On 5th June 1951 I was born at the hospital in Redruth – as so many were in those days, because this was the only maternity hospital for West Penwith. I had no brothers or sisters so I lived with my parents: my father Thomas Ralph and mother Iris Jane (née Andrew) at 37 Tolver Road, Penzance. My father was in business as a gents’ hairdresser in the town (following his own father’s profession whose business had been situated in the Wherrytown area, near to the seafront). My mother’s family lived in the Godolphin/Helston area of West Cornwall and were either farmers or miners. I spent many happy days in my youth on their small farm upon the hill overlooking West Penwith and the sea beyond. Father’s family were mainly fisher-folk, either boat owners and or fish traders/sellers, and some further back in our history were in the Royal Navy as our family tree shows; others were land-owners locally. My father died early, aged 63 years, while my mother passed away in 2005 aged 85.
I attended local schools (one of which, St. Pauls, was situated just across the street from where we lived!). I later attended the College and Art School at Camborne/Redruth, and from there I worked for various local potters in studio settings. After this (and with the need to earn a greater income) I found a career in the electrical industry, again working locally; this employment lasted for 33 years until I took early retirement at 55 years of age in 2006.
Throughout my life my own interests have been quite varied: art, photography, and local and family history, but the longest and most consuming has been philately! This has kept me enthralled since I was a schoolboy and over the years I have put together several large and valuable collections and, of course, met many people and made long-lasting friendships. I have also produced a number of booklets for reference for collectors containing information on various areas of collecting etc.
Sport was also an interest, with competitive cycling a real challenge, and of course walking and running around our lovely countryside here in West Penwith.
That’s me, done and dusted! I love our little village of Newlyn and the old Newlyners are the salt of the earth – may it never change.
Alan R. Tregurtha