Last few tickets* remaining for this friday’s Day of the Dead feast at the Morrab Library -phone/visit/email us to book your place asap.  
*This event is exclusively for library members and their guests.

We thought this little book apt for wishing everyone a happy halloween.  By ‘a mere phantom’,it was published in 1880 by Houlston and Sons. “The increased use of the Magic Lantern as a means of beguiling the long evenings of winter, render a brief and simple guide for the unscientific purchaser not only desirable, but necessary.”

Wednesday saw the first in our 2011/12 Winter Lecture Series here at the library.  Chris Wiblin gave a fascinating and very well illustrated lecture on John Vibert, the Penzance printer, bringing a car-boot full of framed prints both from his own collection and borrowed, and also showed some of the Vibert prints we have here in the archives at the library.  During the tea break, everyone enjoyed looking at Chris’s collection of prints – and also the display Sheila (volunteer) had put together in the library reception room – as well as the Saffron cake that was on offer… Many thanks to Chris for his insightful lecture – also to Ros et al for tea-making and washing up duties.  
Next month’s lecture will be on Wednesday 9th November at 2:15pm and is being given by John Rawles – ‘Mathematics, Morality & Metaphor’.  The lectures are open to members and non-members so if you’d like to come along please do – admission by donation, (free tea + cake).


We’re all gearing up for this year’s Book and Postcard fair, to be held at St. John’s Hall, Penzance, this coming Saturday 24th September from 10 – 4.  It promises to be a great day – loads of second-hand and antiquarian book stalls, postcard stalls, raffle, delicious cakes, tea & coffee – all to raise money for the Morrab Library.  Everyone is welcome, so do please come along and support the library.  Hope to see you there!


This month’s offering from the slide collection.  We have a fair bit of information about this one, but if you have any more we’d be really grateful – thank you.

‘Loading Stone Boats’ on the South Pier at Newlyn c1970
This is a Ruston diesel Loco (LM 40, No. 375315), used to deliver the millions of tons of ‘Blue Elvan’ stone quarried at Penlee (started in 1880s and originally called Gwavas Quarry).  Vessels were moored alongside the railway, and the trams, each containing two and a half tonnes, tipped the stone chippings into the hold.  The narrow gauge railway ran from the end of the Lighthouse Pier back to the quarry ‘bins’ which have since been demolished.  In 1973, a new conveyor system replaced the familiar little trains, and the whole quarry operation ceased in the 1990s.
The brass plate on the tram (bottom right) refers to a Newlyn man: Mr. John W Jenkin, a much respected and long serving employee of the firm.  The loco driver (just visible – you can see his hand + a boot!) could well be Mr. Bill Sleeman and the figure helping to tip the trams is possibly Mr. Louis Lawry.
In the distance you can see glimpses of Newlyn – to the left, the houses above Sandy Cove and the road to Mousehole.  And to the right the houses above the Fishermens Arms Inn extending up to Lynn Terrace and St. Peter’s Hill.  
The Penlee story is well documented and a major part of Newlyn’s history.

Penzance Literary Festival 2011

Penzance Literary Festival took place in the town last week and the library hosted a number of talks and workshops as well as offering Library tours throughout the week.  
Dawn (who conducts our regular Friday afternoon library tours) did a fantastic job and took lots of people around the library, explaining our history and origins, and showing some  unique items from the special collections and archive.  We would also like to thank Ros in particular who was an amazing host, offering visitors tea, coffee and biscuits and doing a mountain of washing up – the best front of house we could ask for.  
The talks and workshops were all well attended and enjoyed- the reading room was packed out for three lectures/workshops a day and all the guest speakers were well received.  So, well done to Peter Levin and his team who co-ordinated and ensured everything ran smoothly – the festival was even bigger and better than last year and we look forward to PZ lit-fest 2012!

Brand new books!

The Book Selection Committee (Annabelle, Sheila, Jenny, George and Eric) met last week: Choosing from members’ suggestions and their own reasearch they’ve ordered thirty-six new titles for the library.  The new books have begun to arrive, and its been a treat to open the boxes (lovely-new-book-smell) and start cataloguing.  List of all the new titles below:


The Naive & Sentimental Novelists (Orham Pamuk), The Arsenic Century (James C. Whorton), Held By The Sea (Jane Darke), Cables From Kabul (Cowper Coles), The Levelling Sea (Philip Marsden), The Russian Court at Sea (Frances Welch), Working The Room (Geoff Dyer), Venetian Navigations (Andrea di Robilant), Adonis to Zorro (Delahunty & Dignen), In Search of a Masterpiece (Christopher Lloyd), The House in France (Gully Wells), The Butterfly Isles (Patrick Barkham), The Smell of Summer Grass (Adam Nicholson), Kiki de Montparnasse (Jose-Luis Bocquet), The Sugar Barrons (Matthew Parker), The Bauhaus Group (Nicholas Fox-Weber)


The Troubled Man (Henning Mankell), A Death In Summer (Benjamin Black), Jamrach’s Menagerie (Carol Birch), Sex and Stravinsky (Barbara Trapido), Underground Time (Delphine de Vigan), The Last Gift (Abdulrazak Gurnah), A Visit From the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan), Manna From Hades (Carola Dunn), Warhorse (Michael Morpurgo), How To Live (Sarah Bakewell), Mr Chartwell (Rebecca Hunt), The Stranger’s Child (Alan Hollinghurst), The Doll (Daphne du Maurier), The Bradshaw Variations (Rachel Cusk), Today (David Miller), On His Majesty’s Service (Allan Mallinson), Invisible River (Helena McEwan), The Girl in The Polka Dot Dress (Beryl Bainbridge), King of The Badgers (Philip Hensher), The Mirabelles (Annie Freud)

Photographic Archive – Slide Collection

Recently, Margaret Orchard donated a large collection of photographic slides to the library‘s Photographic Archive. The collection belonged to Cyril Orchard, her husband, and he used the slides to illustrate the numerous lectures and talks he gave.

The collection is currently being sorted and catalogued by Glyn and Alan, who volunteer here in the Photographic Archive. And they thought it a good idea to let people see the collection, in the hope that we might get some more information about the pictures’ subjects and scenes. So, we’re going to post one image a month for you to see, and hope that you might comment if you have any more information. Also, should you wish to buy a copy of the photograph, prints can be purchased from the library – visit the website for details on prices. Thanks!

SL PEOP 0018


Mr Bond Clark, pictured at his shop at the bottom of Adelaide street, Penzance. C1988. He owned an emporium selling engineering tools, hardware, general tools, car accessories etc. Where the shop’s back entrance was, on Bread Street, he had a garage, and he used to drive his Jaguar in there in the mornings before opening. Everything he had was immaculate; he kept his car in pristine condition and the shop window was always spotless and full of lovely shiny spanners and other tools. We don’t know when the shop opened or when it closed, so any information anyone can give about Mr Bond Clark’s would be greatly appreciated.

Jessica Mann has generously donated a whopping 50 brand-spanking-new crime books to the library.  We catalogued them all yesterday and they’re ready to go out – be the first! Thank you Jessica.