My name is Sharon and I’m a volunteer at Hayle Heritage Centre. I really enjoy how varied my role can be; here is a brief insight into one of my recent projects…
The Heritage Centre is currently delivering a two-year Heritage Lottery funded Activity Plan. As part of this, plans were developed to expand the Centre’s exhibition offer and to curate four new permanent displays to occupy the old Harvey’s Foundry Drawing Office.
In 2016, my fellow volunteers and I were asked for suggestions for topics. For me, J & F Pool seemed the obvious choice; being a “Hayle Girl”, generations of my family had worked for the company, one of the town’s biggest employers, who specialised in sheet metal perforation.
My task for the winter months was to carry out research, and to collate photographs, objects and information that could be displayed to the public as part of the new exhibition.
J & F Pool had existed for 153 years so there was plenty of research to be done. I thought it was going to be easy but as the months went on it turned out to be quite challenging.
My first port of call was my Dad; he worked for the company since leaving school, as did my uncle. They had followed in their father’s and uncle’s footsteps like so many young men in the town.
As my research of the company’s history evolved, its importance and standing in the town really came to light.
Through social media and word of mouth, word got round that I was researching the company. Before I knew it, I had a variety of information given to me. Then the slow but interesting process of collating it ready for presentation to the public began.
We got in touch with a former J&F Pool employee, Mr Brian Pascoe. Mr Pascoe had a great amount of information and objects that he was willing to loan to the Centre for the exhibition. A few phone calls and emails later and Penlee House Gallery & Museum offered to loan us a beautiful display cabinet so that we could display the various objects.
Everything was gradually coming together and falling into place.
The next big step was to present my research, along with the other topics for the exhibition, to an external design company. This was probably the tensest time of all; with the opening of the exhibition rapidly approaching, proposed designs were exchanged and hours of proof reading commenced!
I thought I knew a lot about J &F Pool but as I got deeper into the research I was amazed at how important the company was in relation to the industrial history of the town.
I was so pleased with the end result and to get my Dad’s approval at the Private View really meant a lot to me.