The fishing lugger, Barnabas, which was built in St Ives in 1881, is to pay a courtesy visit to the town. During her visit she will be returning to Porthgwidden – the very beach from which she was launched an incredible 140 years ago – predating even the original Jumbos themselves! “Barnabas is an extraordinary survivor from the heyday of fishing; a living representative of St Ives’ maritime heritage her courtesy visit is a maritime equivalent of Stanhope Forbes visiting the Tate!” Jonny Nance, from the Jumbo Boats Association explains.
In conjunction with the Boats in the Bay event taking place on the 9th and 10th of September, St Ives Town Council will be hosting a special reception for the crew of the Barnabas at the Guildhall from 6pm on Friday 9th September. Update 9th September 2022: This event has been postponed. Further information will be released when a new date is decided on.
During the reception Deputy Mayor, Johnnie Wells, will present her crew with a new tiller, the old one having broken in a blow whilst returning from the Scillies last year. Since that time, she has managed with the spare which, whilst functional, has none of the elegance or durability of the original.
With the financial support from St Ives Town Council and the Cornish Maritime Trust, the new 8ft tiller has been crafted by the builder of the Jumbos, Jonny Nance, from a naturally curved length of ash.
“A tiller is the piece of wood with which one effectively steers a boat and so this presentation will symbolise St Ives setting Barnabas on her course for the next 140 years!” Mr. Nance explained, on arrival, Barnabas will be berthed alongside Smeaton’s pier and will stay until Sunday morning to participate in a revival of Boats in the Bay organised by the St Ives Jumbo Association. The scully race will be from the beach in front of the Sloop and will begin around 6.45pm or as soon as the tide has ebbed sufficiently. Any competent scullier wishing to take part should contact Jonny Nance 07866 777219”
The Mayor of St Ives, Kirsty Arthur said,
“We are thrilled to be able to give a community grant to this project. Helping to preserve this beautiful boat ensures that we continue to celebrate our proud heritage and roots in the fishing industry, lest they are forgotten”
Photo caption: The new tiller for Barnabas will “set her on course for the next 140 years!”