friend, like 19th-century scientists who physically put themselves at risk exploring the power of nature, created a Device for Experiencing Lightning Strike which he set up on a Cumbrian mountain (2010, photograph).

Chris Burden took the concept of the solo yachtsman to the extreme level with a crewless, self-navigating sailing boat that took to the seas utterly alone (Ghost Ship, 2005, video and documentation). Antti Laitinen playfully set out to sea on his own primitive vessel (Bark Boat, 2008, photograph) and created his own island (It’s My Island, 2008, videos on 3 monitors).

In Search of the Miraculous is at Newlyn Art Gallery 27th June – 19th September 2015.

Throughout the summer In Search of the Miraculous will provide inspiration for a variety of poets, musicians and performers in a number of public events. As part of the exhibition, a flotilla of small vessels with an eclectic crew of experienced skippers with artists and young people, many who may never have been to sea before, will make a day’s sail from Newlyn to Falmouth.

For further details please visit Newlyn Art Gallery or telephone 01736 363715.

Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ

Penzance Celebrates St Piran’s Day

st piran's day

There was glorious sunshine in Penzance this morning as, in a change of route from previous years due to St John’s Hall undergoing extensive refurbishment, the St Piran’s Day Parade got underway from the top of Causewayhead.

Led by Penzance Mayor, David Nebesnuick and Cornish Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, the parade, which included various dignitaries and hundreds of schoolchildren from the local area, wound its way from Causewayhead to Market Place and then onto Morrab Gardens.

Music from the Golowan Band and Newlyn School amongst others added to the tremendous atmosphere and, once everyone had gathered in Morrab Gardens, the Penzance Guize Dancers performed a traditional Cornish dance on the bandstand.

st piran's day

Following an introduction from David Nebesnuick, Cornish Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller gave a rousing speech to the assembled masses.  From the obvious delight at Cornwall achieving minority status to the uncovering of St Piran’s Oratory, Ms Fuller’s speech also noted the Gorsedh Kernow “Do Something for Cornwall” Challenge. The challenge is about using your skills to help others – for example, raising money for a Cornish charity.

st piran's day

Events in Morrab Garden drew to a close with the singing of “Trelawney” before the parade started back to the centre of town.

You can learn more about Gorsedh Kernow and the “Do Something for Cornwall” Challenge by visiting the Gorsedh Kernow website.

To see more photos from the 2015 St Piran's Day in Penzance please visit our Facebook Gallery.

Penlee Lifeboat Station Fundraising Appeal


The crew at Penlee need your help to build a new Lifeboat Station.  The current lifeboat station was built in 1983 and comprises office space, crew room and a small crew changing area.  Unfortunately, now 31 years on, the station is no longer fit for purpose.

With around 25 volunteer crew and additional shore crew as well as fundraisers, there is an urgent need for more space.  The small crew changing room can see anything up to 10 volunteers changing at any one time and is simply not adequate.

lifeboat crew changing

A dedicated crew training room is now essential as fewer RNLI crew are coming from maritime backgrounds and need access to an appropriate environment in which to complete the continuous training required in order to operate the charity’s state of the art lifeboats and navigation systems.

Subject to planning permission, the new station will be rebuilt on the site of the existing boathouse.  It will be a two storey building – twice as long as the current station – and will include a larger crew changing and shower room, a galley area and larger crew room where they can rest and get warm after a shout, a dedicated office, a visitor attraction and a separate training room.  The training room will be available  for use by groups in the local community working and training in the maritime area such as MCA, sea scouts etc.

England rugby player, Jack Nowell, recently paid a visit to Penlee lifeboat station to show his support for the new appeal. Jack grew up in Newlyn and could see the lifeboat launching from the station from his window.


To support the appeal you can donate online via Virgin Money Giving or, for more information contact Guy Botterill, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager - 07774 436265 -

You can follow Penlee Lifeboat Station on Twitter and Facebook.

Newlyn Arts Festival in the Studio Café, Newlyn Art Gallery

note in a bottle

As part of 2014’s Newlyn Arts Festival, four artists took up residence in the village, creating work in various locations including The Fishermen’s Mission.  The work, or documentation of their residency, is exhibited in the Studio Café at Newlyn Art Gallery.

From 27 January 2015 to 7 February 2015, the exhibited artist is Faye Dobinson with “All at Sea”. 

Faye spent her residency sketching, talking and finding out about navigation from fishermen at The Mission.  She listened to their tales and made small art works, ten of which were sent off in bottles (akin to a ‘message in a bottle’).  The work was sent out with the fishermen who threw the art from their boats at a point they believed would give the bottle the best chance of it travelling furthest afield.  Faye will present some of her artworks and documentation relating to her residency.

Fisherman's Hands

From 10 – 21 February 2015, the exhibited artist is Biljana Lipic with “Fishermen’s Hands”.

During her residency, using photography, Biljana observed and attempted to ‘catch’ the Newlyn fishermen’s individual characters and life stories, as embodied through their hands.  She moved about the village to find the fishermen in their working and leisure environments.  Her goal was to show in as personal and intimate way as possible, the work and the lives of these men who are also some of our last hunters.

Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ

Call 01736 363715 or visit the website.

Studio Café and shop at Newlyn Art Gallery are open Tue-Sat, 11am – 4pm, free admission, donations welcome. 

The galleries are now closed for maintenance work, reopening on Saturday 21st March 2015 with Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014.

Then and Now Exhibition – Penlee House Gallery & Museum

Mousehole Harbour

“Then and Now”, an exhibition of local photographs, is currently on display at the Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance.  Curated by the Penlee Photographic Research Group and sponsored by the Queens Hotel, it follows the trail of a visitor to the area in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The series of photographs start at Penzance Railway Station, proceeds to the Queens Hotel and then takes us on various excursions to the surrounding area.  On display are photographs taken by Gibson, Frith, William Colenso and a wonderful selection by Geraldine Underell which were donated to Penlee House.

The Penlee Photographic Research Group have followed in their footsteps and taken pictures of many of the locations as they are now.  Newlyn, Mousehole, St Just and Zennor are just a few of the areas visited and, although places have obviously changed and buildings have been demolished and rebuilt, it is surprising how instantly recognisable many of the locations still are. 

Newlyn Medieval Bridge c1900

The black and white photographs are stunning and personal favourites are “Sea Dreams”  and “Pat A Cake” taken in Mousehole in the 1940’s by Geraldine Underell.

The exhibition runs until 21 March 2015 and a visit is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of their local area.

More information about the exhibition and other events is available from

Want to talk? Call us on 01736 360808

or keep up to date via social media...