The fishing lugger, Barnabas, which was built in St Ives in 1881, is to pay a courtesy visit to the town this weekend for the Boats in the Bay event.
Jonny Nance, of the Jumbo Boats Association, with the new tiller for Barnabus. Photograph: St Ives Town Council
During her visit she will be returning to Porthgwidden — the beach from which she was launched 140 years ago, pre-dating even the original Jumbos.
“Barnabas is an extraordinary survivor from the heyday of fishing,” said Jonny Nance, of the Jumbo Boats Association, “a living representative of St Ives’ maritime heritage. Her courtesy visit is a maritime equivalent of Stanhope Forbes visiting the Tate!”
In conjunction with Boats in the Bay, on 9th and 10th September, St Ives Town Council will be hosting a reception for the crew of the Barnabas at the Guildhall, from 6pm on Friday.
During the reception, deputy mayor Johnnie Wells will present her crew with a new tiller, the old one having broken in a blow while returning from the Scillies last year. Since that time, she has managed with the spare which, while functional, has none of the elegance or durability of the original.
With the financial support of St Ives Town Council and the Cornish Maritime Trust, the new eight-foot tiller has been crafted by the Jumbos builder Jonny from a naturally curved length of ash.
Jonny said: “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!”
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 on 07866 777219.
St Ives mayor 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.”