A cannon that stands outside Helston Museum looks likely to remain in situ, the Packet has learnt, after the ancient weapon was found to be a listed artefact in a conservation area.
It will be good news for those who opposed moving it to another location, in order to create more room for community events – a suggestion that divided opinions.
Previoulsy the Packet reported that a question about ownership of the cannon, recovered from the wreck of HMS Anson, had been raised by Ivan Perry at a meeting of the town council.
If anyone is qualified to answer that question it is Janet Spargo, who worked at Helston Museum from 1981 and was operations manager for ten years until 2012.
She contacted the Packet to say that the Anson Gun, as it is known, was a museum exhibit.
Some guns were brought to the surface in the 1950s by local divers, including frogman Bob Lewis from Portreath and C Wills from Penryn.
Mrs Spargo said: “Russell Sjjoholm, of Porthleven, located the wreck of the Anson from his small craft, Rona, whilst searching for 28 crabpots and gear for Cecil Hosking, also from Porthleven.
“When the weaponry was found, divers managed to bring some guns to the surface, and I believe they were restored at Culdrose. They were presented to the borough, and there is one in Porthleven and another outside Helston Museum, and I think, Culdrose.”
A ceremony, attended by representatives of RNAS Culdrose and members of the Trengrouse family took place in the early 1960s when the cannon was installed. Photographs from this event can be found in the museum.
Mrs Spargo said: “The gun has become an iconic image of the museum and is often referred to when giving directions to visitors. It is a great favourite with children and a really good viewing point on Flora Day.”
She added that there had been plays held outside the museum in the past – including one about Henry Trengrouse, who invented lifesaving equipment after witnessing the wreck of the Anson – and there had been “adequate space.”
“In the past Culdrose have been wonderful in taking it away to their workshops for restoration, and also to build a new carriage,” said Mrs Spargo. “This was last done about ten years ago during the filming of Ladies in Lavender, and I ensured that each summer it received another coat of preservative and varnish and the ironwork was painted.
“Ivan Perry has been a volunteer since about 1999 when a new extension was opened, and has done sterling work since that time cleaning the brass plaque each week.”