Who owns the cannon that stands outside Helston Museum? This was the question posed to town councillors last week by long-time Helston resident Ivan Perry.

Describing himself as “a bit worried,” Mr Perry spoke out after hearing plans mooted to move the cannon – which came from the wreck of the HMS Anson – from outside the museum to an undecided location, to free up space.

Mr Perry said: “Who has the rights to the cannon? And it would be interesting to see where you are thinking of putting it.”

Councillor John Boase, who is a member of the South Kerrier Heritage Trust that has taken over the running of the museum, said: “As far as we know it is the property of Culdrose, and the museum is the custodian of it. It’s up to the museum what we do with it.”

The Royal Navy’s 44-gun frigate HMS Anson sank off Loe Bar on December 29, 1807 – two years after the battle of Trafalgar – having been driven into the Bar by gale force winds.

Around 100 lives were lost, which prompted a witness to the wrecking, Henry Trengrouse, to invent the “rocket lifesaving apparatus” – an idea which in the following years saved many thousands of lives around the world.

In 1964 divers from the Naval Air Command Sub-aqua Club salvaged the 3.5-ton cannon, with RNAS Culdrose personnel providing the necessary manpower and equipment to lift it into position.