Museum of Cornish Life, Helston: Photography collection

Browse and search hundreds of images from Helston, The Lizard Peninsula and surrounding areas.

Nicholas carpenter's/builder's/undertaker's shop in Breage, about 1870, by S & J Govier of Breage.  The photograh shows the employees standing outside the works holding up windows and other employees standing up the stairs.  In the foreground is a man sitting on a horse and cart.

Market Place, Helston, taken from the Guildhall looking up towards Wendron Street, about 1880, by the local photographer Trevaskis.  Read and Roberts the tailors can be seen on the corner of Meneage Street and Wendron Street.  Bill hoardings can be seen on the building on the corner of Market Place and Wendron Street which would soon be demolished and become the site of the new Cornish Bank.  In 2016, this building is now Lloyds Bank.

Three elderly Cornish ladies drinking tea, about 1910. The ladies are believed to be members of the Perry family of Helston.  Photograph by E Garland, Liskeard.

Photographic postcard of the Helston Borough horse drawn steam fire engine by A H Hawke of Helston, about 1910.  Five firemen in uniform are standing on and beside the fire engine.  Six men, five of whom are wearing top hats, are in front of the fire engine.

Photographic postcard of five fishermen tracking a boat out of Pothleven harbour, 1930s-1950s.  Tracking is the practice of pulling a boat out of the harbour to catch the wind at the end of the pier. The fishermen are on the pier pulling one boat and another boat is following.  Bay View Terrace and the Coastguard Cottages in Peverell Road are in the background.  Photograph by A H Hawke of Helston.

Photographic postcard of the Porthlevan Wesleyan Sunday School procession in the St Peter's Tide Parade, Porthleven, postmarked 30th July 1908.  Named after St Peter, the patron saint of fishing, local churches came together on this day to march through the village and ended with a treat of tea and saffron buns.  The parade is passing under Bay View Terrace.  The men are carrying the Porthleven Wesleyan Sunday School Banner and two members of the clergy can be seen walking underneath the banner, followed by the band and congregation.  There are a number of onlookers and all are in Edwardian dress.  The postcard is addressed to

Photographic postcard of a carnival float exhibit on Coronation Lake, Helston, about 1913.  The lighthouse themed float won first prize at the Carnival.  Photograph by A H Hawke of Helston.

Photographic postcard of Helston cattle market on market day, about 1920.  The weekly cattle market, which was traditionally held on a Monday, was one of the biggest agricultural markets in the area.  In addition to providing the opportunity to buy and sell livestock, it was also an important social event for farmers and their families.  Photograph by A H Hawke of Helston.

Trengrouse Way, Helston, about 1950.  A row of 5 cottages in Meneage Street were demolished in 1946 to provide access for this new road and Trengrouse Way was built in 1947.  The car parked by the sheds in the far left of the photograph is believed to have been owned by Harry Ferris.  He used the sheds to store stock for the family shop, E Ferris, a greengrocers and general store, at 70 Meneage Street.  The car parked on the road to the bottom left bears the registration number ERL 59.  A number of cars are parked in Trengrouse Way car park which opened in May 1948.  Some of the new prefabricated Cornish unit houses in Trevenen Road can be seen above the car park.  Meneage Hospital, the former workhouse, is on the right hand side.  The building has since been converted into residential accommodation.  The new electric street lighting seen in this image was introduced to Helston shortly before the photograph was taken.  Photograph by A H Hawke of Helston.

Photographic postcard of the Helston Flora Dance by A H Hawke of Helston, 1930. The dancers are dancing in a garden with overhanging trees. The gentlemen are wearing flat caps and suits, not morning suits and top hats, so presumably this is an image of the morning or evening dance. The ladies are in knee length dresses with cloche hats. Two lady onlookers are walking alongside the dancers with their smartly dressed children.  Part of the Jack Stephens Collection of local photographs.

Arthur Evely Lee outside his Jewellers' shop at 28 Meneage Street, Helston, about 1928.  Arthur was born at Illogan in 1901 and first came to Helston in 1913.  He commenced his apprenticeship as a jeweller and watchmaker with George Beringer at the age of 14.  In 1922 he set up his own business at 9 Church Street and moved his premises to 28 Meneage Street in 1928.  He continued in business in Meneage Street until his retirement in 1959.  Arthur Evely Lee was first elected to the Town Council in 1957, became Mayor in 1962 to 1964 and was the last Member to be elected Alderman in 1972.  He was made Freeman in 1985 and died in 1993.  The clock seen above the shop was made by George Beringer and was originally above Beringer's premises at 18 Meneage Street.  Arthur purchased the clock for his own shop following George Beringer's death and converted it to motive power.  The clock is now in daily use in Helston Museum following it's conversion to electricity by Helston Town Council in 2000.

The World War One Coastal Star Class airship, C*10, coming in to land at RNAS Mullion in 1918.  A team of ground crew are preparing for the airship's arrival.  The role of Coastal Class and the modified Coastal Star Class airships was patrol.  Airship patrols were an effective deterrent to submarine activities and to combat the U-boat threat to merchant shipping and fishing fleets.  Five crew were armed with four machine guns and a small number of bombs or depth charges. The open, unheated cockpits were cramped and uncomfortable.  In winter crews risked frostbite and hypothermia.  The airships could not be taxied and required teams of ground handling crew to walk them around using rods connecting the airship with the ground.  RNAS Mullion was one of the Royal Navy's principal airship stations in the southwest.  The foundations for two large hangars and the bases for wind-breaks can still be seen today.