St Leonard’s fishermen’s chapel, St Ives

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A memorial of an astonishing trip, presumably by a
member of the local artistic community

It was grey and rainy the day we reached St Ives, but I was nevertheless captivated by St Leonard’s, the little port’s fishermen’s chapel on Smeaton’s pier.

Typescript history

A typescript history (we don’t see many of them now!) shows that the building dates back to at least 1577, and has been renovated several times, most recently in 1971, when it was reopened as a small museum. In the old days, it seems, local fishermen retained the services of a friar who led prayers and services in the building.

There are some nice models, a touching memorial erected in 1959 to the fishermen lost to their families and community, and seats for those who wish to sit and pray, or simply think.

That engaging character Mike ‘Kipperman’ Smylie has some good stuff about the St Ives boats in his book Traditional Fishing Boats of Britain and Ireland, which you may find at ABE Books.

Interior, models and memorial, another plaque, and the exterior

And just outside I found the real thing – a mackerel driver. And
notice the ancient lifeboat moored just behind it

The Beale Park Thames Boat Show – and another shed

I was thinking today about the Beale Park Boat Show of 2005, and it occurred to me that some of you might be interested in some of the photos I brought back. Chuck Leinweber posted some of them on his excellent Duckworks e-magazine for small boat enthusiasts.

Here are my shots from 2005:

Here are my friend Chris Partridge’s from the same year. His eye was caught as much as mine was by Mike Smylie’s River Severn salmon punt :

And here’s Chris’s set from this year:

Back in 2005, why the photo of a shed at a show full of elegant boats? It’s Mike Smylie’s shed for smoking fish in his role as The Kipperman, his alter ego on a mission to convert us all to eating hand-smoked fish. They taste so good he might even win the battle one day.

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s no ordinary shed. And don’t miss the coracle in the background casually trying to upstage it…

Mike’s website is at: