THE head of a group that aims to preserve and showcase Newquay’s history has hit out at a perceived “lack of support” it receives in the community.

Len Sheppard, the chairman of Newquay Old Cornwall Society, says its dedicated museum room at Central House in Lower Crantock Street has closed because so few local people visited.

The group is also now on the lookout for a new place to store its thousands of original documents, photographs and maps after they were instructed to vacate the room they have rented from Cornwall Council at the Municipal Offices in Marcus Hill for the past 30 years.

Len, who is also the museum co-ordinator, said: “Newquay Museum run by Newquay Old Cornwall Society and their partner Kowethas Ertach Kernow is going through tough times. 

“After some 30 years of having a small storage room at the council offices supplied by Cornwall Council our society has been asked to vacate the premises.

“The town council having recently taken over the building need to carryout asbestos removal and repairs throughout. 

“The authority seems unable to offer alternative accommodation or say whether it will be available again once the renovations have been completed. 

“This is added to the recent need to save funding and close their dedicated museum room at Central House in lower Crantock Street through lack of local support. 

“Although very well supported by visitors to Newquay especially overseas Europeans, the museum and archive does not receive the local and town council support that much smaller communities throughout Cornwall attract.

“It is such a shame that there is so little local interest.

“We have a fantastic archive of material that is constantly being added to over the past 80 years. 

“We are working at putting much more online and holding small local exhibitions at other venues throughout Newquay and district. 

“Unfortunately, with too few people who want to help and support Newquay and districts local heritage we cannot do as much as we would like.” 

There will be a new exhibition in the Stinging Weever a recently opened bar and coffee shop located below the museum on Crantock Street.

The museum exhibition will share images taken by the late well-known Newquay photographer Bernard White whose family have kindly donated his large collection to Newquay Museum to preserve and share.

There are displays in the museum’s Corridor Gallery five days a week with a very small group of volunteers still flying the flag for Newquay’s heritage.

Newquay Museum is holding an exhibition being researched and curated by museum volunteer William Emmett about the Great Western Hotel, Newquay’s first major hotel which opened on April 7, 1879. 

The exhibition at the Great Western Hotel will be available to view in the hotel foyer.