There aren’t many family histories today which hold a legacy like the Fox family of Falmouth and Charles Fox will be turning back the clock on his own, and Falmouth’s history, in a new animated talk at the Maritime Museum on Monday September 1 at 12.30pm.

More than any other family in the history of Falmouth, the Fox family has played a hugely significant role in the development of the town and the harbour since the late eighteenth century.

Founders of GC Fox and Company, the largest ship agency in Falmouth, dating back to 1762, the Fox family were instrumental to the growth of the town. Heavily involved in shipping and the development of the town as a flourishing port and dock yard, particularly following the closure of the Falmouth Packet Station in 1851, GC Fox and Co were also involved in the pilchard fishing industry, engineering, mining, the timber trade and foundry work.

On top of this, members of this entrepreneurial family also acted in a consular capacity as representatives for 36 different countries over a period of 200 years. The business set up a signal station on the Lizard, established a towage company running the Falmouth tugs, started a bunkering company, sold marine paint, and in recent years ran a boat yard and a handful of successful travel agencies.

Charles Fox says: “It seems ironic that despite a comparative lack of technology it was easier in the past to set up new ventures. On the other hand, it’s unthinkable that anyone should run a towage company without insurance; we relied on the zeal and skill of local crews.”

Charles has worked closely with the Museum, developing a new exhibition area called Falmouth for Orders, concentrating on the heyday of the town’s port from 1850 to 1910. Lecture attendees are welcome to explore this dedicated Falmouth gallery to further enhance their knowledge of the local area.

Milly Newman, Exhibitions Development Officer, at the Museum says: “We are so lucky to be treated to such a personal insight into the Fox family. Its history is so rich and its role over the last two centuries has been enormously powerful in shaping the Falmouth we see today. Living in, and walking around, the town you might not clearly see where the Foxes have helped shape the Falmouth we know today but this lecture will reveal so much more than you thought you knew about one of Cornwall’s favourite towns. For example, it will become clear why the gardens next to the Art School are known as Fox Rosehill.”