Restoration reveals a glimpse into the past
Restoration work has at last begun at Mylor's Tremayne Hall and has revealed some insight into those who worked on the building more than 80 years ago.
While removing the ceiling plaster of the hall, builders uncovered a couple of signatures on a roof timber which prompted some investigation.
The first clearly reads "Tom Chellew, New Row, Mylor, August 1923." Hall trustee, Val Jeans-Jakobsson, said "In the 1901 census we found a Tom Chellew living in West Street, Penryn, aged 13 which seems likely. His father and elder brothers' occupations are given as masons."
The second signature has rather indistinct initials, but goes on to read"Battershill, Ponsanooth, Aug 1923." Again, a check with the 1901 census revealed a Robert J Battershill, who was aged 17 and living at 74 Lemon Street, in Truro. His occupation was given as a carpenter's apprentice. His father is listed as a house builder and employer working at home, so the presumption is he headed a family firm.
A fundraising campaign was launched in December 2004 with the aim of raising the £800,000 needed to restore the building, with work to be carried out in two phases.
In June of last year, the trustees received a huge boost when the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the project £339,000. Other help has come from the Pennon and Cory Environmental Trusts and the Garfield Weston Trust.
The hall, which was built in 1827, was forced to close last September after plaster fell from the ceiling, but it took another 12 months before there was firm progress on the project. The contractors, S Quick & Sons of St Erth, took possession of the site last month and this month has seen the work start in earnest.
The project involves the renovation and rebuilding of the original stone hall, providing full access for the disabled, together with the refurbishment of the existing toilets. There will also be a new extension which will provide two multi-purpose rooms.
The re-roofed hall will contain a new floor and ceiling, modern heating, a re-built stage and modern kitchen facilities. The entrance lobby will become a display centre for the Mylor Local History Group, who will be able to store their archives in the tower above.
It is hoped the scheme will be completed by next summer.
(West Briton, 26 October 2006)