Four go mad in Cornwall

Handling documents

In May 2015 Caroline, Clare, Cassie and Anne went on a Scrambled Messages field trip to Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. We spent three amazing days in the archive picking over their collection of trans-Atlantic submarine telegraph cable documents. Highlights included ship's newspaper compiled on the voyage, log books from the laying of the cables original surveyors maps plotting the course of the cable and many original art works. For several of us it was the first visit since the refurbishment not only of the search facilities but also of the museum galleries and visitor facilities. All of these were great and really added to the experience. 

Scrambled Messagers and a cable

The weather was good so we were also able to explore the station landscape, taking in the historic overland cables and also the cable hut on the beach. Being confronted by the physical landscape of cable laying really brought home to us the bodily processes of making and maintaining a cable. It also reminded us of how geographically isolated this little peninsular of land was despite being the centre of a vast communications network. 

The evenings were spent discussing cables, cables, 1980s feminism, cables, what to have for dinner, cables and cables. There was hard work but plenty of picnics on the beach, fish and chip suppers and ales in the Cable Station Inn. Many thanks to Collections Manager Charlotte Dando and also to for the guided tour of the tunnels. A very profitable and highly recommended trip. We really should make this a regular thing! 

Caroline in front of signScrambled cable

Photo of cable shipCable hut openShip's newspaperCass and telegraph poleJointing boxSeagull on Porthcurno beachSketch of trans-Atlantic cable marker bouyTelegraph pole and wild garlic

Event Details

May 20, 2015