Newquay Lifeboat, Old 1920s Footage

If you’re as fascinated by seeing old photographs and movies of Newquay in the past as I am, you’ll love this old black and white footage of Newquay Lifeboat being launched in the 1920s. The film spans a few years, so quite a mix of scenes and events.

Back then, the lifeboat was housed in the building above Little Fistral, so you should recognise it. After the lifeboat had finished its rescue, the boat came ashore on Towan Beach, then it was pulled through the town all the way back to the lifeboat station, which is about a mile. No mean feat! The film shows a whole team of horses pulling the lifeboat across the beach, then through the centre of Newquay.

Notice the old laundry building as they pull the boat off the beach – that’s where Sealife is now.

If you’re a “quick dipper” with a short attention span, here are some highlights:

  • 4 minutes in there’s some footage of a gig race
  • 4 minutes 28 seconds in watch tomb-stoning as some lads diving off the end of the harbour wall.
  • 4 minutes 45 seconds in, watch the huge tidal wave of water as the lifeboat slides down the slipway at the Old Lifeboat Station, but this time it’s being pulled up the beach by a ‘tractor’ and not horses.
Newquay Lifeboat Old Footage, 1920s

Newquay lifeboat and town scenes taken during the 1920s. Home movies.

  • 5 minutes 17 seconds, see the fabulous old-fashioned car  and snowball fights just 5 seconds later.
  • 5 minutes 55 watch the deckchair attendant taking money from a customer for deckchair hire.

This film is ancient, so a little indistinct in places, but the lifeboat coming out of the old lifeboat station starts at about 40 seconds in. This was a home movie – something very unusual nearly 100 years ago as cameras were a lot more expensive back then than they are today!

If the video’s not showing up, try it on Youtube: Newquay Old Footage

So fascinating, I had to watch it twice. You can’t beat video, it grabs so much more of what’s going on and people’s interaction than photographs do.

If you’re into Newquay family history, just think, maybe your great-granny is in the film …. but you’ll never know!

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